Beware of people who read Richard Dawkins.
Well, this is a teaser sentence only as I, in fact, read Richard Dawkins. So does Jaclyn Glenn who recently did a review of Ray Comfort’s Evolution vs God which is a video of Comfort interviewing several college professors and students (more students than professors) on what their evidence for evolution is. The interviewees waffle quite a bit with Comfort, among other things, asking for evidence for a change in “kinds” – a term he nebulously defines well enough to suite his needs with examples: the canine kind, coyote kind, domestic dog, feline kind, and human kind. Comfort’s professor interviewees are blogger PZ Myers and Gail Kennedy whose only examples of such changes are stickleback fish (who remain stickleback fish) and bacteria (which remain bacteria). They could, of course, have also mentioned Darwin’s finches which change beak sizes but remain finches. But I digress.
While browsing on youtube, I came across Jaclyn Glenn’s review of that video. Yet another atheist I could peruse who I never encountered before. (I’m curious if Dawkins’ book The God Delusion sitting in the background was there for effect or because she was actually reading it.) Nevertheless, I watched most of the video and came up with a list of her numerous factual shortcomings.
Glenn suggests that when Comfort claims evolution can turn dinosaurs into birds, apes into humans, and amphibious mammals into whales that means one kind of animal, a monkey for instance, must give birth to a human. The vast majority of creationists do not argue those changes must be that rapid although Glenn seems to insinuate they do.
Glenn thinks that just because creationists can’t witness evolution or understand how it can happen, we immediately leap to the conclusion that God created life. That is a “god of the gaps” strategy that does not reflect modern scholarship. Intelligent design theorists, for instance, claim positive reasons for attributing life forms to divine creation whether it involves a young earth, old earth, or even progressive creation.
Glenn takes aim at Comfort’s argument that evolution in the fossils is not observable. She likens that to a claim aging doesn’t exist because we cannot witness it. Yet, people and their children can, during a period of time, observe a child growing old but not observe the formation of the fossils that typify the entire life story of evolution.
Glenn assumes that molecular similarities between chimpanzees and humans show they are cousins via evolutionist relationship. However, similarities do not show common ancestry and may easily show common design – much like similarities between cars indicate similar designers.
Glenn claims that evolution could be disproven by finding one fossil in the wrong location. Yet, I’ve found that evolutionist beliefs are not falsifiable and can be molded to fit any theory. Evolution can be presumed to have been more rapid than before.
Glenn makes a big misstep criticizing Comfort’s critique of the moral ramifications of evolution – particularly Comfort’s claim that Hitler was putting natural selection into practice. Glenn retorts that evolution is a biological process, not a moral one, and we might as well sit in a circle and discuss the morality of a tsunami. It’s interesting that Glenn never denies that Hitler was eliminating the unfit; she just wants to find a detour around the issue. What Glenn does is jump from human evil to natural evil as if to suggest both are morally equivalent. Yes, evolution is a natural process, but one with moral or immoral results and we can’t ignore making ethical judgments about human actions. If humans did actions that happen to fall under the rubric of evolution, then we should describe them as moral or immoral. I think, like PZ Myers, she does not want to face the ethical ramifications of evolution.
So, I find yet another example of atheist misperceptions about their subject of study – no different than Dawkins and others I describe in my book the Vast Wastelands of Unbelief. As a rebuttal to Glenn, I would suggest Wac3media’s whose review is lengthy and mostly on target.