must (sorry, need not) ignore to accept evolution
I found this little essay on http://www.unhindered.com. Its typical of simplistic Creationist essays on the web, so should serve as a good illustration of the various dodgy arguments in use to try to confuse the faithful.
It's not the best defence of Creationism out there. Hell, it's not even in the running. But it is a wonderful example of the way that creationist arguments pass from the Originators (Answers in Genesis, Institute for Creation Research et al.) to the propogators, without critical thought or analysis. My debunking here did not need a PhD, or years of scientific study - just a rudimentary understanding of the real science, and a search engine. I only have a BA in Education with Science.
What it also illustrates perfectly is the way that arguments - such as the moon dust argument - that are not even used by the more knowledgeable creationists anymore, continue to circulate amongst the Propogators and Rank and File Creationists. Someone over on the Organisation of Creationist Websites debating board suggested the term PRATT for such canards - Point Refuted A Thousand Times - and I think that acronym should enter the mainstream.
All spelling, grammatical and syntactical errors are from the original I just saved the text from the site and played with the formatting.
Original article in yellow, my comments in blue, as usual.
To believe in evolution, one must ignore many things.
Hold it right there. One does not 'believe in' evolution - one examines the evidence and accepts it as the best explanation for the biodiversity seen today. Believe, in this sense, is better reserved for religious matters. Of course, the creationist wants us to think that evolution is a religion, a false one, opposed to Christianity.
One of the obvious things that evolutionists must ignore is the problem of the word "origin", or "beginning." No scientist would ever be able to explain how something came from nothing. It is breaking the First Law of Thermodynamics, also called the Law of conservation of Energy, which states that no mater can be created or destroyed.
OK this seems to be about the origins of the universe, which is nothing to do with evolution. But I shall address it anyway, pausing only to bemoan the Creationist ignorance that labels vast areas of science evolution when they are no such thing.
Anyway. The laws of physics that are being referred to here are models, as are all laws. Newtons Laws of motion, for example, are good models at low (small fraction of the speed of light) speeds, for example. All laws have points where they break down, situations in which they do not work. The singularity of a black hole is one such place. So is the early universe when it was a singularity.
There are some theories about how something can come out of nothing, in fact; for example, Quantum Tunnelling offers some possibilities ("quantum tunnelling from nothing.", Edward Tryon, Nature 246, no. 14 (14 December 1973), p. 396.) But the nature of science is not to deny something just because it doesnt understand it fully. We dont, for example, say that bumblebees cannot fly because we do not fully understand bumblebee aerodynamics. The evidence that the Big Bang happened is very strong. (1965 Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson; Microwave Background Radiation. This was predicted by the theory and then found quite by accident, in fact. This is how hypotheses are strengthened. This observation also falsified the steady state theory, for example). It is the ongoing task of science to discover more about the nature of it.
The Second Law of Thermodynamics also must be ignored. This law that has never been broken states that in a system, entropy, the measure of disorderliness, increases. The basic statement of evolution, that over time, things naturally progress, and increase in order.
Actually, the second law of thermodynamics is a bit more complicated than this. http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/thermo/seclaw.html gives a good analysis. Personally, I like Flanders & Swanns version: (http://www.durge.org/~edwin/songs/firstandsecond.html).
But, of course, this definition of evolution is wrong. Evolution is as follows:
Biological evolution ... is change in the properties of populations of organisms that transcend the lifetime of a single individual. The ontogeny of an individual is not considered evolution; individual organisms do not evolve. The changes in populations that are considered evolutionary are those that are inheritable via the genetic material from one generation to the next. Biological evolution may be slight or substantial; it embraces everything from slight changes in the proportion of different alleles within a population (such as those determining blood types) to the successive alterations that led from the earliest protoorganism to snails, bees, giraffes, and dandelions.
- Douglas J. Futuyma in Evolutionary Biology, Sinauer Associates 1986
It involves no processes that are not freely observable and none which contradict the second law. Local disorder frequently decreases, and this is allowed by the second law. Examples would be the development of an egg to a chick, crystal formation, protein synthesis, human growth, oil and water mixtures
For a full treatment of this canard, visit http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/thermo/probability.html where the second law of thermodynamics, entropy etc. are properly explained.
In order to be proved scientifically, a theory must pass four different criteria.
Hold on this is not quite correct. In order to be accepted as a scientific theory (not the same as being correct, but the philosophy of science is a big subject you can research if you are interested) it has to meet certain criteria.
First, the theory must be observed. This has not happened . In the present, or in fossil records. There are variations of the same animals, much like a tiger and a lion, and there are extinct animals, but no intermediate species has ever been found.
This is simply not true. Well leave Achaeopteryx for now, seeing as it is raised later.
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional.html is a fine treatment of a large number of transitional forms, with a large number of references, unlike the article I am criticising here. There is a law that states that if you produce a transitional form, then the Creationist will want the one between that and the next form. The goalposts keep being moved. But stated as it is, the above statement is a plain and simple lie. Keith Miller, a Christian, covers some of the same transitions, with pictures, at http://asa.calvin.edu/ASA/resources/Miller.html - Taxonomy, Transitional Forms, and the Fossil Record.
Secondly, a theory must be able to go through experimentation. This is not possible, simply because if it cannot be observed, it cannot be experimented with. Scientists can experiment with evolution in the sense of change and variety within a "kind," but not macro- evolution.
Actually, observation and experimentation are a single criterion. Some things cannot be experimented with, only observed. Experimentation is merely setting up conditions for observations to be made. Observing the phenomena where they happen (or happened) naturally is just as valid. Astronomy cannot do experiments either is it also not a valid science?
The third criteria is reproduction. Here again, this is based on the first criteria, observation.
The singular is criterion, thank you. Actually, the criterion is intersubjective experience, which is not the same thing, although in most cases it comes down to the same. What it does mean is when that independent researchers agree on their experience of the evidence concerning something, then that would be a basis for drawing scientific inferences.
If the criterion really was reproduction, then forensic scientists would have to re-enact murders to draw valid conclusions from post-mortem examinations.
The last proof for a scientific proof is falsification. Finding out under what conditions it is possible in and those it is not possible in. It may be provable that in some circumstances evolution is not possible, but it cannot be proved that under certain circumstances evolution does happen.
This is not what falsification is at all. How much philosophy of science should we listen to when it is laden with the most basic of errors? Falsification is a hypothetical observation that would show that a hypothesis is wrong. For example, if I hypothesise that metal floats if it is painted green, then either observe green metal sinking, or perform an experiment in which green metal sinks, then the hypothesis is falsified. I then look for a new hypothesis. If I cannot conceive of a falsification criterion, then the statement is not scientific, even if it is true. For example, God exists is not a scientific statement, even though it is true (in my opinion, at any rate), because there is not conceivable experiment or observation that would falsify the statement. Evolution could easily be falsified finding a dinosaur skeleton in a Cambrian rock would do it.
Evolutionists even ignore certain animal species. The shark is one, the duck billed platypus is another. These and other animals are a mosaic of different features. Evolution states that by finding similarities of organisms' features, we can trace the different species back to a common ancestor. God's mosaics present a great problem for the theory of macro evolution, and therefore, their philosophy seems to be: ignore it.
I dont know what features are being referred to here. But, as an example, the platypus is a mixture of reptilian features and mammalian ones, which is hardly surprising given that it is a member of a primitive group. To these, it adds a few features of its own, shared with no other groups. This is exactly what evolutionary theory would predict.
I cant for the life of me think what the shark problems are, but no references are quoted so I cant look it up.
Evolutionists seem to choose to forget that many of their fundamental things are based upon ideas, not proof. The time periods of the "geological column" are pure theory. Evolutionists must ignore the fact that "80 to 85% of Earth's land surface does not have even 3 geologic periods appearing in 'correct' consecutive order."
I refuse to address the quotation without being told where it comes from. It looks made up to me. There are, conversely, more than twenty places on earth where the entire geological column is in place: http://www.onthenet.com.au/~stear/geologiccolumn.htm, Conclusion (about two thirds of the way down. He also kindly shows you where these places are in the world)
Usually, parts of it are eroded away, overthrust, overturned, all in accordance with established geological theory.
The evolutionary tree, branching from the amoebae into the most complex animals and humans, is based upon assumptions, not fossil records. In reality, there is not one iota of evidence that points towards such a tree.
The amoeba is a modern organism with as long an evolutionary history as any other extant creature, which tells you how much the writer knows about what hes saying.
Heres a branching point in the tree for you, based on fossil evidence. http://www.aaas.org/spp/dser/evolution/science/kennethmiller.htm (Search for the section headed Does the Fossil Record Document the Origin of New Species?)
I can only conclude that the writer is lying again. Or is it the Creationists who have to ignore things?
Evolutionists ignore the fact that they rely on circular reasoning. All of the support for the theory comes from the fossil record, and the dates. Yet the dates of the geological column, which gives dates to the fossils, was based on the assumption of evolution! Therefore, the geological column is based on evolution, and evolution is based on the geological column. When dating a fossil, it is dated by the time period of the stone it is fossilized in. The fossil is found in say, "old" rock. How do we know it is old rock? Well just look at the fossils it contains! circular reasoning.
Oh dear. Missing something! The geological column predates evolutionary theory, so it is not based on any evolutionary assumptions.
The process is rather more complicated. Britannica gives a good account, simple for the non-scientist to understand. Key is that faunal progression (i.e. the fossils in the rocks) is a secondary method. Not the primary means by which the rock is dated.
There have been found fossil impressions of human footprints right next to fossilized dinosaur footprints. The footprints are identical to today's human footprint, in size and distance of stride. Evolutionists ignore these fossils entirely, and do not dare to mention them, or say that these prints have been carved, and are fakes. A quick look, though, proves otherwise. The tracks have even been followed by removing a limestone layer that the path should continue under, and the fossilized prints are there. Also, fossilized human prints have left impressions, even under each toe from the pressure of the foot. (Once when these fossils are brought up by Don R. Patton, Ph.D., the curator of the Dallas Museum of Natural History proposed the idea of aliens coming to earth and walking around barefoot. The question then comes, if sophisticated aliens came with technology like spaceships, why were they walking around in bare feet? A professor at a Tennessee University stated simply that for all we know, there could have been dinosaurs with human feet walking around. Patton's reply was that for all we know, there was humans walking around with dinosaur feet, then he asked if the prints would look different even if it was real humans. At this the professor turned around and abruptly left the lecture hall.)
What was the Tennessee University Professors name? When did it happen? Why are you so shy about filling in the details?
As to these human footprints, well. Dr Stephen C. Myers has collated this little collection of information about these footprints: http://hometown.aol.com/ibss3/ibss3/paluxy.htm, as has Glen J. Kuban (http://members.aol.com/paluxy2/paluxy.htm)
Evolutionists ignore the fact that different layers of earth, as in the Grand Canyon, do not take millions of years to form. In fact, Mount St. Helen's even recently made replicas of these layers in a matter of a few days. 600 feet of layered rocks arrived in one single afternoon, and turned to rock over the next three years
Geologists can tell the difference between volcanic ash and limestone, millstone grit, sandstone, shale, slate
Scientists nearly refuse to acknowledge polystrates. Fossilized trees which extend through many layers of strata in the ground. A tree that extends through a time span of hundreds of millions of years? No. The earth formed around it before it had time to fall or decay. To believe that each layer of earth represents millions of years is to completely ignore this fact.
Don Lindsay has eloquently answered this question. http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/polystrate.html
Evolutionists ignore the "Cambrian explosion," as they call it. at the bottom of all the strata is found the closest fossils to the origin of all life on earth. However, evolutionists have run from this collection of data ever since it has been observed. Why? They ignore this because at the beginning of the fossil record, life forms come in with no evolutionary history. in fact all anatomical designs are represented in this earliest layer, including everything from sea plants to vertebrates, which are supposed to be the most complex and advanced group of animals. Just as fascinating is that the different species of plants and animals are as distinct in this fossil record as today in the living world. There is not one transitionary fossil in even the earliest layer.
The Cambrian explosion took place over several million years. Its not the sudden appearance that you might think. The animals are all very small and simple (http://www.jesmariecreech.homestead.com/evolution.html). In fact, the various phyla appeared over a period of more than 100 million years longer than the period since the dinosaurs died out to the present day from the late Pre-Cambrian to the Ordivician.
Of course, anatomical designs is not defined, but rest assured there are no insects, birds, fish, mammals, reptiles or amphibians in the Cambrian fossil beds.
Evolutionists seem famous for advertising a part of some evidence, yet hiding a major portion of it as well. It is this way in the case of the Archaeopteryx . The Archaeopteryx is a fossil that evolutionists, although not the most knowledgeable and experienced evolutionists, will always point towards when asked for proof of any missing link. This famous fossil is what they call a transitionary form from the reptile to the bird. A exceptionally preserved fossil, Archaeopteryx is very obvious in what features the organism possessed. Features which only belong to birds, including feathers, and a beak, and many other structures of a bird. Archaeopteryx also possesses features evolutionists say only belong to animals which are reptiles. These include teeth, claws, and some bone structure. In all reality, however, Archaeopteryx is a pure bird.
Quite correct, except that Archy does not have a beak. It has a toothed mouth, like birds don't, although reptiles do. We have to draw the line somewhere, and science has arbitrarily decreed that anything with feathers is a bird. But thats taxonomy, not evolution.
All of the reptilian structures in the Archaeopteryx can also be found in birds still living,
Not true. It is not true of long bony tails and pubic peduncles for a start. The article http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/gish-rutgers/spin-doctor.html talks about Archaeopteryx a bit, and is illuminating in this regard. (Section headed Does Gish Omit Critical Information?). It rather sounds like our writer has made the mistake of assuming he can trust Duane Gish for a balanced analysis of Archy, because this looks oddly familiar compared to Gish's statements on the subject.
and in fossilized birds, which, though extinct, are no doubt, birds.
And which were themselves transitional with regard to modern birds.
the ostrich and the hoatzin, both birds, exist today with claws.
So? They remain primitive features that illustrate the relationship between birds and reptiles, like their scaly legs and feet. The hoatzin, moreover, only has them when a chick, and those of the ostrich are tiny. Nothing like Archy's. More to the point, the structure of the wing bones of Archy are like those of a reptile forelimb. Those of the hoatzin and ostrich show the modern bird pattern.
The hummingbird possesses teeth.
I cant find any reference anywhere to hummingbirds having teeth. Some waterfowl have serrated edges to their bills, but these are not formed of the same material, or from the same embryonic tissues, as the prehistoric birds teeth. They are a new structure. The situation is analogous to the relationship or lack thereof between fishes tails and cetacean tail flukes. This phenomenon is called convergent evolution. I think the sentence above, however, has to come under the category of lie.
A couple of observations on Archy - if it's so birdlike, why was it initially classified as a reptile until the feather imprints were seen? And, again, if it's so pure bird, why do some creationists argue that it is a hoax, and is really a small dinosaur?
This point is worth pressing. In their desparation to claim there are no transitionals, creationists generally classify hominid skulls as either human or ape. Problem is, they can't agree which are which, because they have features of both. Now, why might that be?
(Of course, if evolution is the theory that things get better, would the loss of teeth, as the evolutionists try to pass as a step in evolution, be progression. No, it is a loss.)
But that is not the definition of evolution, so this is a straw man.
And birds including the hoatzin also have the bone structure that the Archaeopteryx has.
Including the long bony tail and lack of a breastbone? Gastralia (ventral ribs)? Reptilian forelimb? Equal length of tibia and fibula? Again, lets have the references so that we can look at the supposed similarities.
These scientists are also famous for ignoring ideas they make which are not true, yet have explanation through evolution. The scientists believed that since the earth and the universe is billions of years old, then the moon would be covered heavily in dust from space. This simply is not true. When the Americans landed on the moon, the dust cover on the moon was proved to be extremely thin.
This canard has been around for a long while, and the ignorance of the writer is the only thing it demonstrates. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/moon-dust.html has a good evaluation of this one.
Fossils of a human finger have been found in the wrong place. A date that was reserved for pre-human organisms. A three-dimensional finger, which when cross- cut reveals a complex fossil revealing the layers of epidermis, and even the porous bone layer.
I presume youre talking about Carl Baughs fossil finger (note singular)? Glen Kuban has looked into this, and states:
The alleged fossilized finger promoted by Baugh and associates is more likely just an interesting shaped rock or concretion. I was allowed to personally examine the "finger" several years ago, and saw nothing in it to suggest it is a fossil of any sort. Nor do I know any mainstream scientist or regards it as a fossilized finger. Contrary to the suggestions in the NBC show, it does not show bones in the CT scans. The dark area in the center of the scans are not well defined and are likely due to differences in the density of rock at the middle of the concretion, or the greater mass of rock the rays passed through at the center than the edge of the rock. Last, a key point that Baugh did not reveal in the show is that the "finger" was not found in situ, but rather in a loose gravel pit some distance from Glen Rose. Therefore, like the Burdick print it cannot be reliably linked to an ancient formation, and is of no antievolutionary value, even if it were a real fossilized finger.
(Glen Kuban, A Review of NBC's "The Mysterious Origins of Man", http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/paluxy/nbc.html
A iron hammer embedded in fossilized rock has been found, and this could only have been made by humans. Yet, it is fossilized in an area with should not contain any human artifacts. This fossil is quickly ignored.
Again, no reference, but what the hell Ive been able to find out about this one. Again, Glen Kuban http://members.aol.com/paluxy2/hammer.htm examines the evidence.
Fossils of nine individual human skeletons have been found in one area. The skeletons are buried fifty feet down from the surface, and are in extremely dense and hard Dakota sandstone. Yet evolutionists continue to ignore these artifacts by saying they were planted there as a hoax
Presumably the writer is referring to Malachite Man, which appears to be a reworking of Moab Man. Let it be said here that the skeletons were not fifty feet down, they were fifteen feet down. They were not in solid rock but under loose rock cover. Glen Kuban, bless him, examined the evidence for this one back in 1998. Our writer clearly did not do so - he just believed what it suited him to believe.
Ripple marks can be found in nearly every layer of stone in the geological table in one part of the world or another. These ripple marks are just like the ripple marks in a river, which last only but for a little while. This proves that the layers formed one on top of the other very quickly.
It proves no such thing. These ripple marks would hardly be preserved by a catastrophic flood, which is the usual Creationist explanation for strata. Gentle deposition may well preserve them. But without knowing what ripple marks were talking about (rock type? Presumably a sand or mudstone, location? references, references, references!!!) we can go no further. A debate precluded by lack of information is not won by bold unsupported statements.
Yet evolutionists pretermit this evidence simply because that's not what they want the fossil record to show.
Or because it doesnt exist.
Stalactites and stalagmites are said to have taken hundreds of thousands, even millions of years to form. In fact, 100,000 years for one square inch of a single stalactite to form. Though you won't hear any evolutionist mention these, there are eleven foot columns of stalactites in the George Rogers Clarke Memorial-- a building thirty years old, made out of the same limestone that is in caves that display stalactites.
What does this have to do with evolution?
Im not going to reinvent the wheel here, so Ill quote:
Many people have found that stalactites forming on concrete or mortar outdoors may grow several centimeters each year. Stalactite growth in these environments, however, bears little relation to that in caves, because it does not proceed by the same chemical reaction. Although cement and mortar are made from limestone, the same rock in which the caves form, the carbon dioxide has been driven off by heating. When water is added to these materials, one product is calcium hydroxide, which is about 100 times as soluble in water as calcite is. A calcium hydroxide solution absorbs carbon dioxide rapidly from the atmosphere to reconstitute calcium carbonate, and produce stalactites. This is why stalactites formed by solution from cement and mortar grow much faster than those in caves. To illustrate, in 1925, a concrete bridge was constructed inside Postojna Cave, Yugoslavia, and adjacent to it an artificial tunnel was opened. By 1956, tubular stalactites 45 centimeters long were growing from the bridge, while stalactites of the same age in the tunnel were less than 1 centimeter long.
(Moore and Sullivan, 1978, p.47)
From Matson vs Hovind, http://www.ics.uci.edu/pub/bvickers/origins/matson-vs-hovind.txt
It may be very often that one will hear of the similarities in our DNA to the chimpanzee DNA. In fact, the structure is 94% to 98 % the same. What the evolutionist ignore in this area is that this similarity is only in blood serum.
In fact, we share 92%- 94% DNA with bacteria. Evolutionists also try to assert that because the structure of different parts of humans may be the same as that of apes, we are therefore related. They ignore, however, that in our cholesterol structure, we are most similar to the garter snake. In milk, humans are closest to the donkey. In regard to foot structure, we are most similar to the glacial bear. (The apes and monkeys have hands for feet) The same enzyme in our eyes is used by chickens.
Our blood antigen "A" is most similar to, not the chimpanzee, but the butterbean.
Now I know youre talking rubbish. Butterbeans do not have blood or blood antigens! What are you talking about?
Last but not least, our brain hormones are closest to that of the cockroach.
Which ones? How many times, SOURCES!!!??? As it happens, Ive done the referencing for you. Ive traced these back to Morris, Henry M. The Twilight of Evolution, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1967 ( http://emporium.turnpike.net/C/cs/refer.htm#Ref19 ) Alas, Henry Morris is not a geneticist, and so Id need to find out where he got the information from. I dont have the book I cant afford the books I need, let alone ones I need like I need holes in my head.
In conclusion to this list, it seems unmistakable that the evolutionists ignore much evidence which should be accepted in order to truly study the past. The amount of evidence they ignore is nearing upon the amount of things they accept. This calls for much faith on the evolutionists' part. Of course, faith for an evolutionist would not be the same kind of faith as ours, but the evolutionist faith is: "The substance of fossils hoped for, the evidence of links unseen."
I hope Ive shown that its nothing of the kind.
In Conclusion, this is a classic Young Earth Creationist diatribe. It repeats long debunked creationist arguments, it makes unfounded allegations, and misrepresents what mainstream science is saying. It is vacuous, valueless, and designed purely to mislead the faithful.
Note: http://www.unhindered.com were initially reasonably co-operative since I informed them I would be critically reviewing this material. They promised to remove any factual errors.
However, when they saw the finished document they refused to comment, and indeed were somewhat abusive. So, here you are. The original page is still in place, inaccuracies, misrepresentations and all. Who is really interested in truth?
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