Wednesday, February 09, 2005

What about extinction?

I was reading this review of "Darwin, Design and Public Education," (thanks to Panda's Thumb) and was struck by this paragraph:

But Meyer et al. are merely rephrasing the "scientific creationism" of young-earth creationist Henry Morris: "[A]ll the kingdoms, phyla and classes in the organic world have been essentially unchanged since life began, and . . . even the orders and most of the families, genera, and even species appear suddenly in the fossil record, with no incipient forms leading up to them. . . . [W]hile there may have been changes within the kinds (as provided by creative forethought) [i.e., a designer] ... the kinds have apparently not varied since the beginning, except for those that have become extinct" (Scientific Creationism, 1974, pp. 87- 88). The Meyer et al. article is characterized throughout by such linguistic camouflage.

And it occurred to me: why if life was "designed," would there be a feature of extinction at all?

I suspect the standard creationist retort- I've seen this before- is "Why do you think the design has to be flawless/perfect/....? Oh, and by the way, that still means the Designer is flawless/perfect..." Of course, this argument makes "intelligent" "design" simply nonsense, but, hey, it's not evolution, right?

But "intelligent" "design" folks can't explain extinction- there is no "market forces" that impose planned obsolescnece of species apart from natural selection, and that must burn those creationists really badly, I'd suspect.

Oddly enough, extinction itself is not listed on the big list of Things Creationists Hate, but it should be.

No comments: