This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← Canadian fossil makes waves in Huckabee's presidential run

Canadian fossil makes waves in Huckabee's presidential run - Comments

athegan's Avatar Comment 1 by athegan

It was enough when he raised his hand on that question about evolution :)

Tue, 15 Jan 2008 23:37:00 UTC | #106595

Silly Mongoose's Avatar Comment 2 by Silly Mongoose

That fossil isn't proof of evolution! God just wanted to see what a fish would look like with shoes on.

Tue, 15 Jan 2008 23:47:00 UTC | #106597

Bueller_007's Avatar Comment 3 by Bueller_007

Why do these articles always forget to mention that Ron Paul is also a creationist?

Wed, 16 Jan 2008 00:17:00 UTC | #106598

pyota's Avatar Comment 4 by pyota

for those who don't understand how american politics work: public opinion is intensely studied and the candidates are merely responding to polls when they state their 'beliefs'. who knows what mr. huckabee really believes. to quote woody allen: "he's a politician, that's like a notch below child molester".

Wed, 16 Jan 2008 01:10:00 UTC | #106612

Goldy's Avatar Comment 5 by Goldy

They'll want more proof. Always more. And when it can't be provided to their liking they all scream "See! God must have done it then!"

Wed, 16 Jan 2008 01:13:00 UTC | #106617

faouloki's Avatar Comment 6 by faouloki

for those who don't understand how american politics work: public opinion is intensely studied and the candidates are merely responding to polls when they state their 'beliefs'. who knows what mr. huckabee really believes.


In the case of candidates like Barak Obama I'd agree with you, but when they go lengths to become ordained Baptist ministers I think they've gone beyond merely bowing to public expectation.

That said, they could just be going to the greatest lengths possible to demonstrate they're deluded and that they are just like the majority of the population.

Wed, 16 Jan 2008 01:27:00 UTC | #106621

Tycho the Dog's Avatar Comment 7 by Tycho the Dog

Silly Mongoose

I'm afraid you're correct. A fish with legs proves creationism is true.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coy9DFnGDJg

Wed, 16 Jan 2008 02:55:00 UTC | #106642

Duff's Avatar Comment 8 by Duff

Trust me. Smirking Hick Huckabee really, really does believe the earth is six thousand years old and all the animals that ever existed were on the ark. He can believe that kind of moronic, fuckwittian, irrational, simpleminded hogwash because he, like all the other rationally unencumbered religionists have never really thought about it. And they don't want to start thinking about it.

Do your duty boys and girls. Get in the face of a religionist everyday, in every way!

Wed, 16 Jan 2008 02:57:00 UTC | #106643

Bob Russell's Avatar Comment 9 by Bob Russell

I'm not sure which is more scary. A half-wit Baptist fundamentalist as president or a president named Huckabee. Can you see this moron on the world stage. He makes GW look positively cerebral. "And now from the Oval Office addressing the nation, the President of the United States of America, Mike Huckleberry."

Wed, 16 Jan 2008 03:32:00 UTC | #106652

ICONIC FREEDOM's Avatar Comment 10 by ICONIC FREEDOM

I'm glad for the discovery and find it quite amazing.

I find Huckabee's take on evolution very condescending and as most religious, quite the attitude of superiority - I guess dominion over animals is their stance.

I said yesterday on another site to one of these religious types that if you think that you're superior over animals, place yourself in a situation with you and a lion and we'll see who comes out alive - it won't be you, baby.

Man is more vulnerable to nature than he wants to admit.

Wed, 16 Jan 2008 04:12:00 UTC | #106668

Azven's Avatar Comment 11 by Azven

If you want to believe that you and your family came from apes, I'll accept that


Mr. Huckabee has, as usual, missed the point. It's obvious that he's soft-pedaling here (if not actually back-pedaling) because of the interviewer and the audience du jour, but he's well known for a harder line on the Creationism/Evolution question – and anyway, as Athegan said, "It was enough when he raised his hand on that question about evolution".

But the point he's missed is that it doesn't matter what I believe about where I and my family came from, what matters is what does the evidence tell us?

I've always wanted to be descended from a dinosaur, but, hey, I go where the evidence leads…

Wed, 16 Jan 2008 04:51:00 UTC | #106674

Azven's Avatar Comment 12 by Azven

Scooternyc
What about 50 humans and 50 lions? I bet it'd be lion burgers all round.

Wed, 16 Jan 2008 04:53:00 UTC | #106675

DanPinto's Avatar Comment 13 by DanPinto

"That fossil isn't proof of evolution! God just wanted to see what a fish would look like with shoes on."

HAHAHA!

Wed, 16 Jan 2008 04:58:00 UTC | #106676

Jiten's Avatar Comment 14 by Jiten

in which he traces the primordial origins of the human race to such lowly creatures.

I don't like loose language like "lowly" when referring to animals other than humans.Do they not realise how complex is even a single celled eukaryote? Or for that matter a bacterial cell.
We'll have to find other ways to refer to other animals like earthworms,slime mould,rabbits,sheep,fish etc..Words like "simple","less complex","less evolved" just won't do.Any suggestions?

Wed, 16 Jan 2008 05:16:00 UTC | #106680

Azven's Avatar Comment 15 by Azven

Question: Why would fish want to leave the water?

Answer: Because fish schools were teaching creationism!

http://scienceblogs.com/grrlscientist/2006/04/might_as_well_stay_missing.php

I forgot to say what a beautiful fossil it is. Stunning!

Wed, 16 Jan 2008 05:26:00 UTC | #106682

croatcat's Avatar Comment 16 by croatcat

scooternyc,

I have been wondering lately why man needs to be superior over other animals. Control issues? I think religions exacerbate the tendency as a displacement of a kind. Believing in an authoritarian god might make one want to then compensate by controlling other people, animals, environment, etc., as a way to make themselves feel better. I'm sure it is much more complex than this. I am still trying to work through all this new information of no god.

I personally like to look for the simplest paths to outcomes, which is rarely if ever correct.

Wed, 16 Jan 2008 06:23:00 UTC | #106695

annabanana's Avatar Comment 17 by annabanana

I'm sincerely hoping that Mike Huckabee doesn't win the Republican nomination and especially not the general election. I just don't know what I'll do if we have another creationist president. I just want to make them all have the genetics and zoology classes that I had in college (from my wonderful professor who's a fan of TGD) and I just know they'll change their minds. (ok, probably not, but it's worth a try) I just get so frustrated. How does the populace ignore such staggering evidence? And how/why do they think they know better than many many years of what research has told us?

Wed, 16 Jan 2008 06:24:00 UTC | #106696

Jaffas85's Avatar Comment 18 by Jaffas85

Huckabee or Romney won't get the nomination as either McCain or Giuliani will so I'm not worried.

And besides, either Clinton or Obama will be the next President so this issue is really moot.

Wed, 16 Jan 2008 06:33:00 UTC | #106698

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 19 by irate_atheist

19. Comment #111986 by Jaffas85 -

So it's cigars all round then! No Bill, don't do that with it please, not again...

Wed, 16 Jan 2008 06:36:00 UTC | #106699

annabanana's Avatar Comment 20 by annabanana

Jaffas85, I really really really hope you're right!

Wed, 16 Jan 2008 06:43:00 UTC | #106701

RationalOlive's Avatar Comment 21 by RationalOlive

Annabanana,

They reject the evidence because to accept it is hard, very hard -- if one has been programmed from infancy to believe in gods and an afterlife wherein we swing happily through the stars with all of our loved ones. It is a major life-shattering event to come to the realization that it's all a lie and Mom, Dad, and aunt Martha are really gone forever. And, that sooner or later, I'm going to be just as gone. And, that's just for starters. Abandoning belief in god changes most other core beliefs. For years, I pushed the conflict between what I had been taught as a child and what I instinctively believed to be true onto a back burner and didn't think much about it. When I finally came to the acceptance that there is no god, I knew that this changed everything about me.

Wed, 16 Jan 2008 07:30:00 UTC | #106711

GoneGolfing's Avatar Comment 22 by GoneGolfing

Annabanana:

"How does the populace ignore such staggering evidence? And how/why do they think they know better than many many years of what research has told us?"

As RO pointed out it's programming, wishful thinking, and fear of death for most. Combine that with the threat of Hell and it's a powerful recipe for the rejection of hard evidence for the truth.

No matter what Science throws at the die hard Fundies they just can't take the risk of backsliding into unbelief and ending up as fuel for the fire. Believe me, I sat in the pews for years and listened to the consequences of rejecting God and it becomes a tough mindset to abandon!.

For most believers, it's not so much about the reward they're going to get, but about the punishment they're going to escape by having their belief.

Quite pathetic.

GG :-)

Wed, 16 Jan 2008 08:30:00 UTC | #106744

Double Bass Atheist's Avatar Comment 23 by Double Bass Atheist

Annabanana

How does the populace ignore such staggering evidence? And how/why do they think they know better than many many years of what research has told us?

As others have already commented, it is rooted in childhood indoctrination and wishful thinking, but what is worse is what this leads to… a immediate rejection of any data that contradicts their fantasy. Just yesterday, I was having a debate with a biblical literalist who told me that she "Does not believe in Neanderthal or Cro-Magnon Man." I tried to tell her the obvious point, that this is not a "belief", these hominids existed! Their bones can be seen in museums all over the world! But she simply told me "That's your opinion." What can you call this kind of thinking? It's absolutely crazy. I left our debate with the following comment:

"After all, why suffer from insanity? Become religious and enjoy every minute of it!"

Wed, 16 Jan 2008 09:25:00 UTC | #106785

Glen Davidson's Avatar Comment 24 by Glen Davidson

Tiktaalik is a beauty, a triumph of predictive paleontology which relied on evolutionary factors to pinpoint where a fish-to-amphibian transitional might be found. However, it was not just any old transitional they were looking for, they wanted evidence whcih would show how the shoulder girdle evolved. After all, they already had fish-to-amphibian transitionals, Elpistostege, Ichthyostega and Acanthostega. Some even consider Tiktaalik to be, in effect, a better-preserved version of Elpistostege.

I wish that the reporting in the media, and even in the NOVA program, were more clear about these matters. Sure, it's great that Tiktaalik (hardly the vision one would have of an intelligently designed machine, merely a fish adapting to quadrupedal locomotion) was found near the height of the circus that is ID, however there has not been any excuse for denying non-teleological evolution on the supposed lack of transitionals, for all vertebrate classes have had transitional forms known for decades.

Indeed, if more transitionals were considered to be a pressing need in science, I'm sure a whole lot more could be found. Tiktaalik was found simply because some biologists wanted yet another transitional form to know more about the fish to amphibian transition, particularly in regard to locomotion, so they went looking in the strata in which such a transition might be preserved.

I would like to add, as well, that only evolutionary theory (the real one, with mechanisms for it being actually known) is capable of telling us what a transitional even could be. ID doesn't know, since "the Designer" could make anything it pleases. Only the so-called "Darwinism" tells us that, due to constraints of history and because of the limits to change known via genetics and other studies, Tiktaalik and Ichthyostega have to exhibit an identifiable mix of fish and amphibian features, with no great leaps or novelties possible, let alone could there be any actual design features like rational planning or "purpose" to be found. Indeed, only "materialistic" evolutionary theory even predicts transitionals to exist, since any designer capable of making life could make whatever it wanted de novo.

The upshot is that Tiktaalik is a great find, and it ought to be a contemporary embarrassment to any serious IDist, yet there was never any lack of important transitional fossils, unlike what IDists and creationists claimed (of course many large-scale transitions have no fossil evidence for them at all, but one cannot expect them for insects and other poorly fossilized animals). They've never had any excuse from the fossil record, and the genetic record indicates that all "gaps" are illusory, as relatively small genetic changes (small by ID or creationist standards, while biologists dispute how large the changes are by their own, better, standards) have characterized all of the evolution which can be elucidated from DNA.

IDists never had an explanation for Ichthyostega, and they certainly had no means to predict that other transitionals had ever existed, nor any means of identifying them if they did exist.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com2kxyc7

Wed, 16 Jan 2008 09:27:00 UTC | #106786

annabanana's Avatar Comment 25 by annabanana

I suppose I'm lucky that my mother wasn't very encouraging of religion. I was raised in the church, but at home it definitely wasn't reinforced, probably the opposite actually.

This is very problematic, though. I think the most frustrating thing is that there isn't an easy solution or even really a good idea for a solution.

Wed, 16 Jan 2008 09:30:00 UTC | #106789

colluvial's Avatar Comment 26 by colluvial

"I have been wondering lately why man needs to be superior over other animals."

It makes the meatballs go down more easily if you can convince yourself it's not one of your cousins.

Wed, 16 Jan 2008 09:33:00 UTC | #106791

konquererz's Avatar Comment 27 by konquererz

Colluvial, I think you read my mind!

I can't wait until this book comes out, I really want to get it. This sounds like the perfect book for my kids to read when they get older. I of course will read it now.

Wed, 16 Jan 2008 12:28:00 UTC | #106845

robotaholic's Avatar Comment 28 by robotaholic

the actual story that we are all part of is in fact gorgeous if you ask me - seeing a star go nova is wonderful and the idea that the matter that makes us up gets blasted at nearly the speed of light in all directions when our star dies and that this could possibly be viewed for millions of light years in all directions is kind of neet -

How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, 'This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant?' Instead they say, 'No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.' A religion old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the universe as revealed by modern science, might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths.

Wed, 16 Jan 2008 12:46:00 UTC | #106854

celestial_T's Avatar Comment 29 by celestial_T

Duff - just have to say: 'fuckwittian' ?! (comment 9 this thread)that's a truly inspiring bit of evolution of the english language right there!

More seriously, I've always struggled to understand how anyone can argue against the fossil record. One only has to hold these things in one's hand to see the magnificence of life's history on this planet - and feel a sense of awe that any religion can only dream of inspiring. But I'm lucky: I've worked on fossil material and seen some amazing things up close.
Maybe schools should be giving kids more hands-on examples of our origins? do science teachers fear sounding 'evangelical' when they talk up the wonders of nature? or don't they get the chance? (I don't know - it's a long time since I was in a classroom...)

Wed, 16 Jan 2008 13:36:00 UTC | #106869

neilcreek's Avatar Comment 30 by neilcreek

This fossil is Huckabee's "three-eyed fish" served up to him during the campaign in front of the world's media. Will he take a bite, or will he choke on it?

Wed, 16 Jan 2008 13:57:00 UTC | #106886