The Evolution of a Science News Story

Scientists: ‘Our study showed a weak correlation between the presence of two particular sections of chromosome, and self-identification of homosexuality.’

Science journalists: ‘Scientists have proven a link between genes and homosexuality.’

Non-science journalists: ‘Scientists have found the gay gene.’

Non-science editorial writers: ‘This raises the possibility of “fixing” the gay gene.’

News website comment sections: ‘We should fix the gay gene.’

Response to Creationist 17

17. “What purpose do you think you are here for if you do not believe in salvation?”

What’s that, dear? Salvation? No, I’m afraid this is about biology. Maybe you want the soteriology debate next door? No, that’s all right. Easy mistake to make. Run along now.

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Response to Creationist 16

16. “What mechanism has science discovered that evidences an increase of genetic information seen in any genetic mutation or evolutionary process?”

Oh dear. Someone’s been reading technical jargon they don’t understand.

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Response to Creationist 15

15. “Because science by definition is a “theory” – not testable, observable nor repeatable” why do you object to creationism or intelligent design being taught in school?”

My first reaction to 15 was an overwhelming urge to throw a dictionary in her face.

Now I’ve taken some time to consider the 22 creationists and the roots of their flawed beliefs, I think I’m able to formulate a more considered, effective response.

Make sure the dictionary is a hardback.

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Response to Creationist 14

14. “If Evolution is a Theory (like creationism or the Bible) why then is Evolution taught as fact.”

The theory of evolution is a theory; evolution is a process, a thing which definitely exists and happens. The fact there’s a theory about it is not to say the whole thing is just a wild idea someone pulled out of their arse; it’s scientists’ way of saying “this stuff’s complicated, so we’re going to write it down properly.”

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Response to Creationist 13

13. “Does metamorphosis help support evolution?”

Other commentators have gone easy on 13, thinking that her question is a genuine and informed one. I think that assumption is a mistake.

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Response to Creationist 12

12. “There is no inbetween… the only one found has been Lucy and there are only a few pieces of the hundreds neccessary for an “official proof””

There are two things we can learn from 12’s claim, which is a variation on the old “missing link” objection.

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Response to Creationist 11

11. “Why do evolutionists/secularists/huminists/non-God believing people reject the idea of their being a creator God but embrace the concept of inteligent design from aliens or other extra-terestrial sources?”

I’m disappointed that the photo doesn’t show 11’s face, because I’d love to see what kind of deranged, delusional idiocy is beaming out of it. Except it probably isn’t, is it? He probably looks completely normal. It’s the banality of insanity.

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Response to Creationist 10

10. “I believe in the Big Bang Theory… God said it and BANG it happened!”

Other commentators have suggested that 10 is describing a belief in deism, the idea that god is an unknowable, ineffable entity who created the universe but who has not interfered since – and therefore cannot be the personal god of Judaism, Christianity, or any other revealed religion. Her mention of the “Big Bang Theory” and the phrase, “it happened” do seem to suggest some concept of deism or theistic evolution in which god set the fuse on the Big Bang, and then left “it”, ie the entire subsequent history of the universe, to happen as science understands it.

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Response to Creationist 9

9. “If God did not create everything, how did the first single-celled organism originate? By chance?”

The poor framing of 9’s question reveals its rhetorical nature. If it were a genuine enquiry, it wouldn’t need the first clause. “How did the first single-celled organism originate?” is a perfectly good question, clearly and accurately stated, and easily googlable. If 9 really wanted an answer to it, she could have it in seconds. So either she doesn’t want the answer, or the answer is too hard. I’ve already accused 1-8 of not wanting the answers, so for a bit of variety, let’s be generous to 9 and suppose she does want the answer, she’s tried looking it up and she still doesn’t understand.

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