By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor
Washington (CNN) – A U.S. congressman is attracting attention and criticism for an online video that shows him blasting evolution and the Big Bang theory as “lies from the pit of hell” in a recent speech at a church event in his home state of Georgia.
“All that stuff I was taught about evolution, embryology, the Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell,” U.S Rep. Paul Broun said in an address last month at a banquet organized by Liberty Baptist Church in Hartwell, Georgia. “And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior.”
Broun, a medical doctor by training, serves on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
Speaking at Liberty Baptist Church’s Sportsman’s Banquet on September 27, he said that “a lot of scientific data that I’ve found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth.”
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“I don’t believe that the Earth’s but about 9,000 years old,” Broun said in the speech, which Liberty Baptist Church posted on its website via YouTube. “I believe it was created in six days as we know them. That’s what the Bible says."
Scientists say that the Earth is roughly 4.5 billion years old and that the universe dates back 13.7 billion years.
In his speech to the church group, Broun called the Bible the “the manufacturer’s handbook. … It teaches us how to run all of public policy and everything in our society.”
“That’s the reason, as your congressman, I hold the holy Bible as being the major directions to me of how I vote in Washington, D.C., and I’ll continue to do that,” he said.
A spokeswoman for the congressman, Meredith Griffanti, said that Broun was not available for comment on Wednesday and that the video showed him “speaking off the record to a large church group about his personal beliefs regarding religious issues.”
The congressman’s remarks about science have drawn attention online, with critics taking aim at his role on the science committee.
Bill Nye, the popular science personality, told the Huffington Post in an e-mail that "Since the economic future of the United States depends on our tradition of technological innovation, Representative Broun's views are not in the national interest."
"For example, the Earth is simply not 9,000 years old," said Nye, a mechanical engineer and television personality best known for his program "Bill Nye the Science Guy." Broun "is, by any measure, unqualified to make decisions about science, space, and technology."
Talking Points Memo reported on the church video over the weekend after being tipped off by the Bridge Project, a progressive group that tracks conservative activity.
Most creationists believe in the account of the origins of the world as told in the Book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible.
CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories
In the creation account, God creates Adam and Eve, the world and everything in it in six days.
For Christians who read the Genesis account literally, or authoritatively as they would say, the six days in the account are literal 24-hour periods and leave no room for evolution. Young Earth creationists use this construct and biblical genealogies to determine the age of the Earth and typically come up with 6,000 to 10,000 years.
The Gallup Poll has been tracking Americans' views on creation and evolution for 30 years. In June, it released its latest findings, which showed that 46% of Americans believed in creationism, 32% believed in evolution guided by God, and 15% believed in atheistic evolution.
– CNN's Eric Marrapodi contributed to this report.
We have Gravity and Time; why would we need a god? When humans are gone God will be gone with them.
God created your gravity and time....and your breath and your soul.
Mat 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
He loves you enough to die for your sins and is alive to save you if you call on Him.
conoclast: excellent point. John: you are ignorant and delusional
If you go to this MD for treatment of a bite from a rabid animal will he use the treatment found in scripture or the one that was developed using the same chemical principles that are the cornerstone of the Theory of Evolution?
Reminds me of the Doonesbury cartoon with the creationist at the doctors office: "Would you like the original Penicillin that the virus is resistant to, or newer antibiotics developed with the understanding that viruses evolve?"
Lol. good one.
Rufus T. Firefly
antibiotics for viruses? and you pretend to know about science?
Bacteria. I stand corrected.
Rufus is a scientist. he admits when he's mistaken.
Evangelicals Question The Existence Of Adam And Eve
"Polls by Gallup and the Pew Research Center find that four out of 10 Americans believe humanity descend from Adam and Eve, but NPR reports that evangelical scientists are now saying publicly that they can no longer believe the Genesis account and that it is unlikely that we all descended from a single pair of humans. 'That would be against all the genomic evidence that we've assembled over the last 20 years so not likely at all,' says biologist Dennis Venema, a senior fellow at BioLogos Foundation, a Christian group that tries to reconcile faith and science. 'You would have to postulate that there's been this absolutely astronomical mutation rate that has produced all these new variants in an incredibly short period of time. Those types of mutation rates are just not possible. It would mutate us out of existence.' Venema is part of a growing cadre of Christian scholars who say they want their faith to come into the 21st century and say it's time to face facts: There was no historical Adam and Eve, no serpent, no apple, no fall that toppled man from a state of innocence."
You know what's so great about these comments? They make someone of reasonably average intelligence feel so good about themselves. Seriously, how many dumb people are there in this world?
"Seriously, how many dumb people are there in this world?"
Apparently about half are below average.
When a kitty-cat has a litter of kittens, are those kittens slowly but surely evolving into DOGGIES? 'Nother question.
If man evolved from APES, who did the APES EVOLVE FROM? Swine? (Early days of diabetes treatment swine insulin was used for treatment). Seriously. What animal? (Good question no one ever asks. This would be 'man's grand-parent' species however long ago).
If 'man' evolved from the 'apes' then why has that process stopped ???? Where are the 'ape-people' since there are still apes in the wild .... why are they not 'EVOLVING' into people anymore? Is EVOLUTION playing games? Taking a pause, trying to figure out what to do NEXT!
Do you even understand evolution? Because from your comments it is clear that you do not.
Boy, you are so misinformed you aren't even able to ask sensible questions. Try backing up and learning a little before reaching any conclusions.
Wow, you truly do not understand the Theory of Evolution. Perhaps you should take some Biology 101 courses and work your way up...
Ho hum, another ignorant person with the apes-man error.
The last common ancestor of man and chimpanzees lived about 6 million years ago in Africa. Around that time, there was a branching in the evolution of the species and any intermediate species between this last common ancestor and modern man (Ho.mo sapiens) is called a hominid.
So far, we have amassed thousands of fossils of hominids from Eastern Africa, South Africa, Chad, Iraq, Europe, China, Indonesia, the Caucus mountains and elsewhere. A number of different species have been identified. Beginning, roughly with the oldest to the newest, these are –
Ho.mo neanderthalis (Neanderthal man)
And us, Ho.mo sapiens.
The ages of the respective fossils suggest that our immediate ancestor was Ho.mo Erectus and that Ho.mo heidelbergensis, Ho.mo neanderthalis (Neanderthal man) and Ho.mo floresiensis all went extinct.
The above is an over-simplification, omits many other intermediate species and is not without controversy in some areas, but is a useful yardstick to gauge how humans evolved from the last common ancestor we shared with the great apes.
A little more complex than a rib and some magic, but that's what happened.
If ignorance is bliss you must be 7th heaven by now. Wow. You really need an education.
Evolution is a racist lie. Zero evidence linking any 2 different species.
John, speciation has been observed in a lab setting. Are you truly that ignorant?
Colin, so what was so special about '6 million years ago' that a 'branching' of species took place? UFO visit? Common ancestors of Man and Chimpanzees? So who were the 'common ancestors' of the Chimps and whatever animal-species they came from? The 'Grandma/pa' species of our species? According to 'Evolution Theory' we would also be coming from them also as four-legged as they may be only just a few more million years earlier, right?
cytwo – your ignorance is glaring. try READING Darwin, and try to understand http://darwin-online.org.uk/
When you post such idiotic garbage, its clear that you have NO CONCEPT of what you are talking about. It appears that you are just regurgitating lies and misinformation you heard in church. Church is NOT the place to learn SCIENCE!
Church is the place you go to hear lies that might make you feel good (if you don't THINK rationally)
enetics Proves Evolution: The Creationist's Galileo Moment
When chicken embryos start to develop they have teeth buds and the beginnings of multi segmented tails. As they develop their DNA tells the developing embryo to absorb them. Much like human embryo's absorb the so called embryonic gill slits. Now if you turn off the genes that control this absorption instruction you get chicken embryos that develop long multi segmented dinosaur tails and meat eating dinosaur teeth complete with the serrated inside edge. Other studies have also been successful in regressing feathers into scales.
This is not hypothesis. This is not supposition. This is not interpretation. This cold hard, hold in your hands see with your own eyes type reproducible proof. It has already been done and is doc.umented and reproducible. No DNA was ever added to the bird DNA. This was done using 100% pure chicken DNA.
These researchers have proved that bird DNA contains genes that create meat eating dinosaur characteristics. The only way this can happen is through the evolutionary process. That is meat eating dinosaurs evolved into birds.
So like when Galileo first pointed his telescope at the heavens and learned that Aristotle and thus the Church was wrong modern scientists have pointed their microscopes at developing bird embryos and learned that they are correct. Evolution is real Genesis is wrong.
Now just to make things easier for Creationists in verifying the above, yes I realize that you prefer to get your education from YouTube U. as I know reading non religious articles is such a chore for you, however, here are the names and insti.tutions that you can use as starting points for your research. You must remember now to get the best results from your Internet searches do not to include the terms 'bible, creationist, intelligent design, religion, god' in your search engine queries.
Raul Cano, professor of microbiology at California Polytechnic State University
Jack Horner, professor of palaeontology at Montana State University
Hans Larsson, a paleontologist at McGill University in Canada
Matt Harris and John Fallon, developmental biologists at the University of Wisconsin
Dewey Kramer, at Texas A&M University
Evolution is a racist lie without any credible evidence.
when solving a maths problem - if you get the first step wrong - then even if you do the rest of the steps right very intelligently - you will not solve the problem. That is the problem with the scientists - they are working off of some basic false premises and assumptions.
It is not very intelligent to try to capture Shakespeare's genius by analyzing arrangement of alphabets and words in one of his masterpieces. Similarly you cannot get to the essence of the creation by analyzing the arrangement of particles in it - again, the first step is wrong - you may be very intelligent at analyzing the arrangement of particles but since you are looking at the wrong thing - the intelligence is wasted.
OK, what's the first wrong step for an atheist.
Sorry, would you mind translating that into English? All I see is meaningless words put together by somebody trying to prove a point – but you haven't the slightest idea what you are talking about.
You are an idiot....lost in your meager pathetic existence....religion is for people that cannot believe in themselves and need a crutch to get through life...no different than taking drugs either legal or not.
just because your brain can not capture it - does not mean it is meaningless - may be you are not intelligent enough to grasp it.
first wrong step is to start with assumption that complete truth can be discovered by analyzing arrangement of matter.
Poor Non Atheist, now he's just babbling. I'm still leaning towards Poe's law on him...
Not only have you flunked kindergarten science, but you've also flunked your middle-school course on Shakespeare.
Now do be a good fellow, and try to learn something other than the collected folk tales of bronze age nomads and shepherds.
OK – I'm not arguing with you yet, but let's see the next step.
Non Atheist. So, instead of using the actual available data,you would prefer that we use imagination, assumptions or delusions like the religious folk do?
Yeah – I'd have to hear his definition of "complete truth" before I could admit that this could be an incorrect assumption on the part of anyone. But I am intrigued by the possible directions one might go with such an idea.
Right scientists do not understand how chemistry works.
since we are 'trying to know', we clearly do not know the complete truth - which means our knowledge and capabilities are obscured - meaning we are at a relative state of knowledge and with obscured capabilities, we will never be able to understand complete or absolute truth with our imperfect senses and research we make based on them. thus only way to know the complete truth is by intervention of a personal Absolute.
Non Atheist, so you're going with delusion. I appreciate the answer.
it is ok if you want to stay with relative state of so-called knowledge or ignorance.
I don't disagree with the not knowing, but what are you referring to with "personal absolute"?
the answer is here, it is a brief read -
Non Atheist, versus going with your laughable delusion? Yep, I'll take reality.
but your so-called reality is already proven by me (and accepted by mamakindless) as ignorance (lack of complete knowledge). considering ignorant as reality is certainly delusion.
Non Atheist, and yours has non more knowledge than mine, but you would like to pretend that it does. This pretense might give you comfort but, well, it is just pretense.
you can label mine delusion ... but your state I have proven as ignorance and considering that ignorance as reality is CERTAINLY delusion. I admit that I am in ignorance too until I become completely God-realized. So I have a reality-check there. But you don't have any as you are blissfully calling reality something which is clearly a state of ignorance.
But, what you call ignorance is in reality only partial ignorance. There are quite a few things that we humans have figured out pretty well. Just using this computer shows that to be true. And, how many of these bits of knowledge have demonstrably come to us from the source that you claim? That would be zero.
How can a medical doctor by training have such a loose understand of science and biology to say such stupid things? This guy is a moron - no way to sugar coat idiocy.
that is the problem with atheists - they want to take over the scientific establishment - and kick out all those scientists who profess to believe in God. Height of intolerance and hypocrisy.
It would boggle the mind if one didn't already understand the American education system's chief priority is graduating students, not educating them.
Non Atheist, that's ridiculous. Many scientists believe in God. No legitimate scientist considers the earth to be less than 10,000 years old.
You really are a clown, aren't you. This congresscreature is not a scientist, and for you to claim that he is a "scientist who believes in god" shows that you are every bit as ignorant as he is.
What next – guaranteed scientific jobs for members of the Flat Earth Society?
according to vedic calculations, age of earth is roughly the same around what scientists claim - around 4 billion odd years.
Non Atheist, can't you see that lumping all atheists together and assuming you know what they want or what they think is just as bad as what you are complaining about?
study vedic literature for full scientific understanding of absolute reality
Non Atheist, you should look up the word "science". It doesn't mean what you obviously think it does.
What does that have to do with scientists rejecting the idea that the earth is less than 10k years old?
"On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life" – by Charles Darwin.
Evolution is a racist lie.
John, perhaps you would benefit from reading more than the title.
Non-Atheist: "Height of intolerance" ? Intentional ignorance should ALWAYS be ridiculed and NEVER tolerated. Put away your inbred prejudice (what you were raised with) and try to learn something NOT fictional and NOT in a religious text. Here are a few suggestions: The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins – The Greatest Show on Earth – also by Dawkins who is very good at explaining the mechanism of evolution. Also do a little RESEARCH on Darwin! not what your pastor says – use YOUR OWN BRAIN to study the ACTUAL writings and drawings of Charles Darwin at
Darwin Online: http://darwin-online.org.uk/ – if you open your mind, you just might learn something and not appear so ignorant in the future.
Ok, I understand why a "religious" person might get fired up about this story and certainly many of the comments, but why on earth would an evolutionist? Why should an evolutionist care at all?? I just don't get the intensity...
Because he is in a position of power.
Because this clown is a scientific ignoramus and yet he is in a position to set serious science policy? Because nobody this ignorant and stupid should be serving in public office?
Seriously? You can't understand why it is disturbing to have someone who denies basic science making decisions for us all on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology? It's like having a crystal healer on your surgical team.
The Bible – it's really a joke book. In another 2000 years they will talk of a magical man name "Santa" who was able to deliver presents all over the world in a single night!
If God is so powerful why did he have to rest after only working for six days? Why did he have to rest at all?
If there is a God, do you think He is answerable to you - and must act subservient to logic emanating from your tiny brain - he is obligated to fit within your mental constructs?
Can you tell us why the creationists and the anti-science nutjobs like this congresscreature have such a deep belief in the collected folk tales and myths of a group of bronze age desert nomads?
The Bible is the word of God as her breathed it. He used the word 'rest' . Therefore he was tired. How did he get tired?
I sometimes rest for recreation even when I am not tried. Your logic is false.
Non Atheist, no, that is relaxing. Not resting.
Now you are hair-splitting ... original bible was not even written in English. People do take rest for purpose of recreation - God is even more free to do whatever He chooses to do.
You are the one that is splitting hairs. But, that is common for the religious types. Reality doesn't work so they have to stick with semantics.
But, speaking of not written in English (duh), the original hebrew word (wayyishbot, yes, that is anglicized), specifically means to stop work and rest. So, not the type of rest you would like to pretend it means.
If you were God, you would also love to rest as much as possible - we like re-creation but we have to work. God does not HAVE to work ... His work is recreation and His rest is recreation .... and He does not care if this makes sense to your 200gms of grey matter.
You know god that well eh? LOL! Kid, you are delusional. And, while your brain might be about 200 grams (which would explain a lot), the average sized brain is more like 1300-1400
He has no place i a modern society.
Fortunately, that you do not get to decide. Otherwise you will impose your atheist fascism or totalitarianism.
If Evolution is false the principles of chemistry and physics, underlying corner stones of evolution, cannot function as predictable events. Then God has to preform each chemical reaction himself. So when I drop baking soda into vinegar I make God preform the reaction for me. I have dominion over God. He has to do what I want when I want because he gave me free will..
Evolution is racism.
That's actually pretty funny.
Creationism is wishful thinking from arrogant people who can't handle acknowledging that humans aren't oh so special.
Regardless of what one thinks of 'creationism', Darwin's theory of evolution is racist. It's not something funny to hate or belittle because someone has different skin color.
And your claim that "evolution is racism" is based on what (other than your favorite fairy tales)? And isn't it ironic that this anti-evolution, anti-science clown of a congresscritter is from the deep south – the home of racism!
Dear John: and the way you comment on Darwin shows that you haven't read him. You've read no doubt a few paragraphs pulled out at random by creationists (who, irony of ironies are based in the Old South).
John – Here – you don't even have to look it up: Darwin Online: http://darwin-online.org.uk/
USE YOUR OWN BRAIN to study the ACTUAL writings and drawings of Charles Darwin – you will be amazed at his depth of thought and intelligence. It will become OBVIOUS that he had the right idea – We USE evolution every day! ever hear of corn? Dairy cows? Dogs? all have evolved through HUMAN selection – Natural Selection just takes a bit longer.
– if you open your mind, you just might learn something and not appear so ignorant in the future.
What a bunch of B S ! This dude's an MD - how could he not understand the theory of evolution?? He's just pandering to 'believers' who want to hear this crap. I don't think Republicans are stupid, but many play to stupid people.
Are you saying you understand a theory that says everything just happened from nothing for which there is no supporting evidence?
Psa 139:14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
John – it may surprise you to learn that I'm Catholic. The evidence of the theory of evolution is there – you just have to look for it and educate yourself. There is no telling that God is not behind all the wonderful creations that are present in the Universe. Has it ever occurred to you that God spoke in language and concepts that were easily understood by his immediate audience? If you cannot understand the Theory of Evolution today, one guess on how easily it would have been understood by Abraham's followers. God is wise, not stupid.
It's not the material world he should be worried about.
Scare tactics are the telltale sign that a religious philosophy is complete BS.
A quick five question test that every aspiring candidate for public office, Republican or Democrat, should be required to pass.
Q.1 The best theory we currently have is that Universe was created about 13.7 billion years ago in what is (somewhat misleadingly) called the Big Bang. To understand this we should:
a. Simply declare that, because we don’t know what caused the Big Bang, the Hindu god Brahma must have created the Universe.
b. Simply declare that, because we don’t know what caused the Big Bang, God must have created the Universe.
c. Adopt the Australian Aboriginal belief that the Universe was created by a great snake in the Dreamtime; or
d. Accept the limits on our current knowledge and just stop there, without invoking a magic act by any god to fill the current gap in our knowledge.
Q.2 Likewise, we know that life on Earth evolved over the last approximately 3.5 billion years and likely began in a planet wide “organic soup” of complex organic chemicals in the primordial oceans, in an increasingly well understood process. As such, we should:
a. Look for any limitation in our knowledge and, when we find one, jump up and say “aha, scientists cannot yet fully explain (for example) how DNA synthesis first occurred, therefore the Judeo-Christian god did it.”
b. Look for any limitation in our knowledge and, when we find one, jump up and say “aha, scientists cannot yet fully explain (for example) how DNA synthesis first occurred, therefore the Hindu god Brahma did it.”
c. Simply read our Bibles and find the answers there; or
d. Continue our scientific research and experimentation and not make the bald faced assertion that any god, ghost or goblin must have conjured up life through some inexplicable act of magic.
Q.3 The statement “I believe in God because the Bible tells me to and the reason I follow the Bible is because it is the word of God” is:
a. The reason 99% of Christians believe what they do;
b. Circular reasoning at its most obvious;
c. Specific to the Judeo-Christian parts of the World and totally rejected by all other parts of the World; or
d. All of the above.
Q.4 Probably the most fundamental tenet of Christian faith is that God sent his son Jesus to Earth to die and save us from the original sin of Adam and Eve. We now know that Adam and Eve was a myth. As such, any thinking Christian should:
a. Honestly and courageously question this and any other aspects of their faith that don’t make sense.
b. Make up some euphemistic nonsense like “well, we didn’t mean that literally” after having done exactly that for the last 1900 years until science comprehensively disproved it.
c. Just ignore the blatant contradiction and sweep it under the mat; or
d. Hold on to the myth because it makes them feel good.
Q5. Please choose your favorite Catholic superst.ition from those below. For the one you choose, please say why it is any more ridiculous than the rest of the garbage Catholics swallow and give an example of a non-Catholic belief which is just as stupid.
a. Grocery store bread and wine becomes the flesh and blood of a dead Jew from 2,000 years ago because a priest does some hocus pocus over it in church of a Sunday morning.
b. When I pray for something like “please god help me pass my exam tomorrow,” an invisible being reads my mind and intervenes to alter what would otherwise be the course of history in small ways to meet my request.
c. You can pray to a dead person for something. This dead person will then ask God to fulfill your wish. If this happens twice, this dead person becomes a saint.
d. A god impregnated a virgin with himself, so he could give birth to himself and then sacrifice himself to himself to negate an “original sin” of a couple we now know never existed.
May I proselytize now, please? You are primed to join the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Here, you will find the truth. I was a doubter until I was touched by his noodly appendage.
While I agree with your words, I must point out that several of your points are based on the assumption that they think like we do, and they don't.
American Taliban... 'nuf said...
I think more like "Romney's base"...
A perect and all powerful god could achieve any end that he desires without the need for a devil or the threat of eternal damnation.
So could an all powerful, all knowing leprechaun, but what is your fvcking point?
Well here's the thing. I think that evolution is true. Let's say it's got quite a lot going for it.
Now the all powerful God thing is a possibility too. But with just that notion, before you get into the Abrahamic God, there are many other possibilities that may involve what we now term as a deity, but some possibilities might not be called a deity since those possibilities don't have to necessarily be a higher being. I think if you won't allow yourself to think away from the Abrahamic God for even an instant, you miss many possibilities. I don't take any of them really seriously, but why limit your wondering?
For instance I'm really liking this idea of a multiverse or multi-verse. To me that would explain a lot of things liek could an affecting force have come thru the last big bang where it didn't necessarily have to originate there. And if these multi realities did exist before, then who's to say that the attributes and powers of things in them had to resemble exactly the attributes and powers that we have in this one. I say that in regard to here were people want to assign spirit or biology.
and how exactly are you going to verify these multi-verse theories ... with what experiments?
Right now that is a hypothesis. I'm sure someone is working on experimental support. But, it depends on whether you go with the Many Worlds version or the String Theory version. The second would be easier to get experimental evidence for.
Or the prayers from mere credulous mortals to change the "perfect plan" being executed by this perfect all-knowing and all-powerful god.
How arrogant for someone to think they can change all-knowingly created perfect plan. Yeah, god is going to change a perfectly planned history so some vain, narcissistic, or self centered person can get a different job, different car, or to just plain get rid of zits, etc
Oh my creationist friends, proof of evolution is all around you. Now, before you declare me “stupid,” “evil” or part of a worldwide conspiracy to deny the truth of your talking snake theory of life on Earth, please take five minutes to read this.
The classic definition of a species is that two members of the same species can breed and produce fertile offspring, but cannot mate with members of a different species. A human of any race can mate with a human of any other race, but none of us can mate with a chimpanzee, for example. So, all humans are in the same species, but we are all a different species to chimpanzees. Easy stuff.
Indeed, it is often easy to tell that two organisms are of different species just by looking at them. Compare, for example, a dog to a horse. Where it gets a little complex, however, is where you have two organisms that look very similar, but are of different species, or two different species that look very similar. Dogs are a great example of both. Compare a lighter-coated German Shepherd to the wolf. They look very similar, but are of a different species. Likewise, a Great Dane looks very different to a Corgi, but they are of the same species, Canis lupis familiaris, the domestic dog.
Why are Great Danes and Corgis considered to be the same sub-species (along with German Shepherds) but wolves and German Shepherds not? Same reason as humans. Great Danes, German Shepherds and Corgis can and will mate and produce fertile offspring, but none of them mate with a wolf, absent human intervention. However, and this is where evolution kicks in, all breeds of dog alive today descended from wolves. In fact, it is likely that they all descended, ultimately, from a small pack of wolves that were domesticated in the Middle East some 10,000 years ago. Some research suggests Manchuria as the location, but I digress.
What happened was that humans noticed that certain, less aggressive wolves were handy to have around. They ate pests and garbage and alerted the camp when predators lurked nearby. So, humans began to intentionally feed and try to tame them. The tamer, less aggressive wolves were less afraid of human interaction and less likely to harm their human hosts. They, therefore received more food and protection, which gave them a breeding advantage, and they passed on this favorable trait, call it “tameness,” to their offspring.
The tamer offspring were constantly chosen (probably unknowingly) for care and support and the wilder, more aggressive members of the litter discarded, perhaps for biting or avoiding humans. After hundreds or thousands of years of inadvertent selection for “tameness” the camp wolves started to become dependent on their human hosts and to even look different to their still wild ancestors. They lost the extreme aggressiveness that helped them in the wild, became less streamlined and tooled for the kill and had less adrenaline that causes aggression. In other words, they slowly became, in a sense, fat, dumb and happy. Doggie dough-boys. Girlie-men compared to their wild cousins, still red of fang and claw.
These first domestic dogs were so popular with humans that their “use” spread and humans all over the globe – from Australian Aboriginals, New Zealand Maoris and other Polynesians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans all began to use dogs. Then something else happened. Humans actually noticed that, if there was a specific trait you liked about your, say male dog, you could breed it with a female with the same trait and the offspring would inherit that trait. If, for example, a hunter-gatherer only ever allows the fastest male dogs to breed with the fastest female dogs, after many years of such selective breeding the resultant dogs would differ so much in body shape, leg length and, perhaps, lung capacity from their ancestor as to be considered a separate breed.
No one set of offspring would differ greatly from its parents, but it will differ a little more from its grandparents, and even a little more from its great-grandparents etc., until we go all the way back to the original dog, which will be quite different in appearance.
Bang – dog breeding was born. Humans selected for speed, resulting in the Greyhound, smelling and tracking ability (Bloodhounds) ability to herd sheep (Collies and Australian Shepherds) appearance (Dalmatians and Pomeranians) size (Chihuahuas and Great Danes) and a host of other traits.
As with most human activities, as our knowledge increased, dog breeding improved and exploded in the 1900s, with the current 600 or so breeds of dogs all descendent from the original wolf. Many breeds of dog alive today evolved over the past few decades and did not even exist as late as 1900. But, every last domestic dog, from the Teacup Chihuahua in Paris Hilton’s purse to the Great Danes of European car advertisements, are the end result of selective breeding down different paths from the original wolf.
Most breeds of dog do not (and likely cannot) breed with wolves for a variety of reasons, including allopatric and/or human induced separation and mating rituals. Not only that, but put almost any domestic dog in the wild and it would not survive a month. A wolf is much more likely to eat a Shih Tzu than bonk it. They are separate sub-species. In the struggle for life, the domestic dog species originated through means of selection as a favored race from the original wolf. If this last sentence sounds familiar, that is because it is. It is essentially the full ti.tle of Charles Darwin’s seminal work: “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life”.
Now, if a wolf and dog do breed (usually through human intervention) they can produce fertile offspring, but it is a matter of time before they cannot. With some breeds that may be the case now.
So there you have it, my Bible-cuddling friends. Evolution in motion. Undeniable, living in every suburb, licking ours face, fetching our sticks and messing on our sidewalks. Macro-evolution. A well recorded, understood, DNA mapped and uncontroversial case of evolution of one sub-species – Canis lupus lupus, the Eurasian wolf, into another, Canis lupus familiaris, the domestic dog.
There are many, many others examples of evolution all around us by the way. Even the most cursory of research into any branch of horticulture or animal husbandry quickly reveals that the size, variety, health, longevity and resistance to disease of most of our domesticated plants and animals were the thing of dreams as recently as 100 years ago. Indeed, biotech companies like Monsanto would quickly fall behind the market if they did not spend millions each year on Darwinian selective breeding programs. Why do you think horse breeders spend thousands of dollars to have a fast racehorse mate with their mare?
Wheat is another great example, as are gra.pes. The species of wheat that we in the West use for bread only developed in the last few thousand years as a result of two episodes of sympatric speciation (different to selective breeding, but an agent of evolution none the less) and the various Shiraz, Char.donnay and Pinot Noir gra.pes we enjoy today, in the form of wine, were all developed and perfected in the last 100 years or so.
So, Adam or Eve, the next time you kneel down in your church and take your weekly dose of the body and blood of your dead Jew, you might like to reflect on the fact that you are actually eating proof of evolution and washing it down with proof of evolution.
“Body of Darwin?”
That was beautiful! And it eloquently answers the "gotcha" question that creationists always counter evolution with, "If evolution is real, how come there are still apes?".
One of the best...if not the best comment, I've had the pleasure to read. :)
Not bad, and not incorrect, but I'm not so sure that initial domestication had to be intentional. Domestication is arguably a two way street, with the "domesticate" also selecting for traits in the "domesticator." Domestication is just one form of symbiotic relationship, wherein one organism foregoes its independence in exchange for more efficient reproduction (for example, with wheat, we selected for larger and more numerous kernels, while it selected for humans that were gluten tolerant and willing to take over it's reproductive cycle).
Nicely stated and appreciated.
Not only is the man dangerous – here is an example – FROM HIS WEBSITE – of how he'll fix the jobs situation (search on his name) –
As unemployment numbers remain above 9% and the federal “stimulus” shows little signs of actually being able to fix our economy, Congressman Paul Broun has introduced H.R. 660, the JOBS (Jumpstarting Our Business Sector) Act of 2011, to provide relief to small businesses so they can create jobs.
The JOBS Act would enact a few very simple steps that would help small businesses hire more people:
Eliminates the corporate tax by lowering it to 0%
Sets the capital gains rate for individuals and corporations at 0%
Allows a one year extension of bonus depreciation and 100% expensing for certain business assets
The man is an idiot – no demand, no need for jobs – and in our culture where shareholder value is the first and primary goal – suddenly dropping the tax rate to 0 will not yield more jobs, just a higher stock price.
This guy is a total ASS
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