28 January 2008

To torture little children just for the fun of it: The Hitchens-Richards ID debate

I wish I could have seen yesterday's Intelligent Design debate between Christopher Hitchens and Jay Richards at Stanford University. (If anyone can find a transcript or a webcast, please let me know.) But from the report in the Stanford Daily, it was another bad day for ID.

The first bit of evidence that Richards presented in favor of ID was the fact that we all feel "simple moral truths." As an example, he pointed to the fact that "we all know that it’s wrong to torture little children just for the fun of it."

And I agree, we pretty much all know that. Which is why we also know that life wasn't designed by a kind and loving God. Because the designer, if there is one, purposefully designed creatures that "torture little children" and he did so "just for the fun of it." Or so says Revelation 4:11, anyway.

Thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Here's what Sir David Attenborough said when asked about ID.

When people talk about God and creation, they always think of beautiful things, like roses and hummingbirds. But I also think of a little African boy sitting on a river bank in West Africa with a worm eating its way through his eyeball, which will make him blind in the next few years. Now if you are telling me that God created the rose and the hummingbird, presumably he also created this thing in his eye. And it didn't evolve the way that I believe that it did, but it was created by God. Some way or another, God said, "I will make a worm that can only live by boring through peoples' eyes." Now I don't find that compatible with the Christian idea of a God who cares for the well being of each of us.

Here is the interview with David Attenborough.

And here is a Wikipedia article on River Blindness.

54 comments:

Berend de Boer said...

If we discard the first 11 chapters if Genesis, we also discard the Fall. God created all things God, but when sin came into this world, creation fell with it.

For example we read in Gen 3:17-18 that the ground is cursed: "cursed is the ground for thy sake ... Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth"

And one thing that has been documented abundantly is devolution: due to mutation, good or harmless bacteria have evolved into highly dangerous ones.

And so also this parasite. I do not know what function it had, but perhaps due to a mutation it lost its original function.

But ID doesn't talk about God and the Fall, so in that sense Sir David Attenborough has a point. But for creationists there is no point about talking about what God created if we do not recognise we live in a fallen world where things go downhill instead of uphill.

Steve Wells said...

So God's original creation didn't include Onchocerca volvulus, is that what you're saying, Berend? It evolved from some other (harmless) species after the fall? If so, then:

1) Was its evolution (from a harmless species to parasitic worm) complete by the time of the flood?

2) How many years transpired between the fall and the flood?

3) Did Noah find a male and female O. volvulus to take on the ark or were human passengers serving as hosts?

4) Did Noah bring male and female black flies that are needed to complete the life cycle of O. volvulus?

5) Were the species on the ark all "good" species (as originally created by God) or had some of them evolved into parasites like O. volvulus and black flies by the time of the flood?

McGuire said...

Steve, I see you're trying to use a rational argument here...

Genesis 3:14 "And the LORD God said unto the serpent... upon thy belly shalt thou go..."

i.e. the Serpent did something other than move on it's belly up to this point (Otherwise it's not really a punishment is it?)... :) To quote Stephen Colbert "It's like boxing a glacier"

Berend de Boer said...

Hi Steve,

My answers:

1. We first need to define the word evolution. The word is used to describe to different things:

a. Natural selection, abundantly proven. For example all the ranges of dogs and cows we have.

b. In the sense that the information content increases. No laboratory has ever given an example of this process happening. Let alone how from dead matter, just chemicals, live can arise.

So in the sense of b., that the information content increases, evolution does not happen. That's why I used the word devolution: information content can decrease.

For example a single point mutation in the DNA can have extremely serious side effects. An example is rapid aging, progeria (http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v27/i1/flaw.asp). Just a SINGLE letter wrong and extremely disastrous consequences follow.

So to answer the question: no it was not evolution, but devolution. When it was complete, I do not know. Devolution happens all the time. A recent example is the harmless intestinal Escherichlia coli.

2. How many years: 1656.

3. I do not know. Perhaps at that time animals could be host as well. Or the eggs could survive the flood. Just like Noah didn't need to take fish.

4. I suppose even the Ark wasn't free of flies. Eggs can survive a while as well of course.

5. The Ark couldn't flee a corrupt world. So I'm sure eggs and other insects could survive perfectly well in the waste produced by all the animals.

Steve Wells said...

Berend,

I'm still not sure that I understand your beliefs.

You believe that there were no predators, parasites, or pathogens in God's original creation; that such creatures came into existence after the fall of Adam; that these species evolved (or "devolved") from the harmless ones that God originally created; and that all of this occurred in the 1656 years between the fall and the flood.

Is that an accurate summary of your beliefs?

XXX said...

Berend,

If the beliefs you've stated (very nicely summarized by Steve) come from the Bible, can you please point us to what verses?

If they're not from the Bible, then what leads you to believe these things?

What, if anything, would you consider as proof that these beliefs might be wrong? Or is there no hope of you changing these beliefs?

zooplah said...

A worm that bores through your eyes and causes blindness? Call me whatever you will, but that's some scary stuff.

BaldySlaphead said...

Perhaps Berend would care to expand on why he rejects all of the following examples of observed increased information content under scientific conditions?

Long, M., Betran, E., Thornton, K. and Wang, W. (2003). "The origin of new genes: glimpses from the young and old." Nature Reviews Genetics. 4(11): 865-875.
Adami et al., 2000. (see below)
Alves MJ, Coelho MM, Collares-Pereira MJ, 2001. Evolution in action through hybridisation and polyploidy in an Iberian freshwater fish: a genetic review. Genetica 111(1-3): 375-385. [2]
Brown CJ, Todd KM, Rosenzweig RF, 1998. Multiple duplications of yeast hexose transport genes in response to selection in a glucose-limited environment. Mol. Biol. Evol. 15(8): 931-942. [3]
Decadt, Y. JG, 2000. On the origin and impact of information in evolution paper available on the internet.
Hughes AL, Friedman R, 2003. Parallel evolution by gene duplication in the genomes of two unicellular fungi. Genome Res. 13(6A): 1259-1264.
Knox JR, Moews PC and Frere J-M, 1996. Molecular evolution of bacterial beta-lactam resistance. Chemistry & Biology 3: 937-947.
Lang, D. et al, 2000. Structural evidence for evolution of the beta/alpha barrel scaffold by gene duplication and fusion. Science 289: 1546-1550. See also Miles, E.W. & Davies, D.R., 2000. On the ancestry of barrels. Science 289: 1490.
Lenski, R.E., 1995. in Population Genetics of Bacteria, Society for General Microbiology, Symposium 52, eds. Baumberg, S., Young, J.P.W., Saunders, S.R. & Wellington, E.M.H., Cambridge University Press, UK., pp. 193-215.
Lenski, R., Rose, M.R., Simpson, E.C. & Tadler, S.C., 1991. American Naturalist 138: 1315-1341.
Long M. (2001). "Evolution of novel genes." Curr Opin Genet Dev. 11(6):673-80.
Long, M., Betran, E., Thornton, K. and Wang, W. (2003). "The origin of new genes: glimpses from the young and old." Nature Reviews Genetics. 4(11): 865-875.
Lynch M and Conery JS, 2000. The evolutionary fate and consequences of duplicate genes. Science 290: 1151-1155. See also Pennisi, E., 2000. Twinned genes live life in the fast lane. Science 290: 1065-1066.
Nurminsky DI, Nurminskaya MV, De Aguiar D, Hartl DL. (1998). "Selective sweep of a newly evolved sperm-specific gene in Drosophila." Nature. 396(6711):572-5.
Ohta T., 2003. Evolution by gene duplication revisited: differentiation of regulatory elements versus proteins. Genetica 118(2-3): 209-216.
Park IS, Lin CH, and Walsh CT, 1996. Gain of D-alanyl-D-lactate or D-lactyl-D-alanine synthetase activities in three active-site mutants of the Escherichia coli D-alanyl-D-alanine ligase B. Biochemistry 35: 10464-10471.
Prijambada ID et al., 1995. Emergence of nylon oligomer degradation enzymes in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO through experimental evolution. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 61(5): 2020-2022.
Schneider, T.D., 2000. Evolution of biological information. Nucleic Acids Res 28(14): 2794-2799. [4]
Zhang J, Zhang YP, Rosenberg HF, 2002. Adaptive evolution of a duplicated pancreatic ribonuclease gene in a leaf-eating monkey. Nature Genetics 30(4):411-415. See also: Univ. of Michigan, 2002, How gene duplication helps in adapting to changing environments. [5]
Whitman CP. (2002). "The 4-oxalocrotonate tautomerase family of enzymes: how nature makes new enzymes using a beta-alpha-beta structural motif." Arch Biochem Biophys. 402(1):1-13.PubMed DOI
Bos DH. (2005). "Natural selection during functional divergence to LMP7 and proteasome subunit X (PSMB5) following gene duplication." J Mol Evol. 60(2):221-8. PubMed
Ballicora MA, Dubay JR, Devillers CH, Preiss J. (2005). "Resurrecting the ancestral enzymatic role of a modulatory subunit." J Biol Chem. 280(11):10189-95. PubMed
Todd AE, Orengo CA, Thornton JM. (2002)."Sequence and structural differences between enzyme and nonenzyme homologs." Structure (Camb). 10(10):1435-51. PubMed
Todd AE, Orengo CA, Thornton JM. (2002). "Plasticity of enzyme active sites." Trends Biochem Sci. 27(8):419-26. PubMed
Bartlett GJ, Borkakoti N, Thornton JM. (2003). "Catalysing new reactions during evolution: economy of residues and mechanism." J Mol Biol. 331(4):829-60. PubMed
James LC, Tawfik DS. (2001). "Catalytic and binding poly-reactivities shared by two unrelated proteins: The potential role of promiscuity in enzyme evolution." Protein Sci. 10(12):2600-7. PubMed
Todd AE, Orengo CA, Thornton JM. (2001). "Evolution of function in protein superfamilies, from a structural perspective." J Mol Biol. 307(4):1113-43. PubMed
Raes, J., Van de Peer, Y. (2002). "Gene duplication, the evolution of novel gene functions, and detecting functional divergence of duplicates in silico." Appl Bioinformatics. 2(2):91-101. PubMed
Van de Peer, Y., Taylor, J. S., Braasch, I., Meyer, A. "The ghost of selection past: rates of evolution and functional divergence of anciently duplicated genes." J Mol Evol. 53(4-5):436-446.
Carginale, V., Trinchella, F., Capasso, C., Scudiero, R., Riggio, M., Parisi, E. (2004). "Adaptive evolution and functional divergence of pepsin gene family." Gene. 333:81-90. PubMed

Berend de Boer said...

steve, very well summarized except the statement that it all had to occur in 1656 years. Devolution is an ongoing process, so river blindness could be something more recent.

Berend de Boer said...

BaldySlaphead: I think we agree a simple experiment in a laboratory would suffice: take fruit flies and make conditions such that they are no longer fruit flies.

Just glancing at the list, may I note that things like duplication of genes not exactly prove the point? The point is getting new genes through random, blind, undirected mutations.

Berend de Boer said...

xxx: If the beliefs you've stated (very nicely summarized by Steve) come from the Bible, can you please point us to what verses?

After creating the land animals, Gen 1:25, God says it was good. The current actions of the Onchocerca volvulus are not good.

Something has changed. The Bible doesn't tell us about genes, but we have rational faculties and are encouraged to use them. We have clearly documented examples of devolution happing, harmless bacteria that turn into harmful ones.

xxx: What, if anything, would you consider as proof that these beliefs might be wrong? Or is there no hope of you changing these beliefs?

What would you consider as proof that your beliefs are wrong? Louis Pasteur proved that from dead matter no living things arise as previously thought (there is no spontaneous generation). Good experiment, easily repeatable. Evolutions reject it.

Steve Wells said...

Berend: steve, very well summarized except the statement that it all had to occur in 1656 years. Devolution is an ongoing process, so river blindness could be something more recent.

Were any predators, parasites, or pathogens brought on the ark?

Did Noah bring lions and tigers and bears with him, for example? Spiders and snakes? Tapeworms, liver flukes, mosquitoes, dragonflies? Viruses, pathogenic bacteria and protozoa?

Miss Welby said...

great debate, and nice blog. I've given you a link: visit me and see if you want to reciprocate. ciao! :)

McGuire said...

Berend: After creating the land animals, Gen 1:25, God says it was good. The current actions of the Onchocerca volvulus are not good.

The Serpent, Adam & Eve were also created by God BEFORE the Fall & yet their actions were not "good" either...

Now that we've established pre-Fall creations were not all "good" don't you think it's just possible that others are currently functioning exactly as intended in the first place & haven't descended into vicious little things as you're suggesting.

Did Onchocerca Volvulus give Adam, Eve & everything else eye massages until the Serpent showed up one day... ?

Berend de Boer said...

steve wells: Were any predators, parasites, or pathogens brought on the ark?

On parasites or pathogens: they might have gotten a ride by being in the body of a host (humans or beasts), but they were brought themselves on the Ark.

In Gen 6:19 only living creatures were brought to the Ark. The Bible never calls insects living creatures for example, but it does call vertebrates living.

And if insects aren't living creatures in the Biblical usage, then parasites and pathogens certainly aren't. So they were not explicitly brought, but could have been brought implicitly.

Or as I said: harmless bacteria can easily devolve into harmfull, so all parasites and pathogens we know now could have devolved after the flood.

On predators: yes. But did you know that it is impossible to tell from the form of a creature if it is a predator or not?

steve wells: Did Noah bring lions and tigers and bears with him, for example? Spiders and snakes? Tapeworms, liver flukes, mosquitoes, dragonflies? Viruses, pathogenic bacteria and protozoa?

I've sort of addressed the question already. But let me add one more thing: Noah brought the ancestors of our modern species. Creationism predicts rapid speciation, exactly as evolutionists, suprising to them, see happening today. He might have brought a lion and a tiger, but as lions and tigers are closely related (they can interbreed) I think Noah probably brought one or two ancestor species that through natural selection brought us the species we now know: lions, tigers, jaguar, leopard, cats and cheetah (see the graph labeled The Created Cat Kind in the article I linked to).

Berend de Boer said...

mcquire: The Serpent, Adam & Eve were also created by God BEFORE the Fall & yet their actions were not "good" either...

What do you mean their actions before the Fall weren't good? Their actions that weren't good were part of the Fall. Humans had a truly free will then. They could choose. When Eve listened to the devil who spoke through the serpent and "the woman saw that the tree good for food, and that it pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat." All these actions are part of the Fall. From listening to the devil to eating to giving Adam. Adam and Eve could have rejected you know.

mcquire: Did Onchocerca Volvulus give Adam, Eve & everything else eye massages until the Serpent showed up one day... ?

As I told you, I don't know what the function of the Onchocerca Volvulus was before it devolved, but it is a question that can be answered it seems to me.

But Mr. mcquire, a question for you: when did the Onchocerca Volvulus evolve? It needs both flies and humans right? So how and when did the Onchocerca Volvulus evolve? What kind of competitive advantage, what kind of evolutionary pressure, what kind of blind chance, can lead to a creature that needs this complex cycle?

McGuire said...

berend: What do you mean their actions before the Fall weren't good? Their actions that weren't good were part of the Fall. Humans had a truly free will then. They could choose... All these actions are part of the Fall. From listening to the devil to eating to giving Adam. Adam and Eve could have rejected you know...

Could have, but didn't, because they weren't created good, exactly.

... But Mr. mcquire, a question for you: when did the Onchocerca Volvulus evolve? It needs both flies and humans right? So how and when did the Onchocerca Volvulus evolve? What kind of competitive advantage, what kind of evolutionary pressure, what kind of blind chance, can lead to a creature that needs this complex cycle?

I don't know, I'm not an evolutionary biologist. I can't tell you precisely how airplanes or cars are built either. I leave such matters to experts in the field & not interpretation of text.

KickSave23 said...

Berend, if I'm quoting you accurately; In Gen 6:19 only living creatures were brought to the Ark. The Bible never calls insects living creatures for example, but it does call vertebrates living,then I think it's pretty safe to consider any and all attempts at intelligent discussion closed.

Insects aren't living creatures?

KickSave23 said...

Wait... My potential mistake. You never said that insects aren't living creatures, you merely suggested that the Bible doesn't consider them as such.

Pretty much eliminates all biblical credibilty as a science book, no?

Steve Wells said...

I still don't understand your views on this topic, Berend.

Do you think Onchocerca volvulus was purposefully designed by God, or do you think that another (harmless) worm or "creeping thing" was originally designed by God which later (after the fall of Adam) "devolved" into the nasty creature that it is today?

And what about black flies (Simulium spp.)? Did God purposefully design black flies too? Did he do that to transmit O. volvulus to humans? Female black flies require blood meals for their nourishment. Is this all a part of God's benevolent design?

Revelation 4:11 says that God created all things for his pleasure. Did God create Onchocrca volvulus and black flies for the pleasure of watching worms bore through peoples' eyes?

Or did all this just happen all by itself without God's design or approval. Adam ate from the tree of knowledge and hundreds of thousands of species of predators, parasites, and pathogens "devolved" from the nice vegan species that God originally created. And all this "devolution" happened in 1656 years between Adam's fall and Noah's flood (with maybe a bit more post-flood "devolution"). Is that what you believe Berend?

But if things just "devolved" in a few thousand years after the fall, then wouldn't they have done that anyway even if Adam didn't eat from that stupid tree? Or do you think God fundamentally changed the genetics of all of his specially created species so that they would "devolve" into the predators, parasites, and pathogens that we see today?

Berend de Boer said...

steve, I think I addressed all the issues you raised, so I just recap:

another (harmless) worm or "creeping thing" was originally designed by God which later (after the fall of Adam) "devolved" into the nasty creature that it is today?

Yes.

But if things just "devolved" in a few thousand years after the fall, then wouldn't they have done that anyway even if Adam didn't eat from that stupid tree?

No, they wouldn't. The earth was cursed as I quoted you.

And the tree wasn't the issue. It was a very simple commandment which Adam could choose to keep or disobey. If there was nothing Adam could disobey, he could not have fallen. And the issue of free will would be moot, because there was nothing for his will to choose. He disbelieved God, and believed the devil who said: "For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."

They chose to follow the devil rather than God, that's the issue.

Or do you think God fundamentally changed the genetics of all of his specially created species so that they would "devolve" into the predators, parasites, and pathogens that we see today?

That's perhaps a question open to research. When we learn more about cell biology and genes, it is perhaps possible to give an intelligent answer to that question.

Also note that several issues can be studied scientifically: are there harmless bacteria that have devolved into harmful bacteria? Can that process happen in a short time span or does it need millions of years.

Berend de Boer said...

KickSave23, if you read carefully you will see that I said that only "living creatures" were explicitly brought to the Ark and insects are never called "living creatures". The phrase is taken from the Hebrew: nephesh chayyah.

Plants also are never called nephesh chayyah.

It is in that sense that I explained that insects were not called explicitly to the Ark. If you want to read in it anything else, that you may. But it will not help a discussion.

XXX said...

berend de boer: What would you consider as proof that your beliefs are wrong? Louis Pasteur proved that from dead matter no living things arise as previously thought (there is no spontaneous generation).

Even if we were to accept this for the sake of argument, this does not even begin to prove devolution.

berend de boer: After creating the land animals, Gen 1:25, God says it was good. The current actions of the Onchocerca volvulus are not good.

So you're saying here and elsewhere above that God created everything good, but once humans messed it up with their God-given free will, then God punished people by setting all living things on a path of inescapable devolution towards evil due to God's curse. Is this correct?

If God really wants to punish humans by making all other living things suffer through devolution to torment humans, why would He allow the possibility of the development of useful bacteria (from penicillin, etc.) which actually help humans live longer?

Developments from Penicillin, Wikipedia

Various forms of penicillin have been developed which successfully treat conditions that the original form of penicillin did not. This would not fall under your definition of devolution, would it? Does this mean that humans outsmarted God by reversing devolution in penicillin?

On a final note: I will freely admit that Wikipedia is certainly not the best source of scientific knowledge. I get the impression though that if I spent hours finding articles that basically tell me what Wikipedia does, it still would not convince you. Sources are cited in Wikipedia however and can be verified, unlike the slim support you have offered from the Bible (unless God is willing to submit to an interview or open up His records for us to examine) and unlike the other assertions you've made not supported even in the Bible.

You are free to believe what you would like of course, but I don't find any convincing reason to consider believing it myself.

BaldySlaphead said...

"Berend de Boer said...
BaldySlaphead: I think we agree a simple experiment in a laboratory would suffice: take fruit flies and make conditions such that they are no longer fruit flies."

Ah - now you want to change the goalposts. Ok. Why should the vague "an increase in information" necessitate a fruit fly evolve into a completely new species?

"Just glancing at the list, may I note that things like duplication of genes not exactly prove the point? The point is getting new genes through random, blind, undirected mutations."

So, again, by your own definitions, speciesization not required. I'm sure you're well aware that evolution is not random, and never claimed as such, so not sure what your last sentence is supposed to mean.

Increases in information *have* been observed to evolve. End of argument. It's been seen. It's been repeated.

Increased genetic variety in a population (Lenski 1995; Lenski et al. 1991)

Increased genetic material (Alves et al. 2001; Brown et al. 1998; Hughes and Friedman 2003; Lynch and Conery 2000; Ohta 2003)

Novel genetic material (Knox et al. 1996; Park et al. 1996)

Novel genetically-regulated abilities (Prijambada et al. 1995)

Berend de Boer said...

xxx: why would [God] allow the possibility of the development of useful bacteria (from penicillin, etc.) which actually help humans live longer?

I see developing better penicillin the same as any form of medicine or developing machinery. We have a rational faculty, and we have to work. As Genesis 3:19 says: "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground."

So we are to work. In Paradise you didn't have to work for your food, you just got something from a tree. You didn't became sick, so medicine wasn't needed. Now we have to toil for the basic necessities of this life: food and health.

As a side note: it takes a designer to make better penicillin...

I wouldn't say it is "outsmarting God", because that is not the point. That we grow food to supply ourselves isn't outsmarting God because previously food was just for the taking. It's something we have to do. And in the case of penicillin: it wasn't designed from the ground up, it was found in nature. Improving such things, just as we improve the ground, isn't outsmarting, but our commandment.

Berend de Boer said...

baldyslaphead: I typed in two of your references "Increased genetic material" and "Novel genetic material" in Google. The only links I could find to these materials are from people like you who have copied that from talkorigins.

Unless I can actually study those articles there's little I can say about them. Does talkorigins not have better resources? There's no first name, no publisher, no indication it's an article so what magazine is it from. Is finding these articles just as hard as finding the missing link?

McGuire said...

Berend, where do you stand on the shape / orbit of the Earth / plate tectonics?

Psalm 104:5 Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.

XXX said...

berend: "I see developing better penicillin the same as any form of medicine or developing machinery."

Penicillin, in addition to also being used for medicinal purposes, is also alive, which according to your theory means it should be devolving.

As a side note: it takes a designer to make better penicillin... [...]it wasn't designed from the ground up, it was found in nature.

This means we have proof that humans can intelligently design better things from what we find in nature. This does not prove that God designed the world we live in, or anything in it.

Let's say God did design the world, for the sake of argument. If things have only gotten worse since God created the world, would you consider God to be good? Can you cite cases of God making any living things better since the initial creation (before the Fall or after)?

My understanding from the Bible and from what you've said is that things were created, Adam and Eve ate the fruit, and things have devolved ever since. Sure, there has been the occasional miracle to help an individual person or a group of people, but has there been anything God did that made humans or other living beings inherently (genetically) better? Based on your argument, this would be evolution, and evolution does not exist (only devolution does).

So I can only deduce that God's creation was imperfect since all it's ever done is get worse. If it's man's fault that devolution started, then it's still ultimately God's fault. Humans were created imperfect, since their free will led them to displease God and caused everything else to go downhill after that.

From your point of view, I think Alexander Pope's saying ought to be changed to the following: "To err is human, to subsequently condemn all living things to devolution, divine".

BaldySlaphead said...

"Berend de Boer said...
baldyslaphead: I typed in two of your references "Increased genetic material" and "Novel genetic material" in Google. The only links I could find to these materials are from people like you who have copied that from talkorigins

Unless I can actually study those articles there's little I can say about them. Does talkorigins not have better resources? There's no first name, no publisher, no indication it's an article so what magazine is it from. Is finding these articles just as hard as finding the missing link?"

Yes, almost about *exactly* as difficult as finding a missing link, bearing in mind the fact that we have an absolute shed load of transistional fossils, including Lucy, whom I believe one can easily find by visiting the National Museum of Ethiopia.

All of the articles were fully referenced in the first post. To assist you, here they are in full:


Increased genetic variety in a population (Lenski 1995; Lenski et al. 1991)

Lenski, R.E., 1995. in Population Genetics of Bacteria, Society for General Microbiology, Symposium 52, eds. Baumberg, S., Young, J.P.W., Saunders, S.R. & Wellington, E.M.H., Cambridge University Press, UK., pp. 193-215.

Lenski, R., Rose, M.R., Simpson, E.C. & Tadler, S.C., 1991. American Naturalist 138: 1315-1341.

Increased genetic material (Alves et al. 2001; Brown et al. 1998; Hughes and Friedman 2003; Lynch and Conery 2000; Ohta 2003)

Alves MJ, Coelho MM, Collares-Pereira MJ, 2001. Evolution in action through hybridisation and polyploidy in an Iberian freshwater fish: a genetic review. Genetica 111(1-3): 375-385.

Brown CJ, Todd KM, Rosenzweig RF, 1998. Multiple duplications of yeast hexose transport genes in response to selection in a glucose-limited environment. Mol. Biol. Evol. 15(8): 931-942.

Hughes AL, Friedman R, 2003. Parallel evolution by gene duplication in the genomes of two unicellular fungi. Genome Res. 13(6A): 1259-1264.
Knox JR, Moews PC and Frere J-M, 1996. Molecular evolution of bacterial beta-lactam resistance. Chemistry & Biology 3: 937-947.

Lynch M and Conery JS, 2000. The evolutionary fate and consequences of duplicate genes. Science 290: 1151-1155. See also Pennisi, E., 2000. Twinned genes live life in the fast lane. Science 290: 1065-1066.

Ohta T., 2003. Evolution by gene duplication revisited: differentiation of regulatory elements versus proteins. Genetica 118(2-3): 209-216.
Park IS, Lin CH, and Walsh CT, 1996. Gain of D-alanyl-D-lactate or D-lactyl-D-alanine synthetase activities in three active-site mutants of the Escherichia coli D-alanyl-D-alanine ligase B. Biochemistry 35: 10464-10471.

Novel genetic material (Knox et al. 1996; Park et al. 1996)

Knox JR, Moews PC and Frere J-M, 1996. Molecular evolution of bacterial beta-lactam resistance. Chemistry & Biology 3: 937-947.

Park IS, Lin CH, and Walsh CT, 1996. Gain of D-alanyl-D-lactate or D-lactyl-D-alanine synthetase activities in three active-site mutants of the Escherichia coli D-alanyl-D-alanine ligase B. Biochemistry 35: 10464-10471.

Novel genetically-regulated abilities (Prijambada et al. 1995)

Prijambada ID et al., 1995. Emergence of nylon oligomer degradation enzymes in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO through experimental evolution. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 61(5): 2020-2022.

I trust this is useful.

Berend de Boer said...

xxx: Penicillin, in addition to also being used for medicinal purposes, is also alive, which according to your theory means it should be devolving.

Slight improvement: not should be, but open to, capable of.

And examples about in literature. Care to cite an example of a creature that is currently evolving some novel information content (or new functionality as you will)?

xxx: If things have only gotten worse since God created the world, would you consider God to be good?

Yes, because if there was a free will and humans chose to know evil, that would have no impact on what the creator original was. Take for example a piece of software written for Windows 3.1. Originally it worked well. You change the environment by buying Windows 95 and then Windows XP and your software works less well on each OS. Finally you upgrade to Vista and that piece of software stops working. Does that mean there was something wrong with that software? No, it means you changed the environment.

xxx: Can you cite cases of God making any living things better since the initial creation (before the Fall or after)?

I refer to the many miracles in the New Testament. Even the resurrection of the dead. The resurrection of Lazarus was so well known and so incensed the Pharisees that it caused them to decide to put Jesus to dead. John 11:46-48:

"But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done. Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles.
If we let him thus alone, all [men] will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation."

xxx: Based on your argument, this would be evolution, and evolution does not exist.

Your definition in the preceding sentences does not match any known definition of evolution. Evolution is used in two situations:

1. Reshuffling of existing materials (wolf to dog to many other dog species). I call this natural selection.

2. Blind random mutations in the genome that somehow cause something like a wolf to exist.

And 2 doesn't even explain why that genes exist, because you need to have genes before you can have mutations.

xxx: Humans were created imperfect, since their free will led them to displease God

That's not logically consistent. If humans had a true free will, you can choose to follow God or not. If God didn't give them a free will, they would not free, and not be able to disobey him, and the situation would have remained as it is: we would all be living in paradise. The concept of freedom necessarily implies being able to choose bad things.

Berend de Boer said...

baldyslaphead, thanks for posting the extensive links, but unfortunately that didn't help. Take for example the first article. Follow the link to see what Google turns up. Only talkorigins quotes.

It just appears that much of that material isn't easily accessible and would need a trip to the university library to retrieve.

PS: again, many of the articles you post are on gene duplication. But that doesn't help evolution, because the problem is getting new genes and getting genes in the first place. Reshuffling of genes is fine with creationists and they need lots of it actually.

BaldySlaphead said...

The fact that you can't be bothered to find a way to read the articles hardly invalidates them!

Besides which, if you actually Google the names of the articles, rather than the generic heading, you'll get rather better results, not from TalkOrigins.

But speaking of which, what's the fascination with pointing out the list came from TO? Does the fact that I knew where there's a perfectly good bibliography (because your contention is made so often by Creationist that there's whole articles of resources to provide one-stop-shop debunking) that make it invalid?

As for gene duplication, this is one of the most common methods by which information is added, hence the relevence to your contention. Duplicate a gene, mutate one... Voila! new gene - added information: your point refuted.

This is not exactly contentious science we're talking about here. Not unless you're a creationist whose paradigm can't cope with it.

XXX said...

Berend: Take for example a piece of software written for Windows 3.1. Originally it worked well. You change the environment by buying Windows 95 and then Windows XP and your software works less well on each OS. Finally you upgrade to Vista [...]

You're comparing God's creation to Windows 3.1... There are several flaws to this analogy, but since my own example of penicillin was flawed, I won't list them and we can hopefully call it even.

Berend: I refer to the many miracles in the New Testament. Even the resurrection of the dead. The resurrection of Lazarus was so well known and so incensed the Pharisees that it caused them to decide to put Jesus to dead.

I'm aware that there are miracles in the Bible, and I even said this: xxx: Sure, there has been the occasional miracle to help an individual person or a group of people, but has there been anything God did that made humans or other living beings inherently (genetically) better?

A miracle helps an individual or set of individuals. I don't find examples of the order of God making humans or other living things any better permanently. God took away serpents' legs for all future generations. Is there any positive equivalent of this?

Finally, I said: xxx: Humans were created imperfect, since their free will led them to displease God.

You replied: That's not logically consistent. If humans had a true free will, you can choose to follow God or not. If God didn't give them a free will, they would not free, and not be able to disobey him, and the situation would have remained as it is: we would all be living in paradise.

Which is precisely my point. If God hadn't given humans free will, things would be better right now. Free will caused the Fall. God gave us free will. Therefore, God is ultimately to blame for things not being perfect. Why do you say this is "not logically consistent"?

It's immaterial whether or not God knew we would choose evil over good: he was the one who built into us the capacity to choose evil. If he had not built free will into us, we would still be in paradise, and things would not be headed toward devolution.

Let's assume that God exists and he created us. If we believe that evil is worse than good, and perfection is better than imperfection, then free will was not a blessing from God: it was a crucial design flaw.

Berend de Boer said...

xxx: You're comparing God's creation to Windows 3.1.

No. I took a designed product and changed the environment around it. A less geeky analogy would be to take a fish and put it on land. If it dies, does that mean the designer made a mistake?

You claimed that things got worse and that was somehow the fault of the designer.

xxx: I don't find examples of the order of God making humans or other living things any better permanently.

The wording still allows for miracle at individual level, but I think your point is if a species as a whole has been improved by some miraculous intervention. The Bible doesn't mention any example.

xxx: If God hadn't given humans free will, things would be better right now.

This is the first time I've seen the claim that no free will improves a design and that having no free will is actually a good thing.

Berend de Boer said...

baldyslaphead: The fact that you can't be bothered to find a way to read the articles hardly invalidates them!

You quote a list of articles for which the original source is talkorigin. The articles themselves cannot be found in the Internet. Every source that cites these article appears to have copied it from talkorigins.

It's like a discussion between a layperson and a Roman Catholic priest: "We are right he says, you should pray to Maria, it says so right here in my Latin Bible."

As the layperson cannot read Latin, he has to take the priest at his word. But at least he can see there's a Bible there so he would be able to check it out (and find that the priest was wrong).

I'm 100% sure you haven't read those articles, and I'm 200% sure you haven't even seen them. So you claim as your authority some nebulous source which you take at face value.

baldyslaphead, you're a person of great faith.

baldyslaphead: As for gene duplication, this is one of the most common methods by which information is added, hence the relevence to your contention. Duplicate a gene, mutate one... Voila! new gene - added information: your point refuted.

Well, I would like to see a laboratory experiment first, won't you agree? Just try it out in the laboratory. I'm not in favor of thought experiments.

Just as when you change a single bit in a computer program, you will find that changing a single allele in a gene won't improve it.

KickSave23 said...

So the bible doesn't think that plants and bugs are living things?

BaldySlaphead said...

baldyslaphead: The fact that you can't be bothered to find a way to read the articles hardly invalidates them!

You quote a list of articles for which the original source is talkorigin. The articles themselves cannot be found in the Internet. Every source that cites these article appears to have copied it from talkorigins.

It's like a discussion between a layperson and a Roman Catholic priest: "We are right he says, you should pray to Maria, it says so right here in my Latin Bible."

As the layperson cannot read Latin, he has to take the priest at his word. But at least he can see there's a Bible there so he would be able to check it out (and find that the priest was wrong).

I'm 100% sure you haven't read those articles, and I'm 200% sure you haven't even seen them. So you claim as your authority some nebulous source which you take at face value.

baldyslaphead, you're a person of great faith.


Congratulations. That is a magnificently unsatisfactory response. Shall we examine why?

You stated:

1. We first need to define the word evolution. The word is used to describe to different things:

a. Natural selection, abundantly proven. For example all the ranges of dogs and cows we have.

b. In the sense that the information content increases. No laboratory has ever given an example of this process happening.


My bold. You claim that no laboratory has ever given an example why. I then provide you with a correctly cited bibliography of articles that prove your contention is incorrect.

The *only* sense in which the source is TalkOrigin is in that precise aggregation into a bibliography.

Is there any doubt that those articles are real? No. Each citation turns up multiple hits when correctly entered into Google. Moreover, it's also searchable in the standard British academic aggregator Athens and also Springerlink, the journal search engine. Most turn up in searches of the catalogue of the British Library and the Library of Congress.

Is there any doubt that those articles are considered to be respectable, credible scientific accounts? No. You may wish to check out Google Scholar (http://scholar.google.com/schhp?hl=en&lr=) and see how many citations these articles have.

It is these facts that have relevance, not your attempt to deflect attention onto my percieved shortcomings.

UNfortunately for you, I am a qualified librarian. It is my business to know how to research credible sources of information and detemine the legitimacy of sources found.

That bibliography is correctly referenced. FACT
That bibliography is searchable in credible accademic search engines. FACT
The articles are well cited by other scientists. FACT
They appear in credible journals. FACT
The abstracts confirm that they contain the information claimed. FACT

In my considered opinion, those articles *explicitly* address the point you made, whether you like it or not - and clearly you don't.

You then attempt to suggest that my understanding of the articles is in some respect germane to the discussion in hand. It is not. What it absolutely is, is a most deplorable circimstantial ad hominim attack and poisoning of the well which has no bearing on the authority of the literature *whatsoever*. You're the one making the extraordinary statement, not me.

Why not read the articles instead of making ridiculous attempts to discredit me in the vain hope that no one will notice you're desperately trying to get out of reading something that hamstrings your worldview? I appreciate it probably hurts, I don't appreciate the bad grace with which you accept it.

baldyslaphead: As for gene duplication, this is one of the most common methods by which information is added, hence the relevence to your contention. Duplicate a gene, mutate one... Voila! new gene - added information: your point refuted.

Well, I would like to see a laboratory experiment first, won't you agree? Just try it out in the laboratory. I'm not in favor of thought experiments.


No? Fortunately, some nice scientists have already done some. I know where their reports are. I even know where there's a bibliography. You can read them and everything.

Just as when you change a single bit in a computer program, you will find that changing a single allele in a gene won't improve it.


Are you attempting to use the word allele in the sense of junk DNA - in other words, are you just being disingenous again?

Yes it can, obviously, just as obviously as it need not do so.

If you read the literature, you will find widespread mainstream scientific acceptance of this.

I don't particularly care if you don't accept it. I especially don't care if you don't like it. I do care if you think denying it will make the journals disappear.

Kirk said...

"Just as when you change a single bit in a computer program, you will find that changing a single allele in a gene won't improve it."

First, alleles aren't in genes, they *are* genes. They are different expressions of the same gene. Take cars for instance. They all take you to your destination, but there are different brands makes and models. Some even take different routes.

Second, evolution is defined as "a change in allele frequency in breeding populations over time." I suspect this is the only definition you've ever seen that uses the word "allele" and you promptly misused the word. Nevertheless, you have to already have genes and whole breeding populations to get evolution. It has nothing to do with how life got here. It only deals with what happens to life once it is.

That you seem to purposefully misrepresent what evolution is, and your misuse of biological terms betrays your lack of knowledge on the subject, what incentive do we have to think you're qualified on this topic?

Berend de Boer said...

BaldySlaphead: how hard is it to just give me a link to the article so I can actually read it?

You can find it perfectly you say. Just give me a link, as a qualified librarian that shouldn't be too hard.

I hope you don't expect me to respond to something I haven't read.

Berend de Boer said...

kirk: what incentive do we have to think you're qualified on this topic?

Sorry kirk, didn't you needed to be a high priest to discuss evolution. We just have to take the matter on faith I guess?

BaldySlaphead said...

BaldySlaphead: how hard is it to just give me a link to the article so I can actually read it?

You can find it perfectly you say. Just give me a link, as a qualified librarian that shouldn't be too hard.

I've told you how to find them. They're not just lying about on the web to read though, and I've never implied they were.

Have you never used journals before or something? You mentioned "a trip to the university library", so I made an assumption that you know a) have access to a university library and b) how journal articles are accessed once there.

Simply enter the title of the journal into your journal aggregator(for example www.springerlink.com) and you should see it come up.

I hope you don't expect me to respond to something I haven't read.

Not at all, that's why I've *repeatedly* suggested you actually read the articles.

XXX said...

Berend: A less geeky analogy would be to take a fish and put it on land. If it dies, does that mean the designer made a mistake?

If the designer puts the fish on land, then yes. God put Adam and Eve in the garden with the Tree of Knowledge, created serpents, knew the devil could tempt Adam and Eve, but still gave them free will.

It's kind of like having a cat, not feeding the cat for a week, buying a bird, putting it in the same room as the cat and locking them both in, and being surprised that the bird winds up eaten. Is it the cat's fault that he kills the bird, or should you have guessed that if you made the cat hungry and put a bird in the room with him, he might go eat it?

Berend:This is the first time I've seen the claim that no free will improves a design and that having no free will is actually a good thing.

I'm not saying I personally believe having no free will is a good thing. I'm trying to see this from God's perspective, though.

The Bible says God doesn't like sin. Giving us free will allowed us to sin (for without it, we would not have sinned). Since God has punished us for using our free will, it would seem he would have preferred a creation where we had no free will and did not sin. Without free will, we would still be in paradise instead of being punished in the devolving world we are currently in.

In your opinion, which God would prefer: having an imperfect world where there is free will and sin (our current world), or a perfect world where there is no free will and thus no possibility for sin (paradise)?

Being sinful by nature, of course I and other humans would choose a world where we are free to sin or not as we see fit. I think God on the other hand would prefer a perfect world where there is no free will and thus no one sin to sin against him (paradise). Is this correct?

Kirk said...

"Sorry kirk, didn't you needed to be a high priest to discuss evolution. We just have to take the matter on faith I guess?"

You demonstrated you didn't know what 'allele' meant. You have said that evolution hasn't explained the origin of life, which is out of the scope of what evolutionary theory does. (Kind of like asking the Atomic Theory to explain Gravitational Theory).

In the face of demonstrated ignorance about evolution, it's puzzling that you attack it so vehemently. You obviously don't understand the topic, and when called on that, you resort to extreme rhetoric (since when does 'qualified' = 'High Priest'?)

And what matter should we take on faith? I think you loosed this canned response out of sequence.

McGuire said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
McGuire said...

Berend - Just as when you change a single bit in a computer program, you will find that changing a single allele in a gene won't improve it.

That's not true. Sometimes the difference between a program (or program feature) working & not working can be as simple as inserting an apostrophe (remming), e.g.

Stop

to

'Stop

So you see changing "a single bit" can sometimes make all the difference.

Berend de Boer said...

xxx: I think God on the other hand would prefer a perfect world where there is no free will and thus no one sin to sin against him (paradise). Is this correct?

No. If you create a robot, and it serves you, how much satisfaction does that serving give you? He does exactly what he is designed to do, but can't otherwise.

I think love freely given is the most rewarding isn't it? That is why God gave humans a free will, so they could love him freely. They were not forced. They were free beings. They could have refused the devil as easily as they listened to him.

Berend de Boer said...

McGuire, you are right. A qualified programmer can solve issues in a program.

But we're talking about evolution here. It's blind by definition. It can only change random bits. And these random bits should not make the program worse, and actually have survival value, else the program wouldn't outcompete others.

I've often solved issues in programs that were indeed finding a single bit. But I didn't go about by changing random bits. I spend sometime looking for that single particular bit that made all the difference between working and not working.

XXX said...

Berend: If you create a robot, and it serves you, how much satisfaction does that serving give you? He does exactly what he is designed to do, but can't otherwise.

I agree that God would not appear to be satisfied with us just doing what he wants us to do like robots. Robots serve because they have no choice. Human beings have the ability to choose, however, yet we are still expected to do exactly what God wants.

What God wants is not robots, but slaves: beings who have a free will, but who are subjugated into carrying out what their master wants.

You may find this idea shocking, and to be honest I am pretty surprised myself at coming to this conclusion. But the Bible condones slavery repeatedly (Slavery and the Bible. And in Luke, Jesus apparently uses the same imagery (SAB). So I'm not the first to think of this angle apparently, and I don't think God would object outright to this comparison (although he or his apologists might contest some of the details).

We are expected to serve God faithfully as a slave serves a master (or Lord, if you will). We must do as he wishes: what he wants, how he wants. If we do not serve him exactly as he wants, he threatens us with torture (eternal damnation, plagues, etc.).

Humans were punished because they got too uppity in the Garden: they were told they weren't supposed to eat from the Tree of Knowledge: that tree was for Gods, not slaves. Like many slaves, they were expected to remain ignorant. (The idea is that slaves who don't know any better are more likely to be subservient.)

What other explanation is there for God not wanting humans to eat of the tree of knowledge? I never understood why eating from the Tree of Knowledge was bad, but now it makes more sense.

Once Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge, they were punished to teach them not to disobey their master by trying to be knowledgeable: that could only cause problems for a God who wants total obedience from his slaves. He wants slaves who could break free (so, not robots), but who do not, either from fear of reprisal or because they have been duped into thinking their master really loves them, a sort of Stockholm syndrome for slaves.

You may say that humans aren't slaves, because God does not control every aspect of human life: we are allowed freedom in our lives outside of our time doing exactly what God wants us to do. Christians are not slaves: they truly love God freely in their heart. But slavery does not imply 100% control over all aspects of life, and slaves have been known to love their masters despite all apparent logic. Consider the case of slaves in the United States.

According to this "web paper" "In the mid-19th century, many African-Americans felt betrayed by Lincoln when his government emancipated them. Some adamantly refused to leave their masters even when they were granted freedom. Though in a sense, slaves were confined to the area which their master presided over and had the lingering fear of violence, they still could claim certain areas of their lives were their own[...]"

This would seem to apply to Christianity as well: you have some parts of your life to yourself, but are expected to do the master's bidding or face torturous punishment in Hell. If you think you will be spared from punishment for good behavior, you actually start loving your master. That is the kind of love I can do without, since it is not "freely given" as you claimed Berend. It is given under threat of eternal punishment.

A final note: the cited article is not about religion, and is not meant to be taken as a scholarly source, but it has helped me think through some parts of Christianity I don't like and put them together under a framework that makes sense to me.

Berend, do you (or others) have any thoughts on this? I would be interested in what would be a refutation (or further support) of this line of reasoning.

XXX said...

The SAB link that doesn't appear to work above is to Luke 12:47.

http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/lk/12.html#46

McGuire said...

Berend - But we're talking about evolution here. It's blind by definition. It can only change random bits. And these random bits should not make the program worse, and actually have survival value, else the program wouldn't outcompete others.

About 98% of all species have become extinct. "Survival value" doesn't count for much most of the time.

five said...

Berend : baldyslaphead, you're a person of great faith.
The articles in question are credible scientific papers, peer-reviewed and able to be tested or called into question at any time - by people who actually have knowledge of the relevant subject, which you quite clearly don't. Your understanding of the fundamental concepts involved is critically crippled by a worldview which forces intentional ignorance on you as a matter of its own survival. Your horrible analogies indicate this quite clearly.

You have stated multiple times that evolution is random, which is simply false. Natural selection is pretty much the opposite of random, it quite clearly exists, and it's a fundamental part of the evolutionary theory. You will remain ignorant on the subject of evolution if you remain unable to grasp the concept of selection.

Your computer-related analogies are also critically flawed, and they highlight the fact that you don't know how genetic code works. It's not Visual Basic, and a mutation isn't the same thing as randomly changing one letter in the name of a critical variable or something. Geneticists can make hundreds of changes to rearrange parts of genetic code that they don't even completely understand and still end up with a viable, living organism.

It's like giving some teenager who's written a few "Hello World"s the source code for an operating system and telling him to copy and paste whatever blocks of code he wants wherever he feels like, having him make a whole bunch of changes, and then trying to install the OS. Chances are it won't even compile, much less install and provide even basic functionality to a computer. Genetic code is not like this, though.

Also, your robot example is pretty ridiculous. If I didn't like being insulted by robots, and I wanted to created a robot, I wouldn't give it the option to insult me or not. I'd simply design it properly so that it accomplished my desired goals, as any intelligent designer would. I wouldn't intentionally program uncontrolled variables or flaws into it and then make a giant pit of fire where I throw in the robots that insult me. That's stupid, wasteful, and a pretty horrible thing to do if the robots in question have intelligence and feelings.

Also, an omniscient and omnipotent deity, by definition, knew in advance and in perfect detail every single action that every single human would ever undertake, including the internal thought processes and external influences leading up to all these actions. If he has perfect knowledge of and total control over the functioning of human brains, trees of knowledge, snakes, and gardens, he cannot claim that the Fall was anything other than a completely intentional decision on his part. If there is anything in the equation that is not predetermined, that deity can hardly be called omniscient and omnipotent.

EpuurSiMuove said...

Just to add my two penneth worth to the discussion, this whole free will charade is an issue never seriously addressed by Christian apologists.

Imagine the following scenario - I put a gun to your head and demand you give me all your money. Later, I am arrested and put on trial. I explain to the jury that, actually, I have committed no crime - you gave me the money of your own free will. The fact that a terrible fate awaited you if you didnt do as I desired is apparently neither here nor there when considering free will. How ludicrous is that??

Imagine how powerful the bible message could have been - God saying, I created you, I want you to love me, but it is your free will. There are no consequences for not loving me. There are no benefits for loving me. Now that would truly be free will. Not, as others have so eloquently put it, the master-slave relationship you profess to prefer.

Dave said...

Epuursimuove said, “Imagine how powerful the bible message could have been - God saying, I created you, I want you to love me, but it is your free will. There are no consequences for not loving me. There are no benefits for loving me. Now that would truly be free will.”

Perfect.

Epuursimuove, if it’s okay with you, I’m going to hang on to that one and quote you. This is one of the most succinct and powerful statements against Christianity I have ever read. Thanks!

ramen said...

*slow clap*

This was riveting, well-worth the hours of my life between 3 and 5 am. I continually imagined one Christian tenaciously fighting off a ring of militant scientists in some darkened alley, jumping on his back one after the other (yet never able to gang up). Not that he didn't keep fighting for an amazingly long time, even only armed with a cursory knowledge of evolution and some Bible verses.

Hahaha oh man that was fun to watch. Thank you, Internet.