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Discussion (31)¬

  1. Klank Kiki says:

    Is it based on reality? Did you actually hear a creationist say something like that? I have hard time believing it.

  2. tim f says:

    Of course no-one could walk to the other side of the world – to do so would require walking on water!

  3. ryanoneil says:

    There was a story on NPR late last week on this very subject.

    It made me sigh and shake my head.

  4. Daoloth says:

    Creationists and IDers have adopted a strategy of admitting micro-evolution but still maintaining that basic kinds are unchanged. It’s a bit desperate of them, rather like saying that dinosaurs were in the bible all along (Leviathan, behemoth etc).
    Evolution is evidenced by a huge amount of data all pointing in the same direction. You can, if you want, claim that bits of it can be interpreted another way but there is no reason to do so unless you have already made up your mind that the bible is the invariant word of god.
    I guess all you can say is that it isn’t science. This is easy to establish- “What evidence would make you change your mind?” There is none.
    Darwin admitted that if it could be shown that any trait had not come about by small adaptive steps over time then his theory would fall apart- that’s why the IDers rattle on about the irreducible complexity of
    bombadier beetles, flagella and blood-clotting. Every time the evoltionary story is made plain they look around for another and we bat that one out of the park as well. We are playing the game honestly- they can’t.

  5. Bodach says:

    Thanks for the link, Big Tom; I guess. A walk through English woo in the morning before coffee is a bit much for me.

  6. Anonniniby says:

    Klank: I have heard Creationists make this *exact* argument. And with a straight face – even somewhat earnest.

  7. John The Geologist says:

    I read that Guardian article on the train this morning (with smoke coming out of my ears).

    One of the creationists they talk to is a geologist.

    How on earth can you be a geologist and a creationist. The two seem to me to be utterly irreconcilable.

    Even the bloody Vatican says that evolution is correct (I assume they said that in between kiddy fiddling).

  8. JMo says:

    John, it sure is hard to use the Catholic Church as support for an entirely correct posit. I have an idiot friend that happens to be right about a thing or two every now and again. Every time I tell someone “Hey even so-and-so gets it,” I get a quezzy feeling in my stomach but hey right is frickin’ right. At least these people give us something to talk about……

  9. Jay Ballou says:

    “Is it based on reality? Did you actually hear a creationist say something like that? I have hard time believing it.”

    It’s called an analogy, genius. So yes, they have said something *like* it, namely that microevolution is possible but macroevolution isn’t.

  10. OneLess says:

    I always think of it as creationists admitting that 1+1 = 2 but not that something like 1*1,000,000 = 1,000,000.

  11. PJ says:

    I am interested in the differences between the UK (J+M’s current domicile, based on transparent cultural references) and the US (home of the majority of commentators to this excellent discussion, based on TCR’s). Crudely, things seem better in the US: constitutional separation between Church and State meaning it is illegal to actively teach religion in state-funded schools across the pond, as against a legal duty to teach religion under the guise of “Religious Studies” in state-funded schools in the UK (a hangover from a 60 year old tradeoff bringing church schools into the state system).

    However, probably unintended consequences: irrational and/or offensive nonsense tends to get quarantined in RS in the UK, with the politically necessary caveat of “Christians believe [random irrational nonsense] whereas Hindus/Muslims/whatever believe [finely delineated yet equally nonsensical irrationality]”, leaving Science teaching to teach proper Science, covering evolution pretty thoroughly on the whole. On the other hand it appears to me that in the US there is a general, quite understandable fear of properly teaching evolution at all in schools, allowing ignorance to further feed the agenda of the religious right.

    Interestingly, however grim the concept of RS in the UK, most teenagers of my aquaintance have a very healthy distain for it, which is very heartening…

  12. Nemo says:

    After some lows in the Christmas month, it’s good to see the entertainment value getting better and better, lately. I love this one!
    However, while I agree with most of you that creationism and the likes of it is entirely unscientific and probably complet bull shit, I fail to see the grimness of Religious Studies… Learning can’t possibly be a bad thing and religion, if tought probably, is of great historical interest. Now I’m not saying that schools should teach that it happen just like in Genesis, certainly not(!), but knowing about different religious tenents, the history of religion, etc. is not only quite interesting (at least in my mind), but can also prove to come in handy when trying to understand everything from the acts of religious (or antireligious!) people, to international politics.
    Therefore; more serious teaching, less creationism!

    p.s. And by God (or whatever else you prefere), more strips of this quality!

  13. Joe Fogey says:

    I wonder what the barmaid thinks.

  14. JohnnieCanuck says:

    PJ, Your interest is shared by many.

    One of the more telling observations I have come across is that by blocking any one religious flavour from achieving theocratic dominance, the US separation rule has allowed a form of evolution to occur in the (non Cambrian) explosion of small sects that have appeared.

    There has been substantial competition for those posteriors planted in pews. Anyone, theologically trained, affiliated or not, has been able to stand up and make a pitch for a heavy offering plate of their own. The best pitchman wins and gets emulated and improved on by others.

    Also radio and television have facilitated religious empires which ‘Focus On The 1-800 Number’ as the first step in getting mailing lists of the gullible. There must be thousands of people working in their mailing rooms, pulling out the cheques and sending out dunning letters forever and ever, without end.

  15. Jerry w says:

    Tim f….. I think the walking on water thing was a lot easier
    for Jesus before the crucifiction. Just a guess of course.

  16. Paper Hand says:

    I always like that argument, because you can show EXACTLY how it differs from the creationist “created kind” argument.

    Given enough time, I *could* walk to New York (I live in Kansas). It would take a long time, but I could do it. I couldn’t walk to, say, London however. Why not?

    Here’s the catch. I can explain exactly why not. The Atlantic ocean, a large body of very deep water, with no bridges or land connections. I can show a map, showing exactly where the boundaries of the Americas are, exactly the area that I could, in theory, walk to (ignoring national borders and the like …)

    The creationists have nothing like that for their “Created kinds”. They can’t even agree on what the boundaries of those “kinds” are, nor do they have any mechanism to explain what would prevent evolution from transgressing these undefined boundaries.

  17. grouchy-one says:

    I’ve always felt that the world’s religions are one of the best examples of “survival of the fittest” in action. Many religions have come and gone, some barely reaching cult status but the ones that survived were the ones that were able to adapt to the times (variability), had good recruitment drives (reproduction), had an effective means to generate money (equiv to food for a church), etc.
    For some reason, those harbouring the religious memes don’t seem to get this

  18. Shaughn says:

    Tim F, how about a walk from Alaska to Patagonia? No need to swim, there are bridges crossing the Panama canal !

  19. Ish says:

    Big Tom and John

    I was reading that article yesterday and couldn’t get to the end of it as the nonsense was getting too infuriating (and I was at work…)


    I enjoyed RS at school but then again that may be due to us having a very good teacher who showed us the Life of Brian over 2 lessons when we were 14/15 and let me do my final project on Greek Mythology

  20. Daoloth says:

    Ryan- I followed your link- Ugh! Any idea where that Pennignton ppt can be obtained? It would be fun to post a rebuttal linking to it.

  21. My earlier comment didnt get posted so Im trying again and saying that I want to be the barkeep if you will all have me and i have a submission idea on my blog named Jules Smiles- Young Freethinker. It is in honor of this funny series

  22. Forman says:

    Thanks for lumping all people of faith together. I’m sure you’re very proud of your bigotry (I’m sorry, “intellect”). Have none of you heard of Kenneth R. Miller?
    BTW, the whole “walking on water” thing applies to your cartoon, proving once again that the long odds embraced by fundamentalist Evolutionists places them in the category of religious cult. Next time you look in the mirror, don’t forget to pray.

  23. Felix says:

    Ahh, yes, the elusive micro-macro-barrier. I asked for evidence of theist barrier in a recent discussion. The guy stated that a) the barrier is there because we can’t show it isn’t (as usual ‘they’re still bacteria, they’re still lizards, blah blah). Which invalidates the whole logical premise that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Which means that by insisting the barrier is there, the same argument allows an atheist to insist God is not.
    b) asked for positive evidence, because surely he accepts that the burden of proof is on the claimant, he said that that was what ID was working on, and that the establishment of dogmatic science wouldn’t let them. In response, I and a few others provided evidence that in fact the DI itself has a funding that is far above that of secular university institutes, and that there are several other creo/ID ‘research’ institutes. Put together they have produced exactly nothing substantiating ID in the last few years. Which seems even less compared to the 15,000+ papers about evolutionary biology that are published every single year. ID has no excuse. But that’s apparently sufficient to fool people blinded by faith.

  24. Felix says:

    what did I write there? Should be ‘evidence of this’ not ‘theist’. Is that Freudian?
    Forman, who are you addressing? I assume you mean all of the posters above you when you say ‘none of you’. I can’t speak for them, but I’m quite certain that Miller is someone most have heard of. What does your comment about ‘applies to your cartoon’ suppposed to mean? I really don’t get what you are saying. Please explain. On Miller, you might want to read Jerry Coyne’s recent article, posted with responses here at Dawkins’s site. Unless you don’t dare to venture into the lion’s den.
    I find it interesting that your comment drifts more and more into passive-aggressive anger towards the end. This reveals a deep insecurity. In case you do go to Coyne’s article, perhaps you want to discuss a few things with the ‘fundamentalist Evolutionists’ there. You might be surprised. A hint: praying doesn’t help you in a rational discussion.

  25. […] Here’s the link, via the comment section of this J&M-cartoon: […]

  26. Jadelink says:

    Its simple really. Evolution COULD occur, but not in the 6000 years the earth has existed… No scientists admit there’s any way major scale evolution could have happened in that time.
    (Save for divine intervention of course.)

  27. azurefrog says:

    Actually evolution happens constantly on a much smaller time scale than 6000 years. For instance, it takes many generations for bacteria to evolve drug resistance, but since the generations are so short, many of our older antibiotics are now of limited use.

  28. Skrynesaver says:

    Brilliant example of the failure of imagination on the part of those whose abilty to think has been restricted by religion.
    Ex Catholic altar boy –

  29. Broggly says:

    You could walk from Spain to the coast of China or something…

  30. Tinkling Think says:

    Broggly, in 2019, one could walk from Argyll, in Scotland to Vladivostok in Russia. Maybe even a little further in both directions. That’s almost 180 degrees and certainly “on the other side of the world”. One would, of course, need to avoid the trains in the tunnel, several border crossings and many anti-social types possibly including Yetis but it could be done.

    One would also need to take snacks.


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