Sunday, April 25, 2010

Attacking Darwin is Sooo Irrelevant ....

No really it is. And why you ask?

Darwin's book, Origin of Species, was originally published in 1859. For the next fourteen years, Darwin edited his own work, radically changing some parts and at times removing them completely. Ben Fry created an awesome web site where you can track the changes made. It's a really fun site, check it out. So, Darwin himself continued to change, or dare I say evolve, his own theory throughout his life.

From the moment Darwin published his ground breaking work, scientists examined and tested it. They continue to do so today. His theory became a global topic, and still is. Most importantly, his theory, through being repetitively tested, has been refined and cleaned up so that we have the finely hammered out version we have today...thanks to the Scientific Method.

So now that we've got that out of the way, let me really begin.

Recently a certain argument has begun to drive me crazy, that being that something, somewhere in the Darwin's Origin of Species was wrong.

And? What's your point?

Ok, so somewhere in a book that is 150 years old a guy using some outdated scientific methods got something, usually unrelated to his main theory, wrong? That's your reason for ignoring the some 1000 or more modern scientific texts that have tested and proven the main theory of said 150 year old book, and found it valid? Really?

Recently, the observation was made that Creationists seem to think that Origins is our bible. That they seem to think I spend my days and night pouring over the pages, memorizing passages, and finding some spiritual comfort from the words. It really struck me to think that one over.

Honestly, the last time I even cracked open a copy of Origins was to double check a single passage quoted at me by a Creationist. I can't say I've even read Origins all the way through, not even in college where I learned about Evolution. The fact that a Creationist appeared to know more about Origins than I did bothered me, until I realized that it's irrelevant.

The Theory of Evolution, Darwin's main point in Origins, is beyond Darwin. It is more than one man, its more than one book. The Theory of Evolution is a time tested, scientifically valid theory, of which we have more evidence to support than the Theory of Gravity. The Theory of Evolution has evolved past Darwin, the problems examined, and the kinks worked out. Thanks to 150 years of scientific examination, evolution is one of the most sound theory in science, used in nearly every field of science from medicine to Anthropology. It doesn't matter if 150 years ago, Darwin forgot to put a comma in a sentence. It doesn't matter if he made some horribly quote-mined and out of context comment about an eye. Evolution still holds, its still valid, and all your misquotes and paraphrasing isn't going to change that.

So, in conclusion, attacking Darwin, or any of his books doesn't amount to a hill of beans. I don't need to have memorized a 150 year old book to understand how evolution works. I have an education, I have an understating of the scientific method. I know how this stuff works. I know that a single quote-mined passage from 150 years ago will never invalidate 150 years worth of scientific testing. Get over it.

Monday, April 12, 2010

How the 165 million year old spider proves young earth creationism.

Yah read that tile twice, I had too...

This argument has been used on me twice now.

Because the ancient spider looks just like modern spiders, evolution is completely debunked, and God did it all.

This claim was backed up with, "I'm not a scientist or anything, but..."

Well, firstly, let me point out that you don't need to be a scientist to do simple math.

One of the fundamental claims of Young Earth Creationism is that the earth itself is not more than 6,000 years old. They've come by this number by counting all the 'begots' and 'begats' from the bible and adding their lifespans together, all the way back to Adam and Eve. So, If your telling me that the earth is only 6,000 years old, and then as evidence use the 165 million year old spider, my first issue is the math.

We can both agree that the ancient spider looks very similar to modern spiders, one could even say they are identical in some ways. One can't claim that the age of the spider proves a young earth. One also can't claim that "God did it", since one has no prove of that either (but that's an entirely different argument).

Another individual wanted to use the T.Rex soft tissue that was found and written about in 2005 by Dr. Mary Higby Schweitzer, et. al. Dr. Schweitzer and her team discovered a T.Rex long bone that still contained soft tissue resembling bone marrow. This was a huge discovery because until this discovery, it was thought that marrow wouldn't survive past a million years. With this new discovery, Dr. Schweitzer and her team began re-examining other older fossils to find out if soft tissue survived in them as well. I encourage you to read the paper she produced and look at the evidence found, but I'll break it down for you. In her study she found, three other fossils that were as old, which still contained soft tissue. That's not counting the other fossils that were older and younger, and the experiments the team did to explain the preservation of soft tissue.

Anyway, back to the argument...

The claim was, that since the T. Rex bone was found with soft tissue, and since science at the time said that soft tissue wouldn't survive past one million years, the Dinosaurs lived at the same time as humans.

Again, math is the obvious flaw here. With a planet that is only supposed to be 6,000 years old, how would anything over that age support that claim?

I'm just using basic math here, I'm not even pointing out the obvious flaws in these arguments. It boggles my mind how someone can sit across from me and argue that these two multi-million year old fossils prove A) Young earth creationism and B) that God did it.

But, I'm new at this, and I haven't heard all the arguments just yet. I'm sure I'll get told something else that will simply blow my mind eventually. When that time comes, I will fall back on what has always gotten me through, Facts.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Re-Formatting

I've been looking over other blogs that I enjoy following, and I realized, this blog lacks. So I'm going to spend the next week or so, learning how to make the most of this space so that it's useful and informative to the readers. I'll take suggestions if anyone has them.

Archy Twits