Creationist Wisdom #248: Smoke and Mirrors

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in The Advocate located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It’s titled Letter about evolution challenged. We’ll give you a few excerpts, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, and some bold font for emphasis. As we usually do we’ll omit the writer’s name and city. Here we go:

He begins by referring to an earlier letter to which he objects, which is probably this. It was a good, competently-written letter from a student, responding to one we recently wrote about: Creationist Wisdom #246: Incredible Research, so we have a nice little series going here.

Naturally, today’s letter-writer finds fault with what the student wrote. He takes it apart, sentence by sentence, as we will do to today’s letter. At the start he says:

He [the writer of the earlier letter], like many evolutionists, is confused between adaptation and mutations that cause one animal to transform into another. I will explain by addressing several of his points.

Good start! It’s mutations that cause one animal to transform into another. Hey, that’s why our mutated dog is transforming into a raccoon, even as we speak. But you didn’t come here to learn about the Curmudgeon’s house pets, so let’s continue with today’s letter:

First he states that “evolution is a specific branch of science that deals with how life forms evolve to adapt.” This is incorrect, because adaptation is not evolution.

What’s he getting at? Let’s read on:

If I were to move my family to the equator, in a few generations my relatives would have much darker skin, adapting to the severity of the sun. They would not evolve because they would remain human beings.

Truly, today’s letter-writer has a firm grasp of the subject. In the next excerpt, the bracketed insertion is in the original letter, and it’s correct:

Next he states, “It [evolution] explains why bacteria become resistant to drugs.”

What’s wrong with that? Today’s letter continues:

While some medical professionals think bacteria “evolve,” this is not the only theory. Another theory is that the bacteria that are resistant become the dominant form. In other words, suppose some flu would kill humans with blue eyes, and brown-eyed people were immune. Eventually, the entire human race would be brown-eyed. Again, they remain human and have not evolved, but are simply a resistant form of human. Like bacteria.

But that’s not evolution — they’re still human! There’s been no transformation! At the end of that paragraph he adds:

Anyone see the movie “I Am Legend”?

Make of that what you will. Here’s more:

Next, he states, “It explains why mammoths are extinct.” I don’t see how failing to evolve caused them to go extinct. No one knows why mammoths died out. It could simply have been lack of food, or failure to adapt to the changing world around them, and we know adaptation is not evolution.

Are you still with us, dear reader? Okay, let’s move along:

Then he states, “It explains why people stand on two legs.” I am not sure how evolution explains this. According to evolution, some hominid evolved into us. Why the first human decided to stand on two legs rather than crawl like a chimp is more of an adaptive trait than that ancient hominid thinking how great it would be to stand on two legs. Besides, I would think evolving from hair-covered ape to hairless human is backward evolution given the frailty of our bodies when exposed to the climate.

We’ll ignore the implications regarding intelligent design. Here’s another excerpt:

All of these points I have given to show the confusion evolution has brought to science and to our world.

Yes, there’s definitely some confusion here. On with the letter:

Because there are so many weaknesses to the theory of evolution, it is impossible to defend. Thus, most teachers use the smoke and mirrors of adaptation to “prove” evolution, just as Darwin did with his finch beaks in the Galapagos.

Darwin was a master of smoke and mirrors. And now we come to the end:

Besides, you can’t have it both ways. Evolutionists’ theory has to work in all cases to be fact. Either animals are constantly mutating to new life forms, such as apes to humans, or the coelacanth has not changed in 250 million years. Which is it?

Great concluding point — Why are there still monkeys?

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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10 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #248: Smoke and Mirrors

  1. Love it. He seems to approve of both Lamarkian (the skin thing) and Darwinian (the disease resistance) evolutionary concepts, he just doen’t like the word.

  2. Spector567

    Personally I’d like to ask the guy if he watched too much pokemon?
    to many of these anti evolution guys seem to have it stuck in there head that a monkey given enough experience will instantly evolve into humans.

    He agrees that the more suited bacteria will survive but at the same time doesn’t understand natural selection is the driving force behind evolution and not random mutations as he keeps thinking.

  3. capnxtreme

    That’s cognitive dissonance for you. Looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck? Well, god said it isn’t, so it can’t be. As long as you can call it something that isn’t ‘evolution’, it’s all right. ‘Adaption’, ‘transformation’, ‘mutation’. They’re simply unique facets of the process of evolution, but as long as creationists can avoid using the ‘E’ word, it makes them feel better.

    Nothing more to see here, really. Just another embarrassing example of willful ignorance.

  4. NeonNoodle

    That’s what happens when you get your science information from Will Smith movies. I love the superior tone, though. “Stoopid” is the byproduct of misinformation + arrogance.

  5. Willful Atheist

    “There ain’t no cure for stoopid. Stoopid is Forevaaahh!”

  6. Ceteris Paribus

    Why are there still monkeys? – God designed monkeys to keep tabs on the coelacanths, and exterminate any that try to evolve into a crockaduck.

  7. @Ceteris: Okay, THAT was funny!

  8. Why are there monkeys? hmm, I would guess they exist because there is a niche for them here on Earth. If the niche disappears, so will the monkeys. Why did some hominids become bipedal? My guess it happened when our ancestors were driven from the trees onto the savannah long ago when their environment dried out.. After their hairy behinds got chewed on enough by the big cats, some smart hominid figured out the wise strategy of standing on her haunches to peer over the tall grass into the distance. It started out as an early warning strategy that worked. Those that stood upright most often made it to the nearest tree in case big kitty showed up for dinner so they are the ones that survived to reproduce. Females probably selected mates that were ‘hell on two legs’ because they wanted their offspring to have those tendancies. Freeing up the forelegs to do more complicated tasks with our cool fruit picking thumbs started the brain growing. Again, sexual selection by the females was the driving force towards the human species. It came down to which guy could survive the best and bring home the food. The gal hominid chose him. They passed on their genes and the rest is history. I could be wrong, but I won’t debate the creationists on this because in my mind, the matter of how we came to be is settled. We EVOLVED.

  9. A crocoduck??? Careful! too much laughing can kill us old folks! ;oD

  10. will Fraser

    Curminator: A very good exploration geologist I know who spent time among the natives of South Texas, and consequently came back to the office with more than a few colorful sayings, had a great quote which would be totally applicable under scribing the futility of debating a creationist. I submit it for your curmudgeonly consideration.
    “Don’t bother trying to teach a pig to read. It’s a waste of your time, and it annoys the pig”.