In the past two days, since my USA Today piece on secular morality appeared, I’ve gotten about two dozen private emails from the faithful. One or two of them are reasoned and polite, disassociating themselves with the rabid coreligionists who posted inane comments on the site, but the remainder are remarkably hotheaded and impolite. I’m always amazed that someone will respond to a fairly non-strident piece with an impolite and harsh response.
Here’s one of the funnier ones, and I don’t think the good reverend (or whatever he is) would mind that I posted his name. The man obviously knows nothing about speciation! I’d recommend my book on the topic, but somehow I don’t think it would go down well.
Since you are obviously intelligent I want to send you this important email concerning evolution. In this email I will prove to you without a shadow of a doubt that evolution is a silly evil lie. Evolution is not true because each species can only procreate within their own species. That means that had we evolved from apes as you hold true then we could obviously procreate with those apes, but you and I know full well that that is impossible. Mankind cannot procreate with apes since apes are not of our species.
If you will get your students in your classroom and get the semen from a human male and inseminate that semen into a female ape, you will see full well after so many days that the female ape will not get pregnant and your students will also see that truth as well. As you already know, YOU CAN ONLY PROCREATE WITHIN YOUR OWN SPECIES.
Dogs cannot procreate with cats, Horses cannot procreate with zebras even though they look similar to each other, humans cannot procreate with apes or any other animal, tigers cannot procreate with lions etc. Had we evolved from apes as you say then we could obviously procreate with them since we would be of their species, but that is impossible as you already know, so therefore that totally proves without a shadow of a doubt that evolution is bunk and a total perversion of the truth.
Yes a person can be a good person without God. The HOLY BIBLE states in John 3:5, “JESUS ANSWERED, VERILY, VERILY, I SAY UNTO THEE, EXCEPT A MAN BE BORN OF WATER AND OF THE SPIRIT HE CANNOT ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD.” That verse means that unless “you” are born of the HOLY BIBLE which is the water of life and born of the HOLY SPIRIT who is the Spirit of God and the Spirit of life, you Jerry Coyne cannot enter into the glories of Heaven.
Go to my beautiful website for the truth and renounce that silly, “damning” lie called evolution now that you have been proven wrong concerning the matter of evolution. My website is http://www.howtobesaved.com or http://www.JesusBloodRedeems.com.
In Jesus precious name,
Gospel Mission International
214 thoughts on “I get email”
Remarkable – my long evolved boney fingers are itching to begin pointing. Fingers are such a good example of evolution but I don’t need to tell any of you that! What is soooo starnge is this rigidity of thinking that the world is ‘just SO’, that this is a fixed way that things are & relate to each other, when all about us is flux & EVERYTHING is about change. As the fingers divde on the hand, so species divde through time. this poor fellow has no comprehension of time, but then he will probably think that there has not been enough time to have all these things happen. I suspect that it was the gradual understanding that there was clear evidence of the long epochs of the past, that finally convinced many Victorians that evolution was possible.
Hope you got some kip on the journey & are not too jet-lagged!
‘divde’ a new verb to replace ‘divide’? oops!
Also, this Reverend has a very certain idea of what the Kingdom of God means – a ‘heaven’ as opposed to an eartly state relating to the 1st Century Jewish world which may be what the Jesus chap meant. Who really knows?
Hmm, excuse me *AHEM*
Yep! There are boatloads of hybrids among the big cats alone, to say nothing of other types of animals…
Is it correct that I heard that Humans and Chimps are more genetically similar than Tigers and lions are. If true that will certainly spook the creationists ..not to mention the chimps.
I was totally gonna say that…
I almost choked on my drink at that line. How does he go around making claims like that and no one’s ever corrected him?
“Ligers and tigons and bears!” as Julie Garland didn’t say.
But even apart from theses “exotic” hybrids, hasn’t the good reverend ever come across mules?
I know eh….being a jackass himself
There wasn’t procreation in paradise, so all these stories of flowers, fruits and genitals/sexes must be wrong. Or gawd already had a little plan. Why did gawd have to procreate with Maria in person? He sure must have small genitals for such a huge self-invented creature.
I think we are dealing with fraud.
WARNING WARNING WARNING
If you follow through those links, the design of the underlying website may burn your eyes out of their sockets.
It’s one of those designs.
I have no right to get snooty at anyone most of the time. I’m a developer, not a designer. I think that black text on alternating backgrounds of white and light-grey is as fancy as anything needs to get. Seriously: Fuck color.
But we’re talking about one of those websites that make even my eyebrows go up.
Oh: And no contact information that I could find, more’s the pity.
Oh, I think it’s probably worth a look, despite the eye-frying design. You get answers to all those questions you had, for example:
210. WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE MOVIE “THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST”?
The movie is wrong because it is a Catholic film, in which the director is a Catholic namely Mel Gibson.
Now, the Catholic church is perhaps the second largest Satanic cult in this world and has nothing to do with the LORD JESUS CHRIST, since as I have said before the foundation of the Catholic church are half-truths a.k.a. lies and the LORD JESUS CHRIST has nothing to do with half-truths my beloved. The Catholic church is the “synagogue of Satan”!
Funny – this Reverend bloke spells saviour as I would with a u, rather than American English without the u – most strange.
King James Bible – the hardcore fundamentalists in the US only use the King James Bible. Because you should read the Word of God in the King’s English the way God intended it to be read and the way Jesus actually spoke it.
I don’t know anyone who prefers the KJB because they think it’s the way God intended it to be written; in my experience they simply believe it to be the most accurate (literal) English translation.
Did you see the note at the bottom of his “beautiful website”? It says
“THIS IS AN AUTHORIZED KING JAMES ONLY WEBSITE!
No other (per)versions or babble bibles are ever quoted on this website!”
Well, at least it’s a website and not some nasty blog.
LOL @ Tim!
I was reading an article on Pandagon, linking to an article on Salon, which wanted to show how the Tea Party is just another incarnation of the Confederates of the Southern states.
To bolster the argument there is a link to material on a website of the League of the South, a neo-Confederate organization, in which the British spelling of favour rather than favor was used and it was explained by the Salon writer as being because Noah Webster, who tried to Americanise the spelling was a Yankee.
If this is true (and it’s the first I’ve ever heard of it) then perhaps it’s not just because of the KJB, but part of an anti-Yankee sentiment that the British spelling is used.
JC Ireson, I am aware that a christian worships several different characters that are collectively known as Christs. So, this LORD JESUS CHRIST, is it the ONE that also is referred to as CRISPY CHRIST CRACKER?
Oh, and, please excuse the question but, how do you manage to eat the putrefied flesh of YOUR GODS? What compels you to want to eat THEM?
If the Catholic church is perhaps the second largest Satanic cult in this world I’m wondering what the largest one is ? And are they still accepting new members ?
And is the Rev withholding important information about satanic cults in other worlds ?
I’m guessing either the Freemasons or the Democratic Party.
Islam would be my guess.
From reading his pages earlier (using the “Readabity” FireFox addon that can render webpages in monochrome !), I reckon the top spot probably goes to rock music
His quote regarding the gentle truth-seeker George Harrison MBE:
Yeah, that “My Sweet Lord” is pure evil.
It’s wrong b/c it’s made by a Catholic… Hmm…
See, now, this is why I cringe whenever I hear the term “Christian Nation.” Which Christians? Methodists? Catholics? Lutherans? Presbyterians? Hell, Mormons?
The wars that would kick off to determine which brand of Christianity would rule would be knock-down, drag-em outs. So basically Europe from the Reformation onwards.
We all know The Western Branch of American Reform Presbylutheranism will win out in the end.
The catlick church is the second largest satanic cult – second only to the reverend’s own pentecostal cult.
There is contact information on the http://www.JesusBloodRedeems.com site.
I’M SORRY, but when someone refers to their website as “beautiful” and it looks like that, I don’t read anything they have to say. Causes my eyes to jitterbug when I try to.
Good luck to all of you who have the patience and discipline to read this stuff.
Ligers? Tigons? Mules? This crank really doesn’t know about what is possible in ‘God’s Creation’.
Search on “Zorse” as well.
Male Ligers and Tigons are infertile, as are mules. Therefore, they don’t qualify as hybrid species.
He never mentioned hybrid species, just said they couldn’t procreate. I think everyone is just politely ignoring his misconception that evolution happens when members of two different species get it on. (Maybe he learned about evolution from furry comics?)
Coming from someone called Fox, that last comment suggests some intriguing possibilities…
That is not totally true, usually hybrids like that are not fertile but sometimes they are. just google “fertile mule” there are actually several examples. While I don;t know of any ligers or tigons that are fertile its not beyond the realm of possibility.
The Wikipedia ‘Liger’ page linked to above mentions fertile hybrids, the males are mostly infertile but not the females apparently.
Seriously — my four year old knows about these. This is what comes from never having an actual conversation or learning opportunity outside of your own cult-like religious circles. He is completely ignorant, and probably also very unintelligent.
I’d like to see him tackle some genera such as Solidago, Rubus, or Salix, but that presumes he knows what a genus is; not to mention, a plant.
Well, I’m convinced. The good reverend as totally turned the entire field of biology on its head for me. What will Jerry Coyne, Richard Dawkins, EO Wilson and every other evolutionary biologist do with their time now? No point in enlightening “Doctor” Ireson to the fact that Lions and Tigers, for example, CAN interbreed, and that humans and chimpanzees might be able to as well?
Do you think the good reverend speaks from experience on the attempted ape mating? He certainly sounds confident of his statement.
At the very least, he doesn’t seem to have put much thought into the ethical problems inherent in his suggested experiment.
Have you met his wife, Bobo?
No way! Ape’s would never stoop so low.
I have tangible evidence to the contrary.
Humans and chimpanzees can’t breed, as far as I’m aware. We have different numbers of chromosomes. Even if it was possible, I highly doubt a hybrid could be carried to term and birthed alive. Hopefully Jerry can weigh in on this.
The experiment has been done one way; a Russian scientists living in Africa injected chimp females with human sperm. Nothing happened. He planned to do the reverse experiment when he returned to Russia, but the government prevented him (this was way back in the 20s or 30s as I recall). I think I describe this in WEIT.
Yes, you did. But only in a note — # 51 (on pg 245). From what you said, it seems that not much is known about this bizarre 1927 attempt. But there must be something written somewhere.
Thanks for replying. I found further information about those experiments on Wikipedia. [Link] Though the details are sparse, my first question would be: was it known for sure that both the human sperm donor(s) and the three female chimpanzees were fertile? The sample size is awfully small. I mean, it’s not uncommon for fertile human couples to require several attempts to get pregnant.
Although ethically questionable, I imagine we’d do a more thorough and sophisticated experiment today than Ivanov did.
Given the fact that the science of artificial insemination was extremely primitive in the 1920s and 1930s, I don’t think that this experiment was particularly definitive. Certainly, using in vitro fertilization, one could perform far better experiments today, although the morality of such experiments is highly questionable.
The late Stephen Jay Gould speculated in one of his essays that such hybrids might be feasible, although, like mules, they would be infertile.
Different numbers of chromosomes does not prevent interbreeding, otherwise horses wouldn’t be able to breed with zebras.
or donkeys – 64 chromosomes for horses and 62 for donkeys IIRC.
*nod* I read that at Wikipedia shortly after posting. That’s my “new thing learned for today”…
Explain “Lancelot Link and The Evolution Revolution”, then.
With reference to the possibility of a “Humanzee” I was recall Richard Leakey’s speculation in “The Genius of Charles Darwin” that as Horses and Donkeys can interbreed while being less genetically similar than humans and chimps, then a humanzee is at least plausible, if maybe not possible in practice.
Of course, I am not actuaally recommending such an experiment. Definitely a “Don’t try this at home kids” scenario.
I’d prefer a bonobo, anyway.
I wonder why he put the word “damning” in scare quotes. If it’s not really damning, I wonder what it is.
Perhaps he’s taking a “provisional” approach.
My guess was that he didn’t want to risk casting judgement, so he used figurative damnation where he normally would’ve talked about something being literally damning.
My experience is that quite a lot of people think you use quotation marks for emphasis.
Meh—just sort of looks dumb.
At his website, he’s got “mystery-purpose” scare quotes all over the place. My favorite is that the website is intended to show the world “the” way of salvation.
Hold on a second, dogs CAN’T reproduce with cats?? Of course! It’s so obvious now! Evolution must be wrong! Why did nobody notice this before?
I have to admit, I find the mindset of “I can bring down an entire discipline of science by pointing out something incredibly obvious that clearly no one has ever considered” the tiniest bit endearing. Not enough to overcome the rage I get due to their bloody-mindedness or self-imposed ignorance mind, but it’s quite childlike in its innocence.
If dogs can’t reproduce with cats, then where do foxes come from? If anything looks like a dog-cat hybrid, it’s a fox!
but what about catdog?
Perhaps you don’t spend much time reading the comment threads of climate science sites (or creationist sites, for that matter). The speck of “endearingness” one feels about these people is forever replaced by utter despondence.
It’s like working your first customer service job… at first it can be a lot of fun to be dealing directly with people all the time… until all the stupid shit that people do one day has you leaving work early to avoid killing anyone. 😉
I’m putting my grolar bear back in his cage.
Grolars are far nicer than pizzlies, I think…
Hang on, does this mean that documentary I saw which claimed to be showing me the offspring of a lion and a tiger was lying to me? Perhaps Jesus really is the only truth in this world after all?
Seriously though, if you do get your students to jizz off into cups and use it to try to inseminate apes make sure you record it and upload it to youtube.
What does this even mean? It’s nonsense.
I’m pretty sure it refers to hybrid speciation.
It IS indeed nonsense!
I think it means the “good” minister believes that his god requires a person be “saved” by being “born again” into a literal relationship with Jebus, rather than proclaiming a belief in Jebus and His church.
Thank the American ministers of the mid 18th century for that bit of logic. They are “saved” through a personal relationship w/ Jebus and an unhealthy reliance on their Babble. This explains why the hate the Catholics, since those damned souls center worship on priestly ritual and organization, not the Babble.
It can be traced directly to Babbles being mass produced and available to the public without a priestly filter. So… thanks Gutenberg!
It’s a very florid way of saying that you can be good without God, but you’ll still go to Hell when you die, sucker. Hard to spin that as a good thing.
Why “you” in quotes?
Well, that’s the final nail in the coffin. How did Darwin not realize that members of one species can only procreate with other members of that species? I also just learned that apes still exist, and how could humans have evolved from apes if apes still exist? Darwin was a really poorly informed naturalist.
I truly do not understand the arrogance of people that they think some obvious fact that has been known for millennia somehow disproves evolution. Do they really think Darwin didn’t know about apes or the difficulties in cross-species breeding? Did no other naturalists at the time know about them? If Darwin’s theories were inconsistent with obvious facts, why did anyone ever start to take them seriously?
Wow. Unanswerable. Jerry, once you’re saved, if you need a male volunteer to do the artificial insemination experiment for your students, I’m totally down.
Well, this man was not blessed by evolution. That is all.
Science is hard. Belief is easy. Belief wins.
I was hoping to find out the truth behind Jerry Falwell but it wouldn’t load. Perhaps it’s too big a load for their server to handle.
Is it worth someone actually explaining evolution to this sadly ignorant man..or is it a waste of time? Secondly, I note the irony of the name, J.C. Ire Son. Accidental..or deliberate. And do I really care? The really sad thing is of course is that he is perpetrating this nonsense on other poor fools within his congregation.
If I didn’t know better, he sounds like he’s the result of different species precreation
Oooohhhh; I like that one!
“As you already know, YOU CAN ONLY PROCREATE WITHIN YOUR OWN SPECIES.” So if Jesus Christ really was a son of God, then this Mr. God belonged to the human species too.
Oh come on! Everyone knows he was merely the ejaculation!
No, you’re thinking of the Holy Spurt….
Every sperm is sacred,
Every sperm is great…
Didn’t see that one coming!
Jesus wasn’t necessarily a viable specimen. He could have been some sort of mule.
according to the good doctor reverend, there are no mules, right? or if there are, maybe they were planted by satan to test our faith. like the dinosaur bones.
Don’t know ’bout that…but…
That would explain why he didn’t have kids.
Um, humans can‘t procreate with goats…
‘Cuz goats have kids?
You mean The Da Vinci Code is fiction?!
The first person who spoke French had a serious problem. Everybody else was still speaking Latin. So Monsieur had no one to talk to.
I suppose he used the language of love to seduce the first French mistress!
This reminds me of another creationist argument (I think PZ posted it) that points out evolution must be false because (since we ultimately trace our ancestry back to microscopic asexual organisms) what would creatures have done with all their urine, waiting for penises to evolve?!
I suppose there’s a lot of horizontal (Fr.) meme (Gk.) transfer among languages.
Horses cannot procreate with zebras even though they look similar to each other…
I beg to differ on that one. Zebroid have been around for a long time. Darwin himself talked about them a couple of times.
In the rush to call this reverend dumb (I agree, he is at minimum misinformed), many of the commenters seem to be missing the point. From the wikipedia article on Zebroid; “Breeding of different branches of the equine family, which does not occur in the wild, generally results in infertile offspring.” So yes, the reverend is generally right, in that inter-species procreation generally doesn’t happen in nature, and hybrid offspring are generally infertile.
But that’s not the point. The point is that doesn’t disprove evolution!
That fact actually bolsters evolution, in that it’s one of the defining characteristics of speciation. Religious people often claim that “microevolution” can occur within a species, but that evolution cannot create new species. But when enough variation and adaptation occurs that one group won’t interbreed with another, that is precisely the point at which the two groups can be considered different species. At least, that’s my understanding, correct me if I’m wrong, Jerry.
I agree but think the emphasis needs to be placed slightly differently in what your saying. That separate species can’t (or generally don’t) interbreed doesn’t, by itself, bolster evolution, because, as the good reverend is claiming, its also a prediction of his religion.
What, I would argue, does bolster evolution is that there are many INFERTILE examples of hybrids.
Ligers, zebroids, mules etc are great examples of evolution because, while the parents are close enough to breed, they don’t breed a viable species (viable as in it can reproduce itself). They are, put in laymen’s terms, halfway between perfect breeding and complete inability to breed, and that IS a prediction of evolutionary theory, and no others.
… disassociating themselves with the rapid coreligionists …
Is that rabid ?
Works either way.
Random mutation strikes again.
Rabid, of course. I fixed it, thanks.
I was actually going to vote for “vapid”….
Species claim is specious.
All this talk about zebroids, ligers & the like must remind us that the species concept is very important as a tool for understanding the natural world, but that some people have little understanding of the enormous depth of Nature, the millions of species of insects & plants & minute organisms that make up the bulk of Life on Earth. I actually pity these god lovers for their narrowness of vision.
love the arrogance when one Christian is sure that they have the particular magic decoder ring that gives them the “only” way to be “saved”. And always good to see the usual hypocrisy when this type of Christian uses the same science that supports evolution etc, as long as it makes them comfy.
…and makes sure the congregants fill the collection plate each and every Sunday.
Because if you’re “saved” and that’s it … well, professional preachers would have scant little to do.
Hey, who’s got the popcorn? Pass this way, please!
I suggest that the Rev. Ireson get together with the Rev. F. Collins and discuss some basic biology. After all, they are both xtian so they must believe the same thing about speciation!
Question for Jerry, then my main point.
Jerry, in WEIT you talked about broccoli, brussel sprouts and a few other vegetables descending from a common ancestor once humans learned to domesticate plants. Have those vegetables speciated? That would be a good example of evolution and speciation for the Reverend’s congregation. The Reverend may be too far gone, but surely a few good examples could chip away a few in the pew. (Fantastic book BTW)
I would challenge the Reverend, “Which scientist told you humans *could* cross-breed with apes?”
Someone who graduated from a seminary or takes money from Templeton possibly. But someone working in evolution, probably not.
It’s an obvious case of not getting the right information from the right people. Stories get handed down. Authority trumps evidence when the evidence is suppressed. Now I understand why so many Bible stories are so wacky.
Regarding your brassicas, cabbage, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower
are a single species (Brassica oleracea). What’s more, the various historical species can be crossbred to produce other viable species, in the so-called Triangle of U (or, unfortunately, Woo).
Wasn’t sure. Thanks for the clarification 🙂
The Wikipedia article entitled Humanzee has some information about the plausibility of a human-chimpanzee hybrid.
I’d still love to hear the good doctor’s comments on this as well, though.
There was also a recent Huffington Post article Are “Humanzees” Possible?. That incorporates a Dicovery Channel video in which the Ivanov experiment was discussed.
HuffPo leaves a bit of a bad taste in my brain most of the time, but I appreciate the link. Thanks.
I don’t know if this particular reverend is up to speed in baraminology (he seems more like one of those who is simply impatient with details, even the fine points of ID creationism), but I am sure that the response to ligers, zebrules, etc. would be ‘they are still mating within their created kind’. ‘Species’ is, after all, a manmade category. Just don’t ask them to be specific about what a ‘kind’ is, exactly.
I gave my copy of WEIT to my father-in-law (who although having been a Creationist for over 50 years is now struggling with how to integrate Evolution with his existing faith).
One of his major complaints with it, however, is that he feels it spends too much time arguing against the “immutable, unchangable” version of Christianity without seeming to acknowledge that most educated creationists understand that “microevolution” is obvious.
It’s been a long time since I read it, so I don’t remember if it spends any time discussing the concept of baraminology and why it fails. I might have to do it on my own, when he gets to the end.
“microevolution” baffles me or rather the belief that you can have micro but not macro.
How many micro steps does it take to have a macro step? Or do they think there is some magical barrier that will stop the micro steps before they go too far?
The first, because there’s only been 4,000 years since the Flood, and therefore not enough time. The latter is a Platonic notion, and Christians are overly fond of Platonism.
Let him keep it and get a replacement. I just picked up a spare on Alibris for ~$10 with S/H.
I should have proofread that before I submitted it. immutable, unchangeable version of creationism, not Christianity!
Further evidence of Poe’s Law.
But humans can procreate with apes! I procreated with my wife, who is an ape, and we have two ape offspring which we call “boys.”
Yes! Absolutely. I consider myself scientifically literate when it comes to evolutionary theory (like everyone who reads this site I imagine) but it is so easy to forget that we are African apes. We humans consider ourselves somehow different from other animals, just because we have proportionately bigger brains. Another example of the sometimes counter intuitive findings of science.
There is a story of a drunken party which led to inseminating a female chimp with human sperm. The chimp showed signs of being pregnant. On sober reflection, the chimp received hormone treatment to terminate the possible pregnancy. The story was on the Internet for a while. It was told by a person who was there. I heard it from a colleague who heard it from the person who was there. How’s that for a chain of hearsay evidence?
That is anecdotastic!
Only a reverend?!! I thought when they got THIS intellectually sophisticated they got a piece of paper from a phoney theological university and called themselves ‘Doctor’— like Dr.Ian Paisley and Dr.Billy Graham.
I despair sometimes…………
Oh my. Facepalms.
This writer clearly has no idea that Dr. Coyne wrote a book called, what was it called again… Oh yeah… SPECIATION! The dude has a doctorate in the subject area so I think he’d probably know about how new species come into being. Just a hunch. The writer’s condescending “Now, let me tell you the truth young man,” tone is ridiculous to say the least.
As for the heaven part, apparently the author also thinks that quoting a Bible verse and mentioning heaven will all of a sudden get Dr. Coyne to do a 180 on his religious views. Again, as if Dr. Coyne had never heard of this place “heaven” or this thing “Bible.”
Give me a break.
So my question after reading all that is how does he explain ring species? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_species
By claiming it’s the same “kind” ala Kent Hovind.
That wouldn’t explain why the two “end” populations in the series, which are too distantly related to interbreed. They are somehow not the same “kind”?
To play the Devel’s Advocate here, I think they would claim that all “kinds” within a species could extend out as far as the example presented. So, no matter how distant the example, they could claim it’s the same kind; however, they shoot themselves in the foot because if the species in question cannot breed with another closely-related population, then they now need to make more room on the Ark. Since these two arguments are rarely linked, they need only claim that the moth, lizard, snake, etc. is a separate species. This prevents them from admitting evolution could have taken place.
I think it’s possible for creationists to combine the two (erroneously, of course, but it can still seem logically consistent to them).
Ring species would pose no problem for this brand of creationist, since speciation is simply evidence of microevolution (even to the point of losing hybridization potential).
They probably don’t realize that nobody has come up with a coherent way to define the original kinds, but they would just attribute that to the lack of funding and time that creationist researchers have had.
“They probably don’t realize that nobody has come up with a coherent way to define the original kinds”
It’s like showing a Creationist all the transitional hominid skulls from modern human to Lucy and then asking which one is the earliest human. Every Creationist will have a different answer. The irony of course is that that “spread” is the transitional group.
So, if Jebus was from two different species (God and Human) then by this guy’s logic, couldn’t have existed because two different species cannot mate. God’s sperm cannot cannot impregnate another species, right? He simply refuted himself.
Either that, or Jebus was the milkman’s kid.
I wonder how the “fact” that no hybrids can be created disproves speciation or evolution. Just because two species could not have fertile offspring, that doesn’t mean that one species can’t split.
“That means that had we evolved from apes as you hold true then we could obviously procreate with those apes.”
Does he even have a vague concept of what speciation is all about?
“Does he even have a vague concept of what speciation is all about?”
I really wanted to join USA Today to contribute to the discussion on Jerry’s editorial and the slightly newer one about Hawking’s upcoming Discovery Channel show. But I never receive the confirmation email from the sign-up page. I tried both from home and from work with my two addresses. Both fail. Anyone else having the same problem?
I had the same problem, using a Gmail address. Nothing in the spam folder either…
My working hypothesis, backed up by nothing but my observations, is that 98% of humans are as dumb as a sack of rocks.
They can fake the appearance of intelligence, but no more.
So far I see nothing to change my mind.
As Bugs would have said: “What a maroon!”
Don’t tell the Rev about horizontal gene transfer — his head might explode.
Once again, the whole notion of species gets profoundly muddy when talking about the vast majority of organisms on the planet, namely the single-cell variety.
Without meaning to sound snooty; I’d rather read the ‘reasoned and polite’ responses from the faithful. Spotting the flaws in the hotheaded ones is easy, not particularly productive, and that sort of silliness is far easy too find on the internet anyway.
You’ve got to love someone who thinks that they can walk up to an evolutionary biologist and author of a 300+ page book patiently laying out the evidence for evolution in terms a layperson can understand, then completely blow him out of the water with three paragraphs of confused gibberish. What did he expect? For Jerry to write back with
“MY GOD. YOU’RE RIGHT. Why did I not see?!”
Honestly, I’m half-inclined to label this a Poe, except that I’m too a’feared to go look at his website and see how far he takes it. But maybe that’s just me overestimating average adult intelligence again…
It’s all so simple.
The good reverend’s existence falsifies his own claim. He’s obviously a cross between a Neanderthal and a jackass.
I like #35 best (but, I’m still looking):
What you do is less important than whether you’ve accepted Jesus. Seems reasonable.
Yes. It’s more consistent than the theology of the softer brands of Christianity
It’s a fairly large schism, actually, between those denominations that are “grace alone” (this particular preacher), and the “grace plus works” brand, which uses James 2:17 as their go-to verse.
Historically, this came about because a lot of people were “converting” to Christianity on their death beds. Why not? It cost them nothing at that point, and the prospects for a Christian heaven were so much more appealing than the pagan concept of Hades (a dour place, but not one of eternal torment). The pagans had no problem worshiping multiple gods — even one outside of the Greco-Roman pantheon.
So, the church leaders had to nip that particular practice in the bud (since it came at the expense of revenues because it should be pointed out that dead parishioners rarely fill the collection plate).
Therefore, “faith without works is dead.”
Oh Jerry! I am so so sorry you aren’t getting into the kingdom of heaven. Does this rejection equate with Groucho Marx’s statement that he wouldn’t want to belong to a club that had him as a member?
This guy’s sermons must be a riot. Sad that he foists this kind of ignorance on his congregation.
Lions-Tigers, Horses-Zebras…doesn’t he even know that they are within the same “kind” or “baramin”? How can we take him seriously when he doesn’t even know his own creationism?
I think humans and chimps might be able to produce fertile offspring, at least occasionally. The lower chromosome number in humans is due to fusion of two ancestral chromosomes, and each of the two segments of the fused chromosome have homologues with matching genes in the chimpanzee. Chromosome pairing would be essentially normal, with the two homologous chimp chromosomes each pairing with the corresponding segment of the human #2 chromosome.
Ire’s son has a typical protestant christian butthead notion that being good isn’t worth anything because you need to worship the right god; he probably also believes that being evil is OK so long as you do believe in the right god (thank Calvin and Luther for that). As for humans breeding with apes – humans can only breed with apes, but apparently he doesn’t even understand that humans are apes. He probably thinks ‘dinosaur’ is a species.
The possibility of a viable human-chimp hybrid (humanzee or manpanzee) is a very good one. There have already been hundreds of human-animal embryos created over the last few years (google news articles in UK concerning the work at Warwick Univ. as one example).
There’s also the famous paper by Bedford JM. 1977. Sperm/egg interaction: the specificity of human spermatozoa. Anat. Rec. 188 (4): 477–87. Bedford successfully had a human spermatozoa penetrate a gibbon ovum. Read his paper about the other primates he tried.
Also, the genetic evidence shows that proto-humans and proto-chimps still interbred for about 1.2 million years after the split. The divergence between the chimp and human X chromosome is far more recent than the others. See Patterson, N. et al. 2006. Genetic evidence for complex speciation of humans and chimpanzees. Nature 441, 1103-1108.
The most recent genetic evidence suggests chimps should be grouped with Homo and not as another genus. Human-chimp hybrids would not be surprising at all from a purely scientific perspective. They would, however, be highly controversial and unethical to create.
Reading some articles on the British experiments, it seems those embryos aren’t viable, failing to grow beyond a few dozen cells, and that they’re almost entirely human, genetically speaking. That’s a far cry from a woman giving birth to a “chuman”…
Likewise with a human spermatozoon penetrating the gibbon ovum, that’s not even proper fertilization, is it? Gibbons are relatively distant ancestors too, compared to chimpanzees. I’m not knowledgeable enough in this area to judge the significance of a sperm penetrating an egg of another species as an event in and of itself.
It’s definitely interesting research all the same.
Thanks for suggesting that internet search though. I found this, which was good for a laugh… particularly the comments section.
In an atheistic, naturalistic world – a world where physical entities, properties, events, and processes is all there is, was, and ever will be – truth has no objective value whatsoever. Furthermore, no one has any objective duty to pursue truth. On atheism, and for any given particular person, truth has value only to the extent that it is practically useful for that person in orienting and living out his or her life.
Which brings me to one among many problems I have with these vitriolic “theistic take-down” posts:
You all presuppose that people are generally better off when their beliefs correspond to reality, i.e., that they will get along in reality better when they think about it accurately. In fact, on just the “practical” conception of the value of truth (i.e. sans an “objective” conception), you pretty much have to if your venomous scorn is to be even remotely justified. But it is certainly conceivable that it is more beneficial to believe falsehoods, and moreover in many cases it is demonstrably beneficial, so long as the person doesn’t know with certainty that it is false and thereby doesn’t suffer cognitive dissonance.
Take the case of many religious theists’ reactions when confronted with (1) Darwinian explanations for things like “love” and (2) the denial of free will.
>Social Darwinians tell them that the fundamental nature of disinterested “love” is that it is really just a mask for adaptive traits which benefit the herd and so preserve a wide genepool. If a religious theist really believed this, then there would be no true ethical grounds for exhibiting these traits in his own behavior, since what is good for the herd is by no means necessarily good for him personally, and facts about the origins of adaptive traits cannot bring with them the duty to act in conformity with them. Furthermore, in addition to (and as a consequence of) the absence of ethical grounds for exhibiting these traits, there would be a massive, massive decrease in his motivation to exhibit them.
>The atheist’s conception of physical reality simply does not allow for libertarian freedom, and if moral (and intellectual) responsibility has such freedom as a necessary condition, then reconciling the natural and ethical perspectives is impossible. For the theist, though, responsibility does have libertarian freedom as a necessary condition, and as he views atheistic, naturalistic descriptions of reality, the world of human beings is inevitably reduced to a world of biological machines, and there can be no genuine morality amongst robots. The denial of genuine freedom spells the end for any hope of responsibility, for any hope of coherently condemning past actions, and hence for any hope of objective moral values and duties. (*Including, by the way, a “duty to pursue Truth”)
But, of course, he like all religious theists – and thus the majority of humanity – cannot live as if that were true. Most people, even those that are not religious, would like to be able to coherently maintain, for example, that the Oslo shootings, 9/11, the Holocaust, the Spanish Crown Inquisitions, etc., should not have happened. Without that ability – the ability to coherently condemn past actions as being deviations from the way things ought to have been, most people would be rendered completely unable to cope with life.
Like it or not, the bonds of the theist’s family and friendships would be destroyed if the he were to steadfastly orient his life around such beliefs. More broadly, if what the Darwinians and the atheists say is true, therefore, it is more beneficial for the majority of humans not to believe what they say, for if what they say is true, then there is clearly a ‘disconnect’ between truth and human flourishing, as Nietzsche suggests.
As it happens, I am not a theist, nor am I religious. But suppose the religious are wrong. They live their lives under the aegis of God, libertarian freedom, and immortality, but then one day they die and become nothing. They were, at bottom, just bags of chemicals after all. It was all just a big joke. Electrochemistry played them for a fool. So what? What did they lose by being a believer? Nothing of any value.
These religious “bumpkins,” however admittedly mistaken about Darwinism and often disastrously overzealous they are, are far more rational than your lot gives them credit, because they clearly recognize that (1) there is no way of knowing with one hundred percent certainty that atheism is true, and (2) if atheism and what follows from it all happen to be true, those truths not only have no objective value and do not bring with them a duty to pursue them, but also have no practical value for religious theists, either. With (1) and (2), they can live out their lives without any cognitive dissonance whatsoever, while justifiably believing in what they take to be practically necessary things like God, libertarian freedom, and immortality.
Pascal’s Wager? Seriously? Are you completely unaware of how many people have their personal rights and freedoms taken away by religion in general and theocratic governments in particular?
Sure, it could be argued that an otherwise happy theist in a comfortable life in a progressive society isn’t losing much by his theism, but that’s far from being the only possible situation.
Religion is often a divisive element in people’s lives, leading to in-group/out-group, discriminatory behavior. (I realize that this happens outside of religious circles as well.)
I don’t think it’s fair or safe to say that a person loses nothing of value due to religious belief. The fact that the belief is unfounded and lacks evidential support just makes it all the more unjust, IMO.
I would also add that in the majority of cases, “people are generally better off when their beliefs correspond to reality” and that beliefs that don’t correspond to reality can be dangerous or even fatal, e.g. religious snake handlers, Jehovah’s Witnesses who refuse blood transfusions, Christian Scientists who refuse all medical care, depending on prayer instead of seeking medical advice, and so on.
The idea that holding irrational beliefs is essentially harmless doesn’t stand up to a moment’s scrutiny.
Call me a bleedin’-heart librul, but I find these sorts of exhortations to lie to the dumb masses “for their own good” to be offensive in the extreme.
Who the fuck do you think you are that you get off treating them as children too young to be told Santa Claus is really Mommy and Daddy?
What makes you think you’re so superior that you can live your life just fine without delusions, but you need to delude the “bumpkins” for their own good?
I could continue, but I’m in a foul enough mood for other reasons today that it’s probably for the best that I just leave it at that.
New Mr. Deity video: How else are you gonna control the unwashed masses ?
“They live their lives under the aegis of God, libertarian freedom, and immortality, but then one day they die and become nothing. They were, at bottom, just bags of chemicals after all. It was all just a big joke. Electrochemistry played them for a fool. So what? What did they lose by being a believer? Nothing of any value.”
Well if you were a woman, quite possibly you could have lost a life free of religious oppression, including being able to have a child (or not) on your own terms. And no chance of a do-over in heaven. Quite a lot of value, I would say.
“In an atheistic, naturalistic world – a world where physical entities, properties, events, and processes is all there is, was, and ever will be – truth has no objective value whatsoever.”
As I read this sentence and the words non sequitur come to mind.
Agree. And it’s certainly not at all correct for a humanistic, freethinking world.
I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.
— Richard Dawkins
The enlightenment is under threat. So is reason. So is truth. So is science, especially in the schools of America. I am one of those scientists who feels that it is no longer enough just to get on and do science. We have to devote a significant proportion of our time and resources to defending it from deliberate attack from organized ignorance. We even have to go out on the attack ourselves, for the sake of reason and sanity. Of course, excellent organizations already exist for raising funds and deploying them in service of reason, science and enlightenment values.But the money that these organizations can raise is dwarfed by the huge resources of religious foundations such as the Templeton Foundation, not to mention the tithe-bloated, tax-exempt churches.
— Richard Dawkins
Over the centuries, we’ve moved on from Scripture to accumulate precepts of ethical, legal and moral philosophy. We’ve evolved a liberal consensus of what we regard as underpinnings of decent society, such as the idea that we don’t approve of slavery or discrimination on the grounds of race or sex, that we respect free speech and the rights of the individual. All of these things that have become second nature to our morals today owe very little to religion, and mostly have been won in opposition to the teeth of religion.
— Richard Dawkins
Truth has no objective value in any world; you claim your religious truth, for instance.
The useful thing is that facts are objective, and so is realism.
I can stop there as your claims on the world are sorely mistaken and no basis for a rational discussion on the topic, and as for the rest you have obviously not read the post (“vitriol”).
“What did they lose by being a believer? Nothing of any value.”
Really? Nothing? Not the freedom to think for themselves? Not the joy of living without the psychological and social shackles of religion? Not the ability to experience the world as it really is? They waste their lives because they think that this one is just a dress rehearsal. They believe that their “real” life starts only after they are dead.
And what of the effect of their beliefs on others. The bigotry and hatred that religion can produce. The wars that religion can produce. The attacks on science and education in general. Their desire to infiltrate the political system (BTW, they’re already doing this) to enforce their “morality” on everyone, thereby taking away people’s hard earned civil liberties (or keep those who don’t have them from ever having them).
“Like it or not, the bonds of the theist’s family and friendships would be destroyed if the he were to steadfastly orient his life around such beliefs.”
Who said anyone likes it? It doesn’t matter whether we like it or not. Many current atheists have experienced the very scenario in their own move away from religion/theism. If the friendships are destroyed, that is the fault (yet another) of religion because I haven’t heard any atheists say that they want to shun their former friends and family since coming to the conclusion that reality matters and that there exists no evidence for any god(s). I have, however, heard many stories from individuals who, once they came out as atheists to their family and friends, were shunned, permanently! That is the fault of religion and it’s dogma of “Jesus is real. If you disagree, you’re not welcome.” That said, there are many out atheists who continue to have good relationships with their family and friends so your blanket assertion fails.
And how can you possibly argue that fantasy is preferable to reality? I can imagine this for a little while, like when I’m escaping reality by reading a novel or watching a movie or TV show or imbibing mind altering substances. But to live an entire life based on demonstrably false beliefs? That’s just insanity. Speaking of which, many schizophrenics do live their lives free of reality for the most part. Is this advantageous to them? Is it something that they would choose if they had a choice? No and no. I’ve known at least 200-300 schizophrenics in my life so I know what I’m talking about here.
Furthermore, you paint a rather drab, dire, and bleak picture for atheists which is not even close to the reality of the lives of atheists. Many of us are happier without religion and we believe that others might be happier without it as well. You really seem to misunderstand atheism and reality based thinking. I’m curious as to why.
No, I know that I’m better off when others’ beliefs correspond to reality. Cuts down on the nonsense they try to foist on us.
After looking at that website I’m blind, blind I’ze tellz ya!
P.S. Please don’t ask my how I wrote this comment.
Obviously the good reverend has never heard of the hybrid feline known as the “liger.” It’s my favorite animal!
Isn’t the term ‘objective value’ an oxymoron?
That was a serious question, btw.
Philosophy majors, please help me out with this one.
“Objective values are those that lie outside of the individual and are not dependent upon her/his perception or belief.”
Blergh. *shakes fist*
Damn you Plato! Damn you!
Tah for the link tho. Much appreciated.
Here’s a straightforward example of a moral value:
“Child abuse is bad. It is wrong”
If it’s wrong in the same “strong” sense that “1+1=3” is wrong [in other words, even if everyone were to vanish off the face of the Earth, “1+1=3” would still express a falsehood], then it’s an “objective” moral value. It’s not a mere matter of personal taste.
A moral duty goes a bit beyond a moral value:
“YOU ought not abuse children.”
At least that’s my amateurish take on the matter.
My own amateurish take is a bit different.
“Child abuse is bad. It is wrong.”
To me, this is only true because of a tacit assumption. I’ve injected it explicitly below.
“Child abuse is bad. It is wrong [because we are all implicitly familiar with overwhelmingly good arguments for why it is wrong].”
I consider that the arguments against child abuse are watertight – so please don’t regard my position as being soft on child abuse.
However: In the absence of strong argument against child abuse? I’d be hard pressed to justify the statement that it is wrong.
Which to me makes the claim above (and all value-claims) subjective rather than objective.
That’s not to mean it is a mere preference though. I think that the common leap from ‘subjective’ to ‘mere preference’ is a mistaken one.
In the case of child abuse, I think that the arguments against it are so overwhelming that we can justifiably treat it as if it were objectively true.
Which has been my understanding of value-claims since… Well, longer than I can remember.
Thanks for the different perspective, though.
If you’re looking for objectivity, take a step back and do a thought experiment: a pair of computer simulations of identical populations, except that in one child abuse is absent and in the other it’s the norm.
Which of the two do you think is more likely to prosper, and which is more likely to drive itself to extinction?
After you think that through, it should come as no surprise that we have such a strong, visceral reaction to child abuse. For many generations, such an experiment has run, and the results have been branded into our genes.
That would be one of the good arguments to which I referred above.
That only makes things ‘objective’ if we take the view that the survival of the population is preferable to the eventual decline of the population.
Again: I think there are very strong arguments in favor of the former, so it isn’t a mere preference.
Which makes it a very strongly justified subjective value claim.
But it still isn’t objective.
Not in the way that 1 + 1 = 2 is objective.
And not in the way that ‘an atom of hydrogen has less mass than an atom of lead’ is objective.
(Of course, there’s ‘objective’ in the sense that we value objectivity in approach as trying to weed out bias and make committed claim – but that’s a different use of the term than I am employing here, and I want to be careful not to equivocate between the two.)
Is nobody concerned about his early and repeated use of the word ‘suicide’? What the fuck?
You say in passing in your essay that what we eat is irrelevant to morality. This is clearly not true. Even if you think its OK to a cheeseburger whose meat was produced on a factory farm, surely its not OK to eat your cat for breakfast. I am sure you were referring to more dubious dietary restrictions, but you should have been more clear.
Why would it be acceptable to eat a cow but immoral to eat a cat? Would it be immoral for Jerry to eat his cat, but OK for him to eat a cat? If not, why not?
When I asked myself similar questions, I ended up vegetarian.
What about plants’ rights? In the Amazon it is common for people to chop down a mature, 60-100 yr old palm tree in order to eat the soft growing tip (“palmito”). Might some plant-eating be wrong?
If this is wrong, then animals which eat those parts and kill the tree are also doing something wrong? And if a tiger kills a cow, is that wrong? Can an act that happens frequently in nature (killing animals or plants for food) and which is necessary for the survival of life on earth, be wrong when we do it?
I am not sure….
As far as I know, plants don’t feel pain.
Pain is not the only thing that makes an act wrong.
True, and I can certainly envision arguments against acts that threaten plant species or ecosystems.
We are probably thinking too much ‘in the box’…
Within any social group morals are entirely subjective (even if believed to be objective) & these morals are usually set according to the accepted (or dominant) social values of that society
The sentient ET hive being named AntBee is observing us on Earth from many light years distant. Her individual disposable ‘units’ have no awareness. In addition AntBee subsumes other creatures into the ‘greater extended AntBee’ ~ her technology is entirely bioengineered ~ computation, communication, manufacturing, transport, spacecraft, telescopes etc. has been achieved by the genetic modification of her own & other species. AntBee herself consists of 100’s of functionally different types of units.
AntBee has no concept of pain or fear & regards the universe as a resource to be converted into more ‘AntBee’. She understands about the well being of other creatures because a happy tool is a productive tool
AntBee highly values ecological stability & resource renewal. She is outraged & horrified at the way we are abusing our ecosystem & considers us mentally ill. We are the epitome of evil by AntBee’s lights.
Akshully… Jesus didn’t talk like that. King James did. Verily!
And, it’s “fully well”… not “full well”.
The only food which can be eaten without moral qualms is fruit, but only if you then plant the seeds. There are people who do this.
Someone remind me, it’s a good idea to let everyone vote because…??
Because, sadly, not letting them vote is worse than the alternative.
The real solution is good childhood education, including an exhaustive series of civics classes. But the problem is that the Koch brothers have conned people into thinking that the way to make education better is to spend less, teach less, and expect less. No, I have no clue how they managed to pull that off, or why they think it’s in their own best interests to do so.
“you Jerry Coyne cannot enter into the glories of Heaven.”
I read this and lol’d. Jerry, do you feel the loss? 😉
Also, have to feel really sorry for the guy. He spent so much time and effort erecting his case against evolution without actually understanding what he was arguing against. Instead of preaching to Jerry, maybe he could benefit from reading Why Evolution Is True.
It always perplexes me when believers completely misunderstand evolutionary theory. If they don’t believe in evolution because of an a priori commitment to a literal Genesis, then surely there’s no harm in actually understanding what evolution actually entails. What’s wrong with actually coming to terms with what evolution is, and what the evidence for it is, if one’s belief on the matter has everything to do with a belief in God? It would make for much more honest discussions that way.
Why do you get such interesting email? All I get is ways to compensate for evolution cheating me out of a massive penis.
Not to be a judgemental atheist but the email author’s website http://howtobesaved.com appears to be from 1996 and really needs to be updated if he wants to be taken seriously. 🙂
Awww… go ahaead. Make a judgement. This asshole is not to be taken seriously, no matter how updated his bogus website gets.
Dear Reverend, you have no excuse for your ignorance. My eight year old understands the concept of speciation. It’s people like you that are wrong with this world. Embracing ignorance as you do, does a disservice to those in your “flock” and creates an army of glassy eyed ignoramuses. Appreciate nature for all it’s wonders and stop interjecting your invisible friend.
Will you please consider allowing Speciation to become an eBook?