Sunday, May 05, 2013

Richard Dawkins is a Jackass

I saw this quote on Facebook, attributed to Richard Dawkins: “Evolution could so easily be disproved if just a single fossil turned up in the wrong date order. Evolution has passed this test with flying colours.”

While this sounds like him - because it's arrogant, dismissive, and actually wrong - I also know that I can't trust anything on the internet, especially Facebook. So I googled it and luckily found a quote website that did a rare deed - it stated the book where the quote came from!.

So, OK, he did say it right? Well, I'm a scholar and I still needed more evidence before calling Dawkins out on his ignorant British BS. So I checked googlebooks, and sure enough, he said that quote, in The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution p. 147!

And it shows you the contempt you need for Dawkins that I'm more surprised that a random humor graphic on Facebook is correct than that Dawkins is wrong.

Oh, so why is it wrong? Because the fossil record is itself the constitutive data for our knowledge of prehistoric species. You can't say a conclusion is proved from its own data-set! Moreover, our concept of evolution is independent of the fossils - they don't prove anything because if a fossil is found "out of order" all that would do is add more data to the data-set about our knowledge of dinosaurs, not evolution.

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