The Unassailable Logic of Ignorance
So the quote of the day goes to a creationist on Facebook who just said the following:
When we observe the fossil record we will see only two pieces of evidence with which to make a rational and logical conclusion:
1. Fossils of extinct creatures and,
2. Fossils of creatures that are still living today.
From this observable evidence it can easily be seen that ALL the creatures still living today have not changed after “millions of years”. They have somehow mysteriously forgotten to evolve and look identical to their fossil counterpart.
If you, like me, have a logical and rational brain, your response will be something like this:
What the fuck? Are you stupid, crazy or both?????
While it the statement of the two kinds of fossils is true, it’s kind of stupid isn’t it? What other kind of fossil would there be? A fossil would either be of an animal that is still around or an animal that is not.
Here, let’s use the same logic to say something else stupid.
There are two kinds of animals:
1) Those that are still alive
2) Those that are extinct
Holy shit! That exactly matches what we find in the fossil evidence! This must mean something!
Even though we can look at one fossil from 350 million years ago and another from 250 million years ago, theorize a third species that we’ll find somewhere in the middle and then find that species (this happens all the time), it doesn’t matter because they are all extinct species, right?
On the other hand, sharks don’t seem to have changed all that much in a long time. Therefore no evolution, right? Except for the fact there are 350 different species of shark that evolved from a single starting point and we can track that.
Except for the fact that evolution happens when it needs to. If a mutation is not beneficial (or at least neutral) to the long-term survival of an organism, that mutation will likely not survive.
The problem with the way of thinking above is that it is unassailable. Evolution hasn’t just been proven through the fossil evidence. It has been proven using living species, exploration of the genome, and dozens of other ways.
If you are going to argue that there isn’t much evidence in the recent fossil record and ignore the fact that it takes a long fucking time to make a fossil, what possible argument can I provide that will make a difference?
The thing that bugs me about creationists is that they aren’t biologists but they want to talk as if they are. And they get other people to listen.
It’s like a construction worker giving medical advice or an actor telling someone how to fly an airplane. You can pretend to be an expert about whatever you want but unless you actually are an expert, nobody should be listening to you.
But people do because somehow nonsensical arguments like the one above work on people. This guy didn’t create the argument above. Somebody else did and he’s aping it without thinking it through.
And because he isn’t thinking it through, he has no interest in thoughtful conversation. He will never think it through.
He’ll just keep pointing out there are two kinds of fossils without ever understanding that what he is saying means absolutely nothing.
I am thinking about showing my physical geography this great two part series called “First Life” I do suggest it for all. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYB8K1fIuhI
There is also a great one called “Darwin and the tree of life” but it’s not on youtube.
Have you read “The Good News Club” by Katherine Stewart? Yikes! Stephen King can’t write stuff that scary.
I’ve heard of it but I haven’t read it. It scares me a lot.