email - July 2007

We Do Get These A Lot

Here’s a peek at some typical email.

Even though we get lots of email like this, we rarely publish it. But, from time to time, it is entertaining and instructive share them with you. This particular email is apparently in reference to our “A Bird By Any Other Name” article. The only change we made to this email was to delete the sender’s email address.

Subject: u must get these a lot...
From: r p
Date: 4/26/2007 9:06 PM

u sound like a well written bloke, but do u really believe that the best use of your scientific skills is in slander?

every scientist understands the plight of archeologists to be published, its no secret that they overstate the significance of their finds. But thats not evidence against evolution... far from it. as much as u dont want to believe it, M. gui is evidence for evolution. not the best example, i must admit. but your scepticism is plain extreme.

oh, and the higher metabolism of birds and mamals evolved in the precursor dinosaurs. dont bother with the semantics. there would be more classes of 'dinosaur' if fossils presurved their biochemistry. the fact is that many dinosaurs were warm blooded, how else would they get so large? we call them mammal-like-reptiles.

the take home message from the M. gui discovery is that (a) flight evolved more than once, and/or (b) feathered critters were sucessful and diverse for a while there. NOT that M. gui is the missing link.

you would make a good scientist with that sense of scepticism if u just applied it to creation.

in ur opinion, how do u classify Archaeopteryx? bird or dinosaur? or somthing in between?

just for my sake in trying to understand ur point of view, how old do u think the earth is?

"Calling a Chinese bird a dinosaur doesn’t prove that dinosaurs evolved into birds." --do_while

... it doesnt profess to 'prove' anything, it mearly provides yet more evidence that birds shares ancestory with dinosaurs. and also provides evidence that flight evolved independantly, more than once in dinosaurs. just like it did again in mammals in the case of bats.

"It is just bad science. The theory of evolution is detrimental to science because it distracts scientists from important work by sending them on a wild dino-goose chase."--do_while  ...thats just twisted, but it sounded good. shame on you. most scientists arnt out there trying to prove evolution. there are more pressing issues than education. theres already plently of molecular evidence to convince most people if they can bring themselves to understand the context. ribosomal RNA is a good example. i dare u to try and twist that into a sunday school fable.

Ironically, he begins by saying that we should expect archeologists to “overstate the significance of their finds” in order to be published. He says that if we point this out it is “slander.”

Isn’t overstatement a lot like lying? He says the fact that the supporters of evolution are lying about their discoveries isn’t evidence against evolution. If there is good evidence for evolution, why does someone have to exaggerate it to make it convincing?

He admits that M. gui isn’t the best evidence for evolution, then says we reject it just because our “scepticism [sic] is plain extreme.” Scientists are supposed to be skeptical. We want proof, not wishful thinking.

He believes dinosaurs must have been warm-blooded because they were big. He apparently wasn’t alive in the 1950’s, when we were all taught that dinosaurs had to be cold-blooded because they were big. The argument back then was that big warm-blooded animals would require too much food, and there would be a heat dissipation problem. Therefore, the dinosaurs had to be cold-blooded.

The “mammal-like reptiles” weren’t particularly big. Since he brings them up, have you ever stopped to wonder what makes the mammal-like reptiles “mammal-like”? Were they reptiles with breasts? (If they did have breasts, they would be mammals, wouldn’t they?) Did they have hair? (Not as far as we know.) They were “mammal-like” because the bones in their jaws looked a lot like the bones in a mammal’s ear. This supposedly is proof that the reptilian jaw was evolving into the mammalian ear.

If M. gui isn’t a missing link, how does it suggest that flight evolved more than once? Certainly there are lots of different kinds of feathered creatures, but that doesn’t prove they evolved, nor does it prove lots of different kinds were created. The discovery of lots of different kinds of flying creatures simply proves there are lots of different kinds of flying creatures—nothing more.

He asks for our opinion on the classification of Archaeopteryx. The point we have often tried to make is that classification is just an opinion. In some people’s opinion, the choice “bird or dinosaur” is silly because, in their opinion, birds ARE dinosaurs.

We don’t know how old the Earth is, but there seems to be much more evidence that it is thousands, rather than billions, of years old. Last month’s essay on the distance to the Moon is just one example. What is the compelling evidence that the Earth is billions of years old (other than that it has to be billions of years old for so much evolution to have taken place)?

What is the proof that flight evolved independently in bats? Why don’t evolutionists believe that bats evolved from flying birds? All they would have to do is lose their feathers, and evolve breasts and sonar. We know it is silly to think a bird could evolve breasts and sonar. What we don’t know is why it isn’t silly to think a reptile could evolve breasts, and a mammal could evolve sonar. Scientists don’t know how flight could have evolved once; but evolutionists are forced to believe that it happened several times (in birds, mammals, insects, and dinosaurs).

He is probably correct when he says most scientists aren’t out to prove evolution. We suspect that most scientists don’t even believe in evolution, but have been unable to find any data to confirm or deny that suspicion. (We have asked Gallup and Pew to do a survey, but we have never received a response.) Certainly there are some high-profile professors in universities who have religious and/or political and/or financial motives for trying to prove evolution, but we doubt that they represent mainstream scientific views.

Given this sample of his spelling and grammar, we are not surprised that he thinks “there are more pressing issues than education.” His understanding of science isn’t any better than his grasp of the English language, either. We shudder to speculate on why he thinks ribosomal RNA is good evidence for evolution.

Yes, we do get a lot of email like this. We don’t generally share it with you because we don’t want to be accused of setting up a straw man just to show how easy it is to tear it down. We prefer to address real issues that intelligent people are likely to ponder. But, every once in a while, it is fun to shoot fish in a barrel.

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