Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Pit Bull vs Shark

Pit Bull won.

hehe Now where the hell am I supposed to get a replacement stuffed Mako Shark??


Anonymous said...

Here's Damien Hirst's fax number 0870 98463734.

ERV said...


Anonymous said...

You're a bit of an ace on the doggie kind, so maybe you can help me with a speciation question. Are any types of dog speciated due to sterility yet (e.g. mules) or is it still at the practical stage - Danes and Pekes (eek!)?

Having an online spat with a Cretinist and want to nail this one down before addressing his question: "Please tell me why the monkeys should evolve to humans when they are optimal adapted to their environment?"

I know, I know - why bother? Well, I came over all didactic when I heard this: "Why black people have this crimped hairs but the monkey´s doesn´t have it?"

That'll teach me to go round spouting the Out of Africa hypothesis to idiots.

ERV said...

Sterility? I dont think so-- but that question doesnt really relate to the 'monkey' human split.

'Monkey' is usually reserved to a specific branch of primates-- chimpanzees/gorillas/orangutans/us are apes.

"Please tell me why the monkeys should evolve to humans when they are optimal adapted to their environment?" is a silly question. First of all, 'monkeys' arent *optimal* for their environment. Theyre adequate. Adequate enough to reproduce and generate offspring.

So say they are 'adequate' for a 10 mile radius. What happens when there are too many monkeys for the food supply? All of a sudden, adequate isnt so adequate.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, I'm getting a LOT of silly questions!

The doggie issue came up because this particular Cretinist thinks 'survival of the fittest' implies that descendent species wipe out the precursors (as if always in direct competition). A confusion over population genetics, etc, but this chump insists that the coexistence of Pekinese dogs and wolves 'disproves' evolution since the 'weak' species is still around. Huh, saywat? Hence the 'why are there monkeys if they improved into humans?'.

So, I was trying to get him to grasp speciation events and the plasticity of the genome, but canis might have been a poor choice since dogs can interbreed (in the presence of stepladders) despite the enormous variety.

Macroevolution is the big sticking point. "A finch is still a finch". To him, all hominid intermediates have been 'exposed as fakes'. He might be accessing a Hyper-Bunkum Creationist website as his responses are often non sequitur. I'd love to know the URL - it must be a peach!

I'm trying him out on Just So Stories but he's finding it a stretch imagining something like an airbreathing fish could adapt to life on land and evolve into reptiles. He's gonna spew when I do whales!

But I'm making progress: although he denies that a fish can evolve into a reptile, at least he's getting his common ancestors worked out - a while back he would have asked how can a chicken become a elephant?

Creationism is my fave form of irrationalism, probably because the scale of self-deception is so vast. Baiting astrologers just can't compare.

Why is it so militant now? My theory is that Creationist apologetics is in its death throes due to the genome projects. The history of descent with modification is written in the genome so they need to get evolution out of schools NOW before every schoolkid in the country knows about the fused no.2 chromosome for chimps and humans. Don't even get me started on junk DNA common errors.

Gulp! I used the J-word - *hangs head in shame*!

ERV said...

Aw maaaan! You dont happen to be near an 'Explore Evolution' exhibit, do you? They have a PERFECT example for this particular 'problem': diatoms.

Pool of water, one species of diatom.

Pool of water split into two pools of water-- diatoms diverged into two species of diatoms.

Two pools of water became one pool of water, two species of diatoms happily co-existed.

Anonymous said...

A diatom is a diatom.

When one of the diatoms is a cod, then we can talk.

Well, that's what I predict the response will be. Nice example though.

Of course, there's no fact checking going on on his side. I might as well tell him that scientists managed to evolve an aquatic dog with webbed paws and a blowhole by repeatedly dunking puppies in a swimming pool. Moby Dog.

Bob O'Hara said...

Well, quantok - that would explain the shark diet.


Anonymous said...

It appears my monkey-sceptic Cretinist opponent has friends in high places. I found a reference to the New York Times coverage of ID :-

"there was a panel on the subject on Larry King Live, in which Larry asked the following question: "All right, hold on. Dr. Forrest, your concept of how can you out-and-out turn down creationism, since if evolution is true, why are there still monkeys?"

[Greetings From Idiot America. By Charles P. Pierce, as originally published in Esquire Magazine, 11/1/05]

Google it - nice article!