Holy Hallucinations 12

Uploaded by TheLivingDinosaur on 20.10.2010

This is a response to Solosgirl18's video, 'The Peppered Moth.'
I have to say that this is a new experience for me, as you’re the first creationist
I’ve responded to who seems to have an open mind.
So before I begin, I’d ask you to please consider one thing, and that’s this: If
I appear to be making fun of or insulting you in this response, then I hope you’ll
realize that my barbs aren’t aimed at you, but at the factually incorrect points in your
video and the dishonest toads who’ve been taking advantage of your naiveté to feed
you their poisonous lies. So with that said, let’s take a look at
where you’re getting your information from. “So, um, I was looking through my Evidence
Bible… once again, if you haven’t seen my Mormon videos… Evidence Bible –get
it, get this book. It is amazing, especially for you science people. OK? And if you have
a lot of questions, and if you want a lot of logical evidence, this is the book to get.
It is. It’s amazing.” I have to confess that I hadn’t heard of
this particular publication before and so went over to Amazon to take a look. That’s
when I realized that it was produced by none other than Ray Comfort and his… ahem…
special friend, Kirk Cameron, and suddenly everything became clear.
Since these two “gentlemen” happen to be a couple of the most notorious, dishonest,
and disingenuous creationist apologists in existence, it’s little wonder that you’ve
been misinformed. I don’t have time to elaborate here, but I’d strongly recommend that you
spend some time searching both YouTube and Google to get a feel for the magnitude of
their combined stupidity and dishonesty. In the meantime, I’ll use this example of
the Peppered Moth to give you a taste of their mendacity.
“This is what, um, they’re talking about the peppered moth. Um. And for those of you
who don’t know about the peppered moth, basically, um, this is how, like, they proved
evolution or whatever. Because, um, like…” Presumably Ray and Kirk’s rag gave you the
idea that the Peppered Moth is “how they proved evolution.” Now wouldn’t that be
convenient for the creationist? If only the whole of evolutionary theory hung precariously
on a single fraying thread. All that it would take would be one a keen mind, honed and sharpened
in the prestigious halls of Liberty University, to slice that thread and bring the whole godless
edifice tumbling down. This is merely as set-up for the classic Achilles’
Heel Fallacy, where the creationist misrepresents the magnitude and concordance of the evidence
that supports evolutionary theory and then claims that his fallacious and ineffective
attack of one miniscule example will disprove everything.
So, to put you straight, the Peppered Moth is just one example of evolution at work.
It has become so well known because it is so simple, requiring no training in advanced
areas such as paleontology, molecular biology or population genetics, and so is a perfect
illustration for teaching school children. It is by no means the foundation on which
the theory is built. Evolutionary theory is supported by over a
quarter of a million scientific papers, one hundred and fifty years of testing by tens
of thousands of dedicated scientists, and countless millions of pieces of individual
data. It is easily the strongest and soundest theory in modern science, and the only people
who reject that are those who are either unwilling to open their eyes and look at this evidence
for themselves or those who have looked but refuse to accept the inevitability of reality.
For example, evolution is supported by: It’s explanation of the nested hierarchy of life
revealed by morphological analysis; The uncanny convergence of morphological and DNA-sequence
cladograms of extant species; the sequential order of specimens in the fossil record; The
appearance of transitional species in the fossil record at exactly the same times predicted
by DNA sequence analysis; The conserved patterns of endogenous retroviral sequences between
related species; The similarities in embryological development of chordates; The existence of
atavisms and vestigial organs; and countless examples of apparently poor design in tissues
such as the retina and the recurrent laryngeal nerve. And these are just a few excerpts from
a very, very long list. I would strongly urge you to spend some time
at least watching some of the hundreds of videos on YouTube on these and many other
subjects to get an idea of just how vast the evidence in favor of evolution actually is.
You’ll find it eye-opening. Now, let’s get on to what your book has
to say on the subject of the Peppered Moth. “And then it says the peppered moth story
has been trumpeted since the 1950s as proof positive that evolution by natural selection
is true.” Yep, looks like that’s where you got it
from. Once again, the story of the Peppered Moth is just one stitch in the vast, intricate
and beautiful tapestry that’s woven by all of the evidence that supports evolutionary
theory. “However, this clearest case of purported
Darwinian evolution by natural selection is not true. The nocturnal peppered moth does
not rest on the trunks of trees during the day. In fact, despite over 40 years of intense
field research, only two – two - peppered moths have been seen naturally resting on
tree trunks.” It didn’t take me long to track down the
source of this particular piece of disinformation. It comes from a review by evolutionary biologist
Jerry Coyne, in the respected scientific journal Nature, of a book on the evolution of insect
pigments by Michael Majerus and a subsequent inaccurate and sloppy newspaper article in
the Telegraph. Coyne was echoing Sargeant and colleagues
in questioning whether various field experiments conducted by Bernard Kettlewell in the 1970s
regarding the predation of light and dark moths really showed that birds were responsible
or whether other mechanisms were at work, hence the emphasis on the resting sites of
the moths. In any case, Coyne was also mistaken when
he when he stated that only 2 moths had ever been found on trees, because in the very book
he was reviewing Majerus himself states that he had personally found 47 such specimens.
While this shows that scientists are human and make mistakes, why is it the Creationists
responsible for these lies didn’t read the actual book in question to find this out,
or even maybe this excellent peer-reviewed scientific review on the subject? Perhaps
it was because they weren’t interested in the truth, but rather in spreading their slander
to impugn evolutionary theory because it contradicts they own primitive creation myths.
So, in the end, the things that were NOT in question were the FACTS that Moth color did
change with the onset of British industrialization and was reversed with the implementation of
the clean air act; that this color change was due to a redistribution of the allelic
frequency of the dominant gene responsible for the dark color; and that exactly the same
phenomenon was observed in the United States. As such, the Peppered Moth is a perfect example
of the FACT that evolution occurs. The only thing being debated is the exact mechanism
of HOW it was occurring in this specific instance. This is, in fact, a perfect example of healthy
and honest intellectual debate and of how science is willing to question existing knowledge,
reassess the status quo and make changes in the light of new data. This is what allows
it to continually improve and advance as each new development is incorporated into the body
of knowledge while the unbending dogmatic mindset of the creationist is satisfied with
explaining nothing by explaining everything with their god.
“So where did all the evolution text… textbook pictures of peppered moths in different
colored tree trunks come from? They were all staged. Err… the moths were glued, pinned
or placed onto tree trunks and their pictures taken. The scientists who used these pictures
in their books to prove evolution all conveniently forgot to tell their readers this fact.”
While creationists may have nothing better to do with their time than sit in a ostentatious
barn and mumble archaic incantations at the ceiling, scientists and wildlife photographers
have more useful things to do with theirs than sitting in a wood while twiddling their
thumbs and waiting for moths to settle onto a branches.
Such staging is standard practice for this reason and these illustrations are just that
– illustrations to demonstrate points and not scientific documentation of natural phenomena.
Creationists who feel that this should have been pointed out to the readers also presumably
feel that Fox News should also nightly remind their viewers that the turd on their TV is
not actually Glen Beck but a two-dimensional representation on a grid of phosphors, plasmas
or diodes on their screens. To suggest that these photographs were in
any way deceptive is to be either completely ignorant of the point, incredibly mentally
challenged or brazenly deceptive. In Ray and Kirk’s case, it may even be all three.
“If the best example of evolution is not true, how about all those other supposed examples?
It makes you wonder, doesn’t it? And Mark Varney, I believe is how you pronounce his
name, is the person who said that.” Aha – there it is! The Achilles Heel Fallacy.
Creationist’s are nothing if not predictable. Even if by some miracle these sneaky weasels
were right, this would in no way discredit the remaining mountain of evidence upon which
the theory of evolution is built. This is simplistic and dirty little smear
that any politician would be proud of, and if you fall for it you’re merely submitting
yourself to being led by the nose by these filthy liars.
“I’m not sure exactly what I think about that, um, even though I’m all for creationism.
I’m not sure…. whether I believe that to be… true or not true.”
As I said at the beginning of this video, I admire the fact that you weren’t willing
to accept this stuff at face value, and I hope that this has given you something to
think about. But don’t take my word for it, either. Look into it for yourself – a
world of knowledge is only a few keystrokes away, and in this day and age no one has an
excuse to unquestioningly believe what anyone tells them.
I also hope that this’ll make you think more carefully about whose opinion you place
more stock in. Consider the scientific method and the scientists whose quest for nothing
other than the truth about nature have brought you; modern medicine and hygiene, air travel,
telecommunications, skyscrapers, space flight and satellites, air conditioning and refrigeration,
cars, computers and plentiful food to name just a few.
And now bear in mind that it’s the exact same scientific method, and the same type
of people, who’ve discovered the true size of the cosmos, the actual age of the earth
and the fact the we and all other living things of the planet have evolved from earlier, simpler
life forms in an dazzlingly intricate and elegant process known as evolution.
Now compare this to the despicable dishonesty of professional creationists such as Ray Comfort,
Ken Ham and Kent Hovind, who deliberately lie time and time again about the discoveries
of science, and knowingly continue to do so after their inaccuracies have been pointed
out to them, all to perpetuate a creation myth that they cannot let go of and that is
no more patently the product of primitive human minds than those of the Egyptians, Greeks
or Vikings. And also consider that these disingenuous
mountebanks make millions of dollars selling their filthy lies to those who don’t know
any better, and so have more than a vested interest in keeping the cash rolling in by
perpetuating their puerile stories using their vile lies.
If you do open your eyes and think for yourself, I think that you’ll find it much more exhilarating
living in a world illuminated by the brilliant spotlight of the discoveries made by the minds
of men and women and not the sputtering candle of their simplistic and primitive imaginations.