A meme about fish still being fish

fishapods meme

In one of the more infamous portions of Ray Comfort’s gut-wrenchingly bad film, “Evolution vs. God,” RayCo demands “observable evidence” of evolution from biologist P.Z. Myers. When Myers suggests that his interviewer check out Lenski’s experiments with bacteria or the significant changes that have been observed in isolated populations of sticklebacks, Banana Ray says that’s not good enough.

“They’re still fish,” he says. “There’s no change in kinds.”

“What do the bacteria become?” he wants to know.

This interchange prompted us to crown RayCo “the world’s worst scientist,” remarking that:

[T]his is why Comfort is a terrible scientist. While a real scientist analyzes the results of an experiment or a finding in the field to see what conclusions may be drawn from it, Comfort waves away historical evidence as irrelevant and contemporary evidence as meaningless. He, in fact, demands evidence that the theory in question never predicted would be found.

I’d hate for a laboratory seeking new medical breakthroughs to ever have someone like RayCo in charge. I can see it now: “Well yeah, the patient has been cured of cancer, but he’s still going to die at some point, for some reason or another. There’s no real change here. Back to the drawing board.”

In honor of RayCo’s brilliance, we edited the above picture (originally used by Wikipedia to illustrate the transition of the earliest known relatives of land-dwelling tetrapods) to bring it more in line with his views.

You see, despite the mind-numbing absurdity of this viewpoint, it appears to have become quite popular with Comfort’s legions of fans, who continue to echo his demand for “observable, repeatable, scientific evidence of evolution” across the nine realms of the Interwebs. I think this is the simplest way to respond to such a request: The theory of evolution predicts, and all the evidence confirms, that macroevolution (large-scale, genus-level changes) takes millions of years, so asking for evidence of it happening before your eyes in a few minutes is like asking to hear the color brown. It just doesn’t work that way. In fact, if we ever found an example of macroevolution occurring on an “observable” time scale, it would disprove Darwin’s theory of evolution once and for all.

As Myers said in the movie, the humble sticklebacks may still be fish, but “they’re distinctly different fish.” And they have evolution to thank for it.

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  • summers-lad

    By the same token, what is homo sapiens? Still an ape, I suppose.

    • H/T to P.Z. Myers: “When you see Ray Comfort and he denies that he is an ape, point out that by his ‘they’re still just X’ argument, he has scapulae and hair follicles and a liver and jaws and an autonomic nervous system just like a chimp, and if he’s going to deny the evolved differences, he’s still just a chimpanzee. He’s still got a spine, just like a fish, so he’s still just a fish. And he’s bilaterally symmetric, just like a worm, so he’s still just a worm.”