Evolution of the gaps


“Evil isn’t the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it’s a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference.”
― Jim Butcher, Vignette

I contend some people attend bad schools or get a poor education. And I am unable to tell whether the author of evolution of the gaps is jesting or is being serious.

I am not sure I have read anyone who writes

I don’t know how it happened so it must be evolution

so I may have to widen my reading.

There is a difference between

Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose – Richard Dawkins

and concluding the world is designed. They are worlds apart.

A retelling of Paley’s watchmaker argument, in this case, as

Let’s say Atheist Scientist Sam is walking along in the jungle. Lots of organic life mingling together in one place. Awesome! Now let’s say that Sam comes across a wall with “Andrew is a Sexy Tiger. Rawr” engraved in it. Why doesn’t he say, “My! What a marvel of evolution!

is fallacious. An engraving on a wall is recognizable as human endeavour. From experience, Sam knows only humans write or engrave walls. He can’t for a moment think it was evolution that resulted in those words. So the theist who trots this argument either hasn’t read the objections to the watchmaker argument or simply acting dumb. I will go with dumb.

And Dawkins doesn’t say

Simply put, things that appear to be designed, even as Dawkins admits, have a designer.

To talk of something being designed, you must at least know or have a way of knowing the end to which the thing is designed. I have seen beautiful natural landscapes that have resulted from erosion but would seem to have been designed. What are we to say about them?

When we see things that appear to be designed, it is reasonable to always remember, it is appearance. We shouldn’t infer from appearance to being.

A stupid man’s report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.”
― Bertrand Russell

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

43 thoughts on “Evolution of the gaps

  1. archaeopteryx1 says:

    Love the Wodehouse quotation!

    Like

  2. I love the quotes too. I wonder, who designed the idiot? If I ever find the person, I’m gonna have words with em. There is far too much of his design running around loose.

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  3. john zande says:

    That Russel quote reminds me of this:

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  4. Joseph Wahome says:

    The irony with some of these “Argument from Design” guys is that they miss the fact that they themselves are some of the best arguments AGAINST intelligent design. They are so incredibly dense that there is no way that an intelligent being could have created them.

    Like

  5. A Guy Without Boxers says:

    A very astute assessment of stupidity! Great look-out! Have a great week! 🙂

    Like

  6. Stupid is tiring. And sadly your first quote is accurate. It is destructive.

    What was the Wodehouse quote? I like Wodehouse.

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  7. mclasper says:

    Well, maybe animals do have a designer; a natural mechanism called evolution. It ‘designed’ animals in a metaphorical sense, but it is certainly not an intelligent designer, just like the Big Bang ‘designed’ the universe.
    The idea that everything was designed by a God is false, impossible to prove and even if something was designed it wouldn’t mean that it was the Christian God.

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  8. ejwinner says:

    Things that appear to be designed tell us that that the human brain evolved to find patterns in things. Period.

    Russell quote says it all.

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  9. emmylgant says:

    You fell of my WP Reader screen Noel!
    and I was getting worried.
    Stoopid me didn’t think to check the reader…
    Anyway, I’m glad you’re still battling ignorance out there. And I like the Russell quote. Hugs.

    Like

  10. shelldigger says:

    Thanks for posting this Mak. It sums up my feelings on the stoopid.

    We are walking through a minefield of morons. Most of them are impervious to knowledge, facts, and reason. Incapable of thinking for themselves, they parrot their conditioning. And only look for and cling to things that they believe support their position. They also conveniently discard and ignore anything that threatens their conditioning. (In the case of the determinism argument, I could be talking about myself here…)

    When I see people like this I often wonder how we got this far as a species. We would still be in the stone age if it weren’t for the few innovators, thinkers, and brilliant humans through history, who were kind enough to drag the rest of society along with them.

    …and every single day there are those working to destroy the gains we have made.

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    • makagutu says:

      Stupid is everywhere, and they are many.

      When I see people like this I often wonder how we got this far as a species.

      thinking came later when we already knew how to live. That is how.

      Like

  11. Hey there! My point was not that it’s something we know humans to create, but more so that the most logical inference that we can make when something appears to be designed is that it is. It’s the complexity that drives the inference. We know that vastly complex interworking things don’t happen by chance unless we assume that evolution did it. If evolution did it, then each step needs to be explained. Otherwise, we need something that can make irreducible motors that is itself irreducible.

    I just thought I’d chime in, though most people who call people idiots aren’t interested in having a discussion. Hope that’s not you!

    Thanks for the blog!

    Like

    • makagutu says:

      Hello Andrew,
      First, am hardly interested in engaging creationists of whatever flavour.
      Two, your argument implies there are things that are not designed and that others have the appearance of design. You are concluding that because there is an appearance, so it must be, a conclusion which is erroneous.
      What do you mean when you say happen by chance?

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    • archaeopteryx1 says:

      …the most logical inference that we can make when something appears to be designed is that it is.” – I disagree with your opinion, Andrew, and that’s what it is. As a matter of fact, we humans evolved to see agency where there is none, which is why we see shapes in the stars and the clouds. The Early Man who heard the wind rustle the grass and believed it to be a tiger, lived longer to pass on his genes (or his learned behavior patterns) than the man who heard a tiger rustle the grass and believed it to be the wind.

      It’s the complexity that drives the inference. We know that vastly complex interworking things don’t happen by chance unless we assume that evolution did it. If evolution did it, then each step needs to be explained.

      I strongly suggest you read Richard Dawkins’ The Ancestor’s Tale

      Like

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