case you missed it, paleontologists, digging in South Africa
the remains of a new species of hominid, Australopithecus
buried in a cave. This little discovery is of tremendous
importance as anatomical evidence points to the species being a close
evolutionary relative to man, perhaps even a direct ancestor.I
wrote a little story on the topic, analyzing the find, while briefly
touching on the pertinent creationism vs. modern evolutionary theory
debate that continues to rage to this day in America. I
expected the story to get a few comments. I never expected,
though that it would get over 575 comments, making it perhaps the
most commented on story in DailyTech's
history.I think it's great that so many people are chiming in
and sharing their thoughts, and I think its a real sign of our site's
diversity and popularity. However, amidst those comments I saw
some that really bothered me as a person who has worked in the fields
of engineering and biochemistry in addition to my time here
at DailyTech. Take
one reader, who writes:
Scientific Proof the Evolutionary Theory is Dead.A story about
two friends from day one.http://www.biblelife.org/creation.htm" rel="nofollow
comment was rated up to a 3, so obviously some people agreed with
it. However, the site and "proof" it cites, from a
scientific perspective, are utterly worthless.The site is full
of inaccurate and egregious jewels. Among them is the claim
that granite is called a "creation rock" by geologists and
can not be created on Earth today. This is patently false.
If such a term were ever used, it has no place in the field of modern
geology. Further, granite is to this very day being produced in
small quantities by metamorphism in amphibolite and granulite
terrains. There's nothing magical about it.The other
"friend" that the site refers to is polonium, a radioactive
heavy element. Polonium makes halos in granite, which a
researcher named Robert V. Gentry claimed, starting in the 1980s, were
proof that the Earth was only 6,000 years old, as the literal reading
of The Bible claims. Gentry was by all reports a decent
researcher who was blinded by his obsession in proving creationism,
which led to him reaching far outside his field of expertise
(physics) into foreign fields like geology.In this case, as
with most of his arguments for a "young Earth" his
"evidence" was shown to be completely wrong. There
was indeed uranium in the exact deposits Gentry sampled from, he just
failed to follow basic principles of geological sampling. Of course this is
understandable -- Gentry was no geologist. So his "proof"
was just another red herring.Here is a very informative read
on the topic: "The
Geology of Gentry's 'Tiny Mystery'".The site also
implies that there's something "magical" about polonium
making its way into granite. Consider that silicon dioxide, the
primary component of granite melts at 1925 K, while 527 K. Thus
polonium would be molten and could easily make its way into cracks
and crevices in granite that had cooled to a solid. Again, the
claims are patently false and there's nothing magical or unknown
here.Basic science invalidates many of the supposed "proof"
of creationism and a young Earth. Yet, while it's easy to
disprove a bad argument, its hard to kill one. As I mentioned,
here was an argument that was literally disproved over two decades
ago, but there's a site out there still using it as evidence and one
of our readers are referencing it as fact. And worse yet,
apparently some in our readership were misled enough that they rated
up the comment.I don't have the time or energy to rebuke
every falsehood set forth by a handful of the commenters in that
thread, so I hope this was an informative example.It's fine
to believe whatever you want when it comes to evolution. An all
powerful deity such as Xenu or the Christian God, could in theory
create a reality with evidence to the contrary of the creation
itself. Every single atom could have been set into motion
perfectly to deliver an elaborate, yet misleading picture. Yet
to scientists, we must interpret the picture that we see, and that
picture clearly points that evolution created the species we see
today and that the earth is billions of years old, not 6,000 years
old. Believe what you want, but try not to reference false
"facts" to justify your beliefs -- that's called spreading
misinformation, and it's disingenuous.
quote: I wrote a little story on the topic, analyzing the find, while briefly touching on the pertinent creationism vs. modern evolutionary theory debate that continues to rage to this day in America. I expected the story to get a few comments. I never expected, though that it would get over 575 comments, making it perhaps the most commented on story in DailyTech's history.
quote: If that's the case, I think MSNBC has a desk for you.
quote: You know goddamn well that article was written in such a way as to provoke hostilities.
quote: People who do not believe in creatonism have lost their jobs or have been threatened because of this debate.
quote: It is very relevant to provoke a debate through a modern way of communication as the internet is
quote: Every time more evidence of evolution arises this debate will happen again.
quote: The latest story I just read last week was a NASA computer administrator (who was managing the Cassini project and was previously lauded as an excellent employee), who was recently demoted for discussing Intelligent Design at work, even though his beliefs on this issue have nothing to do with his ability to manage the computer systems.
quote: Well I love a good debate also, but its a little unseemly to provoke these types of discussions at a site that is supposedly politically neutral and a source of technology information.
quote: This fossil find wasn't evidence of evolution. It's only evidence of evolution if you already assume that evolution is true. But I guess if you keep repeating a lie often enough people will start to believe it.
quote: This dude was distributing DVD's and promoting his misguided ideals at the workplace. Of course he was punished.
quote: I actually applaud Jason for his neutrality on that particular article. Anyone who's read his material knows that he held back a lot on this one.
quote: I guess you could see it that way, I think the it's better say that it's evidence that "supports" the theory of evolution, and definitely evidence that debunks the "intelligent design" myth.