Cow’s imbovinity

Imagine, for a second, that a somewhat oblivious acquaintance of yours—let’s call him Johnny Malaproper—were to proffer the following critique: “This is an awful horse! It’s slow, ugly and not at all frisky.” Imagine further that your gentle rejoinder, that the beast is in fact a cow and thus hews to a different standard of excellence, be met with the following reply: “Well, I don’t see why you would be so specific. A beast this awful couldn’t be a good horse any way you slice it.”

I daresay you’d be gobsmacked. The argument is irretrievably malformed in and of itself, but if it had been made of ungulates sensu lato, would mercifully have been merely meaningless, instead of insistently wrong on its face.

Thankfully, Johnny Malaproper is but a single person, in addition to being fictional. What isn’t made up is that cornucopia of rot which we call creationism, and here comes the lede:

One argument that is tirelessly put forward, or at least mindlessly recited at the audience, is that the Second Law of Thermodynamics preclude evolution. When met with rebuttal, the answer is almost invariably along the lines of: “Well, even if it isn’t the Second Law, it ought to be. Why, entropy should be increasing!”, followed by some more hot air expulsions that do, indeed, increase local entropy.

Now, that horse isn’t fit for any saddle. If you can’t be bothered to learn the laws of thermodynamics, or why the Second Law just doesn’t apply, your argument would be inestimably improved by simply leaving the exact citation out and hand-wavingly invoking “entropy”, and I can’t fathom why an honest person would call attention to his or her ignorance.

Unfortunately, I can conceive of why a creationist would. It sounds mighty book-larned t’ talk about that there lawr, by number and verse don’tcha know. Why, it sounds like something one of those there scientificists might rattle off! That makes it true, right?

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