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29 June 2009

Is It Scientifically Justifiable to Analyze the Evolution of Rape

07/18/2003 - http://www.creationsafaris.com/crev0703.htm
July 18 issue of Science.

Chan agrees that Thornhill and Palmer deserved to be criticized, but more on the basis that their work was bad science, not so much that it is improper to analyze human behaviors in terms of evolution. In his book review of a new book edited by Cheryl Brown Travis, Evolution, Gender and Rape (MIT Press, 2003), which takes a decidedly dim view of Thornhill and Palmer’s book, Chan feels the opposition goes overboard and throws out the baby with the bathwater (emphasis added in all quotes):

The failure of Evolution, Gender, and Rape does not lie in its wholly justified critiques of A Natural History of Rape, many of which are thoughtful, excellent, and well written. Rather, having found a legitimate sociobiological target for attack, too many contributors suggest that all efforts to understand any potential for evolved propensities or tendencies in human behavior can now be dismissed--tarred with the “you support rapists” brush. Politics are applied to damn all behavioral biology, even when issues such as power and mate choice can potentially be usefully explored in a biological context. But then, as many of the contributors claim, the biological context does not exist--at least not for humans, though fruit flies are (barely) given the benefit of the doubt. Evolutionary biology sensu Thornhill and Palmer (and probably that of some of the rest of us who work with the evolution of behavior) can be cast off as merely the rewriting of the political and gendered context within which we theorize. This may indeed be valid when it comes to arguments about the “natural history” of rape, but to dismiss all such attempts as belonging to the same class of thinking does a disservice to evolutionary biology in general.

Before this conclusion, Chan made it clear he thinks Thornhill and Palmer were bad guys, guilty of “bad theory, bad analysis, bad history, and bad writing.” And he emphatically answers no to the questions, “is rape a universal ‘male behavior’? Does it need to be examined from an evolutionary perspective?” Similarly, his answer is clearly no to the question, “If a behavior exists, does it by default require a just-so story in order to be understood?” He points out that rape is a behavior of a small minority of males who are usually ostracized, and that contrary to the image of the “predatory Pleistocene male, forcibly mating with unchoosy females,” female choice is a strong force in most populations:

Females do choose. They choose “nice” mates; parental mates; healthy, vigorous, mentally alert mates--be they fruit flies, blackbirds, zebra finches, elephants, or humans. That female choice would exacerbate the violent, unpredictable, political, and thuggish tendencies of the human rapist seems unlikely at best. Female choice is thus central to many of the arguments, both biological and sociological, here. It is a pity that the book does not explore this concept for its feminist contributions.

Against this background, Chan feels much of the new book “fulminates against any attempt to explore human behavior using evolutionary theory.” He agrees that criticisms of some of the “major excesses of evolutionary psychology” are justified. Yet he is concerned that an overreaction will diminish the useful work that some sociobiologists are doing, that can help shed light on human behavior. Describing something is not the same as endorsing it. Books like Evolution, Gender, and Rape undermine legitimate sociobiological work, and “Darwin becomes the class, gender, and societal enemy of the female people.”
P.C. Chan’s book review is entitled, “EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY: Reason, Rape, and Angst in Behavioral Studies.”

Female choice? What female choice? A female does not choose to be raped.
Chan is doing quick and vigorous spot-remover work. He wants evolutionary sociobiology to look spotless, free from any stains of sexism, racism, just-so storytelling, and political incorrectness. It’s interesting that Thornhill and Palmer’s book appears to have caused a reaction not just among evangelical Christians and feminists, but scientists who seem to be thinking, “This has gone too far!” A strong current of evolutionists question whether evolutionary sociobiology is valid at all.
Thus Politically Correct Chan, an evolutionary biological anthropologist, needs to work damage control, pronto. Human evolutionary sociobiology is not this dreadful, male-chauvinist, evil thing: why look, we study motherhood and apple pie. (One of his positive-spin examples is “John Bowlby’s ‘environment of adaptedness,’ a description of the dynamic process of interaction that establishes the relationship between mother and infant.”) We’re all for female choice, he says, and for “nice” mates. Don’t tar-and-feather all of us just because a few bad apples do bad work and write a bad book.
Yet the faults of evolutionary sociobiology are not spots to be removed, but the core beliefs comprising its essential fabric. If human behavior is no different in essence than that of fruit flies, blackbirds and elephants, and if we have all evolved from the same slime, two consequences ensue: (1) There is no ground for moral judgments that any behavior is wrong or evil; it is only adaptive or non-adaptive. Theoretically, therefore, rape could be an adaptive behavior for humans in some contexts. (2) There is no basis for knowing anything, because human intellectual analysis is no different in principle from chimpanzee or honeybee sensory stimulus and response. So neither Thornhill, Palmer or Chan can say that their theories about sociobiology are true. A corollary of this is that evolutionary descriptions of behavior are mere just-so storytelling.**
Notably, Chan does not dismiss rape as evil, but only as inconsequential in most populations because of the power of female choice and societal pressure. Then why be sensitive about charges of being tarred with the “you support rapists” brush? The reaction bespeaks an inner voice that says, we all know rape is evil.
The Natural History of Rape should have been a wake-up call to everybody that Darwinian thinking, at least as applied to humans, is dangerous. Thornhill and Palmer may have been culpable for poor scientific analysis and technique, but their core assumptions are no different than those of Chan, E. O. Wilson, and the contributors to Evolution, Gender, and Rape. Without a God on the throne saying Thou shalt not commit adultery and Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, or anything that is thy neighbor’s, anything goes. By granting pseudo-scientific rationalization for breaking the Ten Commandments, Darwin* becomes the class, gender, and societal enemy of not just the female people, but all the people.
*Darwin, in the sense of what his evolutionary theory has become, not the man himself.
**There they go again: Science Now just reported that a book on male transsexuals has created a firestorm between evolutionary psychologists, who praise J. Michael Bailey’s The Man Who Would Be Queen, and transsexuals, who say it does not portray them accurately as “women trapped in men’s bodies.” Does anybody deny that the world has gone mad?

23 June 2009

18 June 2009

Homology Does Not Prove Descent

Once again, another in a long chain of "transitional fossils" that supposedly "proves" macroevolution. Fossil Solves Mystery of Dinosaur Finger Evolution,

Bird wings clearly share ancestry with dinosaur "hands" or forelimbs. A school kid can see it in the bones. But paleontologists have long struggled to explain the so-called digit dilemma.

Here's the problem: The most primitive dinosaurs in the famous theropod group (that later included Tyrannosaurus rex) had five "fingers." Later theropods had three, just like the birds that evolved from them. But which digits? The theropod and bird digits failed to match up if you number the digits from 1 to 5 starting with the thumb. Theropods looked like they had digits 1, 2 and 3, while birds have digits 2, 3 and 4.

That mismatch failed to support the widely accepted evolutionary link between dinosaurs and birds.

Now, newly described fossilized hands from a beaked, plant-eating dinosaur, called Limusaurus inextricabilis, reveal a transitional step in the evolution of modern wings from dino digits. The finding could resolve a debate over which fingers ultimately became embedded in the wing.

In case anyone is interested, you can see a photo of the dinosaur's hand.

First, the hand. Look, let's be honest here. The same kind of thinking that leads palaeontologists to reconstruct entire proto-human skeletons on the basis of a couple of bones from an extinct peccary is what leads them to assume the presence of a "vestigial first finger" in L. inextricabilis. The thinking in question is called "wishful thinking", and has led many a palaeontologist down the wrong path with all kinds of other supposed "transitional fossils."

More to the point, however, is the unquestioned assumption that homology implies phylogeny - in other words, because two structures look similar, then they must be related. In this type of case, biologists usually assume that if structures between two creatures look homologous, then this must mean that either one is descended from the other, or they are descended from a common ancestor. By that logic, then this,


must be evolutionarily related. After all, they're both tall, they look similar, they have hollowed out spaces in their interiors, creatures live in them, etc.

Ridiculous, of course, but then again, so is this current claim about dinosaur hands as they relate to birds' wings. We don't know which dinosaur fingers evolved into those found in birds' wings, but some of them must have, otherwise our theories won't work anymore. That's called "proving the evidence by the theory", which is the opposite of what science is supposed to be about. The assumption of phylogeny from homology in this case, as with other "transition fossils" (like the much ballyhoed Tiktaalik) is entirely gratuitous. There's no reason for it, other than to make the data fit an a priori assumption about phylogeny. And quite frankly, the claim of "homology" (i.e. that the bones in birds' wings and dinosaur hands are structurally similar) in this case is....imaginative....at best.

Homology does not prove the transitional nature of this fossil, despite the claims of the article. From a strictly empirical viewpoint, homology - at best - can suggest that similar structures may be present in different species to perform similar functions. Homology does NOT disprove special creation, either. God is certainly free to have used similar designs across different species, if He intended. That's not a scientific argument, you say? True. But neither is the a priori assumption that evolution must have taken place, so it's okay to fit the data to the theory, instead of vice versa.

15 June 2009

Fossil Graveyards: the elephant in the living room

Have you ever been in a situation in which you and other people were talking about something, and everyone knew that there was something relating to that subject you and others were not suposed to mention? Evolutionists must feel that way when it comes to fossil graveyards.

Fossil graveyards happen when a large collection of fossils is found in the same place. The weirdness of such places is that sometimes the animals you find in there don't even live in the same habbit.

Another "weird thing" is that sometimes you find many whale fossils buried in such place. How do you fossilize one whale, let alone dozens of others, in the same place?

Everyone realizes that a catastrophic event is at the root of such fossil graveyards. The problem for evolutionists is that the Holy Bible mentions one worldwide catastrophic event that caused the death of the majority of land animals, and the vast majority of humans.

Knowing the Biblical conotations of such graveyard relics, and how a world wide flood totally destroys the mythical "million of years" needed for evolution, atheists and old earthers in general have to try to find another non-world-wide-flood explination. Usually it comes down to "We know it wasn't a major world wide catastrophy, but we don't know what it was!"

See, evolutionists live by faith.

13 June 2009

The Evolution of Tickling

[Just when you thought this theory couldn't get even sillier, we get this gem. Try not to laugh as you read it, ok? This is science!! ]


June 8, 2009 — Observation: orangutans seem to laugh when tickled. Conclusion: humans evolved laughter from our ape past. This is the story being promoted by the science news outlets. “At least 10 million years ago, our ancestors may have been laughing it up over the latest stone-age prank or bout of tickling,” announced Live Science.

New Scientist joined in the laugh fest, saying “Laughter is not uniquely human.... laughter dates back some 10 to 16 million years, to our common ancestor.” Science Daily aped this story, and as did the BBC News and Nature News. National Geographic was tickled with it and even included sound recordings so you could hear the laughter of a bonobo, chimp, gorilla, orangutan and a human child.

Each of these articles was accompanied by pictures of apes making funny faces – something that should have been known since the old Bonzo movies. None of the studies claims, though, that the apes laughed at the shaggy man joke.

National Geographic wins Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week for these punch lines:

But even the most casual listener can tell a human laugh from an ape laugh. Davila Ross points out that human laughter has distinct differences from ape laughter, most likely because humans have evolved much more rapidly than apes during the past five million years.
And at least one great mystery remains: What purpose does ape laughter serve?....
Primates have apparently packed a lot of laughter into the last 10 to 16 million years, but there’s a chance the chuckle originated even earlier: Tickle-induced “laughter” has also been reported in rats.
The idea remains controversial, but it could suggest that our funny bone evolved much closer to the trunk of mammals’ evolutionary tree.

Maybe those squeaks are funnier than people thought. But why stop with mammals? Parakeets seem to tell jokes to each other. Jungles are filled with screeches and whoops that might be interpreted as one big comedy show.

Isn’t The World’s Funniest Animals one of the most popular shows on Animal Planet? Robert Roy Britt extended the possibility of laughter to cats and dogs on MSNBC News but seemed to recognize a limit to interpreting the results: “Just because a bee buzzes, that doesn’t mean it’s laughing at you.”

So this is modern science at work: tickling animals to study the evolution of laughter. Suggestion: don’t try this on grizzly bears.

The storytelling continues (see 11/22/2005). It’s an endless joke at our expense. Don’t be surprised if one of them looks for the laughter gene in bacteria. Maybe these scientists should analyze why common-sensical people are laughing at them for taking themselves seriously.

Birds Didn’t Evolve from Dinosaurs

Original Link

June 9, 2009 — “The findings add to a growing body of evidence in the past two decades that challenge some of the most widely-held beliefs about animal evolution.” That statement is not being made by creationists, but by science reporters describing work at Oregon State University that cast new doubt on the idea that birds evolved from theropod dinosaurs. The main idea: their leg bones and lungs are too different.

Science Daily’s report has a diagram of the skeleton showing how the fixed femur is tied into the avian lung system. Birds use more oxygen than mammals.

Their flow-through lungs would collapse if the femur moved like it does in mammals, reptiles and dinosaurs. “It’s really strange that no one realized this before,” said Devon Quick, professor of zoology at OSU, speaking of the tie-in of the femur to the bird lung. “The position of the thigh bone and muscles in birds is critical to their lung function, which in turn is what gives them enough lung capacity for flight.”

His colleague John Ruben was equally surprised: “It’s really kind of amazing that after centuries of studying birds and flight we still didn’t understand a basic aspect of bird biology.” The article began, “The conclusions add to other evolving evidence that may finally force many paleontologists to reconsider their long-held belief that modern birds are the direct descendants of ancient, meat-eating dinosaurs.” Key paragraphs put this in context:

“For one thing, birds are found earlier in the fossil record than the dinosaurs they are supposed to have descended from,” Ruben said. “That’s a pretty serious problem, and there are other inconsistencies with the bird-from-dinosaur theories.
“But one of the primary reasons many scientists kept pointing to birds as having descended from dinosaurs was similarities in their lungs,“ Ruben said. “However, theropod dinosaurs had a moving femur and therefore could not have had a lung that worked like that in birds. Their abdominal air sac, if they had one, would have collapsed. That undercuts a critical piece of supporting evidence for the dinosaur-bird link.
A velociraptor did not just sprout feathers at some point and fly off into the sunset,” Ruben said.

For a claim dinosaurs had air sacs, see the 09/29/2008 entry. The OSU professors are not disbelieving in evolution. Birds and dinosaurs may have had a more distant common ancestor, they said: “It just seems pretty clear now that birds were evolving all along on their own and did not descend directly from the theropod dinosaurs, which lived many millions of years later.”
Oregon State has been at the forefront of challenging the dogma: “OSU research on avian biology and physiology was among the first in the nation to begin calling into question the dinosaur-bird link since the 1990s.” Doubts have also been raised at other institutions. Why has the story persisted? For one, “old theories die hard, Ruben said, especially when it comes to some of the most distinctive and romanticized animal species in world history.” Another reason is museum politics:

“Frankly, there’s a lot of museum politics involved in this, a lot of careers committed to a particular point of view even if new scientific evidence raises questions,” Ruben said. In some museum displays, he said, the birds-descended-from-dinosaurs evolutionary theory has been portrayed as a largely accepted fact, with an asterisk pointing out in small type that “some scientists disagree.”
“Our work at OSU used to be pretty much the only asterisk they were talking about,” Ruben said. “But now there are more asterisks all the time. That’s part of the process of science.”

That being the case, we can expect heated comeback arguments from those committed to the dominant view. Nevertheless, they will have to contend with the problem of evolving a fixed femur from dinosaurs who had a moving one – and in a shorter time than the fossil evidence allows.
The new work was published in the Journal of Morphology and was funded by the National Science Foundation, the article said. This story was also reported by PhysOrg and E! Science News. Time will tell if the other major science reporters pick it up. As of June 10, they did not, but Astrobiology Magazine did.

Sometimes the key to a story is in the asterisks. The OSU professors should be commended for going against a strong current of dogma in their field. Notice how many non-evidential factors producing that dogma were pointed out in the article: careers on the line, museum politics, romanticized notions, and old die-hard theories presented as fact. Those are the same non-evidential factors running rampant throughout King Charles’ domain. He’s the one that needs to go flying off into the sunset – with velocity.
The OSU profs saved their skin, though, by still pinching their incense to Caesar, claiming that the mythical “common ancestor” is just a little further back in the record, and that birds were “evolving in parallel” along with the dinosaurs. That’s all they can do – toss in a few more naturalistic, purposeless, chance miracles to keep the Bearded Buddha shrine operating. Now the museum workers are going to have to figure out what to do with all those feathers (01/21/2009, 07/09/2008, 06/13/2007, 02/08/2006). Maybe they can stick them on the wooly mammoths, as caricatured by Tom Weller in Science Made Stupid, a mandatory lesson on how evolutionary stories are propagated.

James von Brunn and Charles Johnson Have Something in Common

David Klinghoffer, who blogs over at Beliefnet, notices something interesting about the Holocaust Museum shooter James von Brunn - he's a rabid evolutionist fanboy.

Now isn't this fascinating. James von Brunn, the white-supremacist suspect in today's Holocaust Memorial Museum shooting in which the guard who was shot has now tragically died, describes the relevance of evolution to his sick thinking. He's obsessed with "genetics." He writes in his manifesto (emphasis added):

Approval of inter-racial breeding is predicated on idiotic Christian dogma that God's children must love their enemies (a concept JEWS totally reject); and on LIBERAL/MARXIST/JEW propaganda that all men/races are created equal. These genocidal ideologies, preached from the American pulpits, taught in American schools, legislated in the halls of Congress (confirming TALMUDIC conviction that goyim are stupid sheep), are expected to produce a single, superintelligent, beautiful, non-White "American" population. Eliminating forever racism, inequality, bigotry and war. As with ALL LIBERAL ideologies, miscegenation is totally inconsistent with Natural Law: the species are improved through in-breeding, natural selection and mutation. Only the strong survive. Cross-breeding Whites with species lower on the evolutionary scale diminishes the White gene-pool while increasing the number of physiologically, psychologically and behaviorally deprived mongrels. Throughout history improvident Whites have miscegenated. The "brotherhood" concept is not new (as LIBERALS pretend) nor are the results -- which are inevitably disastrous for the White Race -- evident today, for example, in the botched populations of Cuba, Mexico, Egypt, India, and the inner cities of contemporary America.

This wacko despises Christianity, too, though not quite as much as he does Judaism. Like Hitler in Mein Kampf, he draws lessons from his interpretation of Darwinism. He's very big on dangers to the Aryan "gene pool." The subtitle of his book promies: "A New Hard-Hitting Exposé Of The JEW CONSPIRACY To Destroy The White Gene-Pool."

Of course, Charles Johnson at LGF 1.0 is desperately trying to spin his way around this inconvenient fact. Spin it, baby.

Let's face it - James von Brunn was a leftist. We know from his own twisted writings that he hates Jews, Christians, Israel, "neo-cons", Bush, McCain, Fox News, globalisation, the Weekly Standard, and Bill O'Reilly. Despite all of this, the media and their enablers are still trying to run with the "right wing wacko" line, since, you know, von Brunn was a Neo-Nazi, and we all know that they're right-wingers!

Except that they're not.

Fascists, whether neo- or not, were and are supports of huge government statism. Hitler wanted to upend traditional German Christian society, and he was big on social spending and other accoutrements of the Left. Today's British National Party are avowed socialists as far as their domestic program ideas are concerned. Most Neo-Nazis since the 1980s have been on the Left - indeed, Leftists are and have been unwitting fellow travellers of the Neo-Nazi movement for decades.

People have remarked about how the case of von Brunn confuses the "left-right" dichotomy in politics. No, it doesn't. There is nothing rightist about von Brunn to begin with. Hating Jews is a leftist thing. While I am very saddened for the family of the guard who was shot and killed, this event has nevertheless had the unintended positive consequence of causing a goodly number of people out there to begin to question the tired old media meme of "right-wing extremists." Turns out the Neo-Nazis are LEFT-wing extremists who often sound like they could be writing for Daily Kos or the Huffington Post.

01 June 2009

Has-been jazz guitarist to pro-lifers: It's all your fault

As it was expected from the on going rethoric of Darwinst Rage Boy, pro-lifers are to be blamed for every single man claiming to be a pro-life who kills another man. In Darwin Boy's logic, being against abortion somehow generates abortion killers. I guess it's like being against creationism generates creationist-killers, right Charles?
But as we’ve shown here at LGF ["we"?? You mean YOU ALONE, right Darwin Boy?], Roeder also posted comments at anti-abortion websites, subscribed to anti-abortion magazines (including one that advocated the murder of doctors who perform abortions), and when he was arrested he had a Post-It note in his car containing the phone number of Operation Rescue. Exactly how do you qualify to have “connections to the pro-life” movement, if this doesn’t do it?
huh, by the simple fact that the pro-life movement doesn't endorse the killing of abortionists as a measure to stop abortions. (That wasn't hard to grasp, was it?) Name one oficial pro-life movement that defends the killing of abortionists.

Being pro-life means being PRO-LIFE, including the life of the abortionist. There is nothing in being pro-life that justifies the killing of eugenicist "doctors". The fact that some nutjobs walk among us and go about killing abortionists (something that is condemned by all major pro-life organizations) should not be as "evidence" that the movement itself endorses killing abortionists. But I guess that for someone who can't see the design in the living world, seeing the facts without the "religion is evil!" glasses must be hard.

Note to anti-abortion groups: man up and take responsibility for Scott Roeder.
Right after you evolutionists take responsiblity for 6 million dead jews, Ota Benga, the killing of australians (seen as the "missing links"), the killing of millions of unborn babies, the cirurgical castration of "undesirables", Margaret Sanger (the liberal evolutionist woman who created Planned Parenthood as means to "exterminate the negro population"), and many other things that social DARWINISM brought to society.

When will you darwinists take responsibility for that?

As for pro-lifers taking responsibility for Roeder: sure. We will take it when he does something that is in agreement with our values and purposes. Meanwhile, we deflect your "note" and sent him back to you.

Obviously, not everyone who belongs to a “pro-life” group will go to such extreme lengths as Scott Roeder apparently did, but it’s long past time for you folks to start dialing down the rhetoric and acting more responsibly — before anyone else is hurt or killed in a shooting or an abortion clinic bombing.
There is no need to "dial down the rethoric". Our rethoric works very well. Too bad that not everyone who claims to be one of us doesn't act in agreement with what we believe.

I guess it's people like you who should take responsibility for other humans taking the law into their hands. Roeder's actions are more in line with those who think that morality is decided by humans rather then those who know that morality is decided by God.

Nice try in trying to blame ALL the pro-life movement for the actions of those who act against the purposes of the movement. Nice try, I repeat, but it doesn't work.

One more thing: Since when you get your talking points from Andrew Sullivan, the ultra-liberal?

Moral advices from has-been jazz guitarist

It's a crazy world when someone who bans people for disagreeing with him thinks that he has the authority to give moral advices to pro-lifers. Does Darwinist Rage Boy actually live in his own bubble or does he expect people to have a short memory?

Abortionist "Dr" George "Mengele" Tiller has been killed by what seems to be a pro-lifer. Pro-life organizations universily condemned the attack with no "buts" or "ifs", as muslims do when one of their own brother comits (yet another) terror attack. However, as it is saddly normal, there are people from the pro-life movement (which, by the way, seems to be a movement whose views is shared by the majority of americans) who will act silly and inhumane.

In the best interess of Tiller's family, the pro-lifers should not gloat over the death of the abortionist. It's a good thing that he won't be killing anymore babies, but I wish he had stopped on hiw own accord and not from his death. The abortionist is facing eternal judgement right now, so justice is done. We should, however, be very careful with words because liberals like has-been jazz guitarist will cling to those words and malign all the pro-life enterprise. Look at what he says:

Shame on all you people who are gloating and partying over a murder that took place inside a church. And you call yourselves “Christians?” What the hell is wrong with you?
First of all, mr has-been jazz guitarrist, who are you to point the finger? Aren't you the one who bans people for the "sin" of not sharing your liberal views? Secondly, where were you when "Dr" Tiller was murdering innocent babies? Who died and made you a moral authority to judge Christian behaviour?

Let me make this clear: I hope that the man who killed "Dr" Tiller is tried and convicted for killing a human being, however I don't think that pro-abortion liberals have the moral authority to point the finger at anyone.

One more thing: since, suposedly, we are the result of an (unproven) evolutionary process, and not from the creative act of God, what makes your moral decisions better than the moral decisions of the guy who killed the hell-bound abortionist? If there is no God, everyone's moral decisions are equally valid since there is no absolute way to determine right from wrong, apart from our own personal, subjective opinions.

Come off your high horse, has-been jazz guitarist. You don't have the authority to point the finger at anyone.


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