Bad arguments are bad arguments the world over

Uh-oh. A television station in the Philippines recently aired a program on human evolution. I don't speak a word of Filipino*, so I can't judge directly, but skimming through it it seemed to show evidence and discuss reasonable dates and was definitely enthusiastically sciencey, so it seemed like a good thing to me. But the Philippines, like the United States, is one of those countries with a fanatically Christian component to their population, and you can guess how some people reacted.

One commenter noted, Kung tayo ay galing sa unggoy bkit may unggoy pa hanggang ngayon? kht anong gawin ng science hnd parin nito kayang sukatin at abutin ang kapangyarihan ng ating Diyos (If we descended from monkeys, how come there are monkeys up to this day? No matter what Science does, it cannot measure the power of our God).

I had to laugh. This is one of the worst arguments ever against evolution -- just yesterday, I challenged my introductory biology class with a list of common rebuttals to evolution, and this was one of the easier ones for them to knock down -- and here it is, getting recycled in the Philippines.

This next one is just a variant:

Yet another commenter also stated, Unggoy pala sina Adam and Eve? Kalukuhan to di naman sa Africa ginawa ng dios ang unang tao... Ang scientists kailan lang pinanganak yan kaya mas maniwala tayo sa Bible kasi mas nauna 'to (So Adam and Eve are monkeys? This is idiocy, as the first human were not created in Africa. Scientists were only born recently so we must believe in the Bible because it came first).

I wonder how this person would react to the news that there was no Adam and Eve, no individuals that founded the whole human species? There were populations, not named people. They also weren't monkeys.

As I get older, though, I admit to appreciating more and more the argument that those born first are more correct than the young whippersnappers.

*By the way, Freethoughtblogs would love to represent freethinkers from the Philippines. Apply!

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“I wonder how this person would react to the news that there was no Adam and Eve, no individuals that founded the whole human species? There were populations, not named people.”

And let me guess – that population of humans was never less than about 10,000?

So, on day x, zero human beings. On day x+1, 10,000 human beings.

Super-rapid extensive evolution!

By See Noevo (not verified) on 25 Feb 2016 #permalink

I guess the race is on to out-stupid the Filipinos.

On day x, no human beings.

On day x+100,000, we're in the middle of a branching event, and gene flow between two populations is greatly diminished

On day x+5 million or so, the branching event is essentially complete (there is still some gene flow with Neandertals and perhaps Denisovans), and modern humans have become a truly separate species.

It would, of course, be nice to know what the other population was during the split, and when that population went extinct, and exactly what factors discouraged the gene flow. But even today, we see populations of several species where a split is happening and gene flow is down to only 20% or less, and we STILL can't figure out why. Maybe some mutation altered a pheromone?

It is scarcely conceivable that See Noevo as a repeat poster here could actually believe he is accurately characterizing the theory of evolution there.

It is far more likely that he is a simple-minded troll.

By Job's Folly (not verified) on 25 Feb 2016 #permalink

#3: sn is a serial liar and troll. He is on record as saying he doesn't believe in evolution because he's never seen one animal give birth to an animal of another species as evolution says it must.

It comes from his aversion to modern science and learning.

To Flint #2:

I think these PhDs might disagree with you.

“… since the inception of the human species, the size of the human population has probably never dropped significantly below 10,000 individuals.”…

“…our population has never numbered below about 10,000 individuals.”…

By See Noevo (not verified) on 26 Feb 2016 #permalink

these PhDs might disagree with you

Yes, a Ph.D. is a magic scroll that means, "Certified 100% True Forever." Unless you don't agree with what the Ph.D. holder says, in which case "He has to say that to get the grant money."

SN, where did 10,000 come from? I do not see it mentioned on this page except for your post.

By Dave Bishop (not verified) on 02 Mar 2016 #permalink