While Creationists get a free-pass to call scientists ‘Nazis’ and ‘liars’ and ‘baby killers’, Larry Moran gets a lot of crap for calling IDiots, ‘IDiots’. While Ive always found that pet name more than apt, some people get their panties in a wad over it.
I think maybe what we need is a nice example of IDiot behavior to illustrate, for everyone, why ‘IDiot’ is such an accurate descriptor for the major proponents of Creationism.
Luckily, Casey Luskin has just provided me with just that! A perfect example to demonstrate what makes an IDiot an IDiot.
So we are left to decipher his jargon-filled written comparison in the following sentence by sentence analysis:
1. Shubin et al.: “The intermedium and ulnare of Tiktaalik have homologues to eponymous wrist bones of tetrapods with which they share similar positions and articular relations.” (Note: I have labeled the intermedium and ulnare of Tiktaalik in the diagram below.)
Translation: OK, then exactly which “wrist bones of tetrapods” are Tiktaalik’s bones homologous to? Shubin doesn’t say. This is a technical scientific paper, so a few corresponding “wrist bone”-names from tetrapods would seem appropriate. But Shubin never gives any.
3. Shubin et al.: “The formation of a mobile transverse joint at the distal margin of these bones in Tiktaalik presages the establishment of a functional proximal carpal joint.”
1. something that foreshadows or portends a future event : omen
2. an intuition or feeling of what is going to happen in the future
Note that presage does not mean “equivalent to.” So when we come to Shubin’s technical analysis, he admits that Tiktaalik does not have not real a “wrist,” but at best he says that it has some bones that foreshadow a wrist. But does Tiktaalik’s fin really foreshadow a wrist, and how closely do its bones resemble a real wrist?
Let’s go back to Shubin’s claim that Tiktaalik has a “one bone–two-bones–lotsa blobs–digits arrangement” pattern in its fin, just like a tetrapod limb. Digits are part of fingers or toes that have a grasping capability. It’s tough to grasp something with one bone in your finger, so these don’t deserve to be called digits.
Following Caseys format:
1. As others have pointed out, Shubin did exactly what Casey asked. But Casey didnt know that because while he bothered to look up ‘presage’ in the dictionary, he didnt find it necessary to look up ‘eponymous’. Looking up two words in one day is simply too much work to expect from a Creationist, I suppose.
2. He also didnt bother to look up the word ‘digit‘. Horses, dogs, whales, etc do not have ‘grasping capabilities’, yet they still have ‘digits’. Funny enough, horse, dog, and whale ‘digits’ are probably my earliest memories of understanding evolution, as there are very few animals a little girl loves more than horses, dogs, and whales!
Horse hooves, at least the ones I have seen, lack ‘grasping capabilities’. Yet the horse hoof is a digit, specifically, the tippy tip of one finger, that evolved into a special structure! Sorry, Casey, it ‘deserves’ to be called a digit.
Dog feet also lack ‘grasping capabilities’, yet they have a nice example of a vestigial organ– dewclaws. A vestigial digit. The rest of a dogs paw is made up of plain ol digits, but Arnie isnt opening his own cans of dog food.
But heres the deal. Not knowing what ‘eponymous’ means doesnt make you an idiot. Not knowing some really, really, really basic facts of evolution and anatomy doesnt make you an idiot.
It just means you dont know something.
I dont know lots of stuff. *shrug* Weve all had different educations and different upbringings. I wont call someone an idiot just for not knowing something, because Id be an ‘idiot’ on lots of topics too.
What makes one an IDiot is not knowing something, plus being arrogant– so goddamn arrogant— you turn up your nose at people who *do* know something, and refuse to learn. Look at the rest of Caseys boom-boom:
- the alleged intermediate fossil
- this fossil is allegedly
- this paper claims
- about the supposed wrist
- “wrist” is the assertion in the abstract
- the abstract contains a confession of retroactive ignorance
- we are left to decipher his jargon-filled written comparison
- But that’s not very interesting
- Let’s continue on to see if the rest of Shubin’s statement is defensible
- but the bone that Shubin calls the “radius”
This stupid little IDiot that doesnt even understand ‘Evilution for Babies‘ is calling Neil Shubin a liar. He is calling Shubin a liar in an article that will be listed on ‘Google News’. He is calling Shubin a liar in a venue that provides Shubin no avenue of rebuttal, or means to defend his own name.
Not only that, Luskin is calling all the scientists and reviewers that ‘believe’ Shubins ‘lies’ incompetent and stupid. ‘HAHAHA! Stupid scientists! Believe that ‘alleged’ Tiktaalik is real! HAHAHA! It doesnt even have ‘grasping capabilities’!! STUPID!’
Not knowing something doesnt make you an IDiot.
Not knowing something, but being arrogant enough to spit in the faces of the very people who could alleviate that ignorance… that makes you a Creationist. That makes you an IDiot.