Last Update: 02 Jan 00
Return to "Evolution vs. Creationism" essay
REPLY #50 TO
"EVOLUTION VS. CREATIONISM"
(R) I am not a scientist. I have only studied science in high school and some college. My college degree is in the business area.
(MB) If "scientist" is defined as somebody who has a college degree in some field of science, then I am not a scientist, either. However, one does not have to have a degree in science to able to read, study and understand the evidence that is available.
(R) I am not a debater, I seek the truth not the winner of a case that is decided by arbitrary rules that promote only fighting and not real truth.
(MB) We should all seek the truth. However, you are referring to a specific case here, i.e., who won the Evolution vs. Creationism debate on Firing Line. The decision is not an arbitrary one. The debate proposition was clear. The Creationists were the affirmants and they failed -- utterly, totally, miserably, and unquestionably. The fact that they lost decisively while trying to support the proposition that evolutionists should acknowledge creationism does not mean that evolution is either true or bulletproof. It just means that the Creationists completely failed to show why their views should be considered by evolutionists.
(R) I am a Christian and my christianity does not rest on Creationism, but I do believe it.
(MB) What would you do if Creationism was demonstrated to your satisfaction to be seriously flawed and unworthy of belief?
(R) Evolution has not be proven in my mind.
(MB) In logic, that is a fallacy known as an Argument from Personal Incredulity. What would it take to prove evolution in your mind?
(R) Micro-Evolution has been proven but not cross-species evolution.
(MB) If you accept micro-evolution, then you have just admitted that "evolution" has been proven. What you are disputing, then, is "speciation" and not "evolution". You simply don't believe that the changes produced by micro-evolution can ever accumulate to a degree sufficient to produce any eventual offspring which are sufficiently different from their initial ancestors such that they must be considered to be a new species. Yet, to do this, you will need to show some reason why there are limits to the total amount of change than any lineage can experience no matter how many generations over how many years are produced.
(R) You are prejudice to Evolution in my opinion.
(MB) Having confidence in something because it is supported by the overwhelming preponderance of facts and evidence is not the same thing as being prejudiced. A prejudice is a belief that is held *despite* facts and evidence -- not *because* of facts and evidence.
(R) You have spent a lot of time and effort creating the website and stating your position. You have a stake in the beliefs of Evolution. Or you would have to admit you are wrong.
(MB) How do you figure that? I write about a lot of things on this site. I have also said numerous times that all of my views are subject to change if that's where the facts and evidence should lead. I have no "stake" in upholding evolution or anything else other than to seek and support the truth. Religious believers have a tremendous personal stake in their beliefs. To abandon them would have a traumatic effect on their lives. That's why they will defend them no matter what is stacked up against them.
(R) Nobody likes to be wrong.
(MB) I should hope not, but some of the more devout religious believers make me wonder about that. I've heard more than one say that they refuse to believe anything else even if they are proven to be wrong.
(R) With out going into detail many of your conclusions are intellectual dishonest and make absoultely no sense.
(MB) I'm afraid you're going to have to go into detail if you're going to make such a charge and expect it to stick. You'll need to bring up specific points and argue against them. If you do nothing more than generalize, I don't have much of anywhere to start defending myself.
(R) You answer one of my statements about neither side making much of a case (in the debate only) by saying therefore the Creationist lose. Then the next statement you defend the Evolutionist for not being able to sucessfully attack the Creationist position on any point as meaningless.
(MB) That's because we were discussing who "won" the debate. To answer that question requires an understanding of what "winning" and "losing" means in terms of formal debate. The burden of proof is on the affirmants of any debate proposition. If they fail, they lose. The opposition does not have to prove the proposition's denial. It's similar to a court case. The prosecution must prove that the defendant is guilty or it loses the case. The defense does not have prove that the defendant is innocent in order to win.
(R) I have gotten most my information from the many Creationist websites.
(MB) So do most lay Creationists. What they should be doing is broadening their base of knowledge by studying *both* sides. You can't study evolution by reading a Creationist web site, since those sites do not present the facts of science -- nor are they interested in doing so. You can prove that by seeing how many of these sites freely link to science sites or pro-evolution sites. Ask yourself why they don't link to those sites if they are secure in their case and are interested in fairness. Then, check out the major evolution sites. You'll find that they *all* link to Creationist sites.
(R) And there is a lot of evidence to support the Creationist theory.
(MB) Where? To date, there is not one single piece of evidence that supports Creationism. That doesn't mean that there aren't a lot of claims to the contrary from the Creationists. Most of the Creationist "evidence" has been around for decades and has been thoroughly refuted. That doesn't keep it from being recycled endlessly within the scientifically-illiterate crowd to whom it is aimed, however. We all know that there are lots of hogwash urban myths that are "common knowledge" among the credulous.
(R) I think most creationist are Young Earth. If they believe in Old Earth then Evolution is not nearly as big a jump.
(MB) Young Earth Creationism is also the easiest to refute since it requires so much obvious nonsense in order to sustain itself. How anybody can continue to adhere to it when all of its major points have been completely decimated is beyond me.
(R) But there are no fossil records to support cross-species evolution.
(MB) That depends on what you mean by "cross-species evolution". If you are parroting the standard Duane Gish dishonesty, you are asking for evidence that dogs turn into cats, or vice-versa, when evolutionary theories say nothing of the kind.
(R) There are no fossil records to support man coming from a monkey/ameoba. All the links from Monkey to man are missing. I do mean all of them.
(MB) That's because Man didn't descend from a monkey. Monkeys and Men are two separate lineages which each descended from a common ancestor. The fact that there is a common ancestor is unquestioned. Just exactly what the point of divergence was is still under debate. Be careful of Creationist sites that make invalid claims for what evolution posits.
(R) The Creationist have defeated the Evolutionist on the man monkey links, They have iniformed the public that Evolution is a theory full of holes.
(MB) The Creationists have not defeated evolution on any issue whatsoever. They have certainly tried to con the public into thinking otherwise and have had their successes in doing so. But, conning the public into believing nonsense that sounds good is an everyday happenstance. In reality, it is Creationism that has more holes than a sponge and evolution which is rock-solid. Science actually owes a bit of a debt to Creationists here, since defending evolution has resulted in the firming up of the theories and the development of accessible ways to present them for public consumption.
(R) They have proven that many of the old earth concepts are not true or that there are alternative explanations that work just as well. Ex. Gas can be created from trash in as little time as a few minutes. Evolutionist and other Old Earth believers state that it takes millions of years to create oil fields. When in fact physics defies the millions of years for the oil to be created, because the pressures would be too great and could not be withstood by the underground chambers. In other words the oil should be spewing up like volcanoes or geysers not lying underground where it has to be pumped out.
(MB) Man does not overturn the laws of physics. All he does is act as a catalyst to speed things up. Nature has to rely on random processes that can take eons of time because of all the false starts and near-misses. Man simply cuts right to the heart of the matter. Another example is the artificial creation of diamonds. Man can make diamonds from carbon in a short amount of time while it takes Mother Nature millions of years to do the same thing. This does not violate any laws of physics or invalidate any theories which describe the workings of those laws.
(R) The Earths magnetic field is known to be reduced by half every 1400 years. It the Earth is millions of years old the the energy needed to create the unbeliveable magnetic fields that would have been present millions of years ago would be astronomic and would sizzle the Earth. Evolutionist counter that there is some sort of charger within the earths crust that keeps it running. But there is no theory to account for this.
(MB) This is a classic example of an invalid extrapolation of a current measurement combined with a careful withholding of facts along with a red herring argument. Earth's magnetic field fluctuates over time because the molten nature of its core turns the planet into a giant dynamo. The motion of the core causes the magnetic field to rise, fall, and reverse polarities over the eons. Just because it might be measured to be falling (or rising) at any one time is no indication that it continues to do so steadily throughout time. Have you researched any geology or planetology textbooks to find out how this really works or do you simply take the pro-Creationist web sites at their word (bad choice)?
(R) Darwin stated that the fossil record must reflect the cross-species links or the theory is invalid. There are no cross species links only variations within a species.
(MB) This is a distortion of what Darwin actually wrote and is another example of how Creationists will deliberately distort primary sources for their own purposes. After all, how many in the general public have actually read Origin of Species? Darwin wrote that we should expect to find an unbroken line of divergence and descent from the first life form through to all life forms on Earth today. He did not say that we should expect to find dogs turning into cats (as the standard Gishism goes).
(R) The complexity of life, from procreation to blood absorbing oxygen and carrying it to the cells is so improbable that it defies chance. That is why I am a creationist.
(MB) You are a Creationist because of a personal inability to understand basic biology? I'm afraid that doesn't say much for the strength of the Creationist view.
(R) How did the first two animals that had sexes come to be formed at the same time and they knew to have sex with each other. How did Evolution create both a male and a female at the same time in the same part of the earth. And it did this for the many thousands of species. This is a leap of faith that I as a Creationist cannot make at this point.
(MB) That's because you are demanding something that didn't happen that way. The development of sexual reproduction didn't happen all in one shot like magic. If you'd like to research the matter, you might first consider "The Evolution of Sex" p 1979-2008 v 281 Science, 25 September 1998.
In short, sexual reproduction began as a simple ability of one single-celled organism to exchange genetic information with another. Those that were better able to do this would reproduce more efficiently and their descendants would inherit that ability. Over time and further selection, the ability would evolve into the complex system we are familiar with today. The only reason that Creationists turn this into a "leap of faith" is that they exclude the development process from the big picture and demand that today's version had to have suddenly arisen all at once. They do the same thing in their arguments about such other things as the development of the eye or the wing.
(R) How did a body as complex as a mammals come into being by mere chance? For that matter, bird. reptiles, fish?
(MB) Simple. None of these came into existence in toto at the proverbial snap of a finger. You can't argue against evolution by positing ridiculous scenarios and then arguing that there is no evidence for those scenarios. Complex modern inventions don't come into existence out of thin air in one shot, either. There first had to be many preceding incremental steps. None of those steps were developed with any knowledge of what they might eventually contribute towards in the future, nor were any of those steps developed with any intention of any particular future end result product. You may wish to read James Burke's excellent "Connections" works for some fascinating tales of the lineage of modern inventions like computers, television, nuclear power, etc.
(R) Have you not seen the pictures of the living dinosaurs on some of the creationist websites? There are many stories of present day men who have seen dinosaurs like Nessie the Lochness Monster, Champ the Lake Champlain Monster, and there are dinosaur siteing in Ziare and the Congo. Also, there are many stories of Dragon Slayers in Europe and Asia. What is a Dragon? Could it be a dinosaur.
(MB) What does any of that have to do with evolution (or, for that matter, with Creationism)? Evolution doesn't say if or where we might find living examples of *any* creature -- dinosaurs included.
(R) The book of Job talks of the Bemonth which may be talking about a Brontasaures.
(MB) The "behemoth" of Job 40:15 was a hippopotamus. Now, if you're going to bring up Biblical beasts, how about the unicorn (Numbers 23:22 & 24:8, Deuteronomy 33:17, Job 39:9-10, Psalms 22:21 & 29:6 & 92:10, and Isaiah 34:7 -- all KJV)? Do you believe in such an animal?
(R) There are newspaper articles of a petradon in New Mexico in the Mid 1800's. The American Indiians of the southwest worshipped the Phoenix which is likely a petradon or some type of flying dinosaur. But Evolutionist say they were extinct millions of years ago.
(MB) So? We thought that the coelecanth had been extinct for 70 million years before a live one was caught. That did not invalidate evolution. It just showed that we had no living examples until one was actually found. Its evolutionary history did not change.
(R) The big bang theory is equally ridiculus and has no undisputable facts.
(MB) The big bang theory is not a part of evolution. Evolution is concerned with the development and divergence of living organisms on Earth after the first living thing appeared. It is not a theory of the origin of the universe. By bringing these unrelated issues up, Creationists only demonstrate their ignorance of science and cast doubt upon whether or not they even know what they want to dispute.
(R) In fact it does not support the theory of thermodynamics which states that all objects thrown form another object must rotate in the same way.
(MB) That is the Law of Conservation of Angular Momentum -- not thermodynamics. That is also not a part of any evolutionary theory.
(R) However, many planets, moons, asteriods etc rotate in the opposite direction of the Sun, Earth and the Milky Way.
(MB) Again, this has nothing to do with evolution. But, to answer the question, these "violations" are the after-effects of collisions during the planetary formation phase of the development of our solar system along with the fact that some planetary satellites did not form with that planet, but are instead captured asteroids or planetary fragments. There are no violations of physics or any other science involved here.
(R) There are a lot of holes in the Evolutionist theory.
(MB) Not as of yet there aren't. There are Creationist objections, but none have been shown to have any merit and many unwittingly don't even deal with evolution. Creationists only damage their own credibility when they advance such nonsense. They further damage their credibility by not offering any positive evidence in favor of their own ideas while they concentrate on fruitless attacks against science, in general, and evolution, in particular.
(R) But for some reason a picture of a dinosaur is not proof but some bones found over an area the size of a parking lot and glued together and taken from who knows how many animals is proof.
(MB) That's only because there has never been a legitimate photograph showing a modern example of a living dinosaur. Be assured that science would be overjoyed to obtain such evidence. Creationists like to offer all sorts of conspiracy theories that claim that science wishes to suppress evidence. Why this would be the case is beyond comprehension. The first scientist to produce unquestioned evidence of a living dinosaur would go down in the history books right next to Einstein and Darwin.
(R) You stated that the carbon-14 counter attack by the creationist is invalid. Please explain, because the creationist websites state that C-14 is increasing in the atmosphere and that it should have leveled off after about 30,000 years. Obviously, I have not heard the counter-counterattack but I would like you to point me to your source that disputes this.
(MB) The Creationists blow it with their C-14 arguments since they don't seem to realize (or conveniently forget) that C-14 has a half-life of only 5730 years. That makes it next to worthless as a tool for dating fossils which are millions of years old. Creationist materials love to trumpet claims that C-14 dating produces immensely old datings for recent specimens or that it fails to accurately date ancient specimens. Both claims only demonstrate additional scientific ignorance on their part.
(R) I have more questions, but I have to go now.
(MB) I'll be here with more answers when you're ready for them. In the meantime, please take my advice and don't restrict yourself solely to the Creationist web sites as your sources of information. You'll only be doing your education a severe disservice and I don't wish that on anybody. Most of those sites are absolutely dreadful and only damage the cause they attempt to defend.
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