Sunday, April 30, 2017

Intelligent Design Summed Up in One Line

A quickie little post today from the Discovery Institute's little davey 'klingy' klinghoffer: "Stenophlebia amphitrite, a Stunningly Gorgeous Dragonfly from the Upper Jurassic":

"When you see something like that, a creature that is so transparently a work of art, how in the world do you jump to evolutionary explanations dependent exclusively on blind churning?"
What he is talking about is a fossil dragonfly, and to be honest, it is gorgeous.  Take a look:
Yes, that's terrific, but is this all you need to toss away real science and climb on one of the multitude of religions?  I don't think so.

When I read something like this, it simply shows me not only how little the talking heads from the DI know about actual evolutionary theory, but how insistent they are that everyone should also know even less than they do.  I have a few issues:
  1. The world's biologists didn't 'jump' to anything.  Questions about a deity doing this stuff have been around since the first person made such a claim.  It took decades, if not centuries, to formulate explanations that actually meets the evidence.  It wasn't a 'jump'.  Darwin didn't wake up one day and say 'Eureka, God is Dead!', as much as you like to portray him having done so.
  2. Where in evolutionary theory is 'blind churning'?  That's a strawman explanation of evolution the DI would like everyone to believe.  It goes with the 'tornado in the junkyard' and many other discredited analogies of evolutionary theory.
  3. 'Work of art'?  So, opinion is now replacing facts?  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right?  It is a gorgeous fossil of a creature that evolved a long time ago and whose descendants will soon be appearing in my neighborhood, but calling it 'art' in no way negates the evolution behind it.
Fossils such as this don't make people turn away from real science, I believe it supports it.  Look at all the evidence of paleontology, it's one of the areas of study that had people questioning religious explanations well before Darwin.  Look at the discoveries, read about how people were looking for answers as to when did those discoveries live, why have they disappeared, why are they so similar to many modern forms.  These are just a few of the questions that tarted with fossil discoveries and has grown into the discipline of Paleontology.

Look at the evidence linking current forms with those of the past.  Do we have a perfect line from one to another, no we do not, scientists readily admit that.  But each new find changes how we look at the past.  We are learning new things all the time, it's exciting!  Nothing we have learned has negated the overarching theory of Evolution, nothing!

The Discovery Institute would like you to join their religion.  Don't think, just appreciate the beauty but don't look any deeper.  God forbid [pun intended] you engage your brain and think about where this fossil came from, when it lived, how it might be related to current forms.  It seems to the DI that thinking will reduce your appreciation for the beauty of the fossil itself.  They can't possibly imagine someone can find something so beautiful and not fall on their knees to pay homage to one deity or another.  

Well, they are wrong . . . but what else it new!

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