Wednesday, June 19, 2013

More Creationist Stupidity

PZ Myers has discovered an article published in Christian News. The title of the article is: Groundbreaking Genetic Discoveries Challenge Ape to Human Evolutionary Theory. Here's the opening paragraph ...
Fresh findings in the field of genetics have directly challenged yet another key evolutionary hypothesis by showing that the differences between humans and apes cannot be easily accounted for under the theory of evolution.
The paper they are referring to is Farré et al. (2013) and it shows the exact opposite of what the creationists claim. The paper demonstrates reduced recombination rates in those parts of the human and chimp chromosomes where genomic rearrangements have occurred. That's exactly what has been observed for the past 75 years. (See my post on balancer chromosomes, which describes artificial Drosophila chromosomes that were constructed to supress recombination.)

Read PZ's post on the subject to see just how stupid the creationists can be: Do the creationist shuffle and twist!.

I really don't get it. Why does the creationist movement publish material that is blatantly wrong? Even though I mock them repeatedly, I don't really think that every one of them is stupid. Where are the smart ones who review articles like the one published in Christian News? Will we see a retraction or an apology now that their error has been exposed by PZ and by some of the people who commented on the Christian News website?


Farré, M., Micheletti, D., Ruiz-Herrera, A. (2012) Recombination Rates and Genomic Shuffling in Human and Chimpanzee--A New Twist in the Chromosomal Speciation Theory. Mol. Biol. Evol. 30:853-864.

23 comments :

  1. On the Christian News article that Meyers references I noted a comment that referenced "In fact, chimpanzee and gorilla chromosomes 12 represent a clear example because they share the same derivative form, whereas human chromosome 12 has maintained the ancestral state from the human–chimpanzee–gorilla ancestor"
    My reply: Are not "same derivative form" and "ancestral state" both assumptions based on the presumption that chimps, gorillas, and humans did in fact share a common ancestor?
    If they did NOT share a common ancestor, but DID share a common designer, these observations would be just as likely, would they not?

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    1. Do us a favour, rockturner. Please give an example of an observation that would not be compatible with a "common designer." If you do, you win whatever the Creotard version of the Noble Prize is, since no creationist has yet been able to provide such a thing.

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    2. @luitsuite ~ It is puzzling that you affirm the overwhelming weight of credibility that scientific observation gives to a common designer within a comment thread below a post mocking an article which was skeptical of a common ancestor. Hmmm.

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    3. So you think that a claim that has not been falsified because it is unfalsifiable is stronger than one that is potentially falisfiable yet which has never been falsified because the only observations that have been made are ones that confirm it?

      Or is it that you did not bother to actually understand my post before you replied to it?

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    4. OK, in fairness, perhaps my wording was not clear enough for you. How about this:

      Please give an example of an observation, actual or merely hypothetical, that would not be compatible with a "common designer.

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    5. Rockturnuer,

      Read the following post by PZ Myers and tell me which explanation best fits the data - common descent or common design:

      http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/03/11/a-tiny-bit-of-knowledge-is-a-dangerous-thing/

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    6. The fact that "chimps, gorillas, and humans did in fact share a common ancestor" is not an assumption, it is based on multiple lines of consistent evidence from comparative physiology and biochemistry, comparative anatomy, geographical distribution, observed natural selection, observed speciation and numerical simulations.

      And I have a question for you, dear something I found when I turned over a rock and subsequently scraped off the bottom of my shoe, do you think that creoturd idiots are going to be able to manufacture lies fast enough to keep up with the accelerating pace of scientific discovery ?

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    7. steve oberski asks,

      ... do you think that creoturd idiots are going to be able to manufacture lies fast enough to keep up with the accelerating pace of scientific discovery?

      They've been doing it for over one hundred years so they have plenty of practice. I suspect they can keep it up forever. It's much easier to make up lies than to accept the truth.

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  2. Why does the creationist movement publish material that is blatantly wrong?

    Because they know that their target audience won't know any better ... or care? Theyz got scienz on their side!

    Actually, Todd Wood might well have taken them to task on this one if he wasn't scrambling so hard after he lost his gig ay Bryan College.

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    1. I think the other factor is sheer arrogance. The entire creationist movement is based on the presumption that they know better than all those scientists. So, e.g. Casey Luskin, a lawyer, has no hesitation in lecturing others about gemonics and other scientific topics of which he has no training or knowledge.

      If I read a paper on a topic outside my expertise, and the conclusion seems flawed to me, by first assumption would be that this is because I am misunderstanding something, not that I have noticed something that escaped the people who are more expert on the topic than myself. Creationists, it seems, jump to the opposite conclusion.

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    2. BTW, is it true that Todd Wood was fired from Bryan College? He's still listed on their website:

      http://www.bryan.edu/wood.html

      He's my favourite creationist, one of the very few who just comes right out and says truth: That there is no scientific reason whatsoever to reject evolution, but he rejects it anyway for purely religious reasons.

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    3. Todd Wood has published a paper entitled "The chimpanzee genome and the problem of biological similarity." [Emphasis added.] I think that is all ye need to know about the creationist reality-inversion viewpoint.

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    4. Here's another "paper" where Wood's rigid fundamentalism and his sense of honesty collide to force him to make a bizarre conclusion:

      http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/arj/v3/n1/hominid-baraminology

      There, he decides that Homo sapiens, Homo habilis, Homo rudolfensis, and, "most surprisingly", Australopithecus sediba all belong to the human "kind." But all other australopithecines belong to a different "kind."

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    5. lutesuiye:

      I don't claim to know a lot about it but apparently Wood wasn't actually employed by Bryan but by CORE (Center for Origins Research). Bryan dropped support for CORE (including Wood's salary). Here's a link:

      http://toddcwood.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-future-of-core.html

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    6. "Todd Wood has published a paper entitled "The chimpanzee genome and the problem of biological similarity." [Emphasis added.] I think that is all ye need to know about the creationist reality-inversion viewpoint."

      Actually, Todd was referring to the problem biological similarity poses to *creationism*, not to evolutionary biology. That should have been quite clear from the abstract alone.

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    7. I think that's exactly the point. Wood scrupulously documents all this evidence that creationism is false, then asks "But creationism is true. So how to reconcile this with the evidence?."

      There's a very simple solution to that dilemma: Accept that creationism is false.

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    8. You see the exact same thing in the geology field, with YEC Ph.D. level geologists in the oil exploration field trying to reconcile a 4.3 billion year model of the world that is employed to successfully locate oil deposits with the the YEC model that has yet to locate a single drop of oil.

      And if any field would more eagerly adopt a more successful model than the oil and gas exploration one, I can't think of it.

      An example of this is Glenn R. Morton, who went into the field as a YEC and was forced to change his world view by the data but, in his words; It was my lack of knowledge that allowed me to go along willingly and become a young-earth creationist. It was isolation from contradictory data, a fear of contradictory data and a strong belief in the young-earth interpretation that kept me there for a long time. The biggest lesson I have learned in this journey is to read the works of those with whom you disagree. God is not afraid of the data.

      Thankfully he was able to avoid that final plunge over the yawning abyss into atheism and has managed to reconcile a 4.3 billion year old model of the earth with childhood indoctrination.

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  3. It is a lovely example of what I refer to as the selective recording device in the mind of creationists. A creationist can read or hear something about evolution, but the selective recording device in their brain only allows bits of it to stick, probably in a very altered form. For example, after teaching two whole lectures about evolution by natural selection to my freshman bio class, a student (who I already knew was a YEC) comes up and asks: 'So, how can anyone believe that random mutations could ever evolve a human being?' So I smacked him over the head. No, actually I explained (again!) the interplay between random mutation and selection. I am sure I had 0 effect.

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  4. These are somewhat complicated subjects and keeping attention to a trail of thought is a skill here in these things.
    Some creationists simply smelled out some species of correction being done about old ideas of human/chimp genetic relationships.
    I'm not following close enough to know who got what wrong but its a small detail.
    Evolutionists are saying genes show how alike we are to apes and so proof we is apes.
    Genetics is all about lines of reasoning from points of present genetic scores.
    They try to score backwards for conclusions about relationship.
    Its not evidence for the relationship but just a line of reasoning.
    Other lines can do as well.
    No science going on here.

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  5. "I'm not following close enough to know who got what wrong but its a small detail."

    Yet you turn up, Byers, in every thread you possibly can to tell scientists PRECISELY what they got wrong.

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  6. Larry: "I really don't get it. Why does the creationist movement publish material that is blatantly wrong?"

    I can't explain every possibility, but one very compelling reason for continuing to publish flat-out bollocks like this is that they know their intended layperson audience, if they do read past the headline, only read far enough to get enough material for a soundbite or something to copy/paste in a thread somewhere.

    Look at the opening paragraph you posted:

    "Fresh findings in the field of genetics have directly challenged yet another key evolutionary hypothesis by showing that the differences between humans and apes cannot be easily accounted for under the theory of evolution."

    For a lot of creationists, that's all they need and they'll happily parse it to "We aint apes!" and go about their business. It's very likely they don't follow scientific progress at all - at least not through the broader media or reputable scientific publications. They've got their pastor-approved sources of "science" and a headline or paragraph or two is all they need to keep believin' they didn't come from no Sasquatch.


    Look at Byers, for crying out loud - more or less admits he doesn't know enough to know who got what wrong, but is nonetheless absolutely certain that science is definitely and always wrong about evolution. Your other, less obviously stunted trolls aren't a great deal better (though they do tend to use more syllables).

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  7. Larry said:

    "I really don't get it. Why does the creationist movement publish material that is blatantly wrong?"

    I think that it's mostly, if not completely, because they need to feel exceptional and superior and are determined to feel exceptional and superior. They 'ain't no filthy ape!', and they're never wrong, about anything.

    They believe that they were/are 'specially created in God's image' and were/are given 'dominion' over the Earth, and in their egotistical minds that includes dominion over all of humanity. The dominion over the Earth belief is the main reason they deny accelerated climate change caused by humans. To them, humans (or at least humans of the same religion) are way too special to damage the Earth, and 'God' will 'provide' whatever is needed anyway. Many god pushers believe that these are the 'end times', so any efforts to preserve the Earth are a lost cause and against 'God's' will. To them, the sooner the Earth and humanity meet their end, the sooner the 'God' pushers' souls will be transported to heaven and the sooner that unrepentant sinners and heathens will fry in hell.

    The means to achieve dominion are whatever it takes, including lying, brain washing (especially of children), coercion, bribery, threats, political infiltration/power/manipulation, scare tactics, deliberate distortions, murder, demonization of opponents, conquest/war, etc.

    They are control freaks without scruples. Winning what they see as their 'holy crusade' or 'holy war' is all that matters, by whatever means are necessary.

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  8. Notice the words "How to win?" under "Movement and strategy" on this page:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedge_strategy

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