quote:In 2017, actor-comedian Tim Allen famously tweeted a question that revealed just how little he understands about evolution. It seems he’s not alone. His tweet got almost 50,000 “likes” and 13,000 retweets. It’s safe to assume a lot of people reacting to Allen's post also wanted to know the answer to the question that he posed as a statement: “If we evolved from apes why are there still apes.”
The short answer is that "we didn't evolve from any of the any animals that are alive today,” says Zach Cofran, an anthropologist at Vassar College. That is to say, humans didn’t evolve from the gorillas we see at the zoo or the chimpanzees we snap pictures of on a safari. “It's a common misconception that apes are a step away from becoming human or something like a step along the way,” says Cofran. But, he adds, that’s not the case.
So add not only Tim Allen to that possibly-most-idiotic creationist claim, but also the 50,000 individuals who “liked” and 13,000 who retweeted it (I would assume that all the 13,000 twits/re-twits had also "liked", so we're sure of at least 50,000 fellow cretins).
Even more evidence of the hypocritical lies from the creationists who proclaim that no creationist would ever make such a stupid claim. Kind of like racists who loudly complain that they're not racist.
I have always interpreted that claim as being based on a gross misinterpretation of Spencer's "survival of the fittest" (not coined by Darwin, though he did include it in later editions).
That phrase leads to a simplistic scenario in which one species out-competes another species for the same resources such that the less fit species dies out. More specifically, the scenario is one in which the newly evolved descendant species out-competes and replaces its parent species. In reality:
Competing species need not be related, so it would rarely be a case of a daughter species being in competition with its parent species.
If a daughter species is evolving from its parent and they still occupy the same ecological niche, then it's the parent species that would be evolving; IOW, they would not be two different species competing with each other, but rather a single species that's adapting to its environment.
Commonly, a daughter species can arise when a subpopulation moves into a new environment (either geologically or by moving into a different niche) in which case daughter and parent would not be in competition with each other.
"Survival of the fittest" is not an absolute nor is reality that extreme. It's more a case of "survival of the good-enough" which can ramp up to "survival of the barely-better" when species compete. Even though one species might do better than the other, that does not necessitate the extinction of the "loser".
Uh, you know that we are still apes. Just as we and our fellow apes are still monkeys, we/apes/monkeys are still primates, we primates are still mammals, etc etc etc.
And more reasons why it's so stupid -- I have errands to run so I cannot spend more time on this.
This whole "issue" is just further evidence that creationists have no clue what they are talking about. And that they really need to learn all that they can about evolution, especially if they want to oppose evolution. If they knew more about evolution then they could address evolution's actual problems and would know better than to use such utterly stupid claims as "why are there still apes?".
Talen Lee is from eastern Australia. He was given a "fundamentalist" Christian upbringing and early education -- scare quotes on "fundamentalist" since there are so many different fundamentalist sects, most of whom denounce all other such sects as unChristian heretics.
His first ten years of school was in a church school that used an American church educational series called "ACE" which, from what I gather, was a series of workbooks that had the kids sitting by themselves all day working through the lessons. From there he went to a public high school for his last two years. The result of his prior ten years of "schooling" was that he ended up not know anything. First day in science class the teacher drew something on the board and everybody would know, a water molecule, and he had absolutely no idea what that was supposed to be. He ended up having to spend most of his time just trying to catch up, which he was never able to do. His high school would periodically calculate every student's academic standing so that they would know what percentile they were in and he would always be near the bottom.
But in the meantime, his YEC training was still kicking in during science class. As soon as the lesson would begin he would challenge the material exactly as we see in creationist videos where a Christian student completely owns the teacher with "hard questions". What he has since realized is that he was just keeping the others and (far worse) himself from learning and that everybody in that class hated him for it.
When he did finally complete high school, he was almost literally unemployable because he didn't know anything and he couldn't do anything. Since that was around 2000 and the Rupture was going to hit any day now, he didn't see any need to prepare himself for employability. He didn't even know how to vote, because, you know, the Rapture. Over the next decade, he slowly came to his senses and deconverted. At the age of 30, he applied to attend university and they had to be honest with him by telling him that they couldn't even identify his first ten years of "education" as even being a school. So he first had to take courses on how to be a student.
That is as far as I've gotten so far (1:07:00). BTW, the first few minutes of the video is the streaming image of "The interview will begin shortly", so be patient or skip ahead.
ABE: Starting around 1:10:50 he gets into how people remain sucked into their bubble, though the term used is "Christian replacement media". He describes how interlocking factors in their environment keeps them isolated and controlled in a way that makes them alienated from the world around them. This creates a very limited frame of reference that is not only very difficult but also terrifying to break out of. In many cases of those who do try to step out and learn something the other side, they end up quickly retreating and reradicalizing in a manner he describes as "brutal".
Should religion be taught with evolution in schools?
Somewhere around 1980, two professors at San Diego State University, Roger Awbrey and Bill Thwaites, started a "Two Model" class. At that time, the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), then the cutting edge state-of-the-art YEC organization (they had literally created "creation science" and Flood Geology and were the foremost publishers of creationist "educational" materials) was still headquartered in nearby El Cajon and then in Santee, plus they had on their staff the leading professional creationists. Basically, whenever you were talking about creationism and creationist claims, you were talking about what the ICR said. Literally, guest creationists gave half the lectures and Awbrey & Thwaites gave the other half. Now, at many creationist debates it's traditional to have the audience vote on who won -- of course, since the audience would be packed with church groups along with other factors (eg, the creationist being far more experienced in these events and more polished through practice) the creationist would usually win the vote. Similarly, at the end of the semester the students would also vote for which side made the better case. Typically, science would win since now the students could actually examine and test the creationist claims. The campus Christian clubs kept protesting this course and I believe I was told also hold demonstrations against it. Finally, Admin grew tired of the ruckus and cancelled the course.
So when they finally get a an actual two-model course in a school, the creationists oppose it. Now of course, in their presentations Awbrey & Thwaites would present the actual science that the creationists were misrepresenting, which means that they were responding to the creationists' claims -- I assume that the creationist was allowed to be present for those classes. In their presentations Awbrey & Thwaites could present what the creationists' own scientific sources (which the creationists had misquoted or misrepresented; AKA "quote-mined") actually said, a tactic that had been used very effectively against ICR VP Duane Gish in debate (overhead projection with two columns, on the left is what Gish said a source said and on the right is what it actually said). Also in one class Gish had repeated their false claim about the bombadier beetle (AKA "Bomby") that the two chemicals in its chemical defense would spontaneously explode when mixed, so Awbrey & Thwaites took beakers containing those two chemicals and mixed them together right in front of Gish in class (as well as in glass!) and no explosion. Gish mumbled something about somebody else having screwed up and misinformed him, but for several years afterwards Gish continued to use that same claim which he had admited in public to be false.
I just found an article by Bill Thwaites (and dedicated to the late Frank Awbrey) which tells the story of their class, the only real two-model class I know of:
Both Frank and I had spent countless hours in the library getting ready for the debate. Our studies had given us an expertise that virtually no one in the secular world of science possessed. It would have been a waste to have spent all that time and effort for a one night stand.
Creationists were always writing about “Two Model” courses where both the creation and evolution “models would be discussed and the students could make up their own minds.” Obviously they had assumed that such a course would result in overwhelming approval for the creation model. After all, there was quite a bit of material written in favor of creationism. But no biology text says much that would directly refute creationist claims. Thus a “two model” course taught with existing materials would have resulted in a near total defeat for evolution.
But we knew what the creationists were saying. And we knew just what was wrong with it. We could offer a real two model course in which creationism would be exposed for the sham that it is. We wanted to offer a creation versus evolution course where each side would be presented by its own well prepared proponents.
In the article, Thwaites recounts how he originally got involved with creationism, how he and Awbrey prepared for a debate with Drs. H. Morris (AKA "Hank") and Duane Gish (AKA "Duane") in which Hank and Duane refused to discuss many parts of their own position because "that's not part of the topic of the debate" (IOW, they weaseled out). Having done all that preparation, they decided to put it to good use and created their own two-model class as stated above. When the university finally approved the class:
quote:The course was given the title of: Analysis of Evolutionary Criticism. This rather cumbersome title was abbreviated in the course catalog as “Anal. Evol. Crit.”
The second half of the article consists of anecdotes from the class regarding the various creationists who provided the creationist lectures plus other creationists they encountered.
Before that, Thwaites tells of they got lists of postulates to base their class on:
quote:Our most pointed criticism came not from our SDSU colleagues, but from a Professor Ralph Lewis (a retired professor at Michigan State). He wrote passionately about our giving the creationists credit for being scientists and for giving them a “platform” to peddle their form of insanity (or words to that effect). His criticism was not unique, but Lewis was unusual in that he became our ally after we explained in a four or five page reply the rationale for our version of a “two-model” course.
Lewis, it turned out, had meticulously organized “Origin of Species” into formal sets of postulates under the headings of “Descent with Modification” and “Modification by Natural Selection.” These are listed here as follows:
A. Descent with modification
All life from one or a few ancestors.
Later forms are the modified descendants of earlier forms.
Change is gradual.
Small changes accumulate to make large changes.
More similar forms had a more recent common ancestor.
New forms arise in only one geographic locality.
Extinction is permanent
B. Modification by “natural selection” (genetically-determined differential reproduction) and “genetic drift” (random differential reproduction).
Life forms have the potential to expand their numbers exponentially.
Usually life forms do not expand their numbers exponentially.
Populations are stabilized by mortality, and infertility.
Mortality and infertility are to some extent determined by hereditary factors (i.e. by genetics).
Therefore, individuals with genes for higher viability and lower infertility (i.e. higher fitness) will pass on these genes to the next generation. (This is natural selection).
Reproductive fitness is determined in complex ways when organisms interact. (Altruism -- the "Golden Rule" -- can sometimes increase reproductive fitness. So can the formation of symbiotic relationships. And group selection may also take place.)
Differential reproduction also can occur because of reasons that are not due to genetic differences (genetic drift).
Lewis’ version of Darwinian postulates became the theme of our creation vs. evolution course. Both of us later used the postulates heavily in General Biology classes.
Lewis’s postulates provided an especially sharp contrast with creationism. Nowhere were creationist postulates listed. In short there was no creation model. Well, there was a creation model, but no one had ever formalized the model into a set of postulates. Frank decided to do for Hank and Duane what Lewis had done for Chuck (Darwin). Frank published the creation model in a 1980 issue of “Creation/Evolution” the forerunner of “NCSE Reports” under the title, “Yes Virginia, There is a Creation Model.” [NOTE from DWise1: this is my page on that article which lists "THE TWO CREATION MODELS OF WENDELL R. BIRD"] Each “postulate” in the creation model was referenced to a specific statement in “Scientific Creationism” by Hank, The Genesis Flood also by Hank, or “Evolution: The Fossils Say `No’” by Duane.
With postulates for both “models” we would be able compare observations with predictions based on each of the two “models.” We spent a great deal of time in our creation vs. evolution classes doing just that.
The Creation Model
According to Hank and Duane
I. The creation.
Everything from nothing relatively recently.
Earth was perfectly designed for life.
Vapor barrier protected earth.
Climate was uniformly warm.
Cosmic radiation kept out.
No wind or rain.
Irrigated by water from the ground.
All kinds created separately.
Each kind unique and fixed.
Each kind highly variable genetically.
Humans created uniquely to exercise dominion over all creation.
II. The fall.
Second law of thermodynamics invoked.
Perfect order began to degenerate.
Death, decay and disorder began.
People began to populate earth. All are descended from the original couple.
Vapor barrier enabled great longevity.
III. The flood.
Simultaneous worldwide cataclysm.
All land covered within 40 days.
Flood water from two sources.
Flood began 1656 years after creation.
Flood formed and deposited the geologic column.
Flood split the land mass into present continents.
Only flood survivors were aboard one boat.
One pair of most kinds but seven of some.
Aboard boat for 371 days.
IV. Post flood period.
Leftover flood energy caused ice age.
Flood survivors repopulated earth.
All living species are descended from the flood survivors.
Modified by horizontal change to fit the earth.
Modification used the original created genetic variation.
Vapor barrier gone so longevity decreased.
All species are degenerating. Disorder must increase.
Present geological processes differ from those of the flood.
When Frank published the creation model in Creation/Evolution we encountered some interesting reactions from the ICR people. We had expected them to regard our version of the creation model as a form of mockery. We thought they would be pretty upset with us. Instead they were almost thankful. They had never seen nor apparently ever thought about seeing their model laid out in such a succinct format. Some, at least Ken Cummings of the ICR, seemed relieved to find that they had not been referring to some vague abstraction but a real flesh and bones model. He asked if ICR would be allowed to use the model in the form that Frank had outlined it.
Others such as Gary Parker of ICR were a bit less enthusiastic. Parker claimed that we had commingled the “Biblical” and “Scientific” creation models. To this we asked him how it would be logically possible to have two dissimilar models that each explained the same set of observations. “Shouldn’t it be possible,” we asked, “to decide which of the two models fit the observations better?” Gary didn’t see the problem with having two equally valid yet dissimilar creation models.
There's lots more in that article, so do please read it.