I get more creationist email

Since I posted a letter from a creationist student last week, as well as other commentary on the faithful, I’ve been inundated with comments telling me that Jesus loves me, and that if I only sought that love, I’d become a convinced Christian. Talk about confirmation bias! You’d think that if Jesus really loved you, he’s make you aware of his love even if you weren’t seeking it!

This comment came (with ID given) from the author of the religious site Gleaning the Scriptures.  It was offered as a comment on my post “Adam and Eve: More than two ancestors?

God made Adam and Eve. If God made Adam and Eve He can make others and not include that in The Bible: testing our faith. Yahova does not have to include everything in The Bible. is not a spoon feed set up. There is a lot of knowledge that comes to people who have turned to Yahova.

Why evolution is not true: We have been studying and recording nature scientifically for thousands of years. If eveolution is true you must be able to show me one instance, ONLY ONE, of a mother giving birth to another species. One mutation after another, yes, but there must be a point where the DNA goes from that of a man to that of a “whats to come”.

If you are a woman, let me know when you give birth to a “whats to come”. People bear people and salmon bare salmon. This has been, is and always will be. Its really simple.

Note: The new species has to be able to give birth to more of its same species, or be able to give birth at all. There is no continuation of life in a mule or whatever that thing is.

Further, when have you seen, ever, where a mutation has aided an animal in both life and finding a mate: never. the only thing evolution has to hinge on is the fact that there are many species with similar attributes. This is because God created them and the environment that they survive in. Darwin was wrong.

I think readers here should now be educated enough about evolution to refute the two big claims in this critique (put in bold), so I’ll leave it to you to do that, and then will email your responses to the author.  The author is an adult, and seems pretty set in his/her ways, so you needn’t treat the person with kid gloves. But, of course, please try to be temperate in your response. I am not, however, going to cut out mockery of faith this time.

It’s fun crowdsourcing responses to creationists.

138 Comments

  1. George
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    I hope others have fun with this. It just makes my head hurt.

    • Patrick Cardon
      Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      Hmmm wonder how, if you cannot evolve species, humans managed to evolve a whole bunch of cat, dog, horse, sheep species that were not present in nature … darn we must be gods. Even if some of those dog or cat species have been bred for looks and are rife with healthproblems

      • scottoest
        Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        Yeah, but show me a Corgi giving birth to a German Shepherd, Patrick!

        “Tides go in, tides go out. You can’t explain that. You can’t explain that.”

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 15, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        Artificial selectionists asked Yahova for new subspecies and, yea, their prayers were answered unto them. Selah!

    • Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      Wel, vat convinced me. Im wiling to give this creashunist the benefit of the dout on that play on wurds, ‘eveolution’. Not bad for somewun who cant spel.

    • GBJames
      Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Yeah, me too.

      I have no patience for this kind of stuff. These guys can’t be bothered to read a book. Then have zero understanding of how evolution works. Willful ignorance.

    • neelingman
      Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

      We have been studying and recording seeds growing and turning into trees for thousands of years.

      Show me the day, ONLY ONE, day where a seed changing into a tree actually occurs.

      We have been studying tadpoles…

  2. strongforce
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    There is a great example of evolution online (tried to find the link through a Google search but unsuccessful so far). It shows a large page consisting of rectangles going from white to black. The individual change in greyscale from one to the next is imperceptible and yet when looking at the whole page it is clear that change is happening. Does anyone have the link?

    • Geoff Toscano
      Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      I haven’t got the link to the original image but here’s a copy of a recent Patheos article on evolution that includes it

      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tippling/2017/01/07/species-not-exist-evolution-sand-dunes-sorites-paradox/

      It’s very a very convincing graphic representation.

      • Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        Jerry’s correspondent should simply be directed to that article!

        /@

        • Posted January 15, 2017 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

          But note that there is a creationist in the comments section of that article who doesn’t acknoowledge that, just as red letters can turn to blue letters without there being one letter of red and the next letter of blue, so species can spawn new species over many generations – no mother will ever give birth to a different species.

          Maybe some of us are more prone than others to thinking essentially like this, but obviously religious belief can provide a strong motivation to deny the possibility of gradual evolution from one kind to another, against the evidence; even from one’s own eyes! Another reason to advise against the adoption of this sort of religious mindset.

          • Brian Davis
            Posted January 17, 2017 at 10:59 am | Permalink

            I’ve often wondered why creation “scientists” aren’t researching this. If they are correct that gradual change can’t produce new species, shouldn’t they be able to find a biological mechanism that prevents a population’s genome from drifting so far that it would become a different species? Or does keeping species intact require constant godly tweaks to prevent evolution?

      • Riverman
        Posted January 16, 2017 at 2:27 am | Permalink

        Whith the same idea, a serie of daily photographs of a person during his life is a good example. In which exactly day does a child become a teen or does a teen become a adult?
        Another example would be the process of gestation… 1 cell, 2 cells, 4 cells… in which number of cell divisions does the zygote become a baby?

  3. Stephen Barnard
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    1. Gross misunderstanding of the incremental effects of natural selection and the conditions required for speciation.

    2. Obvious counterexample: Development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Closer to home, the development of lactase tolerance in humans.

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      *lactose*

      • Posted January 15, 2017 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        or lactase *persistance* 😉

        • Stephen Barnard
          Posted January 15, 2017 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

          Lactase persistence — I like that. It’s emblematic of the dismay ordinary people like me have when confronted with the varieties of biological complications. It can always be explained in another way, so it seems.

    • Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      Re 2: Yes, and we’ve recently had a very vivid experimental demonstration of that!

      /@

    • Mark Reaume
      Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      But, but you never see a bacteria giving birth to a chicken!

      • koseighty
        Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        Ah. But an undercooked chicken WILL give birth to bacteria.

    • eric
      Posted January 16, 2017 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      Heck, the old trope “Gentlemen prefer blonds” is a counterexample to his complaint #2. Sure, it’s not always true, but it only has to be true of one or a few males to provide an example of when a mutation helps someone find a mate and have kids.

  4. BobTerrace
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    I just censored my own comment on why I wouldn’t waste my effort on this person.

    • Mike
      Posted January 16, 2017 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      They weary me, with their nonsense, the evidence is in the Fossil record for Macro Evolution, with Intermediate Species, for instance, the shared adaptations found in Theropod Dinosaurs both Avian and Non-Avian and the same adaptations seen today in Birds. In Micro-Evolution there are many examples extant if you get your head out your ass and look them up. By the way, dump your imaginary friend, you’ll be glad you did, I was.!

  5. Colin
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    How can you disbelieve in evolution if you can’t even define it?

  6. scottoest
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    I’d be more interested to know what this special “knowledge” is, that he apparently gained.

    His ramblings on evolution are just the same, tired piffle I’ve gotten used to.

  7. Barry Lyons
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Dear Creationist,

    If, for example, a gorilla could birth a human, that would DISPROVE evolution.

    Sincerely,

    Barry

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted January 15, 2017 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      That is indeed a very, very good point.

    • Posted January 15, 2017 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      Dear Creationist.

      One should learn what the Theory of Evolution by Means of Natural Selection is before criticizing it, lest one appear ignorant.

      I suggest reading a book titled Why Evolution is True. It is quite good.

      You ask what mother gave birth to a different species. With the merest amount of education you would realize how pathetically ignorant that strawman is.

      But to humor you, can you name the first person to speak modern French – specifically the exact point when the parents spoke Latin but the child spoke modern French? Name that person. If you can’t name that person, can we conclude that French, Italian, Spanish and the other Romance languages are not related to Latin? Did each of those languages poof into existence fully formed? Of course not. For 2000 years, pretty much every parent in what is now France spoke the same language as their children. Yet modern French is not Old French and Old French is not Latin. 2000 years of tiny changes, not perceptable in the moment, resulted in completely languages.

      This is a very simple analogy of the process of Evolution, where a series ofvtiny changes over millions of years results in lifeforms much different from the distant ancestor. Yet every child was very similar, but not identical, to the parent.

      • Ick of the East
        Posted January 15, 2017 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

        Very good. I also use language evolution to explain biological evolution to unbelievers. Showing a process that they cannot deny is the perfect way to do it.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted January 16, 2017 at 11:56 am | Permalink

          But didn’t we all speak one language until that whole Babble fiasco? 😉

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted January 16, 2017 at 3:50 am | Permalink

        Very good analogy indeed!

        cr

      • Draken
        Posted January 16, 2017 at 6:05 am | Permalink

        YECs are perfectly capable of claiming that all languages emerged at once, at the Tower of Babel.

      • Posted January 16, 2017 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        This is a good analogy, which can be explained with many examples.

        Cockney wide boy Danny Dyer (1977-) is a direct descendant of King Edward III (1312-1377):

        http://tinyurl.com/zahkgfn

        If DD could step back through his ancestors to Edward III he would encounter no parent and offspring who could not talk to each other.

        But the chances of DD having a sensible spoken conversation with Edward III are very low, because their English language is so very different.

        In fact, I have trouble understanding Danny Dyer sometimes, and we have grown up within 100 miles of each other.

  8. Billy Bl.
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    No refutations from us will have any effect on this guy. He knows the truth, so any other opinion is obviously wrong. He doesn’t need to know or care why its wrong. You may as well talk to a rock.

  9. Randall Schenck
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    It is just mind boggling to see someone, in the age of computers and google – with nearly instant information on everything, just sit down and rip off dozens of questions to prove without a doubt, they have no education or background in the basics of biology or evolution. This is not serious curiosity about the science, this is a religious zealot who read a piece to explain why the Adam and Eve story is not possible and is upset with reality. Yes, g*d did one of those slight of hand tricks and created several thousand Adam and Eves in secret just to trick us. I guess we will have to await further volumes of the bible to see how this comes out.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted January 15, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      So much derp, one little letter.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted January 15, 2017 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      That is in no small part b/c the mountains of information out there in the internet is among larger mountains of dis-information. It is probably not easy to sort all this out, poor blighter, but of course most people with a head full of myth will not want to take the time to fill their head with facts.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted January 15, 2017 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

        If you read his questions and statements on the post I would not be too worried about the dis-information he might pick up on line. As you say, with the head full of religion, he has no interest really in actually taking on a bit of science. He appears more interested in saving Prof. Coyne from the darkness of Hades.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted January 15, 2017 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

          I should include – I’ve had a couple of SDA folks give me the full history of why Saturday is the correct Day and not Sunday like so many other religions believe. My response is that this detailed history is really not that important to an atheist and there is really no need to debate the preferred date when there is no evidence for the day in the first place.

  10. Mark Joseph
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Dear Creationist:

    As Young and Strode said at the end of their book Why Evolution Works (and Why Creationism Fails), “We heartily recommend that anyone who criticizes evolutionary biology first learn about it.”

    You would not pay any attention to someone who complained to you that your religion could not be true, because the bible was written by a bunch of monks in the middle ages, that Jesus died in a car crash, and that the Holy Spirit doesn’t exist because there’s no such thing as ghosts, so why in the world do you think we would pay any attention to your “critique” of evolution, given that you obviously do not have even the faintest idea of what evolution actually entails?

    Should you desire to learn what evolution actually is, so that you could critique it intelligently, rather than setting up and knocking down a straw man, I suggest, at a bare minimum, the following four books, all easily obtainable and written at a level appropriate for an interested layman:

    1) Jerry Coyne “Why Evolution is True”
    2) Richard Dawkins “The Greatest Show on Earth” (two overviews of the convergent multiple lines of evidence for evolution).

    3) Donald Prothero “Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters” (the fossil evidence).

    4) Sean B. Carroll “The Making of the Fittest” (the DNA evidence).

    Best Wishes,

    Mark Joseph

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted January 15, 2017 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      He doesn’t even need to read all four. Jerry’s book, ‘Why Evolution is True’ sets out the evidence clearly.

      This person is trying to argue against evolution without understanding it. As was pointed out above, a dog giving birth to a chicken would actually disprove evolution.

      If we argued against the Bible without actually reading it, I’m sure this man would be the first to complain. What makes him think he can argue against evolution without reading about it?

      Most of us have read the Bible and have a good knowledge of several religions. It’s the reason we’re not religious. When his knowledge of evolution is equal to ours on the Bible, we can talk.

      If he’s not prepared to read, at least, ‘Why Evolution is True’ why not? His email indicates he hasn’t by his complete lack of understanding of the subject. What is he so scared of? We weren’t too scared to read the Bible.

      Come back to us when you’re in a position to ask questions and challenge evolution from a position of knowledge.

      • Posted January 15, 2017 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

        I seriously doubt that this person has read the whole Bible once. More than once might have proved even more instructive. If he devoted as much attention to carefully reading the Bible as he has to his misunderstandings of evolution, he might become aware of the errors and idiocies in the Bible.

        Also, read the suggested books on evolution as carefully.

        What other book is “taken as gospel” and believed by so many millions of people that was written thousands of years ago based on beliefs acquired by the Jews (and subsequently Christians) from contact with many different cultures, was incorporated into supposedly one belief system (but not really) and conveyed to us by illiterate and literate sources in various translations? Would we have done this with a book purportedly dictated by God to Ahkenaten or Zoroaster?

        If this person were to take a Paleontology course, I don’t see how he could look closely at the various ages of fossils of obviously different kinds of horses without knowing that they all were horses that had modified over time. Or see the relationship to modern horses.

  11. jeffery
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    I love the first paragraph, where the writer says that God may have not included some information in the Wholly Babble- just to test our faith! This, of course, is but a short step from saying that fossils were created by Satan to confound unbelievers. I wonder, again, why an omniscient being would need to play such games with His own creation, when He already knows who’s going to have “faith” and who isn’t. I’m not going to bother with sending this person a message: this kind is totally invulnerable to any “new” information that conflicts with prior programming….

    • eric
      Posted January 16, 2017 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      Well, he’s got a point. One bit that was left out was “oh by the way, we the authors are just a bunch of Jews (and, in the NT, Gentiles) trying our best to pass on a theology we think is true.”

  12. Historian
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    “God made Adam and Eve. If God made Adam and Eve He can make others and not include that in The Bible: testing our faith.”

    It seems that God’s faith in the creatures he created is so insecure that he is continually testing their faith. This argument of the faithful is what I call the universal cop-out. No matter how many bad things that happen, it is simply God testing our faith. Christians say that God has given people free will, including the ability to do bad things. What this means is that God is like the scientist in the lab observing the rats in the maze. Thus, for God, humans are merely an experiment. If humans successfully complete the maze (keep the faith), they get rewarded. If they fail, they burn forever. God’s treatment of failed humans is much worse than how any scientist would treat a rat who failed the maze.

  13. Sastra
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Dear Gleaning the Scrptures;

    In evolution, no mother has or could give birth to a baby of a different species. That is not how it works.

    In fact, if a mother did give birth to a baby of a different species in the astonishing and radical way you describe, then that would be a miracle. Instead of being proof of evolution, it would actually be a proof of God.

    So how do new species evolve? The answer involves many things, including small incremental steps and isolation. Since what would convince you of evolution is so wrong, I suggest you buy and read Dr. Coyne’s book on evolution, which has a nice ad on the side of this page.

    Unless you understand the other side, you can’t really understand your own.

  14. Barry Lyons
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Another thought to pass on to this guy.

    No evolutionary biologist is waiting for a gorilla to birth a human. So why are YOU waiting? Why do you believe something about evolution that no evolutionary biologist on the planet believes?

  15. Reg Le Sueur
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Trouble is, these Creationists are wilfully irrational, but at the same time cunning and devious, and will deal with your comments by the logical fallacy of “equivocation”,–re-defining the meanings of words,–in this case “species” and “evolution”.
    In your grey rectangle example they will simply say, “the original white rectangle may change into a black one,–but it is still a rectangle,–so not a new species. Likewise with antibiotic resistance and lactose intolerance,–they will say “it is still a bacterium isn’t it?–therefore not a new species,–and the lactose intolerant human may have become tolerant to it,–but he(she) is still a human,–no?
    I suppose one could try and explain the difference between, species, sub-species, genus family, order etc,–but as they don’t want to know anyway,-you won’t get anywhere.
    In fact they will say that lactose tolerance is definitely a Gift from God, and we should fall to our knees in gratitude.
    (Just playing Devil’s Advocate,–I am Reg the Arch-Atheist of Jersey, Channel islands U.K.–and I know all their devious little tricks.)

  16. koseighty
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Dear Reader,

    According to the Bible, God made Adam from the dirt and Eve from a rib taken from Adam. Adam confirms this: ‘ The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” ‘

    This make Eve a clone made from cells donated by Adam. And we know that ALL clones are the same sex as their donor.

    That means God created Adam and Yves, not Adam and Eve.

    They went on to have three sons: Cain, Able, and Seth.

    How did God populate the world from these five men? And if Adam and Yves were married (Genesis 2:25), why does God now condemn homosexual marriages?

    • Colin
      Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      Clearly the sons had sex with their mother – don’t you know anything? LOL

      • koseighty
        Posted January 15, 2017 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

        I think you missed my point.

  17. Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    This is just one of those examples (too many, to say the truth) for which I would state “Go home, study: I won’t talk to ignorants”.
    Here in Italy few weeks ago a virologist, that is spending his (precious) time trying to inform people on Fb about how vaccines work and why they are important, literally exploded, after being attacked by “anti-vaxxers”of the worst type, writing on his Fb page “Science is not democratic. Only those who have studied have the right to write on this page”. That was an extreme reaction and a comprehensible one, a reaction that springs from the inconceivable fact that people today do not accept discussion, especially if it needs to be backed up by evidence. How can I define the guy who said “Darwin was wrong” when he himself, with his own hands can start an experiment of domestic selection and observe the results?
    I have lost hope.

    • Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      I hope he didn’t LITERALLY explode…

      • Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        Oh, poor man, he didn’t . I omitted to specify: the virologist exploded with rage. 😛

      • HaggisForBrains
        Posted January 16, 2017 at 4:07 am | Permalink

        “Leading Virologist Destroys Anti-Vaxxers in Suicide Bombing”

  18. Ken Phelps
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    On a semi-unrelated subject, I don’t do Twitter, but have people started using the hashtag ‘The Asterisk Presidency’ very much yet?

    • steve oberski
      Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      I don’t titter either but I though that the hashtag goldenshowerpesidency would be appropriate.

      • steve oberski
        Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        titter as in twitter, but somehow appropriate as well …

    • Barry Lyons
      Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      I happen to be on Twitter (I prefer it to Facebook). I just checked: #TheAsteriskPresidency does not exist there.

      • bobkillian
        Posted January 16, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

        He wouldn’t be the first. Rutherford B. Hayes was definitely an asterisk President,

  19. Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    sub.

  20. steve oberski
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Gleaning is the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers’ fields after they have been commercially harvested or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest.

    In that sense of the word I’d have to say that nothing in your big book of bad ideas is economically profitable.

    Gleaning is also a feeding strategy used by birds in which they catch invertebrate prey, mainly arthropods, by plucking them from foliage or the ground, from crevices such as rock faces and under the eaves of houses, or even, as in the case of ticks and lice, from living animals.

    I’d say that this sense of the word is also a good metaphor for what you do with your book of bronze age snuff porn.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      He might also be referring to the Gleaner Combine, a brand of harvesting machine, as I think he may have swallowed the whole thing.

  21. rvoss
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    “We have been studying and recording nature scientifically for thousands of years.”

    I have heard similar remarks from creationists. When I hear this I tend to think that this is a young Earth creationist who believes that the Earth is only a few thousand years old. At this point in the conversation I ask if the speaker thinks that the Earth is less then ten thousand years old. The speaker will usually refuse to answer the question. Unsurprising this is.

    • Posted January 15, 2017 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Also, while we might have been studying and recording nature for thousands of years, I would argue that we have been doing so scientifically for only a few hundred years.

      /@

  22. Dan B
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Dear creationist,

    We can probably both agree that domestic dogs are descendants of wolves. Imagine if we could take your dog, and line up all his ancestors in a row. Eventually we would get to wolves. At no point would we see clearly a wolf give birth to a Labrador or Terrier. What we would see is a gradual change from a wolf at one end to a dog at the other end, and it would be hard to draw a dividing line between the two species/subspecies.

    This is how evolution works, we can’t see the change from generation to generation. It’s only after a lot of generations have passed that we can see the cumulative effects of very small changes.

    Another example is languages. People in Italy spoke Latin long ago. At no point did they stop speaking Latin and start speaking Italian. Latin evolved into Italian (and other languages) by a series of very small changes.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted January 15, 2017 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      English is similar. The English of only 1,200 years ago would incomprehensible to anyone today. They even used letters we no longer use. And although we can read Shakespeare and the older Chaucer, we wouldn’t be able to understand much of what was said if we were to go back in time. The way they pronounced many words was just too different to how we do now. The changes have been gradual and constant. Our language has evolved, and is evolving constantly, just like we are.

      • Posted January 15, 2017 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

        @’The changes have been gradual…’ That séo onhwerfednes æt građulu.

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted January 15, 2017 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

          Very cool! 😀

          • Posted January 15, 2017 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

            Where are the modern English adjectives which end in ‘u’? Not even vestigial structures: although Jerry could put me right on the analogy.

            Analogies always break down somewhere, otherwise they would be the same thing that they analogize!

    • Posted January 15, 2017 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      Thosse are the best, simpllest examples I’ve ever read.

  23. Geoff Toscano
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Well here’s my response, based on reading Jerry’s book, Dawkins, and keeping abreast in a very amateur way.

    Dear Person

    Every time a female gives birth to offspring a new species is created. Whilst this isn’t new species in the sense you are meaning it is, nonetheless, a reality. Only in cases of cloning would this principle not operate. Species take countless generations to noticeably change to something discernibly observable as different. The time periods involved, and numbers of generations, means that observation is very difficult, though it has been noted in several species of rapidly reproducing insects, bacteria in the Lenski experiments, and of course Darwin’s finches are famous.

    As for the effect of mutation, these can be beneficial, harmful, or neutral. Generally mutations happen independently of the environment in which they occur; for example, bacteria do not develop resistance to antibiotics because of the existence of antibiotics, rather the random mutation of bacteria that gives rise to resistance allows that bacteria to thrive, whilst others perish. Of course, whether you regard this as harmful or not depends on your point of view. To humans, it’s harmful that bacteria become resistant to antibiotics, to the bacteria, however, it is of benefit. Evolution simply does its own thing.

    I do hope this helps as regards your confusion.

    Yours etc

  24. Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Ok. Professor Coyne. I’ll give this a try. Tell me if I’m wrong somewhere.

    So firstly, the Bible does clearly state that Adam and Eve are the first humans on Earth and that they are the ancestors of all human life. So strawman there.

    Secondly, one individual of a species doesn’t evolve. It’s a significant population of the species that changes significantly such that this population is distinguishable from the original species and can no longer breed with it.

    Thirdly, it’s again the fallacious idea that individuals of a species evolve. And as for the example of a mutation, I could cite the wing shape of mutant male crickets. For further details see link below.

    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/news/061201_quietcrickets

    • Barry Lyons
      Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      Thanks for that Berkeley link. But then you have to have an answer for the inevitable follow-up: “So what that the crickets are now silent? They’re still crickets and not ants or roaches or whatever!”

      • Posted January 15, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

        Haha. I’ll dismiss those as loaded questions.

        • Barry Lyons
          Posted January 15, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

          Yeah, but then the creationist might say, “See? You can’t answer me! Crickets are crickets! I win the argument.”

      • Posted January 15, 2017 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

        In this case, it doesn’t matter that crickets are still crickets.

        /@

        • Posted January 15, 2017 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

          * (hit [Post Comment] too soon)

          The only claim being refuted here is that mutations cannot be beneficial.

  25. Randy Bessinger
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    It seems to me the biggest problem creationist have is time and space. In other words, the universe is really old and really big. It is very hard to understand how very small changes can lead to big changes over eons or how large is the observable universe. To me, it is sort of arrogant to think of a god in our image when we are such a speck. If there is, he sure did waste alot of space and is very inefficient.

  26. Joe Kosiner
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    I just can’t come up with a snappy comeback. This kind of creationist nonsense is so disheartening under any circumstance. This person apparently believes what he or she wrote, but the saddest part is the obvious lack of education both in science and communication skills.

  27. Diana MacPherson
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Oh good grief. First understand what evolution is instead of making up what you think it is and then arguing against that. Look up “straw man” as a logical fallacy. After you do that, look up Dunning-Kruger. I have no patience for people who assuredly argue against a caricature of facts.

    • Posted January 15, 2017 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      No; go on: Tell us what you really think!

      /@

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted January 15, 2017 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        I know. I used to be more tolerant but I’ve recently started to live openly as a curmudgeon.

  28. Christopher
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    “People bear people and salmon bare salmon.”

    Oh, he’s got us there! How extremely stupid not to have thought of that!

    I couldn’t help but laugh at my own mental imagery here thought. Bear-people hybrids and naked salmon.

    If you really want some laughs, or alternatively, want to become seriously depressed, check out the tw*tter page, @TakeThatDarwin , where the intellectually challenged go to pick a fights over evolution, the moon landing, fluoride, the round earth, etc.

    • koseighty
      Posted January 15, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      4 out of 5 bear people prefer naked salmon.

  29. jaxkayaker
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    “Why evolution is not true: We have been studying and recording nature scientifically for thousands of years. If eveolution is true you must be able to show me one instance, ONLY ONE, of a mother giving birth to another species. One mutation after another, yes, but there must be a point where the DNA goes from that of a man to that of a “whats to come”.”

    The above is not predicted by evolutionary theory. I recommend learning what evolutionary biologists themselves say about evolution, and not getting it explained secondhand by anti-evolution people. In addition or alternatively to the books others have suggested, What Evolution Is by Ernst Mayr is a good read.

    “Further, when have you seen, ever, where a mutation has aided an animal in both life and finding a mate: never.”

    This is incoherent; any mutation that helps an organism in finding a mate is helping that organism in life. Perhaps you meant that a mutation must help with finding a mate and also survival simultaneously. That is also not a prediction nor a criterion of evolutionary theory. If a mutation increases relative reproductive success, either by increasing mating opportunities directly or by improving survival such that reproductive output is increased by extension of lifespan, then it benefits the organism.

  30. Taz
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    It’s useless to try and demonstrate a scientific theory to someone who doesn’t have a basic understanding of the world. Imagine the lack of awareness you need to send an email like that to a professor of Biology and imagine he’ll read it and go “hmmm, never thought of that before, I guess I’ve been wrong all these years”.

  31. Roger
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    It’s hard enough convincing a creationist who has a modicum of intelligence, so good luck with this guy.

  32. Rita
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Lots of good responses here, but I vote for Mark Joseph’s.

  33. Alan
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    He must also be keenly aware of the instant he went from being a toddler to a child, and from a child to a teenager, and from a teenager to an adult. No continuous changes in nature, I guess.

  34. Marlene
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Was the author one of Donald Trump’s friends?

    • Draken
      Posted January 16, 2017 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      Probably the Secretary of Education and Science.

  35. Posted January 15, 2017 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    I’m not an expert in evolutionary biology, but ill give it a try:
    1.” We have been studying and recording nature scientifically for thousands of years. If evolution is true you must be able to show me one instance, ONLY ONE, of a mother giving birth to another species. One mutation after another, yes, but there must be a point where the DNA goes from that of a man to that of a “what’s to come” ” – For this point I would recommend “The Ancestors Tale” by Richard Dawkins
    2.” Further, when have you seen, ever, where a mutation has aided an animal in both life and finding a mate ” – This statement outright wrong. I think no evolutionary biologist claimed that mutation is good. The only thing that mutations do is to increase variations for natural selection to do ‘its’ work. Its Natural Selection that ‘decides’ which mutations to keep.
    Please correct me if I’m wrong Prof. Coyne.

  36. Michael Fisher
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Found via links at his website & thus I feel it’s OK to post his thought on an a hydrogen electron absorbing the exact amount of energy to jump ‘up’ an orbital. He’s got a literalist ‘solar system’ view [70 years out of date?] of what an orbital in an atom represents. He doesn’t grok how weird, vast & old this universe is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZWC085wIbU

    • HaggisForBrains
      Posted January 16, 2017 at 4:31 am | Permalink

      Oh dear! “Comments are disabled for this video.” Just as well. He literally doesn’t even know what day of the week it is, yet is studying string theory!

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted January 16, 2017 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

        This Tom Griffin [with views on string theory] has his own one-man-band business called Revelation Lawn & Snow LLC – yes he’s a lawn guy

        He has a half-hearted [not setup correctly] donation option at his business site. It is OK to donate to his business for no work done because… “This business was born in order to serve Jesus. I work in close conjuction with A Pillar Of The Church Ministries whose focus is to prayerfuly and financially support missionaries, evangelists, Bible schools/colleges, and Bible school students all over our beautiful blue planet.”

        This is a common tactic at Christian-run businesses – I need say no more! He also calls himself an NGO [that means non-profit basically]…

        Another common feature of most Christian websites is the ‘loud’ colours, errors in grammar/spelling & the ripping off of imagery. Tom doesn’t disappoint on any of those counts e.g. he employs the old British Conservative Party logo resembling an Olympic torch as part of his company branding: http://revelationlandcare.com/why%20we%20do%20it.html

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted January 16, 2017 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

            Bloody hell – it’s not as if it’s a particularly good logo – these drooling Christo-republitards are cheap.

            I note he [the late J.D. Longstreet – real name Bill Ghent] has a donate button too. He was the guy who advocated the return of public hangings & he had a twitter called “grayraider” – which must be a reference to the US civil war era Confederate ship the CSS Shenandoah commerce raider which preyed on unarmed Union merchant vessels – the good old days of southern hospitality & slavery.

            He’s another one of many ‘public Christians’ with a dubious CV [resume] – unspecified military service & all that tosh. A lying good old boy.

    • koseighty
      Posted January 16, 2017 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      His youtube channel is called “A Pillar of The Church Ministries.”

      Doesn’t think highly of himself at all.

  37. Claudia Baker
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Listening to the Sam Harris/Richard Dawkins podcast this weekend, I liked what Dawkins said: that he will, from now on, be proud to be an “elitist” (or words to that effect).

    Yup, count me in Richard. This religious bullshit is just plain beyond-the-pale moronic.

  38. Jonathan Dore
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    “If evolution is true you must be able to show me one instance, ONLY ONE, of a mother giving birth to another species.”

    This kind of thinking (based in this case on a misunderstanding of how a “species” is defined) is a great example of what Dawkins calls the discontinuous mind — the attitude that all questions are susceptible to black-and-white, yes-or-no answers. They are not. See http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2011/12/issue-essay-line-dawkins

  39. Mark R.
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    This is the kind of shallow reasoning and intellectual dishonesty that climate change deniers use. There is no global warming, you know why? SNOW! Take that you scientists!

  40. jrhs
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Dear Creationist,

    Thanks for the laugh. Did your God tell you to write the email? Did your God tell you what evolution was? If He didn’t, you might want to go to confession.

  41. Nell Whiteside
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    The author is stunning Dunning-Kruger specimen. A mutation perhaps?

    In the simplest of terms this means that stupid people are too stupid to realize that they are stupid.

    Poor things, they miss so much.

  42. grasshopper
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    “We have been studying and recording nature scientifically for thousands of years.”

    Yeah, but only if it didn’t conflict with religious doctrine. Your life was on the line if it did. And I am not sure “science” was a thing so far back in time.

  43. Posted January 15, 2017 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    God made Adam and Eve. If God made Adam and Eve He can make others.

    The “if” belongs in the first sentence. But it appears instead in the second, where instead of expressing doubt, it’s used as a logical pole vault to get even further away from the initial assertion.

    If eveolution is true you must be able to show me one instance, ONLY ONE, of a mother giving birth to another species

    Ha. If that happened it would be evidence for God.

  44. Posted January 15, 2017 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Dear Creationist,

    I have good news! Nah, not the so-called good news of the bible, but the real good news. News that will tickle your brain cells and make you smile because this news is interesting, stimulating, useful, comforting, and grounding. It’s called evolution. And you know nothing about it. What a wonderful experience is in store for you. I envy you though even after getting the basic gist of evolution there is still so much that one can learn. It’s the gift that keeps giving. To start this fabulous journey get Jerry Coyne’s, Why Evolution is True. Read it at least twice, because news can be a bit alien at first. Let the wondrous, evidence-based explanations gradually break down the intellectual barriers erected by your religion. My best to you. 🙂

  45. Alpha Neil
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    An example of a member of one species giving birth to another: Mary Anne MacLeod gave birth to an orange abomination that has baffled scientists.

  46. DiLuca
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Dear future evolutionist,

    I am just a reader here, not an accomplished scientist, but the following is what I understand. I hope it helps.

    To understand evolution, one must first try to understand the power of geological time. Without this comprehension, it will be increasingly difficult to navigate coherently through the waters of science and biology.

    You will not see species giving birth to other species during one, or two, or three generations. This does not happen that way. It takes thousands, even millions of generations for changes to accumulate. This accumulation proceeds gradually with the help of other factors, as for example, isolation.

    When species get separated by barriers, as for instance, geographical barriers (mountains, water, etc.), the isolated species continue on their own evolutionary paths. Again, please apply geological time here. Besides the evidence of the fossil record, the geographical distribution of species throughout the world, is a clear and elegant way to demonstrate this fact.

    This is what happened in Africa, for example, around 6 million years ago with the divergence from a common ancestor between humans and chimpanzees. The beauty of the fossil record shows us this undeniable truth extremely clear.

    To give you an idea, picture this: 6,000,000 years, divided by two = 3,000,000. Now, take the last zero out. It leaves you with 300,000 generations (human generations of about 20 years each, assuming that early human forebears had similar generations of 20 years each or so). Enough generations for the differences you see today between the two species.

    Each species continued on their evolution. If there in no interbreeding between the two species for long time, due in this case to the barriers, they will eventually become unable to produce fertile offspring once they meet again. Not that difficult to visualize and to understand.

    Once that happens, they will continue to separate themselves biologically (physical, morphological) until they are very different from each other, and thus become different and separate species.

    Now, don’t start thinking right away how is it possible for a mountain or a river to become effective barriers. Just remember that for a small organism a river could be a distance similar to from earth to the moon. In Africa 6 million years ago, a river or a mountain range could separate species forever, considering their small numbers then and the gigantic stretch of the area.

    In many cases, the more time it passes, the more different the species become. In other cases, the species don’t deviate too far from their original form. This will depend on the evolutionary pressures they confront on their particular or distinctive paths.

    Also remember that on their own paths, species continue diverging into other species as well, just like a small branch from a tree. They separate from the main trunk, and they keep separating themselves into others smaller branches.

    Again, it takes the power of geological time, not the kind of time we humans are used to comprehend instinctively.

    Geological time can produce things almost unimaginable. Not only in the evolution of species, but in the evolution of our planet as well.

    It is an amazing feeling when your mind finally start to appreciate the power of time. It could take a lot of reading but eventually it becomes part of your reasoning.

    Good luck with your studies. If you continue, you will truly find the knowledge enjoyment only science can provide.

    • Posted January 15, 2017 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      “Dear future evolutionist”

      Nice!

      Maybe a tad optimistic, but nice.

      /@

  47. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    I’m pretty much a novice in biology but even I understand the notion of “transitional forms” and that species is not a fixed thing.

  48. Pete T
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Dear Creationist,
    If you don’t take the trouble to find out either what evolution is or how to spell it before you start pontificating on it you probably will end up looking stupid. If I told you that “your byble was completely rong about Mohammed” then you would probably dismiss me as a rude, arrogant, uneducated jerk who didn’t know what he was talking about. And you would be right to do so. But I wouldn’t. Because I’m not. But you did.
    Yours,
    Peter

  49. Posted January 15, 2017 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Creationism is ignorance. The answers to these silly questions (which creationists seem to think are “gotchas”) are readily available. Let them wallow in their self-imposed stupidity.

  50. keith cook +/-
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Hey crazy person,
    “Further, when have you seen, ever, where a mutation has aided an animal in both life and finding a mate, never”

    When is the last time you saw a female and male gamete form a zygote and then divide and grow into human being just like you? never, you just see the results, that is, a baby and then, here you are. Bugger me, no one perfect.
    Your ignorance on the subject is astounding, go back to your warm and fuzzy place and learn how it works, try and get a grip on reality which does not include fairytales and don’t bother us with stupid statements like the above.

  51. zytigon
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Dear Gleaning the scriptures,
    Was it the devil who created each species of bacteria or God ? How is it that the Bible doesn’t record the vain & conceited devil proudly telling each of the Bible characters of how he micro-evolved each of God’s herbivorous animals into carnivores ? How come Isaiah 11v6 doesn’t say that Yahweh will reverse evolve the devil’s carnivorous mutations so that,”The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw” like it did in the beginning ? ( I just watched a film about Yellowstone national park which showed the Grizzly bears eating caraway & Hedysarum (sweetvetch) tubers from the bison pastures. The diet of both Grizzly & brown bear is 80-90% vegetarian )

    If Genesis 3v18 is saying that El influenced the evolution of plants such that they became thorny & inedible can we extend that to conclude he also claims responsibility for the evolution of the viruses, bacteria, fungi which cause illnesses in mammals etc ?

    Why is it possible to relate all bacteria in a genomic family tree that can be explained by evolution ? ( See Wikipedia chart of David Hillis’s 2008 plot of the tree of life )

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/11/Tree_of_life_SVG.svg

    • zytigon
      Posted January 15, 2017 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      Wikipedia has an interesting article on Horizontal gene transfer, ” HGT has been shown to be an important factor in the evolution of many organisms”

  52. Posted January 15, 2017 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    No one remotely literate in science (say, grade 6 level) would demand an example of speciation within a generation. But, for the record, let’s give one: diploid mother organism (e.g. Tragopogon pratensis) producing allotetraploid progeny (in this case, Tragopogon miscellus).

    I wonder why so many Christians are convinced that one should renounce science to earn the love of Jesus. I think they take “Blessed are the poor in spirit” too literally.

  53. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Dear Gleaning,

    Some immediate responses to your erroneous claims comes to mind.

    – You claim a [magic being] made [myth figures].

    How do you know, and why should we care? We have evidence of ancestral populations. The blog Why Evolution Is True has described some of that science and given references to the science.

    – “We have been studying and recording nature scientifically for thousands of years.”

    Actually, no. Science as we know it with well tested observations and theories is a modern development of – arguably – the 18th century. In fact, I think the name is from the 19th century. [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science ]

    – “If eveolution [sic] is true you must be able to show me one instance, ONLY ONE, of a mother giving birth to another species.”

    Evolution is a an observed fact, but it doesn’t involve your strawman of the process.
    Where does a tree branch start? Inside the trunk, where its starts to grow? In plane with the trunk? Or where it is no longer joined with it?

    A gradual process has a gradual change, and *that* is the nature of the observed evolutionary process. The evidence of this gradual process is multitudinous [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution ].

    Now I can say to you, with much more applicability to the claims you happen to make: if magical beings are true you you must be able to show me one instance, ONLY ONE, of one.

    – “Further, when have you seen, ever, where a mutation has aided an animal in both life and finding a mate”.

    Say, the height tolerance alleles of Tibetans and others. Those alleles have survived precisely because it aided those populations to live and get around to find mates.

    – “This is because God created them and the environment that they survive in.”

    Remember the claim you made before? You need to supply verifiable facts concerning your magical beliefs. But you do not.

  54. Posted January 15, 2017 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    One should learn what the Theory of Evolution by Means of Natural Selection is before criticizing it, lest one appear ignorant.

    I suggest reading a book titled Why Evolution is True. It is quite good.

    You ask what mother gave birth to a different species. With the merest amount of education you would realize how pathetically ignorant that strawman is.

    But to humor you, can you name the first person to speak modern French – specifically the exact point when the parents spoke Latin but the child spoke modern French? Name that person. If you can’t name that person, can we conclude that French, Italian, Spanish and the other Romance languages are not related to Latin? Did each of those languages poof into existence fully formed? Of course not. For 2000 years, pretty much every parent in what is now France spoke the same language as their children. Yet modern French is not Old French and Old French is not Latin. 2000 years of tiny changes, not perceptable in the moment, resulted in completely languages.

    This is a very simple analogy of the process of Evolution, where a series ofvtiny changes over millions of years results in lifeforms much different from the distant ancestor. Yet every child was very similar, but not identical, to the parent.

  55. Charles Minus
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    I have no formal training in biology or evolution but I do have a pretty good idea of how and why evolution works. I have learned about this stuff because I was, and remain, curious about the world around me. This person we are discussing has no curiosity or interest in these things or he too would have educated himself. For that reason, I think it is a total waste of time to try to educate him. He is not interested in our answers.

    • Posted January 15, 2017 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

      True. There may be some benefit to other readers, though.

  56. J. Quinton
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Since the English language hasn’t existed for all time, I wish creationists could tell me who the first English speaker spoke to.

    • Posted January 15, 2017 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      Don’t go there, JQ! Ma Ferguson, Gubnah i’ Texis, had Jesus as that theuh hlāford before Jesus was Lord. She baint be evuh not know’n what the dang she talkin’ ‘bout. Ne’er min’ dat hi-falutin’ edymology his-to-ree.

  57. Posted January 15, 2017 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    On the one hand, it’s usually foolish to look for a mother producing an offspring of a different species. Usually speciation involves a mother that produces slightly different offspring, who produces slightly different offspring, who produces slightly different offspring, (repeat many, many times), and then you reach a point where if you look back, you realize the new ones represent a species different from their far ancestors.

    On the other hand, sometimes speciation does occur in one generation, usually in cases where the chromosome number doubles, and more often in plants than in animals. Examples include Primula kewensis and a series of hybrid species in Tragopogon, as well as many other plants, especially ferns.

  58. Ullrich Fischer
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Richard Dawkins brilliantly answered the first bolded comment in one of his many excellent books by asking the reader to imagine that a member of the tribe of common ancestors to modern chimps, bonobos, and humans was able to stand next to her daughter and that daughter next to her own daughter… etc. until we came to a modern woman indistinguishable from the daughter of {with ID given… if that’s his real name}. The line of mother-daughter-grand-daughter…. etc. would stretch about 300 miles across Africa and every mother-daughter pair in that line would consists of members of the same species as each other and would look very much like each other. But over the 6 million years that those changes actually took to come about, we would see the very gradual change from something that looked somewhat like the pre-human animmal which fossilized to become the famous Lucy fossil to a modern woman. Evolution does not proceed in leaps from one species to a clearly different species. It is very gradual. And we have literally millions of examples of beneficial mutations happening, many of them before the eyes of scientists when they involve organisms with short enough reproductive cycles. While it is true that most mutations are either neutral or harmful to the organisms in which they occur, enough are beneficial to account for the entire diversity of life on the planet.

  59. Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    I would start by examining the age of an adult human being…Let’s be generous and call him 60 years old.

    Now compare that to the age of the earth. 4,600,000 years (4.6 MILLION YEARS)…Wait, you actually have to repeat this time span 1,000 times! The earth is 4.6 billion years old.

    Try to really think about even 1/1000th of the age of the earth…And how long that is…Year 1….Year 327,642…..Year 475,668….Year 1,287,444…..Year 3,444,695…..Year 4,599,940 (now just add another 60 years and you get ONE COUNT of 4,600,000)….You are at count 1! Do this another 1000X and you can kinda/sorta grasp this 4.6 billion years number. But really, you have absolutely no way to conceptualize this. For a human, even 10 years is a really long time (and we are lucky to see 8 counts of a mere 10 years in our lifetimes).

    Eh, it’s just really hard to break it down when I don’t have a science background. Best advice is to read, read, read.

    Let me ask you this though: Do you challenge higher level mathematics? Probably not because it’s not controversial and you don’t understand it. You have to be able to accept that, and understand that mathematicians have dedicated their lives to their subject, and really do know what they are talking about. They aren’t trying to trick you; higher level math is not a hoax.

    Do you question scholars of chemistry?

    PhDs that have spent decades studying physics?

    I would hope not because that would be really weird to think you know more than they do — when most likely your understanding of these subjects are low. So why do you do this for biology? You have to be able to accept that there are wonderful people who have spent their lives studying a very specific subject, have earned their PhD from prestigious institutions that date back to before the founding of the US (see Dr. Coyne’s alma mater)! And once again, these scholars are not trying to trick you! They really are experts and would like nothing more than for you to enter their scholarly world, and give their subject a chance.

    The very best book that will answer your question is….Why Evolution is True. It is brief, concise, and very easy to grasp and understand the concepts.

    There are thousands of others. Just to name a couple that are interesting:
    “Planet of the Bugs: Evolution and the Rise of Insects” by Scott Shaw.

    “Masters of the Planet: The Search for Our Human Origins” by Ian Tattersall.

    “Your Inner Fish” by Neil Shubin.

    Or, go back about 150 years, put yourself in an 1850s pre-evolution societal mindset, and try Darwin’s book On the Origin of Species. He offers literally 100s of examples of easy to grasp evolutionary concepts in his book.

    And to conclude, I’d like to ask you to provide just 1 example, just 1, that disproves evolution. But before you get your hopes up, since the publication of On The Origin of Species in 1859, not a single person in the universe has been able to do this.

    • HaggisForBrains
      Posted January 16, 2017 at 4:56 am | Permalink

      Do you question scholars of chemistry?

      PhDs that have spent decades studying physics?

      Actually, yes, he does. Dunning Kruger!

      H/t Michael Fisher #36 above

  60. eric
    Posted January 16, 2017 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Dear Creationist,
    What’s up with all the weird spellings and references to God? I’ve noticed other fundamentalists doing that too, but they all seem to pick a different appellation.

    Are you using “Yahova” instead of “God” to impress him, or impress us? Because I’m guessing either way, it’s not working.

  61. Mark Cagnetta
    Posted January 16, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    They must be trying to take over the world, or, at the very least, they are preparing for Betsy DeVos! Last night, just for the fun of it, I went to a creationist seminar entitled “The Evidence.” Part of a 7-night debacle, the topic last night was evolution. They made idiotic comments like “Christopher Hitchens made a deathbed conversion and that all animals are exactly the same as when they were created. The speaker used the platypus, woodpeckers, beetles, and, of course, flagellum to show that these marvelous animals were simply too amazing to have evolved. I was surrounded by hick Christians so I had to bite my tongue, but my wife and I left not only sick to our stomachs, but feeling very sorry for those people.

    • Posted January 16, 2017 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      I hope you didn’t give these folks any money! (I’m for share the wealth sometimes, but giving money to creationists …. ugh.)

  62. Posted January 16, 2017 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    I would simply ask him why, if god is so powerful that he created the universe in 6 days, did he not write his own book!?

  63. Sue Sommers
    Posted January 17, 2017 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    The really sad thing is our soon to be VP could have written that pitiful creationist letter.

  64. Jim
    Posted January 17, 2017 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    greetings creationist,

    a most glorious new year to you.

    i applaud your scientific curiosity. to ask questions suggests an open mind, an essential characteristic for science.

    you asked two questions in the form of statements:

    1. Why evolution is not true: We have been studying and recording nature scientifically for thousands of years. If eveolution is true you must be able to show me one instance, ONLY ONE, of a mother giving birth to another species. One mutation after another, yes, but there must be a point where the DNA goes from that of a man to that of a “whats to come”.

    you seem misinformed about the process of accumulated mutations. no peer reviewed science research has ever stated that one mutation in a multicellular organism will lead to a new species.

    you may be misinformed on the definition of a species, which to be honest, is a tricky definition. the standard definition–and i believe the christian definition–defines a species as an animal that can mate and have offspring capable of reproduction.

    an example of two separate species would be a horse and a bear. the animals are distinct and dissimilar enough to where a mating would not allow the sperm to fertilize an egg.

    if that horse were to mate with a donkey, the sperm would fertilize the egg and a mule would be born. the mule is a sterile animal and, hence, would not be able to reproduce. the donkey and the horse are separate species.

    however, if a grizzly bear and a polar bear were to mate, the offspring would be able to bear young. hence, the old definition fails to demonstrate the nuances of speciation. are polar bears their own species? it has a species name: u. maritimus. the grizzly bear’s species name: u. arctos.

    it is perhaps best to consider all life in the process of speciation and not dwell on the species. this is particularly true for humans. modern humans differ from humans that lived in europe forty five thousand years ago. most significant of the differences was that the older human’s brain capacity was 1,600 cc larger than the average today. further, there is good genetic evidence that outside africa, humans mated with neanderthals. humans outside of sub saharan africa all have the genetic markers from neanderthals. the fossil and archeological evidence show neanderthal and early homo sapiens to be very different animals and yet they mated and produced offspring capable of reproducing.

    i suggest that instead of looking for a mutation that clearly separates species, you looked at the accumulated mutations that define a species.

    in the case of humans, the accumulated mutations that separate us from humans of forty five thousand years ago is a smaller brain along with a slightly different skeleton. we are in the process of speciating, but would still be able to have reproducing offspring with these older humans, much like the polar bear and the grizzly bear.

    speciation is an process not defined in one generation or in one birth. if you adhere to your original statement and question, then you are making a straw man: proposing a fact not in evidence and making an argument not made by peer reviewed biologists. a straw man is a sleight of hand that distorts a position in order to discredit it. it is a logical fallacy that is dismissed.

    2. Further, when have you seen, ever, where a mutation has aided an animal in both life and finding a mate[?]

    the mutation for digesting milk aided europeans. the mutation was so successful that it dominated central and northern europe. the mutation is spread through mating and the fact that those with the mutation came to dominate the population is clear evidence in its benefit to find a mate.

  65. Francisco
    Posted January 21, 2017 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    I think that is a good signal the “Jesus love you” bombing. Meants they fear and suffer from WEIT, FvFacts and the other works. Congratulations. Now is the turn to take any of your work and extract a sentence or a paragraph that can suggest you, at the deepest of your “soul” are in doubt about the TRULY FAITH, and in the future, when you can´t deny it, Prof. Coyne had faith, but his ambient… you know.

    Congratulations, Dr. Coyne


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