Sunday, December 26, 2004

Intelligent design -- first in an ongoing series


Since there are just oodles of other bloggers who can expose the Bush administration and, in general, the entire right-wing blogosphere, media, attack poodles and screech monkeys for the lying, hypocritical bottom dwellers that they are, I thought it might be fun to focus a little more closely on a single topic. And given my 20+ years investigating (read: eviscerating) creation science and, more recently, "intelligent design", I thought it might be amusing to, over the course of several weeks, beat the living daylights out of that particular pseudo-scientific nonsense.


Now, I suspect we here at Cynic HQ are going to get comments so, for the sake of productivity, as time goes by, I'm going to lay down some ground rules. And the first ground rule is addressed to those inevitable critics who will be defending creation science or its more recent incarnation, "intelligent design". (Or, as we here at Cynic HQ like to call it, "crap".) And that ground rule is, if you're going to get involved, please, take the time to do some research and get a fucking clue. Seriously.

Let me give you an example. On a regular basis, I deal with defenders of "ID" who like to claim that ID refutes biological evolution. These people are ... what's the word I'm looking for here? Oh, right: "morons". And I can say this without fear of refutation since even the organizations that promote ID don't make this claim.

Consider the Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based conservative think tank whose mandate appears to be to discover as little as humanly possible. They are arguably the most vocal group in the U.S. in terms of promoting ID, and even they don't make this claim. Consider their list of top questions related to ID and biological evolution, particularly point 2 under "QUESTIONS ABOUT INTELLIGENT DESIGN", which reads:


2. Is intelligent design theory incompatible with evolution?


It depends on what one means by the word "evolution." If one simply means "change over time," or even that living things are related by common ancestry, then there is no inherent conflict between evolutionary theory and intelligent design theory...

Got that? Even the Discovery Institute doesn't take the position that ID disproves evolution, so if you say something like that in this forum, I'll save everyone buckets of time by providing a link to the refutation, calling you an "idiot" and moving on. In short, if you want to play, you really should take the time to do some research and, yes, here's a good place to start. I love a good debate, but arguing with someone who doesn't have clue one isn't really my idea of a good time.

Let the games begin.

4 comments:

Jay Gatsby said...

For what it's woth, I do believe in evolution. But explain this away, idiot: If humans evolved from apes, wher's the missing link? We suddenly jumped from chimpanzee to what we are now. Explain away, my friend.

CC said...

From CC:

Humans did not evolve from apes. Now you see, readers, why I really insisted that people do a little research before embarrassing themselves on this forum. Some folks just don't know good advice when they read it. Sad.

dAVE said...

Oh, jeez, Jay....
Have you done ANY reading on the subject? Does the name "Lucy" ring a bell? Here are some terms to Google:

Australopithicus
Hominid
Homo Habilus
Homo Erectus

That should get you started.
For a quick answer to your question, there were many species of upright walking apes over the last 4 or 5 million years, of which we are the only surviving species. There are many links in the chain from ape to human preserved in the fossil record.
By the way, we did not evolve from chimpanzees, chimpanzees and humans evolved from a common ancestor. This may seem like a minor point, but it is essential to understanding evolution.

Andy Dabydeen said...

ID and their supporters are proof that evolution works both ways -- great leaps foward and drunken, moronic staggers backward. The Discovery Institute has decided not to take on science head first by denouncing evolution. It's a fight that they wouldn't win. Their approach is to slowly build acceptance for an idea that sounds scientific, is coated with big words and backed by people with credentials, but in reality, has no basis in science. These people just believe it. That's all. It's a new religion in the guise of science. We might as well believe that we've descended from alien turd.

More on my opinion of the topic here.