The Department of Redundancy Department

Has it really been that long since I last posted?

This post wont be winning me back many readers either. It's just an excuse to use the above title which appeals to my snobby, intellectual sense of humour. I hope it appeals to yours.

Today's post is about Creationism and Intelligent Design. In fact I'm not going to be doing much talking, I'm just going to publish some pictures and links to articles. See if you can deduce which side of the fence I sit on; do I accept the Theory of Evolution as proposed by Charles Darwin, one of the greatest scientists ever to live, or do I follow the pseudo scientific ramblings of the cranks and crackpots who preach Creationism, Intelligent Design and Irreducible Complexity?
You be the judge!

There is a young man I see a few times a week in the line of my work. A friendly, pleasant, seemingly intelligent young man who unfortunately is a believer in Intelligent Design. A large part of his ammunition in the eternal fight against the evil Evolutionists is the statement "Evolution is just a theory".
What he can't seem to grasp is that Evolution, while being a theory, is actually a fact! His cognitive failing here is an incorrect and unfortunately widespread misunderstanding of the definition of the word "Theory".
In general usage the word theory means a guess or a conjecture, but when used in a scientific context, theory takes on a completely different meaning.
A simplified definition of the scientific use of the word theory would be that it refers to the current explanation for some kind of natural phenomenon. This doesn't mean it is a guess as to how people think it works, but a rigorously and scientifically tested, peer reviewed and verified explanation.
My young friend chooses not to accept my explanation as truth, instead the subject will be unsubtly shifted towards a discussion of the irrefutable "evidence" of Noah's Flood as shown by the strata present in the Grand Canyon. Now I've never visited the Grand Canyon, but I assumed it's present structure was the result of millions of years worth of layers of sedimentation being uplifted in the geological event that also created The Rockies, then being eroded by the Colorado River. Apparently not.
It's usually at this point that I politely make motions to leave. For even though I clearly believe that mankind's salvation lies within the embrace of science, I don't have to vehemently pronounce my beliefs to all and sundry, (Except in the public forum of the blogosphere.)
It seems to be the way with the religious types though. The pursuit of pseudo scientific Creationist beliefs and the associated attempts to discredit peer reviewed real science is not something to be approached half heartedly. You have to be prepared to be lambasted and thought of as a fool, you will have to retreat to the sanctity of your place of worship and only associate with your like minded fellow brethren. This must be why the God Botherers are thought of as fanatics.

All images used in this post are stolen off the web. Sorry to the owners if you don't want me to use them.


Ciaran Lynch said...

Nice work Spencer. I just read a story about a gladiator who is decapitated in the arena. He gets dizzy after the sword strikes and his head spins through the air. One second he's looking at the sand, the next its the sky. Then thump, he lands on the ground, blinks a couple of times and then dies. I always thought you died the second the spinal chord is severed, but this guy thinks differently. I wonder what Darwin would have to say about it? You know darwin came to Albany, don't you. Anchored the Beagle in PRH and went for a walk. Thought the place was shite and left... :-)

Spencer Collins said...

Hi Ciaran, the jury is out! Some think the brain survives until all the oxygen is processed.
I heard the same about Darwin, apparently he had tea (cup of and cake) at the Strawberry Farm before he got out of town.

MF said...

Just confirms for me that we really do have to find out for ourselves. Because really.......really......who can say categorically what is fact, what is reality, what is truth. Many things that were completely accepted as fact have been proven to be false and vice versa. I think, given the times in which we find ourselves, it is encumbent on all of us to make the journey of discovery for ourselves. And all the best 'masters' agree on that.

Millennial Dan said...

That comic at the bottom is just stupid. If you really want a "militant atheist", try Mao or Stalin.