Tom Pittman's WebLog

2018 December 8 -- Atheist Pseudo-Science in (Almost) Fiction

The first-person hero of the story is a forensic anthropologist professor at a university in Tennessee, and the author is a made-up name from the names of a professional writer and a forensic anthropologist professor at the University of Tennessee, so both he's writing what he knows and it reads well. Until chapter 8.

He (the author, and by extension his semi-autobiographical hero) may be an expert at forensic anthropology, but he doesn't know much about his own accepted religion -- few people do: because religion defines what is non-negotiably True, it's not important to understand why or how, it just is -- nor has he bothered to understand the opposing religion (after all, it's by definition False), he just repeats the dogma he hears from the Darwinist priests. Chapter 8 has our not-quite fictional hero getting all up in a huff over the Kansas Board of Education requirement to teach also the alternatives to Darwin. How foolish is that? NOBODY wants to be required to teach False religion in their classroom, nor even to allow it to be taught in the classroom there their kids and neighbors go, and that's certainly how the Darwinists (including this author) saw it. But his argumentation was just as nonsensical as most Christians -- including the semi-fictitious student who objected to his professor's religion in class -- explain their side of the issue.

He started off calling his own position "unintelligent design" (his italics). That much is correct, his explanation was definitely not intelligent. It was almost entirely circular, and he knew what that meant because he accused the flustered student in his story of circular argumentation (which it was: we Christians have fallen down on the job ): most of his argumentation depended on millions of years of Darwinsitic evolution being true apriori: because we know evolution happened for millions of years, therefore we know evolution happened for millions of years. Yup, that's how they frame it, but not so succinctly, lest you notice.

The only historical argument he offered referred to some 2500 human skulls (mostly in the Smithsonian, but some at UT) spanning two centuries, in which the skulls were getting statistically larger over the years, but the jaws smaller. He didn't say what that was supposed to prove or disprove, and did not really answer his token Christian student, but if I were there and properly prepared -- like maybe the following week -- and were of a mind to ridicule him as he did that student (which we Christians are taught by Jesus not to do), I might put it to him like this:

So what does the larger cranium mean? That the person is "more evolved" or smarter? Would you say that an elephant cranium is more evolved or smarter than a human? No? Of course not, the whole skeleton is larger, and proportionately the elephant cranium is actually smaller. So how do these larger skulls compare to the rest of their skeletons? Oh wait, they didn't preserve the whole skeletons, only the skulls, so we don't know, do we? Well, actually, we do know:
Human height has steadily increased over the past two centuries across the globe. This trend is in line with general improvements in health and nutrition during this period.
So the skulls are larger because the whole skeletons are larger, and it has nothing to do with so-called "evolution" but only an improvement in diet (as is easily seen in the charts on that website), where the nutritional benefits of the USA result in generally taller people than regions where the nutrition is not so good -- until recently, like western Europe turning upward to catch up with the USA.

Now what about the jaw size? Are you prepared to tell this class that even though the cranium size is obviously related to diet, the jaw is not? Two hundred years ago people had to chew through tough steaks, but today most of them eat pre-masticated hamburgers. Today most of the food people eat is highly processed and refined, needing little or no heavy jaw work, so the bones probably atrophied over the years. Or does your research have a control group that eliminates diet and chewing effort as a possible cause for jaw atrophy?

What you have given us, Dr.Brockton, is not science based on careful research, but religion, something you know to be true, even if the facts don't support it, "because God [in your case Darwin] said so." Stick to what you know because you personally have seen it happen in your laboratory, and leave religion -- both Darwinist and the other kind -- to the philosophers and theologians.

For more information, see my essay "Biological Evolution: Did It Happen?"


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