Tuesday, July 8, 2008

AiG needs a lesson in biology

Answers in Genesis has this thing up on their website that I stumbled across when I ran a google search on "liger." (I was trying to remember if a liger was a male lion and female tiger or male tiger and female lion; it's the first one) But this brings up an interesting point; they fundamentally misunderstand (or misrepresent) what the classification systems are used for and are engaged in intellectual dishonesty. While I do occasionally make an argument against a straw man of their claims, it generally is for humor, and I hope my audience understands that I was putting up a straw man for humor rather than intellectual discussion. It is doubtful his straw man arguments were for the same purpose.

They use the hybrids (the heterozygous sex is sterile, I might add) as examples of "kind." This is probably the most annoying part about it because they imply because they are the same "kind" and they can produce hybrids, then they violate what scientific classifications say and somehow do not violate their classifications. In biology, we have this handy little set of rules for classification, and when things don't work, we know WHY they don't work and that usually, we won't have to worry about it. When it is a problem, we bring it to the attention of everyone and try to find a solution, not attempt to put forth these arguments as to why we were right all along. When evidence goes against what the young-earth creationists say, the pseudointellectual tapdancing beings.

So, here's why we don't have to worry about hybrids of most species (not including domestic/wild hybrids). When you have an uneven number of chromosomes, as many hybrids do, gametogenesis stops; viable gametes are not formed, animal is sterile. This lack of reproductive viability is part of the reason why two separate species present in the same local don't fuse into a single species. In most other hybrids, the heterozygous sex is sterile.

Now for the non-sterile hybrids which are "the same created kind." This is probably the biggest non-sequitur and tautology I have yet to read which blows up in their faces upon further analysis. Simply because they can hybridize and are reproductively viable, they are the same "kind"? I'm still trying to figure out how you define a "kind" aside from another category. They are the same "kind" because they can hybridize and they can hybridize because they are the same "kind"? Then how is it you conclude that these "kinds" were created? The ONLY conclusion you can draw from hybrids is that the two species in question can produce a hybrid.

Now, they imply that these "kinds" were "created" at some point about 6000 years ago, which is completely fallacious for a number of reasons, namely that many, if not most or all of these "species" would need much longer (multiply by at least 5) than 6000 years of total isolation to develop the degree of genetic difference they have now. Lions and tigers, for example, diverged at least 30,000 years ago (that's just going from the African Lion to Cave Lion with a super-conservative estimate, the real number is more like 300,000, tigers diverged long before). So this means that even if these "kinds" were "created," the "creation" would have needed to be more than 294,000 years before they say it does. That's not a small number, physically modern humans have only been on earth for 250,000 years. Hell, Neanderthals used glue 50,000 years ago; did their god set this all in motion because it needed a way to hold two thing together before creating the universe? Or did this god need a really good glue like the ones the Sumerians invented 7300 years ago and it took 1,300 years to get off of its lazy ass to make the universe? (see the straw man? I see no need to knock it down)

So, I'm going to do some reading on this author and see what comes up...

...Well, that's done, after I continued digging into the life of one Don Batten; it's kind of funny, his research is dull, his arguments are silly, and I'm pretty sure he's full of more shit than the port-o-lets after a college football game. Check out his publications! For someone in the field of AGRICULTURAL research, he didn't do much... But I digress, his articles on this website are mixes of intellectual dishonesty, more of it, and some complete nonsense thrown in. Seriously, information content in a genome? Methinks this guy, one Lee Spetner, intentionally set up a very complex straw man. After some checking, I was right, most of this guy's claims are as devoid of claims as postmodern literature. Read his articles though, they're pretty funny.

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