The folks over at Answers in Genesis love to explain to “evolutionists” or as they should be called, “most citizens of the world”, what we don’t understand about creationism, and they are often laughable pieces that misuse science in an attempt to make creationism sound plausible.
Well now they are helping out the “evolutionists” and explaining to us in their oh so mighty wisdom what 12 arguments we need to avoid when discussing evolution.
So let’s pick apart these 12 arguments, shall we?
Argument 1 Evolution is a fact
Evolution is not a fact, no matter how many times evolutionists say it is. It’s a framework built on assumptions about the past—assumptions that will never have direct, first-hand, observational proof.
Well, no. Evolution is a fact and we have the mountains of evidence to prove it. In fact there are no assumptions under the theory that are accepted as fact. If there is an assumption on how one particular trait came about, scientists don’t claim to say that one or another hypothesis is a fact. But this changes nothing about the theory of evolution itself.
Evolution by the process of natural selection is a demonstrated and observable fact. Plain and simple. The funny thing is, those like Ham believe that creationism is the default position so that if they can prove evolution false then creation would be true. But this is not the case. If a scientists managed to prove evolution wrong, this would not change a single fact about the myth that is creationism.
Argument 2 Only the uneducated reject evolution
Besides the arrogance of such statements, this argument has no footing and should be cast off. Mainly, those who make this claim usually define “educated people” as those who accept evolution.
Actually, the wording of this is what is most misleading. Yes, if you reject the theory of evolution you are uneducated, at a very minimum about the theory of evolution.
I am uneducated about quantum mechanics and if I attempted to explain to people why I thought quantum mechanics was wrong, I would be called uneducated, this is not arrogant on the part of those educated in the science. Everyone is ignorant to something, and if you reject evolution, this is no different.
If you do not accept evolutionary theory, you simply do not understand evolutionary theory. If you are someone who does understand it and still rejects, you are simply a dishonest con-man and are most likely employed by Answers in Genesis.
Argument 3 Overwhelming evidence in all fields of science supports evolution
The irony, of course, is that for centuries prior to Darwin’s publication of On the Origin of Species, the majority of scientists found the opposite to be true: the “evidence” supported creation.
This is actually a flat out lie. Zero credible scientific journals (and no, AiG’s own journal is not credible) have found or published a single paper that supports creationism.
In reality, in the now over 150 years since Darwin’s book, the theory has become amazingly more sound and many of Darwin’s claims proven to be true.
There is no irony in the argument, just outright lies by AiG.
Argument 4 Doubting evolution is like doubting gravity
Why does this argument fail? We’ll show you. Take a pencil or pen. Hold it in the air. Then drop it to the floor. That’s gravity. Next, make a single-celled organism—like an amoeba—turn into a goat.
Remember what I said about people who don’t understand evolution. This is a perfect example of just that.
Excuse me, AiG, prove to me your God created man from scratch and have him do it again, it must be observable after all. I’ll wait.
Argument 5 Doubting evolution is like believing the earth is flat
The appeal of this claim is that it stereotypes creationists as stuck in the past, since the common assumption is that people once universally believed the earth was flat before science “proved” otherwise (which wasn’t the case—only a few bought into the idea that the earth was flat).
I’ve been a science writer for a long time, I have covered creationism and religion for even longer. I have never once heard this claim made.
This is an attempt by AiG to control the conversation now by debunking claims not made by scientists. They used this very tactic in their piece about disproving evolution, in which they disproved claims that evolution does not make.
Argument 6 It’s here, so it must have evolved
A conclusion does not prove the premises are true. That is, if the answer is “four,” we could arrive at that any number of ways: 2 + 2, 5 – 1, etc. In the same way, evolutionists often assume that since certain species or traits exist, this is proof of evolution because that’s how it must have happened.
Argument 7 Natural selection is evolution
This is likely the most abused argument on the list—and most in need of being scrapped.
They are actually correct, in both senses. This argument is abused, BY THEM! Not one single person who accepts evolutionary theory thinks evolution is natural selection. Not one. I guess it would be possible someone does, who simply doesn’t understand the difference, but it hardly changes the facts about evolution if someone used this argument. Though I don’t believe anyone is.
This is a made up argument AiG uses on a regular basis to attempt to discredit those arguing in defense of evolution. In reality it proves once again the folks at AiG are too uneducated about the theory to actually understand it.
Made up argument number three.
Argument 8 Common design means common ancestry
Historical common descent is not and cannot be confirmed through observation. Rather, certain observations are explained by assumptions about the past.
Make that made up argument number 4, and another uneducated one at that.
What they mean to argue is that AiG believes that looking at a body plan of our species and comparing it to others and finding amazingly similar if not identical traits does not prove evolution.
Well of course, on it’s own it does not, but mix that with the evolving fossil record, DNA evidence and a splash of common sense and together you start to see the theory of evolution come together. We can look at a fin, to a wing, to a hand and see each and every bone being put to use in the same fashion and see how they moved over generations and even follow the DNA trail and see where different strands are used in different ways and how they got there.
I suppose Whales have vestigial hip-bones because the designer was lazy?
Argument 9 Sedimentary layers show millions of years of geological activity
Sedimentary layers show one thing: sedimentary layers. In other words, we can—and should—study the rocks, but the claim that rocks prove the earth must be billions of years old ignores one important point: such an interpretation is built upon a stack of assumptions.
Yes, only assumption, not radiocarbon (and other) dating methods. Silly me.
But wait, are we still talking about evolution or are we on the age of the earth and geology now? The age of the earth and evolution are in reality two different arguments, however those at AiG are actually too uneducated about both.
Argument 10 Mutations drive evolution
Perhaps because of movies and fiction, the popular idea is that mutations make evolution go. Given enough time, shifts in the genetic code will produce all the variety of plants and animals on earth—and beyond. The problem? Mutations cannot produce the types of changes evolution requires—not even close.
Should we revisit the uneducated part of this blog again? I think someone has been watching too many X-Men movies and does not understand why they can’t make claws come out of their hands too.
Mutations, serious enough can destroy a species in generations, in reality, it can destroy a single bloodline in one. So why can’t millions (and billions) of years of mutations in genetic code produce the types of changes evolution requires? Oh wait, it can, and did.
Argument 11 The Scopes trial
Misconceptions about the Scopes trial run rampant. Often, accounts sound something like this: Fundamentalist Christian bigots arrested an innocent biology teacher fighting for scientific freedom, and while they won the court case, they ultimately lost the public perception battle to the well reasoned presentation of the defense.
I have a feeling whoever wrote this piece for AiG didn’t read Inherit the Wind. Or read the court transcripts, or realize that the case was not lost by any well reasoned argument and in reality the prosecution got destroyed and in turn this was the downfall of creation science in the American classroom.
Argument 12 Science vs. religion
Many atheists and humanists oppose biblical Christianity, but science does not. After all, the truth of a risen Savior and an inerrant Bible puts quite the damper on the belief that God cannot exist.
Science does not oppose creationist because science is a method for understanding and has no opinion on the supernatural beliefs.
And this “truth” about a risen savior and the Bible, we call this circular reasoning. Google it.
Once again, AiG and Ken Ham treat us to more nonsense in an effort to mislead their followers (or donors as they see them) into giving them money so that they can find more ways to mislead more people.
Well, not on my watch.