PZ Myers posted Entry 1360 on August 17, 2005 02:01 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1358

horse evolution

Weinstock et al. have published a solid and interesting paper that attempts to resolve some issues in the recent evolution of horses. It's good work, and shows how molecular analysis of fossils can complement morphological studies to give a clearer picture of organismal history. Unsurprisingly, though, creationists are already spluttering out nonsense about it. I'm going to give a quick overview of the scientific results, and then show some of the creationist babble in response (not too much, though—you'll quickly see how dishonest and evasive creationists are).

Continue reading Pleistocene Horses (on Pharyngula)

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Comment #43543

Posted by Skip on August 17, 2005 3:10 PM (e)

Creationists blathering against the evidence for the evolution of horses is a great example of their nonsensical reasoning.

For example, in order think all living land animals today are the descendants of the 14,000 or so animals on the Ark, creationists have to accept rates of evolution at Indianapolis 500 speeds, something no real biologist would accept. They wave this off by saying it’s all just change within the kind.

So what the hell is a ‘kind’? Are they ever going to tell us? The duck kind; the four legged kind; the breathing kind?

Couldn’t they just accept the scientific evidence for horse evolution and drone on about changes within the horse kind? Actually no, for much the same reason the critiques of the peppered moths studies won’t give in to that one.

Once they start saying, “Okay, well, yeah, we’ll give you that one,” they’ll have to say it more and more, until the money dries up and they have to go find real jobs. But I think Ken Ham could learn to cook French fries: curly fries, steak cut, thin cut, it’s all just changes within the fry kind, after all.

Comment #43547

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 17, 2005 3:28 PM (e)

since they seem to think there has been no real evolution of species, perhaps they could just substitute the word “transmogrification” for evolution and be happier?

as in “all current species are just transmogrifications of the original species found on the ark”

I’m sure that would go a long way towards engendering understanding of their movement…

Comment #43548

Posted by Michael Roberts on August 17, 2005 3:28 PM (e)

Surely you meant to say that YECs have got hoarse from shouting!

Comment #43551

Posted by Steviepinhead on August 17, 2005 3:38 PM (e)

Nah, they’ve just been unhorsed, like Madonna.

Comment #43562

Posted by Dave Carlson on August 17, 2005 4:09 PM (e)

Skip wrote:

So what the hell is a ‘kind’? Are they ever going to tell us?

I believe the scientific definition of a ‘kind’ is: Any taxonomic classification that will allow a creationist to claim that macroevolution does not happen.

Comment #43584

Posted by Mike Walker on August 17, 2005 5:31 PM (e)

I believe the scientific definition of a ‘kind’ is: Any taxonomic classification that will allow a creationist to claim that macroevolution does not happen.

And isn’t it curious how the definition of a “kind” becomes narrower and narrower the closer you get a species by the name of Homo Sapiens

Comment #43594

Posted by dre on August 17, 2005 6:10 PM (e)

i like how the creationist response implies that National Geographic has turned its back on evolution.

Comment #43603

Posted by Bruce Thompson GQ on August 17, 2005 7:12 PM (e)

What will the Braminologists do? They have analyzed the equids using a multi dimensional scaling method, similar to XGobi
They don’t like molecular data. It doesn’t work with their systematic methods i.e. based on primates, it doesn’t yield the correct results.

If the proposed relationship between stilt-legged horses and Hippodion and other changes are supported by additional data the Baraminologists are not only stuck with fitting everything into 6000 years but explaining why molecular data is unacceptable.

Comment #43614

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 17, 2005 9:07 PM (e)

never put anything past folks able to invent their own mythos, invent the evidence to support it, and even invent their own brand of logic to explain it.

Comment #43661

Posted by Rupert Goodwins on August 18, 2005 3:15 AM (e)

I don’t rightly know about these Plasticine horses. God made Adam out of clay, not this new-fangled artificial stuff. But it might explain the zebra.

R

Comment #43743

Posted by Pierce R. Butler on August 18, 2005 1:14 PM (e)

Perhaps this is an example of what happens when fundamentalists attempt to use modern terminology: amongst their own, they probably observe wisely to each other that there is no change in the harlot kind…

Comment #43837

Posted by Dan S. on August 18, 2005 6:35 PM (e)

“I don’t rightly know about these Plasticine horses. God made Adam out of clay, not this new-fangled artificial stuff.”

Darn you, you made me spray spittle all over the screen!