Last Update: 18 Mar 00
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REPLY #59 TO
"EVOLUTION VS. CREATIONISM"
(R) The reason Christians don't acknowledge a creator using the method of evolution is not because we are scared the Bible would be considered fallible if we argued otherwise. It is because there is not one shred of evidence throughout the entire world that supports evolution.
(MB) Which "Christians" are these? It's certainly not *all* Christians or even the majority of them. It is primarily only the most conservative and fundamentalist Protestants who think this way and these people, despite the disproportionate amount of noise they make, are a tiny minority of all Christians.
As to the standard mantra that there is "no evidence" to support evolution, this is such clear and blatant nonsense that it's barely even worth addressing. The numerous replies in this section and the links provided in many of them present ample supporting evidence for evolution. To ignore it or claim that it "doesn't exist" is ultimately as futile as spitting into a strong wind.
(R) It's still a THEORY!
(MB) Yep. Gravity is also "still a theory", but I would bet a large sum that you accept its existence. As has been pointed out many times in this forum, a scientific "theory" is an explanation for a set of related observations, experiments, mathematics and other data associated with a particular phenomenon. Such an explanation is promoted to the level of a "theory" when it becomes so well supported and has survived so many tests that it is generally and confidently considered to be accurate. A theory is not an emotional reaction, a gut feeling, a cherished belief or just a good story that does nothing more than fill an intellectual void that would be better filled with real knowledge. For all intents and purposes, theories are formal and demonstrable expressions of facts.
To be reduced to denigrating the word "theory" in order to attack evolution is equivalent to condemning broccoli because you don't like the sound of the word.
(R) It is the anti-scientific approach to explain the origin of life.
(MB) As opposed to attributing everything to an unseen, unknown, indescribable entity whose nature even his believers can't agree upon and for whom there is no objective supporting evidence other than the say-so of those who choose to sacrifice their minds to their blind faith? Is *that* the "scientific" approach to the question?
Also, evolution is *not* a theory which describes the origin of life. Evolution is a theory which describes the development and diversification of living things on this planet only after they first appeared. It is not concerned with *how* they first appeared. I really don't know how you can argue against something if you don't even know what it is!
(R) For example, evolution defies the 2nd law of thermodynamics, which prevails throughout the universe, and has never been broken.
(MB) Except, of course, by those who believe that all was void until the aforementioned entity said "Let there be light".
(R) It says that everything decays, breaks down, energy is dispersed, etc.
(MB) That's a rather simplistic and somewhat inaccurate synopsis. The 2LT says that, in a thermodynamically closed system into which no additional energy is input, the total amount of disorder will always increase. Local increases in order are permissable, but can only occur at the cost of a corresponding and larger overall increase in disorder within the system as a whole. For example, I am creating a local increase in order by typing this response, but I am doing so at the expense of creating an overall increase in disorder through the heat energy expended by myself and my computer in the process.
(R) Evolution says everything builds up and continues on stronger and better.
(MB) No, it doesn't. Evolution says only that population genetics will change over the generations. This does not mean that offspring will be "better" than their parents. It just means that they will be "different". Evolution is neither a progressive nor a goal-directed process and does not necessarily lead to increased complexity, size or strength.
(R) Evolution cannot not be reproduced in a lab, or demonstrated therein, like any other true scientific hypothesis.
(MB) Evolution not only can be reproduced, demonstrated and observed in a lab, but it is done all the time. In fact, if you are different from either of your parents in any way at all, you are living proof of evolution.
(R) No one has ever found ANY species that is a link between extinct or current species and their "evolved brethren". Never. Not one.
(MB) If so, would you care to explain how we know the complete and unbroken record of the evolution of the modern horse, Equus, over the past 54 million years?
(R) If you believe there is a creator and evolution is true, then why do you subscribe to such an illogical theory?
(MB) I don't believe there is a creator. Even if there is one, that, in itself, would not prevent evolution from being a reality. Indeed, since we are observing evolution in action today, it is clear that it is either a natural process or a part of the creator's plan.
(R) Why would a creator waste so much time?
(MB) What would prevent him from doing so? What meaning does "time" have to an eternal entity?
(R) If He creates, why not do it in the most efficient way possible? Why not create what you want to create immediately? Why set it up so that it will take millions of years to reach the desired end? THAT'S STUPID!!
(MB) Who are you to say that things aren't exactly the way that "the creator" wants them to be? Who are you to put limits on what such an entity can or should do? Christians are fond of claiming that Man cannot know the mind of God. Yet, aren't you claiming such knowledge here?
Also, who says that we have reached any sort of "end"? There is no reason to think that the processes which have gone on for the billions of years that life has existed on this planet have suddenly ended and that no further development will occur. If you're trying to claim that Man is the "end product" of evolution, you would be very wrong. Homo sapiens is nothing but the tip of a tiny side branch of the vast historical bush of evolutionary events on this planet. The dominant and most well-adapted species on this planet are currently, always have been, and always will be unicellular bacteria.
(R) It's obvious that there's no vailidity to evolution from an intellectual standpoint.
(MB) Obvious to whom? On the contrary, since the scientific theory is so sound and so vastly supported, it is intellectually invalid to discard it off-hand in favor of an arbitrary religious dogma which can't even show its superiority to competing religious ideas. How can such a dogma hope to compete with the theories of science?
(R) But sceintists who want to convince themselves and everyone else there is no God, they try and intimidate people with their intellect and big-word terminology so that their theories will never be questioned.
(MB) Evolution has nothing to say about whether or not "God" or any other deity actually exists or if such a deity is responsible for the way things are. Evolution explains what we have discovered about the history and current state of life on this planet and predicts what we will discover in the future. It is not a theory of the origins of life, the universe, or anything else.
Science *invites* questioning! It is only religion which actively discourages questioning -- often under threat of death and/or eternal damnation. Science can only tell you that you are ignorant. Religion tries to tell you that you risk the wrath of an almighty God and everlasting torture in Hell. Which prospect is likely to be more intimidating to the average person? Even at that, after 2000 years of preaching and threatening, only about 30% of the world's population calls itself "Christian" while it's the rare person who disbelieves what science has to say. Therefore, which is more compelling to the average person?
(R) Smarter people know better to believe someone just because he/she says so, or just because he/she is a scientist.
(MB) Of course, this is why Creationists would never stoop to such things as calling themselves "scientists" (even though many have signed a form disavowing science in favor of religion), touting their Ph.Ds (which are often fraudulent or irrelevant) or using question-begging, circular reasoning and arguments from authority out of the Bible, right?
Creationism does not prosper among thinking people. That's why Creationists take their message to churches instead of to the halls of academia. That's why there is no Nobel Prize for Creationism (or *any* religious dogma, for that matter). That's why Creationists have lost every Supreme Court challenge. That's why such lowlights as Carl Baugh and Kent Hovind are laughingstocks even among other Creationists. I think it's abundantly clear where the "smarter people" are to be found.
(R) Smarter people realize that evolution isn't even scientific--it actually goes totally against all of modern science.
(MB) Unfortunately, you are truly spitting into the wind with this bluster. Not only is evolution completely compatible with modern science, if the theory was proven to be false, most of the natural and physical sciences would have to be scrapped or seriously revised. The probability of this happening is roughly equal to the probability of the Sun rising in the West and cartwheeling across the sky next Saturday while singing "How Great Thou Art" in B-flat.
(R) Too bad there aren't that many of these smarter people and the rest of the people get suckered into believing the evolution lie.
(MB) It is religion and Creationism that are doing the suckering. Science doesn't demand that anybody believes in evolution. Science presents the facts, data, and evidence and anybody is free to examine them and reach whatever conclusion they can support from them. When was the last time (or the first time, for that matter) that any religion did that?
(R) By the way, scientists are not the SOURCE of truth. All they can do is observe, discover, take notes on, or try to reproduce what is already true or factual.
(MB) This is exactly right. Evolution is observed truth. Religion is invented truth. If one spends too much time with his head bowed, he'll miss a lot of what's right in front of him.
(R) They can't just speak something into existence and it becomes true. That's why people don't need to hold scientists in such high regard.
(MB) That is incoherent given your previous statement. Why should we not hold in high regard those who have the skills to observe, discover, annotate, reproduce, and explain the facts of our universe? Is it better to honor those who preach arbitrary moralities and unsupportable dogmas which defy the realities of that same universe? Was it a scientist or a preacher who was responsible for discovering the principles and processes which made possible the production of the computer you used to write to me?
(R) Benjamin Franklin didn't create electricity; he only discover how to harness the electricity that was already there, whether it was visible or not. Scientists are not the source or creators of truth, just observers and reporters. But they need to keep the theories, theories and the facts, facts.
(MB) It goes far beyond simple observing and reporting. Science is also the wisdom and insight to apply those observations and reports to the task of inventing all make and manner of new goodies.
While religion was busy trying to get you to believe that lightning was the result of battles in the heavens, it was scientists who discovered the truth and allowed everybody to benefit from the taming of electricity. While religion was subjecting Galileo to the Inquisition for his "heresy", the scientific discovery of the principles of celestial mechanics has made many wonders possible. While religion tried to tell us that we can alter the breeding patterns of cattle by showing them a striped pole and said that sick people are "possessed by demons", science has learned the truths of genetics and medicine.
History is overloaded with similar examples of religious nonsense being replaced with scientific understanding and the resulting improvement in everybody's lives. It is impossible to find examples of progress in the other direction. Progress is the enemy of religious dogma.
(R) You can't reproduce creation in the lab, as far as I know but there is insurmountable evidence for it.
(MB) If so, where is it? To date, no Creationist has been able to offer the first piece of solid and objective evidence in favor of his views. Bible verses are not "evidence". Nor are emotional reactions to good stories. Nor is "Well, how *else* could it have happened?".
(R) So, what you have to do is make a determination off of the evidence. What does the evidence show?
(MB) 100% of the evidence shows that evolution is the right answer. 0% of the evidence shows Creationism to have any basis in fact.
(R) There's no evidence for evolution, except someone's opinion. There's all kinds of evidence for creation, including the logical aspect of the infinitely intricate design in the universe, all of which speaks to a designer.
(MB) What "design" is there in the universe? Also, the universe is hardly as "complex" as you would like to claim. Just because something is very big and filled with many things does not mean that it is complex. Indeed, all current evidence suggests that the entirety of the universe is made out of only *one* thing -- energy. Is that "complex"?
By the way, what does the origin or complexity of the universe have to do with whether or not evolution is a fact?
(R) How much more complex are the systems in the universe compared to man's greatest inventions, like the computer for example?
(MB) Actually, a computer is inherently far more complex than is the universe, but what does that have to do with evolution?
(R) How could a computer demand the explanation of a designer behind its existence and an entire complex universe not?
(MB) If you understand what "complexity" really is, you'll have your answer. Once again, what does this have to do with evolution?
(R) If you're stupid, or you refuse to believe that there is a God, you'll align yourself with evolutionists. The choice is yours.
(MB) False dichotomy. One can have both evolution *and* God. They are two separate issues. Indeed, it is *you* who has the burden of proof here. Not only must you demonstrate the existence of your God, you must demonstrate that no other "God" exists. Man worships a great many different and mutually-exclusive Gods, you know. Why should anybody believe that your particular version is the one responsible for everything? You must also demonstrate why your God would not use evolution as a tool of his creation while making it look as though there is so much evidence in favor of evolution. Finally, you will have to show whether Young-Earth Creationism, Old-Earth Creationism, Intelligent Design (old-earth or young-earth), Progressive Creationism or some other version of Creationism is the proper interpretation.
Only once you have presented a consistent and coherent alternative view of your own will you be on solid ground upon which to dispute science. "God said it. I believe it. That settles it." does not qualify as such a view.
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