Of course I'm liberal, I believe in liberty.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Defender's Guide to Science and Creationism

In my ongoing studies of Creationism, Intelligent Design and Evolution I found perhaps the most useful site yet, the Defender's Guide to Science and Creationism. This guide goes through virtually every criticism put forth by creationists and counters it in as short and efficient a manor as possible. Before going into the more interesting points, I just want to say it is amazing the people you 'meet' on the internet. This world and this country are full of fascinating, brilliant people you've never heard of. Here I was expecting a biologist, anthropologist or someone like that responsible for such a comprehinsive guide, not this:
Welcome to a new year and a new www.vuletic.com/hume. I wanted to launch this updated version of my site before I headed off to Iraq for my second deployment, and it looks like I have succeeded. I regret that there is not very much new content to this site just yet: I have updated some of my older papers and projects, and deleted a few, but most of the changes to this site are cosmetic at the moment. To the left you will see a list of categories. Most of these are promissary notes for things I hope to write about for you in the future, as however much time I have left in this life permits.
Mark I. Vuletic, editor of this site, is a doctoral candidate in philosophy and a Lance Corporal in the United States Marine Corps.
Emphesis added.

Here are a couple of the shorter entries:

4.4: ASSERTION: Evolutionists cannot explain how feathers evolved.

RESPONSE: (i) The standard view is that feathers evolved from reptilian scales. One can see how this might have happened when one looks at gradations in the present world, where there seem to be intermediates between scales and feathers, often on the same bird. Christopher McGowan explains:
If we examine the wing of a penguin, we see a wide range of covering structures, from small structures that look like scales at the leading edge, to structures that are obviously feathers at the trailing edge. There are all shades in between. (McGowan 1984:119)

McGowan goes on to point out that
feathers and scales are essentially just variations on a theme; both are formed of a horny protein called keratin, and they both develop along similar embryonic pathways. (McGowan 1984:120)

5.5: ASSERTION: There are no transitional forms between humans and their nonhuman ancestors.

RESPONSE: The evolution of humans from nonhuman hominids is actually one of the best attested transitions in the fossil record. Creationists claim that there is a sharp dividing line somewhere among the fossil specimens, with humans on one side and apes on the other. However, as Jim Foley discovered in tabulating creationist arguments on this matter, the transition is so smooth, and most of the fossils so intermediate in nature that not even the creationists can agree with one another about which fossils are supposedly human and which ones are supposedly apes.

Foley charts all of this out at www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/compare.html, part of his definitive Fossil Hominids FAQ at www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/, to which the reader is directed for more detailed information of the evolution of humans.
That comparison of hominid fossils is particularly devastating. Creationists claim every transitional form between ape and man isn't really transitional, but just an ape or human. Yet, the creationists can't even agree which skulls should be classified as human and which should be classified as ape. Of course it is hard, they show characteristics of both, just as predicted by, ah, which theory was that again? That link charts out the confusion in clearly documented detail.

Anyway, if you have any sympathies towards creationism or find yourself unable to counter some creationist's argument, check out the Defender's Guide.