Monday, September 15, 2008

Creationism in the UK

Unfortunately, creationist idiocy is not confined to North American shores, but is also invading my home country. Yep, us Europeans are perfectly capable of breeding a bunch of stupid, ill-informed cretins of our own, it seems. They've nothing new to say, though, and are trotting out the same tired old lies and non-arguments as their US counterparts. Check out some of the following quotes from the UK's Creation Science Movement website:

By way of comparison, it is possible to calculate the number of possible events in the universe, even if full of organic soup (The Universal Probability Bound). A universe full of organic soup could contain 10^80 molecules, multiplied by 15 billion years approximates to 10^18 seconds, multiplied by for instance the frequency of gamma rays 10^20 equals 10^118 posible events. What can be seen therefore is that the number permutations on one average length protein exceeds the possible events in the universe and could not have happened by chance.

Well, it didn't happen by chance, no scientist claims that. It happened by evolution and natural selection. This is simple stuff... come on, guys.

The origin of man intrigues all of us. The Sunday Times for the 20th August 1995 reported: ‘The scientists themselves are confused. A series of recent discoveries has forced them to tear up simplistic charts on which they blithely draw linkages from Apes to Man. The classic family tree delineating man’s ascent from apes, familiar to us from school, has given way to the concept of genetic islands. The bridgework between them is anyone’s guess.’

Is a news article dating from over a decade ago really the most reliable source they could find on current evolutionary theory? Is it even relevant at all? You creationists might insist on clinging onto your 2000-year-old, unalterable ideas, but us scientists have this little concept we call "progress".

In the 19th century Darwin wrote about evolution. 140 years on, scientific advances have undermined his ideas. If our present knowledge of genetics, information science and so on had been around then, his theory would not have got off the ground. Each fossil shows separate Creation. In other words nothing changes from one kind to another. For example, there is no halfway stage between the reptile and the bird.

Apart from archaeopteryx, only the most famous fossil ever discovered, which has the skeletal structure of a lizard with a long, bony tail, but bird-like forearms modified for flight, complete with avian feathers that are still visible in the fossil. Plus hundreds of other transitional forms. Plus the fact that modern genetics is not only compatible with Darwin's theory, but actually makes no sense at all without it... Must try harder, creationbrits!


Elsewhere on the website, things start getting really stupid:

Adam needed a wife. Put the character for ‘two’ with the character for ‘persons’ and we have the word ‘beginning’. The word for ‘covet’, meaning to want something a lot, is especially interesting. It is made of the Chinese character for ‘woman’ and two ‘trees’. Eve ate the forbidden fruit and by disobeying God missed the reward of the second tree. Two trees figure in Eve’s and Adams downfall.

The ancient Chinese knew about this history. We find the story of Noah in the Chinese character for ‘boat’. One part means ‘vessel’ another part means ‘eight’ and the final part means ‘mouth’ or ‘person’. Noah and his family numbered eight people on the boat which survived the great Flood.

The word Create: dust + life or motion + mouth or person = speak + walk = create.

The one thing that gives me hope is that, in my experience of living in both the UK and North America, Brits are a lot less willing to suffer bullshit like this than those across the pond, and religion is far less prominent in day-to-day life. So I really can't see the creationists gaining too much ground there. Let's hope that my faith in the UK isn't misplaced.

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