Well, today marks 150 years since the introduction of evolutionary theory by Darwin and Wallace. With creationist attacking left and right, it’s even more important to remind everyone about this occasion.

July 1, 1858: Darwin and Wallace Shift the Paradigm – Wired.com: 1858: The Linnaean Society of London listens to the reading of a composite paper on how natural selection accounts for the evolution and variety of species. The authors are Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace. Modern biology is born.

The saga of Darwin and Wallace, though, remains an extraordinary example:
* It involved not a simple invention or discovery but a paradigm shift, inventing the reigning paradigm that organizes modern biology — and in some sense all modern science.
* The work of two scientists who worked independently was announced at precisely the same date and place, in a joint paper.
* It’s a multiple example of “multiples,” spread across the entire globe and an entire century.

Just remember, some people would like you to believe that Jesus walked among dinosaurs…

  1. Improbus says:

    Dude! Look at all the trouble you have caused. Good job!

  2. I’d like to know where in the Bible/Torah (/Koran?) it says that animals just popped into existence anyway since it’s **always** said that the animals came out of the earth (read it, you may learn something ;-). It doesn’t describe a giant hand that zaps a big flash and suddenly, the hills are full of sheep.

    Just as the books were never intended to describe how Io goes around Jupiter, they were never intended to go into the science of *how* the animals came form the earth. It does say, however, that it’s for the glory of God to conceal a matter and the glory of kings to seek out a matter. Maybe Mr. Darwin sought out some of the process (though anybody who thinks that all the questions have been answered needs to wear a special hat and be made to sit in the corner and think about it).

    Religious people who insist on an interpretation are as stupid as scientists who think that a pig’s tooth attached to a monkey skull constitutes a theory.

    So, to dismiss all creationsists as right-wing nuts who insist that there were six literal days in Genesis (the New Testament says we’re still in Day 7 anyway so we see that blown out of the theological water straight away) and that animals were popped into existence is as intellecually and morally sound as creationsists dismissing evolutionists as believing that bananas evolved into cats (which we all know, they didn’t 😉

    Enjoy the party. I’ll just keep reading this banned book 😀

  3. Maddog says:

    Come on now we all know dinosaurs never existed but fossils were planted by the devil to shake our faith and test us. Please try and get it right…

  4. QB says:

    #2 You should read your bible as well, you didn’t even get the references right. Oh, and read it in ancient Hebrew, I think it’s the only way.

  5. julieb says:

    Darwin and Wallace deserve the credit they are getting, but it should not be forgotten that others also hinted at evolution even earlier.

    The System of Nature, written in 1772 by baron d’Holbach mentions evolution but of course Holbach was a not a naturalist who produced evidence like Darwin and Wallace.

    “If ignorance of Nature gave birth to gods, then knowledge of Nature is calculated to destroy them.” -baron d’Holbach

    That is one of my favorite quotes.

  6. Sorry the page I’m about to link doesn’t give better link options. Scroll to mid-page, then click on Museum for a great take on the creationist museum by comedian Brian Dykstra.



    #2 – Cheesy,

    It doesn’t matter what the bible says about the creation of the animals. It’s got it wrong right from the start. Evolution is non-directional. There is no trend toward greater complexity. If you played the 4.5 billion year history of this planet back, you would be incredibly unlikely to get humans out. So, evolution is not this directional tool of god.

    It’s not truly random in every possible way, each step is based on the history that came before. There will never be a crocoduck. Further, some genes mutate faster than others. Radiation affects the rate of mutation of all genes.

    So, it’s not totally random what mutations will occur.

    And then, of course, natural selection is the antithesis of random. It selects from the available choices for best available survival mechanisms.

    That said, it is certainly not directional. If anything, there is a very slight trend toward greater simplicity due to the large number of parasites. As parasites evolve, they can lose many of their own structures by using the host’s body to provide such services. See tape worms for an extreme example.

  7. Sinn Fein says:

    Its terribly amusing to see how much those “evil” and “sneaky” religion seem to threaten those here who already have all the answers for everything*. I detect a bit of wobbliness in their Force. Jesus would feel right at home riding into any US major city what with such a variety of secularist donkeys to choose from.

    *42 from what I hear.

  8. #4, QB, dear chap, Strongs number 03318 for ‘Bring Forth’;

    to go or come out or forth, depart
    to go forth (to a place)
    to go forward, proceed to
    to come or go forth
    to come out of

    to cause to go or come out, bring out, lead out
    to bring out of
    to lead out
    to deliver

    to be brought out or forth

    Did you have something else in mind? maybe there’s another word which means ‘to make out of thin air’?

  9. Dr Dodd says:

    It seems that we like to make things harder than they are. The earth was created and has been evolving as designed ever since.

  10. #7 – Sinn Fein,

    Religion threatens those of us who understand science precisely because there is a real and present danger. Religiose fuckheads are constantly trying to undermine education, our legal system, and our legislation to ensure that science is outlawed.

    So, those of us who have a more rational view of the world are constantly under siege by a powerful minority that seeks to make the U.S. a theocracy.

    As for having all the answers, no one does. However, religion fails to even ask the questions. In fact, religion forbids asking questions.

    For example, how often have you heard the religiose induhviduals of the world ask where the fuck god came from?

    People of science ask questions all the time. Where did the first living organism come from? Where did the universe come from? How did such a tremendous array of life forms come to inhabit the planet?

    Some of these are quite well answered, some partially so, some not at all.

    However, religion simply states “god did it” and refuses to answer where god comes from. In fact, religious people I’ve met often get upset when I fail to accept the answer that god doesn’t follow the rules of cause and effect while everything else must. They get more upset when I point out that subatomic particles do not follow cause and effect.

    So, yes, we’ve got real conflict between those who want to move forward to the 11th century and those who want to remain in this one. And, yes, some of us find the crusaders for the return of the 11th century more than a bit scary.

  11. Jägermeister says:

    #1 – Improbus – Dude! Look at all the trouble you have caused. Good job!

    The world needs troublemakers like him. 🙂

  12. green says:

    150 years of using “their” science to explain why we need to be ruled by a select few.

  13. dwright says:

    Read history, not the bible. The theory in many forms was around longer than Darwin. He just made a plausible case that many ran with.
    Some of you are no different than the people you criticize.

  14. #14 – dwright,

    Read history, not the bible. The theory in many forms was around longer than Darwin. He just made a plausible case that many ran with.
    Some of you are no different than the people you criticize.

    Actually dwright, there are two aspects and you may be confusing them. Evolution states that animals are descended from previous forms. This was moderately well established prior to Darwin but was still being hotly debated due to the lack of a theory to explain it.

    The theory of natural selection is Darwin/Wallace’s contribution that explains the mechanism by which evolution happens. Darwin gets extra credit for spending years documenting a wide variety of cases and bringing it all together in a highly authoritative book. He also gets extra credit for explaining sexual selection and for warning us of the dangers of social Darwinism, which he felt an invalid basis for a social structure.

  15. amodedoma says:

    Everything evolves. Everything from nothing, change, the primitive universe contained little more than hydrogen but thanks to the physical context things change, stars cooked up the lighter elements and supernovas provided the heavier stuff. And in time, near an average star, on a small watery planet, the right mix of matter and change gave the context for life to appear. First the simplest organic forms, but given favourable conditions, and time for change, these simple forms change in adaptation to the changes in their environments. Eventually, the changes in these creatures brought about ‘intelligence’. Is there a pattern here or am I missing something. Ok so maybe there is a god or maybe not, but there’s definitely a plan here. Darwin saw part of it and gave it a name – Evolution.

  16. bobbo says:

    There is no “plan.” There is no meaning, no purpose.

    There is a universe that operates with certain characteristics.

    Everything else is man made. With that, we can be who we choose to be within the limits of our imagination and physical resources.

    By a certain view, an uncaring universe can actually provide comfort: there is no meaning or purpose in our suffering, its just the way it is. A god making it all this way would be quite distressing to me.

  17. QB says:

    There’s no plan, and if there was one we’d never see it so what’s the point.

    However, there are patterns. For example, gravitational theory describes one such pattern. Current thinking was these patterns were set several milliseconds after the big bang – I’m sure insight into this will change thinking over time. And that’s a good thing because we are curious little monkeys.

    bobbo, I get what you’re saying. I believe there is no God. That means that the suffering I see around me is not caused by a vengeful or an uncaring God; or worse, a God who is testing me. If God was responsible for all the pain and ignorance then it’s really quite silly and pointless to defy his will.

    No God means we can do something about suffering and that gives me hope. A universe that evolves and changes gives me purpose.

  18. Jägermeister says:

    #19 – James Hill – When will Jesus bring the birthday cake?

    Jesus will come on the same day you get pubes… in other words… there won’t be a sequel to the Jesus show.

  19. bobbo says:

    #20–QB–thanks. No, the universe gives nothing. It is our environment but totally devoid of meaning. YOU give yourself purpose when you give yourself purpose. Many don’t have the perspective to see self actualized aspect of life and instead mostly response to stimuli around them==a purposeless life.

    If God existed, some, maybe you, maybe most would form the purpose to obey or even worship him. Others like myself would contest the power of the overseer. God himself does not provide meaning to the universe which has no meaning. God only provides a context within which to make choices.

  20. #18 – bobbo,

    I couldn’t agree with you more on that one.

  21. Sinn Fein says:

    #10 Pleeeease. Last I heard, Christianity was optional, Islam IS NOT and they’re the ones on a mission, you may have heard of their cute little thang called JIHAD, to convert **everyone** into Believers or, into dead meat….in your even-handed 11th Century style.

    Its a sin for Christians to lie to anybody, for Islamites, its a BLESSING to lie to infidels. Their lying is considered an art form amongst themselves as to who can tell the biggest whoppers without cracking up.

    So, do I believe ANYTHING Barack HUSSEIN Obama says? Not one word, I can see him smirk on almost every lie that passes through his lips.

  22. amodedoma says:

    Limited mentalities always want to put it all in a tiny box, close it, then say that’s that! Considering how little the human brain has to work with it’s surprising just how much it can do, once it starts working outside the box.

  23. Fil says:

    It’s pointless to argue the existence or nature of god. The very concept of a phantom divinity makes it impossible to either prove or disprove its existence.

  24. Dr Dodd says:

    #24 Sinn Fein

    “So, do I believe ANYTHING Barack HUSSEIN Obama says? Not one word, I can see him smirk on almost every lie that passes through his lips.”

    Unlike those that blindly follow this traveling salesman your eyes are open to the evil that is this man. Well done!

  25. #24 – Sinn Fein,

    #10 Pleeeease. Last I heard, Christianity was optional

    Guess you weren’t paying attention in history class. Crusades, Inquisitions, more recently, the IRA, clinic bombings, doctor shootings.

    Oh, and if it’s optional, why do the fucking whack jobs like to tell me I’m going to burn in hell for eternity? That your god’s idea of optional?

    As for Barack Who’s Sane Obama, he’s still got my vote, even with some minor inconsistencies here and there. None are as big as McBush’s.

    Oh, and Obama is not a Muslim you moran!

  26. Ian says:

    You mean Jesus didn’t ride dinosaurs?

  27. Rick Cain says:

    I have no problem believing we evolved from apes. I mean look at conservative talk show hosts. The connection between man and ape is self-evident.


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