10.08.2008

I Just Won 7.48 Trillion Dollars

Adnan Oktar, a Turkish creationist, has offered ten-trillion lira ($7,480,000,000,000) to "anyone who produces a single intermediate-form fossil demonstrating evolution."

Booya, muthafugga:
That's right, Oktar, it's the Tiktaalik roseae: A fish who's fossil exhibits, according to these scientists (as well as many evolutionary biologists and my thesis), an intermediate forelimb transitioning between fin and limb. Done. End of debate. Evolution happens.

So can we all, as an enlightened and informed society, stop talking about creationism like it has scientific merit? If any other "scientific" hypothesis had been proven wrong in so many ways, on so many levels, for so many reasons, we would have abandoned it long ago. But for some reason, some people still want to teach this utter garbage to children under the guise of science and fairly representing all opinions? Do we show school-children a globe and then explain that some people think that NASA is lying and that the earth is actually flat? No, we don't, because a flat earth is bullshit. Just like creationism.

If you want to teach your children that the earth is 6000 years old and that Jesus rode dinosaurs, that's fine, but do not expect the rest of us to swallow that tripe, or allow you to indoctrinate the nation's children by it's inclusion in the curriculum.

In conclusion: Science and reason: 1. Bronze-age mythology: 0.

11 comments:

Michael Segulja said...

Just one question; How do you know that this fossil isn't a birth defect? Or a deformity of some kind? Seems like there needs to be at least 2 identical or extremely similar fossils to prove this is a transition.

Anonymous said...

It may seem like there needs to be 2, but that's not what the reward was offered for. The quote is "anyone who produces a single intermediate-form fossil demonstrating evolution"

Eric Carlson said...

booya!

stas said...

Do you not understand that evolution is indeed based on “birth defects” and “deformity”? The very definition of those two words implies deviation from the parental models. Minor variations in genetics produce minor (or even major) variations in the subsequent child. Evolution is the end result of these mutations being acted upon by natural selection. There are also some of those sticky, hard-to-dismiss issues like radiometric dating, finding similar fossils to precursors and successors of the species in the appropriate time frame, bone structure similarities, and restrictions of life based on environmental and habitat conditions. You don’t just end up with a slew of fossils from two similar species, separated by several million years, embedded in strata dated several million years apart, without eventually finding a link that satisfies the conditions for joining the two species by an intermediary.

If I still haven’t bothered you yet, how about you go check out bacteria evolution in lab conditions?

Anonymous said...

Oh, come on now.. Everyone knows that God created fossils and empirically provable laws just to trick us!

Anonymous said...

I'm in the ground, testing your faith.

Michael Segulja said...

OK, I'll get right on that in the lab I have in my garage. :-)

One other question; If birth defects are how evolution "progresses", then why in recorded human history are birth defects not making us better? If the birth defects in the human race are any sign of how we're "evolving", then we're in a lot of trouble. Where is that stub of a 3rd arm starting? How about 3 legs so we can run faster and be less tired? Bigger heads for bigger brains so we can be smarter? I could go on and on...seems real convenient to say that evolution takes millions and millions of years so it's easy to dismiss why we don't see it happening to us today. And when there is an "evolved" human born, say with an extra leg attached, we immediately work on how to remove it to make the person "normal".

Zymogen said...

Birth defects are one possible manifestation of a genetic mutation; if a genetic mutation causes a deformity that is not advantageous, then it will probably not survive (although there is a certain amount of genetic drift accounted for by mutations that are neither advantageous or disadvantageous). Since we as humans have somewhat removed ourselves from "normal" natural selection (i.e. houses, modern medicine, guns, antibiotics, etc.), major birth defects are not necessarily deleterious as the might have been in natural conditions.

The Tiktaalik's limbs are the result of a the compounding of subtle shifts in Hox gene expression along the anterior-posterior axis of the embryo as it develops, and as a specimen it gives paleo-biologists another piece of evidence as to the origin of the tetrapod body plan.

. said...

Michael Segulja: Yes, birth defects are only very rarely beneficial. Modern examples might include that german child who was born with extraordinary musculature, one born with a third arm fully formed (albeit not functional) and other more subtle mutations like synesthesia.

These mutations are never perfect, but even a tiny, slight advantage tends to overtake a populace in a state of nature.

Short answer: "Yes, beneficial deformities are rare, that is why evolution takes so long."

Anonymous said...

I dont know how a fossil can demonstrate anything. It seems like all it can do is show what a dead thing looks like after a long time in the ground. I think the request is too demanding. He is looking for an ancient text, written in reptillian, accounting how one lizard-gator's dad had water scales but he has land scales. its hopeless.

KJ said...

you missed 3 zeros.