Sunday, September 30, 2007

Where's the Beef?

Posted by Kirk
With all the posts about dinosaurs lately I thought this would be timely.

I recently happened upon one of the major creationist websites and read some of their mind-boggling "science." Creationists rail against evolution and complain that the fossil record is incomplete. They claim there are no transitional forms. They don't claim the transitional forms were not fossilized mind you, they claim they did not exist. The reason they claim they did not exist is that they do not appear in the fossil record as if they had existed they would have appeared.

Real scientists point out that the fossil record is incomplete because the creation of fossils is a sporadic event occurring over a long time period that requires specific conditions. Even given that, there are very few paleontologists and a LOT of ground to cover. Only a tiny fraction of the dinosaurs that are fossilized have been dug up and identified.

Creationists ignore this fact and prefer to believe that the fossil record was created by the great flood. Only animals that existed at the time of the flood could have been killed and buried and fossilized. Since we don't find transitional forms, they didn't exist.

Ahem, herein lies the rub for creationists. There are two huge logical problems with their argument.

First off, if the flood was the singular event that formed fossils and the flood only lasted one year then DUH there aren't any transitional forms because evolution doesn't happen in one year. You can't simultaneously say all the fossils were formed in one year and then claim evolution is false because the "snapshot" of animal life the flood fossilized in one year doesn't' show transitional forms. You can either have fossils being formed over millions of years and then you get to complain about missing transitional forms or you get fossils formed in one year by the great flood but then you can't complain about missing transitional forms. You can't logically have it both ways.

Choose one.

Secondly, Noah took two of each animal onto the ark right? Let's look at a fairly common animal. Deer. If he took two deer onto the ark that leaves, oh, let's say a few billion deer that didn't make it onto the ship. They died in the flood. So did all of the bears, goats, horses, chickens, wolves, kangaroos, squirrels, moose, cows, pigs, etc. that were not the lucky two chosen. The idea creationists put forward is that there are no dinosaurs now because they died in the flood. That is why we find them fossilized.

Hold on here a second.

Dear creationists, if Noah only took two of each animal onto the ark then there were millions of individuals from each species that DID NOT make it onto the ark and would have died in the flood. There are lots of dinosaurs that creationists and young earth believers think died in the flood. Please show me a fossil of a deer, a bear, a goat, a horse, a chicken, a wolf, a kangaroo, a moose, a cow or a pig.

Better yet show me hundreds of millions of them because hundreds of millions would not have made it onto the ark and they would have died right alongside the dinosaurs. They don't show up in the fossil record and you claim that animals that don't show up in the fossil record don't exist. That's weird because I could swear I've seen cows, bears, goats, horses, etc. yet they aren't in the fossil record with the dinosaurs.

You can't have it both ways.

Come to think of it where are the fossils of the millions of people who died in the flood? Why don't we find axes and houses and ox-carts and humans and dogs and sandals and cooking utensils mixed in with dinosaur fossils?

Bah! It isn't worth wasting more time on it. We don't find these things because the world wasn't formed the way some guys with no scientific understanding sitting in a tent thousands of years ago dreamed it was created. If you are a creationist and you read this please explain why when a transitional form can't be found it means the scientists are wrong but it is all hunky dory when creationists can't find a single fossil cow, pig, etc. when there should be millions.