Anti-ScienceReligion

God to Creationists: "Let me spell it out for you nice and slow…"

If ignorance is bliss, then creationists the world over just got a little sadder as scientists announce the discovery of yet another “intermediate fossil,” showing an animal caught midway between the land and the sea like a pre-op transvestite with only one fake boob in place.

I’ll give you a second to go back and try to parse that sentence. There’s a lot going on.

The animal has been named Tiktaalik roseae, which means, “Thing that is further proof that God is just testing us, the sadistic bastard.” For the purposes of this essay, we’ll refer to him as “Tik-Tak the Finger Fish.”

Tik-Tak has fins with the beginnings of little digits, as well as shoulders, wrists, neck, elbows, and other non-fishy attributes. The discovery is so cool that it actually inspired the team’s leader, Dr. Neil H. Shubin of the University of Chicago, to state

“. . . holy cow.”

I can’t think of a more appropriate phrase for an evolutionary biologist to utter.

Now, this isn’t the first of these sneaky transvestite organisms to be found. There’s also Archaeopteryx, a scary looking thing caught between lizards and birds (shown here doing his patented dance, “In Your Face, Creationist Nonsense“).

“But wait,” I hear you ask, “what are we going to do now that there is no more creationist nonsense to combat?”

Fear not, gentle reader. Duane T. Gish, retired Chief Creationist in Charge of Misinformation and Utter Foolishness for the Institute for Creation Research in San Diego, responds thusly:

“This alleged transitional fish will have to be evaluated carefully.” But he added that he still found evolution “questionable because paleontologists have yet to discover any transitional fossils between complex invertebrates and fish, and this destroys the whole evolutionary story.”

Oh no, you sunk our evolutionary battleship, you delightful cad, you! I’d like to respond further to Gish’s comment, but my brain exploded with the knowledge that millions of years of evolution have thus far resulted in organisms who can say things like “paleontologists have yet to discover any transitional fossils between complex invertebrates and fish, and this destroys the whole evolutionary story” without the slightest trace of irony. I hope the editors of The Onion read that quote, as it’ll make their jobs much easier since they can just reproduce it word for word. Here, I’ll even help with a headline:

Area Creationist Looks at Irrefutable Evidence of Evolution, Desperately Grasps for New Way to Be Ignorant

If there is in fact a god, I’d be willing to bet that he is currently gazing down upon the creationists for the exact same reason that I ocassionally tune in to America’s Next Top Model.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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16 Comments

  1. Yup you can lead an IDer to knowledge but you can't make him think. I got a lovely quote from PZ Myers at (http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/04/silly_ol_jack_chick.php#more)

    Often a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other parts of the world, about the motions and orbits of the stars and even their sizes and distances,… and this knowledge he holds with certainty from reason and experience. It is thus offensive and disgraceful for an unbeliever to hear a Christian talk nonsense about such things, claiming that what he is saying is based in Scripture. We should do all that we can to avoid such an embarrassing situation, which people see as ignorance in the Christian and laugh to scorn.
    –St. Augustine

    I thnk that says it all.

  2. When I was a lad in school, many years ago, I once held…erm…"certain views" about the Way Things Are. And I relied upon "Doctor" Gish for quite a bit of– ah– "interpretation" of evidence.

    GAWD (You should pardon the expression), am I embarrassed that I was ever that ignorant.

    I think this finding is just the coolest!

  3. because paleontologists have yet to discover any transitional fossils between complex invertebrates and fish, and this destroys the whole evolutionary story.

    It almost sounds like he wants proof that fish evovled from squid or somthing, but he can't want that, because that would be stupid beyond belief.

  4. But we have those. I just can't remember what they're called…They're non-vertibrate chordates. Kinda squishy things with notochords, v-shaped muskulature, and pharangical (sorry for the spelling) gill slits. Hell, even squids have a primative notochord. But creationists have always seemed to ignore them. Or, worse, used the whole "If we evolved from monkies why are there still monkies?" argument.

  5. Frelling IDIOTS!!!

    No one says that we descended from monkeys; Scientists say that there is strong evidence to suggest that humans and monkeys share a recent common ancestor!

    Bloody IDers are not only mind-bendingly stupid, but intellectually dishonest.

  6. oh no! i have to believe in evolution now! they found more bones!! wow

    somthing died! oh wait, does that mean that the "Aquada" boat slash

    car, proves that boats turn into cars if you give them a couple

    trillion years? hmm mabye people will think that in the future, if the

    car/boat survives a million years in ice, then the next species will

    think so.
    Im curious, so i dont waste my freakin life having no point other then

    to live life to the fullest(even though i know that im just telling

    myself that to make me think im happy ) is there any better proof that

    evolution is real? because i was forced to go to your church ever sence

    middle school biology, while they try to convince me that nothing

    creates everything. and i believed that for 7 years, because i had

    nothing else to believe. but I guess ill have to go to the christians

    because their only ones sceptical enough to go against the theory of

    evolution. what evolutionist preacher is going to tell me about the

    flaws of his religion anyway, i havent found one yet.
    you have found some truth to strengthn your belief in your god, but did

    you need it? no your faith is sufficient enough. the problem is will,

    not truth or faith. you have to want it first. and what you may want is

    no god. you get what you want . You dont live untill you find somthing

    to die for. ill pray that god shows himself true in your life as he did

    in mine.

    -i care what happens to you, but he cares more

  7. "what evolutionist preacher is going to tell me about the flaws of his religion anyway, i havent found one yet."

    Clear evidence that this commenter is so full of shit. Obviously this person hasn't even bothered to open his eyes (maybe he can't see because they're also covered in shit, who knows).

    Most of what is nowadays considered the theory of evolution is stuff that was added or altered after Darwin first published his "theory". The way science works is that if you disagree with what someone comes up with, you do your own research and prove them wrong (or if you can't, accept that they were right). This is happening all the time, all over the world. The only people who have yet to prove any evolution scientist wrong are the ID-ers themselves. They don't do facts, you see, they only do a lot of talking, so they don't actually have anything with which to prove the scientists wrong. Ergo, they are forced to either accept evolution is right or shut up and find evidence to justify their complaints. That's how it works for real scientists, that's how it works for ID-ers too.

  8. i see i did make the mistake of putting want, however i ment iyou must be willing to accept, not want.

    "The only people who have yet to prove any evolution scientist wrong are the ID-ers themselves. They don’t do facts, you see, they only do a lot of talking, so they don’t actually have anything with which to prove the scientists wrong."

    is that a fact?

    http://www.evolution-facts.org/

    find out for yourself

  9. is that a fact?
    No, it's an opinion. However, I dare you to find one genuine piece of evidence that scientists have rejected for the simple reason that it contradicted their theory or seemed to support creationism.

    And before you go searching for one, I'll let you in on a little secret: you will never find one. When something is found that contradicts the theory, it's not the evidence that gets dismissed, it's the theory. That means the theory is altered to fit all the new facts. So the theory is always changing, always fitting the facts as we know them.

    Creationism and ID do no such thing. They blatantly ignore anything that contradicts the central idea (that sky-daddy created humans). Their primary goal is not to learn and understand how the world works (as it is with science), they specifically seek to discredit evolution, and desperately want to validate their assumption that life was created, not even willing to entertain the idea that this assumption may be completely wrong. As such, most of their efforts are of no value whatsoever because they don't offer any new answers, they just avoid the questions to which they don't like the answers.

    In short, if you're looking for something that's consistent with all the facts, evolution is right there. If you're looking for a fantasy fairy tale that's full of inconsistencies and errors and useless philosophical blathering, then perhaps the creationism myth is more your thing. Just be aware that this is the only proper distinction you can make between the two.

    As for links to web resources, maybe you should check this one out:

    http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs.html
    more specifically this page: http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/

    Find out for yourself why the claims on your web link actually aren't facts at all …

  10. This fossil is a tremendous find. I look forward to hearing more as scientists analyze it.

    As for those attempting to argue with the creationists- don't bother, unless their ignorant views threaten your safety or existence- because there is no arguing with them. My oldest sister is a born-again Christian, and we've had discussions until I was blue in the face. Finally, I realized that there is no reasoning with these folks- they see the Universe in a totally different way, therefore, they "think" differently. They don't fundamentally listen to what you have to say, because prima facie, they reject the root premise of what you are saying.

    Facts and data, facts and data, facts and data. Everything else is irrelevant.

  11. As for those attempting to argue with the creationists- don’t bother, unless their ignorant views threaten your safety or existence- because there is no arguing with them. My oldest sister is a born-again Christian, and we’ve had discussions until I was blue in the face. Finally, I realized that there is no reasoning with these folks- they see the Universe in a totally different way, therefore, they “think” differently. They don’t fundamentally listen to what you have to say, because prima facie, they reject the root premise of what you are saying.

    Your observation is making the exact same point I did I suppose.

    But I’d say every day their ignorant views are threatening my safety and existance. And perhaps not straight away, but definitely in the long run. At the very least someone’s safety or existance is threatened by religious fundamentalism at any given time.

    As such, I think it is very important to balance any piece of creationist drivel with a good, solid dose of reality. Refute them whenever possible, just in case someone should wander onto their comments by accident. The internet is already full of nonsense, and as a skeptic, I somehow feel it’s part of my duty to make sure ignorance is fought wherever it can be fought, and that even includes the comment pages of a blog that may some day by sheer coincidence end up on the first page of someone’s Google search. If all they find is creationist bullshit, they will not learn anything new, or worse, take it as fact and think it’s the truth. If however their ramblings are exposed for what they really are, or at least balanced with some rationality, then perhaps another skeptic is born.

    So I’m not feeding a troll here, I’m simply trying to make it ineffective by exposing it to daylight. And it only took a few minutes of my time to do so anyway. Why make a big deal of that …

  12. As a Christian who has no problem accepting the overwhelming evidence for evolution, I am baffled by my fellow believers who do. The magnificent sweep of the fossil record is (to me) humbling and awe-inspiring, showing the lineage of living things from mats of blue-green algae, to sharks bigger than dinosaurs, to us.

    And it isn't just fossils that back evolutionary theory up; genetics and comparative biology dovetail with it quite nicely. It is in no way degrading to see our common ancestry with the animals (and farther back, with the plants and bacteria), it is instead a testament, in the very fabric of life, of God's power and glory.

    The fossil of T. rosea is a breathtaking glimpse into the past. It's a treasure, in many senses of the word. We are living in a great time, when such discoveries are being made and fitted into the magnificent mosaic of life on Earth.

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