The biggest reaction I ever got from this blog was when I stated my opinion that the evidence for evolution is bullshit. Thanks to recent news, it’s time to make that case again, but this time more clearly.
I confess that my writings on this topic in the past have been difficult to comprehend because so much cognitive dissonance kicks in when the average person encounters this topic. This time I plan to fix that by stating my points as clearly as possible.
First, when I say “the evidence for evolution is bullshit,” I’m NOT saying any of the following:
1. Evolution isn’t a scientific fact.
2. All evidence for evolution is false.
3. God created the earth.
What I’m saying is that the evidence for evolution that is available to the casual person of interest, including most students, is simplified to the point of being misleading, false, or useless. In other words, the popular argument for evolution is bullshit, independent of the underlying reality of evolution or the evidence available to experts in the field.
This article on the new complexities of the human evolutionary tree makes my case better than I do.
I remember learning in school about the neat line of human descent and wondering how we can be so sure about that from the relatively few fossil discoveries. It looked like bullshit to me. And now we have a better idea that it was. Some of the most basic so-called facts of human evolution were wrong, it seems. Tools were used before brains got bigger, we walked upright at the same time we did a lot of tree swinging, etc.
Proponents of evolution will angrily argue the following points that I will acknowledge first just to piss them off:
1. Science is dynamic and revises itself. That is its strength. Yay, science!
2. Revising details of evolution doesn’t mean evolution didn’t happen.
3. There is a mountain of good information for evolution.
4. Scott Adams is not a trained scientist. That’s why he doesn’t understand evolution.
5. The stuff in that article has been known to scientists for a long time.
That’s all true, I’m sure. It also has nothing to do with my point. My point is that the average non-scientist has been fed a diet of suspicious evidence for evolution for decades. And much of it turns out to be bullshit. It smelled like bullshit and it was.
My best guess for why scientists get to see the good evidence and non-scientists see bullshit is because we wouldn’t have the training or brains to understand the good stuff. So scientists in the know have two problematic choices when trying to defend their views on evolution:
1. Provide no evidence and let the masses believe God created the universe and scientists are idiots.
2. Simplify the evidence to the point of being bullshit so the gullible masses will buy it.
When you factor in the simplifications the media adds to the mix, and the uncorrected errors in textbooks, the honest errors of interpretation, the rare but publicized frauds, and the scientists looking to make names for themselves by discovering missing links, it would be a frickin’ miracle if the evidence I see for evolution wasn’t bullshit. The system virtually guarantees it.
You don’t need to give me links to web sites that “do an excellent job of answering all your questions.” I’ve been there. They don’t address my point in this post. All they do is point out that scientists themselves have convincing evidence for evolution that non-scientists don’t understand. I’m not debating that point in this post.
My other argument about evolution is that time is an illusion, which makes evolution nothing but a point of view with some utility, and not a feature of reality. But that’s a different argument.