Is evolution true?
21 bad arguments for biological evolution
Published: 18 March 2014 (GMT+10)
We have a popular article titled, Arguments we think creationists should not use. Indeed, even many misotheistic evolutionists, including Richard Dawkins, have commended the existence of such a page. Well, as the saying goes, ‘What is good for the goose is also good for the gander.’ Here are arguments that we think evolutionists should not use in their quest to prove that evolution is true.
Evolution means change (or change in gene/allele frequency) so evolution is a fact. This is an example of the equivocation fallacy or bait-and-switch. The evolution of microbes to man—what is really in dispute—means that many thousands of new genes have to be added—about 3,000 million DNA ‘letters’; it is not just a matter of changing the frequency of existing genes. Richard Dawkins commits this fallacy; see: Dawkins playing bait and switch with guppy selection.
Natural selection = evolution, so evolution is true. ‘Here is an example of natural selection … proof of evolution!’ However, natural selection cannot create any new genes to make evolution progress (see #1). Natural selection can only sort existing genetic information, so demonstrations of it are not demonstrations of evolution (see The 3 Rs of Evolution).
Evolution needs to explain the arrival of the fittest, not just the survival of the fittest. Evolutionary biologist John Endler said, “Natural selection must not be equated with evolution, though the two are intimately related,” and “natural selection does not explain the origin of new variants, only the process of changes in their frequency.” (See: Defining terms.) Creationist biologists have recognized the role of natural selection in culling the ‘unfit’ since before the time of Darwin, so how can natural selection be the same thing as evolution? Are creationists evolutionists?! See also Natural selection Q&A.
Mutations that cause (e.g.) antibiotic resistance or insecticide resistance ‘prove evolution’. For these to be evidence of evolution, the mechanism for such resistance needs to be demonstrated at a molecular biological level to be due to a new enzyme or metabolic pathway, not just adjustment of an existing one. However, many mechanisms of resistance are more akin to a scorched-earth policy that loses information. For example, by destroying the ability of an uptake channel protein to transport the antibiotic into the cell, or destroying the control system for the production of an enzyme that happens to break down the antibiotic such that much more of the enzyme is produced, thus conferring resistance. The concept of ‘protein families’ shows that there are many proteins that are so different to other proteins that they could not have derived from another protein (family) by random changes to existing genes (aka mutations). Humans have thousands of protein families that are absent in microbes and mutations to existing genes in microbes do not explain their origin. Mutations are actually a huge problem for microbes-to-man evolution, due to the relentless genetic decay that mutations cause: The evolution train’s a-comin (sorry a’goin’—in the wrong direction), Mutations: evolution’s engine becomes evolution’s end! (more technical) and Can mutations create new information?.
Adaptation = evolution; e.g. peppered moths or Darwin’s finches. Once again, there is no new genetic information involved. See: Adaptation and Darwin’s finches. Even so-called ‘gain-of-function’ mutations are not what they seem and give no support to evolution: Gain-of-function mutations: at a loss to explain molecules-to-man evolution.
Speciation = evolution. This is often tied to the claim that creationists believe in ‘fixity of species’; that is, that all the species we have today were created originally by God, that there no new species arise today. Richard Dawkins promotes this straw man.1 The evolutionist then gives an example of speciation (breeding isolation) happening, such as loss of flight in beetles and breeding isolation of flighted and flightless beetles, and Voilà: evolution proven! This is an example of the fallacy of false alternatives because disproving the notion of fixity of species would not demonstrate that microbes changed into mankind by evolutionary processes. Unfortunately some misinformed creationists have supported this false notion of fixity of species, which is on our list of Arguments we think that creationists should not use. Speciation is an important part of a robust creationist biology. Even Linnaeus (1707–1778), the famous creationist biologist who pioneered the classification of living things, as he studied hybridizing in plants recognized that new species had formed from the originally created kinds. Conversely, Darwin’s long-age mentor Charles Lyell, an anti-Christian deist, promoted fixity of species, Darwin’s straw-man target. Today’s creationist biologists likewise posit that God created various basic kinds of organisms with the ability to adapt and that new species have formed from the original created kinds. Arctic wolves and African wolves both derived from an original created wolf kind (involving adaptation and speciation). There is a creationist orchard, where each tree represents the descendants of original created kinds, in contrast to the evolutionary tree or a ‘lawn’, the latter being a false view of a creationist approach to biology. See How variation within-a-kind is a completely different concept from evolution from microbes to microbiologists and Speciation and the Created Kinds Q&A.
Changing a worm into a fish needs more than just speciation; it needs the addition of new genetic information, and lots of it. See: Argument: natural selection leads to speciation (Refuting Evolution, chapter 4).
The scientific consensus is that evolution is true. Regarding appeals to consensus, Michael Crichton said this: “There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.” In 2008, 16 of the world’s top evolutionists met, by invitation, in Altenberg, Austria. Their purpose was to discuss the crisis in evolutionary biology because many of them had come to see that the supposed mechanisms of mutations and natural selection did not explain the diversity of life. The only consensus was that there is a major problem. See a review of a book about the conference.
History is replete with examples of ‘consensus science’ that later proved to be dead wrong. Furthermore, when we examine the way in which ‘consensus’ is achieved on evolution, we can see that it is no measure of truth. Effectively anyone who dares to question the prevailing evolutionary paradigm is denied a place of influence among the science fraternity. No scientist who wants to progress in academia will dare step out of line. There are plenty of examples of what happens to the wayward to ‘warn’ any would-be dissenters. See: The games some people play. There are even organizations operating to protect evolution from any criticism! Finally, much of this ‘consensus’ was achieved by counting heads that themselves arrived at the ‘consensus’ by counting heads.
Homology proves evolution. Selected similarities between organisms are said to be evidence of common ancestry (evolution). These similarities can be visible features or at the protein/DNA level, but the argument is the same. This is an example of the fallacy of affirming the consequent.2 The pervasive pattern of homoplasy, which is the term evolutionists use for similarities that cannot be explained by any conceivable pattern of common ancestry, undermines the logic of the argument. Common design explains all similarities, both homologies and homoplasies, but evolution cannot explain the pervasive homoplasies.3 The camera eye, evolutionists say, must have evolved independently six times! Labelling such things as due to ‘convergent evolution’ is pure circular reasoning and lacks any explanatory power.
Evolutionists claim that God would not have created things with similarities, but this is a theological argument that presumes to know the mind of God. But in saying this they clearly have not thought much about it. Here are four rather obvious reasons why God would have created similarities: 1) One pattern points to one Creator (Romans 1:18–20), 2) Design economy; why ‘reinvent the wheel’? 3) We need to be similar (food), 4) Ecological reasons (e.g. recycling of nutrients). Historically, creation with similarities (re-using good design features) has been a mark of creative prowess; the idea that ‘new/different is better’ is a very modern idea. The homoplasies refute naturalistic attempts to explain the similarities without God. See: Homology made simple and Echolocation homoplasy (an extreme example of homoplasy at a DNA level).
Embryo similarities prove that evolution is true. This is a subset of the homology argument that keeps appearing in school and even university-level biology texts. The idea was that a human embryo goes through various stages of its supposed animal ancestry during embryo development, such as a fish stage with ‘gill slits’, etc. This was dubbed as ‘ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny’. The idea is without any scientific merit and is based on fraudulent diagrams from the 1800s (per Ernst Haeckel). See Fraud rediscovered and ‘related articles’ therein that counter modern revisionism. That it keeps appearing in science textbooks can only be due to its power as an indoctrination tool for students who don’t know enough to realize that they are being hoodwinked. And more here: Embryonic recapitulation Q&A.
Fossils prove evolution. They don’t. The pervasive pattern is sudden appearance and stasis/extinction, not evolution of one kind into another. A number of evolutionary paleontologists have acknowledged this. For example: That quote about the missing fossils and The links are missing. The lack of transitional fossils drove Harvard paleontologist Dr Stephen Jay Gould to develop a theory of ‘punctuated equilibrium’ that had evolution happening in such a rapid and localized way that no fossils were left to show it had happened! Of course attention-seeking paleontologists are continually promoting this or that new fossil that shows ‘this evolved into that’. However, give the latest fashionable fossil a few years and it will be dropped as further study shows that it was hyped to the hilt by the discoverers. One has only to think of that whale of a story, of how a four-footed land animal evolved into whales/dolphins, which has been a recent poster child of evolutionists. It is fast unravelling; see Rodhocetus and other stories of whale evolution. Also, when this happens, many of the alleged ‘homologies’ invoked as proof must be reclassified as homoplasies.
Loss of trait x proves evolution—such as loss of eyesight in fish in dark caves. Many evolutionists, such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, knock down a straw man that creationists believe that God created the fish blind. No, evolution needs to invent eyesight, not destroy it. Mutations can easily destroy an existing feature, but they cannot create brand new things such as eyesight, or feathers, or a bony skeleton, etc., where they did not exist before.
- PNAS 104(20):8287–8292, 15 May 2007
The elegant fibre-optic Mueller cells of the vertebrate eye
‘Vestigial’ organs prove evolution. This is related to the previous point and is a subset of the homology argument. A vestigial organ has been long-defined as a now functionless leftover of evolutionary ancestry. The human appendix is a commonly claimed vestigial organ. However, it has an important function as a ‘safe house’ for beneficial bacteria. Furthermore, the pattern of occurrence of the appendix in various creatures does not fit any possible evolutionary pattern of ancestry (‘phylogeny’) and so is in fact a problem for evolution: The appendix shrieks ‘creation’. The appendix is yet another example of homoplasy! See other claimed examples of ‘useless vestigial organs’ refuted: Vestigial organs: what do they prove? and Vestigial organs revisited. Once again, loss of function is not evidence for microbes-to-man evolution. If anything it would be evidence of devolution. Note: there has been a recent trend to try to change the definition of ‘vestigial organ’ to mean that the vestigial organ can have a reduced function or even a different function. This revisionism is clearly an attempt to rescue a failed argument, as some 180 human organs deemed to be useless under the original paradigm have proven to be functional; see Vestigial arguments.
‘Bad design’ is evidence for evolution. The argument goes like this: ‘This trait is imperfect, so it was not created by God, therefore it must have evolved’. This is another example of the fallacy of false alternatives. If bad design could be substantiated it would only be evidence of bad design, not that ‘evolution’ could design the trait. The argument is really a theological argument (again) where the evolutionist presumes to know what sort of design would be consistent with God creating it. Evolutionists have commonly argued that the vertebrate eye is badly designed because the nerve fibres are in front of the light receptors, supposedly interfering with the light (they don’t, due to the elegant fibre optic system—see diagram above). Richard Dawkins has been using this argument for decades. However, Dawkins did not demonstrate that the vertebrate eye is deficient in quality of vision (eagles have the vertebrate eye design!) and his argument is seriously flawed: New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins. Furthermore, the popular evolutionary story-telling of how a light sensitive spot became a camera-style eye does not work for the vertebrate eye. So the vertebrate eye is actually a huge problem for evolution and the ‘bad design’ argument would appear to be a diversionary tactic to avoid scrutiny of the bankruptcy of evolution as an explanation for the origin of eyes, and particularly vertebrate eyes. Also, there is no pattern of common ancestry that can explain the inheritance of sight from a universal common ancestor, so evolutionists have proposed that sight has arisen independently at least 40 times! Arising once should be too much of a miracle for a naturalist, but over 40 times? Eyesight is yet another example of homoplasy (similarity that is inexplicable by common ancestry, aka evolution).
The global distribution of organisms (biogeography) supports evolution. Richard Dawkins, addressing the Global Atheist Convention in Melbourne, Australia, 2010, said, “The pattern of geographical distribution [of plants and animals] is just what you would expect if evolution had happened” and is not consistent with their distribution following Noah’s Flood.4 Dawkins is wrong; the pattern does not support the evolutionary story. He might expect that it should, but it doesn’t. As Dominic Statham remarked after analyzing the matter in depth, “So, when we look at the biogeographical distribution of plants and animals in detail, we find it is not ‘just what you would expect if evolution had happened’. Rather, to explain the surprising distributions that are uncovered, evolutionary scientists are constantly inventing secondary ad hoc stories. On the other hand, the distribution of plants and animals is consistent with the Bible’s account of Earth history,” which includes the Flood and dispersion from Babel. See: Biogeography and the related articles listed therein.
The origin of life is not part of evolution. Those trained in the sciences of life, such as molecular biology, know that the origin of life is a lost cause, so some want to put it aside as ‘not part of evolution’ because it is a gaping hole in the naturalists’ argument. However, almost every major university includes the origin of life as part of evolution in introductory biology courses. It is often called ‘chemical evolution’. High-profile evolutionists such as Richard Dawkins agree; see the introduction to Origin of life. This ‘dodge’ is pure obfuscation because the materialist must still explain the origin of life to present a coherent view of reality, regardless of whether they can play word games with the matter.
Life would have formed somewhere in such a huge universe. Not even one average-sized functional protein would form if every atom in the universe was an experiment with all the right amino acids for every possible molecular vibration of its supposed age of 14 billion evolutionary years. See Origin of life (probability).
Given enough time anything is possible. Ah, ‘Time is the hero’—really? No, there are many events that just will never happen in a time-and matter-finite universe, the origin of life, for example. The impossible does not become certain by adding time. Water does not flow uphill, no matter how much time is allowed. The origin of life and the origin of new DNA programming are akin to getting water to flow uphill; natural processes head in the wrong direction for them to create a coded information processing system as well as all the actual coded instructions. See: Time—no friend of evolution! However, evolution’s deep time (billions of years) is fictitious anyway: see 101 Evidences for a young(er) age of the earth.
Creationists claim that the created order we see today is perfect because God is perfect. Of course today’s world is far from perfect and so it is not hard for the evolutionist to refute this straw man argument. However, such a view is akin to ancient Greek philosophy, not Christianity. Christians believe that God created a perfect world, but that it has been corrupted since; we now live in a fallen world (Genesis 3, Romans 8). It was created perfect, but it is no longer because of mankind’s rebellion against his Creator. It was an appreciation of the fallenness of man that inspired the development of the modern scientific method that has so benefited mankind: The Fall inspired science and Peter Harrison: the fall played a vital role in the development of science.
Science would collapse without evolution—evolution is necessary for scientific progress (e.g. to understand antibiotic resistance and cure human disease). Some even claim that the whole of modern science including physics and chemistry would collapse without evolution, but this is clearly nothing but propagandist hype. Not only does microbes-to-mankind evolution not contribute to understanding antibiotic resistance, evolutionary reasoning has actually seriously impeded scientific progress; see, for example, vestigial organs, as above, and ‘junk DNA’. Even some evolutionists have lamented the lack of practical usefulness of evolution. See (evolutionist) Jerry Coyne: “If truth be told, evolution hasn’t yielded many practical or commercial benefits.” And (the late) Philip Skell: “The Dangers of overselling evolution: Focusing on Darwin and his theory doesn’t further scientific progress”. See also Does science [including medicine] need evolution?
Intelligent design/creation is not scientific because it is not ‘testable’. After asserting this, the anti-creationist often goes on to present some ‘proof’ (such as ‘bad’ design; see above) that creation is wrong! It is either not testable and you can’t say that it is wrong, or it is testable, in which case it qualifies on that basis as science; you can’t have it both ways. Criteria that have been proposed to exclude creation as non-scientific, when applied consistently to evolution rule it as unscientific also. So if creation is not scientific, nor is evolution; if evolution is to be included as science, so should creation. Both are really matters of history, where experimental testing is not possible. See It’s not science!
Intelligent design or creation are not scientific because they are ‘religious’. All views of origins have religious implications and religious (or philosophical, if you like) presuppositions of one form or another are at their core. ‘Nature is all there is, no matter what the evidence’ (naturalism) is just as much a religious position as believing that there is a super-natural realm as well. A leading anti-creationist philosopher admitted that evolution is a religion. Indeed, naturalistic philosophy constrains our origins to only material causes, whereas the Christian approach allows for both natural causes and supernatural causes, according to the evidence. The former must therefore be the narrow-minded, blinkered, approach. See As the ‘rules’ of science are now defined, creation is forbidden as a conclusion—even if true. And here is an amazing admission that no matter what the evidence, only materialistic explanations are allowed.
Evolution is compatible with ‘religion’. If that is true, why do the ‘new atheists’, in their zeal to stamp out belief in God spend so much time promoting and defending evolution with its billions of years of imaginary time? (See, e.g. billboard above.) And why aren’t more high-profile evolutionists ‘religious’, and more specifically, Christians who acknowledge the authority of the Bible in all matters of which it speaks? Why is it that organisations set up to prevent criticism of evolution are so anti-Christian? Even a supposed Christian such as physicist Dr Karl Giberson tacitly admitted that a Christian faith that was compatible with evolution, for him had been reduced to ‘going through the motions’ merely because of family and Christian college employer expectations. The Cornell University atheist biologist William Provine acknowledged that a faith that was compatible with evolution would be “indistinguishable from atheism”.5 On the other side, Dr Albert Mohler, President of the influential Southern Baptist Seminary, in Kentucky, said, “There can be no doubt that evolution can be squared with belief in some deity, but not the God who revealed himself in the Bible, including the first chapters of Genesis.”6 No, evolution is the atheists’ creation myth, a substitute for Christianity, as the evolutionary philosopher of science, Dr Michael Ruse, admitted; it is not compatible with biblical Christianity.
Well, are there any arguments left for evolution? There is really only one: ‘I don’t want to believe in a Creator-God, I don’t want to be accountable to anyone for how I live, and evolution is the only alternative, so I am going to believe in that, come what may.’ A supplemental one from churchian evolutionists is basically, “I want to be respected by those people,” although no one should want respectability from those who believe we are rearranged pond scum, and it’s a vain hope anyway as Dawkins shows.
A famous convert from atheism to Christianity, C.S. Lewis, commented, “Does the whole vast structure of modern naturalism depend not on positive evidence but simply on an a priori metaphysical prejudice? Was it devised not to get in facts but to keep out God?”7
Clearly, evolution is about keeping out God, not an open approach to the evidence.
References and notes
- Anthony, A., Richard Dawkins: “I don’t think I am strident or aggressive”, The Observer, 15 September 2013; theguardian.com/science/2013/sep/15/richard-dawkins-interview-appetite-wonder. Return to text.
- ‘If evolution is true then there will be a pattern of similarity consistent with common ancestry.There is a pattern of similarity consistent with common ancestry, therefore evolution is true.’ Return to text.
- In a book on homoplasies, the preface (p. xv) says, “… homoplasy is tied to long-standing unresolved disagreements about the origin of similarity among organisms.” Sanderson, M.J., and Hufford L. (Editors), Homoplasy: The Recurrence of Similarity in Evolution, Academic Press, 1996. Return to text.
- Zwartz, B., Dawkins delivers the sermon they came to hear, The Age (Melbourne), 15 March 2010; www.theage.com.au. Return to text.
- Provine, W.B., ‘No free will’ in Catching up with the Vision, Margaret W Rossiter (Ed.), Chicago University Press, p. S123, 1999. Return to text.
- Mohler, A., Evolution is Most Certainly a Matter of Belief—and so Is Christianity15 January 2014; http://eepurl.com/MqOgz. Return to text.
- Lewis, C.S., Is Theology Poetry? in The Weight of Glory, HarperCollins, New York, p. 136, 2001 (published posthumously). Return to text.
These fallacious arguments for evolution are the main bulk of what I encounter on the 'net.
The remaining part is the evolutionist providing just a link to a pro-evolution website in order to distract me by having me waste a day or two of my time with the contents of that link while the evolutionist "runs" away. Lately though, I've come to conclude that this is just an appeal to authority. It's their way of saying, "I don't wish to provide any more arguments for you to rip apart logically, but I still want to be the dominant one, so here's a bunch of links for you to comb through while I run for it and assume that I've won." You didn't win dude. You just threw a link, or several, at me and bolted.
I do admit though, I get a kick out of reading these pro-evolution websites, as I discover that there's nothing new in their arguments!
Whilst i will give merit to some of this article, i fail to understand a few points; 1) You argue that evolutionists don't agree with religion, yet it seems perfectly alright for you to not agree with evolution, 2) You say in time anything can happen, and try to disprove this by giving arguments that are impossible, assuming this will disprove all things that are possible, so actually give a flawed argument, 3) Throughout the article, you say there is no proof for evolution, but at the end you claim it should be as disprovable as religion is, and still the best counter-argument is that it cannot be proven. However very few remains have been found of fossilised animals so how can you expect there to be proof? 4) 'Arctic wolves and African wolves both derived from an original created wolf kind (involving adaptation and speciation)' In what way is this direct quote not evolution? That one sentence sums up evolution! What about peppered moths or lizards in California? Both examples show how species changed, and sometimes into two separate species, which is exactly what evolution is about!, 5) Evolution is about how things change, not what causes them to come about. You are trying to get into a fight with a theory that makes no attempt at suggesting how life began. This is the Oxford dictionary definition: 'The process by which different kinds of living organism are believed to have developed from earlier forms during the history of the earth.' Do you see originated, started or began anywhere in there? No! It's a theory of development, not creation.
Other than those 5 points, a very interesting argument! I am an ex-atheist, now Christian by the way, hence why i find your argument difficult to comprehend.
Your points: 1) You argue that evolutionists don't agree with religion, yet it seems perfectly alright for you to not agree with evolution,
Response: I don’t understand your point. Because evolutionists are atheistic in their thinking, we should not criticize evolution? I just don’t see the logic in this.
2) You say in time anything can happen, and try to disprove this by giving arguments that are impossible, assuming this will disprove all things that are possible, so actually give a flawed argument,
Response: the false argument is that given enough time everything will happen, including the origin of life, the origin of new gene families, bacteria changing into people, etc. The point is simply made that if something will never happen by natural processes (physics and chemistry alone), then adding lots of time does not make it happen. But then there has not been enough time anyway, either for the origin of life or the evolution of higher organisms (for example); see articles on Haldane's Dilemma.
3) Throughout the article, you say there is no proof for evolution, but at the end you claim it should be as disprovable as religion is, and still the best counter-argument is that it cannot be proven.
Response: the thrust of the article is that the arguments put forward for evolution just don’t stack up. I can’t see how I claimed that “it should be as disprovable as religion is”. What I did imply was that for many of its high profile proponents, it is like a religious belief that they will believe come what may.
George: However very few remains have been found of fossilised animals so how can you expect there to be proof?
Response: Please read the second article linked under #9 (on fossils). The excuse that there are not enough fossils to show the transitions does not stand up to scrutiny.
4) "Arctic wolves and African wolves both derived from an original created wolf kind (involving adaptation and speciation)" In what way is this direct quote not evolution? That one sentence sums up evolution! What about peppered moths or lizards in California? Both examples show how species changed, and sometimes into two separate species, which is exactly what evolution is about!,
Response: Please read the articles linked under #4 and #5. Variation within wolves does not explain how or prove that wolves could change into something basically different. This is the equivocation fallacy (#1).
5) Evolution is about how things change, not what causes them to come about. You are trying to get into a fight with a theory that makes no attempt at suggesting how life began. This is the Oxford dictionary definition: 'The process by which different kinds of living organism are believed to have developed from earlier forms during the history of the earth.' Do you see originated, started or began anywhere in there? No! It's a theory of development, not creation.
Response: There is one link recommended in #14: “see the introduction to Origin of life.” Did you read this? High profile evolutionists and major universities around the world include the origin of life as part of ‘evolution’, as this linked article shows, if you care to read it, selected dictionary definitions notwithstanding. And the point stands that for a coherent view of reality the materialist has to face up to the origin of life, regardless of attempts to define it under the bed.
I hope you will delve a bit more into the linked articles and reading. I am confident you will find them enlightening and your confusion will be lifted.
Excellent article! In light of B.G. from Canada's post (and others like it), I would add another argument to the list: 'Creationists just don't understand evolution.' On the contrary...and as many of you on the CMI staff know...creationists often have a better understanding of evolution than evolutionists do, because we have studied the arguments against it which are so often censored to those who don't actively search them out.
As to his/her comment :"...in which evolutionists make arguments that they never actually make". Oh, I beg to differ! I have been studying and debating creation/evolution for well over 12 years and there is not one argument in this list which I have not heard ad nauseam in all this time and continue to hear (and this includes college professors). For all of their interest in origins, evolutionists have yet to present anything original.
Fantastic! I've saved it so I can study it in detail.
Thank you so much for this complete, yet concise, resource! I have it bookmarked for my internet forum discussions with secular "Truth-deniers".
Don, as usual, great stuff! There is one argument that I hear a lot that you didn't touch on, but is obviously just an ad hominem: often when I refute others with information from your site, as well as any other creationist sites, (especially AIG!), I invariably get the "Well, if you're going to reference THOSE sites from THOSE idiots blah, blah, blah...." Then, they usually have the nerve to assert that I should read the "real" scientific info. out there on evolution! So, I am supposed to argue against evolutionary dogma by reading "only" evolutionary dogma?! Evolutionists are a pitiable lot!
I'm glad you've pointed out that 'consensus' is not a science term. Consensus is a political term; as soon as its used you know that someone is attempting to railroad the discussion. The equivalent science term is 'criticism'.
Another amazing article! Thank you! I have seen several of these arguments in my personal reading/research on this topic but don't always recognize the fallacy at first glance. This helped me clarify. Thank you again and God bless!
Thanks for another brilliant article. I note that B. G. commented: If anyone really imagines that what is represented in the article gives a clear idea of the actual state of science or of the arguments that settled the case long ago, you simply aren't reading enough outside of your favorite, most feel-good translation of Bible or you are only reading what encouragingly matches your perspective (very safe strategy I'll say). And I would like to respond: I actually became discouraged enough in my faith to try to accommodate evolution to my faith about 8 years ago, and, since my son was attending university, asked him to bring me some pro-evolutionary books, such as by Dawkins who was in the news at the time. After reading almost 2 of his books thoroughly, I became so disgusted by his poor logic that I gave up on being able to blend evolution with the facts, much less with my Christian faith. If I remember rightly, it was his Climbing Mount Improbable that put the final nail in evolution's coffin for me. Point 15 is one that strikes me as incredibly powerful, which I take to show that evolution from microbes to man is not just exceedingly improbable as Dawkins et al. would have it, but fundamentally, logically, physically absolutely impossible. When evolutionists claim that "science would collapse without evolution" I look to the facts: since Darwin's day, the work of a truly scientifically minded monk, Gregor Mendel, has been supported by multiple lines of real scientific work. I speak of course of genetics. Genetics, variations in generations of offspring, this has been experimented on and proven. Evolution from microbes to man? Nothing yet...and never will.
This is quite an effort to write out this whole article. I just want to comment about the editing more than the writing itself. It seems like the main point of the article is to critique semantic definitions of words like "evolution" instead of trying to get at the real understanding of our world.
There are some truly excellent comments made that raise valid points to that deeper question. It is very nice to see that replies are posted, but again they seem mostly to dodge the main point (of how species got to this point) using wordplay and largely irrelevant hyperlinks.
Everyone is welcome to their opinion. It would be nice to get actual verifiable results so we can validate the opinions expressed in the article. Thank you for posting.
Well, one of the main tricks used to indoctrinate people in evolution involves playing games with the definitions of words, such as equivocation (#1). So it is important to deal with this (note the title of the article). We have to be clear about this: evolution involves changing bacteria into humans (yes, really!). It is not just about changing some gene frequencies in bacteria.
I agree that the 'anti' commenters have by-and-large avoided engaging any of the points in the article. I have now had to not publish some of them because they are nothing but abusive ad hominem (attacking my person).
There are many articles that are linked to in the article that provide backup ("verifiable results") for the points made, if you care to click on those links and read the articles.
I just found your website while randomly browsing the internet. Some clarifications?
When you wrote that mutations cannot produce new information, I have a hard time accepting, mainly because it implies that certain bacteria have always had resistant genes in their plasmids that were NEVER formed out of chance mutations? (this is regarding antibiotic resistant genes)
What about exotic dangerous species such as poison arrow frogs, endemic to South America? Does it mean they always had the capacity to produce poison?
Welcome to our site!
I did not say that "mutations cannot produce new information". If you read #3 carefully and especially the last linked article, it should bring clarification.
The question of the said poison arrow frogs is off-topic, but nevertheless of importance. We don't have anything specifically on this frog, but you can find articles about the origin of poisons and such at Death and suffering Q&A. Most poisons seem to be amplified amounts of compounds manufactured in smaller amounts by non-poisonous organisms of the same kind. Such changes can occur naturally. However, that is only part of the story, as the Q&A articles set out. I hope you find the articles informative.
(yet) another stirling effort from Dr Don...
easily accessible and easily understandable to the average lay-person;
let's face it: the average lay-person is where this 'origins battle' is going to be won or lost....who-ever convinces the majority, wins the war.....
(could i suggest a title for another article?....
"20 gobbly-de-gook science terms to avoid")
interesting that C S Lewis identified the presuppositions of methodological naturalism long before the likes of Phil Johnson 'popularised it';
This article is something like a fascinating alternate reality in which evolutionists make arguments that they never actually make, in which opinions are carefully screened for agreement or easy refutability by the friendly moderator and in which everyone who comments actually thinks that they've done the relevant research to form a true opinion on the ins and outs of evolutionary theory. According to the prevailing feeling of the comments section, some shadowy high priesthood is seemingly at work behind the scenes to conform all of science to the status of a footnote to Darwin's Origin and the careful scientific work being regularly performed is merely so much worship and praise in the temple of anti-theism. "Alternate reality" is treading lightly. If anyone really imagines that what is represented in the article gives a clear idea of the actual state of science or of the arguments that settled the case long ago, you simply aren't reading enough outside of your favorite, most feel-good translation of Bible or you are only reading what encouragingly matches your perspective (very safe strategy I'll say). There are so many canards here, it is astonishing that no one bothers calling the author on at least one of them, but I suppose this site amounts to a self-actualizing intellectual domain that must at all cost stay out of direct contact with any other domain that may involve nuance and doubt. I would challenge any reader to take the time to dive into the scientific literature relating to evolutionary theory (or at least some summary books) instead of relying on a site like this to spoon feed a sanitized version of science to you. This would be called intellectual integrity and could only support your position if you are right. [advertisement for an outside website of deleted, as per feedback rules]
1. I note that you fail to engage any of the 21 points, although you did inadvertantly help confirm one of them by appealing to evolution as a settled argument (#6). If the points are as you say, then it should surely have been easy to pick at least one and show how it is not correct. But then I give sources that show that evolutionists do use these arguments. I guess you couldn't refute any of them so you resorted to what effectively is an attempt to shoot the messenger.
2. All comments from anti-creationists on the article have been posted, contrary to your insinuation.
3. If you cared to actually read the article at all carefully, which would include reading the links for each point, you would have found that the linked articles reference mainstream science articles. So there is no need to encourage readers to do this; we are not afraid of real science. This just shows that you did not read the article very carefully. I would encourage readers to give a miss to summary books, which generally spoon feed a sanitized version of science, aka evolutionary dogma—such as Richard Dawkins' Greatest Show on Earth, which is actually referenced in the first point, where he engages in the equivocation fallacy. Dr Sarfati's The Greatest Hoax on Earth?, that undoes Dawkins' book blow-by-blow is highly recommended. It is also available as an eBook.
4. Irony: you recommended a website, Talk Origins, which is a "self-actualizing intellectual domain"! Another irony: the very existence of this site confirms the points raised under #21!
This is the best article I have seen. I've been looking for information that college students can use during times when their biology teachers adamantly attack Creationist beliefs. I always advise students not to challenge their professors, but this article encompasses enough evidence of biological facts to allow students to quietly refute nonsensical theories without ever saying a word in class. Discussion after class can proceed with others who want to learn more about biological facts without being forced to listen to evolutionary theorists.
The arguments you present against evolutionary theory (and there are many theories, in case you didn't know) are really terrible, first and foremost because you don't actually present arguments AGAINST evolution; you simply accuse anyone who argues in favor of evolution of any number of logical fallacies, which I suspect you borrow willy-nilly from the Wikipedia article on same. If you want to talk logic, let's redirect the tool of identifying logical fallacy against belief in invisible supernatural beings based on a book written by a primitive culture thousands of years ago and see how things come out, shall we? Fortunately for the majority of believers in the world, there is no need seen for attacks on science to support their beliefs.
Secondly and most pathetically, you are demonstrating a complete lack of faith when you pretend to use logic and science to attack logic and science. Is it not enough that you HAVE faith? Apparently not; you must attack the conclusions of people who actually know what they are talking about and who have devoted lifetimes of study to it, so that you can "prove" that which is unprovable and which proof GOD DOES NOT REQUIRE OF YOU.
Gay marriage has nothing to do with evolution. Whether or not God is a moral monster has nothing to do with evolution. Redirecting the attention of the gullible toward hot-button religious topics not germane to the one under discussion only undermines what precious little argument you have. When I find websites like yours, all I can think is, "how sad that these people's faith is so weak, so insubstantial, so tenuous that they must indulge in such base mendacity and misinformation, pretending they have the knowledge to use science itself to attack science in order to shore up that faith."
Your post is one huge refusal to engage the arguments; did you actually read the linked articles? I guess not. With such an ability to side-step, you could have made a good rugby player. :-)
We have our own article on logic, thanks: Loving God with all your mind (and others). Irony #1: without God there is no reason to believe in logic (how does logic come from a chance production of your mind from a big bang?).
Irony #2: your post actually supports what I say about 'don't use argument' #21.
You complain about the presence of articles that are not directly connected with the issue of creation/evolution. I recommend you read What's this all about? We are Christian biblical creationists and our focus is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We oppose evolutionary thinking because it is wrong, but also because it is used to turn people away from even considering God's reign over us, our responsibility for our sin (rebellion) and God's provision for our forgiveness in Jesus. And so we also deal with other atheistic arguments, such as complaints against God being a moral monster, for example.
[You have my permission to publish my entire name if you wish.]
What many people forget is that "science" itself is a philosophy. Dr. Batten pointed out one of my favorites, the "bait and switch" tactic. It is used often, including equivocating "science" with "evolution" or "naturalism".
Liar! (No, not you.) It is one of the cries of the frustrated evolutionist. If you dare to speak against evolution, provide evidence for a young earth, simply refute their fundamentally flawed arguments or whatever, you are called a liar. Never mind that they cannot back up their claims, it is just a reflex with some people. (They keep using that word. I do not think it means what they think it means.) It is an "argument" that many use, but in calling someone a liar like that (including "liar for Jesus"), they are actually making *themselves* into the liars!
Since I have made my presence known on the Web with blogs, videos, articles, social media and The Question Evolution Project, I have encountered all of the arguments in this article. In fact, I will be posting it and encouraging people to read not only the article, but the links as well. There is no need for Bible-believing Christians to be bullied by evolutionists.
Sometimes it is almost painful to read the uninformed attacks from evolutionists. People who read material like CMI presents and do a bit of study on logical fallacies can see these rants for what they are: Emotionally-laden bad arguments.
Bless you Bob!
Yes, when they resort to accusing us of lying, you know that they know that their barrel of arguments is empty.
Evolutionism is a religious origins belief system masquerading as science, nothing more. So much evidence has now been accumulated that refutes molecules-to-man evolution, I can't think of a single argument (scientific or otherwise) in favor of m-t-m evolution that stands up after careful scrutiny. Evolutionism is a pre-science religion that is now falsely, pseudo-scientifically buttressed by a number of different scientifically discredited theories, each of which claims to be the real scientific theory of m-t-m evolution, and each of which also contradicts (and therefore theoretically invalidates) all the others. That is how I think young Earth creationists (and all Christians) should regard the various theories included within evolutionism: i.e. unable to withstand even evolutionist scrutiny (which is what has led to the various evolution theories, such as punctuated equilibrium, hopeful monsters, etc.), not to mention creationist scientific scrutiny, which to my mind (and I am a former evolutionist) has now scientifically demolished the various evolution theories. But since evolutionism is a pre-science belief system that is rooted in a world view that denies the Creator's true account of the origin of "heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is" (Exodus 20:11), I suspect that mankind will not be freed from its deceptive grasp by science alone. Come, Lord Jesus. Amen.
"Another argument that evolutionists shouldn’t use is that “nothing created something”,"
Erm, OK. We don't use that argument anyway, because it's a meaningless creationist straw man, but never mind.
This is not a comment on the article, but a comment on a comment. Nevertheless the universe from nothing is part of the story of cosmic evolution (how everything came to be without God).
See: The universe from nothing (Alan Guth) and How the universe works (Krauss on the universe from nothing). See also "Universe from nothing?" in In the beginning God created—or was it a quantum fluctuation?.
Apparently scientists claimed today that "they've found evidence of what happened at the very first moment of the Big Bang. They say the universe grew so quickly, it left ripples in patterns of light, visible in the very far reaches of the universe" of course we all know that this has been disproved many times on this site and other sites. I love these announcements lol
As they say, 'Watch this space'.
The number of these arguments that I have been told to me as proof of my idiocy is staggering. I actualy typically get 4 or 5 in ONE conversation. I try to give people links, to this site, or refute one argument before continuing the converstation, but they never seem to stay on point. Perhaps that should be one of the 'arguemnts' they should avoid? Pick a point and stay on it until conclusion, or you just sound like you are rambling.
Fantastic Article. An excellent summary. Put this, and the related articles, into a book and I'll be the first to buy it!
Perhaps I'm missing something in your logic, but in item#17, in the second sentence, does it not make more sense to replace the word "evolutionist" with "creationist"? To wit, "... it is not hard for the creationist to refute this straw man ...".
The wording is correct. The straw-man argument is put up by the evolutionist (that creationists supposedly believe that the world is perfect because God created it) and then easily refuted by the evolutionist.
Great article. I think it would be good if it was turned into a flyer for giving away in the Open-Air etc. Hope so.
Wow, you hit all of them! A home run! Anyone who accepts that God created this universe and rejects the idiocy of evolution should read this article carefully. All of these ideas are used consistently by evolutionists to "prove" their theory and all are false as you so adeptly point out.
Once again, a great article that will be very useful in recognizing and countering the false evidence appearing real (fear) that evolutionists use to make their still unproven and never will be proven theory seem valid. It is not and never will be.
Great article and I’ve bookmarked it.
Another argument that evolutionists shouldn’t use is that “nothing created something”, because it’s impossible for nothing to create something. The bible states that something (God) creating the universe (something) out of nothing.
Also, for point 16, I personally wouldn’t use the “Water does not flow uphill” example. I’ve seen landscape gardeners create the illusion of water going uphill. Give an evolutionist a yard they will act as if it’s a mile. A better example would be “throwing a six sided dice will never give a seven no matter how much time passes”
Love the you need to explain the 'arrival of the fittest' rather than the 'survival of the fittest'.
"Evolution needs to explain the *arrival* of the fittest, not just the *survival* of the fittest."
There is an argument that i think should be added to this article.The argument goes like this.I heard evolutionists all over the internet try to argue that the Pope accepted evolution there for all Christians must accept evolution as fact. Now, I dont know the full thing about the Pope believing in evolution but how is this an argument for evolution? It's his opinion that evolution is true. Why should we believe in evolution because the Pope believes it?
Exactly! So what if church leader X or theologian Y supposedly believes in evolution?
Some Catholics dispute that a Pope actually said that he believed in evolution.
This is just a subset of 'don't use' argument #21.
I learned something about the current scientific trends by taking a Philosophy of Science course, and I wanna share it and provide support for the article. When it comes to the origin of life, among academics it is pretty much a moot point that it did not happen on earth. 500 million years in not nearly enough time for life to develop, so evolutionists are now moving towards an outer space origin theory, to get more time! Of course my professor would not/could not say whether life can arise by itself, and scientists still want it to.
There are still a lot of uninformed opinions on the internet, and among scientists, so if I say the above in a forum some wiseguy will immediately shoot me down. Recently an astronomer claimed that 1 million years at the beginning of the universe was enough time for algae to develop from mud cause the whole universe was warm! Hey, at least he got published ;).
Astronomers and physicists who know next to nothing about what life entails biochemically seem to be in the habit of making confident predictions about life making itself. And as the article says, adding more time, even 'out there', does not make the impossible happen. See: Origin of life (referenced in the article).
As God's word told us 2000 years ago, it leaves mankind without excuse to believe in the Almighty God. Every other alternative leads to a dead end
Brilliant article and encouraging for faith.