Thursday, October 9, 2008

'Ants from Mars' ruin the creationists' picnic

One of my fellow bloggers (named Evan) wrote a very devastating piece about the latest ant species to be discovered and AiG's reaction to it. You see, genetics indicates that this ant branched off from the ant family tree, oh, about 120 million years ago. Evan summed the magnitude of this creationist problem (the words in italics are quotes from 'Answers in Genesis'):

[W]hile it is clear that this ant is quite different from many other ants, we don’t buy the logic that difference proves something about evolution. For one thing, the different structures of this ant explain why its DNA is so different; for another, its differences show it has adapted well to its environment.

Yet AiG does NOT use this argument when it suits them. When DNA is different, AiG decides that this is due to different structures. Yet when DNA is similar, like in chimps and humans, AiG believes this is due to common design. The facts are that multiple lines of evidence show that modern ants have been descended from a common ancestor who arose around 120 MYBP. The DNA evidence that this ant is a representative of an unrelated branch of this lineage that branched off very early from the original common ancestor of ants is extremely compelling. There is anatomic, physiologic and DNA evidence to support this. But AiG uses one of its arguments that can never be wrong.

This is because God created the original ant kind—or a larger kind from which ants, wasps, and bees have all devolved—with enough information to adapt to numerous environments.


I mean, really?

Is it the position of AiG that all extant wasp, bee and ant species descended from ONE common ancestor who was on Noah's ark? Is it really their contention that bees evolved from this ancestor within 2000 years of the ark's landing, so that Palestine could be a land flowing with milk and honey? Do they really want to back that up?


Created Rationalist said...

Its true that creationists explain away things a little too much, in their defense creationists don't say that insects were on the ark. They say that a small percentage of the population of insects survived the flood and no insects were on the ark (this situation isn't much better, and is still riddled with problems; but I thought you could give a more accurate protrayel of their position).

Also your article implies that the ark landed in palestine, it landed in arrarat. Just so you know, and don't come off sounding ignorant.

Otherwise it was a descent article, keep up the good work.

AIGBusted said...

Hi CR,

I actually did not write the article. One of my fellow bloggers (Evan) over at Debunking Creationism did.

I am aware that some creationists have tried to say that insects survived on floating mats of seaweed, yet this position, to my knowledge, is not biblical because Genesis states that God destroyed everything on earth which had the breath of life (6:17) and also that two of every kind which "creepeth upon the earth" was to be taken aboard the ark (6:19).

I am also aware that the ark landed on Mt. Ararat, but I think Evan's point was that the wasp/ant "kind" would have to "microevolve" into something that could produce honey as well as something similar to our modern day ant (plus all the other members of the Hymenoptera Order) in 2000 years. That's evolution working at mind boggling (and most likely impossible) speeds.

Created Rationalist said...

Thankyou for clarifying, also it is true they said everything that has the breath of life. But in Genesis 7:21-22 it is a bit more specific, it says all in whos nostrils was the breath of life who walked on on dry land died. Since insects breath through their skin not their nostrils this leaves room for insects and fish (last time I checked they don't live on dry land) surviving the flood but not non-insect land animals. So their position it biblical, though not scientifically sound. It would be more compatible with a local flood which was universal in scoep, wiping out humanity and all life in that particular region but not all life on the entire planet.

kindest regards
Created Rationalist

AIGBusted said...

"Every living thing that moved on the earth perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind."

Genesis 7:21

The creatures who "swarm over the earth" seems to me to refer to insects. As for only the creatures who had "nostrils": COuldn't the Hebrews have simply used the word "nostril" to mean a hole that insects breathed from? Alternately, they may have thought that insects did have nostrils they breathed through, just like other animals.

Anebo said...

Doesn't the quotation from AiG in the article actually argue in favor of evolution? that is certainly how I would have read it without further context?

whatchuck said...

Many creationists have backed off a bit from the evolution position in a small way. Some now admit (in the midst of overwhelming evidence) that micro evolution occurs but not macro.

The caveat is that they claim no information can be created - i.e. mutations can only eliminate traits, etc. In this case, I think the claim is that God created the SuperBug kind and that all the present ones devolved from it.

We can hope that given enough time and evidence, they will back down more and more until evolution denial is held by a very fringe minority. I don't expect it to happen in our lifetimes though...