May 26, 2009

Answering peudoscientific claims against evolution, again

The chain of retorts with the Christian think-tank "Claphaminstitutet" continues. After our initial rebuke they responded a month ago with an article entitled "Open and unprejudiced discussion about evolution is needed". It's the typical fare you get from creationists - evolution cannot be observed "in real time" therefore it cannot happen; there are holes in the fossil record therefore evolution cannot happen; genomes consist of fine-tuned "intelligently designed" information therefore evolution cannot happen. They reveal many embarrassingly basic misconceptions and use results that have been either proven wrong or proven to be forgeries as examples. It's a mess. A veritable vortex of stupidity.

Of course this mustn't be. Creationists don't really have widespread popular support in Sweden and I think most people here accept evolution readily because they know and trust it's well founded. But there are religious pockets where it's very predominant - the director of "Claphaminstitutet" is was a member of parliament for the christian democrat party and is now running for the European parliament. In one way or another, the problem exists and must be countered.

So now we published yet another rebuke (in Swedish) addressing their latest claims and pointing out their errors. Right now it's the 4th 3rd most read article on Newsmill. Like our last one it's also going to be published in the magazine of the Swedish Humanist Association - "Humanisten".

I think the most important point we make is that the evidence for evolution is gathered from many different types of observations from many different fields - systematics, embryology, biogeography, paleontology, genetics, behavioral science, you name it. The consilience of the observations is what makes evolutionary theory solid. This ties back to the creationists' claim that holes in the fossil record falsifies evolutionary theory. Evolution doesn't rest on individual findings in individual fields. To falsify it would require groundbreaking findings or completely revolutionary reinterpretations in a multitude of these fields. In the end the burden of proof lies with them. So step up and do the work or shut up!

And what do you make of that preposterous title? The call for "openness" to the unknown and "humility" in the face of the mystery of nature (or whatever) is a common trick from creationists to detract from the fact that their arguments just don't hold up. I find it so puzzling that it should be considered "humble" to bypass all critical review and consider completely unfounded claims to be of the same dignity as sound scientific conclusions. How many "alternative" explanations would we have to consider then? It's dumbfounding.

We'll wait and see if there's another round.

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  1. Ni skall ha en djävla massa "cred" för detta! :)

  2. Tack! Jag ska se till att framföra det till Dan och Tomas. :)

  3. Jag vet inte. Det kanske dyker upp nåt i nästa nummer av Humanisten?


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