Thank God They’ve Figured It Out

So, creationists. The basic idea is that God created everything, but from there accounts vary.
If you feel like being non-confrontational, you can buy into the idea that everything that science tells us about the world is true, and everything that’s ever happened is fine, but God made it do that. That’s not especially controversial, you just have to dismiss the fact that the whole explanation works just fine without him in it.

Or you can go with the most extreme version where God created everything in the world exactly the way it is now, 6000 years ago, and that every scientific question that should ever be addressed is addressed by the Bible. For that to be true, one must ignore the cosmic microwave background, the theory of relativity, principles of wave dynamics, quantum mechanics, the laws of universal gravitation and thermodynamics, the reliability of nuclear fusion, and electromagnetism, and that’s just physics. Then there’s astronomy, chemistry, biology, ecology, geology, botany, etc. And the general lack of comprehensiveness in the Bible. Essentially, to believe that, you have to dismiss every single piece of empirical, scientific data that humankind as a species has ever gathered. Most people lie somewhere in between.

This actually happened.

One of the issues (this and the entirety of scientific discovery) that has plagued creationists is extinction. If you believe that the fossil record is reliable and represents animals that actually lived at one time, it is immediately obvious that there are a lot of animals you see in fossils that aren’t around any more. Creationist Rich Hawkins finally has an answer as to why that is.

“From time to time God reviews his creations, and he may decide to recall some of them after the review, which causes that particular creation to go extinct. It’s tough, but it’s God’s will. If the scientists want, they can speculate the factors, but they should first accept that it was an Intelligent Recall that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs.”

Yeah. Hawkins isn’t some obscure guy, either, he’s a major player among those trying to rationalize the inherently irrational theory that is creationism. There are a massive number of reasons why this theory is stupid, but let’s look at just one. The numbers.

Right now, there are about 1,800,000 cataloged species in the world, and experts estimate that the true number is somewhere between 5 and 30 million, with more popping up and dying out all the time. The definition of species is kind of difficult and loosely defined, but stay with me. Evolutionary experts also agree that over the course of history, 99.9% of all the species that have ever lived have gone extinct. Not a few of them, statistically pretty much all of them. Using the conservative estimate, that means that for the 5 million species currently on Earth, 5 billion have gone extinct. From a strictly numerical point of view at these “recalls,” only one conclusion is possible.

For an omniscient, omnipotent being, God is either really indecisive or really really shitty at making species.

I prefer the latter explanation.

Thanks to Why Evolution Is True for the story.

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