Intelligent Design

Dilbert cartoonist: Fossils are bullshit (!?)

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Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams seems determined to think for himself about evolution, despite flak from a Darwinist “ass hat” (his term). Although not an intelligent design supporter, Scott makes some of the very points that the ID guys and other non-Darwinians make about the Darwinist interpretation of the fossil record:

I’ve been trying for years to reconcile my usually-excellent bullshit filter with the idea that evolution is considered a scientific fact. Why does a well-established scientific fact set off my usually-excellent bullshit filter like a five-alarm fire? It’s the fossil record that has been bugging me the most. It looks like bullshit. Smells like bullshit. Tastes like bullshit. Why isn’t it bullshit? All those scientists can’t be wrong.

If you are new to the Dilbert Blog, I remind you that I don’t believe in Intelligent Design or Creationism or invisible friends of any sort. I just think that evolution looks like a blend of science and bullshit, and have predicted for years that it would be revised in scientific terms in my lifetime. It’s a hunch – nothing more.

Essentially, Adams is questioning the dogmatic certainty with which Darwinism is held to account for the history of life even though the evidence base is always shifting. Have fun. Read the whole thing!

(Note: I also put up something at the Post-Darwinist on the impact of Kent (Dr. Dino) Hovind’s jail term for tax evasion and a bunch of straws in the wind at Access Research Network.)

10 Replies to “Dilbert cartoonist: Fossils are bullshit (!?)

  1. 1
    TerryL says:

    I particularly enjoyed the responses from some of his readers, full of the typical sneers you get from pro-Darwin ideologues whenever an infidel questions their religion:

    I cannot believe your comments on evolution. You are so amazingly ignorant of that which you have chosen to disparage it’s really quite stunning.
    Seriously.
    Just know one thing about evolution, chew on it for a while, see what you come up with:
    Everything in biology is evidence for evolution.
    That’s it.
    Seem too simple?
    Well, turn it around a bit:
    So far not one single piece of scientific evidence has ‘disproved’ evolution. And really, so many things could. If DNA, for example, did not reveal relationships between species indicating common ancestry, or if the fossil record revealed a ‘rabbit in the precambrian’, these things would send evolutionary biologists back to the drawing board.
    And just so you know, all the problems in the science of evolution are being worked on by actual scientists, and when it appears someone is promoting bullshit, it’s the other scientists who do the work necessary to discover/reveal/correct errors or reveal hoaxes (piltdown, for ex) not blog writing cartoonists who simply “can’t understand for themselves how it works” so they throw their two cents in like you did and reveal themselves to be ignorant tools.
    But hey, can’t be an expert at everything, right?
    What else escapes your vast intellect?
    Where next to cast your aspersions eh? Quantum science? Plate tectonics? BIg Bang theory?
    Do you even understand what a scientific theory is?
    Do you know the difference between a fact and a theory?
    How about a hypothesis?
    You know that old saying about opening one’s mouth and removing all doubt?
    Well good job on that!

    Amen, brother! How dare Adams question evolutionary theory? I say: Persecute, Kill the Heretic!!!

  2. 2
    alan says:

    Anyone care to comment on the rabbit in the precambrian. TerryL won’t see the assumptions in the rest of his argument and my lowley self would benefit from a reasonable hypothesis on stratification and
    dating of fossils. Plainly and logically the abundant LACK of “transitional” forms means something – right?
    I do think the trilobite in the human footprint is factual (i.e. not a hoax) for example.

  3. 3
    jmcd says:

    Alan.

    One has to consider that most species were never fossilized. Then one must consider the rarity of fossils existing from species that were. When you have several species showing a progression from land animal to sea animal for instance paleontologists consider those species transitional species. The likelihood of being able to recognize a specimen that was in the many, many generations long span of speciation is dismally low. If we could uncover 100 consecutive generations of a population maybe then we would have an example that would satisfy everyone’s notion of transitional fossils. This will almost certainly never happen though. Fossils can show us the evolutionary trend in development, but they cannot capture evolution in action in the sense that so many people seem to expect. A Fossil is a snapshot and evolution is a very long process (even under a PE scenario).

  4. 4
    inunison says:

    One has to wonder what evidence would be sufficient to overturn (lets say hypothetically) Neo-Darwinian Evolutionary Theory. I would really like to know.

  5. 5
    GilDodgen says:

    After 150 years of armies of people digging up fossils — with the explicit, predetermined goal of confirming Darwinian gradualism — we have a few speculative examples with no means of establishing ancestor/descendent relationships, but mountains of examples of long periods of stasis and sudden appearance. In no other scientific field would this state of affairs be taken as confirmation of a theory, with the excuse that the theory is just fine but the evidence is faulty.

  6. 6
    Jason Rennie says:

    “Everything in biology is evidence for evolution.”

    That is an interesting comment.

    Seems a bit akin to saying.

    “Everything in economics is evidence for marxism.”

  7. 7
    Lurker says:

    Everything in biology is evidence for evolution. That’s it.

    I can just picture this idiot saying something similar with respect to alchemy.

  8. 8
    mike1962 says:

    Scott Adams: “To be fair, there’s still plenty of evidence for evolution. (Mike1962: ID is not ‘against’ that evidence) It’s not going away anytime soon. But personally, I’m cautious about any theory that keeps the same conclusion regardless of how many times the evidence for it changes.”

    Well put, Scott. Well put.

  9. 9
    mike1962 says:

    jmcd, “One has to consider that most species were never fossilized.”

    Right, but to what degree transitionals existed is speculation.

    jmcd, “Fossils can show us the evolutionary trend in development, but they cannot capture evolution in action in the sense that so many people seem to expect.”

    They cannot indicate the mechanism of change. Seems like Adams has “Darwinian” (the blindwatchmaker thesis) evolution in mind, not change over time.

    What the fossils do show is that “small” minutely gradual scale changes did not occur, but rather “medium” to “large” scale changes occured. It is patently contrary to the blind watchmaker thesis, IMO.

  10. 10
    alan says:

    A focused discussion on the fact (is it a fact) that “higher” species are not found within the strata of “lower” ones would be helpful to me. Any experts out there on this. The evolutionist is happy to assume that “deeper/older” strata having “simpler” fossils MUST have become/transisitioned/evolved into (somehow) those fossils in “higher/younger strata. What else can explain this “fact” unless the “fact” can be misleading and interpreted differently? The evidence (to me anyway) of a naturalistic mechanism (mutation + natural secection) to develop any species into a truly different one (with truly new genetic information) seems quite the stretch of faith. So given that, what allows the fossil record to seemingly contradict the impossibility of darwinian evolution?

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