Arguing on Craig’s list

Someone sent me a link to an article on craigslist which I couldn’t help but reply to. Sadly there doesn’t seem to be any discussion forum that I can follow there, so I’ll re-post it here.
This article answers a previous post to this forum, one which included the following comment:

>”Evolution is accepted without question. Many say that the majority of the

>science world accepts it and only a moron would not endorse it. I heard one

>person speak and say that some animal evolved as though it is something

>normal and organic. I wonder why all these claim when not one person has

>seen any evolution take place. How can you so accept such a theory

>without question and yet you have never seen the goods?”

The answer is that we HAVE seen the goods.  Biological evolution is traceable through morphology with derived synapomorphies indicated in taxonomy, developmental biology, and chronologically concordant fossils in the geologic column. The hierarchy is also twin-nested in that it can be confirmed with genetic orthologues, essentially the same as running a simple paternity test.  That’s one of the reasons why evolution is exclusively and unanimously accepted by a global scientific consensus of independent expert specialists in all relevant fields. We know it works, we can show it works, we know how it works, and we can show how it worked in the past. With creationism, all we have are man-made mythologies and contradictory nonsense that never works on any level.

>”The question is when has anyone ever seen Evolution take place? When

>you can answer that question in a visual context then there would be no

>question. We have yet to see anyone one step forth and do so.”

Evolution is also directly observable. It is an inescapable fact of population mechanics long employed and exploited in agriculture -at the ‘micro-evolutionary’ level, (variation within species).  But even mAcroevolution (variation between species/speciation) has been directly observed and documented dozens of times both in the lab and in controlled conditions in the field.  I cite several of these events from peer-reviewed studies in my video on the 11th foundational falsehood of creationism.

Science never accepts anything ‘without question’, but questioning evolution gets answers, and we can easily prove those answers are correct.  The best minds of the modern day have posed testable and potentially falsifiable hypotheses and evolution is always vindicated.  For example, Darwin predicted that if his theory was correct, that there would be many transitions discovered in the fossil record. In my video on the 9th foundational falsehood of creationism, I show more than 300 definite transitions even according to the strictest definition of that word.

The first of Darwin’s predictions was that a bird would be found with unfused wing fingers.  Archaeopteryx was the first of many to be discovered which matched that prediction, and it was discovered while Darwin was still alive.  The predicted link that was still missing in his time was a morphological blend of human and chimpanzee traits. Australopithecus aferensis was the first of dozens of fossil hominines discovered since 1974 which bridge that gap.  Creationists argued that no such transitions would ever be found, and we’ve found all of them, including dinosaurs with ‘half-a-wing’ and turtles on the half shell or with no shell at all.  There are still some lineages that are missing key transitions, but apes to men, dinosaurs to birds, and the land-to-sea adaptations for ichthyosaurs and manatees are essentially complete. The transition to whales is well-understood now and only awaits one or two predicted stages to be confirmed.

>”Viruses that remain a Virus and Bacteria that remains a Bateria is not in

>any way evolution or anything meaningful to the evolution discussion.

>Evolution says one species changes into a whole nother one. Therefore

>this virus and bacteria argument is null and void. Further similar dna does

>not prove evolution you have to show that they changed from one species

>to another which no one has nor can anyone produce. All things continue

>as the Bible says ‘everything according to its kind’.

If you’re going to criticize one of the best-supported theories in all of science, it would be a good idea to know something about it before-hand. So I have included a link to lecture I recently gave at the Houston Museum of Natural Science on the fundamentals of evolution at the 9th grade educational level.

There is no such thing as a taxonomic or zoological ‘kind’. The creationist concept of baraminology is wrong, and the proof of that is in my video on the Phylogeny Challenge.

Evolution was never about ‘changes between kinds’; its an explanation of biodiversity from common ancestry.  That means that evolution never suggests -nor permits- that one organism ever gave birth to another fundamentally different one. Everything that ever evolved was just a modified version of whatever its ancestors were.  That is one of the laws of evolution.

Whoever wrote the original article which I now mean to address also accused Darwin of being racist. That poster also implicitly admitted never having read what Darwin actually said.  This is obvious as Darwin was clearly not racist.  He spoke out adamantly against the racism common in his day. He protested eugenics that were already going on in Australia before his time (and for which he was later blamed) and his books were banned and burned by Hitler, who was a creationist himself and rejected Darwinian theory outright.  I explain all this with specific citations in my video playlist on the Erroneous Association of Evolution and Racism:

In short, the previous poster has absolutely no idea what he’s talking about, and that’s why he’s dead wrong on every attempted point
.>”All civilizations point not to an evolutionary documentation but to one

>core truth. That Core truth being that there is god. Yes they have many

>stories but all the stories have one common denominator. That common

>denominator is not evolution but only that of god.”

Here I would like to refer to someone else’s videos, Dr. Alice Roberts.  She’s an anthropologist with a brilliant series on tracing human migrations. What her series conclusively proves is that Genesis is wrong about the garden of Eden, the global flood, and the tower of Babel.  None of these actually happened as the Bible describes, and yes this video series does actually prove that with an overlapping alignment of hard uncontested evidence. Enjoy:

Creationism has been continuously proven to be a vast collection of frauds and lies, not science. I explain that in the 13th foundational falsehood of creationism:

>”The closer the world gets to God and his will the less his problems will become.”
Sorry, but that’s not true either; quite the opposite in fact -as I explained in my speech on how ‘Religion Reverses Everything’.
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  • Right away the guy responded by moving the goal posts. First he demanded that ‘someone come forward to say that they’ve observed evolution’, and he repeated that challenge in my email. Then once I reminded him that I had already listed dozens of peer-reviewed citations in my video, he dismissed all of that without any consideration, and demanded that I explain what I myself have seen personally.

    • I’ve facepalmed over that one, before. Why does it need to be personal? What’s so special about me/you that something isn’t true until one of us has experienced it? It’s like reverse solipsism or something.

      Thinking about it, I suspect it’s premised on the grand conspiracy idea. We can’t cite the documented experiences of the vast international scientific community because they’re obviously all liars working together precisely because all their independent pieces of evidence are all consistent with evolution. Why else would so many people from so many nations and backgrounds agree on something, and so adamantly? Add a pinch of “were you there?” pseudo-epistemology for extra absurdity.

  • Callinectes

    Frustrating, but I live for these arguments of yours.

  • L.Long

    Right Aron I was about to point out that all your arguments are for naught!!!

    You cannot state the evidence to someone with their eyes closed tight and their ears plugged and yelling LALALALALALALA!!!

    They will not see or hear because they cannot afford to see or hear.

    The Abrahamic religions state YOU MUST BELIEVE IN THE buyBull or FRY!!!!

    The Idea of gawd or even heaven is NOT negated by evilution, but the buyBull is! And that is their great fear, as they will loose their great gawd Cheeses or that dimwit Mo or the psychopathic Yehway.

  • New England Bob

    Just ask the creatiotard “if no one has ever seen god, why would one believe it?”

    • Their “standards of evidence” are kinda weird.

      What they’ll say is that there were witnesses of Jesus’s resurrection, as stated in the Bible, for example. But no one saw the Big Bang. That’s the requirement. Testimony from a person who claims to have seen it. Perhaps that creationist in particular hasn’t seen God.. but they know of people who have.

      It doesn’t seem to matter that they haven’t established that the claims in the Bible are true… or that if they’re right, we have no capacity to know anything that wasn’t observed by someone (Nobody what started the fire, so we’re totally clueless as to what happened, despite the plethora of empirical evidence that points to lightning).

  • Who Cares

    @New England Bob(#4):

    That is simple the bible says so.

  • cubist

    Actually, Charles Darwin was racist, to some degree; given the fact that Darwin was an upper-class citizen of the British Empire during the reign of Queen Victoria, how could he not have been? He was no cross-burning KKKer, for sure, given that he was a staunch, committed abolitionist, among (many) other relevant facts. Instead, he was a man who shared (some of) the common prejudices of his culture, and was a damn sight more egalitarian than most of his contemporaries.

    • Additionally, he was finding his reasoning against racism, even if he was racist to some degree, from within evolutionary theory. He was hoping to show that Africans were actually the same species as the Europeans, at a time when those with African descent were often literally considered to be an inferior species… but if they were actually “one of us”, that makes them more difficult to “other-ify”.

    • He had quite a number of heated debates with the Creationist/heavily-Christian captain of the Beagle about slavery and evolution.

    • F [is for failure to emerge]

      Actually, Charles Darwin was racist, to some degree

      Who is not? Those who recognize and then eschew racist thoughts and behaviors are where it’s at.

      Frankly, I’m all too suspicious of those who like to play the racist Darwinian evolution card. I’d bet they turn out, with some frequency, to have more racism baggage than their average opponent in arguments over evolution.

  • BCat

    Really, craigslist now? Are you slumming, Aron?

  • Acitta

    Whoa! There’s a section on Craigslist for “Rants and Raves”? I didn’t know that. Now I can post my complaints about everything under the sun and block email replies.

  • Chemical Wolf

    These guys don’t come to their opposition to evolution through logic, evidence, reason, or science and so you can’t convince them by those means. If you’re trying to win creationists over you’re wasting your time.

    • I disagree.

      First, it does happen… but it’s less about stating “facts” at them, and more a combination of them actually caring that what they believe is actually true. That’s I think were we could use some improvement… but they’re providing most of that themselves, these days. For instance, there’s a lot of cognitive dissonance between the church’s teachings on homosexuality/atheism, and what the individuals actually know from those gays/agnostics they know. That’s the sort of thing that starts them questioning.

      Secondly, the reason why many of them hold the position is due to lack of education, whether on the factual details, or on the very process of reason itself. Ongoing efforts to bring someone up to speed on skepticism, critical thinking, and actual logic (not “it makes sense to me!”), eventually can bring them around… because until then, they arguable don’t have a framework to actually understand the evidence provided to them.

      Thirdly, until that happens, these people provide excellent case studies – extreme examples that can be picked apart for the educational purposes of those who aren’t as extreme, and not as emotionally invested (since they aren’t the ones arguing), as well as provide examples for the next generations of counter apologists to examine and learn from.

      Your statement is a nice pithy sound bite, but like most pithy sound bites, aren’t all that accurately reflective of reality…. because, for one, it does not represent ANY of the formerly-theistic atheists.

    • sbuh

      You’re not going to convince the Comforts and Hams of the world because they’re not ignorant, they’re liars. Some of them might even accept the science in their heart of hearts (possibly wishful thinking), but at the absolute least they are not as dumb as they pretend to be, and they know what our arguments are because they’ve heard them so many times. Their straw men have been constructed with care.

      It’s worth mentioning though that the vast majority of debates between evolution and creationism (actually most debates about anything period) are never about either of the two debaters attempting to sway one another. They’re almost always aimed at the audience.

  • Kook Breakers
  • “Australopithecus aferensis (sic) was the first of dozens of fossil hominines discovered since 1974 which bridge that gap.”

    Dart found A. africanus long before Johanson found A. afarensis.

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