Wednesday, April 10, 2013

How far are creationists ready to accept evolution?

There is a rather large range of creationist dogma with respect to how much they accept the theory of evolution. (Of course no creationist ever calls what they accept "evolution" because that word is evil. They always call it something else, as if it was all up to what word you use.)

The most deluded creationists accept basically nothing that could be even remotely linked to evolution. These are the creationists that deny even the most trivial of things, if they have some kind of connection to the theory of evolution or its history. (As a good example, they will deny the validity of the notion that the color of moths has anything to do with their survival, because of that famous moth experiment. Since the experiment was related to evolution, it must therefore automatically be invalid.)

Other creationists, however, go surprisingly far into accepting the theory of evolution. They accept that species change over time, they accept natural selection (as the explanation of why some changes are retained and others die out), they accept that the environment may speed up or slow down the rate of change, they accept that two isolated groups of the same species may become so different over time that they become incapable of interbreeding, and because of that, they outright accept speciation (ie. that two non-interfertile species can spawn from a single species.) This last thing isn't even something that one has to infer, as many of them state it outright.

This is like 99% of the theory of evolution. Of course these exact same people who accept this 99% still claim that the theory of evolution is wrong. As long as you call it something else, they are fine with it, as long as you don't use the evil word "evolution." (Creationists have invented a wide variety of words to replace it. They all mean basically the same thing; their main purpose for existing is so that they don't have to say that they accept "evolution." That word itself is somehow wicked.)

This is an interesting psychological phenomenon. Even though one would want to make fun of creationists, not all of them are actually stupid. Some of them are quite smart. It's precisely when these smart creationists who have been exposed to what the theory of evolution actually says (rather than the straw man that other creationists have built) start understanding the validity of what it's saying, they cannot deny it anymore without feeling that they would have to outright lie to keep denying it.

So they have this dilemma: They have actually understood what the theory of evolution is actually saying, and they have seen the evidence and seen that it's actually valid. However, they still can't outright state that the theory of evolution might actually be correct. So what to do? Easy: State what they accept but change the name. That way they can say that the accept whatever name they came up with, but not "evolution."

Of course they still have to bring up some objections to the theory of evolution. How else could they keep denying it? If someone asks them what's wrong with the theory, they have to say something. Thus they came up with this concept of "kind" from the book of Genesis. Apparently there's some magical force that stops species from changing too much. (How much that is, is never specified. A species can change so much that it ends up looking nothing like its originator species, but it's still "the same kind" somehow.)

(Curiously, what they are actually advocating is cladistics. Often they don't even realize that. Yet they still refuse to accept cladistics as a valid classification, if it goes too far to the past and links two species that are "too far away" from each other, by some unspecified metric.)

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