It’s in the nature of cranks and denialists not to really object to other forms of crankery, as long as the other crank or denialist is also sowing doubt about the same scientific theory. This fits in with proof 295,232 that intelligent design isn’t a science. Witness an IDer who really loves the Creation Museum. O’Leary even likes their idea that chameleons change color to “talk” to each other in the Garden of Eden:

And, if you are not a frothing Darwinist, it is not always clear who is right:

Nature here is not “red in tooth and claw,” as Tennyson asserted. In fact at first it seems almost as genteel as Eden’s dinosaurs. We learn that chameleons, for example, change colors not because that serves as a survival mechanism, but “to ‘talk’ to other chameleons, to show off their mood, and to adjust to heat and light.”

The creationists could well be right about the chameleons. Darwinian theory needs the colour change to be a survival mechanism and interprets just about everything in that light. The chameleon itself may not have any such need. If you think that everything about life forms exists in some relation to a survival mechanism, you have spent too much time among Darwinists.

Can you believe it? An IDer who is more than happy to entertain this batty theory that chameleon’s camouflage has nothing to do with survival, instead it’s some pre-lapsarian lizard Morse code. Never mind that if they believe in science at all they should reject the findings of the museum as psuedoscientific garbage. Never mind that ID is trying to represent itself as a science, and as such should reject young-earth creationism as a rejection of not just biology, but archeology, geology and physics (and many other fields of science I’m sure).

As long as the Creation Museum keeps misinforming people about the theory this crank hates, it’s OK by her. After all, who needs intellectual consistency? Certainly not the crank.
i-83ab5b4a35951df7262eefe13cb933f2-crank.gif

Comments

  1. #1 Gork
    May 29, 2007

    Well, now that I think about it, it’s obvious: a squid’s ink is not for self-defense, but rather for artistic expression. And bird calls are not for attracting mates or claiming territory, but for doing acoustic mathematics. And alligators don’t go into a death-spin to drown their prey, they do it as aerobic exercise to keep their waistlines appealing looking.

    Oh, I could go on and on, but already I’m getting sick of myself.

  2. #2 Boo
    May 29, 2007

    The weirdest part is that she doesn’t even seem to realize that even if she’s right she’s contradicting herself:

    We learn that chameleons, for example, change colors not because that serves as a survival mechanism, but “to ‘talk’ to other chameleons, to show off their mood, and to adjust to heat and light.

    So… communicating with other members of the species and adjusting to temperature don’t help you survive?!

  3. #3 Callandor
    May 29, 2007

    And remember, you’re not flying: you’re falling with style.

  4. #4 TomS
    May 29, 2007

    Don’t forget the bombardier beetle. That finely-tuned, clearly-designed defense mechanism is not really finely tuned for defense or designed for doing what it appears to do. It is just an accident that it happens to be useful, after the Fall. After all, our human judgement about things like detecting designs is fallible.

    Or something like that.

  5. #5 Bronze Dog
    May 29, 2007

    The thing about Eden: If it was created perfectly without death, no one would do anything: There’d be no need. The only activities going on would be unnecessary, which would kind of say that God is into pointless add-ons. But what you’d expect from someone with a beetle fetish?

  6. #6 Melinda Barton
    May 29, 2007

    Although I’m not a Christian, an IDer or a creationist, I am a theistic evolutionist (yes, there’s a HUGE difference) and I’m SO embarassed by and for these people. She is correct that some biological characteristics can theoretically exist which have not yet been selected for or against OR which have no survival value themselves but have been linked to characteristics that do, the rest is just plain the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.

  7. #7 Ian
    May 29, 2007

    Hmmm…so maybe when the IDists say that non-scientists aren’t qualified to comment on ID, they were simply speaking based on their own experience :)

  8. #8 Kagehi
    May 29, 2007

    “yes, there’s a HUGE difference”

    Umm. What difference? I mean unless you are arguing something like Brahman or Thor, its damn hard to even talk about theistic evolution without invoking the *Xian* version of god, right? And last I checked, there isn’t a lot of, “I personally mucked around with humanity and other things to make them look exactly like they do!”, stuff in a lot of other religions.

    Might as well call yourself a pokeism evolutionist, go around babbling about “catching them all”, and then insist you never watched an episode of Pokemon when forming your definitions. Just saying…

    But still, nice to know you are on our side about these fruit loops.

  9. #9 Melinda Barton
    May 29, 2007

    Kagehi,

    Interesting that you don’t know that there’s more than one religion with a G-d. FYI, I’m a practicing Jew. You know the Jews right? The people who wrote the Hebrew scriptures? The people who don’t have an anthropomorphic G-d with a long gray beard and genitals? Oh. I’m sorry. Are you one of those who think Christianity is a microcosm for ALL religion because you’re too lazy to bone up on something other than ancient Greek Myths and the stuff you learned in Sunday school? There’s a big difference between believing in a G-d who’s nothing more than a Circus magician (a la creationism) or a garden shed tinkerer (a la ID) and a G-d that created through the physical processes we’ve uncovered through science, a long process by our standards, but from the perspective of a being unlimited by linear time, probably just a brief sneeze.

    But yes, I’m your side against these morons, who not only distort science, they play into the ridiculous stereotypes too many people have about all religious people. Try being represented by that in public every once in a while. Worse: Try having supposedly intelligent people pretend that there’s no difference between reasonable people of faith and people who believe the Flintstones was a theological argument.

  10. #10 Melinda Barton
    May 29, 2007

    My apologies for the loss of temper, but the infantile snarkfest one is subjected to as a theist gets really old sometimes.

  11. #11 krisztian pinter
    May 29, 2007

    hey! you forgot to include the symbol of Unified Theory of the Crank

  12. #12 Anonymous
    May 29, 2007

    “And remember, you’re not flying: you’re falling with style.”

    Yes, but not because of gravity. Because of intelligent falling

  13. #13 MarkH
    May 29, 2007

    Fixed! You now have a crank picture.

    And Kagehi you really were a bit mean about it.

  14. #14 Voice O'Reason
    May 29, 2007

    “We learn that chameleons, for example, change colors not because that serves as a survival mechanism, but … to show off their mood …”

    This is the Garden of Eden we’re talking about, yes? Why would there be any mood other than blissfully happy?

  15. #15 Dustin
    May 29, 2007

    The creationists could well be right about the chameleons.

    Wow O’Leary is really stupid. The selective advantages afforded by camouflages and the effects those advantages have on the proportion of the population possessing the camouflage are pretty much high school problems.

    The chameleon itself may not have any such need. If you think that everything about life forms exists in some relation to a survival mechanism, you have spent too much time among Darwinists.

    Darwinists don’t believe in sexual selection or genetic drift or neutral theory? I guess I can buy that. Now, what’s a “Darwinist”?

  16. #16 Dustin
    May 29, 2007

    Why would there be any mood other than blissfully happy?

    Well, they could communicate understated contentment, giddy delight, piety, joyful obedience, and all of the other range of moods presented in Veggie Tales.

  17. #17 John Pieret
    May 30, 2007

    Slight caveat: cephlopod color change camouflage is also involved in mating displays, which could be said to communicate “moods” to others of their species. It wouldn’t be totally crazy if the same was true of chameleons.

    Of course, mating does have something to do with “survival” (in the sense we nasty Darwinists mean it).

  18. #18 TomS
    May 30, 2007

    Re John’s comments about mating and survival and nasty Darwinists:

    The idea of living things reproducing without there being any death does bring up a Malthusian, if not Darwinian, problem in the pre-Fall days. Obviously, this “design” did not anticipate a long future with multiplying creatures. How many years before the rabbit population would cover all the earth?

  19. #19 MarkH
    May 30, 2007

    Wait, was there mating in Eden? I thought no death, no pain, no suffering, no sex? Why would you need it if there is no death?

  20. #20 TomS
    May 31, 2007

    Genesis 1 explicitly says that fish and fowl, on the day of their creation, were told to be fruitful and multiply. Likewise for humans. For plants, the implication is there, for fruit and seeds are mentioned (although it isn’t clear that plants were excluded from death). There does not seem to be an explicit statement for (non-human) land animals.

  21. #21 J-Dog
    June 1, 2007

    Densyse O’Leary – Living proof of regressionary evolution.

  22. #22 Ollock
    June 1, 2007

    One thing you might want to confront the Creationists with: if you can debunk all survival strategies as harmless nuances of God’s plan, how does anything survive? Certainly death and reproduction exist, and barring gross intervention that we have no evidence for, there has to be some sort of competition among organisms for food and sex (for those organisms that have sex).

    While you’re at it, take a look at the dimensions of the Ark and its entire premise. How did so many millions of animals fit on the boat, let alone survive for forty days and nights. And why would Noah need pairs of those species that reproduce through parthenogenesis?

  23. #23 TomS
    June 2, 2007

    As far as the number of animals on the Ark, creationists have mostly decided that there were representatives, not of each species, but of each kind. Kinds are larger groupings, not quite defined, but maybe something like a biological family. (Look up “baramin”.) Beyond that, some restrict the passengers on the Ark to air-breathing vertebrates, for various reasons. They exclude insects, for example (they could float on rafts of vegetation – during a storm so violent that it could carve out the Grand Canyon). Also, they maintain that large animals were taken as young (despite the Bible saying that the animals were taken as “male and his mate”). There was, according to some, a burst of “micro”evolution, after the Ark landed, within the “created kinds”. There are only a few species of obligatory parthenogenic (no males exist) air-breathing vertebrates, the whiptail lizards, and I suppose that they could “micro”evolve.

    Of course, I am only reporting. Don’t blame me for this.

  24. #24 Voice O'Reason
    June 3, 2007

    Slight caveat: cephlopod color change camouflage is also involved in mating displays, which could be said to communicate “moods” to others of their species. It wouldn’t be totally crazy if the same was true of chameleons.

    I guess perhaps color changes do serve more than one purpose: “Caution: Horny Octopus!

    {shudder}

The site is undergoing maintenance presently. Commenting has been disabled. Please check back later!