David wrote an entirely biased article

Who can disagree that the SD article regarding the question, “Do creationists accept microevolution but not macroevolution?” was completely biased.

Rather than presenting the intellegent reading audience of such an informative internet site with the facts and an objective explanation, SD Staff David littered his article with anti-creationism in a belittling manner.

Such incompetence. I thought the introductory line, “We’ll have you guys believing we’re all monkeys’ uncles yet” was going to be somewhat of a joke, but he seemed to be serious in that feeble to prove his own opinion to the not-so-stupid masses.


[[ I have edited this note so that the topic title is a link – CKDext, Moderator ]]

“Who can disagree that the SD article regarding the question, “Do creationists accept microevolution but not macroevolution?” was completely biased.”

I agree with you completely. It WAS biased. DavidB thinks that creationists are wrong on the subject of whether there is a difference between micro- and macro-evolution, and he said so, clearly, concisely, and, I thought, with admirable objectivity.

As a matter of fact, many, if not all, Straight Dope columns and Mailbag items are addressing subjects that for whatever reason, Cecil or the contributing Straight Dope staff member feels are mistaken, misinformed, ignorant, in error, or otherwise just plain wrong. That’s why the subtitle reads “Fighting Ignorance”.

If Straight Dope columns merely outlined the differences between points of view, but without taking a stand, this website would be like marthastewart.com–“some people prefer not to use real rum in their eggnog, but I always feel…”

Or like reading the Encyclopedia Britannica–“evolution”, page 1,293, “…some people, known as ‘creationists’, believe that…”

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank David for so clearly, concisely, and objectively explaining the difference (or lack of it) between micro- and macro-evolution. I had been wondering–now I know. Thank you.

Backpack_joe said:

Yes. Biased towards science and against nonsense. I’ll admit that bias any day.

Excuse me? Would you care to point out exactly where the answer was “incompetent”? Or are you content to just toss around ad hominem attacks without backing them up?

Personally, I would have liked to see the fossil evidence that supports the Nils Eldridge statement “If adaptive modification within species explains the evolutionary differences between species within a genus, logically it must explain all the evolutionary change we see between families, orders, classes, phyla, and the kingdoms of life.” I’ve been told by my friends in the geology department that such evidence exists–I just can’t remember where to get my hands on it.

That’s why creationists will support microevolution but not macroevolution–they’ve been shown the evidence, rather than just told that it’s logical. Damned admirable trait.

Unfortunately, I’m not able to write up entire scientific papers for Mailbag answers. In past answers, I’ve pointed to observed instances of speciation and other evidence, and still gotten the anti-evolution responses. The fossil evidence exists all over the place, but mostly in scientific papers that are not overly accessible to the general public. However, a number of such examples of evolution of new species, such as for horse ancestors and human ancestors, have been greatly detailed in numerous places.

That said, I think you are giving creationists waaaaay too much credit by assuming they would suddenly accept evolution if they were just shown the evidence. Many of them have been shown the evidence, and it doesn’t change their minds. The only reason they are willing to accept “microevolution” is because it’s so damned obvious that even they can’t deny it without looking like idiots. “Macroevolution” is just complicated enough that they can continue to stick their fingers in their ears and scream “I can’t hear you!”

Still, I’d rather argue over the evidence than the logic. Surely, there’s some secondary literature discussion about the fossils that we can look it easily, isn’t there?

If I ever give anybody too much credit, I’ll just foreclose.

The statement in the OP “Such incompetence” is not an argument ad hominem. It clearly is an argument unsupported by any further demonstration of the alleged incompetence. But, to be an example of arguing ad hominem, the assertion would have to imply that the article by David was wrong because of some personal trait of David’s, rather than because there was error in David’s logic or facts. Although the statement is only a sentence fragment, it is pretty clear that it is excoriating David for alleged incompetence in that he “littered his article with anti-creationism in a belittling manner.”

I dunno, I thought the monkey’s uncle line WAS a joke, and a pretty cute one.

In any case, this forum is for responses on content, not on the author’s personal preferences or life-style or education or competence. If we didn’t think David was competent, we wouldn’t have him writing Mailbag articles.

We tread a grey area here. If this degenerates to ad hominem arguments, it’ll get moved to the Pit WAY faster than microevolutionary changes, and in much less time than the day it took God to create the lights in the sky. You have been forewarned, and forewarned is fore-armed, which is why octopuses have such an evolutionary advantage, they’re twice as well off.

Since I posted a quibble on another thread about the article on micro/macroevolution, I’d like to make sure that I’m dissociated from the instigator of this thread and piously hope that my comments didn’t strike anyone else as being as emotional as I found the initial ones.

Also, I agree completely with the respondent that said that articles in this site aren’t supposed to be even-handed, they are supposed to be correct – that’s certainly why I read it. It’s a relief to see intelligent ideas well, and plainly, expressed.

And finally, I enjoyed the article in question, learned something from it, and agreed with it with the exception of the minor nit that I picked. So don’t include me on the mailing list of volunteers to go out to fossil sites and chisel extra indentations in the rocks…

RM, try this link


That’s the Talk Origins Transitional Vertebrate Fossil FAQ.


You know, Keith, you could take over Cecil’s job if you weren’t such a nice guy.

Why I’m honored, RM. As much as I try, I’m sure the breadth and depth of my knowledge falls far short of Cecil.

:Grovel grovel:

Just doing my best to emulate the master.