Sunday, April 20, 2008

Don't Passover the Facts

On the day when a certain group of humanity begin to celebrate the myth that, for some reason, the god that created our species chose to favour them over his other creations, I thought it would be appropriate if I introduced a little reality. I therefore heartily recommend to all readers this article in the current edition of New Scientist. Evolution: 24 myths and misconceptions should be essential reading for all. As the article states, since Darwin the case for evolution has become overwhelming - it is as firmly established a scientific fact as the roundness of the Earth, and yet most people around the world are not taught the truth about evolution, if they are taught about it at all:

"For those who have never had the opportunity to find out about biology or science, claims made by those who believe in supernatural alternatives to evolutionary theory can appear convincing. Meanwhile, even among those who accept evolution, misconceptions abound."

The article therefore sets out to put this right by debunking 24 'shared misconceptions' and 'creationist myths', such as that ""Survival of the fittest" justifies "everyone for themselves"", "Accepting evolution undermines morality", "Evolutionary theory leads to racism and genocide" and that old chestnut: "Half a wing is no use to anyone". My favourite quote, however, comes from the section "Creationism provides a coherent alternative to evolution":

"There is no evidence of any kind of outside intervention, and no need to invoke it to explain what is known. Yes, there are many debates among biologists, geologists and cosmologists over the finer details, but these will be resolved sooner or later by new discoveries or experiments. Reality is the ultimate arbiter."

Remember, evolution is a fact, as well a theory. If you want to believe in your religion, you are of course free to do so, but you will have to find a way to make it compatible with evolution.


  1. John.... are you a lone voice in the wilderness?

    There was a great pastiche on bremner Bird and Fortune tonight about Bush's meeting with the Pope. In fact the whole programme inspired me to do a bit of writing.

    I with you, mate - just not quite so far up the evolutionary ladder.... but my tail is quite useful

  2. I want a Darwin Fish......!!

  3. "There is no evidence of any kind of outside intervention ...": surely the problem is that there is substantial and ancient documentary evidence, the value of which is accepted uncritically and literally by so many people?

  4. Charon: Hardly alone, but one does sometimes despair at how many are affected by the virus. I'm glad I don't have a tail - I'd wag it whenever I'm irritated, just like Muhammad - these days that would be almost all the time!

    Law Minx: Get one here!

    Peter: Yes, I suppose that's one way of looking at it!

  5. Oh Thanks for that JB - have just bought one!!

  6. Excellent - one more for the forces of reason!

  7. Hilarious - you are on your soap box again! Religious faith can never be defeated because it is based on indoctrination not fact. I thought the Christian religion had come up with a link with evolution - the 7 days of creation were God days not earth days and equalled thousands of earth years. And remember God created Darwin to confuse you doubters!

  8. Hi Lynne,

    You are quite right that it is based upon indoctrination rather than fact, and is therefore unlikely to be ever completely defeated, but if enough of us stand up for reason then its power over humanity can be greatly reduced. I agree that the logical contortions that theists go through to reconcile their doctrines with evolution and other scientific discoveries are hilarious - they know that if they cannot do this then the whole rotten edifice will fall like a pack of cards.


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