Good Analogy in Dawkins' to Combat Creationists' 'Gap in the Fossil Record' Argument
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01-12-2012, 01:39 PM
Thumbs Up Good Analogy in Dawkins' to Combat Creationists' 'Gap in the Fossil Record' Argument
I'm reading Richard Dawkins' The Greatest Show on Earth -- the Evidence for Evolution and am quite pleased by his way of explaining things. In Chapter 6, titled, 'Missing Link? What do you Mean, "missing"?', Dawkins begins to describe a hypothetical murder in which there were no eye witnesses, but for which plenty of other evidence points to the butler as the killer (fingerprints, footprints, DNA from the gun, motive). He then proposes that suddenly they recall the victim had a security camera. Below excerpt from pages 145-146:



Quote: "With bated breath, the court watches the films. One of them shows the butler in the act of opening the drawer in his pantry, taking out a pistol, loading it, and creeping stealthily out of the room with a malevolent gleam in his eye. You might think this solidifies the case against the butler even further. Mark the sequel, however. The butler's defence lawyer astutely points out that there was no spy camera in the library where the murder took place, and no spy camera in the corridor leading from the butler's pantry. He wags his finger, in that compelling way that lawyers have made their own. 'There's a gap in the video record! We don't know what happened after the butler left the pantry. There is clearly insufficient evidence to convict my client.'...........

........The fossil record, like the spy camera in the murder story, is a bonus, something that we had no right to expect as a matter of entitlement. There is already more than enough evidence to convict the butler without the spy camera, and the jury were about to deliver a guilty verdict before the spy camera was discovered. Similarly, there is more than enough evidence for the fact of evolution in the comparitive study of modern species (Chapter 10) and their geographical distribution (Chapter 9). We don't need fossils - the case for evolution is watertight without them; so it is paradoxical to use gaps in the fossil record as though they were evidence against evolution."

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03-12-2012, 08:41 PM
RE: Good Analogy
When I explained (well, tried to explain) the gaps in the fossil record to my mother, I used Dawkins' hypothetical murder as an inspiration.

I told her that looking for every last piece of the puzzle would be like demanding proof that the killer moved across floor-board #1, floor-board #2, floor-board #3, and so on, as he moved across the room toward his victim. Which, of course, would be absurd when we already have DNA evidence, his bloody shoe-prints, his motive and a parking ticket putting him in the area at the time of the murder.

It's an incredibly pathetic demand on the part of the creationist to insist he's innocent until such unecessarily detailed evidence is presented.

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