Monday, July 14, 2014

Creationists Don't Understand Evolution

Creationists don't understand evolution. There may be a few rare exceptions to the rule, but this is largely true.

Here is an example, from the Princeton Alumni Weekly. The writer, one Mr. S., is hopelessly confused about what evolution is:

Evolution is the transition from one species to another...

No, that's not what evolution is. Evolution is the change in allele frequencies in a population over time.

To support his mistaken belief, he quotes from a PBS website:

"The evolutionary process of speciation is how one population of a species changes over time to the point where that population is distinct and can no longer interbreed with the ‘parent’ population."

But that is evidently a definition of "speciation", not "evolution". How confused do you have to be to not understand that?

Mr. S. goes on to

  • use the hoary old "finches remained finches" argument
  • claim that microevolution is not evolution (which is about as silly as claiming that a microcomputer is not a computer, or micromotion is not motion)
  • claim that "the change of one species to another — is assumed and has not been observed" (which can be easily refuted by consulting any textbook on evolution, or here or here).
An Ivy League education is wasted on some.


MNb said...

I wonder if those goofs are even capable of googling. "Observed speciation" tells you within a minute that the first case is slightly more than 100 years old.

cody said...

Years ago this fact (that creationists don't understand evolution) gave me an idea for a website where we could solicit accomplished biologists and popular creationists to each author tests of basic knowledge for the other side, and then users could self identify and we could see who really understands the other side better.

It also occurred to me that this could be useful in many other areas besides creationism, pretty much any topic in which experts are routinely dismissed by laypersons out of ignorance. The idea being that showing people that the experts understand the fools, while the fools do not understand the experts, might help the large uninformed middle ground understand better who they're dealing with. Economics issues, like inflation and Keynesian economics is another area I'd expect great asymmetry in comprehending the opposing side.