Someone gave me a link to this article from Scott Shifferd Jr., the minister of Dean Road Church of Christ in Jacksonville, Florida, with his top 10 reasons why evolution is false. It’s about a year and a half old but it’s got a whole bunch of items out of the creationist jokebook.
10. Pagan Origins of Evolution: Evolution emerged from pagan mythology and was promoted among Greek philosophers like Anaximander and Democritus. Diodorus Siculus, a 1st c. BC historian, presented in his “Universal History” one of the beliefs of the ancient Egyptians was that evolution was the origin of life describing swamps and marches being impregnated with life and the early beastial life of men living in caves, gathering food, discovering fire, and developing unintelligible sounds into languages.
This is a reason why evolution is false? Really?
9. Planetary Habitability of Earth: The Earth is balanced just right in this galaxy. The Earth has all the necessary conditions to maintain life including a stable habitable zone from the sun, the right amount of water, protective “gas giant” planets, the ideal orbit for stable temperatures, an ideal axial tilt to maintain seasons and warmth, a protective magnetic field, an exact placement in the galaxy, and essential elements of biochemistry. There has yet to have been discovered such a planet other than Earth that has even met the few conditions mentioned here.
Yes, the earth is habitable to life. And that pothole on your street is just the perfect size to fit the amount of water in it after it rains. What a coincidence! Of course, he’s wrong about no other planets being found that are within that habitable zone; we’ve actually found several more. But even if we never found one, so what? In a university with hundreds of billions of stars and billions of planets, it is hardly surprising to find that at least one of them has those traits.
8. Hoaxes: Evolution rests on refuted conjectures and frauds. Find a “missing link”, then that person has found a hoax or soon to be confirmed hoax since “missing links” are based solely on conjecture. The list of evolutionary hoaxes presented as the primitive man include the Piltdown man, Nebraska man, Ocre man, Cro-magnon, and Neanderthal. Another hoax that stands out is Haeckel’s embryos. The fraud is still used in textbooks to indoctrinate children and adolescents that they evolved through forms of animals in the womb.
Oh boy. First of all, the concept of a “missing link” is just nonsense. There are gaps in the fossil record, of course, and there always will be (it would be nearly impossible for that not to be the case). But we have lots and lots of intermediate forms, including some that creationists have claimed could not possibly be found. As for those “hoaxes,” only one of them was actually a hoax (Piltdown Man), and it was discovered to be a hoax by scientists, not by creationists.
Nebraska Man was not a hoax, it was a misidentification of a single fossil fragment. And the original identification was given very tentatively by the man who discovered it (H.F. Osborn), who then went back to do more research, found more of the skeleton and retracted the original tentative identification. No hoax, just a scientist doing science. This is only a problem if someone thinks that any scientist ever being wrong about anything disproves the practice of science itself.
Ocre (sic) Man (actually Orce Man) was likewise a possible misidentification. We still aren’t sure whether the tiny fossil fragment belonged to a hominid or not. And I have no idea why he thinks Cro Magnon or Neanderthals are a hoax. They are not. They existed. And the Haeckel lie has been debunked a thousand times by now and is repeated only by the credulous who have no idea what they’re talking about.
The rest of it is similar nonsense, of course.
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