It doesn’t get any more chaotic than the latest gem at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog. It was written by Cornelius Hunter — a Discoveroid “fellow” who teaches at a bible college. The title is Evolutionists’ Certainty Comes from Metaphysics, Not Science.
Ponder that title, dear reader. Cornelius is going to tell us that we — who have confidence in science and its methods — are the wild and crazy people. His essay is difficult to read, and painful to write about, but we’ll do what we can. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
We have seen here and here [links omitted] that a new book, Adam and the Genome, co-authored by theistic evolutionist Dennis Venema is influenced by the mythical Warfare Thesis. The book, for example, informs readers that the basic issue of the 17th-century Galileo Affair was “the veracity of the new science, and its perceived threat to biblical authority.” As we saw, this is the false, evolutionary rendition of history. The Warfare Thesis is a myth, and the Galileo Affair is perhaps the favorite example for evolutionists.
According to Cornelius, the “mythical” Warfare Thesis holds that religion, and Christianity in particular, conflicts with and opposes scientific advances. He disagrees, and claims that religion — his version — doesn’t conflict with true science — i.e., creationism. He discussed that and Venema’s book a couple of weeks ago — see Discovery Institute Defends the Inquisition — but he still has more to say. Here it comes:
After framing the discussion with this bit of Whig history, Venema introduces scientific evidences that he believes make evolution to be compelling. He begins with the fossil record. This is a bit surprising given how badly the theory fares on the fossil evidence.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Cornelius says the fossil evidence doesn’t support the theory of evolution. Expanding on that, he tells us:
As we have explained many times, the general character of the fossil record is precisely the opposite of what evolutionists had expected. Rather than the traditional evolutionary tree pattern of new species gradually appearing over time, the fossil record reveals the exact opposite. The strata show several bursts of new species appearing on the scene, followed by a winnowing.
Like all creationists, Cornelius demands a perfectly preserved fossil of every species from every generation that ever lived. Because we don’t have that and we never will, he claims that the inevitable gaps discredit evolution. There are numerous responses to this in the TalkOrigins Index to Creationist Claims, for example: We should see smooth change through the fossil record, not gaps. Then he says:
[T]he fossil record reveals so many “explosions” of new species. The so-called “Cambrian explosion” (yes, it is called an “explosion”) is the most famous, but there are several others. In these events, new species appear abruptly in the fossil record. Not only do a great many “truly new” features appear, but entirely new lineages appear as well. Clearly, the fossil record repeatedly falsifies this prediction of evolution.
[*Groan*] The Index to Creationist Claims rebuts that clunker too — see Complex life forms appear suddenly in the Cambrian explosion, with no ancestral fossils.
The parade of creationist clunkers continues. Cornelius attacks the evolution of whales:
A collection of fossils can be arranged from land mammals to whales, which is precisely what evolution needs since whales are mammals. The idea is that mammals first evolved on land, and then certain species made their way back into the water, thus introducing mammals to marine environments.
And if these species did arise from evolution, and if the modern whale did arise from such a land-to-sea transition then, as usual, it would be quite a mystery. For a great transition, including the loss of hind limbs, grinding teeth, and pelvises, while developing a host of new features, must have occurred relatively quickly.
Why then are evolutionists so taken with the patterns of the fossil record, and examples such as the fossil sequence that is supposed to lead to the whale? Yes, it provides a good sequence, but there are many questions of just how random mutations could accomplish such heroics. And there are the many other aspects of the fossil data that are problematic, such as the many “explosions.”
We briefly interrupt this multi-paragraph deluge of nothingness to ask whether Cornelius has any evidence — any at all — of the existence of his magical designer. If he does (other than the inevitable incompleteness of the fossil record) he fails to mention it. Let’s read on:
These are serious evidential problems, and it would seem the fossils would be the last thing to which evolutionists would appeal. What’s going on? The answer is, as usual, that the evolutionist’s certainty comes from metaphysics, not science. The idea is not that the whale-like fossils prove evolution directly, but that they disprove any notion that God created them independently. Therefore they must have evolved.
Did you follow that? Cornelius explains what he just said:
These metaphysics render the scientific evidence irrelevant and, ironically, make evolution untestable and not vulnerable to the evidence. Fossil species appearing abruptly in the strata don’t matter when your philosophical argument makes creation untenable. As usual, the evolutionary argument is guilty of the very criticism is casts.
Isn’t this great? Let’s read on:
In my studies of the arguments for evolution, I find they fall into two broad categories: philosophical arguments about man, knowledge, and science; and religious arguments about God. … If the evolutionist’s premises are correct, then evolution is a no-brainer. We must be evolutionists — regardless of the scientific evidence. The species arising from random causes, such as mutations, makes no sense scientifically, but would be a must. As usual the religion and philosophy steer the science.
In his final paragraph, Cornelius once again bashes Venema’s book:
This new book is yet another example, in a long line of works going back to Darwin and before, of how evolution is our modern-day mythology. New species appearing out of nowhere. Fantastic designs arising from random mutations. And all of this mandated to be a fact. If you cannot see a problem with this, then you must be an Epicurean.
That last sentence came out of nowhere. Wikipedia’s article on Epicureanism says:
Epicureanism is a system of philosophy based upon the teachings of the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus, founded around 307 BC. Epicurus was an atomic materialist, following in the steps of Democritus. His materialism led him to a general attack on superstition and divine intervention.
Cornelius really knows how to hurl an insult. He’s a great Discoveroid.
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