… oh … never mind. I found them.
Remember folks, if you do not believe in evolution, you do not believe in modern medicine.
Perhaps I should reduce the number in the headline by the number of even bigger idiots, albeit self-consistent idiots, who do not use modern medicine. The kind of idiot that would murder their child by not giving him or her insulin for diabetes is the kind of idiot I’m calling self-consistent. True they don’t believe in evolution. But, at least they don’t avail themselves of technology based on evolution.
Those idiots who do use modern medicine and don’t believe in evolution are the stupid hypocrites I’m talking about in this post.
Modern medicine is built on a foundation of knowledge of evolution. In the U.S., we have 4% of the world’s population consuming 56% of the world’s medication. And, yet, 46% of U.S. residents do not believe in evolution, at all, not even as a tool of one or more gods. These people demonstrably incorrectly believe that human beings were created in their present form around 10,000 years ago or less.
Why do I say that modern medicine is built on evolution? Well, let’s start with animal testing. Forgetting about the ethics of testing shampoo on rabbits’ eyes or even of testing Viagra on mice, rats, guinea pigs, rabbits, pigs, monkeys, & chimps, why does animal testing work? Why does testing on mice then rats then guinea pigs then pigs then monkeys then chimps tell us anything about whether a drug might work on humans?
Well, if we were all specially created individually by one or more gods, it wouldn’t.
But, it does. In fact, it tells us a lot. Computer modeling may replace a lot of animal testing. Ethics may demand that we stop testing on chimps and possibly even monkeys. But, testing on animals works. And, the more closely related the animal to humans, the more it tells us about how well it will work in humans. Hence the use of monkeys and apes in research despite the obvious suffering it causes them.
Immunizations are another issue of evolution. Without understanding that viruses mutate, we would think that a single flu shot would immunize someone for life, or at least for a very long time. But, we know that some viruses mutate more quickly than others. So, while a yellow fever vaccine may be good for ten years, a flu vaccine is good for only one.
Similarly, drug resistance in bacteria and pesticide resistance in insects are evidence of evolution. A new factor in the environment causes breeding for new survival traits such as resistance to antibiotics or pesticides.
Evolution in progress.
Of course, there’s more than just an entire industry of successful health care that has lengthened our life expectancy dramatically built on evolution. There is hard physical evidence as well. This is the type of evidence that completely and utterly does not exist for any deity.
We have fossil evidence of modern humans older than 10,000 years. Hell, we have the fucking caves they painted more than 10,000 years ago. We have the extinctions of the animals that they hunted.
And, as for humans being created by God in a single step around 10,000 years ago or less, how the hell does that explain the fossil fragments of our earlier relatives as they evolved from non-human apes to human apes? We’ve got numerous species along the way. We have a whole bush of relatives some of whom were our ancestors and some not.
All of this is hard physical evidence of evolution. But wait, there’s more.
For years, creationists pointed to “whales”, actually the entire family cetaceans including whales and dolphins, as evidence of creation. They cited the lack of fossils between land mammals and cetaceans as evidence that cetaceans were specially created. Evolution predicted that eventually, intermediate fossils would be found as the fossil record filled in. And, voila! We have now found intermediate species between land mammals and cetaceans. Here’s some information on ambulocetus and basilosaurus, two species of more primitive cetaceans as they evolved from land mammals.
Somewhat more interestingly in the field of evolution, one paleontologist named Neil Shubin was interested in the evolution of the forelimb of terrestrial animals. Somewhere along the way, the forelimb evolved as one bone in what I’ll call the upper arm, two bones in the lower arm, and lots of blobby bones in the hand. This is true of all tetrapods, though many have lost some of their digits in evolution. Horses, for example, walk on their pinkies and have no other digits. But, humans are in the default state of one bone, two bones, lots of blobby bones (wrist and fingers).
So, Neil Shubin realized that we had fossils of sea creatures from 380 million years ago and the familiar arm configuration from 365 million years ago. (Note: please forgive me if I’m misremembering these numbers from having read the book a few years ago. Perhaps at some later time, I’ll check and correct them. Or, if you know them, please post them and I’ll update the post. Thanks.)
So, he knew he needed fossils from 370-375 million years ago to find intermediate fossils. He picked up an old geology book and looked for a place with sedimentary rocks (the type in which fossils can form) of the right age. Then he limited his search to where such rocks existed without having already been scoured by other paleontologists. This led him to Ellesmere Island in the far north of Canada. Several expeditions later, he found exactly what evolution (and a little geology) predicted should exist, an intermediate fossil. You can read about this in his book, Your Inner Fish.
Or, for a bit less commitment, you can just check out this information about his find, which he named Tiktaalik in the Inuit language.
Further, only evolution can explain some of the basic problems in the “design” of humans. For example, in our eyes, the rods and cones face backward. This means that we are seeing a reflected image of reality. Our brains must correct for our inverted image. Perhaps that would be OK. Except, it’s not. The nerves from our rods and cones face into our eyes rather than out. This means that they must be bundled together and then go through a hole in the retina, giving us a blind spot in each eye. We do not notice these blind spots because each eye has them in a different location. The left blind spot is covered up by sight in the right eye and vice versa. So, yes, this “design” is “good enough” for survival. But, it is far from optimal. It is certainly far from what an intelligent designer would create.
Perhaps you might be forgiven for thinking that the intelligent designer was only so perfect in His designs, if not for squid. The cuttlefish family also has a complex eye with lens for focusing and rods and cones and all the rest. But, their rods and cones face forward into the light. Theirs do not produce an inverted image. Theirs have no blind spots. Was your intelligent designer practicing on humans only to perfect the design on octopi, squid, and cuttlefish? Hmmm… I doubt it. Perhaps your intelligent designer just likes squid better than humans.
So, evolution makes testable predictions that prove true. Evolution gave us modern medicine. Evolution explains the imperfections in our design. Evolution gave us … well … us.
Note that I have made no mention of the 32% who believe evolution was a tool used by one or more gods. That view is also demonstrably incorrect, but less so and with less far reaching implications. People in this category are not necessarily idiots. Nor are they hypocritical in using modern medicine since they at least do believe evolution happened. This group is merely not fully educated about the non-predictability of evolution.
I find it interesting that the current increase in belief that evolution is unguided by any god(s) is coming largely from the group who formerly believed that evolution was guided by god. There seems to be no change at all in the size of the group who rejects evolution completely.
I’m mildly sorry to any readers of this blog whom I have called idiots. But, perhaps a little bit of knowledge can cure you of this idiocy. Perhaps it is not a permanent condition. Perhaps it is not too late to learn fact from fiction. Perhaps you can outgrow your god(s) in the same way you outgrew Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.
Please, give it a try.
I know that calling you idiots was not exactly a good persuasive tactic. Others may be better at persuasion than me, almost certainly many are. But, in this case, I’m trying ridicule. For, truly, not believing in evolution but using the technology built upon it is utterly ridiculous. Next thing you know, those who believe every effect has a cause, despite the complete and utter disproof of this view in the quantum mechanical world, will be using computers.