You have all heard of the Micro-Macro Mambo — we described it in Common Creationist Claims Confuted like this:
Creationists acknowledge what they call “micro-evolution” (observed changes due to mutation and selection, as with Darwin’s finches) but they insist that what they call “macro-evolution” (the result of cumulative changes over time) is impossible. If you ask a creationist why “macro” changes are impossible you’ll be told that it’s just impossible — some magic barrier interferes to preserve the integrity of scriptural “kinds.”
Because of that unevidenced magical mechanism, which only the intelligent designer — blessed be he! — can overcome, creationists flatly assert that regardless of time, one species cannot evolve into another — despite the abundant fossil evidence to the contrary. Therefore, creationism requires belief in a two-part dogma consisting of: (1) the Great Barrier; and (2) the miracle that breaks through the barrier.
The error is enormous, because first it involves accepting, at the scale of a few visible generations, both the fact of and the mechanism for evolution (variation and natural selection), and then rejecting the inevitable consequences of what has been accepted.
Now it’s the turn of David Klinghoffer, a Discoveroid “senior fellow” (i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist), who eagerly functions as their journalistic slasher and poo flinger. His new post at the Discoveroids’ creationist blog is “Rapid” Evolution Observed in Guppies? As Always, It Depends on What You Mean by Evolution. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
Reporting in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, researchers have rigorously demonstrated something totally unsurprising — only to turn around and offer it as evidence for something quite different and quite surprising. The technical term for that is bait-and-switch.
Oooooooooooooh — those sleazy scientists are trying to do a bait-and-switch! It’s fortunate that we have the Discoveroids to keep us safe. Klinghoffer tells us:
A team showed that if you take guppies and move them from an environment rich in predators to one that’s largely predator-free, this can have an effect on a superficial trait like coloration.
This is the paper he’s talking about: Selection analysis on the rapid evolution of a secondary sexual trait. You can only see the abstract unless you have a subscription. There’s an article about it at PhysOrg: Research shows evolution in real time.
Klinghoffer says this guppy evolution is no big deal:
Who would have thought otherwise? Given (a) characteristics that vary from generation to generation, (b) heritability, and (c) an environment or other factors that favor one over another, it would be startling if selection didn’t result in small-scale change over time, even over rather short periods — microevolution, in other words, at its finest.
See? It’s only micro-evolution. He explains why that’s meaningless:
But the kind of evolution [the researchers] observed is not the same thing — unguided macroevolution, novel biological information fortuitously generating new animals — that is subject to skepticism by those who “don’t believe in evolution because they can’t see it.“
Ah, it’s not macro-evolution. There’s no new “information” — which only the magic designer can provide. If you don’t know what “information” is, see Phlogiston, Vitalism, and Information. Let’s read on:
Show me the most devout creationist and I will show you someone perfectly happy to accept every word of [the published] results, and completely untroubled by them. Don’t Darwinists know this?
No, because Darwinists are fools! Klinghoffer concludes by shaming his critics:
I understand wanting to draw attention to your work by highlighting how it casts light on a hot debate. But first find out what both sides in the debate say, what they’re arguing about, and then tell us how your work ought to figure into the discussion.
Silly Darwinists! They don’t grasp the vital distinction between micro- and macro-evolution. Until they do, the Discoveroids will just laugh at them.
Well, what can we say in response? We’ve said it all before. Instead of babbling about “information,” which is as real as the spirits who speak through a psychic fortune teller, creationists should do a little more work on the distinction between micro- and macro-evolution. They need to actually demonstrate: (1) the mechanism of the Great Barrier; and (2) the activity of the Barrier-breaking designer.
We all know there’s a difference between taking one step and ascending a whole flight of stairs; but we don’t know why, if you can take the first step, you can’t continue that process until you reach the next floor. If they show us that, we’ll pay some attention.
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