Nick Matzke posted Entry 1367 on August 18, 2005 01:17 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1365

Well, this is so brilliant I just had to post it: Ten Questions to Ask Your History Teacher, a parody of Jonathan Wells’s “Ten Questions to Ask Your Biology Teacher“, which is based on Wells’s book Icons of Evolution, which is thoroughly dismantled here and here. HT2PZ

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Comment #43785

Posted by Hoopman on August 18, 2005 3:36 PM (e)

Let them ask 10 Questions or 1,000 - there are scientific answers to anything they want to know. But let me ask just 5 questions of them.

5 Questions To Ask Your Pastor:

1. While much is made of the “incomplete fossil record” - why is it that looking at the Cambrian fossils, there are tons of fossils but virtually no fossils of any living animals? And when you look at the fossils of the Jurassic, there are tons of fossils, but virtually nothing immediately recognizable from the past Cambrian and, again, virtually nothing that immediately resembles presently living organisms? And when you come forward in time again to, say, the Miocene, there are tons of fossils, bearing little resemblance to the either the Cambrian or Jurassic? Why is our planet fully populated presently, yet the further back you go in the fossil record, the less all organisms have in common with living ones?

2. When looking at embryos, in light of creation - why would God create organisms independent of each other, with man at the summit of creation, and yet have all animals following an nearly identical embryonic trail? Why would the embryo of man, in early stages, share gills and tails with camels, tortoises and halibut at the same stage?

3. In regards to vestigial organs - why would God, who created a snake to be a snake and nothing else, have little useless hind leg nubs on the snake? Or when creating a whale to be a whale, the same? Or when created the perfect Adam in his own image, create him with nipples and appendix?

4. In acknowledging “micro-evolution” as fact, how would that acknowledged process impact a species during hundreds of millions of years? If two similar insects could diverge just slightly from each other, lose the ability to inter-breed, and then each separate group keeps undergoing slight variations over, say, 20 million years, how dissimilar might these two groups become?

5. Does God intentionally deceive? Taken all of the above questions, even if there is a perfectly fine explanation for each; wouldn’t one have to conclude that a Creator did his work in such a way that the most scientifically minded of his favorite species would necessarily be deceived by the available evidence? Would you agree that if He purposely intended to steer people away from believing that this was all His creation, he couldn’t have done it more successfully?

Comment #43795

Posted by Morgan on August 18, 2005 4:21 PM (e)

Years ago I came across a group of fundimentalist preachers hectoring folks on a nice day. They were insistant that *men* were made in God’s image. So I asked a simple question: “Why then does God have nipples?” The croud roared with laughter, and the preachers slunk off immediately. So in that spirit I present

10 Questions to as Fundimentalists on how we look like God:

1) Why does God have nipples?
2) Why does God have an appendix?
3) Why does God have Finger And Toe Nails? (Is God Clumsy?)
4) Why is God’s spine curved in a way that makes our backs weak?
5) Why would God need to smell pherimones?
6) Does God have a belly button? Why?
7) Does God get more hair on his back as he gets older?
8) Why does God go bald sometimes and keep his hair other times?
9) Ear lobes. What’s that all about?
10) Does God orgasm?

Comment #43800

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 18, 2005 4:42 PM (e)

11) just how big IS God’s, er, hmm. how to put this delicately… well, i think you know what i mean. This is important to know, as based on the emails i get all the time, mine is far too small :)

Comment #43827

Posted by KiwiInOz on August 18, 2005 5:53 PM (e)

C’mon Sir_Toejam. It’s not how big it is. It’s how he uses it that’s important.

Comment #43864

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 18, 2005 8:27 PM (e)

Yeah, right… and if that were true, why don’t i get emails trying to sell me correct techniques then huh? tell me that!

It’s obvious that these advertisers know the truth.. size does matter.

You are merely trying to pull the wool over our eyes, you liberal hippie!

however, if someone could find out the answer to the question of divine size for me, that would go a long way towards relieving the fears of millions of men, irrational or not eh? I mean, if I am pretty close to being the same size, then i must be divinely favored, unlike all you tiny or grossly oversized freaks out there…

oh, sorry… getting ahead of myself a bit. the holy war against the innapropriately sized can wait, i guess…

;P

Comment #43872

Posted by KiwiInOz on August 18, 2005 9:29 PM (e)

Correct techniques are sooo 70s. Size is in (think minis vs humvees).

Didn’t Monty Python’s “Meaning of life” show a divine/cosmic rod (vague recollection - will have to watch it again)?

Comment #43875

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 18, 2005 9:49 PM (e)

“Didn’t Monty Python’s “Meaning of life” show a divine/cosmic rod (vague recollection - will have to watch it again)?”

hmm, you might be right… the clues to divine size might be cleverly hidden in the most blasphemous of places… makes perfect sense! There might be clues hidden in the other python movies as well!

sounds like a python movie marathon for me this wknd…

Comment #43885

Posted by KiwiInOz on August 18, 2005 11:09 PM (e)

As in “He’s a very naughty boy!”?

Comment #43886

Posted by Morgan on August 18, 2005 11:09 PM (e)

Speaking of Month Python, Perhaps we should sell the creationists for scientific experimentation…

Comment #43896

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 18, 2005 11:58 PM (e)

ouch…

Comment #43936

Posted by kay on August 19, 2005 9:44 AM (e)

do they float?

Comment #43948

Posted by SEF on August 19, 2005 11:20 AM (e)

just how big IS God’s, er, hmm

If you mean penis as I suspect (especially from the mention of emails) then it’s probably non-existent. It’s existence is never claimed in the Torah/Bible/Koran (as far as I recall or search reveals). However, that god does allegedly claim to have a womb. Size isn’t exactly specified but, barring additional magic, it has to be big enough for various weather formations (Job 38:8 + Job 38:29). So she’s quite a big mother of a sky-fairy.

Comment #44031

Posted by Pastor Piltdown on August 19, 2005 9:18 PM (e)

Pastor Piltdown responds to Hoopman:
——————————————————————–

Posted by Hoopman on August 18, 2005 03:36 PM (e) (s)

Let them ask 10 Questions or 1,000 - there are scientific answers to anything they want to know. But let me ask just 5 questions of them.

5 Questions To Ask Your Pastor:

1. While much is made of the “incomplete fossil record” - why is it that looking at the Cambrian fossils, there are tons of fossils but virtually no fossils of any living animals? And when you look at the fossils of the Jurassic, there are tons of fossils, but virtually nothing immediately recognizable from the past Cambrian and, again, virtually nothing that immediately resembles presently living organisms? And when you come forward in time again to, say, the Miocene, there are tons of fossils, bearing little resemblance to the either the Cambrian or Jurassic? Why is our planet fully populated presently, yet the further back you go in the fossil record, the less all organisms have in common with living ones?

Response:
“A good portion of the Cambrian Explosion fossils were soft-bodied animals, so how can one argue that previously, soft-bodied predecessors couldn’t have been fossilized? Precambrians: If the animals were there, they would have been preserved. If the animals were preserved, they would have been found. Since they are not found, the only conclusion is that the supposed ancestors were never there. Simple logic would dictate, at least. The record still indicates that much biodiversity came virtually out of no-where. Finally, the reason that past organisms have less in common with current creatures is due to microevolutionary adaptations due to an array of factors.”

2. When looking at embryos, in light of creation - why would God create organisms independent of each other, with man at the summit of creation, and yet have all animals following an nearly identical embryonic trail? Why would the embryo of man, in early stages, share gills and tails with camels, tortoises and halibut at the same stage?

Response:
“What are mistaken as gills in human embryos are actually small wrinkles in the neck that appear during development and nothing more. Accurate comparisons of embryos of humans, fish, chickens, and amphibians show they begin very different, briefly become somewhat similar at an intermediate stage, and then end very different. The ontogeny it would seem, does anything but recapitulate phylogeny.”

3. In regards to vestigial organs - why would God, who created a snake to be a snake and nothing else, have little useless hind leg nubs on the snake? Or when creating a whale to be a whale, the same? Or when created the perfect Adam in his own image, create him with nipples and appendix?

Response:
“Assuming it could be established that the ancestor of snakes today had legs, the good pastor would have no problem in principle with loss of features through natural processes. Loss of legs could be achieved through degeneration of the DNA information sequences that specify leg development. The key point is that genetic information is LOST, not gained - what science has always observed. Also, the “rudimentary legs” you cite, on some snakes, are acknowledged as having a function during reproduction, as claspers during copulation. Whale tales: There is a complex DNA program which causes the development of the normal bone in this part of the whale’s anatomy. A mutational defect in this program could easily cause one or more extra pieces of bone to form, which would almost inevitably be in the same region, either separate from or fused with the normal bone. The challenge is for the darwinist to produce evidence of this tiny little bone ‘pimple’ went thru information gaining mutations to become two functional legs… (*listens to crickets chirping). Male Nipple fun: Did Adam have them? Likely, since nipples are especially sensitive and are a source of sexual stimuli even in males. Also, human embryos are sexually dimorphic at first - design economy. Both sexes have the genetic information for these structures from the get-go.

So, upon closer scrutiny, it can be seen that there is purposeful design in things that at first glance might show (what we perceive in our finite human minds) as “flaws” or macroevolutionary “throw-backs”. And these issues do not even take into account the Biblical doctrine of “the fall” and it’s deteriorating effects.”

4. In acknowledging “micro-evolution” as fact, how would that acknowledged process impact a species during hundreds of millions of years? If two similar insects could diverge just slightly from each other, lose the ability to inter-breed, and then each separate group keeps undergoing slight variations over, say, 20 million years, how dissimilar might these two groups become?

Response:
“Well, it’s a bit of a strawman argument. You begin with the presupposition that hundreds of millions of years of insect divergence occurred. This notion is suspect to begin with. But, for the sake of argument… you still have to contend with the LOSS of information and no gain. From a microevolutionary standpoint, this is not a problem; mutation, loss of information, etc… If, however, you are suggesting that macroevolutionary information-gaining mutations occured, well… evidence please, sir.”

5. Does God intentionally deceive? Taken all of the above questions, even if there is a perfectly fine explanation for each; wouldn’t one have to conclude that a Creator did his work in such a way that the most scientifically minded of his favorite species would necessarily be deceived by the available evidence? Would you agree that if He purposely intended to steer people away from believing that this was all His creation, he couldn’t have done it more successfully?

Response:
“But hang on a second… it comes down to the philisophical (even theological) position which under girds one’s view of the available evidence. The old example has merit here: The naturalist looks at the Grand Canyon and says, ‘lots of time, little water’. The Creationist looks at the same canyon and asserts, ‘lots of water, little time’. It’s about the foundation one presupposes and the tint of the glasses one peers through. From the Creationist’s position, every aspect of the record harmonizes with the Biblical record of a fallen creation subject to the ravages of decay and, in many cases (obviously), extinction. And again, there is no conflict between microevolutionary adaptation and the biblical account of a cursed creation. And this is what the evidence demonstrates. It does not, however, demonstrate macroevolutionary jumps from species to species via unguided random mutations. To quote a prominent scientist: “Natural selection (even when supplemented with all the blind sources of variation you could like) has yet to prove itself a competent fashioner of biological complexity.”. The burden seems to lie with the Darwinian Naturalist to demonstrate how life originated from non-life and mutated it’s way up against all possible odds, into what we have today.

———————————————————————-

Comment #44035

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 19, 2005 9:44 PM (e)

any pastor who answered a real person like that would be tossed on his ear, methinks, simply for the lack of logic if nothing else.

“…due to an array of factors”

uh, right…

Comment #44036

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 19, 2005 9:46 PM (e)

Is pastor piltdown the pastor for the church intelligent design timmy goes to?

Comment #44187

Posted by hoopman on August 21, 2005 12:02 AM (e)

Pastor Piltdown,

you are obviously quite educated. I have a high school education and a little junior college. I have this nagging feeling as I read you that even you don’t really believe your arguments. Still, you COULD make those arguments and someone with as little education as myself MIGHT listen and say “hey, he’s got some GREAT POINTS here. I guess the burden really is on the proponents of evolution and not on creationists”. But I’m going to counter much of what you say (not that it matters, because I KNOW you will counter back and we could continue a pointless discourse forever). More importantly than my direct rebuttals will be the very last thing I say here though, so stick around.

Regarding Question 1 you said:

Response:
“A good portion of the Cambrian Explosion fossils were soft-bodied animals, so how can one argue that previously, soft-bodied predecessors couldn’t have been fossilized? Precambrians: If the animals were there, they would have been preserved. If the animals were preserved, they would have been found. Since they are not found, the only conclusion is that the supposed ancestors were never there. Simple logic would dictate, at least. The record still indicates that much biodiversity came virtually out of no-where. Finally, the reason that past organisms have less in common with current creatures is due to microevolutionary adaptations due to an array of factors.”

If you respond AGAIN, please deal with the gist of my question, which is, starting 500 million years ago and working toward the present, we have a number of fossil strata. Life is SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT in each. Had all creatures been created at one time then you should have, in general, the same various fossils in each strata. The differences we see have little to do with “mircroevolution” - which of the creatures in the Cambrian or the Jurrasic did your pet cat Fluffy, “microevolve” from?

To Question 2 you said:

Response:
“What are mistaken as gills in human embryos are actually small wrinkles in the neck that appear during development and nothing more. Accurate comparisons of embryos of humans, fish, chickens, and amphibians show they begin very different, briefly become somewhat similar at an intermediate stage, and then end very different. The ontogeny it would seem, does anything but recapitulate phylogeny.”

So, are the same “wrinkles” on human embryos also “wrinkles” on fish and amphibians - or are those actually gills? I notice you say nothing about the tails. Large, elongated fatty deposits? Sort of an embryonic baby fat? And, if you stick to the “wrinkles” on any future responses, could you substantiate that with a reference. I mean, I DO consider you intelligent, but I’d like to see a link to someone in the field of embryology who stands by this. If you don’t mind. I love to learn.

On to Question 3 and you said:

Response:
“Assuming it could be established that the ancestor of snakes today had legs, the good pastor would have no problem in principle with loss of features through natural processes. Loss of legs could be achieved through degeneration of the DNA information sequences that specify leg development. The key point is that genetic information is LOST, not gained - what science has always observed. Also, the “rudimentary legs” you cite, on some snakes, are acknowledged as having a function during reproduction, as claspers during copulation. Whale tales: There is a complex DNA program which causes the development of the normal bone in this part of the whale’s anatomy. A mutational defect in this program could easily cause one or more extra pieces of bone to form, which would almost inevitably be in the same region, either separate from or fused with the normal bone. The challenge is for the darwinist to produce evidence of this tiny little bone ‘pimple’ went thru information gaining mutations to become two functional legs… (*listens to crickets chirping). Male Nipple fun: Did Adam have them? Likely, since nipples are especially sensitive and are a source of sexual stimuli even in males. Also, human embryos are sexually dimorphic at first - design economy. Both sexes have the genetic information for these structures from the get-go.”

I so tempted to jump right on those nipples… but first the snakes and whales. You seem to be agreeing that a form of evolution could have occured here, as long as it was with “loss of information”. Well, yes, I agree, that’s one type of evolution for sure. I DO think it’s interesting that a perfect creator would have created a snake with legs only to have the damn thing decide it could manage in its particular environment better without them. Or a insubordinant whale who just HAD to get back in the water after a creator had decided he wanted him up on the land. And that is one hell of a “microevolutionary” move, by the way. But that would be the same perfect creator who made “Adam” with nipples because - forgive me - uh… god wanted to “turn him on”? I’m trying to visualize how this might have gone down. Maybe 1. Adam with no nips. 2. Eve with nips (feed those babies) 3. Eve doesn’t always want to make babies, but play with those nipples and BANG, she’s ready, so 4. Ah, what the hell, seems like she digs it. Why let the woman have all the fun? I’m gonna give my boy Adam some fun-buttons too! Now, I’m having WAY too much fun with nipples, and I have to say you are probably on to a couple of things. Sexual dimorphic - yeah… why would a perfect creator who had a distinct vision of man and woman DO THAT? And back to the “fun” aspect… (god, I just can’t leave the nipples alone) - Sexual Selection? No NEED for them, but they didn’t hurt and if they were fun for sex… who knows?

To Question 4 you said:

“Well, it’s a bit of a strawman argument. You begin with the presupposition that hundreds of millions of years of insect divergence occurred. This notion is suspect to begin with. But, for the sake of argument… you still have to contend with the LOSS of information and no gain. From a microevolutionary standpoint, this is not a problem; mutation, loss of information, etc… If, however, you are suggesting that macroevolutionary information-gaining mutations occured, well… evidence please, sir.”

No, no, no! Don’t change our game so close to the end! I wasn’t presenting EVIDENCE of ANYTHING - I was ASKING QUESTIONS! I’ll ask again, what do you THINK might happen with ANY SPECIES that branches off a little from a similar species through your acknowledged reality of “microevolution”? Forget “insects” and “hundreds of millions of years”. Any species, in the Cambrian, goes off on a very slight “microevolutionary” divergence from others in the species. IF that can happen (you say it can), then don’t the two species continue over thousands of years to undergo further “microevolution”? And more in the next 10s of millions of years and so on right up to now (assuming both species survived - unlikely though it is)? And after all of that, do you acknowledge that by this time, those two species, off on their separate “microevolutionary” roads could be incredibly distinct? Is it possible you wouldn’t recognize them as being the same back in the Cambrian?

To Question 5 you said:

“But hang on a second… it comes down to the philisophical (even theological) position which under girds one’s view of the available evidence. The old example has merit here: The naturalist looks at the Grand Canyon and says, ‘lots of time, little water’. The Creationist looks at the same canyon and asserts, ‘lots of water, little time’. It’s about the foundation one presupposes and the tint of the glasses one peers through. From the Creationist’s position, every aspect of the record harmonizes with the Biblical record of a fallen creation subject to the ravages of decay and, in many cases (obviously), extinction. And again, there is no conflict between microevolutionary adaptation and the biblical account of a cursed creation. And this is what the evidence demonstrates. It does not, however, demonstrate macroevolutionary jumps from species to species via unguided random mutations. To quote a prominent scientist: “Natural selection (even when supplemented with all the blind sources of variation you could like) has yet to prove itself a competent fashioner of biological complexity.”. The burden seems to lie with the Darwinian Naturalist to demonstrate how life originated from non-life and mutated it’s way up against all possible odds, into what we have today.”

This gets to my final point that I hope you are still here for. You are an intelligent person. You seem like you have more of a science background than I do (that wouldn’t take much). If you have been able to look at the science and from it conclude that it’s easier to believe that some “creator” did all this, rather than a natural explanation, well, that’s the difference in people. If I have a possible natural explanation (perfect or not) and a supernatural explanation (with no evidence at all) I’m going to take the natural explanation. But that’s me. Just to touch on a few of your last points - Did you ever READ Origin of Species? If you did, you should be very aware that there is nothing “Darwinian” about life originating from non-life. And even today, most people in various disciplines related to evolution say nothing about “origins of LIFE”. They simply explain how that life has evolved over the past 3.7 billion years. The origin of life itself is studied by a different field. Finally, if you are seriously making a “Flood Geology” argument about the Grand Canyon, see this please - www.chem.tufts.edu/science/FrankSteiger/elders-flood-report.htm

Comment #44327

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 22, 2005 2:03 PM (e)

I’d bet money hit-and-run “pastor” won’t bother replying.

Comment #44328

Posted by Hoopman (JB The Middleman) on August 22, 2005 2:14 PM (e)

I hope he doesn’t. Believe it or not, I don’t really like arguing. :)
I’d rather just learn things of value and people who pervert science to disquise their Evangelical Christian beliefs can’t teach me anything.
By the way, I’d like to invite everyone over to my blog.

http://evolutionarymiddleman.blogspot.com/