But anyway, I decided to go, and I wasn't surprised. The speaker Anders Gärdeborn brought up little else but the same ridiculous arguments, misconceptions and misinterpretations, exaggerations, faulty logic and outright lies that you've heard over and over, just as I
He focused a lot on "structure" and how the universe and nature was full of it, on how evolutionary theory has not been able to account for the appearance of anything new and on the intentionally misleading and biologically preposterous concept of "information", among many other things. Interestingly, and confusingly, he was prepared to accept some sort of evolution (although of course he would never call it that) "within kinds", giving rise to the variation we see for instance between races of dogs, but attributed it to "pre-programmed genetic potential". It's all terribly confusing, misleading and of course very wrong.
I did take quite extensive notes and as soon as I can take some time I'm going to go over them and write a proper and more detailed entry. But it was difficult to keep up with his sketchy logic and train of argumentation, this man was really firing out crap at an alarming speed - I just couldn't keep up, so my account of the evening is going to focus on a few of the most alarmingly bad misconceptions and lies, not only about evolution but about basic biology. I wish there would have been more physicists and geologists in the auditorium because, even though I have only very basic knowledge in those subjects, I got the nagging suspicion that there were considerable mistakes in his account of those fields as well.
It's also in its place to mention how remarkable it is that the university allows for their facilities and resources to be used for these sort of things. Certainly Credo is a student organization and as such it is affiliated to the university students' union. But the bare minimum that the university should have required was an equal presentation on modern biology and evolutionary science to refute the creationist claims. The university stands for the nurture and dissemination of knowledge, and that was certainly not upheld yesterday. A mere questions and answers session after the presentation is not enough. As my professor pointed out to me as we were talking prior to the presentation: would the university allow for an astrologer or a holocaust-denialist to come and give a lecture at the university's facilities unquestioned? Most certainly not. But under the banner of not discriminating against the christian students I guess it is entirely possible, which is telling of why we're still dealing with this particular brand of counterscientific trash at this level.
Fortunately, most of the audience seemed to be on the critical (read: sensible) side, including christians, with only a few being openly in agreement with what was being presented. The overall feeling I got was that the lecture had been arranged for the benefit of those that organized it - it was more of a statement from Credo and was never meant to add anything or shed new light on the debate. Something which makes the university's uncritical approach even more remarkable.
Ultimately, I'm glad I went. Not so much because of Anders Gärdeborn's presentation, but because during the discussion that followed I met some like-minded people, students in different fields, and started talking about getting together in a more organized way to discuss these questions. I'm always happy to make connections and if that's the least I get from yesterday's shameless display of pseudoscientific dreck, I will be very happy indeed.
Swedish blog tags: Vetenskap, Evolution, Biologi, Pseudovetenskap, Kreationism
Technorati tags: Science, Evolution, Biology, Pseudoscience, Creationism, BPSDB