Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pics or It Didn't Happen

what really happened to the dinosaurs
creationism, evolution, darwin, ray, comfort,

In case you hadn't heard (I'm not sure how), Ray Comfort is distributing mangled copies of Origin of the Species across college campuses nationwide. By mangled, I mean missing 4 chapters. I defy you to take 4 chapters out of any book and have a book that makes sense, but I digress.

UPDATE: Apparently, the 4 chapters are back in, but the forward written by Comfort that was supposed to be out is back in. The last version of the forward that I read blamed Darwin for racism and eugenics.

Someone at Just Truth participated in the giveaway, and had this to say about it:

I saw a post where an atheist said “arguments” were everywhere, which is sadly a mistake. I had one or two conversations with some VERY intelligent people who presented their case very well, sadly my communications skills were not such that I could properly convey my questions to them. My question was “how can evolution cause everything to evolve at the exact same rate? Where are the monkey/men and the blob/monkeys? For evolution to be true it would have to be a continual process.. However it seems to have stopped, even in the species alive today” the “best” answer I got was directed at theistic evolution, which isn’t what the Bible teaches. I have the utmost respect for the people we spoke to, I am certain they think we’re delusional, and we think they simply MUST not know the truth. I think they have had evolution thrown at them from the time they were old enough to watch TV, and taught it is fact. And sadly the parents, even most of the Christian ones don’t make the effort to combat that lie. Christians depend on the church to do it, when it’s not the churches job. It’s ours…. But that’s a rant for another day!

There is so much wrong with that it's hard to know where to start, but I would like to note that it seems to point to several serious misunderstandings about the Theory of Evolution that it might be worthwhile to note. (Whether those misunderstandings are deliberate or not is another post.)

1. Everything is, or should be, evolving at the same rate.

This is a rather odd statement on his part, in that it entirely ignores the fact, well documented fact at that, that not everything evolves at the same rate. Some things, like sharks, have hardly evolved at all, while other things, like pepper moths, have evolved in very short periods of time.

Evolution is not some sort of constant like the speed of light. Sharks have no need to evolve, they survive and reproduce quite well just as they are. Since evolution is simply the changes that accumulate leading to better survival and reproduction, if you don't need to change, you won't. Lighter pepper moths, on the other hand, were being wiped out due to their coloring, so darker pepper moths survived and reproduced, leading to darker pepper moths over all in a very short period of time.

2. It's not evolution unless some dramatic change occurs.

At least I assume that's what the "blob/monkey" comment is about. (Blobs? What the hell is a blob, anyway?) Evolution is change. Changes within a species that do not result in an entirely new species are still the result of evolution. You have to entirely change the definition of evolution to state that unless a new species is formed, there is no evolution going on. If we can do that, then you're not reading this on a computer, you're reading this post on a toaster. Words have no meaning! Bagel printing sow more certain ensure effect courts!

3. I can't see evolution happening in front of my eyes, so it isn't happening.

You can't see the rotation of the earth around the sun, either, and that's happening. You can't see gravity, yet you aren't floating.

Sarcasm aside, shave your head. Take a picture of your head every day for 30 days. At the end of 30 days, you will have 1/2" of hair, yet day to day your hair will look exactly the same. Multiply that effect by a few million years, and you have evolution.


  1. I defy you to take 4 chapters out of any book and have a book that makes sense...

    Two words for you: Moby. Dick. Ye gods...

  2. Okay, admittedly I should have specified a book that either made sense as a whole, or wasn't at least twice as long as it needed to be. So, no, removing 4 chapters from Moby Dick, anything by William Borroughs, War and Peace, etc., would not make any difference at all.

  3. :D Just so long as we understand each other, you minx.

    Also: I had a friend growing up who never got wisdom teeth. She just didn't have any in her pretty little head. We used to joke that she was more evolved. And then we took biology, and realized...

  4. How about The Stand by Stephen King? :P

    The copies he was handing out the last couple of days were actual full copies. He caught so much flak that he changed it to an unedited version. It still has his crazy ass intro in it.

  5. No, really? I didn't hear that. That guy can't stand still, can he? First the intro was in, then it was out, then the 4 chapters were out, now they're in . . . who can keep up?

  6. Oh and he started it two days earlier than he said he would. In an obvious attempt to avoid dissent.

  7. @BeamStalk: One day, actually. He was supposed to go in on the 19th, but instead went on the 18th, obviously to try and circumvent all the peaceful anti-nonsense activities planned up by the SSA and other such groups.

    And then, he has the gall to get all up in arms and offended when he’s called a dishonest charlatan. Keep digging, Ray.

  8. Nope, Joé, at the University of Oklahoma they were out on the 17th, two days before.

  9. As Beamstalk posted over at SMRT:

    "No college in Oklahoma was on the list for Comfort’s polemic. BUT THEY SHOWED UP ON 17 November as they did throughout the U.S., two days earlier than Comfort announced. Perhaps the early distribution was to prevent opposition? However, it did not work at OU. As soon as we saw two men distributing the books, word spread quickly among the biology departments and elsewhere and many faculty, graduate students and some undergraduates went searching to get copies and to keep them from unsuspecting students At least several dozen books were taken and by noon the two men distributing them were gone. Similar efforts were made at other U.S. campuses."

  10. Who knew biologists were so organized?

  11. The version that was distributed had the missing chapters I believe. As I understand it, Comfort said he'd put them back in after massive criticism. (Possibly the only time the man has ever listened to critics)

  12. Also, I wasn't able to get a copy. They were distributing at Boston College, Harvard and MIT, but not BU. :(

  13. Wow! I see I've made it back here again. I must have done something right :) I do apologize for making a general statement like "blob/monkeys" wasn't meant to say monkeys were the next step after the blobs oozed out of the ocean.. even darwin isn't that stupid!

    As you mentioned, Yes the 1,000 books we passed out did have all the chapters, and the debunking.

    I see you're still citing the "Peppered Moth" hoax perhaps this will help

    Please, this is the second time I have found something from my blog on your site, have some courtesy! Allow the person you're belittling to rebut, surly you're not afraid??

    While I am on the subject, I couldn't help but notice, most of your comments are just....rude, or derogatory, do you ever post solid evidence for whatever it is your discussing? I would expect more from an intelligent person, than 5th grade bullying

  14. Multiply that effect by a few million years, and you have evolution.
    - - - - -
    It's so simple; let me try. Everyday a fish tries to walk up a beach...multiply that by a million years, and we get.....trillions of dead fish and a really stinky beach.

  15. jesus.

    how stupid can people be?

    look, your PET is an object of evolution. i grant, directed evolution, but evolution. every freaking Toy Poodle or Great Dane proves that evolution happens.

    people are evolving. we are slightly different than we were 500 years ago - taller and etc. and we keep passing those differences along. that is evolution.

    PF doesn't need to show you all the things that make up evolution - all the facts ARE AVAILABLE whenever you really, truly want to see them. fuck, google it or look on Wikipedia.

    there is ZERO need for conflict between the theory of evolution and religion. ZERO. if you believe in God, an OMNIPOTENT God, why can you NOT believe that God "created the world and caused it to evolve"?
    all "science proponants" WANT is to teach FACT. CHILDREN are graduating from COLLEGE with out basic FACTS. i just met a COLLEGE PROFESSOR who did not UNDERSTAND how DNA was passed on to children - i grant, man was a total misogynist, and was bragging that he married "the stupidest woman [he] could find who was hot and could keep house" - and when i made a snarky comment about how his kids were going to be less intelligent than he [how could i not?] he got *really* pissed, because "The father's imput is what matters!" and when i tried to tell him about DNA he refused to listen. the man is FORTY and doesn't know how genetic inheritance works.

  16. Dark peppered moths are one variation in that particular species. White peppered moths are another variation. That doesn't prove evolution. It just proves that when there is a lot of pollution, the dark ones are more camouflaged. When there is less pollution the white ones are more camouflaged.

    Breeds of dogs and cats do not prove evoution either. They are simply variations within a species. They are still dogs and cats. In fact, the way that they are continually interbred proves that they are still members of the same species.

    Creationists do not say that species do not change, nor do they deny that there are variations within a species. Rather, they say that all those changes and variation are programmed into the DNA. The genes for all those changes and variations are usually already there, waiting to be expressed. Only in rare cases do new traits arise from gene mutations, often rendering the animal sterile or even dead. There seems to be no scientifcially proven vehicle to jump from species to species.

  17. denelian - I disagree with evolution because He said 6 days.. did you read that part? It's in Genesis. and beause I can google, it and find it on wikipedia it's true?! no wonder you accept evolution.

  18. Okay, google, Wikipedia, and tons of scientists on my side.

    Well, I have a book that says Harry Potter's birthday is July 31st. SO HE MUST EXIST.

    I will now go study wizardry at Hogwarts. Be back next week.

  19. PF I have a book that says bigfoot is real, my daughter has a book that says a hamster flew to the moon, does that make that real? I mean come on. Wikipedia? anyone can edit wikipedia to make it say anyting they want.

    good luck with the wizardry.


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