Monday, May 11, 2009

JP Holding: Dumbass for Christ

I came across something that James Patrick Holding (semi-popular internet apologist) wrote on the Internet Infidels discussion board about Evolution. Since I've posted a link, and since the post is frickin' long, I'll let you go to the link if you wanna read it. Here is my response to him:

This is so dumb. Holding is basically arguing: 'You don't know absolutely everything about how and why each step of evolution occurred, therefore God intervened or created life. '

I'm going to imitate Holding's babyish style in my rebuttal:

"1) How many mutations did it take to go from the earliest member of the tree, Hyracotheium, to the latest member, New World Equus?"

Don't know, but that's irrelevant.

"2) How many of these mutations are directly in evidence in the fossil record?"

A mutation is a change in DNA, something you can't observe in the fossil record, dodo."If I were to present a case for (say) the Resurrection of Jesus, and I only had .002% of the evidence I needed to make that case, who would think I had made a good case?"There is more than .002% of the evidence needed to make the case. There is well over 100% evidence needed to show that evolution occurred (If Evolutionists suddenly lost half their evidence, there would still be enough to make the case for evolution).

"a) How do they know that grasses of the time were harsher and more abrasive? How do they arrive at the conclusion that there were not softer, less abrasive grasses available to eat as well?"

You fool. What it says is "eating grasses", not eating certain types of grass. Grasses are harsher and more abrasive than other foods.

"b) How radical was the first mutation that increased tooth size and/or shape, or began that cement layer, etc? By natural selection theory, it must have been radical enough to make the survival of the horses who had it, more likely than those who didn't. But how do they know that the first mutation conferred such an advantage? They can't have had two horses or populations of them - one with, one without the mutation - and watched as they grazed and lived to see who survived better in a specific environment, so how can they be sure that the first mutational step provided enough of a survival advantage to be selected?"

You knucklehead. You're asking how we know that the first adaptive mutation provided enough survival advantage to spread. If it didn't have enough survival advantage, it wouldn't have spread, duh!!! And we know that advantageous variations spread because of the fossil record.

"Given the number of fossils versus the number of horses that must have lived, how can they be sure that their conclusions about the size and shape of the teeth reflect the state of the teeth of the Miocene horses as a whole? I have had two successive miniature poodles. The first, Toby, had thick, large teeth; my new one, Cocoa, has thin, needle-like teeth."

Too say that several dozen fossils all appeared to show several different trends through time, purely by chance, is stupid. Besides, wouldn't you expect a fossil to probably be an average representative of its species? Its called the Principle of Mediocrity.

Once again, given all these unanswered questions, I'm not seeing why materialist views should be pronounced so confidently. If someone wants to say, e.g.,

"God prodded the process along" that's another matter, but a pure materialist view? I can't see it working."

All you've done is ask dumbass questions. You haven't given a damn reason why evolution could not have occurred naturally.In conclusion, I'd like to ask you, Mr. Holding, some questions:

1. What do you think the probability is that the fossil record would show successive trends that appeared to be evolution (like the horse sequence) if evolution is false? How do you know?

2. If modern day, one toed horses are not descended from three toed horses, as the fossil record leads evolutionists to believe, then why do modern horses still have the genes for the other toes? (See Gould, Hen's Teeth and Horses Toes).

3. Why do human beings still have muscles for moving their ears? We can't move them much (if at all) and there seems to be no survival advantage to them. How do we explain this unless these muscles were inherited from a more primitive mammalian ancestor? (Four legged mammals, such as dogs, have muscles to move their ears because it allows them a survival advantage: They can raise their ears to focus on sound from a particular direction, which is useful if one is stalking prey and needs to make as little noise as possible)


Robert Morane said...

Excellent post as usual (I particularly enjoy your posts about evolution).

Another question you could ask a creationist:

God could have distributed animals any which way he/she/it wanted; so why is it they are not distributed randomly, but rather, species are found only in places they can reach?

For example, evolution says that isolated oceanic islands will not have fresh water fish or indigenous land mammals (because they evolved on the continental land masses and they would be unable to swim across the ocean to get to these islands - indeed, these islands (like Hawaii) have no indigenous fresh water fish or indigenous land mammals! How does a creationist explain that? Coincidence?

Evolution also says that for the same reason, coastal islands will have the same fauna and flora as the nearby continent even if the climate is slightly different. This has been verified too.

Evolution predicted that since there are indigenous land mammals in Australia, then Australia must have been in contact with a continental land mass in the past. This is verified too - geologists discovered that during one of the many previous glaciations, oceans level were so low that there was a land passage between australia and the main land; but because that passage was covered by water so long ago, thus isolating Australia physically from any other land mass, mammals in Australia evolved in isolation thus making the Australian fauna unique.

Just a few problems for the creationist (who would probably say it's "just a coincidence")...

By the way, congratulations on your book, Nicholas! I'll probably buy the E version.

AIGBusted said...

Hey Robert,

Thanks for the comment! You're absolutely right, the evidence from biogeography is overwhelming. In "Why Evolution is True" Jerry COyne wrote a whole chapter on this argument, and it is very convincing indeed. I seldom argue it, because I am not as familiar with it as I am with other arguments, and because it takes much more time to explain.


Steven Carr said...

So if Holding sees a wall, comes back a few days later and sees a pile of bricks lying on the ground, he won't believe the wall fell down and became a pile of bricks, until he sees evidence for each brick falling in the sequence from wall to rubble?

And if Holding sees a plane take off in New York, and sees the plane land in Miami, he won't believe it flew through the air, unless he sees video evidence for more than 0.002% of the miles this plane allegedly 'flew'?