I occasionally glance at the Disco ‘Tute’s “Evolution News & Views” blog (which it isn’t, since they don’t allow comments), just to marvel at what easily refutable drivel they’re writing today. Usually I don’t bother to delve too deeply, but today for some reason I decided to click their linked article to see if it really said what they said it says. I concluded that their site tagline - “The misreporting of the evolution issue is one key reason for this site” – still holds true. Today’s article is by Logan Gage who writes Hello Evolution, Nice to Meet You, and it certainly misreports evolution. Gage is commenting on the recent “Seed” interview with Alison Gopnik, entitled To Be a Baby. His interpretation of what Gopnik said is:
Gopnik notes that the helplessness of young children seems to be an evolutionary disadvantage and thus would never have developed via the Darwinian mechanism
Note, children would never have developed through evolution. Never! So how come there are children? Intrigued, I clicked the link to the Seed article, where Gopnik says:
It doesn’t make tremendous evolutionary sense to have [children] that can’t even keep themselves alive and require an enormous investment of time on the part of adults.
You’ll note that “it doesn’t make tremendous evolutionary sense” is not quite the same as “would never have” evolved. Of course, factual inaccuracies have never stopped a creationist from making his point. If you read on, you’ll find that Gopnik does actually explain the Darwinian process involved in the development of children:
The evolutionary answer seems to be that there is a tradeoff between the ability to learn and imagine — which is our great evolutionary advantage as a species — and our ability to apply what we’ve learned and put it to use.
Gopnik’s opening “it doesn't make sense” is just a rhetorical device that then allows her to provide the answer and explain how evolution might actually account for the existence of helpless children and babies. The answer is that there is a tradeoff – one that we humans are able to take advantage of because of our evolved child rearing tendencies. Far from saying children would never have developed through evolution, Gopnik explains exactly how and why they could have evolved. Gage continues to completely miss this point by concluding with this piece of drivel:
Rather than see the amazing design of the world, the Darwinian is forced to the absurd position of personifying "Evolution." Evolution intended this and that. And yet this rings hollow when you read the genius of child development which she ably describes.
What “personifying" evolution even means (or why the word “evolution” is in scare quotes) is not explained. Nor is there any justification given for saying that evolution “intended” anything – since Gopnik never even used the word “intended”, and evolution does not “intend” anything. Typical clueless Discovery Institute sophistry, in other words. To paraphrase Gage’s words back at him, rather than try to understand the amazing process of evolution, the creationist is forced to the absurd position of denying it, even when the article he is critiquing explains exactly how the observed world evolved.
And of course, it goes without saying that there is no explanation at all from Gage for why the “designer” would have created helpless children who need the enormous investment of time on the part of adults. How would “helpless children” be a prediction of design? Surely an intelligent designer would have created children who are not helpless? Once again, Intelligent Design is shown to be useless vacuous posturing, and the only reason for the Discovery Institute and its lame website is still to misreport evolution.