Mar 31, 2010 0
Dec 11, 2009 0
Jerry Coyne explains why “bad designs” in nature are flaws that make sense only in light of evolution:
Why do cave fish have nonfunctional eyes? That’s bad design for sure. You could impute it to the quirks of God, but isn’t it more parsimonious to conclude (and we know this independently from molecular data) that those fish evolved from fully-eyed fish that lived above the ground? Similarly, the recurrent laryngeal nerve, beloved of Dawkins and myself as a wonderful piece of evidence for evolution (see our books), is way longer than it need be—but that excessive length is completely understandable given the evolutionary history of that nerve, which once innervated the gills in our ancestors.
Over and over again, bad designs make sense as byproducts of evolution. They make no sense if you posit that they’re the product of a creator’s whim—UNLESS you think that creator’s whim was to fool us into thinking that life had evolved. And who wants to believe in a god like that?
Nov 18, 2009 1
Tomorrow’s the day creationist Ray Comfort plans to distribute free copies of his altered, anti-evolution version of On the Origin of Species at colleges and universities across the United States. Next week, he’ll move on to Canada.
In the introduction Comfort has added to Darwin’s work, he tries to make the case for “intelligent design,”claims that evolution has never been scientifically proven, and says Darwin was a racist whose ideas inspired Hitler. In response, the National Center for Science Education has launched a new Web site, Don’t Diss Darwin, to show just how wacky and wrong Comfort is. We especially love the handy one-page flyer and NCSE Safety Bookmark—a great way to separate Comfort’s misinformation from the rest of the book.
Nov 2, 2009 0
Here’s what Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, thinks you should do with Ray Comfort‘s altered, anti-evolution version of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species:
Read the first eight pages of the introduction, which is a reasonably accurate, if derivative, sketch of Darwin’s life. The last 10 pages or so are devoted to some rather heavy-handed evangelism, which doesn’t really have anything to do with the history or content of the evolutionary sciences; read it or not as you please. But don’t waste your time with the middle section of the introduction, a hopeless mess of long-ago-refuted creationist arguments, teeming with misinformation about the science of evolution, populated by legions of strawmen, and exhibiting what can be charitably described as muddled thinking.
For example, Comfort’s treatment of the human fossil record is painfully superficial, out of date, and erroneous. … He says, “Java Man [a Homo erectus], found in the early 20th century, was nothing more than a piece of skull, a fragment of a thigh bone, and three molar teeth.” Well, that was from a single site—excavated in the 1890s. What about the dozens of other sites where fossils of H. erectus are found, from China to Kenya to Georgia?
I have faith that college students are sharp enough to realize that Comfort’s take on Darwin and evolution is simply bananas.