Is someone slipping Ann Coulter stupid pills? Because she seems to be getting worse. Her latest idiocy is about evolution, a subject about which she knows next to nothing and what little she does know is utterly wrong.
Yes, as threatened on Facebook, I couldn’t resist taking on “Liberals’ view of Darwin unable to evolve.” Even though reading it made my head hurt and my stomach roll. Because seriously, people, how could I stand idly by and not respond to: “For 3 billion years, nothing but bacteria and worms, and then suddenly nearly all the phyla of animal life appeared within a narrow band of 5 million to 10 million years.”
OMG! Over the course of a few million years, lots of animals appeared! It must be God that did it!
Huh? Who knew that deities worked so slowly. Maybe he’s just a perfectionist? Or a procrastinator? Now I’ve got this image of Coulter’s God kicking back on the couch with a beer, saying “Eh, I’ll get around to finishing that one next millennium.”
And for her to actually say “Intelligent design scientists look at the evidence and develop their theories; Darwinists start with a theory and then rearrange the evidence” takes more chutzpah than I thought existed on the entire planet. I’m sorry if any of you needed any chutzpha this month, but Ann Coulter has apparently stolen the entire world’s stock and is holding it ransom.
“Intelligent design scientists look at the evidence”? Sorry, lady, but unlike you, I’ve actually read some articles written by intelligent design “scientists” and what they do best is ignore the evidence entirely. I mean, they (and you) are still claiming that the eye is too complex to possibly have evolved, even though we have clear evidence that it did.
(And besides, anyone who uses the human eye as evidence of intelligent design is insane. The human eye—as Christopher Hitchens so brilliantly notes in God Is Not Great—is installed backward, upside-down, and with a blind spot! If that’s what you think of your god, then I feel sorry for him and you.)
Coulter goes on and on about the lack of transitional fossils, conveniently ignoring the many, y’know, transitional fossils that have been found. PZ Myers is (unsurprisingly) less than impressed:
What we have is a good record of small shelly fossils and trace fossils from the pre-Cambrian—before there were fully armored trilobites, there were arthropod-like creatures with partial armor that decayed into scattered small fragments of shell after death, and before that there were entirely soft-bodied, unarmored creatures that left only trackways and burrows. Even in this period Coulter wants to call abrupt, we find evidence of gradual transitions in animal forms.
So, who’s ignoring the evidence, again? The best part is that Coulter says scientists ignore the evidence…but she says that one of the proofs evolution is false is that scientists changed their minds about an aspect of evolution when they found new evidence!
Fossil discoveries since Darwin’s time have forced paleontologists to take back evidence of evolution. “Some of the classic cases of Darwinian change in the fossil record,” Raup said, “such as the evolution of the horse in North America, have had to be discarded or modified as a result of more detailed information.”
But “discarded or modified” doesn’t mean “the horse didn’t evolve”. It means “scientists realized they were wrong about how the horse evolved and have a new theory.” (Note: When scientists say theory, they don’t mean guess. Really. See: “a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena.”)
If you get the feeling I’m so mad I can barely see straight, you’d be on the right track. Specifically, Ann Coulter is lucky I haven’t yet perfected that technology of reaching through the Internet and slapping people. Because she’s either very ignorant or very willing to lie for Jesus. And both possibilities make me hopping mad.