I recently had an exchange with an evolution fan that highlights some serious problems with evolution. First the idiot asked the question “So do you think evolution occurs?” I responded with a comment saying that his question was overly broad and he needed to get more specific if I was going to answer the question.
My point was that evolution is a very broad subject with some parts that are very well established and other parts are pure speculation. His question is a kin to a theist question of “Do you believe in what the bible says?” It was an obvious attempt to paint me as one of those evil creationists and a video he made after the exchange confirmed my suspicion.
First he attempted to send me a video he had made where he tried to lay out ground rules for talking about evolution. In the video he made claims that evolution is an absolute certainty and it was unacceptable to even suggest that the theory was wrong. Then he started demanding that any challenge to evolution had to be made with an alternative explanation that was supported by evidence.
I tried to point out to him that I was not claiming anything. I was just pointing out that some parts of modern evolutionary thinking are well established and others have no supporting evidence what so ever. Needless to say, he was not very happy with that response. For him it was a simple black or white question and no shade of gray was acceptable.
When he asked what parts of evolution I disagreed with, I listed a few of the most common objections. For example, classifying fossils by their morphology is many times claimed to be evidence of evolution. I tried to point out that for evolution to be valid there would have to be a demonstrated genetic relationship between the fossils and that once the fossils get old enough, you don’t have any genetic material to compare.
He even admitted that we cannot get genetic information from the older fossils. But that didn’t stop him from asserting that they where still evolutionarily related. When I pushed him to show how two different species with similar body shapes had to be evolutionarily related he continued to fall back on “Well they have similar morphology”.
As I pushed him with the difference between an ancestral relationship and a simple classification relationship he began to go off the deep end. Obviously I was trying to get him to demonstrate that there was a genetic relationship between the fossils he claimed where related and he couldn’t do it because he had already admitted that there was no genetic material to compare.
This gets at a big flaw in evolution theory. The assumption that similar body shapes must mean there is some kind of genetic relationship. While this may be an assumption that is stronger than most claims, it is by no means an absolute certainty.
If two species developed in the same environment and used similar strategies to move around and collect food, it only makes sense that they would develop similar body shapes. While it may be possible for them to be genetically related, that is by no means a certainty. Assuming the genetic relationship when it has not been demonstrated with a comparison of the genetic material is intellectual dishonesty at best.
As I pushed him to show the parent/child relationships that supported his claim that the species where genetically related he began to claim that ancestral relationships where irrelevant and the shape of the fossils was all that mattered. He claimed that we are not talking about parent/child relationships we are talking about a comparison of species. So how does evolution work without reproduction?
So he was trying to assert that offspring from one species was not relevant to an evolutionary relationship with another species. Of course he never proposed any mechanism by which the evolutionary relationship could be accomplished without the genetic relationship. But I guess he thinks the rocks on a bottom of a fast flowing stream are evolutionarily related because they have similar shapes.
The point here is that the genetic relationship required for evolution to be correct has never been demonstrated with fossils of any significant age. Making the assumption that the genetic relationship is present when no comparisons have been made is the worst kind of scientific fraud that can be created. We call it fabricating evidence.
If he would simply admit he has no genetic evidence of the relationship between the species he claims are evolutionarily related there wouldn’t be a problem other than his claim of the certainty of evolution.
Besides his assertion that evolution was a certainty, when it clearly is not, he claimed that any objection to evolution must be backed up with evidence. Never once did I make a claim that would require any evidence to support it. All I was saying is that the evidence used to support evolution was not sufficient to justify a claim of certainty.
This is no different than a claim that the evidence used to support the teachings in the bible is not sufficient to support the existence of a god. His response was very similar to a typical fundamentalist theist’s demand that an opponent must produce evidence that a god doesn’t exist.
When I brought up the reality that the vast majority of the population does not accept evolution, he started to claim science is not a democracy. But still he claimed that there was a consensus in the scientific community that evolution was correct.
So how is that any different from a theist claiming there is consensus in the theist community that god exists? If it’s not a democracy than the number of scientists that agree with the position is simply not relevant.
His excuse for his claim was that just because the general population doesn’t understand evolution doesn’t make it wrong. However I was not claiming it was wrong. I was claiming was that all of it is not supported by the evidence. Once again, how is this any different than theists claiming that just because most people don’t understand the bible doesn’t make the bible is wrong?
Simply put, he seems to be having an identity problem. I was stating that the evidence does not support evolution. In other words, I don’t find the evidence convincing enough for me to accept all of evolution. He on the other hand is saying that yes the evidence is sufficient. So tell me how is his assessment of the evidence in any way relevant to my assessment of the evidence?
He believes evolution is supported by the evidence. I don’t believe it is supported by the evidence. We have a simple disagreement about what to believe. I am asking for him to present evidence that will convince me and he even admits he cannot provide the evidence I am asking for.
So this all boils down to him asserting I am wrong and that I am claiming evolution is not correct when all I am doing is saying the theory is not convincing. Doesn’t his position sound an awful lot like a fundamentalist theist position that demands you believe the same way they do?
He is abandoning all pretenses that his position is based on evidence and raising it to the level of what can only be described as a religion. He is demanding that I accept his religion and claiming that because I don’t I am wrong. He does this while claiming he follows the scientific method that only accepts ideas that are supported with evidence. Yet he admits he has no evidence to support a particular aspect of his position.
In effect, he is throwing a temper tantrum because somebody didn’t agree with the stupidity that he pushing. In all actuality is he really pissed because his argument is so weak and he as invested a great deal of his self worth into the assertion that his position is correct.
He claimed he has no vested interest in the correctness of his position yet he is willing to go to great lengths to show I am wrong. The old saying is “I think he protests too much”. My question is “Why does he feel such a need to show I am wrong simply because I disagree with him?”
To me it looks like he is engaging in a high school level say the right things to be in the cool crowd type of behavior. The actual correctness of what he is saying is no longer relevant. If it pleases the crowd he wants to be popular with, it’s correct and if not, it must be wrong.
His final act was to block me so I could not post responses to his comments. I guess I just do too much damage to his self esteem.