Monday, July 18, 2005

For those of you who doubted that my sister is missing her brain...

Yesterday my sister made the mistake of stating in front of me that she doesn't believe we evolved from primates.

I think i made a horrible face, not unlike that of a person experiencing explosive decompression.

I then proceeded to ask her if she'd actually read any scientific literature about it, by an actual scientist, and not some hippy lay person promoting their agenda. 'Yes' she says, then proceeds to list books written by hippy lay people promoting their agendas. 'No', i say to her, 'actual scientific papers that state facts.' 'It doesn't matter,' she counters 'I can believe what i want to, it's my choice.'

I think i made another face. My eyes may have bulged slightly.

I then try to explain to her that evolution is a scientific principle, that saying you don't believe in it is like saying you don't believe in thermodynamics because Moses didn't bring the 3 laws down with him from the mountain. It's not a belief issue. It's a fact, like it or not.

Eventually her boyfriend took over and we realised that he believes that evolution occured given the evidence, but he's happy to reason that it was lead by a divine being while we're happy to believe it was statistics and chance. Since the mechanism for evolution cannot be proven one way or another by the existence of evolution, we were happy to come to an agreement.

And this was when the turnaround happened. Lauren says 'Well, it's not so much that i don't believe in evolution. I just think it was more adaptation.'

Again, the face.

I patiently explain to her that adaptation to environment is a fundamental principle of evolution.

'Okay,' she counters, 'but i don't believe that fish came out of the sea and then became land animals.'

I explain to her about mudfish and how that's all also adaptation.

'Oh yes,' she nods, sagely. 'Yes, that's what i believe.'

Um, did i miss something? Basically, as soon as the boyfriend (who has a little bit more of a brain despite being a tree-hugging hippy) had an actual philosophical conversation with us in which he stated that he accepts the proof of evolution but that the mechanism driving it could not be proven, to which we agreed, she totally changed her mind about not believing in evolution. In the space of 10 minutes she was agreeing with everything i said.

Which basically means she had made a statement without ever having given it any thought. Every exchange went like this:

Her: unsupportable and uneducated statement
Me: fact, fact, logical counter
Her: Blank look.
Boyfriend: Agrees.
Her: Nods. Agrees.

And my favourite of her brilliant counter arguments? 'I believe in reflexology and you don't, and so i should be allowed to not believe in evolution if i want to.'

Brilliant. I'm totally sold. Where can i get those little bottles of smelly oils?


Blogger cloudhand said...

i think, china, speaking as a totally non-repentant hippie myself, that the lay people you refer to are anything BUT hippies... the words 'dangerous dorks' spring to mind, though... brain-fucked...
Just thought i'd point that out.

August 02, 2005 12:15 PM  

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