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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

What we're up against

I know there are biologists reading (and one writing!) this blog. Answer these, if you can! Beware, they're real stumpers, and will easily make you see the folly of your ways of trusting evolution!

Evolution Test


Students, give this test to your teachers. When they fail it, ask them why they are teaching this nonsense!

Teachers, give this test to your students if you really want them to know the truth about evolution!


1. Which evolved first, male or female?
2. How many millions of years elapsed between the first male and first female?
3. List at least 9 of the false assumptions made with radioactive dating methods.
4. Why hasn't any extinct creature re-evolved after millions of years?
5. Which came first:

...the eye,

...the eyelid,

...the eyebrow,

...the eye sockets,

...the eye muscles,

...the eye lashes,

...the tear ducts,

...the brain's interpretation of light?
6. How many millions of years between each in question 5?
7. If we all evolved from a common ancestor, why can't all the different species mate with one another and produce fertile offspring?
8. List any of the millions of creatures in just five stages of its evolution showing the progression of a new organ of any kind. When you have done this, you can collect the millions of dollars in rewards offered for proof of evolution!
9. Why is it that the very things that would prove Evolution (transitional forms) are still missing?
10. Explain why something as complex as human life could happen by chance, but something as simple as a coin must have a creator. (Show your math solution.)
11. Why aren't any fossils or coal or oil being formed today?
12. List 50 vestigial or useless organs or appendages in the human body.
13. Why hasn't anyone collected the millions of dollars in rewards for proof of evolution?
14. If life began hundreds of millions of years ago, why is the earth still under populated?
15. Why hasn't evolution duplicated all species on all continents?
I really hope that this will show the light to all you sciencey types who read here, to show you the folly of your ways.




Okay I can't handle it anymore myself. My stupidometer is off the charts. But in the interest of education, I, as a layperson who hated biology in high school, will attempt to answer the stupidity of these questions.

1. Which evolved first, male or female?
Neither. Or both. Sexual reproduction evolved at the same time in both genders. Wouldn't make much sense to have a species with only males in it. (There was likely a large overlap of time while a species could still do asexual reproduction while sexual was evolving.)

2. How many millions of years elapsed between the first male and first female?
See above.

3. List at least 9 of the false assumptions made with radioactive dating methods.
I am not familiar with any false assumptions about radiometric dating methods. Was the fact that I do not know of any, yet the quiz insists that there are, supposed to inspire doubt in my trust of radiometric dating? I tried googling to find these false assumptions but was not able to find a list.


4. Why hasn't any extinct creature re-evolved after millions of years?
If a creature goes extinct, it was because it was unfit for its environment (usually because the environment changed). Then, after extinction, another creature will rapidly fill the ecological niche that is now empty. Using an existing creature is much faster than "re-evolving" a new species.

5. Which came first:
...the eye, (1)
...the eyelid, (2)
...the eyebrow, (3)
...the eye sockets, (4)
...the eye muscles, (5)
...the eye lashes, (6)
...the tear ducts, (7)
...the brain's interpretation of light? (8)

Ah, how about that. A question about the eye. No doubt it is supposed to be an example of Irreducible Complexity, that 'What good is an eye without a socket to put it in, and what good is a socket without an eye in it?' type of circular questioning. Well, my answer is that it started with some photosensitive cells and started from that. Before it could be considered an 'Eye.' So my answer would be. 8 - 1 - 5 - 4 - 2 - 7 - 3 - 6, approximately. Many of these things are perfectly usable by themselves without the other components, so there need not be an accurate order from me. They could easily have co-evolved too, and evolution excels at taking a component that has been useful elsewhere, and repurposing it for another use.

6. How many millions of years between each in question 5?
Irrelevant. The question is only relevant if you are trying to push Irreducible Complexity, which states that each piece is useless without the rest.

7. If we all evolved from a common ancestor, why can't all the different species mate with one another and produce fertile offspring?
Because we are now different species. Different species are defined by their ability to mate and produce offspring. Even if we evolved from a common ancestor, we are now different.


8. List any of the millions of creatures in just five stages of its evolution showing the progression of a new organ of any kind. When you have done this, you can collect the millions of dollars in rewards offered for proof of evolution!
I am afraid I do not understand the question. I will have to pass on this one. Please rephrase your question in a way I can understand it and I will be happy to give it a shot. Any other readers here who understand the question?


9. Why is it that the very things that would prove Evolution (transitional forms) are still missing?
Ah, the good ol' "transitional forms" canard. This is a non-question. Every form is a transitional form, because evolution never stops. Every single fossil ever found is a transitional fossil. Every species ever lived has been in transit during its lifetime, because as soon as a creature has an offspring, its offspring will be slightly different.

10. Explain why something as complex as human life could happen by chance, but something as simple as a coin must have a creator. (Show your math solution.)
My math? I didn't sign up for maths! But okay, I'll take your bait. Here's the math version: The probability of any event happening, that has already happened, is 1.

The simple answer is that human life (or any species' life, no need to single out humans) did not happen purely by chance. Evolution by natural selection is non-random, although the mutations themselves are. Also a coin is not simple, it was designed with a specific purpose in mind and with specific criteria for how it should be. Humans were not.


11. Why aren't any fossils or coal or oil being formed today?
Coal and oil still are being formed. It just takes a while.
Fossils can theoretically still get formed, takes a while there too, but humans have turned the earth into an environment not very suited for fossilization.

12. List 50 vestigial or useless organs or appendages in the human body.
List 50 useless organs? I can't even list 50 organs we have! Is the goal of this question the implied idea that if evolution is true, we should have lots of useless organs that are no longer needed? So that since I can't list many of them therefore the whole premise of evolution is false? Hardly. I only need to list one, as an example: The tail bone.

13. Why hasn't anyone collected the millions of dollars in rewards for proof of evolution?
I was not aware that there were such rewards. The only one I am aware of is Kent Hovind's prize for proving evolution, which, since it is offered by Kent Hovind, will never be successfully claimed no matter how well documented evolution might become.

14. If life began hundreds of millions of years ago, why is the earth still under populated?
I was not aware that we were underpopulated. Earth is teeming with life! Everywhere you look, there's life! Life has managed to expand to the highest mountaintops and the deepest oceans. It's astounding how successful life has been on Earth!

15. Why hasn't evolution duplicated all species on all continents?
The answer has two reasons: One, because the different continents have different environments, thus excerting different selection pressures on the creatures to make species more suited to each environment. The second reason is, that for each environment, there can be more than one species suited to living in it, thus given two parallel environments, if you start evolution from square 1 in both at the same time, they might end up with different results.



Did I pass your test? My point in doing this was not to humor the creators of this by taking them seriously. Don't. Their arguments hold no water, and they need not be taken seriously. My reason for doing this was that anyone can and should see the errors in these reasonings. Please keep in mind that I consider myself a layperson when it comes to biology and evolution. I am open to the idea that I might have made an error or three in some of my answers, but that in no way invalidates the premise: Evolution is true.


(Link gotten from: PZ)

4 comments:

  1. Hehe, brilliant answers to the nonsensical questions! ;D

    By the looks of that Missing Universe Museum website I'd say this is put together by a couple of teenagers with mediocre html skills, or Kent Hovind himself :p

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  2. Hey, this seems like a fun one!

    I won't answer all of them, just the one's where I disagree/have something I want to add.

    It is interesting aswering questions like this. It requires a bit more creativity, because sometimes you need to identify why the question is flawed. And that can some times be quite hard. "En dum kan spørre mer enn ti vise kan svare".

    1.
    I think this one is more easy than it appears. A male cannot reproduce without a female. But some females can reproduce without males. So there was probably never a male without a female. But females without males is very possible. So females came first!

    2.
    That requires detailed knowledge I don't have. Also I think it would vary between species and depend on definition. How to define sex is not always as clear as it is with humans and most animals.

    4.
    Because the environment and selection pressure keeps changing. Also the species from which a re-evolvment should come from is gone (has evolved into something else).

    5.
    I think you're wrong in the beginning there. I think passive light sensitive cells in sockets appeared way before the eye.

    6.
    The question assumes the different parts evolved in whole, one after another. I say there is a lot of overlap in evolving the different parts, so that there is actually no time between any of them. Also eyes have evolved in different species independently, so there would in any way be several answers.

    8.
    I think the point here is picking a species, following it down the tree of evolution, and point out where the ancestors had different numbers of organs. It would require quite detailed knowledge I don't even know if exists.

    10.
    Irreducible simplicity!

    Just kidding. :)

    Evolution is of course not something that happens by change. Evolution takes place if certain requirements are in place. Some of these are:
    - There is a pattern
    - The pattern can be copied by some means
    - "Errors" occur in the pattern, like copying errors or mutations
    - Different patterns have different chance of getting cloned
    - There are some kind of competition for resources between different patterns
    - The resources are limited

    Something like that. Anyway, if the conditions are right, evolution happens. Now it should be quite easy to see why a coin never would evolve, but a human being would.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ukorrigert,

    Evolution explained short:

    Heritability
    Mutation
    Selection

    ReplyDelete