Category Archives: Evolution

Common Descent or Common Designer?

The striking similarity between human and chimpanze DNA is one of the most serious problems for those who refuse to accept the theory of evolution. The Discovery Institute has been among the most vocal in denying the obvious implications — see Klinghoffer Ain’t No Kin to No Monkey, and also Discoveroids: “No Facts, Please, We’re Creationists”, and also this Discoveroid post that we didn’t write about: Fake Science: “About 99 Percent of Our DNA Is Identical to That of Chimpanzees”.

Today they’re at it again with this post: Adam and the Genome and Human-Ape Genetic Similarity, which has no author’s byline. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

In Adam and the Genome [Amazon listing], Trinity Western University biologist Dennis Venema covers many other subjects besides what you might expect from the book’s title. We have been reviewing this material by the prominent theistic evolutionist and BioLogos author [link omitted] … . Venema cites the high degree of genetic similarities between insulin genes in humans and other mammals as evidence for our common ancestry. He writes:

[Discoveroids’ purported quote from Vemema’s book:] [W]e can see that there is good evidence to support the hypothesis that these two present-day genes come from a common ancestral population in the distant past … What we observe for this short segment is that the gorilla sequence is identical to that of the human except for one letter; the chimpanzee is identical except for three; and the orangutan is identical except for five. As before, this level of identity far exceeds what is needed for functional insulin, and strongly supports the hypothesis that humans share a common ancestral population with great apes. Indeed, the similarities between these sequences make English and West Frisian look like very distant relatives by comparison. (Adam and the Genome, p. 30)

The Discoveroids don’t like that. They say:

The obvious answer to this argument is common design — that humans, gorillas, and orangutans were designed based upon a common blueprint. This would explain genetic similarity between humans and other species quite well.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! But Venema has a rebuttal for that. The Discoveroids tell us:

Venema is aware of this objection, and he doesn’t buy it:

[Purported quote:] Suppose you decided you wanted to design two languages. Would you design them in such a way that they appear to be closely related to each other, especially if your prowess as a designer is such that you can effortlessly design languages in any way you wish? Furthermore, as a designer, you understand that there are many possible ways to design words, grammar, syntax, and so on. Would you make it appear that your two languages are related to each other, if indeed you wanted to convince others that they were separate, independent creations? (p. 32)

The Discoveroids furiously respond:

There he goes again, telling God what he can and cannot do. It’s a bit of chutzpah, don’t you think? He’s also telling God what God must intend when he does certain things. In particular, Venema is telling God that if he designs two species to be similar then God must thereby intend to tell us that those species are related through common ancestry. And if those species aren’t really related, then Venema tells God that he is being deceitful.

But what if Venema is putting thoughts into God’s head that aren’t there? What if God could have entirely different purposes for designing two species as similar — purposes that have nothing to do with trying to communicate some message to humans about relatedness or unrelatedness?

Interesting that the Discoveroids slipped up and refer to God instead of the intelligent designer — blessed be he! Anyway, their argument continues:

There are good logical reasons why different species may have similar genetic sequences: namely, functional requirements. Those requirements have nothing to do with common ancestry. Engineers know from much experience that there are good ways to design things and bad ways. If you want your design to work a certain way, and you find a good blueprint that accomplishes what you seek, then it’s a good design principle to use that blueprint over and over again. That could easily explain why we see similarities in different species — common design to meet functional requirements.

Clever, huh? Let’s read on:

Venema’s points here ultimately seem to be rhetorical, though. He writes: “No matter how you slice it, the human and chimpanzee genomes are nearly identical to one another.” (p. 32) This is supposed to impress the reader, leaving no alternative but to conclude that humans and chimps must be related. Venema admits that by some metrics the human and chimp genomes are only 95 percent similar. Fine. But the exact number really isn’t important. What is the metric for demonstrating common ancestry based upon genetic similarity? There doesn’t seem to be one. Venema’s argument appears arbitrary.

Yeah, arbitrary — unlike conjuring up some unevidenced supernatural designer. They don’t say much else, except to link to some Discoveroid writings, so this is where we’ll leave them.

And so, dear reader, the “scientific” debate rages — common descent or common designer? It’s up to you, but be careful — the wrong choice will send you to the Lake of Fire for eternity.

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AIG Is Preaching in Africa

This is thrilling news from Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else.

We recently wrote that Ken Ham Is Expanding into Mexico. But ol’ Hambo’s vision is far greater than that. He just posted Standing on God’s Word in Zambia, Africa. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

[L]ate last year one of our popular speakers, Bryan Osborne, traveled to Zambia, a country in the southern part of the African continent, to speak to over 500 pastors, students, and other Christian leaders.

[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] First Kentucky, then Mexico, and now Africa! Hambo says:

Bryan spoke, along with several other presenters, at the Ekklesia Leadership Conference hosted by Central Africa Baptist College and Seminary (CABC). The theme of the conference was “The Sufficiency of Scripture.”

We found their website: Announcing the Ekklesia Leadership Conference 2017. It must have been a great event. Hambo tells us:

Bryan shared on his blog [link omitted] and at a staff meeting recently that even in Africa one of the main ways God’s Word is being attacked is with the false teaching of evolution and millions of years, and Christians in Africa need to be equipped with answers on these issues.

Egad! Even in Africa those hell-bound Darwinists are teaching their blasphemous doctrines. The folks over there are fortunate that ol’ Hambo is sending his emissaries to bring them The Truth. He continues:

He [Bryan Osborne] said they were obviously very excited to be getting answers during his presentations.

Yes, it must have been exciting. We wish we had been there to share the experience. One last excerpt:

I encourage you to read Bryan’s entire blog post [link omitted] to learn about his trip and the battles the church in Africa is fighting.

So there you are. Ol’ Hambo is bringing creationism not only to the people of Kentucky, who are thrilled that he has located among them, but also to Africa. What a great guy!

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Discoveroids: Evolution Is Self-Refuting Nonsense

There are few things as fundamental as Epistemology. Wikipedia says:

Epistemology studies the nature of knowledge, justification, and the rationality of belief. Much of the debate in epistemology centers on four areas: (1) the philosophical analysis of the nature of knowledge and how it relates to such concepts as truth, belief, and justification, (2) various problems of skepticism, (3) the sources and scope of knowledge and justified belief, and (4) the criteria for knowledge and justification.

One thing you don’t want to do is learn epistemology from a creationist, because they believe things that aren’t true and reject things that are well supported by science. But it can be entertaining when they try to lecture us. For example, look at this new post from the Discovery Institute: Descartes’s Blunder, written by Michael Egnor — that’s his write-up at the Encyclopedia of American Loons.

The last time we wrote about one of his posts was Discoveroid Post Beyond Description. This one today is in that grand tradition. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

What is it that we are most sure of? It’s a fundamental question, the object of philosophical analysis for millennia. Our modern answer to this question was provided by René Descartes in the 17th century. Descartes’s answer is the answer most modern men would give. But Descartes got it wrong.

[…]

He concludes, famously, that he can be certain only of this: that he exists. Cogito ergo sum. Because even to doubt his own existence presupposes his existence.

Skipping an ark-load, he says:

The law of non-contradiction, not cogito ergo sum, is the foundation of knowledge.

You’re probably familiar with the Law of noncontradiction. It’s certainly fundamental. You can review Egnor’s discussion up to that point, but it’s essentially irrelevant. He should have started with non-contradiction. Anyway, this is where it gets interesting. He tells us:

It’s worth noting that modern atheists and materialists have a particular problem with non-contradiction. Consider a number of atheist and materialist claims in this light.

Egnor’s expression “atheist and materialist” means anyone who accepts the theory of evolution. In other words, he’s talking about you, dear reader. He provides several examples of your “problem” with non-contradiction. We’ll give you a few, starting with:

Materialists and atheists claim that ID is scientifically wrong, and claim that ID is not scientifically testable. But of course, in order to be scientifically wrong, ID must be scientifically testable.

[*Groan*] ID isn’t testable because it’s unsupported by evidence. And it denies evolution which is so supported. Egnor continues:

Materialists and atheists believe that our minds evolved by natural selection. But if we evolved wholly by natural selection, we evolved to maximize reproductive success, not to discern truth, and thus we could not trust our belief that we evolved by natural selection.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! There is no natural advantage to being able to distinguish reality from nonsense. Let’s read on:

Materialists and atheists believe that the universe spontaneously came from nothing, and they define nothing as the laws of quantum mechanics.

[*Groan *] No comment necessary. Another excerpt:

Materialists and atheists believe that the existence of evil disproves the existence of God, yet if there is no ultimate Source of right and wrong, there is no evil and no good; there are merely circumstances we like or dislike.

Ah yes, the Problem of evil. The Discoveroids can’t blame it on Adam & Eve, so what do they do? They declare that it’s the advocates of evolution who are inherently evil. Here’s Egnor’s brilliant conclusion:

Again and again, materialists and atheists hold opinions that violate the law of non-contradiction. In this sense, atheism and materialism aren’t even really metaphysical theories. They’re just self-refuting nonsense.

So there you are, dear reader. You are the purveyor of nonsense, and the Discoveroids teach The Truth.

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WorldNetDaily: Noah Had a Cell Phone

Buffoon Award

Don’t laugh at our title, dear reader — it comes from the website of WorldNetDaily (WND). As you know, WND was an early Buffoon Award Winner. We’ve described them as a flamingly creationist, absolutely execrable, moronic, and incurably crazed journalistic organ that believes in and enthusiastically promotes every conspiracy theory that ever existed. It’s in their honor that our jolly Buffoon logo adorns this post.

They just posted Noah had a cell phone during Bible flood, prof claims. How’s that for a headline? To our great surprise, the anonymously-written WND article seems a bit skeptical — or at least neutral. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

One wonders which cell network Noah used? Sprint? Verizon? What an endorsement that would be. Yes, THAT Noah. The one with the Ark. A professor in Turkey has proposed an “amazing theory” based on his understanding of the Quran, the biblical story of Noah and the flood.

This is the first time we can recall that WND hasn’t automatically embraced a preposterous claim. They say:

Yavuz Ornek, a lecturer in the Marine Sciences Faculty of Istanbul University, reported Breaking Israel News, claims Noah kept in touch with his sons via cellular phone. Ornek made the claim when he was invited to speak on Noah on TRT television, which is owned by the Turkish government.

Here’s the article in Breaking Israel News: Turkish Professor Claims Koran Flood Story Tells of Muslim Noah Calling Son on Cell-Phone. WND’s lack of instant support is probably because of the Islamic origin of the cell-phone theory. They tell us:

The biblical story also is recounted in the Quran. “In most respects, it is identical to the story as it appears in the Bible, but Ornek’s take on the story differed greatly from both versions,” BIN [Breaking Israel News] reported. “Ornek was discussing the section of the Quran’s version of the flood story in which one of Noah’s sons, who was a disbeliever, refused to come aboard the Ark. The son climbed a mountain but as the floodwaters rose, he spoke to his father and repented.”

We didn’t know there were problems in Noah’s family. WND continues:

In the interview, Ornek [the Turkish professor] claimed the Quran “says the waves were as high as mountains, so if Noah spoke with his son, his son must be sitting on the top of another mountain.”

The Quran says they spoke, but to talk between two mountains with hundreds of kilometers apart, they must have had mobile phones, and Noah’s son must have boarded an aerial vehicle to reach his father,” the professor reasoned.

That makes sense. Let’s read on:

Ornek insisted technologies were very advanced 10,000 years ago. “Noah, referred to as Nûḥ ibn Lamech ibn Methuselah in the Quran, also used advanced technology to build an ark out of steel that was powered by nuclear energy. Ornek also claimed that instead of bringing live animals onto the ark, Noah stocked it with one male and one female egg from every living species,” the report continued. Ornek claimed he is a scientist.

Actually, ol’ Hambo has made somewhat similar claims about Noah’s advanced technology — see Ken Ham: Noah’s Amazing Technology, and also AIG: Noah’s Ark-Building Technology. Here’s one more excerpt from WND

BIN reported: “As bizarre as Professor Ornek’s claims may sound to Western ears, they were taken seriously by the Turkish public and became the focus of a fierce religious debate.” Efrat Aviv, a specialist in Turkey for the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies and a lecturer in the department of Middle Eastern Studies at Bar Ilan University, was certain Ornek was serious about his theories, as were the listeners, BIN said. Aviv argued Ornek was not joking because making fun of the Quran could result in the death penalty.

Some of the comments at WND are skeptical, and some accept the professor’s views. What do you think, dear reader?

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