YES, dear reader, the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids) have done it again. The Discoveroid blog has another post by Casey Luskin, everyone’s favorite creationist: Smithsonian’s New Human Origins Exhibit Targets Students Who Doubt Darwinism.
Like so many of Casey’s efforts, this is a terribly tangled essay — but it’s worth a glance. It’s actually one of those mirthful moments when it seems as if someone wrote across the cyber sky: Lookin’ for a good time? Read Casey!
Except as indicated, the bold font was added by us. Casey says:
The Smithsonian has a new human origins exhibit, “What does it mean to be human?” specially targeted at swaying student visitors who might doubt Darwinian evolution.
The most amusing part of the exhibit proudly explains that evolution predicted we’d lack evidence for evolution; that’s how we know it’s true! [Bold font in the original.]
We suspect that Casey failed to understand the Smithsonian’s message. But we’re not surprised — misunderstandings are the essence of creationism. Let’s read on:
That’s right, this is how the nation’s most prestigious natural history museum presents evolution: evolution predicts that evolution is supported both when we do and when we don’t find confirming fossil evidence.
Okay, Casey, you’ve made your claim. Now let’s see if you can back it up. We continue:
Consider the following from the educator’s guide:
[Casey quotes the guide:] Misconception: Gaps in the fossil record disprove evolution.
Response: Science actually predicts gaps in the fossil record. Many species leave no fossils at all, and the environmental conditions for forming good fossils are not common. The chance of any individual organism becoming fossilized is incredibly small. Nevertheless, new fossils are constantly being discovered. These include many transitional fossils — e.g., intermediary fossils between birds and dinosaurs, and between humans and our primate ancestors. Our lack of knowledge about certain parts of the fossil record does not disprove evolution.
That couldn’t be more clear — to a rational mind. Although many transitional fossils have been found (which shouldn’t exist at all according to creationism), gaps in the record are inevitable. How could Casey fail to grasp the point? We don’t know, but he does. He even drives home his “point”:
Did you get that? Ignoring the fact that transitional fossils are often missing even among taxa whose records are very complete, now Darwin’s defenders argue that their theory “predicts gaps in the fossil record.” How convenient!
Here’s another excerpt from this monument of misunderstanding:
What’s ironic, however, is that if you ask the question How Do We Know Humans Evolved? the answer you’re given is, “Fossils like the ones shown in our Human Fossils Gallery provide evidence that modern humans evolved from earlier humans.” So whether you find fossils or you don’t, that’s evidence for evolution.
What can we say about such a mentality? Nothing, really. Like an exhibit at a circus sideshow, it’s sufficient to take a look, shudder, and then carry on.
But there’s more! Casey then rambles about the incomplete record of human evolution. We’ll skip that and go right to the end:
I guess according to the Smithsonian’s exhibit, this large, unbridged gap is just more evidence for evolution.
So there you are, dear reader. The “think tank” in Seattle strikes again. Thanks for another good time, Casey.
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