Cuddihy's Cut

Cuddihy's Cut on the events of the day....

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Assurance by inference

Ok I had to comment on this particular type of argument I keep seeing by literal creationists, last seen on a post about the tsunami on Dawn Eden's blog, originated by John Bambanek,

I've heard this before, that animals have a sense of nature that they use to get out of the way of "very bad things". We've known this for awhile, and it would seem intuitive that some animals wouldn't be able to get away from this, but that doesn't appear to be the case.I mention Darwin because this goes completely against the grain of evolution. People simply don't have the sense of nature around them. It's pretty much a fact that in strict survivability terms, the human race or at least the first pair that came from apes would be weaker and LESS likely to survive.Natural selection would explain why we never would have existed, not why we do.

The crux of his argument seems to be that intuitively some animals shouldn't have been able to get away from this,yet they did anyways. John then makes the intellectual leap that this is somehow contrary to Darwin. It's not. There's no corollory to the theory of evolution that says that because some undesirable traits have been selected against in the past (such as, say, the urge to go to the beach after an earthquake) that therefore there will always be large amounts of animals that exhibit these undesirable traits, to be selected against when disaster strikes again. Nonsense. Natural selection suggests that nearly all animals are decendants of previous tsunami survivors--therefore except for the small numbers of mutants who no longer have "after eathquakes stay away from the beach" instincts, most animals should be ok. In other words, natural selection would predict exactly the result that took place. What would have been a big suprise would be if hundreds of thousands of animals perished.

It takes a lot of arrogance about human knowledge to use the tsunami as an argument in the ID debate. Assuming that we know enough about nature to be able to say that there is no evolutionary or biological explanation for any one event is preposterously arrogant. We don't even have enough knowledge to be able to stop a sub-life packet of protein like HIV from running rampant--yet somehow we have the omniscience to say that there is no scientific explanation for the animal 'sixth sense?'

More to point, I jsut don't understand the conflict between the theory of evolution and creation. If God could beget an only son both human and god, and who is One with the Father and the Holy Spirit yet at the same time Three--surely it's not a stretch to say that same god could create a man out of clay who also happens to fit perfectly Darwin's theory of evolution.

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