Skip to comments.Man-to-Monkey Billboards Used to Challenge Evolution
Posted on 05/17/2007 9:02:34 AM PDT by Sopater
(CNSNews.com) - Billboards that show a man turning into a monkey and an online game entitled "Let's See How Evolution Works" are two elements of a new national campaign launched by a Christian group to call attention to the "lack of proof" for the theory of evolution.
Billboards at six locations in Oregon and Georgia ask "Are They Making a Monkey Out of You?" and additional signs are planned for Pennsylvania, Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri, according to Julie Haberle, founder of the Who Is Your Creator non-profit organization.
The billboards direct viewers to the group's website, which presents a step-by-step summary of evolution and arguments against the theory.
Haberle told Cybercast News Service that the billboards were designed to be "a parody of evolution" since many scientists "now say that the process is not just going forward, it's also going backward."
"It's kind of funny because the theory of evolution is based on chance mutations and natural selection," she said. As a result, "the process can go either way."
Also this week, the site's forum began the "Let's See How Evolution Works" game, in which the hypothetical stages of evolutionary transitions used as proof for the theory are being presented and critiqued.
"If evolution is true, it still must be occurring around us as random mutations would continue to occur," the first posting stated. "So, aside from simple speciation, where are all the living transitional forms that are evolving into other forms?"
In addition, the group is offering $5,000 for the winning submission of a four-part legal opinion that will present the scientific and legal aspects of teaching evolution and creation in public education.
The prize money for this contest, which is intended to educate the public on the need for a critical analysis of evolution, was donated by a retired attorney who also framed the contest rules.
The campaign's goal is to inform people regarding the fact that students "have been brought up believing in evolution as absolute truth" due to what she called "indoctrination in education," Haberle said.
"We're not suggesting that teaching evolution should be tossed out of schools," she asserted, but "while U.S. constitutional law permits 'teaching the controversy,' school boards, judges and legislators are systematically prohibiting educators and schools from presenting any critical analysis of evolution."
"If you want to have the standard of empirical evidence only, then evolution doesn't make the grade," Haberle said. "For that matter, neither does creation. But if they're going to allow the teaching of evolution, they need to allow the teaching of creation, too."
According to an August 2005 Pew Research Center survey, "Americans believe in creation over evolution by a margin of 60 percent to 26 percent, and nearly two-thirds of Americans say that creationism should be taught alongside evolution in public schools," she added.
"Probably in a perfect world, both creation and evolution would be taught in philosophy classes, not science courses," Haberle said. However, "we'd be completely happy if they'd just allow a critical evaluation of evolution."
The current campaign is not the first time the Minnesota-based group has sought to bring the creation-evolution debate to the public's attention. Last December, the group put up billboards in Minneapolis and Duluth, Minn., with the message, "Everyone has an opinion on evolution. Read ours. Post yours," at the organization's website.
"That effort was a test to get the ball rolling and see what would happen," Haberle said. "It was surprising how much press we got from it, literally all over the world."
However, the first campaign also drew a negative reaction from the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), which listed the group as one of the "Threats to Evolution Education" in Minnesota.
"How silly that they would think we are a threat unless they don't want the public to know the truth," said Haberle, who added that she considers the listing of her organization by AIBS a "most prized accomplishment."
Dr. Holly Menninger of the AIBS Public Policy Office responded on Wednesday that "evolution is central to science and vital to public health."
"Indeed, scientists, students, educators and policymakers recently gathered in Washington, D.C., to hear leading doctors and researchers explain how their studies of evolution have led to critical advancements in medicine and the development of treatments for diseases like cancer," Menninger told Cybercast News Service.
Glenn Branch, deputy director of the National Center for Science Education -which has as its motto "Defending the Teaching of Evolution in the Public Schools" - also took exception with the Who Is Your Creator campaign.
"Contrary to what the group claims, evolution is a central and unifying principle of the biological sciences, accepted by the scientific community on the basis of overwhelming evidence - for which garish billboards are not a valid substitute," Branch told Cybercast News Service on Wednesday.
"By the way, the billboard captures the scientific illiteracy of Who Is Your Creator nicely," he added. "That's an ape in the last panel, not a monkey."
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Ever notice how many people need glasses to correct their vision?
That's a good one! I've never even heard of "scientific evolution".
Visit the public housing projects of any large city, or the trailer parks of any meth-infested rural area, and you'll see plenty of "transitional forms" who are well on their way back to apehood. Visit a cutting-edge biotech firm, top performing private equity firm, or top-performing marketing technology firm (think Google, eBay), and you'll see plenty of "transitional forms" who are well on their way to leaving the mainstream of the current human population hopelessly behind them. Needless to say, these two groups stopped interbreeding long ago, and may well cease to be able biologically able to do so in due course.
It used to. Until socialism was invented.
There are a number of defects that human beings have scattered throughout the gene pool, of which less than perfect vision may be one of only minor importance. Eugenics would work on human beings just as well as it does on any other organism that that reproduces by recombining genetic material. The ones more highly adapted to the immediate environment, have a reproductive advantage over those less well adapted. But that means the less highly adapted die off before reproducing, thus eliminating ALL their genetic heritage, not just the poor adaptations.
I use it to distinguish it from “historical evolution”.
To take an extreme view, for example. Suppose there is a God, and he can create the universe. If so, he can certainly create the universe in any manner he wants. If he also wanted people to believe in him of their own free will, and NOT because the evidence was irrefutable, he could have created a universe in which evolution occurs, and then created the planet with “evidence” of past evolution, not so much that it is irrefutable, but enough to provide plausibility to those who want to find a way to reject God.
Such a creation would be consistant with “scientific evolution”, but historical evolution would be false, while also being a rational explanation for what we see.
It’s like if there is a pencil on the floor, and another 11 sitting on a table above the floor falling out of a box of a dozen pencils.
A rational explanation for the observation is that the pencil on the floor rolled off the edge, and fell to the floor by gravity, a known scientific principle.
However, maybe I put the pencil on the floor. If so, the “rational explanation” would also be false. It would be a scientifically valid possibility for how the pencil got there, but in the end would be historically wrong.
I realise most true believers in evolution are certain of the origins as they see it explained by evolution, and no matter how many times the “origins” historical record is modified to fit the new scientific discoveries, they will still believe the “origins” historical story as gospel truth.
But I also think that, if we focused our evolutionary teaching in public schools to the actual science of evolution, with mutations and variations and how they COULD lead to changes in species, with the historical record of fossils, but without the speculation as to how we got from “there to here”, or how “there” happened, we could largely remove the entire evolution/creation debate from our schools without a significant sacrifice of necessary scientific teaching or literacy.
Leave origins to the scientists who think it’s important to spend their life studying, and to the philosophers and religionists who take heart in the concepts. Science can peacefully coexist with the unwashed religious masses, and we don’t have to have a holy war.
So aborigines are “post-socialism”?
One day these idiots will be purged from the discourse. Their particularly stupid argument has the disadvantage of throwing us into with the animals even more. I was crestfallen to see that three of our candidates are still unclear on this issue. Anyone with any schooling knows how Darwin (who was not perfect, there’s been a lot of study since then) believed evolution to be proof of God’s majesty. Would we rather our God be an architect or a mechanic?
It might be interesting to see billboards challenging Guth’s inflation hypothesis.
I opened 5 (so far), and I plan on saving this list for future reference.
Thanks for the links Coyoteman.
So you believe that this is science? I think this is the beginning of the error of calling evolution science. What you have is evidence that may be used in a court, but it is not science.
Ping for list...
I would have liked the billboard better if the man on the far left was AlGore.
I can see how, in a natural environment, individual organisms that compete successfuly win the opportunity to reproduce, and individual organisms that fail the competition do not; hence the successful competitors pass their genes along to the next generation.
What I don't really understand is where the different genes (the ones that gave certain individuals that competitive advantage) came from in the first place. Evolution requires a mutagen, and so far I haven't seen that we've found it, or fully explained why we don't need it.
In the interest of full disclosure I should tell you that I'm a bible-believing Christian, and do in fact believe that there is a Creator (the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus) who is ultimately responsible for it all. Still, God's universe is full of natural phenomena, and there's no reason to believe that the mechanism He used for Creation isn't one of these phenomena.
Based on my first two paragraphs, I see a weakness in this theory for speciation purely as a function of natural selection. Yes, natural selection occurs; but all the dots aren't connected for speciation. Something's missing from the equation.
“Needless to say, these two groups (brains and trailer trash) stopped interbreeding long ago, and may well cease to be able biologically able to do so in due course.”
What is your evidence for that statement? It strikes me as absurd.
No, I believe that “gravity” is a known scientific principle. Likewise, the principles of mutation and selection and dna combination all have aspects that are purely scientific in nature, that are observable and recreatable.
You are correct though that as you go beyond that, you enter forensic science, which we call “science” but has the nature of giving false results without being “wrong”.
When science can give a perfectly rational explanation for something and be completely wrong about it, that is beyond what most people think of when they hear “science”.
When my numbers win
the lottery, I'll put up
floating point numbers
and urge the world to return
to just integers!