Thursday, 10 March 2011

Creation Watch - Harun Yahya - report by The Plashing Vole

This report from here;

Anti-science live!

Oktar Babuna and Cihat Gundogdu of extremist group Harun Yahya claim that they're credible because they've studied at Imperial, NYU and California University medical schools. Not in biology, I notice. I wonder if their MDs are from these institutions. Anyone know how to find out?

Here are some transitional fossils for you:

Adnan Oktar's already been stated as the reason they're here. First speaker attacks Darwinism as communist, racist, capitalist, atheist and fascist (busy man, if slightly confused).

On to Dawkins immediately and Gould: Darwin attacked as the origin of modern atheism. So we're not here for evolution at all: we're here for religious propaganda (surprise). Materialism = ancient Greek = atheism. Claims that scientific findings will prove that nature is created. 'Outdate materialist dogmas' will have to give way.

Moves straight to Social Darwinism and claims it's rooted in Darwin: totally untrue. 'Survival of the fittest' isn't - as the speaker claimed - 'the law of the jungle'. It's about adaptation to niches.

Onto communism. Quotes Marx's approval of Darwin. Now claims that Darwinism is about conflict and so is Marxism. Again - wrong on the Darwin. Wonder when the supposed science is going to turn up?

Now we're on to Lenin. Claims communism collapses without Darwinism, which 'inevitably leads to communism, which inevitably leads to Leninism, which inevitably leads to terrorism'. Quotes Lenin's plan for revolution, as though revolutionary situations are somehow permanent.

Now it's Stalin. There's still no mention of evolutionary science. But Darwinism was taught in the USSR (er… Lysenko actually took over, terribly) and millions were killed 'because of the ideas of Darwinism'.

But it's not just the communists: fascists are Darwinists too. Apparently Hitler's 'My Struggle' is completely Darwinist. Charles Darwin was a racist too, apparently. (By our standards - by his time's standards, he was actually quite progressive). Darwin, I accept, was limited by his context - but that doesn't make the evolutionary model untrue. It shows that the scientist who discovered it was flawed.

'Because of Darwinism… more than 350 million people were killed in the twentieth century'. The fundamental concept is… fighting those who were not one of us… religions are about compassion, mercy, love, justice and tolerance… killing innocent people is forbidden'.

Funny: I was under the impression that genocide was rather older than religion.

'Every terrorist is a Darwinist'.

Now he claims to be on to the science: raises intelligent design immediately. BINGO. And fully-formed fossils. That didn't take very long.

Claim 1: 'Chance is Darwin's false god… which literally works miracles'. No scientific counterargument, just condemnation.

Claim 2: How did the first cell form. Begins with proteins. So complex that it is impossible. Therefore God did it. DNA and proteins must co-exist. One can't predate the other - so God had to put them both there. "That defeats Darwinism very fundamentally" because single proteins can't emerge by chance, in isolation. 'Evolution collapses at the very beginnings of life'. (Here's recent research on protein evolution).

Next analogy: cities are complex. Cells are more complex. DNA is the 'databank' and mitochondria are power sources more complex than nuclear power stations. One failure and the whole cell dies. Natural selection doesn't let a cell survive through mutation, so the cell had to be created complete.' We have the fossil of the first cell created on earth (cyanobactiera?)' - I find it very hard to believe that this is provably the oldest cell on earth. Especially as cell fossils are rather fragile. (Hawaii university seems to believe - the fools - that there are range of these cells or varying complexity, which seems like evolution to me).

Claim 3. Natural selection can't change DNA. So fast gazelles may produce faster gazelles but not horses. So? This is a total distortion of Darwin. Here we go with the human eye - that took longer than I expected: almost 20 minutes. An unconscious process can't produce a working eye, the guy claims. Oh yeah? Then he just claims that Allah creates nature, and that's an end to it.

Next claim: DNA is too complex to have evolved by chance. 99% of mutations are harmful or non-beneficial. The speaker quotes Ranganathan as 'a Darwinist' who supports the speaker's science: but a quick search reveals that he's just another creationist.

Now says no fruit fly experiments have ever shown beneficial mutations. So? Yet again, the Qu'ran is cited as scientific experiment. He seems to be claiming that the rarity of beneficial mutations proves that mutation isn't evolutionary. But this is utter balls: developmental biology asserts that over the billions of years of life we've had, the rare beneficial ones will survive precisely because they are beneficial.

Calls a Darwinist a 'pagan priest preaching a pagan religion' he knows is false. Then we move  on to Dawkins. They claim he can't provide an example of a genetic mutation which 'increases information in the genome'. Then they show Dawkins muttering - audience point out the clip is fake. I'm no biologist - but is increased information the same as beneficial mutation? I suspect not. Now Dawkins is claimed as the inheritor of Pharaonic religion.

Apparently mutation can't reproduce the Golden Ratio of harmony, which he claims is present in all of creation, such as the shape of peoples' faces. It's 'the secret signature of Allah'. But mutations generate 'pathology and asymmetry'.

Claims there's no evolutionary mechanism - but he hasn't done this at all.

Next claim: no fossil evidence - new speaker:

Claims there's 'concrete' palaeological evidence that all species 'arrive fully-formed' and 'complete'. They may go extinct but don't change. Fossil evidence is very rich so Darwinists can't claim the record is incomplete. 350 million fossils prove there's no change of species. All images are 'imaginary' and 'have no scientific value at all'. Silly picture up of starfish turning into finned fish: not a claim evolutionists have ever claimed. Starfish and fish evolved along the same timescale - no-one has ever claimed that a modern starfish is the ancestor of the modern goldfish. But this guy claims that because there's no 50% starfish and 50% fish fossil in the record, evolution is denied. Starfish started as they are now.

Quotes Darwin as asking where the transitional fossils are and saying they are everywhere. Then he claims there are only 2 million species in existence, which is a massive underestimate. In fact, science has only got round to classifying 2 million (which I think is quite impressive actually). And let's face it: Darwin had a hammer and a sailing ship: not electron microscopes and exploration gear.

This moron claims that there are no primitive fossils and that life arose abruptly, not gradually. There are 'no ancestors' to the Cambrian lifeforms (no, I don't mean the Welsh). They're complex without ancestors. I just don't buy the idea that we have a complete fossil record: over billions of years, some are going to be physically inaccessible, perhaps most.

Back to Dawkins and his 'confession' that it appears that 'most of the major invertebrate groups… were planted' in the Cambrian: so apparently he's a Creationist too (this is of course one of the many partial quotations which form their 'intellectual' method: Dawkins actually goes on to explain why it might appear like this but isn't actually the case - but the speakers aren't interested in telling their audience that: I presume this kind of misinformation applies to all the other quotes they use. They quote Gould as well as saying that the Cambrian distressed Darwin and his followers because 'they know' that the Cambrian explosion = creation. And then it's back to the Qu'ran.

He then quotes Darwin's assertion that if they could find a complex organism which couldn't have evolved gradually, he'd be discredited, and claims that he is going to show us such and organism: the trilobite. Apparently because it had a lot of eyes which were more complex than the ones we have, it's proof of God. But trilobites had several different types of eye: which implies that there isn't a 'perfect' version which appeared immediately.

Fish tales: he claims that evolutionists belief that 'fish stepped onto the earth and became reptiles'. Untrue. Then claims that fish could never have evolved into land-dwelling creatures: and yet there are fish which do leave the water. The Mangrove Rivulus hides in logs for long periods, for example. There are many types of amphibious fish, such as periopthalmus gracilis.

This fish doesn't exist, according to the speakers

Now attacks evolutionists for claiming that birds are descended from 'giant dinosaurs'. Which is bollocks. Birds are supposedly descended from dinosaurs - but there were lots and lots of dinosaurs of varying sizes, many of them tiny. This is such distorted lies. It's so lazy!

Now we're picking on the dolphins (Douglas Adams is turning in his grave): pictures of bears gradually turning into dolphins with a big cross on them, which is a very distorted version of Darwin's speculation. Even he has to admit that Darwin reassessed this idea. But we don't get any history of dolphins from our esteemed speaker. (Here's the real evolution of dolphins: from land mammals, 50 million years ago).

But here's the absolute proof that evolutionists are mad: some species, such as the gingko tree, are the same as they were 150m years ago.

Er… isn't that what a Darwinist would say? That some species have found their niches and don't need to exist.

Here we go: the evolution of humanity, or rather the 'word game' of the myth of human evolution. It's all faked. Because that popular image of small ape to big human isn't very accurate, all of evolution is false. Apparently humans and apes have always existed at the same time - which is utter rubbish: the fossil record clearly shows apes emerging before the human sub-varieties. He claims that 'races' exist (modern biology says not) and uses the magic word 'negroes'. Oh dear. Evolution is a 'fairy tale'. 'Science' must respond to such lies and imagination. Piltdown Man was a fake (true) so other protohumans are also fakes.

I'm so depressed. Now he's showing pictures of orang-utans with human eyes photoshopped in (no source given) to claim that evolutionists have faked the entirety of human origins. Palaeological reconstruction is apparently a big fake too. Apparently bad drawings of primitive humans disprove evolution as a theory too. No soft tissue survives so reconstructions are unreliable: said the man who just told us that we have fossilised cells. So to recap: because there have been some fakes, and some mistakes, all evolution is a big lie.

Now he's claiming that australopithecus is officially scientifically an ape, after being thought of as a protohuman. Untrue - it's a claim originating with the Jehovah Witnesses, who as far as I know tend not to conduct much palaeological research. A. africanus and and robustus are more humanlike than apelike: afarensis is halfway between and ramidus is more apelike. Looks like evolution to me!

And back to religious texts.

I'm getting quite angry now. The lecture has consisted of lies and deliberate distortions, while the speakers accuse their opponents and deliberate liars.

Whackjob question time

Carrying on with the Harun Yahya extremist propaganda by Oktar Babuna and Cihat Gundogdu: do remember that mainstream Islam doesn't have a problem with evolution: something else not mentioned by the speakers or the organisers.

Probably 80 people here.

Question 1: you don't see natural selection as beneficial and there's no beneficial example. How about the Gypsy Moth, over the past 100 years? It was bark-coloured. With the industrial revolution, it changed colour to match the polluted environment to remain safe, and is now reverting to the original colour. His father is a dairy farmer - has selectively bred for more milk production rather than beef.

Answer: even evolutionists don't use the gypsy moth example any more because it's a fake. As to cows: variations isn't evolution. The genes don't change, so there's no evolution.

Q3: Are you saying that if evolution's true, there should be plenty of transition fossils.
A: Trillions.
Q: And you say all species spontaneously appeared - in complex forms - with the Cambrian explosion?
A: Yes. 3 phyla before the Cambrian, millions in the Cambrian, 35 now.
Q: So millions of species decline to 35 phyla. So are humans and rabbits there in the fossil record if they all existed in the Cambrian period?
A: We never said they appeared at the same time. There's an order of creation. The Phyla tree is false.
Q: So did we start with simple and get more complex life-forms?
A: No. We start with complex forms. There's no progress.
Q: So where are the Cambrian humans?
A: Photosynthesis existed a long time ago and we can't do it in the lab: so no evolution.
Q: But no rabbits or humans?
A: Trilobites have the most complex eyes ever and they're extinct. So complexity was there from the start.
Q: Bones survive: fewer remains of soft-bodied organisms. How can you find the fossil of a bacteria as often as that of a dinosaur? How do you tell the difference between designed gradual complex appearance and evolution?
A: God wanted it this way.
Q: DNA insertion experiments prove the addition.
A: long rambling claim that God invented DNA and everything started in one go.

(Unfortunately a lot of the students are just laughing at the speakers' little jokes at the expense of the questioners and are clearly uninterested in referencing, peer review and experiment: just in the religious credentials of the speaker). Biology lecturer walks out because his questions are being silenced: students mock him. 'What have you evolved from?', jeers one. Moderator is clearly losing it.

Q. What's the name of the Pharaoh you referenced?
A. I don't know. One of the Pharaohs.
Q. What do you mean by pagan?
A. Belied based on nothing. DNA means there's an infinite wisdom far superior to human intelligence. Humans can't create life so there must be a god.
Q. A famous scientist (can't catch the name) traces hominids back to Kenya. Where did man come from?
A: Only the revelation of God can tell us. Qu'ran tells us we're the same as the first man. Science tells us that new DNA information can't arise so we're the same as the origin. 350 million fossils show there are no intermediates or transitions and Darwin, Gould and Dawkins agree.
Q. Dawkins says every fossil is intermediate.
A. Dawkins says they are planted in the pre-Cambrian.
Q. No he doesn't. He says 'appeared' and then explains why.
A. No transitions. No evidence. Evolution never happened. The Qu'ran says so.
(More students leave, clearly not impressed).
Q. (Me) how is it that blind trilobites appeared later than the ones with the eyes? How many peer-reviewed publication do you have? After all, I have to submit my work to the scrutiny of my colleagues to achieve credibility amongst them and my students: why hasn't he?
A. Trilobites existed in the Cambrian and not before. Eyes can't emerge step by step. Missing elements mean it wouldn't work (me: isn't this a design flaw?).

I ask again:
"Darwinism controls scientific journals'.
'Complexity to simplicity denies evolution', he says. Which is a total lie and he should know better. Darwinism says that species evolve to fit niches. If a simple model works better, that will emerge. This is the case with eyeless trilobites: they emerged (I point out to him) where trilobites lived in lightless places: why expend energy on an unnecessary eye? He again mocks this and ends the session.

Session closed: very hastily. There were no questions from anti-evolutionists - probably because they don't have the scientific background to make serious points: the event was an exercise of authority. Afterwards, quite a few attendees ask questions of myself and the biologist sitting next to me - they're not convinced but at least they're curious.

What a simultaneously enjoyable and annoying experience. I haven't seen such blatant lies, distortion and misdirection since I went to Catholic school. I hope I didn't come across as a humourless naysayer - I also hope that the speakers' ranting, use of spiteful jokes and repeated evasion of specific questions were noticed by the students.

PS. He keeps going on about proteins and the impossibility of them evolving: try this paper in Nature, the most rigorous science journal in the world.

1 comment:

  1. Hi. I wrote this report - sorry for the typos, it was flowing quite fast. If you follow the link back to my page, you'll find the report with all the missing hyperlinks to actual science which have been lost in copying over to here.