Best. Creationist. Ever.

>> Friday, February 27, 2009

I thought the pinnacle of intelligent design advocacy was achieved when, during the Kitzmiller trial, discovery revealed that early drafts of Of Pandas And People referred entirely to "creationism" instead of "intelligent design," as evidenced by an obvious search-and-replace that resulted in a draft full of references to "cdesign proponentsists" (i.e. an author or editor did a search-and-replace to replace incidents of "reationist" with "design proponents").

But that, after all, was a draft. It was caught before the book hit print. It wasn't anything like this:

I've been laughing at that since I read about it at Pharyngula and Science And Religion News. What you're looking at is a page from a creationist tome published by an Islamic creationist, Harun Yahya, titled Atlas Of Creation, a tome that attracted some attention last year in part because Mr. Yahya sent out a large number of free copies to various universities and such with encouragement to use the volume as a teaching tool. The Atlas depicts fossil animals and plants alongside modern animals and plants to show how they're identical--and therefore haven't evolved, therefore "disproving" the theory of evolution. (Yes, that betrays a huge misunderstanding of evolutionary science, but that's not the funny part.) The funny part is in the picture. Do you see it? Hint: look at the "modern" caddis fly's tail. See it? (As always, you can click on the image to see it at full size.)

Yes, it would seem that the caddis fly has evolved since the Oligocene Epoch--unlike its primitive ancestors, the modern caddis fly has a fishhook sticking out its ass.

Well... that, or it's a fishing lure.

Wait, wait, wait--it gets better. Mr. Yahya, in assembling his book, used (without permission) a number of photographs from the gallery of Mr. Graham Owen, who hand-makes a number of extremely realistic-looking fishing flies modeled after real arthropods. Except, of course, his have steel fishhooks embedded in them. Mr. Yahya has apparently been removing the images from the internet version and newer print runs of the Atlas, but meanwhile older versions continue to testify to Mr. Yahya's apparent belief that the world is full of weird cyborg-insects armed with prosthetic weapons.

I have to admit, if the air was full of insects with stainless steel barbed tails, I might turn to prayer, too.

In the meantime, however, go ahead and click on the above links, especially on the one to Mr. Owen's webpage ((1) his sense of amusement at the whole thing is palpable, (2) if you click on the links to his other galleries, you'll enjoy some damn fine craftsmanship) and the one for the Science And Faith article, in which blogger Salman Hameed explains a newly-discovered form of selection discovered in fundamentalist textbooks.

And I'm still laughing.


Jim Wright Friday, February 27, 2009 at 1:27:00 PM EST  

Mr. Yahya sent out a large number of free copies to various universities and such with encouragement to use the volume as a teaching tool.

What an excellent idea. I think this entire incident would make for a fine teaching example, in many categories. But I doubt Mr. Yahya and I have the same use for his work in mind.

On the other hand, it's hard to argue with the idea that those fishing lures were intelligently designed...

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