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Where is the evidence?

Published April 7th, 2013 by Bobby Henderson

Here’s a video that has been making the rounds.   Richard Dawkins shows great patience in interviewing Creationist Wendy Wright.  I find it painful to watch but also fascinating.



455 Responses to “Where is the evidence?”

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  1. Brandon says:

    I think before we all jump on the band wagon here it must be said that we just don’t yet know what the truth is, It is for science to lead the way in the quest for the answers to our origins and what makes us human. In much the same way that religious dogma has to a larger extent swayed the perception and development of our collective past, we must be cautious of repeating the same mistakes in science. I am disappointed at the apparent lack of general tolerance towards many of you with seemingly bias attitudes be it for or against these two schools of thought. the current reality that we face is that we are staring at myriad of possible outcomes to this long pondered question, I would like to think that we have the capacity to accept an as yet unsubscribed truth, without clambering like needy children for one or other ideological safety net.

    • TheFewTheProudTheMarinara says:

      Science is NOT making the same mistakes as religious dogma.
      1. It is perfectly willing to admit to errors and change its perceptions.
      2. It does not demand that people adhere to the latest hypotheses or risk damnation or death.
      3. Its hypotheses and theories are built on rigorously inspected and tested ideas.
      4. Scientists do not clog the airwaves with hucksters trying to separate the deluded and the desperate from their money.
      5. Believers in opposing scientific theories may attack each other verbally, but not with bombs and rifles.

      • Eirik Jensen Opland says:

        I largely agree with your principles as ideals of how a scientist ought to behave – what makes them scientist-like.

        However, people who are scientists are also just people, with political agendas that they may prioritize before the truth. This is why it is so critical when Dawkins says to go and see for oneself. Don’t take his word for it, don’t even respect his opinion as a valid perspective beyond it’s agreement with reality as it can be observed by yourself.

        And of course, a completely scientific mindset is not at odds with aggressive behavior as such (c.f. your point 5). A scientist may well choose to cloud reality for others in order to accomplish what they want. It is not a lack of a scientific mindset that inspires generals to hide their intelligence from the enemy in a war. However, unlike religious people, people with a scientific mindset cannot be willing hide reality from _themselves_. Ignoring evidence in order to support ones own faith that does not agree with the evidence, is distinctly unscientific in nature.

        The interview was really quite a display of obsession on the part of Wendy Wright, of course. However, there were a couple of things that disappointed med about Richard Dawkins too, although now I am nitpicking on a man I admire enormously:
        – I was disappointed that Dawkins introduced the topic of hidden agendas. Of course Wright may have a hidden agenda, and of course Dawkins may have one too. But accusations of hidden agendas took up too much time, and although Wright must take most of the blame for that, I think Dawkins could have controlled the discussion even better. Having said that, his patience was impeccable and the fact that he succeeds at keeping a straight face is quite extraordinary.
        – Another thing that disappointed me was that the discussion repeated itself so much over the topic evidence. Of course Wright makes it almost impossible to lead this discussion onto a constructive track with her meandering between asking ~”Where is the evidence? We just don’t see any at all.”~ (no direct reference, but the gist of what she said) and her dissatisfaction of the volume of the evidence.

        A constructive discussion of what Wright thinks would constitute sufficient evidence could have been interesting. Exactly how large a percentage of fossils would she expect would be intact from the different ages of the alleged evolutionary history, and how much of it can one expect to find with our current capacity for exploration? Without coming up with reasonable figures for this, one is bound to run into a yes-no-yes-no-yes-no-discussion.

        Of course, such an effort might be totally in vain, just like Dawkins efforts at explaining to her how genetic variation is a prerequisite for evolution at all. Wright rejects arguments for evolution wholesale, rather than trying to understand what she’s actually rejecting. Nevertheless, Dawkins had to choose which avenues to pursue, and I think pursuing the avenue quantifying the fossil record vs the expected fossil record could have challenged her perspective even more effective then repeating the fact that she didn’t acknowledge those fossils of recent human ancestors.

        Of course, here I am suggesting detailed modifications to an almost impossible discussion. Dawkins is impressive for the fact that his head din’t explode. :-)

        • Keith says:

          I think that Wendy Wright’s requirements for sufficient evidence would vary with whatever is thrown at her. The fact that 99.999% of everything that dies does not conveniently die in an ideal environment for fossilisation, or that if it does, it is now under hundreds of tons of rock or hundreds of feet of water should be blindingly obvious to anyone who has done minimal research on the subject of the fossil record. I might be inclined to direct her to a site like this http://chem.tufts.edu/science/evolution/horseevolution.htm which covers the well explored evolution of the horse but I don’t think it would have any impact on her thinking.

        • Chris says:

          I started out watching this video with a certain amount of amusement, but after a short time I started to dislike it. I was disappointed with Dawkins in that I felt this interview seemed to be verging on a form of self gratification for Dawkins. There is nothing new in this debate. The goal of science is to define and continually redefine our model/understanding of the universe. Belief is irrelevant, only knowledge through observation is relevant. One of the difficulties scientists face is that our observations are influenced by our preconceived notions of reality (i.e. the current state of our model) and so a scientist must be dedicated to truth. They must continually re-evaluate their observations in order to validate them, and through this process grow the model. A religious person has petrified their model. They have drawn a line in the sand and are unwilling to go beyond. They can no longer contribute to the growth of human perception, they are the living dead. And so this video is useless. He may as well have been talking to a brick.

          I may be contradicting myself slightly here, but as our bodies have evolved through the process of natural selection, it is clear to me that the human consciousness is a side effect of this process and therefore has also been evolving in a similar way. As in physical evolution it is the mutation, the mistakes that take us forward, and the same is true in perception. The ideas that break the model are also those that allow it to grow. This means then that all people regardless of the state of their model are of value to the process. We need chaos in thought just as we need chaos at a biological level. Yet in saying that I still think the video has no value since Wright’s perception of reality is a cul-de-sac in the evolution of the human consciousness.

    • Apprentice Frederic says:

      @Brandon, your urging for caution does you great credit, but, that having been said, tFtPtM’s summary is right. Science isn’t an orthodoxy to be accepted or rejected, it is the one effective way we’ve found to make progress – however tentative – in understanding the great questions you’ve mentioned. That way itself has developed slowly, at least on a human-lifetime scale, but it does NOT amount to waiting for yet another Messiah to reveal the whole of an as-yet unsubscribed truth.

  2. Weismonger says:

    Calculatedly, the Christian Taliban began in the 1960s to separate their children from getting an education based on reality, facts, and reason. Why? Because in the 1960s, the Religious Right (who keep detailed church attendance records) figured out that they were losing members.

    Thus, the only answer was to create church schools, and religion-based home schooling curriculums that separated children from science. Science has become to be perceived by the religious as being a tool of the devil to keep children from knowing and loving Jesus.

    When someone meets one of the church or religious home schooled children, it becomes obvious that they have no idea how or why water boils; or how old the earth is; or where dinosaurs came from, and a 1000 other facts related to a normal, 6th grade science education. Many of these church and home-schooled kids are both hostile, but yet curious about the world, and “why” we think differently than they do. They have one thing in common in their ignorance in that they are completely unprepared for life or the real world.

    When asked to “prove” their statements such as just how did water covered the entire earth and where did this water come from….in Noah’s time, they cannot do it rationally. Or, they simply believe without question what their creationist preachers tell them is the answer (god held this water in underground caves…).

    I dare say these children of the religioius will remain under employed, uneducated, and vote for the dumbest most religious howling Christian candidate on the GOP ticket.

    Science corrects and improves what it knows…religion demands belief. But know this:

    Science is to religion…as Sunshine is to Vampires….Poof! Gone.

    • Dewald says:

      Shocking generalizations Weismonger.
      Please quote statistics which prove that children of the religious are under employed and uneducated. On what are you basing your assertion that these children don’t know how waters boils. The children do know where dinosaurs came from. They are taught that God made them the same way he made you and me.
      Mabey they are taught this because in actual fact, you cannot answer the question about where dinosaurs came from yourself. If you can, I am all ears. I suspect it goes something like this. Life started in the primordial sludge. Gradually, over time, these simple life forms, through lots and lots and again lots of luck, became more and more complex. And somewhere along the line, we got dinosaurs.
      Your anti religious propaganda paints a better picture of yourself than it does of those you are targeting.

      • TheFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

        Want proof? Look at the non-secular countries of the Middle East. High unemployment and stunning lack of education. Go to the average man (women haven’t been given even a chance!) in Yemen or Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan and see how much real science they know.

      • TiltedHorizon says:

        Well…. if you want something to read: http://www.gallup.com/poll/142727/religiosity-highest-world-poorest-nations.aspx

        • Pete Byrdie says:

          Playing devil’s advocate, correlation doesn’t mean causation. It could be that poorer folk are more emotionally dependant on religion, or that some factors promote both poverty and religion.

        • Keith says:

          Pete is probaly right. People are poor to start off with and with no prospects of a better life they eagerly grasp at the hopes of a better deal in the afterlife, or of being rescued by divine intervention. When the area I live in became a seriously economically depressed area the Ivan Jellycals set up a church and a creche. Our local Uniting Church closed down. It would be interesting to know how many more converts the fundies made. I wonder if the more rabidly fanatical the church, the more likely it is situated in a depressed area. Of course, you need money to be a Mormon or a Scientologist but believing in delusions costs nothing.

  3. Playfulmadnes says:

    Does any body truley belive that there is a giant flting spagetti monsters!?!?! If there was, I’d be afraid he would eat me…. I mean…. WFt.

    • Keith says:

      No: He would simply embrace you in His noodley appendages. The worst thing that would happen is that you would be licking sauce from your body for a week.

    • TheFewTheProudTheMarinara says:

      WFt? WTF?

  4. Craig08108 says:

    After viewing this, I realize that no amount of evidence would sway Wendy from her views. Two things bother me. 1. She has basically said Creative Design needs to be taught in schools because a greater being created us. I oppose that idea because it is teaching a religious view in our public schools. Since when were her “Christian” beliefs the best for all. With so many religions, how does she know what is the best view to teach. There should be separation of church and state. Believe what you wish, but don’t force others to believe it. and 2. At the end she seems to be pushing for a society that “she believes” is best for everyone else. Sounds like her way or the highway. We have heard that idea before (like with Hitler or Communism or even the “Church”) and look where that got the world. I believe one of our founding fathers said something like, “All men would be dictators.” He needed to add women also.

    • Atsap Revol says:

      Evangelicals like Wendy would, if they could, mandate the inclusion of Intelligent Design or Creationism in science classes in public schools. They have every right to believe unsupportable nonsense if they wish, but they do not have a right to inflict their narrow views on all children. In America, they can teach their beliefs in their homes, in their churches, in their parochial schools, or from a soapbox on their church’s property. That’s enough outlets.

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  7. Paul Greene says:

    That religion is a cancer for our civilization is certainly a fact. The sooner we get rid of it, by the way of enlightenment, the better for the future of our planet. Unfortunately, individuals like Richard Dawkins are luring man into the trap of another belief system, the one they disingenuously put the label “Science” on it. Is this a deliberate act of deception, do they keep pushing evolution against religion until we have something we can really call science, or is it simple a case of ignorant scientists (yes, there is such thing) with ambitions of self-glorification who like to be seen as the hero of the day and to enjoy all benefits that come attached with the position.

    That said, it is very easy to figure out on your own why Darwinian evolution is a myth with no bases in reality. To begin with, the fact that a chimpanzee’s genes are too similar to ours is just one of the dozens of huge problems with the theory of evolution. Similar genes do not explain the differences, so what do you do now.

    Similar genes does not mean we have evolved from apes. It’s like the Lego game. We use the same pieces to built different objects. Same genes were used to build different life forms.

    You do not have to be a molecular biologist or a geneticist to figure out that Darwinian evolution does not make any kind of sense. All you need to do is to look at the male and female anatomy and physiology, and ask yourself the following question: how was it possible to have male sex organs in one body shaped to work with female sex organs in a different body by the way of natural selection? How comes that specific male reproduction physiology is designed to operate in conjuncture with specific female physiology, all that supposedly accomplished during an alleged process of adaptation to changes in the environment? Not every one of us is proficient in genetics, but anyone could take a moment and seek to understand what every one of us can observe.

    Since everything in the universe, life forms included is energy and information, the only science that could explain the origin of everything is quantum physics. It also explains something positivists materialists scientists like Richard Dawkins deny existing: the spiritual aspect of reality. The material is a form of low-frequency energy, and Einstein made that very clear for us. The spiritual is not ghosts and poltergeists, as suggested by Dawkins, but a form of super-fine energy that vibrates at a very high frequency. These is where to source code for everything material comes from. That is Plato’s world of Forms, a world that has preponderance over the so-called material world, and which is actually the only real world. You cannot understand the material if you deny the existence of what we call “the spiritual.” When conditions were ripe on our planet, more complex source codes would manifest in the material.

    There is no such thing as evolution of the material, and biology, genetics, and quantum physics more than attest to that. In the end, both religion and the materialist scientist accomplish the same thing: they keep man ignorant of his spiritual aspect, the only one that matters. That false perception of reality is the source of the state of crisis we have been experiencing for thousands of years now. In the end, this is how you control man: by keeping him ignorant of his true potential and purpose. (www.atimeofchange.net)

    • Atsap Revol says:

      At last, an all inclusive statement of truth. Thank you Paul Greene for revealing our true spiritual potential and purpose here on earth. Now I can understand how quantum pirates are involved in global warming.

      Atsap Revol, Convert to New Age Thought

    • Rev. Linguine says:

      “The spiritual is not ghosts and poltergeists, as suggested by Dawkins, but a form of super-fine energy that vibrates at a very high frequency”. This is surely an exciting idea. Could you please point to some evidence for this ? And what exactly is meant by “super-fine energy” (as opposed to not-so-fine energy) ? And how do you measure its frequency ?

      • Atsap Revol says:

        Rev. Linguine, I also am interested in the definition of “medium-fine energy” and “supercalifragilisticexpealidocous-energy.” The latter being the spiritual energy that allows Mary Poppins to fly with only the aid of an umbrella. I’m sure Paul Greene will be right back with a post that clarifies and supports his beliefs. I eagerly await his response to your questions.

        • SillyKiwiMan says:

          I always had a sneaking suspicion that Mary Poppins would open her umbrella, then release a sustained silent fart. The heat of said fart causes it to rise, creating an updraught that would then be caught by the brolly. Due to the uptight nature of toffs able to afford singing nannies, any odours would just be politely ignored.

          I’ve been testing my theory, but every time I grab an umbrella and get that ol’ look of concentration, Wifey yells at me. I told her I must test this inside, in cade it works too well & I fly off unexpectedly. She’s not buying it.

        • Keith says:

          SKW: Your experiment did not work because of the following:
          1) You generated bad luck by opening an umbrella indoors. This was a mistake from the word go
          2) The fundamental laws of umbrellaness state that as umbrellas are associated with the water element (cold and winter) they are are also associated with the bladder and kidney. Logically, when attempting to fly using an umbrella you should pee yourself.
          3) Shovels are associated with earth, which in turn is associated with the spleen and stomach. As wind comes from the stomach you should learn to fly using a shovel. A nine pronged rake or an as-you-wish iron staff is also acceptable if you wish to call down clouds.

  8. SillyKiwiMan says:

    Troll or idiot?

    I can’t bring myself to check out the link. I’m worried it’d make me vomit. I loathe people who use QM in a feeble attempt to push a pseudo-spiritual agenda.

    • Keith says:

      I did check the link. The website just posits a series of claims with no evidence. It’s a great site for crystal worshippers.

      • SillyKiwiMan says:

        I have a lovely bridge over a certain harbour that’s for sale cheap. Perhaps they’d be interested.

    • Apprentice Frederic says:

      To paraphrase Dorothy Parker, Appwentice Fwedewic did fwow up…

      • Keith says:

        Bluff, hearty pirates wouldn’t have been so nice. They would have said that Aaaarprentice Frederick would be shitting through his teeth.

      • TheFewTheProudTheMarinara says:

        She also may have said “Priests don’t make passes at pirates who wear cutlasses”.

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