Thursday, November 14, 2013

Frying Garner Ted Armstrong's Fish

Head on over to Armstrong Delusion for a great article dissecting GTA's infamous farce on disproving evolution, Some Fishy Stories - About An Unproved Theory.

Looking at these booklets put out by Ambassador College is now an embarrassing experience.  Here was a "college" - supposedly filled with educated people - writing this absurd drivel.  Poor research and lack of education produces all kinds of appalling "dogmatic" statements.

Fish Fry -  Part 1
Fish Fry -  Part 2
I have written before about the lies we were told, specifically in the PCG, about the Theory of Evolution. In a way, I am at it again, only this time focusing on Armstrong’s lies about it. Specifically, this is the first of a multi-part series covering the Ambassador College booklets A Fishy StoryA Theory for the Birds, and A Whale of a Tale. In my first article, I was not trying to convince anybody that one side of the Great Debate was more true than the other–I was merely pointing out that we were told lies.

In this article, however, I aim to be more persuasive.

I am not trying to persuade you to abandon faith in a Creator–of some sort (although I, personally, can no longer believe in one). Although many feel the findings of science are incompatible with religious ideas, it is not necessarily so; there are all ranges of Spiritualism, or Deism that are compatible belief systems, and there is even Theistic Evolution for those who wish to retain a stronger faith in a “guiding hand” while not dismissing the evidence.

The fact is that we here at Armstrong Delusion have worked hard, have researched long, to find out “whether those things were so”–things like Prophecy, British Israelism, Divine Weather, etc. The subject of Evolution is just one more topic that needs to be addressed, for there is the reality that exists in the world, and there is the lie that exists in the world of Armstrongism.

In The Beginning

The booklet, Some Fishy Stories, first copyrighted in 1966, was written by Garner Ted Armstrong. It is, to be quite honest, 35 pages of “argument from personal incredulity” combined with “argument from ignorance“. These arguments can be seen as two versions of the same thing, so maybe he is only using one complex argument. Sadly, as I read through it, I could remember thinking the exact same things when growing up and (I realize now) stupidly arguing with the science teachers…other than the aforementioned argument(s), he uses a number of examples of different fish that he claims cannot possibly have evolved gradually.

Sadly, Garner Ted has been dead 10 years already. I say this is sad because he bemoaned the fact that, “never have we received a scientific explanation for the many great problems presented (in the evolutionary theory). Never have we received a point-by-point refutation of the truths we have published.” (Pg. 13). Though it is nearly 50 years since the original publishing, I hope to provide some satisfaction by doing just that.


Joe Moeller said...

Was GTA's extreme libido an evolved , adapted, and naturally selected one, or was he created that way?

Inquiring minds need to know!

Joe Moeller
Cody, WY

Anonymous said...

I'll see GTA's fish and raise him a duck:

Sums it up rather nicely, I think.

Joe Moeller said...

In all seriousness... gradual evolution with small refinements over a very long period of time, has a problem when it comes to the Cambrian Explosion.

Sophisticated complete animals just pop into existence about 580 million years ago, before then most organisms were simple, composed of individual cells and occasionally organized into colonies.

Over the following 70 or 80 million years, the rate of proposed evolution accelerated by an order of an incredible and unlikely magnitude. At least one that does not have good supportable evidence for anyway.

Even Darwin knew that this would be a weak underbelly to his theory. He wondered if the discovery of more fossils would explain the Cambrian gap with more intermediary fossils.

So, no matter what side of the issue that you are on, there is still a mystery when it comes to evolution and micro change due to natural selection, especially in regards to the Cambrian Explosion.

Joe Moeller
Cody, WY

Anonymous said...

I have always believed in evolution (micro-evolution) but can't accept macro-evolution. I have a problem of where it all began and where did the knowledge found in DNA come from. I think that both biologists and theologians speak with far to much certainty when there is so much that is unknown. A little humility on all of our parts will serve us well, I think.

The Painful Truth said...

A article on the cambrian explosion can be found here for those who want another view of this event.

Anonymous said...

So, after micro-evolution, such as what has happened to the Galapogos finches, mockingbirds, tortoises, cormorants, iguanas, etc., as documented in Darwin's zoological notes and specimens, what's next for such micro-adapted creatures?

Does someone press a reset button, magically restoring them back to an earlier state?

Or does the drift of micro-evolution we've already observed just keep going?

DennisCDiehl said...

Thanks for the article Plainful Truth. "Explosion" doesn't mean in the Cambrian world of paleontology that it means to us today, say as in a roadside bomb. More like an ooze of an explosion.

Joe Moeller said...

The linked "Painful Truth" article is indeed interesting, although the "philosophical" conclusions towards the end of the article in regards to "psychological, sociological numbing" are stretch editorials rather than facts, but interesting ideas to be explored and discussed nonetheless.

Where the article excels, and is interesting, is in its explanations on how in reproduction, using sex, rather than cloning, we create enough diversity of genes that our species is in effect a constantly "moving target" for diseases and viruses that would decimate us. Our genes are in constant motion, making them a tough target to zero in on.

If we were all clones, there would be viruses and bacteria that would adapt to our collective weakness genetically, and would wipe out the species en toto. Sexual reproduction, and the fact that every single human has a unique DNA offers protection against this.

Incredible evidence of intelligent design of this from the Creator, wouldn't you agree?

Joe Moeller
Cody, WY

Anonymous said...

"Incredible evidence of intelligent design of this from the Creator, wouldn't you agree?"

Not at all. But I'll also refrain from arguing, since I don't want to engage Joe in his pro-UCG agenda here, and also because although there is a large mountain of evidence for evolution, people are almost invariably unswayed by direct arguments on the subject, and it just creates rancor when debating it.

Instead, people are more often swayed on the subject of evolution as a by-product of changing their adopted cosmology, and that's not usually an easy change.


Anonymous said...

Nah Joe, I can't make the logical jump to assume the supernatural just based on the complexity of a lifeform.. but I would seriously consider it if everything came with a stamp that said something like "Hermit Crab #179900053935-204a (c) Godworks, Ltd".

But it really doesn't matter to me if someone believes in an intelligent force behind the universe as long as no one is forcing me to teach these beliefs as if they were arrived at through the scientific method. Be well!

Byker Bob said...

Ya know, I really liked GTA. The man had charisma to burn. It just really pains me that he worked so hard to apply his intellect to his father's teaching. When Herby banned him, I wish he and Brazil Country had tapped in to the friendship with Merle Haggard, to follow another dream. Who knows? I might have then seen them open for Skynyrd (who were also fans of the Hag) at one of the many many concerts I used to attend. Thorny could have been their manager, and Mark probably would have been in the band. (Sigh) Guess it just wasn't meant to be.


UT, The Reigning Being of Being Banned by Banned by HWA said...

S E X ! Joe, the COGite, in COG fashion, mentioned it first but, S E X ! is my primo reason for believing in Intelligent Design.

There was a time when I just could not believe in God, and sex was too great to stop and even think about God.

However, now I feel that something so mind and wad blowing as sex cannot have just developed accidentally (lack of Intelligent Design).

Okay, the evolutionists may believe that sex slowly became so irresistibly fantastic so as to ensure the perpetuation of many species. But, what made sex continue during the multitude of years while sex evolved from simple cell meh to, to, to ... the present day complexity of having no words to describe how wonderful it is?

Then, when I add to thought all the lesser greats, such as love, music, food, visual arts, sports, and all the others - I just cannot imagine they all too evolved by dumb luck. I hope I never evolve away from my present appreciation of the many facets of human life. Although, my appreciation is constantly evolving toward greater appreciation for the greats of life.

So, my conclusion is that S E X ! is proof of Intelligent Design and all atheists should go on an eternal search for the type of sex, that when found, leaves them writhing while screaming "Oh God! Oh, God!" - and then we can all be truly satisfied and of one mind.

Anonymous said...

Not to pillory a dead man, but the titles of all the booklets listed sound like story titles about cover ups surrounding his life style. He was a charlatan and a fraud.