Friday, March 13, 2009

Half-Baked Evolutionary Ideas

I rarely come across a site where the stupidity rises to such a level that I feel I must respond. One such site is This site pretends to be even handed, but puts up strawmen to knock down and makes Christians who actually believe the Bible look stupid. Unsurprisingly this organization cites TalkOrigins in several of their articles about science. The web page is put out by a group called Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. Its members are a Atheist, Agnostic, Christian, Wiccan and Zen Buddhist. One finds elsewhere that the "Christian" is actually a Unitarian. As Unitarians deny the divinity of Christ they can hardly be considered Christian.

Having admittedly not read the whole site I thought I would point out some glaring examples. The first thing I saw was an assertion that the Karroo Formation contains 800 Billion fossils. 800 Billion. Now of course this number of fossils has not been excavated. Nor do the number of archeological sites indicate the excitement that would exist if there were indeed that many fossils. But lets go away from numbers that were postulated in 1932 (yes that is when that number comes from) and we find that the director of the Bernard Price Institute for Paleontology in Johannesburg estimates some 40,000 fossils have been excavated. Lets put that number into perspective shall we? Since 1906, more than one million bones have been recovered from the La Brea tar pits.

The next thing they try to do is to take that absurdly high number and then make the assumption that the WHOLE earth was covered equally, which is observably false and a patently silly argument until we see that it originate from TalkOrigins which perfectly explains the whole situation. The extrapolate this to "prove" that there were "50 land animals per square feet(sic) of land" at the time of Noah. But if they want to extrapolate numbers, lets do that with humans/cro-magnon/Neanderthals. The stone age lasted, we are told, for 100,000 years. During this time these men were burying their dead just like we do today. And thanks to their shorter (estimated) lifespan during this time some 4 billion people lived and were buried. As men have always congregated around water these graves are in the same places that we are today. Yet we do not find these bones, or at least not in the numbers that should exist. Paleontologists and anthropologists should be tripping over these remains and they should be about as exciting as a common rock.

I mentioned in the previous paragraph that the whole earth is not covered equally in fossils. This is because these remains were planted via flood. The currents that existed at the time washed animals to certain areas where they were then dropped, very often headless. Headless? “[F]inding the head of a dinosaur is like finding a needle in a haystack.” (Nat. Geographic On Assignment, Lucy the T-rex, 2000) The head of course, is the least attached body part and its weight could see it torn from the body under conditions such as could occur in a large scale flood.

RT states that if the flood were true "Remains of ground-hugging plants would tend to be in the deepest layers of rocks; larger trees would be in rocks closer to the surface. But there would be the occasional fossils of a fallen tree that would be trapped in a deep layer of sedimentary rock among "ground-huggers"." They offer no evidence to backup this assertion, but I assume that they are talking about how in the fossil record the "older" rock contains smaller plants before it contains trees. But umm isn't that what we already see? Supposedly less evolved plants before more evolved plants? Hmm. How does that help them? Then throw in their next quote which really doesn't help their case at all. Its a bit out of context, but they grabbed it out of context so I will just bring it forward over here. "As we dug deeper and deeper beneath Thebes, everything would be the same; we would find hand axes, clams and dinosaurs mixed together all the way down." If they were mixed together, wouldn't that just negate their whole argument? Giving them the benefit of the doubt, I will assume that they either did not set up the quote or just chose a very poor section to quote from.

"One would expect to see that deeper rocks would contain more primitive forms of live, and shallower fossils would be of more highly evolved species." Erroneous assumption. There is no such thing as a simple life form. Each one is uniquely suited to its environment and mission. The DNA/RNA and the enzymes that enable them to exist are such that even if you completely discount Intelligent Design you cannot discount the amazing amount of information that must be in place for life to exist. One of those enzymes considered "“absolutely essential” for binding RNA and DNA, speeded up a 78-million year reaction into thousandths of a second."

"geologists and paleontologists ... have found that the species of fossils in the rock layers do not resemble the scenario required by the flood of Noah. They match exactly the scenario required by the theory of evolution." Personally I have appreciated how the aforementioned experts have fully explained polystrate fossils. A Polystrate Fossil is one that goes through multiple layers of rock. If you have ever driven through the mountains or a canyon then you have seen how rock is set down in layers, sometimes strikingly distinct layers. Each of these layers is supposed to represent tens of thousands or even millions of years. But there are literally tens of thousands of polystrate fossils found the world over. They are usually both rootless and branchless and either laid down, standing straight (as in Spirit Lake) or even upside down. Some of these have actually been found to contain as many as 17 animals inside of them, always found at the bottom of the trunk of an upright polystrate tree. Actually, thinking upon Spirit Lake, we may well find that those trees will end up polystrate as well. With no normal vegetation in or around that lake the sedimentation rate must have increased tremendously.

Anyways, I intended to go over multiple pages but only managed one. I may do another later, but its enough for now and its LATE.