Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Thinking in Deep Time

So we made it to DC in one piece. I'm here, and I'm tired, but after a good night's rest I promise to try to do a decent job of blogging the CogSci conference. I've got my packet and the schedule looks like it has some interesting stuff.

Anyway, I was just reminded of one of the dumb arguments creationists use, which is when they concede that they believe in microevolution (i.e., small changes) but not macroevolution (i.e. speciation). Sure dogs and trees and mosquitos change over time...but they're still dogs and trees and mosquitos.

To this I say: learn to think in longer time spans, people.

Sure mountains and canyons and lakes erode and change shape over time. But they're still mountains and canyons and lakes, right? I mean, who has ever seen a mountain actually thrust up from the earth's crust? That must mean that mountains and canyons and lakes were created exactly as they are, right? Because we've never seen one form before our very eyes. Because one has never been created in the laboratory.

As with geological formations, so it is with biological species. It takes a while to evolve from a single-celled individual to a complex, bilaterally-symmetrical, multicellular organism. But guess what? That's what happened. to a find a decent restaurant in the area.

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