Evolution cannot explain existence of creationists, concedes Dawkins

http://newsbiscuit.com/2009/04/13/evolution-cannot-explain-existenc...


In a severe blow to the credibility of evolutionary science, biologist Richard Dawkins admitted today that Darwin’s theory of evolution could offer no rational explanation for the continued existence of creationists. The process of natural selection sees genes which provide an advantage in the battle for survival being preserved across generations, but scientists can find no useful purpose for the gene which leads people to believe that the earth was created in only six days about 10,000 years ago.

‘It’s a flaw in our argument, for sure,’ said Dawkins today. ‘By any reading of evolutionary theory, creationists ought to have died out ages ago. They serve no function in the planet’s ecosystem, and no other species has survived so long while in such fundamental disagreement with observable reality. If I wasn’t such an ardent believer in secular materialism, I’d wager this is really troubling Darwin in the afterlife.’
Despite Dawkins’ concession, scientists are quick to point out that recent years have seen significant advances in our understanding of the evolutionary history of creationists. Not so long ago biology was unable to trace the emergence of the species in the fossil record, but a seemingly close correlation between modern-day American creationists and National Rifle Association members suggests they descended from a group of early hunter-gatherers who exploited another sub-group naive enough to think a man wouldn’t use deadly force to protect his property, a group that is itself all but extinct except in small British enclaves where Liberal Democrats continue to thrive.

Not all biologists are convinced by this explanation, however, and a number of mavericks still cite creationists as evidence of a process of ‘natural aberration’ in which nature sometimes gets it spectacularly wrong, a theory popularised as ‘unintelligent design’. And, like their closest living relative the ostrich, the creationists have benefited considerably from the efforts of conservationists. A vast building programme dating back centuries has provided large unheated refuges in most Western towns, and some creationists have formed closed communities to strengthen their resistance to the advances of modernity. Scientists also suspect that a strong distaste for abortion and homosexuality has probably helped keep population sizes up.

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Replies to This Discussion

I'm voting that their continued survival must have something to do with the whole Invasive Species Syndrome. They have no natural predators because everything about them leaves a bad taste in the mouth! Can't we find something that will eat them??!!
Watch, creationists are going to embrace this for real. "Yer Fancy science learnin can't done explain me! hyuck, hyuck."
With headlines like: Junior scientists sacked for using Large Hadron Collider to play conkers, Web forum closed after sensible discussion takes place and Scientists confirm couple’s baby ‘actually IS centre of the universe’ this may be a joke site like The Onion.

This is at odds with some of his ideas expressed in the God Delusion. (I can't reference this statement off the top of my head.)
I can see this is humor, but I've got actual input.

Minds are like cars. Creationist minds are like cars covered with bird crap.
Birds of a feather flock together, so to speak, so creationists all tend to park their minds in places where they get covered with bird crap. I've even seen them going about town with buckets of bird crap, trying to cause other cars to be covered like theirs.
They should never practice this, and I know you were being facetious, but you should never encourage them to practice the garbage they spout.link

It's always the kids that get hurt, it seems. Some people are that mentally corrupted. It's a damn shame.
This appears to me not to be a real news article, but rather to be an attempt at satire. The statements are clearly not by Dawkins. "Serve no function in the planet's ecosystem?" That doesn't appear to have anything to do with evolution. Seems like the writer is a fence sitter trying to poke fun at both sides.
Well, if you consider Atheism as a constant search for answers, observation, and that's a lot of Grey matter at work, you can imagine the energy goes expended, ont he other hand creationism offers a "simple" solution and a great economy on energy. True: society doesnt 'evolve" ..but evolution per se is not society's or organism's prioity, but survival .
I would are and say evolution is happy with creationism at the organism level, allows a pretty much stable species to walk around without worries of the future and society slows its progress. ... while Atheism struggles to get rid of the natural path.
Anyways, Dawkins is a supercool guy and his satire is pretty damn funny..
I have been reading Dawkin's 'Selfish Gene' recently, and remain troubled by one issue.
Can anyone explain the evolutionary function of PMT?
Not everything has an evolutionary function, some things are consequences of other things with an evolutionary function. Steven J Gould's spandrels, which have no function but exist because something has to come between the arches of the building.

That doesn't mean that it doesn't have one of course, merely that it doesn't necessarily have one. Might just be because the change in hormone concentrations necessary for the onset of menstruation cause PMS as an unwanted byproduct. Unwanted but not sufficiently detrimental that is has been expunged, perhaps it is too hard to get rid of. Maybe women with less PMS also have fewer children. All kinds of possibilities.
My explanation requires a lot of generalizations and a few reasonable assumptions, but it makes sense:

"Creationists" are often fervent, fundamentalist believers. Everyone outside of that group -- the nontheists and the more modest religious folk -- is (slightly?) LESS likely to get married and MORE likely to use birth control. Creationists make more babies and thereby perpetuate their population (assuming they pass down those beliefs to their offspring... not always the case, but stupidity can be inherited).

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