Monday, January 09, 2006

Creationism Redux

Creationists say fossil discoveries back their theories

The vast majority of scientists consider the movement badly misguided, or worse, intellectually dishonest. Creationists, scientists say, aren't doing real science.
All creationists, everywhere, regardless of their qualifications, baseline assumptions, or methodology. Check.

"The evidence is overwhelming," said Skip Pierce, the chairman of the biology department at the University of South Florida. "These theories are essentially established fact."
Well, at least someone had the scrote to come right out and say it.

Organisms survived based on how well-suited they were to their environment. Beneficial traits passed on from parents - genetic variations in speed, size or eyesight - gave some offspring an advantage over competitors. Those offspring - with their unique inherited traits - stood a better chance of surviving and reproducing.
Isn't this variation within a species? Survival of the fittest is not at odds with Creationism/ID. Actually, it helps eliminate weaker defects and mutations, helping to keep the gene strain pure against harmful variations.
Darwin suggested that over millions of years those incremental changes reach a point of no return. At some stage, the organism changes so much, it can no longer breed within the species.
Sooooo, then who/what does this new critter breed with? Are these variations/mutations occuring simultaneously, and so pervasively across the genus that the critter who pops out unable to breed with the same species as its parents, has enough other guys or gals like him in close enough proximity that he's able to continue breeding? If not, this "new species" is self-limited to one generation.
If its inherited differences are adaptive, it can evolve into a new species.
Adaptive? By what mechanism? How do you use inherited and adaptive interchangeably in the same sentence? This seems like a pretty big "If."

On the other hand, comments like this don't do the creationist movement any favors:

There is no chance that any scientific find will sway their views, they say, because the Bible's account of history is complete and unerring. They even reject as "lightweight Christianity" the newer notion of intelligent design, which holds that some higher power created Earth and the universe but does not necessarily give credit to the Christian God.

"We know who the creator is," said Pete DeRosa, brushing dust off the massive skull. "It's the God of the Bible. It's Jesus Christ. It's our Lord.

"We won't find anything contrary to that."
Folks, there's a whole lot of breathing room within creationism. Closing your mind to anything but one narrow interpretation is every bit as unscientific as the detractors suggest.

That line of thinking doesn't really bother biologist Skip Pierce. He just doesn't think faith should pass for science.
Agreed. But neither does faith have to be totally divorced from science (or vise versa). IMHO.