I think about these things a lot. I have come to a few conclusions while debating with creationists. Here they are:
Creationists cannot deny that evolution exists in one form or another. Any casual observer can see the concept in action in daily life. My car evolved to have power windows from the roll-up-by-hand style. Bacteria and viruses evolve to better attack their host, in turn causing medical knowledge and treatments to evolve as well. Island-dwelling lizards in the Adriatic Sea evolved in 36 years from carnivores to herbivores, after being transplanted on another adjacent island, acquiring changes in jaw structure, digestive capability, social structure and population density. Toilet paper holders now hold 3 rolls as opposed to just one, so now we are not always running out of TP. Microsoft Office has yet to evolve to include Canadian word spellings but that is not a testament for intelligent design (I.D.)… quite the contrary, one might argue.
I know that the above listed examples include both design evolution and biological evolution, often a muddying concept for those lacking proper education in the subject, but the word evolution does describe the examples listed above. One cannot deny the concept of biological evolution without denying the evolution of non-biological objects as they are one and the same in concept (The difference being that I.D. can be attributed to intelligence-based evolution and not biology-based evolution). My iPod has evolved based on demand and unnatural selection of key features wanted by consumers (at one point I am sure a designer wanted to put an electric razor in an iPod but decided against it as it’s just a dumb idea and nobody would buy it). I know that creationists don’t deny that products we build evolve. The issue arises when a scientist says we “come from monkeys” or a creationist cannot see how “something appears out of nothing”. These people are experts in believing, not understanding. They have to be a follower and not an innovator to enable them selves to maintain their delusion of an imaginary supernatural big brother figure. As Dawkins so aptly put, if one person thinks he/she is Napoleon then she/he will be committed but if a lot of people think they are Napoleon they must really be Napoleon. They gain legitimacy in numbers, not in facts.
Creationists have a problem with scale, however. They do not want to believe that the current human form came from that of an Orangutan or Chimpanzee (which is not true, it was more an ape-like creature which evolved into an ape species). If we want to get technical, we came from goo, making everything in existence interconnected, but this is the ‘scale’ issue I was describing. Where do you start the discussion, for me its at the beginning of the transition from hybrid to Mammal, because talking about the goo, I know little, about is intellectual suicide for me. Both creatures (human and apes) are different in appearance but have some physiological, structural and behavioral similarities. A creationist refuses to believe this concept, as it tends to undermine the literal translation of Genesis. Evolution does obliterate the legitimacy of Genesis and places it into the realm of fable and myth without intentionally attacking the scriptures, incase you were wondering. Humans evolved much like this essay has evolved, through editing and more editing. But I am so annoyed with “like” examples and metaphor, so I will attempt, in a future article, to explain the amazing cellular event of evolution without metaphor.
They (creationists) can and must admit that animals can adapt to their environment. Horses, for example grow winter coats when the cold is coming and shed the coats when the warm is coming (based on solar cycles?). Some animals hibernate in the winter, some do not. Some creatures have symbiotic relationships, others have competitive relationships. It’s adaptation to the environment that keeps these animals from going extinct. As the environment is static, the changes to creatures’ physical forms had to manifest through experience. A great and wise bear once learned that it is a pain in the ass to trudge through snow up to his forehead in the winter and it’s so much easier to just sleep though winter inside the deep snow by making a den. I have yet to figure out how this can work in my life (I have figured out how to make a den with the couch cushions and blankets) because I would like to just sleep through many working days in hopes that the paperwork, that is up to my forehead, will go away when the weather gets warmer. Sadly, I have not worked this problem out. If you have, please share this information so I (and the rest of my readers) can evolve too.
The “scale” of having humans change so dramatically from a primitive primate, while these animals (evolved as they are from our common ancestor) are still present is a concept I.D. Gurus cannot accept for this topic suggests that humans are animals and not images of God. What if god is neither a he nor she? What if “it” is, for lack of a better word, an It? God is neither male nor female, human nor animal, but rather an organization. Maybe the image a ‘Man’ (hiss from the feminists, but lets be serious sisters, the bible does not give two holy shits about you) was created in was a concept drawing on some designer’s desk.
What if God was an acronym? G.O.D. – Global Order Designers or some such derivative of those three letters? Perhaps, it’s the name of a Company that creates worlds (à la Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy). Then I would invoke the concept I.D., if only for lack of a better word. You would have to be fuckin’ smart (the profanity was inserted to accent the importance and passion of the following word) to design a world, even if it’s a team effort. The following is an excerpt of a conversation between two Employees at the G.O.D. institute:
“What did you do last night, Carl?”
“Well Ian, I watched House, had a few pints, then the boss called and I needed to go back to work to finish my work on dimensional transmogrification. What did you do, Carl?”
“I got laid, Ian”
Our task is to make these people (creationists) understand where we (skeptics) are coming from, to convince them that perhaps if they look at something like evolution on a smaller scale, they may be able to understand the concept. But what should we look at? (Pondering) I don’t know right now, but there is bound to be something, some minor changes in human features from one person to the next. Some organ which has been added, shrunk and/or developed to accentuate the ongoing (all be it unobtainable) biological need of perfection and symbiosis in one’s environment. Maybe the information needed is in the toes. Some of us have toes that are curling under and nearly useless and others have longer straighter finger like toes (I am the latter). We wear shoes all the time now, not really needing our toes to pick up fruit or other such objects. We shove them into pointy heels to make our legs look longer and have been doing this for centuries now. As humans change it becomes apparent that humans no longer require toes to maintain balance or to walk. That concept maybe our missing link to our primitive ancestors. Maybe, I am more primitive than I realized.
Heart disease is killing millions of people a year, maybe our hearts will become stronger in the future (due to weak hearted people being killed before they can breed) to be able to pump around the KFC double stacks which are clogged in our arteries (Tossed that one in there for the nutritionists out there). Diets of young people seemed to be full of fat and processed goodness. Who knows if a lot of children will die of heart disease in the future? Maybe you know?
This entire argument still does not prove to a Creationist that something came from nothing as they put it. Is there a study going on where a lab is trying to recreate the primordial ooze? Something other than the retarded Peanut Butter Experiment. Maybe we can find something like this on another planet.
Please, someone pass me my aluminum foil hat. Must think more, thinking is good, more thinking, yes, yes, more thinking…..(trying hard to sound like Igor there)
Of note: I found new life in my peanut butter the other day. I am currently teaching this new creature how to speak, roll over, and play ‘alive’.
*Edit* Due to my lack of vision, I substituted primate, orangutan and chimpanzee for a broader, all be it, incorrect usage of the term Ape. I have since edited this and I hope it reflects more of what I was trying to get across now. Basically, I was thinking like a creationist and not like an evolutionary educated individual. One tends to make these mistakes when trying to emulate the mentality of an opponent in hopes of finding a common understanding among the layman. Oversimplification can be detrimental at times for sure.
I have also added some clarification to several sentences.