Daesh (the so-called “Islamic State”) probably isn’t very happy either
If there’s one thing America’s most dogmatic evangelists (comprised of a diverse cadre of Muslims, Christians, etc.) and Daesh (aka “the Islamic State”) can agree on it’s that evolutionary theory is surely the work of the devil — or so they say. Unfortunately for their supporters, the former group hasn’t been as successful in banning science from the classroom and the market as the latter group. But that hasn’t stopped them from doing their … er… damndest to stifle public awareness of evolutionary theory.
Today the creationist crowd took aim at Google Inc. (GOOG) for the company’s Doodle of the day that depicted the ascent of man from hominid precursors. Unfortunately the creationist crowd seemed to struggle to understand the topic they were chiming in on. “@TruthfromChrist” for instance, tried to claim that scientists believe man evolved from apes.
Shame on #google for their logo today. There is no evidence to support evolution of apes to man. Darwin even said it was a stupid theory.
— William Burr (@TruthfromChrist) November 24, 2015
He was adamant in how wrong that notion was. And he’s right! But unfortunately for him that’s not the view of evolutionary theorists, anthropologists, paleontologists, geneticists, etc. Rather, man and apes share a common answer. But alas, time after time it seems the old “man evolved from apes” trope crops up.
Others went for a more abstract argument, e.g.
Google no thanks for the evolution banner. Your promoting a unproven fairytale. The truth is GOD created the heavens and the earth.
— aaron Paul (@aaarrrooonnn) November 24, 2015
Interestingly while there is a wealth of fossil evidence supporting evolutionary theory, most scientists would agree that there’s no evidence for or against the notion that some higher entity might have had a hand in the Big Bang (God? The Flying Spaghetti Monster?). Science isn’t about knowing all the answers a priori. It’s about observation and developing logical and self-consistent descriptions of past, present, and future occurences.
Evolutionary critics would be wise to beware the “future” bit in particular, as creationist beliefs aside, their insistence on disavowing evolution in the present makes their case especially farscical. After all, remember, this story isn’t over. In fact you could say it’s just begun. We’re still seeing evolution both in man and beast to this day.
In fact, microbiologists just a couple years ago for the first time witnessed the evolution of a wholly new metabolic pathway in a bacterial colony — sort of the microbial equivalent of growing wings or an extra set of arms.
For the layman it’s understandably tough to recognize how those things are equivalent. However, anyone who’s studied embryonic development will recognize how tiny biochemical, genetic, and epigenetic changes can have profound morphological effects in terms of developing physiological structures such as limbs, or differentiating those limbs into fingers, toes, etc. (In fact some geneticists have recently published studies indicating mankind is gaining genes to promote larger penis sizes.)
Some of the creationist rage did manage to sound true on an unwittingly ironic note. Take self-proclaimed “follower of Jesus Christ… hunter and Razorback fan” “@braddog8” (Brad Fairchild), who writes:
Today is boycott Google Day for me due to their evolution theme. Sorry, but something from nothing is just…dare I say…stupid.
— Brad Fairchild (@braddog8) November 24, 2015
While abiogenesis from biochemical precursors (or according to some theorists panspermia — the arrival of life from other planets) isn’t actually “nothing”, he is half right at least — life is pretty stupid. Not to point any fingers, but there’s ample proof of the stupidity of the masses on display here.
Any scientists will tell you — we don’t have answers. But science is flexible where dogma is rigid. So while surprises surely lie in store they are unlikely to “disprove” the fundamental components of scientific theory. Rather they help us better understand its various nuances and how the path of evolution shaped the lifeforms inhabiting our Earth.
For references sake here is the Google that has led to this creationist “boycott”.
Oh the humanity.
For those curious why Google posted this image, it was posted in honor of the anniversary of the 1974 discovery of Australopithecus afarensis fossil colloquially named “Lucy”. “Lucy” was found in the Afar Depression (aka the “Afar Triangle”), a low elevation area in eastern Africa opposite the tip of the Arabian penisula.
An artist’s depiction of an Australopithecus afarensis, Lucy’s species. [Image Source: Educa Madrid]
Scientists have since found other fossilized specimens, believed to be of the same species. And in recent years the picture of the lifestyle of these ancient hominids has also been enhanced by physiological, morphological, and biochemical studies. Among the recent proposals include that Lucy may have spent part of her life climbing in trees making her akin to larger apes to spend time both on and off the ground.
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