Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Mike Seaver on Evolution

Someone emailed me this link and it’s hilarious. It’s an evangelism video hosted by Kirk Cameron, who used to play teen heartthrob Mike Seaver on Growing Pains. Much of the video is devoted to debunking evolution. Because ya know, when you want solid information about evolutionary biology, the first place you think to turn is to a washed up child actor.

It begins with his co-host Ray Comfort saying, “It’s funny how we equate the word ‘atheism’ with intellectual, and it’s the exact opposite.” 10 seconds later, he’s offering his “intellectually stimulating theory” for how the soda can “evolved” over time. This is intended as a parody of evolution, and he finishes by declaring, “To believe a soda can happened by chance is to enter an intellectual free zone. It’s to have an echo when you think. It’s to have brain liposuction.”. I agree with him completely, of course, but he is apparently too stupid to realize the obvious difference between soda cans and living things – the former do not reproduce, the latter do.

He goes on to point out as proof that evolution is false that the banana has three grooves in it that fit perfectly into the human hand. This, to his way of thinking, proves that bananas were designed us to eat. Yet we eat many more things than bananas and that’s the only one that fits so perfectly and he certainly wouldn’t suggest that therefore all other sources of food were not designed for us to eat. This is akin to walking out in the morning after a rainstorm and being astonished at the fact that the pothole in front of your house must have been designed to hold the precise amount of water that fits into it.

They go on to offer the tried and true false out of context Darwin quote about the evolution of the eye being “absurd to the highest degree.” And that Einstein believed in God (not theirs, but so what if he did?). And they offer all sorts of question-begging like pointing to buildings as proof of a builder, paintings as proof of a painter, and “creation” as proof of a creator. Argument by semantic label. How brilliant.

They spend a good 6 minutes interviewing a straw man atheist who is so bad that you wonder if he’s an actor. The “atheist” appears to be dumb as a box of hammers and he’s dutifully baffled by the brilliance of their arguments. And finally they give the honest answer, as Kirk Cameron declares, “You have to learn that it’s not wise to stay in the intellect and wrestle with someone intellectually because it’s going to take you down a rabbit trail and waste all your time. You’ve eventually gotta get to the heart.” Meaning, of course, forget about logic and go on pure emotion. Shut off your brain and just accept what you want to be true. And I agree that for Kirk Cameron, it’s a good idea not to “stay in the intellect”, since he is clearly so oblivious to logic.

Comments

  1. #1 Duck
    October 18, 2005

    I think Kirk Cameron (almost wrote *Mike* Cameron, who would surely never be involved in such foolishness, as he is a professional athlete) was in the movie Left Behind, so he would have some evangelical name recognition beyond Growing Pains.

    I love it: those atheists aren’t intellectuals, we are, and anyway intellectuals suck.

  2. #2 Jeff Barlow
    October 18, 2005

    Because ya know, when you want solid information about evolutionary biology, the first place you think to turn is to a washed up child actor.

    I’ve heart that he was an insufferable prig even back when Growing Pains was on.

  3. #3 Jeff Barlow
    October 18, 2005

    heart=heard

  4. #4 Troy Britain
    October 18, 2005

    The banana–the atheist’s nightmare.

    Note that the banana:

    1. Is shaped for human hand

    2. Has non-slip surface

    3. Has outward indicators of inward content: Green–too early,Yellow–just right, Black–too late.

    4. Has a tab for removal of wrapper

    5. Is perforated on wrapper

    6. Bio-degradable wrapper

    7. Is shaped for human mouth

    8. Has a point at top for ease of entry

    9. Is pleasing to taste buds

    10. Is curved towards the face to make eating process easy

    To say that the banana happened by accident is even more unintelligent than to say that no one designed the Coca Cola can.

    I got this from a stupid web-site (something about an “atheist test”) a couple years ago, but I first heard it from Michael Shermer of the Skeptics Society a couple years before that and thought it was just a joke making fun of Christian apologists/creationists.

    Turns out, pathetic as it is, they really do use it. Proof again that creationism is hard to parody.

    My first thought in response to the claim that the banana was intelligently designed (because of the above reasons) was: “OK, now explain the pineapple to me.”

  5. #5 PZ Myers
    October 18, 2005

    Damn. That thing sucked away part of my brain, like a liposuction machine.

  6. #6 raj
    October 18, 2005

    It was fairly well known long ago that Kirk Cameron was a conservative religious nut case. This isn’t a new development. I believe that he inherited it from his mother.

  7. #7 Brian Wenhold
    October 18, 2005

    Thinking is for suckers. All you need to know is that if something, anything, happens it’s because God wanted it that way. Now as I pass around the collection plate remember God is watching you, don’t be stingy or you will burn in Hell.

  8. #8 Grumpy
    October 18, 2005

    If soda cans are the product of intelligent design, rather than adaptations to changing environments over time, then… why did we ever have pop tops??

  9. #9 Matthew
    October 18, 2005

    Google does video now? Talk about internet hegemony. What’s the point in starting your own site anymore?

  10. #10 Matthew
    October 18, 2005

    That was great. Kirk also went through the patently false “you can’t prove a universal negative” argument, claiming that omniscience is required. No, actually it will suffice to show that the predicate is self-contradictory such as “married bachelors”. That’s the direction most arguments for strong atheism take.

  11. #11 Matthew
    October 18, 2005

    Ohh, and Einstein was, at best, a deist or pantheist, not that he’s the decider of all truths anyways (he was also a socialist).

  12. #12 Matthew
    October 18, 2005

    They also falsely claim that one cannot be both an atheist and an agnostic at the same time (the two answer different questions).

  13. #13 BC
    October 18, 2005

    Coconuts, on the other hand, kill more people annually than sharks (coconuts cause head trauma when they fall out of the trees and happen to hit people on the head). I think we can conclude that coconuts, therefore, were designed by the devil or some callous prankster god.

  14. #14 raj
    October 19, 2005

    Matthew, I neither know nor care whether Einstein was an athiest, an agnostic, a pantheist, or otherwise. I do know that he was an interesting theorist, who published theories that, apparently, explained a number of anomolies.

    The interesting point of Einstein’s work, in regards gravity (general relativity), is that if you look at the general “force” equation, there is a term “force” equals

    mg (the gravitational term) plus

    ma (the accelerational term) plus

    a coriollis term that also depends on “m”, and

    a centripetal term that also depends on “m.”

    The primary issue was that the coriollis and centripetal terms could be eliminated with the appropriate choice of coordinate system Particularly since “m” mass in all of these terms have been shown to be identical. In other words, there has been nobody who has shown a differential between gravitational mass and inertial mass.

  15. #15 Ed
    October 20, 2005

    Bananas designed?

    Did you hear the one about the fundie who got a devil banana? When it was unwrapped, it curved away from him . . .

    Doesn’t anyone have a piece about how the banana was perfectly designed for use in some sex act? Surely it’s the most perfectly designed fruit for some acts — and shouldn’t the design folks have to account for that?

  16. #16 KeithB
    October 21, 2005

    Sorry to come to this late, but one wonders whether anybody did any actual *research* on this “fact” about bananas. Like most of our edible Fruit, bananas are the product of a *lot* of genetic engineering, and in fact, are sterile, like seedless watermelon. Snopes has a page that gives a bit of info about a fungus that describes the situation.

    I don’t know which was the original “wild” banana, but I suspect it looked more like a plantain which isn’t quite as people friendly.

    I wonder if they would say the same thing about corn being just the right size. Corn, of course, was more extensively engineered than bananas.

    I think I am putting more thought into this than any creationist.

  17. #17 Brandon
    December 31, 2006

    Doesn’t that completely validate the creationist argument that the banana was intelligently designed? The argument doesn’t technically call for who designed it.