Tuesday, October 9, 2012

CSI: Reality

From time to time, a creationist will present me with a bit of evidence that doesn’t fit with previous findings in regard to evolution. In their mind this debunks the entire field of study. I disagree. For the sake of argument, lets say the new finding that suddenly interests the creationist is valid. What does this mean?

Analogy time.

Think about a crime scene. Behind the police tape you find a bullet hole in the wall and shells on the ground. There’s a smear of blood and a strain of hair, both of which DNA evidence proved invaluable in identifying our suspect. There are footprints of dried mud leading to and from the victim, who’s remains show signs of a struggle. The detective dusts for finger prints and none are found outside those of the victim and our suspect.

A witness watched a man matching the description of the suspect entering the crime scene at 7 pm and leaving at 7:30 pm. The witness was aware of these specific times because the window in which he noticed the suspect is directly next to his TV which began and ended the nightly news during the same time frame.

Open-and-shut case, right? This forensic dream is like the body of evidence for evolution. I’m tempted to include a confession from our metaphorical suspect. The only thing missing is the smoking gun, which would be equivalent to scientists witnessing macroevolution in progress. (or if you are a theist who thinks abiogenesis is a part of evolution, I guess life-from-nonlife could be the smoking gun.)
Let's go back to the hypothetical new finding my creationist friend pimped. In the grand scheme of evidence it would be as if the nightly news started at 7:05pm that night, moving the suspect’s arrival time back slightly. If the theist was a juror trying our suspect, do you think he would throw out the entire case because the defense could prove a minor time discrepancy? No, he saves the baby throwing for when the bath water contradicts his world view.

Sorry, I have a metaphor mixing problem. I’m in a 12-step program.

If a new finding surfaces that brings into question an aspect of our current model, we adjust it. That’s science. The religious have a hard time grasping this because the foundation for their beliefs are based on ancient texts rather than a progression towards the truth. To reject evolution, one must commit to the belief of a conspiracy in which all of academia are in the pocket of an anti-theist shadow pact with the capabilities to counterfeit evidence beyond our current technology. So either get with the program or explain yourself.


  1. Those creationist drive me crazy. They don't seem to understand that finding errors and correcting them is a strength not a weakness. And the errors they find always seem to be so small and subtle, exactly the kind of errors you would expect could remain in such a well established theory.

  2. I think this kind of objection just has to do with their worldview. They put their faith in God and the "perfection" of the Bible. In turn, they think skeptics put their faith dogmatically in the scientific understanding of the present time.

    On the skeptical side of the fence, we think (with some justification) that any factual contradiction should at least disprove the Bible is 100% accurate, but really go beyond that and suggest that fundamental concepts in the Bible are of questionable veracity.

    Hit with these arguments, the faithful think that likewise (but without justification) that one discrepancy in scientific understanding of evolution should make the whole card castle collapse.

    Yeah, science really isn't their thing...

  3. Great point, TWF. They are applying a philosophy that can only work for them to science--where the opposite it true.

  4. Well done Grundy. Creationism is a major problem for me. It only serves to retard societal growth. I think that both TWF and Haus made great comments below. I cannot for the life me understand how it is they refuse to accept the idea of, pardon the pun, and evolving framework. Evolution is true and we learn more and more about it daily. This is a good thing!

    I think you make a great point when you write, "To reject evolution, one must commit to the belief of a conspiracy in
    which all of academia are in the pocket of an anti-theist shadow pact
    with the capabilities to counterfeit evidence beyond our current
    technology." That really is what it boils down too...you could even add that this conspiracy would need to have been organized and carried out for 150 years or so and counting...

  5. What about the freemasons and their conspiracy? Also, you can't prove that a ghost didn't come in and commit the murder in the above story. /s