Wednesday, January 28, 2009

All things dull and ugly …

In the year that marks two centuries since Darwin’s birth, well-known BBC nature presenter David Attenborough is receiving hate mail from religionists [hat tip LM]. "They tell me to burn in Hell and good riddance", he says.

Nice people these Christians. The hatred apparently comes his way for “not crediting God in his nature programmes.”

    Speaking in the Radio Times, Sir David said that he was also asked why he did not give "credit" to the Lord, Sir David continued: "They always mean beautiful things like hummingbirds.
    "I always reply by saying that I think of a little child in East Africa with a worm burrowing through his eyeball.  The worm cannot live in any other way, except by burrowing through eyeballs. I find that hard to reconcile with the notion of a divine and benevolent creator."

Rather reminds me of a point made in this Monty Python song…

Labels: ,

5 Comments:

Blogger Berend de Boer said...

PC: The worm cannot live in any other way, except by burrowing through eyeballs.

I don't see the connection. Is the implication that every creature we see is exactly as God created it?

I.e. creationists believe that species cannot and do no change?

1/28/2009 09:29:00 pm  
Blogger Richard McGrath said...

The creature in question is the loaloa, a blood sucking worm (which could really describe most politicians, couldn't it?).

Check it out here:

http://images.google.co.nz/imgres?imgurl=http://www.stanford.edu/class/humbio103/ParaSites2006/Loiasis/Images/loa_loa_eye.gif&imgrefurl=http://www.stanford.edu/class/humbio103/ParaSites2006/Loiasis/Home.html&usg=__TB8Wh0vJXI2ibrYhlDuP_ISIeUc=&h=307&w=412&sz=91&hl=en&start=1&sig2=LPX4piiJ_5VBafwQPMoMIw&um=1&tbnid=kyBwM9MMrJmdhM:&tbnh=93&tbnw=125&ei=RTuBSZjuKI2ssAPXw7zEDQ&prev=/images%3Fq%3DLoaloa%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26rlz%3D1T4ADBR_enNZ230NZ230%26sa%3DN

1/29/2009 06:17:00 pm  
Blogger Berend de Boer said...

Richard, but did God create this worm or did it degenerate?

1/30/2009 01:13:00 am  
Anonymous Richard McGrath said...

Berend: worship the worm, the worm IS God. But seriously, I imagine the worm has more fun living in people's eyes than wriggling around in their toejam.

1/30/2009 01:21:00 pm  
Anonymous Mr Dennis said...

Berend:
"I don't see the connection. Is the implication that every creature we see is exactly as God created it? I.e. creationists believe that species cannot and do no change?"

That is the implication, it is a straw man put up by people who like to ridicule creationists. In fact, creationists believe that the basic kinds of animals were created (wolves, horses, sheep etc) and these have changed over time through natural and artificial selection into what we have today (all the dog kinds have been bred from the wolf for example).

Where creationists differ from evolutionists is that evolutionists believe all kinds of animals can be traced back to one common ancestor. The creationist rejects this as it does not fit with modern Mendelian genetics - which Darwin was not aware of. Mendelian genetics only allows selection from pre-existing traits (hair colour etc), allowing variation within a kind, but not allowing one kind of animal to be bred into a completely different one (you can't breed wings on a dog for example). Mutations do not add genetic information, they tend to damage the information that is there, and although they may occasionally be beneficial and selected for they do not work towards the "onward and upwards" progress required for evolution.

Creationists actually believe that creatures have definately changed from what was originally created, the world being created perfect but having deteriorated, with diseases (including parasitic behaviour such as that worm) being degenerate changes, as you suspected.

So although I don't agree with any Christian sending hate mail, Attenborough's story is just a straw man, designed to impress those who already agree with him but not actually arguing the point at all.

1/30/2009 02:48:00 pm  

Post a Comment

Respond with a polite and intelligent comment. (Both will be applauded.)

Say what you mean, and mean what you say. (Do others the courtesy of being honest.)

Please put a name to your comments. (If you're prepared to give voice, then back it up with a name.)

And don't troll. Please. (Contemplate doing something more productive with your time, and ours.)

Links to this post:

<< Home