Sometimes, trying to have intelligent discourse with a diehard fundy religionist is like talking to a wall. No, not an ordinary wall - say with drywall on the other side- but a two foot thick, DENSE stone wall! As much as you try to open their minds and encourage them to argue and do so logically, consistently and rationally - they flub it. They either use absurd short cuts (distorting words used in context and arguing based on red herrings) or they conflate different classes, or they simply project their own delusions onto those they want to saddled as "the idiots".
On various net forums, such as salon.com and amazon.com (book reviews) and even the AARP forums two years ago, I often beheld reference to "evolutionists" and atheists as "educated idiots" because we claimed that "humans evolved from apes".
This is the first canard and it's major. Just as they repeatedly accuse us of "blaming God" for evil in the world (we don't - we blame the incapacity of god-believers to justify the inaction of their deity!) thet repeatedly discloses woeful ignorance about evolution and its basic principles. At NO time and under NO conditions have we ever claimed that humans "evolved from apes"!
But then, having never taken a college biology course, far less one on evolution - their profound ignorance is not suprising. (In the AARP Bulletin forum, at least one ID proponent 'reo4him' repeatedly accused me of misrepresenting facts on evolution when he did it even after being pointedly corrected!
Humans and apes evolved from a common ancestor, humans did not (in any mutually exclusive sense) evolve from apes. (Though I do concede that the distant ancestors DO have an apelike appearance. But to call them "apes" is as inaccurate as calling a cumquat an "orange", or a hyena a "bear" or a cucumber a "pickle")
Further we have the actual evidence to back this up. Common ancestry is well demonstrated by J. Yunis and O. Prakash in their groundbreaking paper: ‘The Origin of Man: A Pictorial Chromosomal Legacy’ (Science, Vol. 215, 1982, p. 1525). They show in their paper the clear pictorial evidence for the telomeric fusion of the two ape chromosomes 2p and 2q, that resulted in the single human chromosome designated 2. This is prima facie genetic evidence that discloses ape and human arose from a common ancestor.
Even more powerful, is that cytochrome-c (common to both apes and humans) has a vanishingly small probability of appearing in either species without connections - yet it does. Can the fundies explain this? No, they cannot.
Amusingly, another refrain I often have heard on the salon.com and AARP forums is that we are flouting our credentials, and trying to make the credentials a substitute for argument. (This may partly be because they don't grasp the argument, even after its "parablized" in numerous ways)
Actually, we the intelligent who understand the principles of evolution, wish that the uneducated pretend know it alls (on the basis of their ignorant religions) would be a little less arrogant in presuming to think they have the answers. Our letters or even degrees don't matter, since ANY intelligent person can learn the basics of evolution if he or she has the open mind to pursue inquiry. The problem is most fundies don't, their education stops at their KJV. No wonder then they make stupid statements like we "say humans evolved from apes" when any moron knows better than that.
The weight of the evidence has become so heavy that opposition to the fact of evolution is laughable to all who are acquainted with even a fraction of the published data. Evolution is a fact: as much a fact as plate tectonics or the heliocentric solar system. Those who call it a “made up story” merely disclose their abysmal ignorance.
Europeans laugh at us (Americans) because so many of the uneducated masses retain the sort of foolish, childish beliefs about evolution that Charlie Rose referenced in his PBS interview of E.O. Wilson and James Watson four years ago. Fortunately, the educated among us are still fighting to preserve this country’s credibility in science, and advanced research. The choice is easy – one can either side with science, or with superstition and ignorance (or KJV bibles- the most corrupted scriptures on the planet) masquerading as science.
At least if the creationists and ID'ers are going to try to "pin our ears" back, they need to do so by using a more subtle, rigorous and canny method, not by some idiotic canard that even a drunk can disprove.
And then the choice copout, again substituting hysteria for reason, such as reo4him used on the AARP boards: that we're merely "parroting" vicious antichrist or "liberal" dogmas. As if only liberals invest in actual education and serious science!
Actually, we who've been fortunate to be educated in academia to at least discern the difference between myths and facts. Something, alas, those like 'reo4him' will never know.