Deathblow to Creationism/ID


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Deathblow to Creationism/ID

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Mar 9, 2008, 6:29 pm

A recent Scientific American article (March, 2008, p. 28) should be the deathblow to the whole creationism/ID thing (though I'm not so naive as to expect the creationists to give up). It has to do with Astyanax mexicanus, a species of fish that lives in caves and is blind due to skin growing over its eyes. When individuals from different populations (from different locations) are mated, some of the offspring have exposed eyes. These eyes are small, but functional.

As far as the basic "design" for Astyanax mexicanus, creationists (or IDers) would argue that the blind fish had to be designed to be blind; after all, other fish have functional eyes. But there is no way in creationism/ID theory to rationalize two fish "designed" to be blind all of a sudden giving birth to sighted fish. They are still cave fish, still "designed" to live in the dark, still "designed" to be blind, and still the same species.

One could, I suppose, argue that the design for these fish is somehow flawed. But then that flies in the face of the religious aspect of creationism/ID, whose supporters invariably believe in the Christian God (or something very similar), who is supposedly perfect and cannot produce a flawed design!

To reconcile the existence of this fish, creationists/IDers have to give up either their designer or their God!

Abr 5, 2008, 7:39 pm

One could argue that designing a fish with the ability to be blind OR have sight, depending on its needs, is the best design. In other words the ability to manifest different traits depending on the environment could be part of the original design, which offers more flexibility and is therefore more “perfect”.

I’m just playing devil’s advocate. I don’t think Intelligent Design Theory is even a theory. It simply states that life was designed. Unlike real science there is not much you can do with this. It makes no testable predictions, provides no mechanisms, and gives no explanations for anything. (I can’t imagine what ID researchers would spend their time doing accept for trying to poke holes in Darwinian evolution!)

Abr 5, 2008, 8:14 pm

Yeah, they'll find a way to wiggle around it. If they can wiggle around Tiktaalik, they can deal with this. The stakes for them are too high. But that's a cool story, thank you for sharing it!

Abr 17, 2008, 4:55 am

statement from the UK geology society regarding Young Earth ID etc. It's short and damming. Plenty of interesting links too for much more detail.

Abr 19, 2008, 3:27 pm

But it's SO much easier to imagine a diety saying: "Hey, that little lizard could use some wings!"

Jun 5, 2008, 11:34 am

Nice story, but actually, when you look at the latest ruse by the ID creationists (Behe's book), they argue that mutation is only deleterious and that sometimes nature can adopt to a situation by deleting certain genes, but it can never add. Behe uses the example of sickle-cell anemia to fight malaria. So to your example he would probably say: Well the animal already had eyes (which were put by the designer), and some mutation caused the eyes to be covered up and since it didn't need them, the animal was fine. But evolution did not invent anything new in this case.

I know that that is BS, but that is how they argue these days, since they have run out of all other arguments. (by the way I didn't read his book, I would never buy it, I don't want these people to make money off me. But I went to a talk of his, where we all gave him a real hard time, which was fun.)

Ago 24, 2008, 2:36 am

The problem with the OP is assuming any evidence will convince creationist, when it has nothing to do with evidence and everything to do with maintaining Biblical literalism.

Ago 24, 2008, 12:22 pm

You are right. It is really hard work. A good article about this in the NY times right now: