(NB: This post is 100 percent superfluous if you’re a regular at Science Blogs and will only confuse and annoy you if you wandered over here from a backward site like Nathan Bradfield’s or Stop the ACLU. That means this is strictly an amusing exercise in procrastination for me and I’ve labeled it accordingly.)
You may remember bümmkenblogger Nathan Bradfield doing his best to locate America’s roots in Christian jihadism despite what people saddled with forebrains would view as overwhelming evidence to the contrary. He’s now becoming quite the Renaissance moron, extending his haplessness into the realm of modern biology with a post brimming with adorable self-assurance about the imminent downfall of evolutionary science.
Bradfield’s ignorance of the relevant principles and his overt fundamentalist dogma — which has instilled him with the belief that the Bible is true simply because it is and everything else, however well-supported, is wrong — make him grossly unfit to comment sensibly on this topic. There are certain subjects that simply do not lend themselves to exploration when the writer — even when he or she is objective — has relied on cursory skimming of Wikipedia articles or the mainstream press for background, and evolution is one of these. Its most meaningful principles only become intuitive after a certain investment of cognitive resources, which Bradfield types are unwilling and probably unable to commit. This is why I will not even mention or link to the wonderful repository of evolutionary knowledge called Talk Origins, where Bradfield could quickly learn that all of his complaints were obsolete long before he thwacked a tiny hand against his first Bible.
You don’t even have to slog through Bradfield’s morass of analytical errors and oft-propagated lies to immediately see that his post isn’t worth taking seriously, though — its title tells all:
“Darwin’s theory of evolution crumbling from within.”
If evolution were “crumbling” (from within or owing to anything else), there would not be an overwhelming and ever-increasing number of research papers published each year that deal directly or secondarily with its hypotheses, predictions, time-tested core elements, and assumptions. At the same time, creationism or ID creationism, were either a scientifically grounded concept with or without “Darwinism” “crumbling,” would not have suffered a series of crushing courtroom defeats, as ID notably in Dover, Pennsylvania in December 2005, where some of evolutionary science’s loudest opponents were humiliated by ACLU attorneys and, in many cases, fortunate to escape perjury charges.
To sum up: Evolution = healthy!! & creationism = sick!! Even if Bradfield canot grasp the underlying science and doesn’t care to, he has no choice but to admit to what’s going on around him.
Of course, there’s always the “conspiracy” excuse shared by every grudge-wielding nut with a mindless and factually unsuppportable cause. Again, though, playing the victim — however well it suits the fundagelical ethos — is unworkable here. Virtually all of biology directly or indirectly relies on evolution. Attempting to pin this on scientific dogmatism is an abject failure because the rigorous vetting process inherent in scientific inquiry would simply not allow such a large-scale farce to survive and thrive. You can project a huge hologram of a skyscraper against a cityscape, but just try loading it with real people and furniture.
People like Bradfield don’t understand that it’s not a matter of just digging stuff up from the ground and making intrinsically anti-Biblical wild-ass guesses about what happened; scientists from immunologists to molecular geneticists rely uniquely on the principles of evolution. The word “theory” doesn’t mean “unsubstantiated effort to displace God from everyone’s mind.” The fact that people like Bradfield gladly take penicillins combined with beta-lactamase inhibitors, then rush home to shit up posts braying that evolution is a myth, is a testament to the far-flung intellectual incompetence of human society today, almost all examples of which are rooted in faith and superstition, which turn otherwise capable people into cacophanous, wall-eyed wind-up toys.
By the way, Bradfield et al., you may now stop referring to Charles Darwin every time you mention evolutinary biology. He remains an indispensable figure, but he’s been dead for over 100 years, and the field has been enormously populated and greatly advanced without him. (He didn’t even know, for example, about the genetic mechanisms of heredity or of DNA itself, although he made some great inferences.) Unlike the bullshit you accept as a priori truth, the validity of scientific principles are not reliant on some sort of deific father figure. If you lose the Jesus or the Resurrection, your entire raison d’etre is gone; scientists face no such quandary, instead remaining free to simply follow the evidence.
The reason you don’t hear people referring to integral calculus as “Newtonism” or “Liebnizism,” though, is as simple as Bible fans themselves. Math doesn’t pose a threat to the entire basis of Christianity (other than the fact that its writers sucked at arithmetic and geometry, anyway). People have no inherent quarrel with evolution. Hell, we know we look like other apes and this is why we find them appealing and are loath to see them experimented upon in the manner of other large mammals.
Bradfield’s is just the tiresome sort of bleating that Biblical literalists are obligated to engage in by virtue of treating a book of parables and outright fables as fact rather than as literature. Were it not for what’s in Genesis, no one would have any problem with the tenets of evolution, period. Creationism is not just a casual belief but an integral part of an entire fear-based world view held by millions of people, and anti-evolution ranting in all its guises represents nothing more than the mobilization of a resentful faith-friggered flailing force.
One would think that Jesus himself would deride the fundies of today for their rock-headedness, as do practically all competent theologians. It’s actually the beliefs of the Bradfields, loud and frantic as they have become, that are slowly losing traction in civilization, but the backbone of sectarian conditioning dictates that they go down fighting, however stupidly, for their lost and unproductive cause.