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To: Ichneumon; balrog666; chickenlips

I'm sorry, but you all must be addressing some small fringe on the whole thing. I don't recall EVER reading in a newspaper that creationists were trying to put forth an effort to stop studying bacteria in an effort to better our health.

Just because a strain shows resistance, doesn't make it "evolved" it makes it "adaptable" to those surroundings. Proving that it can resist certain things can save lives on that fact alone. This is why even Creationists do not disapprove of these studies.

The closest I can recall hearing along these lines is Creationists battling using Zygotes for stemcell research. And that's due to 2 things: (1)Taking a human life "for science" is a very Nazi thing to do. (2) We can work with cells found in the spines of 40 year old men, or even umbilical cords, and not kill them, and still get what we need for study and saving lives.

In short: The cartoon was more insulting than informative, and definately not honest.

Of course, that may have been why it was brought to us by this particular Freeper.


80 posted on 07/06/2005 7:23:54 AM PDT by MacDorcha (In Theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.)
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To: MacDorcha; balrog666; WildHorseCrash; RadioAstronomer; longshadow; PatrickHenry; DoctorMichael; ...
I'm sorry, but you all must be addressing some small fringe on the whole thing.

They're certainly "fringe", but they're hardly a small group.

I don't recall EVER reading in a newspaper that creationists were trying to put forth an effort to stop studying bacteria in an effort to better our health.

You're taking the cartoon way too literally, and thereby missing the point.

For that matter, even the *cartoon* doesn't suggest that any creationists are going to try to "stop" anyone from "studying bacteria". Read it again and see for yourself.

Note that instead, the creationists "educated" the scientists by explaining to them that an evolutionary view of microbiology was "deluded", and enlightened them by showing them that only through the Bible can one gain a true understanding of nature's ways, because all in nature takes place due to God's will and plan. The scientists, having seen the errors of their ways, commence gaining a better understanding of pathogens and disease by abandoning the faulty paradigm of evolutionary genetic change being responsible for the reactions of bacteria to exposure to antibiotics, and instead pursue the study of bacteria by examining how God's will drives the bacterial ecologies, and how God's plan for mankind is what's really in control of the spread of disease, the changes they undergo to become more virulent and resistant to treatement, and so on. This will be a *much* more fruitful line of study than that misguided evolutionary biology, don't you think?

Just because a strain shows resistance, doesn't make it "evolved" it makes it "adaptable" to those surroundings.

It "adapted to those surroundings" by mutating, chancing upon a novel DNA-encoded protein which happened to interact with the rest of the bacteria's cellular machinery in a way which gave it a new ability to resist the deadly action of the antibiotic, and natural selection then amplified this mutation and spread it throught the population in subsequent generations.

Please explain how that is *not* evolution.

Hint: It is. If you persist in your false assertion, you will only reveal your lack of understanding of biology in general, and evolution in particular.

Proving that it can resist certain things can save lives on that fact alone.

However, only evolutionary biology can correctly *predict* how quickly such evolutionary changes will arise under different conditions (and why) -- and predict which treatment methods will minimize the speed at which disease pathogens will become resistant to existing treatments, thus maximizing the length of time existing treatments remain effective (and saving the most lives in the long run).

*Your* method, on the other hand, would just "test" pathogens after the fact and say, "yup, they're resistant to our current drugs now, dang."

Only through evolutionary biology is there the *understanding* of the specific bacterial response to antibiotic exposure (and other kinds of treatments). Only through evolutionary biology is there an *understanding* of how the HIV virus constantly mutates to evade the body's immune system response (which *itself* employs the power of evolution to develop antibodies to intruders into the body).

This is why even Creationists do not disapprove of these studies.

But they *do* disapprove of teaching students that evolutionary biology is anything more than "just a theory" that actually describes how biological systems work. They *do* disapprove of spending money on research in the field of evolutionary biology. They *do* disapprove of research which results in further support of any sort for the reality of evolutionary change.

In short: The cartoon was more insulting than informative, and definately not honest.

Of course, that may have been why it was brought to us by this particular Freeper.

That's a very strong personal attack -- implying that he has a track record for willful dishonesty. Can you substantiate it, or are *you* perhaps the one being "more insulting than informative, and definitely not honest"?

As for the cartoon, I feel that it makes a number of important, valid points about the arrogance, the foolishness, and the vapidity of many creationsists. Like the ones in the cartoon, they would seek to replace evolutionary biology as a way of understanding biological systems, and replace it with... with *what*? Bible-"copatible" research, apparently, whatever the heck *that* would be. As I've pointed out to other posters on this thread already, if you think that's a laughable notion -- take a look at what happened in the Soviet Union when the "ideologically correct" paradigm of Lysenkoism replaced the "false doctrine" of evolutionary biology, and millions died due to the subsequent crop failures and starvation. Or look at how the Nazis rejected "Jewish science".

Don't think it can happen here? Don't kid yourself. There are literally millions of creationists who would be extremely happy to banish all mention of Darwin or natural selection from schools if they thought they could pull it off -- or failing that, they're pushing to confuse the issue in the minds of the next generation of students by "teaching the controversy", which really means highlighting anything they can think of (and whatever they can make up) in order to sow as much doubt as possible about evolutionary biology (and also geology, nuclear physics, cosmology, and any of the many other fields of science which produce results which they find threatening to their religious views), in order to slam minds shut against ever having a chance to consider evolutionary paradigms and natural mechanisms. Does that sound like a way to produce the next generation of productive science researchers?

Or is it more like this?

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

And if you think *that's* overstated, then you've never taken a real good look at the hundreds of creationist websites out there, read the creationists tracts, attended any creationist lectures or debates, or read any creationist books. They're not about understanding the world, doing research to learn more about how it works, or doing science. They're about using every rhetorical trick in the book (including outright lies) to poison the listener's mind into believing that evolutionary biology and related fields are tricks of Satan to turn people away from God, that it's "lies, all lies", that not only is there nothing of value in it, but that it's a mental trap, is barking up the wrong tree, and is the result of a conscious conspiracy by "humanists", blah blah blah.

There's not a fig's worth of difference between that, and denouncing Relativity as "Jewish science"...

The folks over at the "Panda's Thumb" make some other good points about the relevance of the comic in their own thread on the comic:

Brings up another good point, though (again). Creationists of all varieties love to crow about evolution being useless. But what’s the use of ID, YECism, and other creationist explanations?
And:
very funny indeed. The Bible should be taken seriously but not literally, and in this sense shares a key feature with other religious texts. Making fun of Christians (or any devout person) is not a goal of PT.
And:
At last, the much vaunted, long-awaited ID research program is underway! Congratulations, Dr. Wells!
And:
But… while creationists concede things like antibiotic resistance evolution - because they really have no choice - they need to explain this supposed barrier between “micro-” and “macro-“evolution. As far as I can tell, the real difference between them boils down to the presence or absence of “plausible deniability”.
And:
Whether or not creationists concede antibiotic resistance is not clear. Most concede that it happens, but Philip Johnson, for example, has denied that it serves as an example of new “information” evolving. This based on his claim that the antibiotic resistence was preexisting somewhere in the population, presumably since the bacteria were “created”. This of course is wrong, because resistance will evolve de novo in a monoculture. But the point being, even something as obvious as antibiotic resistence gets distorted by creationists.
And:
So Johnson believes that a created ur-bacteria came factory-equipped with the mechanism to defeat antibiotics, huh? And he WORSHIPS this creator? A planet covered in landmines, and Johnson just kneels and kisses the enthroned engineer’s tarnished diadem. A truly horrifying conceit.
And:

Mosnar, your blithe dismissal of the cartoon is rather petulant.  First of all, it is meant to be humorous.  If you find it offensive, perhaps that’s why everyone else finds it funny. 

Secondly, as I pointed out above, creationists say things which are plainly wrong about antibiotic resistance, so it’s not a straw-man to poke fun at them about it in general.  The whole point of humor of this sort is to take some tendency that people have and poke fun at it by blowing it out of proportion.  If the cartoonist used something normal and mundane, it wouldn’t be funny. 

Third, what I see as the target of humor here isn’t the creationist attitude towards antibiotic resistance, it’s the strident and aggressive means by which creationists push themselves on others.  While there’s obviously no such thing as the Creationist Patrol (again, exaggeration is what makes it funny), creationists in recent years have conducted a heavy-handed lobbying campaign aimed at using the political system to overcome their rejection by the scientific community.  See for example William Dembski’s bizarre fantasy about forcing evolutionists to testify in front of McCarthy-style Congressional hearings.  A real-life Creationist Patrol would probably be less bothersome than what Dembski proposes. 

Fourth, there isn’t always (or even that often) a distinction between creation/evolution and bible/science.  Noah’s Ark and the Tower of Babel are indispensible parts of the YEC worldview, which is by far the most popular form of creationism.

Fifth, the cartoon says nothing about ID, so I don’t know why you bring it up.  Unless you believe that ID is the same thing as creationism, which would be a nice admission.  Nor is there anything which could be construed as “anti-Christian” unless you assume, quite wrongly, that all Christians are YECs. 

And:
Gee, Mosnar. As a Christian, I didn’t find the comic insulting to Christians at all. “Anti-Christian” propaganda? I saw none. What ARE you talking about ?
And:
Anti-nutcase propaganda maybe, but I didn’t see anything that offended me and I’m Christian. Mind explaining what is anti-Christian about the cartoon, rather than simply having a shot at evangelical hypocrites?
And:

Go to Answers in Genesis, or trueorigins.org, or some of the creationist nutjob sites, mosnar, and you’ll see that what is described here at PT isn’t an over-exaggeration or caricature.  Turn on your local Christian broadcast radio station and listen for a few days — you’ll hear that evolution-bashing is a key element of modern fundamentalism.

Yes, emotions run high.  There are a lot of individual reasons for that. Many people here are scientists, and they are (and should be) angry that morons are deliberately belittling and misrepresenting their life’s work.  Others have different reasons, of course.

But trust me:  these creationists really are out there.  If anything, most of the people here are under-reacting.


115 posted on 07/06/2005 9:47:06 AM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: MacDorcha
In short: The cartoon was more insulting than informative, and definately not honest.

Your example, regarding stem cell research, ought to tell you something, but apparently doesn't. The only thing that stops creationists from eliminating vast fields of biological study is their lack of political power. For an example of how creationists behaved when they had political power, see the Trial of Galileo.

116 posted on 07/06/2005 9:50:39 AM PDT by donh (qua)
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