Pharyngula

I knew this was going to happen, but I’m no prophet — it’s just what the creationists always do. Frank Pastore follows the lead of our national news media and declares evolution debunked because of recent discoveries in paleontology. You can probably guess which ones.

The first is Chororapithecus, the ten million year old jaw fragment with gorilla-like dentition, which suggests that the split between the gorilla-human lineages might have occurred farther back than was believed. There are reasons to be skeptical — the similarities might be an example of convergence — but even if the discovery pans out, it doesn’t disprove anything about evolutionary mechanisms. It revises the dates of one detail. It’s hard to blame Pastore too much for his misinterpretation, though; he obviously hasn’t read the original paper, but he may have run across National Geographic’s claim that it “shatters human evolution theory.”

The second was the discovery of fossils of Homo erectus and Homo habilis that showed temporal overlap. The Discovery Institute beat Pastore on this one, declaring that this was a refutation of the idea of a straight line of human descent. Never mind that paleontologists don’t argue for such a linear pattern of evolution, and that we expect related species to overlap in time — it’s not as if there is some magic instant when all members of a species transform into a new species. Again, though, it’s hard to blame the poor sap when the news runs headlines claiming that these specimens cast “doubt” on evolution and “test” the origins of humans.

Anyway, it’s a horrible little column that claims these discoveries show that humans were created. It’s nonsense, of course, just more of the usual crap from an ignorant little man. The comments, though, are mildly amusing and a little bit interesting. For one, this is a column on Townhall, a hotbed of far right lunacy, yet there are a surprising number of commenters criticizing Pastore. That’s actually a good sign (although I have to cringe at all the critics who are jumping on him for saying that theory of evolution says humans evolved from apes. Yes, we did; we are apes, and our ancestors were all apes going way way back, tens of millions of years).

But of course there are still plenty of crazy comments, too. These are the fun parts.

Tell me, how often have you heard this one?

If Darwinian evolution says that man evolved from apes, and when a species evolves from other species, isn’t the old, evolved-from species supposed to die out from natural selection? If so, why are there still apes?

The answer is no — the old species isn’t supposed to die out from natural selection. Next!

What gets me
…is why we have creatures around today whose distant ancestors were *exactly* the same. The coelecanth and the crocodile are a couple of good examples. I’m sure there are others.

They aren’t exactly the same. Coelacanths were a diverse group with many different species, and the modern forms are very, very different from the fossils; likewise, crocodilians have a diverse history. They have changed. Next!

This one starts out on well-trodden ground — Darwin, racist! — and then veers deeply into weirdness.

Darwin’s theory is racist.

The truth is Darwin was a seething racist. The ‘theory’ of evolution wasn’t created to explain any facts about man’s origin. It was to provide a ‘scientific basis’ for Darwin’s life- long preaching that ‘niggers are apes and descended from apes’.

Evolution went over well is racist hell holes like Tennessee that denied basic human rights to blacks because according to Darwin, they weren’t entitled to any rights. They were apes according to Darwin’s ‘science’.

The whole justification for affirmative action is the liberal Left’s acceptance of Darwin’s ‘niggers are apes’ theory. The reason blacks are still discriminated against is Darwinism, i.e. ‘evolution’.

Darwin was relatively enlightened for his time, opposing slavery and regarding people of other races as fully human and deserving of respect. He didn’t preach, but he did argue that all humans were descendants of apes. The argument that racist communities tended to favor evolution is mostly a reversal of the truth — there were some people who used evolution to argue for the inferiority of certain people, but the Bible belt is simultaneously a hotbed of anti-evolutionism and racism.

I’m not even going to try and parse the last paragraph. It’s too much insanity for me.

Next!

If man and apes have a common ancestor where are the intermediates? You would expect after all these years there would have been found one credible intermediate. The previous evolutionary chart showed the piltdown-man, java-man etc. all were proven to be frauds.

Piltdown was a fraud. Java man was not. Here’s a commenter who demands transitional hominins on an article where the creationist author is babbling about the discovery of Homo erectus and Homo habilis specimens—one guy waving a skull around claiming “these transitional fossils prove evolution false!” while the other is ranting “the absence of transitional fossils prove evolution false!” Come on, people, get your story straight.

Next!

IF men evolved from apes there would be no more apes you dimwit.

I think we’re going around in circles now. Next!

who cares
People who blog are idiots and continue to prove it by their use of verbiage to impress. Get a life!

Wel… I mean, uh, like …

OK, I’ve got nothin’. You win.

Comments

  1. #1 David Marjanovi?
    September 4, 2007

    The coelecanth [sic] and the crocodile are a couple of good examples.

    As soon as someone says “the crocodile”, singular, you know you’re dealing with profound ignorance.

    Never mind that the Indonesian coelacanth, discovered in 1998, is a separate, though fairly closely related, species (Latimeria menadoensis)…

  2. #2 David Marjanovi?
    September 4, 2007

    It should be pointed out that the common ancestor of chimpanzees and humans in fact died out several million years ago.

    It didn’t die out. It became pseudoextinct, as the little-used term is; it ceased to exist without dying.

    retrotemporal evilwaves

    ROTFL!!!