When arguing on the internet, about science and religion I often come across various mischaracterizations and misconceptions about the positions I hold. While I am always willing to give the benefit of the doubt, that my interlocutor may have misunderstood my position, some arguments have been so often and so thouroughly debunked, that noone can tell me, that the following arguments aren’t intentional Strawmen of my positions designed to mischaracterize them in order to tear them down easier. I am sick and tired of these objections, so for your approval here are some of those objections and my rebuttals to them:
T: “If we came from apes, why are there still apes?”
Me: Because you evidently don’t understand the theory of evolution. It is not the case, that a chimpanzee turned into a human. Evolution is not a ladder, it is a tree. My position is, that we share a common ancestor the other great apes. A population of our common ancestor with chimpanzee split of into two groups and from then on both groups evolved seperately into many different species in the case of one group for example into the chimp and the Bonobo, in our case, among other species, into the already extinct Neanderthals and us humans.
T: “Evolution is just random chance!”
Me: If you say Evolution is random chance you fail to take the mechanism of natural selection into account. It is true, that the mutations are random. Some mutations are neutral, some are harmful and some are beneficial for survival. If the mutations in a particular group of organisms are beneficial for survival, then this group has a better chance at reproducing, while the lesser equipped group inevitably dies out. The bad mutations are filtered out, the good ones are passed on through viable organisms. This is anything but random and has nothing to do with chance.
T: “The rocks date the fossils and the fossils date the rocks!”
Me: This is not at all how it works. The fossils can be used as an index of how old the layer is in which the fossil was found. The age of the layers is determined by various cross-confirming dating methods. When we find for instance a Dinosaur fossil in a certain layer then we already know that it is at least 65 million years old because that’s when Dinosaurs went extinct. Certain fossils are found only in certain strata. If we find for example another Tiktaalik fossil then we can already determine that he lived about 375 million years ago give or take a few million. The strata of course has roughly the same age but we can determine the age with our dating methods to get a more accurate date.
T: “Atheism teaches the following!”
Me: You just misrepresented the Big Bang theory as well as abiogenesis and evolution. The Big Bang claims a singularity and not nothing. All the energy already existed when the universe expanded (not exploded). Abiogenesis claims that life came from non-life. The “Bits” didn’t magically rearange themselves, they got together via natural processes. In our ancient Earth the amino acids necessary for creating simple life forms weren’t exactly a rarity. Those bits didn’t turn into dinosaurs, they evolved to primitive organisms that got more and more complex over time as they evolved into fish tetrapods etc. and then after a long time they indeed evolved into dinosaurs. Now fuck off, grab a science book and learn about the theories, before pontificating on matters of which you clearly understand absolutely nothing!
And as a side note: Atheism has nothing to do with it. You can be an atheist and reject Evolution, the Big Bang and abiogenesis.
Those were some of the most infuriating Strawmen I’ve encountered so far with theists. I might revisit more Strawmen at a later time. Stay tuned.
Goodbye from yours truly,
Rene von Boenninghausen,