Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Evotution destroyed again?

After his first video claiming to destroy evolution, he's promising to do it again. It seams that Joshua Feuerstein just doesn't learn. A fact that really isn't all that surprising since his previous video on the issue proved that he never bothered to learn about evolution prior to attempting to 'destroy it'. Let's see if he can even begin to approach a decent argument this time around, because he failed miserably last time...
Not even the combined evolutionary knowledge of three of Josh
is enough to equal a basic understanding of what evolution is,
says, and predicts.
Science tells that we are the product of a protein molecule. A molecule that happened by chance (he then goes on to mention the odds of that happening). 
Wait... I thought that this was supposed to be a video about evolution. What Josh is talking about here isn't evolution, but what happened before evolution. The dawn of life is abiogenesis, not evolution. Not off to a good start of destroying evolution...

But since Josh wants to talk about this, don't you think he should research some first? You see, some research questions if life is really that big of a long odds situation. A 2006 paper claimed that abiogenesis may have been an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics and chemistry. A 2012 paper pieces together the possible beginning of metabolism. And a 2013 paper showed that self assembly into simple cells may be an inevitable process. That experiment actually resulted in 5 out of 1,000 having all 83 chemicals needed to produce a protein. Granted, none of this is definitive proof of how life began yet, but we are making leaps and bounds toward unraveling the puzzle of abiogenesis.

One final note on this part... So what if the rise of life was very very unlikely, odds-wise? Unlikely things happen all the time (not to mention that life had billions of years and billions of planets to try out before one got it right). The odds of that protein arising by chance (if we rely on chance) was basically zero. But do you know what else has a chance of basically zero? You existing!

First your dad and mom have to meet. Then they have to choose to court one another above the many other potential mates available. Then they have to stay together long enough to mate. But you had to be the product of that particular one of you mother's eggs. Different egg, different mix of genetic information. But then there's dad's side of the equation. You were the product of one particular sperm combining with that one particular egg. If any of the other sperm had got there first, we are left with a different 'you'.

But this is just the start. Run all of those odds over and over again, all the way down your family tree until the base. What we are left with is the odds of this particular 'you' existing as 1 in 10 to the 2,685,000th power. Meanwhile Josh baulks at the odds of protein creation being 1 in 10 to the 243rd power. He declares that to be impossible, yet the fact that the 'him' making this video exists was much much much less likely than that! So Josh, is your existence impossible as well?
There's the law of cause and effect. The universe we live in is an effect, but out of what cause? It has to have a cause. I would argue that this cause is God.
Again, this isn't evolution. This video is already a quarter of the way past, and we've yet to delve into what it's supposed to be about. Josh can think that the cause of the universe is his god if he wants, but he has the same problem he's saying I have. Science does not yet know what came before the Big Bang. But science will keep working to see if they can figure it out. But if the universe had to have a cause, so did God. What was his cause? The only honest answer to any of these questions is "I don't know". And that is where I stand. I'd much rather eagerly await whatever answers science may find, rather than pretend I had a magic explanation, and just avoid the question as theists often do.
If somehow evolution came into being. And monkey would become man. Let me ask you this... If evolution is an ongoing process, why do we not see any half human, half apes today? Wouldn't monkeys still be evolving into man, and wouldn't we find those around us that hadn't quite caught up to us yet? And yet evolution has no answer for that.
Please tell me this is one big horrible joke. Can Josh really know that little about evolution? Sadly, it seems as though he truly is that ignorant on the topic. What he's describing is not what evolution describes or predicts. We are not evolved from modern apes. And modern apes are not evolving into humans. Modern apes are but our closest living cousins in the animal kingdom.

If you follow our branch on the tree of life back, you will find a point (not long ago, in evolutionary terms) where it intersects with another branch. That intersection is where you would find the most recent common ancestor with us and modern apes. The branch to the left lead to us, and the branch to the right led to modern apes. They went on their path, and we went on ours... Actually, a half man-half modern ape, or a half duck-half lion would be things that would counter evolution. So why is it that Josh thinks that these are examples of what evolution predicts. Either he had a horrible science teacher, or he didn't pay very much attention...
Evolution can not explain thought.
Thought is a product of our brains. Why is it so hard to understand that as more and more complex brains evolved, that we also gained enhanced cognitive ability?
Evolution can not explain feelings.
Feelings and emotion are also (at their base) due to chemical reactions in the brain due to stimuli.
Evolution can not explain emotion.
Again, the brain! My cats display feelings and emotion for crying out loud! These aren't specifically human traits given by God.
Evolution can not explain morality.
Are we talking biological evolution, or social? We are social creatures. Through this we developed morality. All that is required for morality is empathy. The ability to sympathize and put yourself in another person's shoes. But it can also be achieved through acting in accordance with what is good for the group/species. Killing one another is bad for the group as a whole, so don't do it. As we became more advanced, and societies more complex, we also refined and improved on more and more complex moral standards.

There is no god required for morality, emotions, or feelings. Just evolution to give us the hardware, and social beings to figure out the rest.
God wrote that morality on all of our hearts.
Because there's nothing more moral than the hero of the story
willingly offering up girls to be gang raped...
Citation needed. But seriously, if that's the case, he did a pretty terrible job. Morality varies somewhat from culture to culture. And what about the Christians that make up the majority of the United States prison population? Did God forget the write morals on them? What about pedophile priests? What about the evils perpetrated by God's chosen people (and God) in the Bible?
The reason and the problem with humanity today. the reason that there's so much suicide, depression, and racism, and all of these things where we don't value each other is because people have begun, over the last 30, 40, 50 years to begin to adopt this evolutionary theory, that somehow it's fact. 
What!? Suicide, depression and racism are much older than 50 years old, and much older than even when Darwin formulated his theory of evolution by way of natural selection. Fifty years ago was 1964. Until 1863, it was still legal in the United States to own slaves (On the Origin of Species was published in 1859). The trans-Atlantic slave trade started in the 15th century. Racism is a problem
much older than the idea of evolution.

In fact, the Bible has fueled racism! Remember that the Bible condones slavery, and even tells you where to get your slaves and how to beat them. God also sets one people as above all others (the Israelites). Everyone else is an inferior race. Two curses in the Bible have also been interpreted to mean that 'blackened skin' was God's curse on those people.  For these reasons, it doesn't surprise me that racism also tends to seem more prevalent in the ultra religious. So even if someone were to distort evolution to justify racism, so too can people justify racism with the Bible. But misuse of evolution in no way impacts it's truth.

Depression and suicide are also much older than the teaching of evolution. Hell, even King David, Job, and Jeremiah (among others) battled with depression and even wished they were never born in the Bible. Furthermore, I feel that the Bible is a huge potential source for depression. Christianity teaches that we are all born horrible, dirty and sinful. That we are all born to receive eternal torment in Hell, and that we deserve no less. Not exactly my idea of painting a positive picture.

Oh, and evolution is adopted and taught as a fact for one very good reason. It is one! And the evidence backs it up.
And so people begin to believe that they are the product of an accident, and not the product of a creator. Therefore, their life has no meaning.
Is Josh suggesting that the life of a child born of an accidental pregnancy means less than (maybe even nothing) that of a planned pregnancy? That's pretty damn cold!
If life is an accident, we don't value ourselves, therefore we don't value others.
Sorry, but who isn't valuing themselves? I and other atheists very much value our lives, and subsequently, those of others. I'm just happy to be alive. Happy to have beaten the odds to be the 'me' that sits here today. I realize that life is finite and precious. Because of this I hold it dearly... value it greatly... view it with amazement. I want to make the most of life while I'm still living it. Learn what I can. Enjoy what I can. Surround myself with the love my wife and family as much as I can. Help however I can. And just bask in the breathtaking wonder of the universe.

I give life it's worth, and so does everyone else. If the believer feels that his life is meaningless without God, and that he needs a book to tell him what's important, than he is a member of a very sad lot indeed.
Maybe this evolutionary concept that's been popularized over the past few decades is the reason there is suicide, depression, racism and all the things wrong in this world.

Except that these problems are all much older than the cause Josh is proposing...

So once again, Josh does a lot of talking about things other than evolution in a video that's supposed to be about evolution. And when he does talk about evolution, he doesn't even begin to approach destroying it. Rather, he simply and dramatically highlights just how poor his knowledge and understanding of evolution really is.

-Brain Hulk

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