THE MINISTER OF STATE in charge of science is to launch a book
denouncing evolution as a ‘hoax’ at an event in Dublin on Wednesday
night, it has emerged.
Conor Lenihan, the junior minister for science, technology, innovation and natural resources, will launch a book by Irish author John J May entitled ‘The Origin of Specious Nonsense‘.
Besides wondering how an individual who obviously lacks basic scientific knowledge could attain such a position (why else would he support the publication of this book unless he’s gone delusional), Conor lays out his own speicious list of why he thinks evolution is wrong. It’s an impressive lesson in what a straw man argument looks like. The straw man argument is a smear attempt – make an opponent appear to believe something and argue against those somethings – only the opponent in actuality has nothing to do with those beliefs.
The author of the book, John May says that evolution:
1) It teaches us to be satisfied with – not understanding origins.
2) It promotes the dangerous nonsense of no first cause – no supreme
scientist and suggests order came from disorder.
3) It is a mataphysical speculation, a doctrine dressed up in scientific garb.
4) Anyone who teaches evolution is either ignorant or deliberately
suppressing the known scientific facts.
5) It is a toxic poisonous mind virus which destroys the hearts immune
system against hope and common sense.
6) It is an anaesthetic against reason.
7) It cripples sanity, promotes myths, obscures reality and elevates matter above a maker.
1) Last I checked biologists had yet to hoist a “Mission Accomplished” sign. Not one textbook says that science is satisfied, the whole fucking point of science is the continuing questioning and testing of ideas. A truly satisfied scientist is a dead scientist. In the course of 150 years since the publication of Darwin’s theories, massive amounts of information and refinements have been added to evolution theory. New doors continue to open, expanding the understanding and application of evolution. We are still scratching at the surface of a 4 billion year old process. Nope, biologists aren’t resting on their laurels and no one is claiming to be satisifed.
2) At the heart of evolution is the sequencing of alleles, the genetic code that makes up DNA and the traits found in all organisms. It is the changing of the order of the alleles, through a variety of means (breeding and selective pressures), that bring diversity into a population. The Theory of Evolution makes no mention and does not speak to any sort of first cause. This is a common trope trotted out for decades to strike fear into the hearts of the masses, and coming from a Minister for Science he is either outright lying or outright ignorant.
3) & 4) Metaphysical speculation? Suppressing known scientific facts? Strap on the tinfoil hats before we continue my friends, it appears unbelievers are beaming lies directly into your brains! Let’s take it back to basics. A scientific theory explains scientific observations. It is falsifiable (meaning you can develop tests to disprove it and try those tests out). It is only viable when supported by evidence, which can be arrived at through repeatable experiments. A scientific theory allows one to make predictions. If those predictions pan out, through tests and field work, the theory is strengthened. If not, the
theory must be refined or tossed out all together.
The Theory of Evolution has had 150 years of testing, refinements, and observations. It has made numerous predictions that have panned out. It has been written and refined through thousands of peer reviewed articles. I am at a loss to see where it is only metaphysical speculation. I am sure tens of thousands of biologists (and just about every other scientific discipline) are eager to hear Conner’s suppressed facts. Perhaps he will be so bold as to lay them out for us?
5)-7) Here we being to journey from the straw man into a tar pit of other logical fallacies and ‘boogie-manning’. Understanding how the genetics plays the role in the diversity of life found on planet Earth has not made me lose hope nor abandon my common sense. It’s actually extended my understanding of how things work across a variety of sciences. It has certainly removed the mystery, and perhaps that’s what Conner can’t cope with. The fear of knowing. It certainly doesn’t diminish my wonder and joy of the natural world.
As for being an “anesthetic against reason, cripples sanity, promotes myths, obscures reality” one need only a passing familiarity of ANY religion to grasp that reason is religion’s most powerful enemy. One only need to turn on any news channel to see the levels of religious-inspired insanity that continues to grip the populace. 9/11 is a recent reminder of individuals with crippled sanity and obscured reality. Religion inspired them and girded them to fly planes into buildings, not evolution, not science.
If anything, a firm understanding of evolution would have convinced the hijackers to stay home and do their best to ensure the survival of their own genes, leaving September 11 to be just another unremarkable day in history with 3,000 plus people going about their daily lives.
It’d be interesting to know Conner’s religious affiliation. If he’s Catholic, then not only is he a horrible junior minister of science, but also a crap Catholic given the Pope’s decree that Evolution is recognized by the Catholic Church as valid theory.
Where does that leave us? Another example of a human being that would rather wrap him self in self-delusions and shoe-horn evidence to meet conclusions already laid out in a 2,000 year old book than deal with reality.
Can you imagine an individual trying that with another book, say Twilight Series or Ender’s game? People would call out that kind of behavior for what it really is – looney.