Friday, October 16, 2009

IDiots, Evolution, and False Dichotomies

Casey Luskin is one of the DISCO defenders of Intelligent Design Creationism. He's all upset these days because their movie Darwin's Dilemma, isn't getting any Oscar nominations.

Maybe it's because they're only showing it in a few "scientific" venues—such as museums—that can be booked by the general public. The idea is to rent the space then promote the movie as though it's actually sponsored by the museum.

When this false representation gets them in trouble, they can always claim censorship [Darwin’s Dilemma: Evolutionary Elite Choose Censorship over Scientific Debate].

That's only one part of the IDiot strategy. The other is to set up false dichotomies in order to strengthen their case. Luskin writes,
There are two ways that modern evolutionists approach the Cambrian explosion, or what has been called “Darwin’s dilemma”:

A. Some freely acknowledge that the Cambrian fossil evidence essentially shows the opposite of what was expected under neo-Darwinian evolution.

B. Others deal with the Cambrian explosion by sweeping its problems under the rug and trying to change the subject.
Here's another option.

There's nothing about the Cambrian explosion that directly conflicts with the proper understanding of evolution and evolutionary theory. However, there are some lessons that could be important in understanding the way life evolved. In particular, the Cambrian explosion should make us appreciate contingency and diversity.

The multicellular animals that appear during the Cambrian explosion have an earlier history as documented in the fossil record and confirmed by molecular studies. That's a prediction by evolutionary biologists that turned out to be correct. We still don't know why these relatively complex animals arose from more simple animals over the period of about 50 million years, but there are several interesting scientific explanations that are being tested.

Call that option C. There are others. All of them are scientific.

So far, the IDiots have not offered their own explanation of this phenomenon as you can see by Casey Luskin's own admission. (He would have included it in his article if it existed.) This is just another case where the only "evidence" for Intelligent Design Creationism is in attacking science. Another example of a false dichotomy.


  1. The Cambrian was 530 million years ago, and the "Explosion" part of it lasted something like 70 million years.

    I fail to see how it supports the idea that life is 6000 years old, or that extra-terrestrials with eldrich power tampered with terrestrial life-forms.

  2. In reality there is no dichotomy, uh?
    Like, evolution and intellectual vacuum represent no dichotomy as two opposing parts are required, and nothingness can't be one of them.