Monday, August 22, 2011

Why Evolution is More Absurd than TV Evangelism

I had a couple of minutes to kill today after stuffing myself at the local Mexican restaurant. I saw this article on Yahoo! and thought it might be fun to read. For the most part, it was. Until I got to this quote:

Genuine smiles and fake smiles are governed by two separate neural pathways. We know this is true because people with damage to a certain part of the brain can still break into a spontaneous grin even though they're unable to smile at will. Scientists speculate that our ancestors evolved the neural circuitry to force smiles because it was evolutionarily advantageous to mask their fear and fury.

According to this theory, some cave man somewhere thought, "Heeeey...I'm really ticked at the tribal chief right now. I really, really wish I could fake a smile so he wouldn't see my inner fury." Hearing this desperate plea, Evolution stepped in, and after hundreds of generations of progeny, granted his request. And people claim that evolutionists aren't a people of faith!

Do people really find this easier to believe than a con-artist TV evangelist's forehead slapping ministry?


Mike Cook said...

Yes, it is easier to believe. Although, you have your cause/effect sequence backwards.

And a misunderstanding of what natural selection is.

Brad Williams said...


The article doesn't say a thing about natural selection, which I believe in. It says, "Our ancestors evolved the neural circuitry to force smiles because it was evolutionarily advantageous."

The writer of the article has cause-effect backwards, not me. This article seems to believe that at one time, there was no ability present to fake a smile, and seeing that this would become necessary, evolution "made it so." This is not natural selection, it is a necessary, spontaneous creation (happening?) brought about by a necessity seen by evolution.

Really, there is no other explanation other than someone randomnly happened to be able to fake a smile, and because of that, his head got spared. But that isn't the language of the article.

Mike Cook said...

I'll agree with that. I was reading into it what I assumed the evident data actually meant, not how the writer was interpreting it.

You are correct. The article's writer doesn't understand what he is talking about, and unfortunately, it is writers like this that tend to confuse the issue and make people who also don't understand the science look at it like it is ridiculous.

Brad Williams said...

Yay! Agreement! I'm saving this.

It was my intention to lampoon the writer more than the theory here. That's why I listed this under "sarcasm." Though I see evolution treated this way surprisingly often.