Creation "Museum" Part 2: Chameleons & Weeds

Wednesday, August 12, 2009 at 2:42 AM Bookmark and Share

Before we even get into the museum proper, the first of many looping videos appears (what PZ Myers referred to as the "videos that tell you what to think"). So which one was showing? None other than the case of the chameleons (and, big surprise, why these lizards were "intelligently designed" and not a product of evolution). The video captions read as follows.

The chameleon is an amazing animal.
The chameleon can see 360 degrees,
like having eyes in the back of your head,
and two eyes rotating independently,
seeing totally different things at once.
If you tried to do that, your brain would go crazy.
The chameleon has a tongue
that can project up to two times his body length.
He instantly calculates the projection path,
launches his tongue like a catapult,
snatches his target with an ingenious suction cup,
and snaps his tongue back into place, ready for the next shot.
Amazing! It all works together, just as if it were made that way.
The chameleon's skin can change color.
Maybe he's cold and wants to absorb a little more sunlight,
so he gets darker.
Or maybe he wants to cool off and not boil his blood.
He turns lighter.
Or maybe, he wants to catch the eye of a lady.
That's when he really puts on a show.
The Chameleon is truly a wonder of nature,
but where did it come from?
Did it evolve from other simpler creatures?
Could small accidental changes over millions of years
provide small benefits and then these changes
make even more amazing features?
Like a brain that can process images
from two independently rotating eyes?
Or a spring-loaded tongue that shoots twice as far as its body?
The origin of such complexity is a mystery to evolutionary scientists,
but it makes perfect sense if a Creator put all this complexity
into the original DNA of the chameleon.
Chameleons are masterpieces of design,
and the more we study them, the more complex they prove to be.

So what do non-creationist scientists have to say about Chameleons? Quite a lot, actually. This, of course, is because their goal is to understand and describe chameleons and how they live in an objective and evidence-based manner. Clearly not the sort of thing the Creation "Museum" would be interested in...

But, it isn't so much what the video says about Chameleons that's worth talking about here - it's what they don't say (ok, that, and the whole "The origin of such complexity is a mystery to evolutionary scientists" thing, which I'll address below). Indeed, you might have already noticed that there's no mention of the role their color changing ability (or any other novel features) might play in avoiding predation or being better predators themselves! Why leave that stuff out? Well, it all has to do with the Adam and Eve, sin, and the "Fall of man."

Later in the museum, after the point at which Adam and Eve eat the forbidden fruit, we finally get some insight into why any talk of predation is so taboo...

So, what's going on here???

Ever since Darwin brought the theory of evolution to the world, many have had a problem with viewing individual existence as a constant struggle for survival. As far as I can tell (and please correct me if I'm wrong here), matters of suffering, violence and death in the natural world have long been used to attack religion (e.g. Christianity) by calling into question the nature of God.

The solution? It wasn't God's fault - it was man's fault... Predatory dinosaurs? Vegetarians gone bad. Weeds? There were originally none, since all was in perfect balance:
Before Adam's Sin: No Weeds

God created a perfect balance in the beginning, as plants produced exactly the amount of food needed by the animals of the earth.

After Adam's Sin

Once animals began overproducing to replace the dead and diseased, they would eat too many plants. So God introduced overproduction of plants to replace the plants that would be lost.

As a result:
  • Plants struggle against other plants for sunlight
  • Plants grow where they are not wanted (weeds)

That's right - the existence of weeds and the fact that some plants grow in the shade of other plants (such a gruesome struggle!) is a consequence of Adam's sin back in the Garden of Eden, since this lead to death and disease in animals, which lead to the "overproduction" of animals to replace them (wait, huh?), which prompted God's subsequent overproduction of plants to replace the plants that were lost due to the increased herbivory. Hmmm...

In true form, they also neglect to provide any evidence (not even any Bible versus) to back up their claims of sin-induced overproduction of plants and animals.

But I digress... back to the chameleon video!

So, what's to be made of that little remark mentioned above?
"The origin of such complexity is a mystery to evolutionary scientists..."
Like I mentioned previously, the "museum" portrays science as misguided and wrong, while their interpretation of the Bible provides the undeniable truth about everything. Simply put, they make an argument for Creationism based on (1) a presupposition that the Bible is literally true, (2) a small number of hand-picked or entirely absent empirical facts (e.g. that dinosaurs fossils exist) combined with (at times, surprisingly vague) Bible quotes, and (3) one big false dichotomy: that science is wrong, therefore Creationism is true.

I wonder why none of the skeptics were convinced last Friday??


Posted by: David Steen | 8/12/2009 9:04 AM

The Garden of Eden must have been quite diverse.

Posted by: Xanthe Wyse | 8/05/2011 1:18 AM

and I suppose people never had allergies and snakes were vegetarians too?

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