I am the Queen of Links; all shall love me and despair! (Catholic Church and evolution)

Posted: November 9, 2009 in creationism, evolution, facts, pope, religion, what's wrong with those theists
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Catholic Church has for years now bragged about its acceptance of science and the theory of evolution, citing the Galileo Affair and Giordano Bruno Affair as minor glitches in the otherwise perfectly working Improbability Drive Biblical Interpretation Machine.

However, with the appearance of Pope Palpatine, the Mighty Conqueror of Children’s Literature it became clear for many that the Catholic honeymoon with science could not last much longer.

Or could it?

I followed the rabbit and several other  commenters from PZ’s post until I got here, to a post about a conference about the lie that is evolution, allegedly in response to Pope Palpatine’s desperate plea for “both sides to be heard”. From the above Headline Bistro post, which makes a great deal out of the fact that the conference will take place in Rome, which is so close to Vatican, which must mean it’s all the pope’s fault (at least, until you notice that it’s hosted by a private university with 3 (three) faculties that was opened only 13 years ago(1)) — anyway from the post it’s clear that the organisers of the conference are suffering from a fairly transparent case of 1) jolly appropriation, 2) lack of any  reading comprehension skills whatsoever.

Anyway, this is from the conference’s press release:

The 150th anniversary of Darwin’s “Origin of the Species” in November 2009 will be the occasion for a unique conference at Pope Pius V University in Rome presenting a scientific refutation of evolution theory. According to Russian sedimentologist Alexander Lalamov, “Everything contained in Darwin’s Origin of Species depends upon rocks forming slowly over enormous periods of time. The November conference demonstrates with empirical data that such geological time is not available for evolution.” Recently returned from a ground-breaking geological conference in Kazan, sedimentologist Guy Berthault will present the findings of several sedimentological studies conducted and published in Russia.

Which leads us to two conclusions:

1. Ouch, that hurt.

2. Wow, creationism must sure be robust is Russia(3).

Anyway, I will be on the lookout for the presentations as they might appear online, and meanwhile(4), one look at the list of contributors, especially at the speaker number six, provides us with surprisingly valuable insights:

Maciej Giertych, Impact of Research on Race Formation and Mutations on the Theory of Evolution

Maciej Giertych, Impact of Research on Race Formation and Mutations on the Theory of Evolution

Maciej Giertych, Impact of Research on Race Formation and Mutations on the Theory of Evolution

Ahahahahaha, a part of my distinguished readership will surely exclaim smugly. Ahahahahahaha, indeed, for a large part of my distinguished readership will know very very well who Maciej Giertych is!

A short bio for newbies!

  1. name: Maciej Giertych
  2. nationality: Polish(5)
  3. family: married with clones children
  4. skills: Advanced Scumbuggery +10,  Lying for Jesus +20, Racism +100 000 000, Misogyny +100 000 000 (the article I linked to is, um, grossly exaggerated, but: facts! In English! So), Anti-Semitism +100 000 000, Batshit +1 000 000 000
  5. profession: while I’d gladly say that he’s a professional Liar for Jesus, I’m afraid I have to come clean about him being a Polish Member of the European Parliament(6).

Yes. He really really is.

In Poland, he’s mostly famous for being a laughingstock, and saying the following things:

1) Legends about dragons are proof that humans and dinosaurs roamed the earth at the same time,

2) Neanderthals are not extinct, but live among us still(7).

This all means that locally he’s to be considered  a creationist of about Ray Comfort’s notoriety.

And when I say “notoriety”, I mean “stupidity”.

You can read about his views in the Polish Wiki here, but not in the English one. I wonder why? Were his USian fanboys concerned that that would make him look unhinged and racist and obnoxious? Could not be! Such a pity, really, when major national news outlets have whole articles dedicated to mocking all sorts of his ridiculus or disgusting claims.

He also likes to praise general Franco for slaughtering the commies. Or, you know, the democratic opposition. But then, any opposition to Franco is by definition a commie opposition, which in turn makes is worthy of slaughtering QED.

So, what does Giertych write in the abstract of his doubtlessly magnificent talk?

Throughout Europe evolution is taught in schools as a biological fact.

Gee, I wonder why?

The main evidence for this presented in school textbooks is based on the assertion that formation of races is an example of a small step in evolution. This is profoundly wrong. Races form as a consequence of genetic drift, selection and isolation. Genetic drift results from the accidental loss of some genetic variation in small populations due to inbreeding.

Is this just racist gibberish nonsense or a sophisticated reasoning that  bravely sets out to prove that it’s OK to have sex with your sister, because Adam and Eve, QED? You decide!

Selection depends on the elimination from a population of all forms not adapted to the particular environment. With this elimination also some gene variants (alleles) get lost. For natural races to be identifiable they have to remain isolated from the main body of the population. The same is true in breeding, where the breeder reproduces the race formation procedure only applying selection pressures of his own choice. Macroevolution requires increase of genetic variants, thus race formation which depends on their reduction is a process in the opposite direction, comparable to extinctions.

In short, typical creationist drivel about mutations and loss of information with  the extra topping of racist nomenclature. Meh.

Positive mutations, as a mechanism leading to new functions or organs, are an undemonstrated postulate. We can demonstrate many neutral and negative mutations, but no positive ones.

Where by “we”, he means “lying disgusting toads that live under very very thick rocks”. As it happens, even a non-specialist such as myself can easily recall at least one recent experiment, in which we could observe, witness with our very own eyes bacteria evolving to eat citrate as well as glucose. Which, I hasten to add, was a very positive development — for the bacteria, anyway; one could imagine, the citrate was rather unimpressed. I am of course talking about the famous Lenski experiment. You can read more about it on Wikipedia or anywhere(8) else, and I really do encourage you to do so, because it really is a very interesting and elegant experiment, and it can easily be understood by a person that doesn’t know anything beyond high school lever biology. I know I don’t!

The claim that the appearance of resistance to man-made chemicals (herbicides, fungicides, antibiotics etc) is evidence of positive mutations is questioned on the ground that it belongs to the multitude of defense mechanisms (like healing or acquiring immunity) which defend the existing life functions of an organism without creating new ones.

What we can read above, ladies, gentlemen and poo-flinging monkeys, is a standard denialist discourse tactic, among professional linguists known as “meaningless drivel”.

In short: the pope is not going creationist just yet, and the kooks aren’t even trying that hard(9). Let’s focus on the condoms for the time-being!

Also, what’s much more chilling is what you can find on Catholic websites regarding the conference:

After all the hoopla in academia some months ago with the 150 anniversary of the publishing of Darwin’s Origin of the Species, this is welcome news.  The organizers were interviewed by Zenit News Agency.  Here is part of what they had to say: “Results of recent empirical research published by scientific academies refutes the basic principles of the geological time-scale. It reduces the age of rocks and therefore the fossils in them.

It’s like the pope is the last thing that keeps many Catholics from unleashing their batshit upon the world. And what if the next pope will be a blithering creationist dimwit(11)? Shudder with me, ladies, gentlemen, and poo-flinging monkeys, shudder with me!

(Also, Cthulhu is speaking Czech! Look at this bit of very compelling evidence — just click on the picture — from Google!)

(Also, Karel Čapek! I almost forgot about Čapek!)

(I am the queen of all links, after all!)

ETA: typos fixed.

(1) I’s a big deal that the university is private, because in Europe it is statistically very probable that a serious university will not be private(2).

(2) Unless you are in the UK.

(3) Which in turn leads me to “SO WHY DON’T I SPEAK RUSSIAN AGAIN???”, but I digress.

(4) The abstracts, however, are available here, and, oh my.

(5) The possibility of exchanging him for some oil for the mutual benefit of Poland and Saudi Arabia is, I am told, being looked into at the moment by both countries’ governments.

(6) I now realize this should have been written in sparkly text. Please imagine there is sparkly text in this text where there is none.

(7) It was, as far as I remember, rather unclear whether he proposed  that the neanderthals were Jews or simply POC. Either way, he should DIAF.

(8) Although the recap at Conservapaedia should be most entertaining.

(9) They could try at least renting lecture rooms from La Sapienza or something(10).

(10) Heh heh heh.

(11) I am a bad, bad person, because before shuddering I actually thought “LOL @ creationist pope!”

  1. Irene Delse says:

    Wow! Great job of hunting all that info, it’s certainly an education. And thank you for the link. It’s great to find a fellow Čapek fan. ^_^

  2. ekolog says:

    Hm, I think I read somewhere Giertych’s comments on previous conference in Rome – in some Polish religious newspaper distributed in churches. He moaned in similar way on teaching the controversy and stuff – worth looking it up again. The best thing for Europe at the moment would be bashing heads of those creatards who have this incredible will to spread bullshit. We cannot allow reaching numbers of YE/OE creatards similar to those in the US.

    • Yeah, and I took a good look at the numbers in Dawkins’ new book. I mean, personally, I think that 1% is too much anyway, but they were pretty alarming.

      (Of course, Poland was somewhere near the worse end of the sanity spectrum, with Turkey and Malta. Why am I not surprised?)
      ETA: fixed a typo =_=

  3. Ausir :



    (I can’t speak as many languages as you, but I can at the very least point out your typos).

    Possible replies to this comment include:

    1. At least I can make typos in many languages!
    2. Damn, why does FF reset its spellchecker to Polish all the time?
    3. Typso? What tpyos?
    4. 畜生!
    But of course what I said was “Scheisse”. =_=

  4. pillowscrapbook says:

    people like Giertych scare me greatly, the fact that someone supports them scares me even more, still I sort of have a problem believing that such ridiculous people exists, they sound like the ufo or something.
    do you use the dictionary switcher for the ff? it is one of the plug ins and for me it has been really helpful so far :)

    • Heh heh heh. Once, IRL, I met a person who claimed Giertych was in fact an agent provocateur sent by the New World Oder to make a laughingstock of the true patriots.
      I ran away screaming.

  5. ekolog says:

    According to truth seekers there are loads of double and triple agents and you have to filter information you get. Filter what? What do you get from filtering crap, they usually fap about on their websites and forums?

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