Thursday, November 10, 2005

Competitor for the most ignorant attack on evolution ever (other than Kent Hovind's)

Speaking of evolution...

I just came across what has to be one of the top three most ignorant attacks on evolution ever at (OK, it doesn't sink to the level of Hovind's "did you come from a monkey" or "did you come from a rock" harangues, but it's close.) It starts out with the usual blather about how "those who push evolution only and don't want anything taught that might expose flaws in that theory" and "those opposing the inclusion of intelligent design in US science texts must feel insecure about their beliefs."

Nothing new there; if that's all that the article contained, I would have just ignored it.

But then I came across a "criticism" of evolution by someone named Kevin Surbaugh, of Topeka, KS, so mind-numbingly ignorant, that I couldn't resist pointing it out:
A major flaw I see: Evolution teaches that life started with simple forms that developed into complex ones. Obviously, that is impossible. If life began that way, then the chicken egg would not need to go through a chicken in order to hatch. Human babies would not need two complex humans to come together and plant, fertilize and carry the egg. Nor would we need science to do these things artificially in a laboratory.
A longer version of this post can be found at Surbaugh's own blog here.

I wonder if that inimitable evolution advocate PZ Myers, who loves slapping down creationist nonsense hard has ever encountered a comment that shows so much ignorance of what evolution actually says in such a short paragraph. The first statement, that it is "impossible" for complex forms to have developed from simpler forms is simply ridiculous, as the evidence that simplicity has given rise to complexity is all around us. Also, "simple" is relative, given that even "simple" organisms are amazingly complex. The second part of his argument is a huge non sequitur. How Kevin Surbaugh takes the evolutionary principle of common descent and from it concludes that evolution implies that a chicken egg "would not need to go through a chicken in order to hatch" or that it would not require two gametes to combine to make an embryo is beyond me. It's so unrelated to any real scientific deficiencies in evolutionary theory as to be laughable.

Perhaps Surbaugh is simply applying "intelligent design" to the problem of chicken and human reproduction. Just because he can't imagine how systems of reproductions such as chicken eggs or the fertilization of human eggs could have come about by evolution, he concludes evolution couldn't have been responsible. And, of course, as with all ID, if evolution couldn't have been responsible, then that means a certain "designer" (who, of course, they swear, is not necessarily God) must have done it. In the comments, he also betrays a profound ignorance of what constitutes a scientific hypothesis or theory:
Evolution is also a hypothesis, which as I pointed out has many holes. A hypothesis is what most of science is. In the case of evolution there is no hard fact, just hypothesis that is taught as fact.

Fact is even in the ID realm, there are those that believe evolution was used by an inteligent designer. To say ID is only a hypothesis and not science, but evolution is, hogwash.

They are both theories and both are hypothesis. Both have scientists that back them up, but the main stream media does not present the full accurate story, so the public does not a balanced view of this.
Apparently the only "holes" in evolution that he can find are his misconceptions of what evoluton says! Also evolution is much more than a hypothesis, while ID doesn't even rise to the level of a scientific hypothesis.

I have to stop now. Exposure to such concentrated logical fallacies and ignorance of science gives me a headache. This is the sort of stuff that Pat Hayes and Josh Rosenau have to deal with. I don't know how they put up with it.

8 example(s) of insolence returned:

At 11/10/2005 9:20 AM, Blogger The Probe said...

You may want to visit Kevin Surbaugh's webpage:

or read about him:

and his resume, incase you are hiring...

Not the brightest bulb on the Menorah.


At 11/10/2005 10:09 AM, Blogger coturnix said...

Ah, but he has solved the chicken-or-egg problem, didn't he! LOLOLOLOL!


At 11/10/2005 10:30 AM, Anonymous AndyD said...

Simple problem to solve: Make a chicken omlette.


At 11/10/2005 3:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes I wonder whether it's worth arguing against people like that. Pat Robertson, Phyllis Schlathley and the like are the dangerous ones. Kent Hovind is a pseudointellectual appologist for them.

But this moron? He just sounds off, displays his ignorance, and attracts derision.

Arguing with him is like arguing with a footsoldier when it's the general who's the problem.

----- Kapitano -----


At 11/10/2005 3:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Orac, please don't quote stuff like this on your blog again. I'm gonna have to go read some of PZ's posts on biology now to get this out of my brain. Ewww...


At 11/10/2005 6:22 PM, Blogger The Probe said...

Speaking of pat Robertson:

"If there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God." The founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network explained, "You just voted God out of your city."


At 11/13/2005 12:46 AM, Anonymous long time reader said...

Orac - You write about attacks on the fact of evolution in a number of your posts. You also spend a great deal of your time fighting against anti-Semitism through your crusade against revisionist history. How is it that you still link to PZ Myers (an anti-IDer) after his site supports (uses as promotion) Juan Cole. As you well know, Juan Cole is an anti-Semite, as displayed through his writings. How do you, or anyone for that matter, decide when a site - e.g. Pharyngula - crosses the line? Is support of Juan Cole enough to lose the site as a reference? Is the integrity of a website/blog determined by the friends it keep? What criteria do you use to determine if you will link to a website as a postive reference? Is anti-ID enough? I read your site often but I question the links to PZ's site - especially after the recent Juan Cole promotion.


At 1/06/2006 7:53 AM, Blogger Orac said...

Please post evidence that Juan Cole is an anti-Semite.


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