Friday, February 13, 2009

Question for Creationists

What's new in Creationism?

Cue knowing laughter from my fellow skeptics. I haven't heard many new arguments from Creationists, and the new ones I do hear tend to be most absurd, such as ice being magnetic (which apparently, is supposed to be why the north and south pole are magnetic), or water dissolving every single chemical bond there is (Umbrellas are useless!), therefore abiogenesis is impossible.

Personally, I take the lack of newness as a sign that the field is dead. Just like "parapsychology" is dead. All the Creationist canards are centuries old and supposedly designed to discredit evolution without providing evidence for any sort of deity. (They seem to forget that there's no shortage of other creation myths that are no better grounded than theirs.) There's no laboratory experiments, no collection of evidence from the field, no predictions to test. What it boils down to is the Creationists are a bunch of naysayers forever chanting, "Nuh-uh!" whenever science marches along.

6 comments:

Dark Jaguar said...

Ya know I've been hearing about water being "nature's perfect solvent" for a while now too. From... science teachers... They should know better.

I will play devil's advocate on ONE little thing though. For my part, I don't even care if creationists are able to posit their own alternative explanation. It's enough if they could actually show through actual evidence that evolution either can't happen or simply doesn't account for life on earth. I say this because it's the same standard I have for proving someone innocent of a crime. You don't need to show who did do it, you are free to say "I don't know", but if you have solid evidence the accused didn't do it, the lack of an alternative explanation is no reason to stick with the disproved notion.

So creationists, I'll give you that. You are free to fail to provide me with an alternative explanation if your only goal is to convince me that evolution isn't true. HOWEVER, that said, you've never succesfully done that. It's all been willing misunderstanding of what the theory even is, and false "evidence" like dinosaur and human footprints together. Not a single thing to show evolution is actually false, while every creature you look at makes sense only in the light of evolution, such as human intestines dangling from our backs awkwardly rather than neatly from the backs of quadropeds.

Further, your goals are NOT just limited to questioning evolution, and don't pretend otherwise. You want to insert creationism into the classroom, or it's retarded cousin, intelligent design. THAT WILL require evidence to show it's true.

Tom Foss said...

Ya know I've been hearing about water being "nature's perfect solvent" for a while now too. From... science teachers... They should know better.

That's certainly overstating the case, but I understand why they use it. Water's properties make it a really good solvent for a lot of different substances, but it's not "universal" or "perfect" by any means.

Random Stuff said...

I would probably list the resurgence of Lamarckism (http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19926641.500) as confirmation of something I would have suggested a few years ago, based on the assumption that an all-knowing creator would give creatures the ability to specifically adapt to their environment by processes more efficient than dying if they were maladapted.
Most of the new stuff in Creationism comes as we learn to better understand how a creator would have designed our world through all of the cool things that are happening in the testable areas of biology (as opposed to untestable claims about deep-time and macro-evolution).

Bronze Dog said...

You do realize that deep time and the hazily labeled "macro evolution" are quite testable. After all, they told us where we'd find Tiktaalik, and lo and behold, we found it where it was predicted to be.

As for the article, it's sounding like "We're claiming something perfectly normal and well within the ever-updating theory of evolution for ourselves." Perhaps you'd like to direct me to something specific in there.

Lot of Creationists love to claim that something now boring and well-accepted is regarded as heretical by the scientists who discovered it and originally got excited about it, therefore, somehow, the Creationists are right.

Dunc said...

Epigenetics is not Lamarckism. It's not even vaguely like Lamarckism. Lamarckism is the idea that traits acquired during life can be passed on durably to all of an organisms subsequent descendants. So, for example, a body builder would pass on a tendency to have abnormally large muscles - not just to their children, but to their grandchildren and all subsequent descendants.

Epigenetics, on the other hand, is simply the idea that the developmental environment can influence gene expression. Big frakin' deal.

I honestly don't know what's going on at the New Scientist these days... Did they employ a bunch of writers from the Weekly World News or something?

Bronze Dog said...

Oh, yeah: Random: Most of the new stuff in Creationism comes as we learn to better understand how a creator would have designed our world through all of the cool things that are happening in the testable areas of biology

In other words, looking at nifty stuff and then saying, "Oh, that's something cool a designer would so totally do" postdictions.