Monday, April 14, 2008

Ray Comfort's post to Michael Shermer

Ray wrote:

They say that all the animals we have now were not as we see them. They were radically different. Dinosaurs, over millions of years, became birds, fish became lizards, dogs were something else, primates evolved into human beings, etc. So, when they tell you this, ask why there are no species-to-species transitional forms in the fossil record.

There are, Ray, but you don't want to look at the evidence. There are so many transitional fossils in the fossil record that there are entire categories devoted to them.

Therapsids are creatures that have both exclusively-mammal and exclusively-reptilian characteristics -- exactly what one would expect if reptiles evolved into mammals. No living creatures alive today mix "exclusively mammalian" and "exclusively reptilian" features (When we say a feature is "Exclusively reptilian" it means that it is only found in reptiles, and not in mammals). Yet, we have thousands of fossils of therapsids, which clearly have mixed mammal and reptile features. Imagine a mammalian jaw on a creature that is clearly not warm-blooded (warm bloodedness is determined by the prescence of small channels in the bones where blood vessels go. Reptiles don't have them. Mammals do). Imagine a reptile with more than one type of tooth in it's mouth (All modern reptiles have only one type of tooth in their mouth, where mammals have several types).

Seymoromorphs are fossils that have both reptilian and amphibian features, and are found in a similar variety to Therapsids.

Ichtyosetigids are fossils that have both fish and amphibian characteristics. Again, there are thousands of examples on record.

Anyone who asks a scientist this question is just totally ignorant of the subject.

Go to the "talkorigins" website, and look for the "transitional vertebrate faq" for more info.

Ray wrote:
Why is there no evidence anywhere (in the billions of bones of dead animals) of any species becoming another species?

There are -- thousands of examples -- creationists simply discount the whole fossil record and say that a creature with, for example, the mixed features of a mammal and a reptile, is either 100% mammal or 100% reptile, since they have already decided that no transitionals exist, they cannot acknowledge these clear examples.

If you wish, I can supply an ample supply of links to transitional fossil information, with plenty of pictures for those with reading issues.

Ray wrote:
When they maintain that there are masses of fossils that prove this, don’t take their word for it. Press the issue. Blind faith is another word for ignorance. Say you want facts. Ask for specific scientific evidence of species-to-species transitional forms in the fossil record. When they say that museums are full of them, don’t just believe it as they do. Press the issue again. They will talk about variation (evolution) between species. That's not Darwinian evolution. It's a rabbit trail. Ask again for just one example of species-to-species evolution.

Well, Ray, unfortunately, you said yourself that science just "BORES YOU TO TEARS". It seems here that you're asking a scientist to just whip the right fossil our of his butt, on demand. what you described is the Lazy-man's way of demanding proof by bullying.

The real way to find answers is actually a lot easier -- but it will bore you to tears, because it is full of those boring scientific facts that you don't like to bother with when you write trash about science. You have to RESEARCH. All the fossils that have been entered into the fossil record have been documented in scientific peer-reviewed journals. Peer-reviewed journals are the cornerstone of science. without them, scientists' experiments and test results don't get known by anyone. Creationists avoid peer-review like the plague -- they never publish experimental results or discoveries in peer reviewed journals. If they just did that, then they would qualify as real scientists.

Of course, in order to write stuff in peer-reviewed journals, one needs to actually be collecting data, performing experiments, documenting finds, and doing complex things like math. Creationists do nto do these things, either!

So now that I've bored you to tears with simple facts, let me tell you how to find out where all these transitional fossils are:

Go to ww dot talkorigins dot org (You can also use wikipedia dot org). Click on search the archive. Look for "Transitional vertebrate faq". Read it. If you are not convinced that the information is valid, simply go to the footnotes (all 4 pages of them) at the end of it, and search for those journals and books. I know it's hard work to go to the library and do lexis-nexis searches -- almost like being in college (which is where scientists go to learn how to perform science) -- and it will bore you to tears, because it takes a lot of reading, but eventually, you will see that following the information, instead of whining about not having it handed to you on a silver platter, will lead you to real hard facts.

While you're at it, you can take your favorite creationist book(s) to the library with you. FOllow the footnotes that they have in their books -- especially when they quote non-creationsts or science journals. See how often you find that the source material does not say what the footnotes do. See how often, for example, non-creationists are mis-quoted. Then you can try explaining to me what dishonesty is.

Ray wrote:
They will try and sidetrack you by talking about moths being stuck to trees, vestigial organs, mutations, bipedalism and mitochondrial DNA.

Yeah, those pesky details... Creationists hate dealing with those annoying facts and details...

Ray wrote:
Or they will maintain that there is something called "observed speciation," or try and dazzle you with names like Sinosauropteryx and Ambulocetur and other pseudo-intellectualisms. Then they will say that they aren’t experts, and use words like “maybe, possibly, perhaps, probably.” When they say that science has the proof, somewhere, push it. Demand evidence like your life depended on it. Tell them that you want to use your God-given brain to make a rational decision regarding evolution. You want to know if it's true. Stay open-minded. If it is true, then embrace it. If it's not, reject it.

You know, I think Mike has done that already, but instead of badgering someone like a spoiled adolescent, he actually read books, took college courses, and did lab work. He does have a Master's degree in psychology and a PhD in the History of Science. He started out majoring in Theology at Pepperdyne University, if you didnt' already know that.

Ray -- 30 years ago, when I was 13, I decided to ask all those questions. I started out by asking my teachers lots of questions in class about science, evolution, astronomy. I ended up taking high school and college courses that helped me find the answers, and I read Scientific American, and various other science mags, watched a lot of documentaries, and always pursued the facts, took notes, and I even traveled to a few cities to see museum collections. Have you even done anything resembling that? I realized that badgering is not the right thing back when I was 13, and teachers had 30 other kids in the class to teach.

Your approach to science... well... to be blunt, it's pathetic. If we were talking about calculus, and you wanted to see proof of Newton's revolving orbit theorem. So I show you a bunch of calculations, and you go, don't bore me to tears with that mumbo-jumbo, just give me the answer. So I start explaining the mathematical symbols to you, and try to teach you math, and you just say "this is just a wild goose chase! Just give me the answer, don't bore me with these details!" So I give you the answer in numbers, and you complain "so how do you know this is the correct number?" and the spiral goes downward and downward from there.


GamingAsshole said...

Hey, does Ray Comfort and his gaggle of goons have a message board where you can corner him on crap like this?

Jason said...

You are the coolest guy on Earth.

David W. Irish said...

Well, Ray has his own board at raycomfortfood dot blogspot dot com.

most of the stuff I write about it comes from there, and I do cross-post my replies to both his blog and mine. He SOMETIMES answers them, but mostly I get ignored, and his peanut gallery won't touch my posts with a 10-foot pole.

David W. Irish said...

Jason said...
"You are the coolest guy on Earth."

Did I mention that I play Medieval music on bagpipes, too?

Jason said...

"Did I mention that I play Medieval music on bagpipes, too?"

I play dumb electronic music on my computer. Let's collaborate!

GamingAsshole said...

[quote]Did I mention that I play Medieval music on bagpipes, too?[/quote]

Bagpipes are badass.