Tuesday, February 12, 2013

How to quote mine like a lying creationist

Just a quick look at how utterly ignorant and dishonest people quote mine to make false points:

This one is taken from this little gem of a post called "Darwin Was Wrong".

Let's take a look at one example:

Mark Ridley, another evolutionist from Oxford University said in The New Scientist magazine in June 1981 p 831, "a lot of people just do not know what evidence the theory of evolution stands upon. They think that the main evidence is the gradual descent of one species from another in the fossil record. ...In any case, no real evolutionist, whether gradualist or punctuationalist, uses the fossil record as evidence in favor of the theory of evolution as opposed to special creation."

Because the fossils simply do not support many small changes between kinds over a long period of time, many evolutionists have at least been honest enough to admit this and have come up with a new theory called, "punctuated equilibrium" or the "hopeful monster theory". From the fossil record, they know that change didn't take place in small gradual steps, so they assume that the change took place in quick "quantum leaps" over long periods of time. In Darwin's theory, the changes were so slow and gradual that science cannot observe the evolution. The new theory says the change takes place so quickly it that too cannot be observed. Unobservable science? What a contradiction!

Oh dear, it looks like that 'Theory' of Evolution is in deep do do. Until you go and read the original:

Someone is getting it wrong, and it isn't Darwin; it is the creationists and the media. But why?

One reason that keeps on betraying itself is that a lot of people just do not know what evidence the theory of evolution stands upon. They think the MAIN [emphasis mine] evidence is the gradual descent of one species from another in the fossil record. Thus, on the Horizon programme "Did Darwin get it wrong?" in March, a creationist told us that the facts about the fossils are contrary to the predictions of the evolutionists-but agree with those of the creationists...However, the gradual change of fossil species has never been part of the evidence for evolution. [note: nor does the fossil record contradict the theory of evolution] In the chapters on the fossil record in the Origin of Species Dawrwin showed that the record was useless for testing between evolution and special creation because it has great gaps in it. The same argument still applies.

So we can see here the bits this lying lowlife clipped out of the quote (and note how I supplied a link to the source so you can verify it yourself and read it in the greater context of the article as well). The article in NO WAY supports this liars conclusions.

Further note this is an article from 1981 - much has changed in the fossil record since that time, many so-called "gaps" have been filled in with dozens of species, absolutely in conjunction with the predictions of evolutionary theory. But this still doesn't mean that the fossil record is the primary evidence in support of evolution. Out of the trillion trillion trillion organisms that have ever lived the fossil record is but a tiny fraction of them, it can never be completed because Nature didn't see fit to carefully preserve each and every organism (nor 2 of some and 7 of others). What scientists look for in the fossil record is information about the timescales (rate) of changes and that nothing in the fossil record contradicts the theory.

The article goes on to debunk many other creationist lies, including several others in that very webpage I'm commenting on -- you can call them 'myths' if you want but they simply lies. There is really no excuse for such ignorance in this day and age, if they are mistaken out of ignorance it is willful and deliberate.


  1. Good afternoon, Dark Star.

    I'm a recovering "militant" atheist. Oh, I still do not believe, and as I've explained in cutting off those who like to inject the Cosmological Argument or other navel-gazing, even if I accept their entire premise, they still have a massive job tying this "creator" with the various interventionist god they worship. But I no longer generalize all believers as "the enemy", after finding out about groups like Talk2Action and AU, both run or at least managed by the faithful. I had to sit myself down and admit that if not for those valiant and tireless Christians, we atheists would have a much worse outcomes in our struggle to keep the wall of separation intact.

    So, my dilemma is that I waver constantly between despising the abject liars, like the author of that bilge you describe, and sadness for those who believe what this person and others tell them, because it's got to be more comfortable for them to not have to think about their faith and its supporting architecture. And sometimes I wish I were not so "understanding", and just let them all have it with both barrels. Instead, I'll just read your posts in appreciation.

    1. I honestly try very hard not to generalize to all believers. I even go further and I have a piece entitled "It's Not Religion" http://iconoclasm2000.blogspot.com/2012/01/its-not-religion.html

      And I even discussed this on twitter just today, in conversation with an atheist who had commented on how smart atheists were and to fill-in-the-blank on theists, I replied:

      >>> I would say 'misled', I didn't get smarter when I dropped my beliefs
      >>> https://twitter.com/ColdDimSum/status/322468656518930432

      And we had a nice conversation about it, my points being:

      >>> my first push away from 'faith' was simple moral revulsion of Biblical content, my epistemic concerns followed later 'then what?'
      >>> I think the correlation of IQ to agnosticism/atheism is an artifact of current (localized) cultural & familial pressures

      My whole family are Christians, I don't hate them, but they have put a lot of pressure on me over the years (30+ now) to believe as they do.

      I feel for them because I was trapped in the same thought processes myself and I give myself ZERO credit for having escaped them. I just did. I'm not better or smarter or more clever (nor worse or immoral). I often say "I didn't stop giving presents when I stopped believing in Santa". I'm the same person.

      And I agree with you, I do have compassion and sympathy for the author of the post as a Human Being. I name them a liar, either of malice or ignorance (a correctable condition we're all in great possession of), but I don't mean to call for any action against them as a person.

      I do confess a certain level of aggression and passion in what I write, but I never want to take away someones Humanity or cross the line into Harassment.

      Thanks for the comment!