Thursday, January 12, 2012

Also, the sharks are smarter than Eric Hovind by PZ Pyers

The news a few weeks ago was that hybrid sharks had been found off the coast of Australia. They looked like tropical Australian black-tip sharks, but genetic testing revealed that they’d hybridized with the common black-tip, which has a wider range; these hybrid black-tips were similarly extending their range and living in colder waters.
This is an excellent example of evolution: it’s a population shifting its range, correlated with an observation of novel genetic attributes. This is exactly the kind of gradual transition that we’d expect to be compatible with evolutionary theory.
Unless you’re a creationist, of course. Or an idiot. But I repeat myself.
I wonder if they ever considered that when you stand back and look at them, they are all sharks. That means they are the same kind of animal. That is not evolution taking place; there is no changing from one kind of animal into another kind of animal happening here. We started with a shark and now we have a shark. That is not evolution!
That’s Eric Hovind’s take on the story. First of all, “kind” is not a valid taxonomic unit; it makes no sense at all to demand that a “kind” turn into a different “kind” when “kind” is undefined, undefinable, and unmeasurable. What was seen was a population with a measurable change in their genetic characteristics, and a natural mechanism, hybridization, to explain the shift, and a possible selective force, climate change, to drive the process. That’s the science.
Secondly, what does he expect? That a shark would turn into a mouse?
Thirdly, Eric Hovind does not get to define what evolution means. Biologists get to do that. Eric Hovind does not qualify. Eric Hovind has qualifications equivalent to those of his father: he is a “graduate” of Jackson Hole Bible College, an unaccredited and glorified tourist lodge in the Rocky Mountains which offers a one year course leading to a Diploma of Biblical Foundations, whatever the hell that is. That diploma and an application might qualify him for a job at McDonald’s.
Especially since I looked at their class schedule: not one lick of biology, but lots of evangelism, acts of the apostles, church history, prophecy, mangled geology, apologetics, and most importantly of all, “Intro to Finance”.

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