What Creationists Hate Is That We Emerged by Accident

Charles Darwin would probably love the fact that the 200th
anniversary of his birth is being celebrated with radio shows,
documentaries and exhibitions, but he might not have enjoyed the way
that furious Christians still despise his theories and try to prove the
Bible is more reliable.

example, the Discovery Institute has announced that: "We want students
everywhere to speak out... for the right to debate the evidence against
evolution and turn 'Darwin Day' into 'Academic Freedom Day'."

they're lucky Darwin isn't forced on us the way religion has been,
otherwise the national anthem would start: "Our Gracious Queen will be
saved or not according to a series of factors that are sod-all to do
with God," and once a week school assemblies would start with everyone
singing: "All things biological/ All matter sweet or frightening/ Are
Godless, real and logical/ See - where's the bleeding lightning?"

creationists demand that biblical theories are taught alongside
Darwin's theories of natural selection, which might sound reasonable
except that creationism depends not on evidence but on faith. If all
theories are given equal status, teachers could say: "Your essays on
the cause of tornadoes were very good. Nathan's piece detailing the
impact of warm moist air colliding with cool air, with original sources
from the Colorado Weather Bureau, contained some splendid detail. But
Samatha's piece that went "Because God is cross" was just as good so
you all get a B+."

To improve their standing the anti-Darwin
lobby have changed their tactics, so now instead of arguing for
creationism they call their theory "intelligent design".

this consists of trying to illustrate how species are too complex to
have been formed by nature. But then they can't help themselves, so you
get articles such as the one by prominent advocate of intelligent
design, David Berlinski, that starts: "Charles Darwin says, 'In the
struggle for survival, the fittest win out at the expense of their
rivals.' Another man, Adolf Hitler says 'Let us kill all the Jews of
Europe.' Is there a connection? Yes is the obvious answer." So there we
are - study the differences between finches and you're half way to
organising a holocaust.

The founders of intelligent design are
nearly all creationists, and one of their books, Of Pandas and People,
is identical to a book used by creationists. Except that, after a
ruling in the US Supreme Court that creationism couldn't be taught in
schools, the word "creationist" was deleted throughout, and replaced
with "intelligent design".

The new theory, where it is new,
states there are many species that can't have become the way they are
through gradual evolution, because if you remove any one part of them
the whole structure would collapse. So they must have been created
whole, as they are now, without changing. But this ignores the beauty
of Darwin's discovery, which is that species change not because they're
on a march towards perfection but by accident.

What may be
ideal for survival one day is no good once the environment has changed.
For example if it gets colder, or the colour of the surroundings
changes, the individuals in a species best suited to the new conditions
will be the ones to last, and the species becomes altered.

of the fittest means those accidentally matching the requirements of a
new situation, not the creatures most prone to winning a scrap.
Otherwise by now the only hamsters to survive would be those ones who
could pick up the wheel and smash it over their mate's head, and the
only surviving parrots would be the ones squawking: "Who wants some?
Who wants some?"

And this dominance of the accidental is the most
damning argument against intelligent design, because if all species
were designed, it was hardly done by someone intelligent. If it was,
how do you account for the parasitic wasp that lays eggs on its prey so
they hatch and eat its victim while it's still alive?

More to
the point, why are your most sensitive nerves at the end of your toe,
where they're most likely to get walloped? Why are men's nuts in such a
vulnerable location, ay? Bloody vindictive design that is. Why do dogs
do the squashiest, most unpleasant turds that hide in the grass and
spread themselves in the indentations on the bottom of your shoe, but
don't start smelling until you get indoors and then render the place
uninhabitable until you've left every window open for a month? Why,
why, why?

Come on intelligent design people, the questions you have to answer have barely begun.

© 2023 The Independent