Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Majoring in evolutionary biology is a "waste of time". WTF!?!?!?


A lesser known creationist on the Youtube's posted a vid saying that he was going to make a Q&A vid. Wondering what he might say I put, "Is me majoring in evolutionary biology a waste of time?" I wasn't sure what kind of reaction I would get, but I think I got my hope's up.




He read my question near the end and then very nonchalantly "yes I think so" and moved on to the next one




He didn't thump his fist and get all fundie on me. He didn't squirm in his chair say "Well you be careful because your professors might indoctrinate you with Neo Darwinist thinking.... " He just said eh...yeah and casually tossed ALL the research and potential discovery in one of the most prominent fields of biology today in the trash.




Quick Lesson on History: When Darwin first published the Origin of Species, he pointed to the fossil record for evidence. The fossil record was weak but just a year after Darwin published his most famous book, one of the most well known transitional fossils was discovered; Archaeopteryx. However, Darwin was very up front up about the problems with his theory (including about the fossil record which was actually strong enough to convince even the causal naturalist of the power of Darwin's idea) and that our knowledge on how traits were passed down through generation and the laws of variations was very limited. It wouldn't be until the early 20th century that the field of genetics took off and paleontologists were pushed in the background. As Richard Dawkins puts it,




"If every fossil were magicked away, the comparative study of modern organisms, of how their patterns of resemblances, especially of their genetic sequences, are distributed among species, and of how species are distributed among continents and islands, would still demonstrate, beyond all sane doubt, that our history is evolutionary, and that all living creatures are cousins. Fossils are a bonus. A welcome bonus, to be sure, but not an essential one. It is worth remembering this when creationists go on (as they tediously do) about "gaps" in the fossil record. The fossil record could be one big gap, and the evidence for evolution would still be overwhelmingly strong. At the same time, if we had only fossils and no other evidence, the fact of evolution would again be overwhelmingly supported. As things stand, we are blessed with both."- "The Ancestor's Tale"




Anyway, it's an understatement that the evidence for evolution is overwhelming. It's old hat to quote Theodosius Dobzhansky ("Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" ). And it's also a waste of time to try and educate creationists on the knowledge that they've gone out of their way to ignore (seriously I don't know how they can use the SAME arguments over and over AGAIN.) These people couldn't care less about science. If I had asked if majoring in biology a waste of time, he would probably have said that he had no comment or something. If I had said that I'm majoring in cosmology (which completely refutes ANY scientific standing for a literal interpretation of the Bible also), he wouldn't have cared. It's just that I happened to mention evolution.....
One of the reason's why I'm a science major is because I'm tired of this. I'm sick and tired of letting creationists get away with being willfully ignorant of science and pushing that ignorance onto other people. There's no way to say this grace fully: I hate it and I want to educate myself to the point where I should be able to convince anyone no matter how fundamental that evolutionary biology is ANYTHING BUT A WASTE OF TIME.

5 comments:

That Guy said...

Good post. It is hardly surprising that he said that. Creationism has adopted the language, but not the methodology, of science. They have no desire to increase human knowledge. Just obedience to an invisible man in the sky.

Sergio said...

I, for one, think it is a hopeful pursuit.

Fight the good fight.

Kuba said...

Dont worry John. We can handle these creationist nuts! :P

Christie Lynn said...

Wow, that's it? A quick yes and move on? I'd be disappointed, too. I would expect a bit more of a rise than that...

Then again, I guess if someone asked if the priesthood seemed like a good career choice I'd probably give them just as little thought...

Oh well.

Lab Rat said...

damn that's depressing :( Don't let it get you down! Keep finding out interesting bits of stuff, at the end of the day you know that asking all the questions is going to give you a more interesting life than just going 'yeah i think so' and moving on =D