Don’t Be Kind

Thanks to Atheist Hussy for turning me on to the YouTube videos of cdk007.

You’ll recall that recently I’ve spent some time abusing creationists. For all such abuse, just click on the Creationism category in the links in the sidebar. If you’re new to the blog, maybe you should start with some of my favorite articles:

I view theocracy and creationism as the two biggest fundie threats to our country. Although both are dangerous and must be defeated, theocracy is inherently tragic. Creationism, though, is inherently funny, so I enjoy making fun of it more.

The video I want to call your attention to today does an excellent job of explaining the weird, fuzzy concept of “kind”. I tried to explain it in my own article Fundie Taxonomy, but cdk007’s video does a much better job. Please watch it. In order to defeat these people, we need to understand their language.

(If you can’t see the video, go to its YouTube page here.)

25 Responses to “Don’t Be Kind”

  1. nekostar Says:

    wow… i dont mind someone being a creationist – provides entertainment hacking away at their faith and such, but what i do have a problem with is ignorance. and even more someone who chooses to be ignorant purposely because they are afraid the truth might ‘contaminate’ them. anyway great article here… :>

  2. Bob White Says:

    A real laff riot.

    Of course the only thing funnier than that is the concept of ‘origin of species’.

    Let’s take a look at any given ‘species’ of mammal, for instance.

    A ‘species’, as loosely defined in this case, would be a group of mammals that can interbreed.

    That being said, if a ‘new species’ were to ‘originate’ (the very first member is produced), the family line would be very short, because there is not another of the ‘new species’ with which to interbreed, is there?

    (Hint: if he can still interbreed with the old species, then he is not a ‘new species’ after all)

    So exactly how do ‘species’ originate? Well, not by gradual evolution that’s for sure.

  3. Ron Britton Says:

    Bob:

    So exactly how do ’species’ originate? Well, not by gradual evolution that’s for sure.

    Maybe if you weren’t so sure about things you know nothing about, you could actually open up you mind long enough to learn something.

    Gradual evolution is exactly how species originate.

    Individuals do not evolve! Populations evolve. Your mythical “new species” critter doesn’t exist.

    One species branches off from another because the populations separate, usually geographically. The one population responds to environmental pressure through natural selection. Eventually, that population has changed enough that they can no longer interbreed with the other population.

  4. Joe White Says:

    Hi Ron,

    Thanks for the reply. I’m quite familiar with the argument regarding geographical separation.

    (Some of the scenarios of separation which are proposed are quite humorous. ‘well you see, somehow these two groups of critters became separated by a mountain range and were unable to contact each other any longer’

    What, did a mountain range suddenly pop up without warning?

    Or ‘two groups got separated on either side of a flooding river and were unable to contact each other anymore’.

    Did the river remain at flood stage for the lllllllllooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnngggggggggggggg ages that are supposedly required to produce a ‘new species’? That’s quite a flood, now isn’t it?

    And these scenarios had to happen not just a few times. But to produce the millions of different species, these catastrophic geographic separations must have happened routinely.

    In addition, for every known ‘species’ living today there may be, we are told, at least 10 ‘species’ that are extinct. So multiply those millions of catastrophic separation events by 10. But I digress.)

    When these two mythical populations separate, they are of the same ‘species’, no?

    So if every member of each population is able to interbreed within his local population, he is not a ‘new species’.

    Every member is always going to be of the same species that the original group was.

    What we find is that critters of ‘different species’ are able to interbreed much more than has previously been recognized.

    Even species as different as the polar and the grizzly bear can, and do interbreed.

    Look at the man’s best friend, the dog.

    There’s little doubt that if no dogs existed today and all we had to go on were fossils and remains, that evolutionists would assign them to a large number of separate ‘dog species’ due to the wide variance in size, head shape, and any number of factors.

    But we know them to be all of one species. They can interbreed.

    But with extinct ‘species’ such as dinosaurs, we’ve assumed them to be unable to interbreed and have dreamt up a large number of labels for the various ‘species’ due to the wide variance in size, head shape and a number of other factors.

    Do you see the danger of drawing inferences from circumstantial evidence?

    I hope you don’t get offended that I’m a doubter when it comes to evolution. It seems to me that it’s mostly assumption, and inferential handling of data.

    Unfortunately, in my experience talking with true believers in evolution, they often display the same dogmatism that they decry in their opponents.

    take good care, Ron

  5. Ron Britton Says:

    Joe Bob:

    What, did a mountain range suddenly pop up without warning?

    No. The population expanded to the point where members at one side never came into contact with members on the other side, but members in the middle could interact with members at both edges. Look up subspecies.

    And these scenarios had to happen not just a few times. But to produce the millions of different species, these catastrophic geographic separations must have happened routinely.

    If you weren’t so busy trying to protect your beliefs and actually looked at the science, you’d know that catastrophe is hardly ever involved. What catastrophe caused Darwin’s finches to speciate?

    So multiply those millions of catastrophic separation events by 10. But I digress.

    No, you’re throwing in red herrings.

    So if every member of each population is able to interbreed within his local population, he is not a ‘new species’.

    Every member is always going to be of the same species that the original group was.

    No. Every member is always a member of his local population’s genotype. That genotype may very well have deviated from the original group’s genotype.

    Go back and read my last comment. Individuals don’t evolve. Populations evolve.

    What we find is that critters of ‘different species’ are able to interbreed much more than has previously been recognized.

    And this is news how? Life is one broad continuum. It is only humans who try to categorize things. Nature doesn’t care how we try to box things up. I addressed this in another article.

    There’s little doubt that if no dogs existed today and all we had to go on were fossils and remains, that evolutionists would assign them to a large number of separate ‘dog species’ due to the wide variance in size, head shape, and any number of factors.

    Dogs were created by artificial selection. If those morphological differences had occurred naturally, it would have taken so much time that other changes would have also occurred, so they would very likely be different species.

    But with extinct ’species’ such as dinosaurs, we’ve assumed them to be unable to interbreed and have dreamt up a large number of labels for the various ’species’ due to the wide variance in size, head shape and a number of other factors.

    This is an ongoing problem in taxonomy. One thing they do is compare to extant species for guidance. Chimps and bonobos look a lot more alike than poodles and chihuahuas, but they’re different species. By your logic, pterodactyls and tyrannosaurs might have interbred. There are so many divergent forms in the fossil record that even if we lump debatably different species together, we still have a lot of species.

    I hope you don’t get offended that I’m a doubter when it comes to evolution. It seems to me that it’s mostly assumption, and inferential handling of data.

    Like I said. You need to go and actually read about this stuff with an open mind. There is some speculation, sure. That is how science advances. That’s why scientists do research and publish papers. They’re filling in the gaps in our knowledge with additional data. Many of those questions do get answered; they’re just replaced by new questions. At this point, we have mountains of data supporting evolution. It isn’t “mostly assumption and inference”.

    Unfortunately, in my experience talking with true believers in evolution, they often display the same dogmatism that they decry in their opponents.

    Are you dogmatic about the round Earth? About gravity? Evolution is just as certain. All you have to do is look at the evidence. But apparently that’s too uncomfortable for you.

  6. Bill White Says:

    Hi Ron,

    Thanks for your reply.

    Interesting that your attempted definition of separation swerves significantly away from the mostly commonly accepted use of the term among evolutionists.

    Separation involves a reproductive barrier which doesn’t exist in your articulation of the concept.

    Also your assumption that those who disagree with you ‘haven’t read about this stuff’ is precisely the type of dogmatism I referred to. Thanks for confirming that.

    Gravity and the round Earth are, as you know, observable. Evolution, not so much. You haven’t observed it, and neither has anyone else. If you want to discuss bacteria in the lab at this point, refer back to your comment about artificial selection before you do please.

    btw I have no problem with scientists speculating. I’m just for truth-in-labeling, that’s all.

    Evolution is mostly speculation, it’s not fact. It’s inference based on circumstantial evidence. That’s a weak framework for asserting ‘certainty’.

    But I understand your professional need to be dogmatic. What would your colleagues say if you dared question orthodoxy? my my

    (And don’t even begin to wonder about the evolution of early life! The improbability of early life assembling itself in any form is bound to blow a hole in the bottom of your boat. You know what happens to DNA in the open environment, don’t you?)

    have a good day, Ron

  7. Jeff Eyges Says:

    Ron,

    Perhaps “Joe/Bob/Bill” White is Kevin Wirth?

  8. Brian Says:

    If there’s one type of fundie that really chaps my ass, its the smug, condescending ignoramus. If you’ve read the comments on this thread to this point, then you know what I mean.

    Here we are, well into the 21st century, and a significant portion of our population is incapable or unwilling to grasp one of the most basic and fundamental concepts in all of science. Its not that any of the evidence in favor of evolution is faulty, or that the idea itself is difficult to comprehend. Darwin’s brilliant insight into how life diversifies has the singular misfortune of showing us that we don’t need a god to explain our presence here. Religion abhors any competing idea, especially one that makes sense. Evolution terrifies fundies more that it offends their scientific sensibilities or fails to meet their strict standards of evidence (of which there are none, by the way).

    So this is why a grown adult can go through life proudly denying the basis for all biology while simultaneously believing that an invisible, undetectable super being poofs everything into existence with merely its thoughts. Sorry, fundies. You make me laugh too hard to ever take you seriously.

  9. Ron Britton Says:

    Jeff:

    Perhaps “Joe/Bob/Bill” White is Kevin Wirth?

    I doubt it. He didn’t quote anybody.

    Also, he hasn’t complained how I “censored” that one comment of his that violated my comment policy.

    ———
    Brian:

    If there’s one type of fundie that really chaps my ass, its the smug, condescending ignoramus.

    I agree completely. I’m only continuing the conversation, because he isn’t as rude as a lot of them are, and he has a few very specific points that I want to clear up for the benefit of anyone else that he has managed to confuse.

    That’s the biggest problem with people like this. If they want to wallow in their own mental filth, they’re welcome to do so, but they contaminate the neighborhood and get their ignorance onto other people who weren’t expecting it.

    Religion abhors any competing idea, especially one that makes sense.

    That’s why so many of them attack evolution so vigorously. Their religion can compete against other religions, because they all have exactly the same amount of evidence (none) to back them up. They can’t stand evolution, because if anybody bothers to learn about it, they realize how bogus religion is.

  10. Ron Britton Says:

    Perry White:

    You’re going to have to stop getting your misinformation from Kent Hovind. His “degrees” are from unaccredited schools, and the schools he taught at were also unaccredited.

    Interesting that your attempted definition of separation swerves significantly away from the mostly commonly accepted use of the term among evolutionists.

    Again, you have failed to grasp one of the basic principles of biology. No evolutionary scientist is going around telling people that speciation is due exclusively to “catastrophic events”. (The only recent catastrophic event that will produce a new species is the dumbing down of science education. It has already produced Homo sapiens fucktardus.)

    Wikipedia has a nice summary of speciation. Read it. Here’s a diagram from that article. It shows the four (Count ‘em! Four! ) major causes of separation that induce speciation:

    Four modes of separation that lead to speciation

    Also your assumption that those who disagree with you ‘haven’t read about this stuff’ is precisely the type of dogmatism I referred to. Thanks for confirming that.

    It’s not dogmatism. As I just demonstrated, you haven’t read the material, or you would know about the other three forms of separation!

    Gravity and the round Earth are, as you know, observable. Evolution, not so much. You haven’t observed it, and neither has anyone else.

    This statement could not be more incorrect. We have seen speciation occur many times. See this article and this article and this article just to start.

    Evolution is mostly speculation, it’s not fact. It’s inference based on circumstantial evidence. That’s a weak framework for asserting ‘certainty’.

    As the gargantuan amounts of data that you refuse to look at show, evolution is probably the least speculative part of biology.

    And don’t even begin to wonder about the evolution of early life! The improbability of early life assembling itself in any form is bound to blow a hole in the bottom of your boat.

    I think you’re trying to refer to abiogenesis, which is the last refuge of scoundrels who discover they’ve lost an evolution debate with someone. Yes, that part is more speculative, but it is by no means groundless. Just stop trying to paint the origin of species with the shakiness of our understanding of the origin of life.

  11. Jeff Eyges Says:

    Homo sapiens fucktardus

    LOL!

  12. OtherRob Says:

    They can’t stand evolution, because if anybody bothers to learn about it, they realize how bogus religion is.

    I’m afraid I’m going to have to disagree with you here, Ron. There is nothing in evolution that disproves religion. Now if you’re talking about the inerrancy of the Bible or of the literal truth in a religion’s creation story, then I’ll agree with you. Heck, most fields of science prove that the Bible is not the literal truth.

    But there is nothing about evolution that is incompatible with religion in general or the idea of a “supreme being”.

  13. Ron Britton Says:

    OtherRob:

    I actually agree with your statement entirely. I was just getting a little sloppy in my wording, because I get so tired of this creationist tripe.

  14. Brian Says:

    At the risk of being a contrarian, Ron, I think you had it right the first time. While there is, technically speaking, nothing about evolution that speaks to the notion of a divine being, I think one of the great unspoken truths in this issue is that the study of evolution has an immense potential to undermine one’s faith and open the door to full-blown atheism.

    I credit my early interest in evolution with my eventual realization that I didn’t believe in a god. Science itself is rife with non-believers, especially in the biological branches. I don’t remember the exact statistic, but I recall reading that something like 95% of the members of the National Academy of Science have no religious beliefs. The Royal Society of England produced similar results. This is nearly perfectly inverted from our country’s population as a whole. If something other than an extensive career as a scientist is responsible for this, I’m at a loss to identify it.

    So I must disagree. I think evolution IS incompatible with nearly all religious doctrines, unless you happen to lean toward a deist position. As a practical matter, if you are steeped in the science of evolution, the scientific method and critical thinking, your mind has almost certainly become immune to the nutty beliefs other human have invented.

    To put it another way, if Genesis is bullshit (and it is), then there is no original sin for which Jesus supposedly died in an act of atonement for all of humanity, and no danger of eternal damnation. Christianity is suddenly exposed for what it is: the greatest scam in human history. Creationists certainly aren’t the brightest bulbs, but they absolutely know that evolution is their mortal enemy, and will never stop fighting against it in defense of their religion.

  15. Ron Britton Says:

    OtherRob said:

    There is nothing in evolution that disproves religion.

    Actually that’s wrong. Evolution disproves lots of religions. It is more accurate to say:

    There is nothing in evolution that disproves a god.

    Even though I think the probability of a god existing is quite low and I therefore assume there isn’t one, and even though I truly despise many religions and the behavior of many religious people, I have no problem with somebody who is able to reconcile a god and evolution in their mind. If their religious beliefs are compatible with both, I’m completely fine with that, because nothing in that belief contradicts known facts.

    Science does lead many people away from religion, because it is incompatible with their religion. Once people get in the nasty habit of thinking logically, they have a harder time sticking to the religion thing.

  16. Jeff Eyges Says:

    I don’t think evolution conflicts with mysticism, or the concept of “god” as a transcendent absolute. Mystically-inclined people tend to eschew literalism, and will tell you that the mystical experience lies at the heart of all religions, including Western ones (an of course, there’s no conflict between evolution and Buddhism).

    However, for most people – yeah, I think that varying levels of cognitive dissonance are in evidence – when they even bother to think about it at all, which probably isn’t much.

  17. OtherRob Says:

    OtherRob said:

    There is nothing in evolution that disproves religion.

    Actually that’s wrong. Evolution disproves lots of religions. It is more accurate to say:

    There is nothing in evolution that disproves a god.

    Yes, I agree. Perhaps I expressed myself poorly in my last comment. What I meant to say was that evolution — or any scientific theory really — cannot disprove the fundamental idea underpinning religion in general. The idea that there is some sort of supernatural or spiritual or mystic or “other” world beyond the purely naturalistic, physical world we inhabit. Of course evolution is real, the universe is nearly 14 billion years old and there is almost certainly a purely physical explanation for every phenomimon we’ve ever observed. But none of that eliminates the possibility that a god exists or that there is a world we will inhabit after our physical bodies dies.
    These scientific realities do — as I mentioned in my last comment — do eliminate the possibility that, for example, Genesis is the literal truth and much of science goes on to disprove the literal truth of most religious text. I won’t say all since I’m not familiar with all religious texts.

  18. Al White Says:

    Ron,

    You’re going to have to get your story straight. I responded talking about geographic separation because YOU said:

    “One species branches off from another because the populations separate, usually geographically.”

    But, separation or no, the first member of a ‘new species’ has a distinct problem. There is no other member with which to breed.

    So, while the green diagrams are clever, they don’t address the issue.

    If he is a ‘new species’ then the family line is doomed for lack of a second member, but if he can still breed with the ‘old species’ then he isn’t a ‘new species’ after all, dig?

  19. Parrotlover77 Says:

    But, separation or no, the first member of a ‘new species’ has a distinct problem. There is no other member with which to breed.

    FAIL.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allopatric_speciation

    I know, it requires a litle thought and a little reading, but I think you can do it!

  20. Ron Britton Says:

    White guy:

    I’ve already discredited everything you wrote in your prior comments. Your comments today are just repeating what you said earlier. You need to go back and read what I wrote, and then follow up with some serious outside reading. Only when you’ve done that will you be allowed back here.

  21. Another Steve Says:

    Joe/Bob/Bill/Al White,

    I can’t believe I’m arguing with you. There’s no point to it… That said:

    Your notion about no other members of a new species to bread with ignores the way in which genes move through and accumulate in a species.

    When a new gene appears in a (diploid) organism, there’s a 50/50 chance that gene will be propagated into the next generation for each offspring of the original carrier of that gene. That new gene can have one of 3 impacts on its recipients: disadvantage in current environment, neutral, advantage in current environment.

    A single gene is relatively unlikely to instantly cause an offspring to be a new species and by your (wilfully idiotic) thinking unable to bread with its progenitors. A new species is the result of the accumulation of many genes. It happens over extensive periods of time.

  22. Another Steve Says:

    Ron,

    Sorry, I didn’t see your last post to Joe/Bob/Bill/Al White.

  23. freddies_dead Says:

    The usual Fundie misconception – individuals don’t evolve, populations do.

  24. Ron Britton Says:

    The usual Fundie misconception – individuals don’t evolve, populations do.

    I told him that back in comment #3. That’s why he’s gone. If he can’t get his facts straight after all this time, he’s hopeless. If he had actually absorbed any of the information we were giving him, I would have let him stick around.

  25. Parrotlover77 Says:

    But one day I decided I didn’t want a tail and then poof! No tail!!!! Wouldn’t it be great to fly? Then poof wings!!!!

    The fail… IT BURNS.