Irreducible complexity claims that a complex system with many parts,
the loss of any one of which limits the system to fits and starts,
could not, through natural selection, have evolved,
shouting triumphant that this, their faith in a designer absolved.

Flagella, coagulation cascades and the eye are the classic examples cited,
shouting loud this enough proves Neo-darwinism to have been smited,
Too bad for them the actual science doesn't at all fit their hype,
For genetic markers and homologues show this to be nothing but ID’s usual tripe.

Wrongly assumes only the current variation provides an advantage to selection, Presupposes that intermediary steps must always lead to the organism’s rejection,
Ignores models that show how descent with modification results in a succession of steps with advantage,
They prefer a fable with a watchmaker required to micromanage.

Improbability invoked that random mutation lacked time to provide life's rich tapestry,
Turns out to be nothing more than another manner of ID relentless sophistry,
Implies evolution due to nothing more than random mutation,
But that proves nothing beyond deliberate lies or poor education.

That descent with modification involves mutation is true,
But nonrandom forces mold what through random processes accrue,
Natural and sexual selection work great wonders that to some look designed,
But only if you don’t look too closely at the useful bits and the arcane genes within the nucleus intertwined.

Complex specified information or Dembski’s CSI,
A quasi-mathematical property used to pull the wool over both right and left eye,
Supposedly proves that DNA ‘code’ was intelligently designed,
Experts in information theory have savaged this elsewhere so to bother with it further, I am disinclined.

Philip E Johnson attorney at law, did one day see the light,
And the notion of godless evolution gave him a most terrible fright,
Using lawyer’s tools he created and published the wedge,
His Discovery Institute founded to obfuscate truth as they accepted each mark’s pledge.

Sorry Phil but cherry picking items in defense of one’s client,
though acceptable to the accused who are on lawyers reliant,
And while twisting of facts is acceptable in courts of law,
In science it is viewed as an unforgivable flaw.

Fairness is pleaded to give the devil his due,
Creates a controversy in the minds of those without a real clue,
Real fairness would prevent teachers from ever having to rehash nonsense well refuted,
Gutless school boards cave because they are afraid they might get booted.

Teach the controversy they do insist,
And so I will for I can’t resist,
Though it may not be what they desire,
A study of the facts proves that I’m not the liar.

The greatest scientific theory of all time,
Supported by disciplines not even extant when Darwin’s was in his prime,
Explaining all of the observed facts from fossils to genes,
Predicting legions of findings never conflicting with its methods and means.

Makes some question their personal beliefs about their ultimate fate,
For if just an animal not much chance of ever seeing that pearly gate.
Existential crises exploited to prevent hard science from being taught,
Using as much advanced marketing, misinformation and political intrigue by creationists as can be bought.

Only certainty is regardless of how the factions fair,
Buried strands of DNA will not now or ever care,
The tragedy beyond truth is that we might not from this great knowledge benefit,
Making it all the more likely that someday fate will find - us, unfit...


Michael Lockridge said...

An excellent work, though I don't believe Hallmark will be able to use it. Though appropriate for their new "Sorry to hear that your God has died" line, it is just a bit long.

It does leave me wondering how something of such order can be spawned by the spawn of random events. Fascinating!

I really did enjoy this. Perhaps you should open "Pliny's Coffee House for Wayward Skeptics" and feature this in your poetry slam.


Pliny-the-in-Between said...

It does leave me wondering how something of such order can be spawned by the spawn of random events. Fascinating!

Thanks Mike,

That is really part of the crux of descent with modification - parts are random - and other definitely are not.

The building blocks or more aptly 'parts bin' of mutations, genetic duplications, etc. are random events that occur not infrequently. But selection (natural or sexual for example) is absolutely not random in its effects. Through repeated passes of mutation and selection a series of incremental alterations can accrue into something so sublime as to appear purposely designed, particularly as it gets farther removed from its original developmental path.

A key to confidence in this process are our very genes. The nucleus of each of our cells looks a lot like an attic - bits and pieces of no longer useful genetic material amongst our active genes. Over time genetic drift and loss can alter them distancing them from homologues in other species (one of the ways we can trace closeness of relationships amongst species better than using gross morphology).

Why do they persist at all? Because, since they are inactive, they aren't being acted upon by nonrandom selection, so they stay in the genome like family photos in the attic.

Michael Lockridge said...

I have often wondered if the protection of species is a bit drastic, in our efforts to minimize/correct human environmental management errors. It seems that a species is a particular manifestation of, say, genetic potential specific to a particular set of conditions at a particular time. Protection of species (such as a June beetle in our area) is expensive and intrusive on human activities. Is that level of protection necessary to insure June-beetleness in the future?

Pliny-the-in-Between said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pliny-the-in-Between said...

Species protection other than our own is of course plowing new ground. Far as we know we are the first species to actually give any thought to the others beyond predation and competition. An unfortunate consequence to having invented history is the notion of long term consequences.

I don't profess to know the answer other than although species have, do and will face extinction without human help, as much as we can I'd like to see us tread lightly if for none other than selfish reasons that we can't always predict the long term consequences to our own survival.

This is particularly true of species more susceptible to environmental toxins which serve as miner's canaries to what we may be doing to ourselves.

Pliny-the-in-Between said...

It seems that a species is a particular manifestation of, say, genetic potential specific to a particular set of conditions at a particular time.
I think there is a lot of truth in that

Saint Brian the Godless said...

Your poetic licence is hereby revoked.
-Poetry Police

Pliny-the-in-Between said...