Creationism and Coyne-dissing at The Daily Caller

It’s never wise for a serious conservative website to throw in its lot with creationism. Evolution is so well established—and my book gives only a small part of the evidence—that you just appear ignorant to question it—that is, unless you have some serious scientific knowledge and questions. And even then, I can’t imagine any evidence that would overthrow the entire edifice of evolution: that would deep-six at the same time the notions of evolutionary change, natural selection, gradualism, common ancestry, and the splitting of lineages, all of which are buttressed by masses of evidence.

The Daily Caller, however, is touting creationism in the guise of “problems with evolution”, and to its detriment. It’s a conservative site I look at occasionally, and just learned this from Wikipedia:

The Daily Caller is a conservative American news and opinion website based in Washington, D.C. It was founded by political pundit Tucker Carlson and Neil Patel, former adviser to former Vice President Dick Cheney. The site’s coverage includes politics, business, world news, entertainment, sports, education, technology, outdoors, and energy.

The Daily Caller launched on January 11, 2010, as a politically conservative news and commentary outlet and alternative to the liberal The Huffington Post, similarly featuring sections in broad range of subjects beyond politics. By late 2012, The New York Times reported that the site had quadrupled its page view and total audience and had become profitable without ever buying an advertisement for itself.

Reader Tim called my attention to this Daily Caller article, by F. LaGard Smith, which claims the “microbe to man evolution story” (in other words, evolution in general) is “dumb, bad science.” Click on the screenshot to see the fun—and ignorance. The Caller’s own description of Smith:

LaGard Smith is a former law professor (principally at Pepperdine University) and scholar in residence for Christian Studies (Lipscomb University). He is the compiler and narrator of The Daily Bible and is the author of over 30 books. His most recent book is Darwin’s Secret Sex Problem: Exposing Evolution’s Fatal Flaw—The Origin of Sex.

Smith begins by saying that evolutionists’ objections to teaching the “problems with evolution” are twofold, and both wrong. The first of our misguided objections is that “there’s a hidden agenda to teach the biblical creation story.” But of course there is! Everybody knows that, and creationists, forced by losses in court to increasingly hide their religious agenda, are now pretending that their objections to evolution are scientific, as if every working scientist has been bamboozled. (I ask you this: why, among all well established scientific facts, is evolution the major one challenged by non-scientists? And why are the challengers always religious?) And this brings us to Smith’s second objection: that we evolutionists don’t take into account that the objections of people like Smith (who of course could never be motivated by his faith), are scientific ones! 

He says, for example, that evolutionists can’t explain exactly how sex evolved. Well, that’s true: we don’t yet understand it. But this is the familiar “argument from ignorance”—that if evolution cannot explain one particular phenomenon, it must mean both that creationism is true since God must have been involved, and that the whole edifice of evolution is wrong. Well, we have lots of good theories of how sex came to be (we are also, by the way, ignorant of why sex persists given the reproductive advantage of genes producing asexual reproduction, but Smith is too witless to know about that issue). If you want to see some of the theories for how and why sexual reproduction evolved, start here, here, and especially here. Since we weren’t around when sex evolved, though, these ideas are hard to test. Likewise, we’re ignorant of why the Stegosaurus evolved those plates on its back, as we weren’t there when it happened and at any rate couldn’t do experimental tests. Does our ignorance of that also constitute severe weakness of evolution and evidence for God? LOL! This is like saying that because we don’t know what Julius Caesar ate for breakfast on the day he was assassinated, he must not have existed.

By the way, if ignorance of evolution is evidence for God, then isn’t ignorance about God evidence for evolution? Doesn’t theologians’ inability to explain the reason why God would allow physical evils like cancer and tsunamis (which science can explain) invalidate the notion of a kindly and powerful God, deep-sixing Christianity? But let’s move on. Smith says this:

That’s only for starters. What school children must also never know is that the familiar “tree of evolution” (illustrating evolution’s bedrock assumption of common descent) could never have happened in actual fact. Natural selection could not possibly have provided simultaneous, on-time delivery of the first compatible male/female pair of each of millions of sexually-unique species. (Merely consider the weird, cannibalistic sex of the praying mantis! Or, even more problematic, the first-ever male and female reptiles, mating and reproducing as no amphibians before them.)

Now that’s just complete bull-goose stupidity, reflecting ignorance of how species form. In general speciation begins with the geographic separation of populations within a species, and then those populations undergo gradual divergent evolution, eventually transforms them into different species that are reproductively incompatible. That takes time—it’s not instantaneous except for oddments like autopolyploidy. A new species doesn’t “start” with a brand new sexually compatible pair of individuals that is incompatible with every other member of the species. It starts with a population that evolves, often adaptively, and eventually this evolution makes it reproductively incompatible with its sister species, which has also undergone divergent evolution.

By itself, Smith’s paragraph above disqualifies him as having no credibility for criticizing evolution. If you want to go after evolution, first understand what you’re going after!

Finally, he comes for me.

In his best-selling book, Why Evolution is True, even skeptic Jerry Coyne keenly appreciates where the crux of the evolution debate lies. “A better title for The Origin of Species,” says Coyne, “would have been The Origin of Adaptations. While Darwin did figure out how and why a single species changes over time (largely by natural selection), he never explained how one species splits in two.” (Would it breach “the wall of separation” to share an evolutionist’s corrective with school children?)

Coyne’s own attempt to hypothesize how species might have “split” has to do with “geographic isolation” causing genetic diversions. Problem is, there simply aren’t enough isolating mountains, rivers, or lakes on the planet to explain the origin of tens of millions of different species. So, we’re back to hard scientific reality. If there’s no evolved first generation of any given species, then there could be no evolution into any other species, nor certainly any higher species, most especially us humans.

First of all, I’m not a skeptic about speciation: I STUDY speciation and wrote my first book about it. And yes, Darwin was muddled about the origin of species, but my book is an attempt to show that we not only understand it much better after 150 years, but have evidence for the very splitting that was such an important part of Darwin’s book, even if he didn’t fully understand how it happened. (The sole diagram in The Origin is one of lineages splitting). Geographic isolation is indeed our best theory for how new species begin to form, but it’s not our only theory (polyploidy in plants doesn’t evoke geographic isolation, for instance). And at any rate Smith is just talking out of his fundament when he says that “there aren’t enough geographic barriers to account for the origin of species.” In fact new species originate at a very slow rate, and there’s no problem with envisioning geographic separation happening at that rate (see Speciation by Allen Orr and me). That book, by the way, gives plenty of evidence for the geographic-isolation view of speciation.

In the end, Smith goes back to the trope “if there’s no novel First Couple of any given species (including humans)”, then speciation can’t happen. Evolutionists must believe in an Adam and Eve of mammals, furry creatures that, says Smith, were reproductively incompatible with the very reptilian parents that sired them!  And he thinks that Adam and Eve were required to kick off Homo sapiens: that somehow we couldn’t have evolved from an isolated population of primates within our common ancestor with the chimps? The guy needs to learn some elementary evolution. I’d recommend the first three chapters of Speciation, though perhaps Smith should take Bio 101 and an evolutionary biology course first.

Further, the Daily Caller should think twice before casting in its lot with “irreducible sexuality” creationism. As the media says “This is not good optics.”

 

h/t: Tim

75 Comments

  1. BJ
    Posted June 16, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    It baffles me when people criticize things Darwin wrote and then say, “see?!? Evolution is BS! Even Darwin wasn’t right about some things!”

    Darwin died in 1882. The dude didn’t have almost any of the instruments and methods we use today. There has been, you know, some research done since Darwin. Evolutionary theory encompasses two centuries of research. It isn’t code for “all the stuff Darwin said and nothing else.”

    • Jon Gallant
      Posted June 16, 2018 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      Those who make this kind of argument unintentionally reveal what they expect in the realm of explanation of anything: a document every word of which is inerrant and infallible—like, for example, the Revealed Word of God.

      • Osmo
        Posted June 16, 2018 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        That is projection. They know their position stands or fall with the infallibility of the Bible so they think that applies to evolution also.

    • Curt Nelson
      Posted June 16, 2018 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      It’s like criticizing Henry Ford for not producing the latest car right off the bat — You call that a suspension? Give me a break! (Cars aren’t real!)

      • Curt Nelson
        Posted June 16, 2018 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

        Cars will never work!
        (That’s better)

      • BJ
        Posted June 16, 2018 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        I think you mean “give me a brake”

        • Curt Nelson
          Posted June 16, 2018 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

          Better yet.

  2. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted June 16, 2018 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    My impression is that Tucker Carlson got massively worse after he joined Fox News (in 2009) where he seems to have really drunk the Kool-Aid en masse.

    Weirdly, in the late 1990s, both Christopher Hitchens and a conservative journalist (I’m not bothering to look it up) were asked who they thought was the most promising journalist on the other side of the political divide. Hitchens names as most promising conservative journalist….Tucker Carlson. Promise not fulfilled!!

    The fact that our picture of evolution is incomplete does not refute it, anymore than having a jigsaw puzzle only half-done shows that you so far have assembled it incorrectly.

    The existence of incomplete models is how a accomodationist like software engineer Larry Wall (inventor of the language PERL) reconciles Christianity and evolution. Unlike Ken Miller et al, he makes no claims about how they are both (in his eyes) true.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted June 16, 2018 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      Carlson always presented with the persona of a snotty little frat boy — but since joining Fox News he’s devolved into naught but a culture warrior. I never liked him, but I’ve come to detest him.

      • Curt Nelson
        Posted June 16, 2018 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

        The way he stares at people with whom he disagrees as they answer him — brow furrowed, eyes deeply concerned, trying to comprehend such disturbing ideas…

        He’s so unlikeable to say the least.

      • JonLynnHarvey
        Posted June 16, 2018 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I think snotty frat boy about sums it up, but its the veneer of concern masking the snottiness which is the truly annoying bit.

  3. DrBrydon
    Posted June 16, 2018 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Doesn’t theologians’ inability to explain the reason why God would allow physical evils like cancer and tsunamis (which science can explain) invalidate the notion of a kindly and powerful God, deep-sixing Christianity.

    They can always explain them to their own satisfaction. F. LaGard Smith (what is the “F” for, other than flamboyance? Must be bad if he chooses Laggard in preference) and his colleagues don’t need to convince anyone. They just need to give the faithful some reasons not to worry.

    • Steve Pollard
      Posted June 16, 2018 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps the ‘F’ stands for ‘F***wit”.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted June 17, 2018 at 3:59 am | Permalink

        You beat me to it.

        It must be pretty dreadful if it’s worse than ‘LaGard’.

        Now I can’t fault anybody for dropping a name they don’t like; but dropping it and keeping the initial marks him as a pompous poseur (in my infallible opinion).

        cr

        • Posted June 18, 2018 at 11:48 am | Permalink

          One of my professors at McGill was “R. Storrs McCall”. I don’t know why he chose to use “Storrs”, though it does have the virtue of being unusual, to say the least. (I only know of the city in Connecticut (?).)

  4. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 16, 2018 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Hell, it’s been 13 years since Kitzmiller, 30 since Edwards v. Aguillard. We’re right on schedule for such arrant nonsense to recrudesce on the Right.

    Plus ça change …

  5. Posted June 16, 2018 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    You have a lot more experience fighting this kind of crap than I but I wonder whether they even care about the science. Trump has demonstrated for us the difference between lying and bullshitting. My guess is a lot of anti-evolutionists are the latter. They, and most of their readers, don’t care about the science. They know that if they learned a little more science and looked closely at evolution, they would be working against their goal of keeping man special in the eyes of their God.

    Having a real scientist argue with their moronic screed plays somewhat into their hands. It allows them to claim that the science is still controversial. It doesn’t mean that at all but their readers don’t know this and don’t want to know. They are only interested in maintaining their ignorance.

    Perhaps what would work better is something equivalent to Wolfgang Pauli’s famous “not even wrong” statement, though I don’t know how one would deliver it exactly.

    • Posted June 16, 2018 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      SOME people care about the science, and have been drawn to accept evolution by the arguments and facts. I know because I’ve met them, and others have “testified” at Dawkins’s “Converts Corner” site.

      • Posted June 16, 2018 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        That’s good to hear! I guess there’s still hope.

        By the way, I was sad to learn on last night’s Bill Maher show that George Will is a manmade climate change denier. He is one of those that acknowledges that the climate is getting warmer but skeptical that it is due to man’s activities. Although Will is a conservative, he always seemed to be one of the “good ones” and writes so well. When Maher challenged him by pointing out that he’s not a scientist and should trust the overwhelming majority of climate scientists, Will really didn’t answer the question. My guess is that Will is over the hill and has jumped the shark, to mix a few metaphors.

        • tomh
          Posted June 16, 2018 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

          Too bad Maher doesn’t follow that advice when it comes to medical matters.

          • Posted June 16, 2018 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

            Yes, but he seems to be softening his anti-vax position. I suspect this is because he recognizes his own hypocrisy.

            • tomh
              Posted June 16, 2018 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

              More likely because he’s been subjected to so much ridicule. I doubt he’s changed his mind after 20 years of unwavering opposition.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted June 16, 2018 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      You have a lot more experience fighting this kind of crap than I but I wonder whether they even care about the science.

      It’s not, IME, that they mostly care one damn about science. What they are gut-wrenchingly terrified of is the scepticism to authority and attention to evidence which are the basic tools of scientific investigation, and which is utter anathema to world views that depend on unquestioning acceptance of the Word of an Authority Figure.
      Most Creationists are simply parroting what their Authority Figure du jour (Pastor of some sort, or someone else they surrender their judgement to) ; they don’t have the individualism to actually work out how they’re being manipulated.

  6. Posted June 16, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    For the love of Caesar! Their article!!!!

  7. Randall Schenck
    Posted June 16, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    What an idiot. He makes up his own interpretation of speciation and then says, well, that doesn’t work. Just imagine what he could do if he actually knew what it was.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted June 16, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      Let’s say you are in the mechanics business and some guy said to you, I know that carburetor just won’t work. I have visualized the whole thing and it just won’t do it. The guy knows nothing about carburetors but he is sure. You would just throw him out of the shop. Where do you throw the creationist?

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted June 16, 2018 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

        Where do you throw the creationist?

        If the Good Lord had not intended us to throw Creationists under them, then we’d have never been allowed to invent the bus!
        No?

    • ChrisS
      Posted June 16, 2018 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      Mmm. Well, whenever I have a question about evolution- such as: how does speciation occur?- the first person I think to ask is a former professor of law.

      When I have a problem with my car…I take it to the vet.

      True, I’ve made that joke on another website, but what the hell.

      • tomh
        Posted June 16, 2018 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

        What is it with former law professors, anyway? The last one I remember was Phil Johnson, founder of Intelligent Design.

        • Posted June 18, 2018 at 11:50 am | Permalink

          Not quite as bad as engineers, for which there was years ago go coined the term “Salem hypothesis”.

          That said, of course, there are a lot of reasonable engineers who *aren’t* creationists.

          • Posted June 18, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

            Beware the Grammar Nazis! They might claim that “which” should be “whom” since humans are involved! 🙂

  8. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 16, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I ask you this: why, among all well established scientific facts, is evolution the major one challenged by non-scientists?

    And why, if the problems with evolution are so blatant as to be obvious to laymen, do all the other natural sciences remain silent about what is rotten in biology’s state of Denmark?

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted June 16, 2018 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      I think the answer to both questions is – Religion.

    • Harrison
      Posted June 16, 2018 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      I have to quibble with Jerry’s premise: Evolution is NOT the only well established scientific fact under assault by non-scientists. There’s also anthropogenic climate change.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted June 16, 2018 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        Oh, I had a nutter drift past my line of sight recently, touting an idea that all dinosaurs were obligately aquatic all the time for all species. Including the ones that lived in desert environments.
        Fortunately, someone else makes it his evening job whacking this particular mole. He just posted a particularly comprehensive clue-by-four video … which I can dig out from You tube if you want. It almost makes me feel sympathetic for the swimming dinosaur man. Almost.

      • Posted June 16, 2018 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

        He didn’t say it was the only one, he said it was the major one.

        Anyway, I think the answer is that evolutionary biology is the only branch of science that directly contradicts the idea that humans are special creations of God.

        Evolution says humans are just another variety of ape that happens to have arisen by chance thanks to random mutations and environmental conditions that selected us.

        Take another science: cosmology. That has shown us that the Earth is not the centre of the universe and that the Universe itself is very much bigger and very much older than we traditionally imagined, but it still leaves room for God to have created us specially.

  9. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 16, 2018 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    “why sex persists”

    Good title for a novel — or maybe even for a ska band.

    • sshort
      Posted June 16, 2018 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      Most excellent!

      Though it’ll probably just retread as a reality show. Probably on a beach in Jersey.

  10. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted June 16, 2018 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Oh?

    And what about … fish? What about fish, Dr. Coyne?

    Don’t anyone buy it – it’s a conspiracy to sell more Why Evolution Is True copies.

    ^^^^satire – not real. Well, real, but…

    … But what about Richard Dawkins?

  11. Roger
    Posted June 16, 2018 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Good job debunking evolution, F. LaGard Smith, creationist genius. Every scientist in the world: “Doink! Why didn’t we think of that! We’re so silly! Thanks F. LaGard!”

  12. Posted June 16, 2018 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Smith is just another creationist lawyer who no serious scientist has ever paid any attention. Like many of his ilk, he thinks that he smarter than scientists.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted June 16, 2018 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      I’ve been sitting here unsuccessfully resisting the urge to shout out “WHOM!”

      Sorry, it’s a silly fixation of mine. You’ve got a free pass now to take a grammar-nazi shot at me, anytime you want. 🙂

      • Laurance
        Posted June 16, 2018 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

        Ummmm….and with a grin (because I’m just playing and not trying to be a genuine pain in the ass) I’m unsuccessfully resisting the urge to shout out “TO!!”

        “…creationist lawyer to whom no serious scientist has ever…”

        (I hope I haven’t broken any of da roolz by funning with you.)

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted June 16, 2018 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

          Yeah, there’s a missing “to,” too, either where you’ve placed it, or at the end of the sentence, after “attention” (unless you’re the type — which I certainly ain’t! — to object to terminal prepositions). Had “Douglas E” not omitted the “to,” he likely would’ve gotten the objective-case pronoun right.

          • Diane G
            Posted June 16, 2018 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

            Where are all the descriptivists? 😉

            (I tend to lean strongly prescriptivist myself, but I’m afraid the d’s usually win.)

            • darrelle
              Posted June 17, 2018 at 7:36 am | Permalink

              Prescriptivist! I never would have suspected that of you Diane! 🙂

              • Diane G
                Posted June 18, 2018 at 3:30 am | Permalink

                Goes hand-in-hand with my secret Grammar Nazi bent…

                (But surely you’re aware that once you know the real way “begging the question” should be used, you can’t unknow it? :D)

              • Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

                Mirriam-Webster has a nice discussion about “begs the question” being used as “a question that begs an answer.” It may be just a matter of time before the “incorrect” use replaces the “correct” use.

                https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/beg-the-question

              • Posted June 18, 2018 at 10:31 am | Permalink

                I am happy with that, of course. I say let the logicians rise up. The rest of us can handle them. Let them take solace in the etymological role of the phrase.

      • Posted June 16, 2018 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

        Ken, I noted that after I hit submit, but was too lazy to correct it. Ending a sentence with it 🙂

  13. Pliny the in Between
    Posted June 16, 2018 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    I think the Daily Caller’s agenda is less about creationism than it is about generally eroding society’s trust in science and reason so that among their readership. They like to paint science as having a liberal bias.

    • Mark Joseph
      Posted June 16, 2018 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

      Very possibly correct.

      “I have in mind the notion that is so fashionable nowadays, namely that we live in a Dark Age where puny Science quails before many a dim Unknown on every hand. Surely this sort of facile pessimism dampens the energy of inquiry even as it leads to obscurantism—toward a despair of certainty which encourages us to embrace truths, half-truths, and the most extravagant falsehoods with a promiscuous lack of discrimination.
      Granting that our knowledge be limited, what can it profit us to traffic in lurid fantasies and errant imaginings? When—certainty failing us—we must speculate, let us recognize the difference between careful enumeration of reasonable hypotheses, and the reckless multiplication of bizarre conceptions.” Michael Shea, Nifft the Lean

  14. Posted June 16, 2018 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    “… we have lots of good theories of how sex came to be…”

    Along the same line, I understand that there are multiple theories of how life on Earth originated. I suggest this response when creationists exploit such uncertainties with their arguments from ignorance:

    “Do you have any coins in your pocket? Let me see one.”

    (Creationist gives you a coin from his pocket.)

    “How did this coin get in your pocket?”

    “I don’t know, there are a lot of possible ways. It might have been part of my change when I bought a candy bar, or when I bought a newspaper; or I might have found it on the ground.”

    “If you don’t know for sure how this coin got in your pocket then clearly it must have been placed there by God, right?”

    • Posted June 16, 2018 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      I love the coin in the pocket analogy!

    • Robert
      Posted June 16, 2018 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      What if he replies, “RIGHT!”?

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted June 16, 2018 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

        Then it’s time to start the bridge-sale talk.

  15. jellen
    Posted June 16, 2018 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    The Daily Caller frequently publishes religionist articles. They are unfailingly anti-abortion for any and all reasons. These days, however, a large helping of skepticism is appropriate when you read any news site. I would like to see more doubts cast on the slanted reporting of CNN and The New York Times and the Washington Post as well as that of Fox News and other conservative sources. Journalism has been politicized on all sides. Compare the biased reporting about the IG’s report. If you want to know the truth, you had better read the report for yourself, and not just the IG’s summary.

    • Posted June 16, 2018 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      I dislike this false equivalency. CNN, WaPo, and NYT all strive to report honestly and without bias, as opposed to Fox and many conservative media outlets. Just because they occasionally screw up and sometimes show a liberal bias, they are nothing like Fox. Sean Hannity and Trump have nightly phone calls so as to align their messages!

      With Trump, it is almost impossible for the media to report on all the lies and bad ideas without coming off as anti-Trump. They know this but have really no choice as to do otherwise would make them complicit.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 16, 2018 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, it’s a false equivalency. I’ve watched a fair amount of the prime-time lineups of the cable news networks over the last two years.

        The hosts on MSNBC, and CNN, are engaged in opinion journalism — perhaps even crossing over into advocacy journalism on occasion. They gleefully flog bad news about Trump. But they never knowingly misrepresent the underlying facts, and when they get it wrong, they own up to it and apologize.

        Not so, Fox News. It’s become Trump propaganda tv, with all that entails, merrily playing along with his myriad lies and delusions.

        • Posted June 16, 2018 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

          A fair characterization, IMHO.

        • Posted June 18, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

          Even I, who insists that by all rights the NYT is a conservative paper, would not accuse them of being anywhere *near* as distorting as Fox (News).

  16. tomh
    Posted June 16, 2018 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    sub

  17. Posted June 16, 2018 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    So even smoother than an orange.

  18. Posted June 16, 2018 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    They are making fools of themselves.

    • Diane G
      Posted June 16, 2018 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

      Which seems to be working out quite well for them now, seeing as how they’re in charge of every branch of government…

  19. Tom Besson
    Posted June 16, 2018 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    There’s an old saying that goes, “When the attack dogs start circling, it’s time to check their pedigrees.” When I see Tucker Carlson as one who heads up ‘The Daily Caller’, I just roll my eyes and say, “No wonder.” Normally, I give people who wear bow ties a pass, but in Tucker’s case, not so much.

  20. nicky
    Posted June 16, 2018 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    I’m always flabbergasted at some people who clearly haven’t got a clue, confidently dismiss in a short article that what great minds have been discovering over decades and about which thousands of studies have been done.
    Darwin already remarked on it, but nowadays it is called the Dunning-Kruger effect. We have a crystal-clear case here, methinks.

  21. Steve Gerrard
    Posted June 17, 2018 at 1:48 am | Permalink

    Horses and donkeys. Not quite done becoming separate species, as they can produce sterile offspring with each other. A nice example of how it really happens. Also it explains why we have jackasses.

  22. Graham Martin-Royle
    Posted June 17, 2018 at 3:34 am | Permalink

    As per usual with people like this they not only insist that a god must have done it, they insist that it must have been their god (even though, again as per usual, they don’t actually specify which god they’re talking about).

    The possibility that there might be another explanation which neither they nor evolutionists have considered never occurs to them. Everything must always come back to a god, preferably their god.

    • Posted June 17, 2018 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      When someone tells me something is god’s will or was done by him/her/it, I always ask “which of the 10,000 or so ones currently alleged to be running around?”

  23. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted June 17, 2018 at 4:15 am | Permalink

    FFS!

    That first quote – “What school children must also never know….” demonstrates blindingly clearly that he has not the slightest idea of evolutionary theory. His ignorance is staggering.

    Either that or he’s deliberately inventing a totally fake strawman for him to criticise.

    Just a moment’s thought for, say, a layman who has only the sketchiest hearsay knowledge of evolution would suggest to him that evolving from one species to another must come gradually, and hence all the individuals involved would be compatible.

    This utter prat Smith is trying to impose Adam-and-Eve bollocks on species!

    cr

  24. Posted June 18, 2018 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    I can’t imagine having a target on my back for ignoramuses to aim at because I stand for the truth. You are a better man than I, Jerry Coyne!

  25. Mark Davies
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    F.LaGard Smith, wrote a scathing 1 star review, of the book: Why Evolution is True, on Amazon UK.

    • Posted June 18, 2018 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      You made me curious to see what kind of bad reviews WEIT got on the US Amazon website. Most are either “my book was damaged” or “it was a hard read”. One was a bit more interesting:

      “If the Theory of Evolution is true and based on facts. Are you willing to die for it? Is your faith in a group of humans who have gathered facts to support their work and their reputation. If so, then you have more faith than I.”

      Not sure why anyone has to die for it.


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