Pharyngula

RtB on Tiktaalik

There are a number of creationist organizations flourishing in America. One I’ve criticized many times is the Discovery Institute, which I suspect is now waning in influence after the Dover debacle; another is Answers in Genesis, which is a Mecca for the Young Earth Creationists; and one other is Reasons to Believe, which is an Old Earth Creationist haven for crackpots. Despite their doctrinal differences, though, it’s amazing how uniformly they respond to evolutionary discovers with denial. The recent discovery of Tiktaalik has been instructive: all three organizations have now weighed in, and all three trivialize it as meaningless, non-transitional, or even “piddling”. We’ve heard from The Discovery Institute, AiG, and now Zenoferox hacks apart RtB’s response. They’re like mindless clones of each other.

Comments

  1. #1 DiscordianStooge
    April 26, 2006

    Out of curiosity, is 10 million years enough time for a transition?

  2. #2 pastormaker
    April 26, 2006

    DiscordianStooge,

    Since God created the universe, the earth, all animals, fossils, humans, your memories and the Internet exactly as they are just 20 minutes ago, your question about whether 10 million years is enough time for a transition is moot.

  3. #3 udargo
    April 26, 2006

    I’m actually curious about this “10 million years is not enough time” argument too. Wouldn’t rates of evolutionary change be quite variable based on the intensity of environmental pressures and challenges, any physiological predispositions the animal might have to respond successfully to those pressures/challenges, and a random element of luck? It would seem to me that, although we might get a sense of an average rate for evolutionary processes, we wouldn’t expect any single, small part of the story to necessarily reflect that average rate. But I don’t know anything, so I’m asking. Cause 10 million years seems like a long time to me too. A lot can happen in 10 million years, I’m thinkin.

  4. #4 G. Tingey
    April 26, 2006

    Unfortunately, they may be clones of each other, but they are not mindless.

    That is the problem.
    Some of them are fools, and some are liars, and some both …. BUT …
    They have a programme, they are very good at public relations, and they are determined to make the USA (and other places) “safe for Jesus” (or something similar).

    Every time they pu their heads up, shout “LIAR!” as lodly, and as frequently as possible, please?

  5. #5 pastormaker
    April 26, 2006

    udargo,

    You’re right about the variations in the rate of evolutionary change.

    For example, look at the increased speed of evolutionary change in evidence in remote island ecosystems. This is the argument some are making for the “hobbit” fossils in Indonesia. A human ancestor, isolated on a tiny island, was supposedly forced by environmental restrictions to evolve in a particular direction in a very short space of time.

  6. #6 Caledonian
    April 26, 2006

    A population with a great deal of genetic diversity can, with the right selection pressures, evolve very rapidly indeed. Responding to new selection pressures after that is another matter.

    Ten million years is enough time for what, exactly? Splitting into a new species? Be specific, please.

  7. #7 NJ
    April 26, 2006

    Neil Shubin gave a really great talk on Tiktaalik here at Appalachian last night. The molecular biology and comparative anatomy were beyond me (albeit well explained), but the geology and the backstory on how they ended up in the far Canadian arctic were amazing.

    He’s an animated and very funny speaker. One of the best talks I’ve seen in a long time.

  8. #8 T_U_T
    April 26, 2006

    off topic : I can’t access the main page and the latest post… has anyone similar problems ?

  9. #9 T_U_T
    April 26, 2006

    only an empty page loads – is this on purpose, or something gone awry ?

  10. #10 Fred J
    April 26, 2006

    MAIN PAGE IS WHITE

    Yes, Pharyngula’s home is off the air.

    f

  11. #11 DianeW
    April 26, 2006

    10 million yr equates roughly to the perceived time between accidently landing on the Trinity Network and the time it takes to slam the remote back to ANY other channel.

    humor aside, udargo, you are correct.

  12. #12 Ginger Yellow
    April 26, 2006

    You can’t fool DiscordianStooge, PastorMaker. He/She knows full well the universe was created out of the Nonexistent Chao by the imbalance of Hodge and Podge.

  13. #13 Gibbon
    April 26, 2006

    The 10 million year thing is a sleight of hand. Creationists want to represent that as the interval that an animal supposedly evolved from a modern fishy to something like a dinosaur. In in truth it’s the interval in which something like a large mudskipper evolved from a swamp dewelling animal with lobed fins to one with longer articulated lobed fins.

  14. #14 lt.kizhe
    April 26, 2006

    ….the universe was created out of the Nonexistent Chao by the imbalance of Hodge and Podge.

    OK, Podge I can buy at the craft store — but where do I get Hodge? Or is that the point: they annihilate each other, and the universe is composed out of the slight excess residue of Podge? (That the Primordial Stuff of creation is a white gooey paste might explain a lot, actually — like why I can never seem to get out of bed in the morning…..)

  15. #15 Ginger Yellow
    April 27, 2006

    From the Principia Discordia:

    THE BOOK OF UTERUS
    from the Honest Book of Truth revealed to Lord Omar

    1 Before the beginning was the Nonexistent Chao, balanced in Oblivion by the Perfect Counterpushpull of the Hodge and the Podge.

    2 Whereupon, by an Act of Happenstance, the Hodge began gradually to overpower the Podge — and the Primal Chaos thereby came to be.

    3 So in the beginning was the Primal Chaos, balanced on the Edge of Oblivion by the Perfect Counterpullpush of the Podge and the Hodge.

    4 Whereupon, by the Law of Negative Reversal,** the Podge swiftly underpowered the Hodge and Everything broke loose.

    5 And therein emerged the Active Force of Discord, the Subtle Manifestation of the Nonexistent Chao, to guide Everything along the Path back to Oblivion – that it might not become lost among Precepts of Order in the Region of Thud.

    6 Forasmuch as it was Active, the Force of Discord entered the State of Confusion, wherein It copulated with the Queen and begat ERIS, Our Lady of Discord and Gross Manifestation of the Nonexistent Chao.

    7 And under Eris Confusion became established, and was hence called Bureaucracy; while over Bureaucracy Eris became established, and was hence called Discordia.

    8 By the by it came to pass that the Establishment of Bureaucracy perished in a paper shortage.

    9 Thus it was, in accord with the Law of Laws.

    10 During and after the Fall of the Establishment of Bureaucracy was the Aftermath, an Age of Disorder in which calculation, computations, and reckonings were put away by the Children of Eris in Acceptance and Preparation for the Return to Oblivion to be followed by a Repetition of the Universal Absurdity. Moreover, of Itself the Coming of Aftermath waseth a Resurrection of the Freedom-flowing Chaos. HAIL ERIS!

    11 Herein was set into motion the Eristic Pattern, which would Repeat Itself Five Times Over Seventy-three Times, after which nothing would happen.

    * This doctrine should not be confused with DOGMA III – HISTORY #6, “HISTORIC CYCLES,” which states that social progress occurs in five cycles, the first three (“The Tricycle”) of which are THESIS, ANTITHESIS and PARENTHESIS; and the last two (“The Bicycle”) of which are CONSTERNATION and MORAL WARPTITUDE.

    ** The LAW OF NEGATIVE REVERSAL states that if something does not happen then the exact opposite will happen, only in exactly the opposite manner from that in which it did not happen.

  16. #16 DiscordianStooge
    April 27, 2006

    Everything Ginger Yellow wrote is true. Except section 4, which is not true, and sections 3, 7, 9 and 10, which are partly true but based in lies. And section 5 is plainly false, but everyone believes it, which is just like being true.

New comments have been temporarily disabled. Please check back soon.