Saturday, January 16, 2010

Going back and watching some videos

I just went back and watched some clips from an interview that I watched some months ago. The interview was between Richard Dawkins and a woman named Wendy Wright. The entire interview is more than an hour long and I do not recommend it to anyone unless you enjoy getting extremely frustrated at how pig-ignorant people can be. Wendy Wright is a young earth creationist.

Wendy Wright has absolutely no credentials, none, nada, zip, yet she constantly hammers Dawkins with the phrase "show me the evidence", and when he replies listing numerous examples of evidence for evolution she simply changes the topic. Dawkins said to her one time "You people repeat that like some kind of mantra", which is exactly what they do. I remember hearing it so many time from creationist videos and reading it in creationist books, they continually tell each other that there is no evidence for evolution when this simply is not the case, quite the contrary in fact, they are just too deceitful and willingly ignorant to see it

There was another instance where Dawkins would not let her change the topic so easily, and asked her "Where did you study science?" she says "Well see that's the point, scientists are now claiming that they're the only ones that can speak on this issue". As I highlighted in an earlier post, there is no issue, there is no debate, there is no controversy within the scientific community. The only people who choose to disbelieve the massive amounts of evidence that support biological evolution are the pig-ignorant or the agenda driven liars behind the creationist intelligent design movement. Wendy Wright happens to fall under both these categories, she is grossly uneducated and misinformed about science in general, and how it works, yet she thinks she can go around speaking about it and 'teaching' her beliefs to others, children in particular.


  1. There IS an issue. There IS a debate within the scientific community. According to the book "In Six Days", edited by John F. Ashton (1999), the Creation Research Society in the USA had (in the year of publication) 650 "scientists" as members. The definition of "scientist" here was "someone currently holding a Master’s degree or above in a recognized field of science." There's a partial list of "creationist" scientists at

    There is a huge issue, which I recall you wrote about in an earlier blog, concerning the scientific credentials of evolutionary science - something which used to be known as "natural history" in the early days. Scientists within the field argue that religious non-scientists have no qualifications to dispute any "facts" or "evidence" which they may put forward. Religious anti-evolutionists argue that "evolutionary science" is not a real science at all (often using Popper's "falsifiable" statement - that a science must be proveable or falsifiable but because you can't verify it in a lab it's not a "real" science; Popper was supposedly outraged that creationists hijacked his statement so he publicly acknowleddged evolution as a research programme, which isn't mentioned in most creationist literature) but that it is actually a form of religion, which means of course that they are eminently qualified to talk about the subject. It helps their case that your man Dawkins said, when replying to a critique of his faith in a liberal journal, that "Of course we can't prove that there isn't a God. Therefore, they must believe it [in evolution], and that makes it a religion." (Science and Christian Belief (vol. 7, 1994), p. 47.)

    Interestingly enough, Scott C Todd, a professor at the KSU Department of Biology wrote "even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such a hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic." ("A View from Kansas on the Evolution Debates," Nature (vol. 401, September 30, 1999), p. 423). Isn't that the point? Belief in God, or a god, or many deities, or angels, or demons, or dragons, or leprechauns, or flying spaghetti monsters is not dependent on PROOF, but on FAITH. So we have a battleground between evolutionists who will exclude anything which may point to intelligent design from their theories because it is not scientific, and "creationists" who will not appreciate any facts or evidence pointing towards evolution because they deem it to be anti-religious.

  2. Is there actually any way that people in either camp will ever agree? For every religious minded person who suffers a crisis of faith and rejects their prior beliefs, you have a scientist who suffers a crisis of conscience and suddenly believes that they can see God's hand in everything. And it's hard for a skeptic like me who doesn't buy into either theory to accept what anyone says. I can see the validity in the arguments from both sides - I read a pro-evolution book or article and it makes sense, then I read a counter argument and that makes sense as well. I'm no scientist, and I don't want to be. It's enough that I know that the computer turns on when I push the button - I don't need to know why. Likewise, "evolution" or "creation" - I know what IS, I don't need to have people tell me WHY it is. My gut instinct is that both sides are correct. I believe that there is some omnipresent life force which some people may refer to as God (I refer to it as OLF), and that OLF created the Big Bang and set up evolution. It's an easy compromise yet I'll get flack from both sides for believing it. If I was an athiest it would perhaps be easier to make my mind up, but that wouldn't be anywhere near as much fun :)

  3. I watched a documentary about science and religion on TVNZ 7 this evening, and one of the people interviewed in the doco was a creationist with a doctorate in biology. When asked if evidence arose (and it already has millions of times) that contradicted his creationist beliefs, whether he would take the side of the evidence or the bible, he said he would ignore the evidence. I have a strong feeling it is a similar story for every single one of the creationists in that list you mentioned. The reason I make this assumption is because every single piece of evidence uncovered since the time of Darwin has correlated and added to evolutionary theory. Not one single piece of evidence has contradicted evolutionary theory. Over 95% of scientists would be considered "evolutionists". That is why there is no debate, there is no issue. The only place the issue exists is in the mind of biblical literalists. The two largest denominations of Christianity officially support evolution, Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox churches both endorse evolutionary theory.
    Cretinism.. uhh.. Creationism is almost exclusively an american protestant concept. Even then only a minority of protestants are creationists.

  4. I'm sure that Dawkins quote was taken out of context and the "[in evolution]" was not implied at all. I'm fairly certain he was referring to religion and belief in god not evolution. I can't even find a trustworthy source for that quote. Dawkins would never ever imply that evolution was a religion, EVER.
    The fact remains that there has not been any evidence, which under further investigation has pointed to an intelligent designer, so any discussion about what would happen to such evidence is speculatory at best. We do know that creationist cretins such as Wendy Wright, Kent Hovind, Ken Ham and Ray Comfort do intentionally ignore evidence that goes against their beliefs.

    If you look at census data, the trend is towards irreligion, not the other way round, and not neutral. So it's not 1:1 for people abandoning their beliefs to embrace fact vs abandoning fact and embracing belief.

    Most, if not all of the popular creationist arguments against evolution (they don't have any arguments for creation, just against evolution) have been refuted a thousand times over.

  5. Listing "scientists" does not establish what you're trying to say. Not only does that list contain (very little or none, as far as i know) Evolutionary biologists,
    but also, even if it did list a fair amount of them, it does not establish that there is debate in the scientific community. For there to be debate in the scientific community, the very foundations of evolution would be debated in the scientific literature, and at universities everywhere.
    This is simply not the case at this moment. The fact that the site you linked even needs to list scientists, to me, shows a misunderstanding of how science works.

    I will ask you now, and will probably ask you again later in my response. If creationist objections to evolution are valid, why are their objections not published in a respected, main-stream peer reviewed journal?

    Scientists may very well get frustrated at laymen who try to refute their scientific studies, and there is a very simple reason for this; their refutations are so obviously flawed.
    I too, would get frustrated if laymen started attacking my research with obviously flawed shit, why do they not publish a paper in response to their science in a peer-reviewed journal, why not follow the peer-reviewed process? ;)

    Evolution is falsifiable, evolution makes a lot of predictions which can be tested and falsified, such as finding the fossils in the wrong geological strata (i.e. finding human fossils with dinosaur fossils on the same geological strata)
    Though only semi-relevant; Evolution has been observed: ;)

    I don't know what definition of religion you have, but would you call the theory of gravity a religion?

    I don't think qualification is necessary for discussion of any science topic, all that is required is a little education in the subject, to discuss it at least. If any of these "unqualified creationists" want to refute the science, they are going to need to participate in the peer-review process, and it seems that they won't be able to make it past the first step of this process.

    Dawkins never said anything like that. This is a pure quotemine, the closest thing that i could find to source this is: "Of course we can't prove that there isn't a God".
    Besides, even if he had said that, he's not anyones leader, he doesn't represent the science, all that needs to be said is "He's wrong!".

    Yes, for something to be deemed scientific, it must be testable, intelligent design, is, by definition, untestable, and therefore is unscientific. This is why it is said science is agnostic in regards to the existence of (at least, a deistic) god.

  6. Ca, Dawkins isn't wrong, because you can't prove that god does not exist. Much in the same way that you can't prove that pixies don't exist.

  7. shreddakj, i was referring to the crap about "evolution being a religion"

  8. Ah yeah, it definitely isn't a religion in any sense of the word. I think I even did a whole post on that issue a few months ago.

  9. Wow, only on the third part of the series, but dawkins amazes me, he doesn't get angry at her for being so ignorant. If it was me i would be well-over frustrated by then. Anyway, it's a perfect real-life example of NonStampCollectors video,