How do you trump "The Atlas of Creation"?

Apparently more than half of Americans don’t “believe” in evolution. I put in quotes because I’m one of those who considers evolution a fact, and not something you can believe in or not believe in (though that doesn’t stop a lot of people). What many so-called “anti-evolutionists” have latched onto lately is the unfortunate label of “theory” attached to evolution; because it is often called the “theory of evolution”, they claim it means evolution is unproven. As I understand it, however, evolution as a mechanism – mutations in DNA leading to changes in phenotype that can in turn influence which organisms survive and pass their DNA on to the next generation – is not a theory, it is a fundamental fact of nature. Maybe the idea that evolution is the sole means by which humans and all modern organisms came to be the way they are today could be considered a theory, though it is difficult for me to think of this as a separate, refutable concept.

So many things lately have me believing that the world (or maybe just America) is going to shit, and they mostly have to do with religion. About a year ago, my PI received the “Atlas of Creation“, a truly incredible piece of work – and by “incredible”, I mean utterly ridiculous, flabbergasting, and truly frightening. For those unfamiliar with it, the author attempts to invalidate evolution by showing page after page of fossils with their modern day “counterparts” which have not changed over millions of years. Never mind that many of his examples of modern day insects are actually pictures of very realistic fishing lures (hooks still attached).

In the last few months, the situation has only gotten more ridiculous, with Creationism jostling for equal status with evolution as a scientific theory. Look, I have no real problem with there being a God, or with him saying “let there be evolution”. But literal translation of the Bible? Why? At any rate, I watched the videos of Mike Huckabee espousing his views on evolution with a kind of morbid fascination, sort of like watching the impending doom of the United States. Then, of course, the Creation Museums, complete with robotic dinosaurs. The latest jaw-dropping “tell me I’m dreaming” development is the arrival of a “professional, peer-reviewed, scientific journal” for Creation “science” called the Answers Research Journal. Words cannot begin to describe my reactions to this mockery of science. Something between disgust, shock, and anger.

Wired has a lively thread on the subject. Really, you just need to see for yourself.

Maybe later I’ll post about why Creationism is not science, instead of just expressing my outrage. But right now I’m just a little too worked up to do it justice. The scary thing is, the idiocy is not limited to America.

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