Actually, these have accumulated over two weeks, as I’ve been busy. None have been posted; this is the detritus.
This comment, by reader “Tyler”, was directed to a Caturday felid: White lions post:
what the hell how can a creature so beautiful can be part of evoloution have u seen how complicated these beautiful animals r so how can you think that white lions are from evolution they r made from the lord God Jesus Christ…
Well, white lions aren’t any more complicated than normal lions, or mice, for that matter. But someone this blinkered is immune to reason.
Not long ago I posted about a diner in North Carolina that gave a discount to customers who prayed before their meals: “Restaurant gives discounts to customers praying in public“. Reader “td” didn’t like my attitude:
Get a restaurant to give discounts to anyone who says “god is not real” or anything blasphemous and mind your own business.
We are minding our own business, unlike those who give discounts to those who pray. People like the owner of Mary’s Diner in Winston-Salem are enforcing their religious sentiments on others. That’s against the law, by the way, “td.” And of course giving discounts to atheists is just as illegal as giving them to those who pray.
Reader “Josephine Richardson,” who apparently runs the website evolutioniswrong.org, had her own theory for a biological observation I used in WEIT as evidence for evolution: the development of the vertebrate kidney. Her theory is quite amusing.
The kidneys of mammals like ourselves actually go through three stages during embryogenesis (these three stages are also seen in reptiles and birds). We begin with a pronephric kidney, which takes wastes out of the body cavity (coelom) and excretes them to the outside. In primitive fish like lampreys and hagfish, this is also the first kidney to form in embryos, and then continues on to form the adult kidney. In mammals, this kidney is, however, nonfunctional. So why does it form?
After another two weeks or so, the pronephric kidney is replaced by the embryonic mesonephric kidney, which takes wastes from the blood and excretes them to the outside through a pair of “Wolffian ducts.” This continues on to form the adult kidney in fish and amphibians, but is replaced in the bird, reptile, and mammalian embryo by yet a third kidney: the metanephric kidney, a revamped organ that also removes wastes from the blood and exxretes them through a pair of ureters.
This known to pre-Darwinian embryologists, but was explainable only by evolution: mammals, reptiles, and birds evolved from earlier animals that had different kinds of kidneys. Those kidneys still form in utero as vestigial remnants of the creatures’ ancestry (the mesonephros may have some excretory function in mammals, but the pronephros does not). Why would the creator operate this way, giving us three successive kidneys, one of which is of no use at all? The best explanation is simply that the succession of developmental stages reprises, transitorily, the genetic information of our ancestors, and in the temporal order in which that genetic information accumulated. (This is one example of “ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny,” a misunderstood concept that doesn’t always work—some stages simply don’t show up in embryos—but is sometimes seen, as in the development of kidneys.)
Another example I like to use of an embryological feature that is functionless, but serves as a marker of our ancestry, is the lanugo, a coat of hair that develops about 6 months into gestation in the human embryo, and then is shed before birth. There is of course no function for a hairy human fetus, as it’s already floating in warm fluid, and hair is useless in keeping us warm when we’re wet. The lanugo is simply a remnant of the coat of hair that our ancestors had when they were hairier primates. (Remember, we’re the only “naked ape.”) Other apes also develop that coat of hair in utero, but they keep it: young chimps, for example, are born hairy as hell. (Premature infants are sometimes covered with the lanugo, to the horror of their parents, but they quickly lose it.)
Well, this long introduction is by way of explaining Josephine Richardson’s alternative explanation. She sent a comment with her own divine explanation for bizarre features like the development of the vertebrate kidney, and tried to post it, curiously, on a “Readers’ wildlife photos” post.
Regarding your question in one of your posts as to why a creator would in human embryonic development give us three kidneys, the answer could go like this (to make a long story short, it makes more sense than yours): Since man (humans) are the crown of His creation, God mapped out his body plan or how he would function first. He subsequently proceeded to create everything else. This would mean fish, frogs, and all other living things were an after thought (they were created before man, but using the same ideas as the body plan of man). To be more clear, God created man first(by drawing him up like a dress designer or an architect), put him aside, and proceeded to create all other life forms which he presented as gifts for scientists as yourself to muse about (perhaps to keep you from being bored).
Yeah, that really makes sense! It sure explains why we have a transitory, nonfunctional prophepric kidney, and then another one, that just happens to resemble the kidney of embryonic fish and amphibians that becomes the adult kidney—before we wind up with the final kidney God gave us. Is her plan, which simply posits an unevidenced God, and then twiddles with Genesis to claim that God designed humans, but then created other stuff first before actuating our species, really parsimonious? And why would other things be designed on the ground plan of man? It’s just a mess, and it’s a testimony to the mental contortions that religious creationists go through that they see this kind of explanation as superior to that of evolution.
But wait! Ms. Richardson says she’s not a creationist! Not seeing her comment appear, she tried to post another one.
Did you get my comment on the why the Creator made our kidneys the way He did? I am not a creationist. I am a Jehovah’s Witness. Wonderful science articles can be found at http://www.jw.org. Please also read my personal website athttp://www.evolutioniswrong.org
I am currently working on new articles. Also, give me your opinion of my comments via facebook or email.My name is Josephine Richardson.
Not a creationist? Jehovah’s Witnesses are creationists! And if she’s not a creationist, what is all this business about God creating humans and designing other animals on our ground plan. Ms. Richardson is deeply, deeply confused.
Finally, “JERRY HUNDLEY” (yes, all caps) put this comment on Monday’s “Readers’ wildlife photographs” post (since when have these become a repository for craziness?):
If man would start with the truth of the Biblical account of creation they would be many billions of light years ahead so they can really explore the amazing truths of nature in this world!
Yeah, I guess so . .