“Did you look up lamarckianism yet? You were preaching it, Matt was describing it, you were disagreeing and putting words in his mouth. Again. Dolt.”
Those are the words of RIght Wing Sense Vacuum Stormbringer, trying to score one past me in the comments on his blog.
Once again the guy is wrong.
Let’s look at this though, he’s referring to the discussion I had with Matt Slick a couple of nights ago, where I tried to explain the basics of evolution to him. Matt tried to say that I was preaching Larmarckism, the notion that offspring can inherit traits from their parents that the parent has developed during its lifetime. Though there are some studies that show that some traits *may* be inherited this way, it’s not what I was saying at all.
Matt tried to use the example of a giraffe, claiming that giraffes stretched their necks upwards, getting longer as a result. This is not what happens – the ‘arms race’ between the giraffe and its food is the prime cause here. Basically a giraffe that already has a neck that’s long enough to eat the food that’s out of reach of its neighbours will more likely be around long enough to reproduce, passing that trait on to its offspring. It’s mutation and variance that causes the slightly longer neck, and natural selection that pushes it forward.
Look at it this way – trees get eaten and die because giraffes are eating the leaves, after a while the only trees left are the ones that grow too high for the giraffe to eat. The only giraffes that can then eat are the ones that happen to *already* have longer necks. As these giraffes are the only ones who can eat well they are the ones that survive, which means that the long neck trait is passed on to the next generation.
Imagine a supermarket where all the food is on the top shelf. Short people won’t get taller by stretching to reach it, they’ll just starve (unless they’re bright enough to use a tool like a ladder), leaving only pre-existing tall people around to pass on their genes.
Where Lamarckism *may* have some credibility is in the area of Memes, ideas being passed from generation to generation. This is probably what happens in societal groups, the tribe that doesn’t kill, rape, or steal from, it’s fellow members is more likely to survive than the one that does. Likewise it’s more likely to attract others who are already, through genetics, predisposed that way. The combination of the Meme and the increasing number of people who share that trait being together in the gene pool makes it possible for the very basic building blocks of ‘morality’ to become ‘hard wired’ into the group.
So, yet again, Stormbringer has failed to understand a very simple concept, has then accused me of preaching it, even when I was CLEARLY saying to Matt that I didn’t agree with that viewpoint. In fact Stormbringer has got his point entirely the wrong way round. I WASN’T preaching Lamarckism, Matt claimed I was, and was then describing it, and I pointed out that I DIDN’T agree with that. I then, very clearly, went on to explain the actual mechanisms used.
As a final thought, Stormbringer is also claiming that it’s a logical fallacy to demand that he calls the Atheist Experience just because I’ve called Matt Slick – no Stormy, it’s not a ‘fallacy’, it’s a challenge. I’ve proved to you that I DO have the courage to take on some one you thought I wouldn’t, and now I’m challenging YOU to have the courage of your faith and take on a well prepared atheist. It’s not an ‘A therefore B’ situation, it’s a ‘I’ve called this guy, twice, do you have the courage to do the same?’ challenge.
Of course, Stormbringer won’t call the Atheist Experience, because he’s not bright enough to take them on, would probably get all flustered and angry, making an arse of himself, and (and this is the main reason) because he lacks the courage to have his beliefs placed under extreme scrutiny by people who will spot even the slightest error in his ‘logic’ and tear him to shred.
The man is a coward, and has no credibility at all.