Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Live-blogging the whackos

Very depressingly, quite a large number of students have turned up to listen to two unqualified whackos from a very dubious organisation (which appears to think that evolution is a Communist-Jewish-Atheist-Masonic plot) explain why evolution is lies, rather than turn up to an introductory biology class. The lecture is 'The collapse of the theory of evolution and the fact of creation'.

Without even waiting for them to open their propagandist mouths, I guarantee you that two arguments will be raised:

1. Irreducible complexity: some aspects of biological structures, such as the eye, are so amazing and complex that there was no chance that they evolved. There had to be a creator.
2. There are no transitional fossils showing us that species evolved. Fossils show 'modern' bears, seals and so on from millions of years ago. They'll show pictures of fossils and pictures of existing animals. As if that proved anything.

I know these arguments will turn up (with an Islamic spin) because they're the same arguments used by anti-evolutionists since Darwin.

The problem is, they're both entirely untrue. Here's a handy and comprehensible argument against irreducible complexity. As to the transitional fossils: here's a list. It's quite long. It includes the various hominids: they're so transitional that there's no consensus on which of our ancestors are humans and which aren't.

What really annoys me about these guys is that they're here in a university without going through any of the systems which provide a degree of intellectual rigour. They haven't done PhDs in developmental biology. They haven't submitted their claims to the examination of their peers through the publication system: they're just making random claims and using neat suits and medical degrees to perform academic status without actually testing any of their claims.

I'm ashamed by the university's connivance in this charade: it demeans us and weakens our credibility.

Back in a moment when they start talking.

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