Someone posted a link to this blog with the above title written by a muslim creationist (who ironically uses exactly the same arguments as christian creationists) and I said I could explain line by line why it was inaccurate/dishonest and so I will do so now. This is the second time writing this because my browser crashed halfway through before (grrrrr…) so yeah. Oh, and I’m skipping the first half or so of the blog (which is very long) and dealing only with the 20 questions part, though the first half has many false statements and I may (if you want) do a future blog on those too.
“WHY IS THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION NOT SCIENTIFICALLY VALID?
THE theory of evolution maintains that life on Earth came about as the result of chance and emerged by itself from natural conditions. This theory is not a scientific law or a proven fact.”
Right off the bat this is a strawman of evolution which explains how and why life adapts to it’s environment and does not attempt to explain how life began. Darwin assumed life was created initially and evolved afterward, and most of the scientists in my part of the world who accept evolution believe in some kind of creator. Whether life arose naturally, was created by god, was designed by aliens or flew out of the flying spaghetti monster’s rear end is irrelevant to the fact that it does observably evolve and has evidently been doing so for a very long time.
Much of the article is empty rhetoric like “The bases of this theory, which has been disproved by science in every field, are suggestions and propaganda methods consisting of deceptions, falsehood, contradiction, cheating, and sleight of hand”. I will skip over this kind of diatribe because it has no claims specific enough to refute and is basically just white noise.
“The theory of evolution was put forward as an imaginary hypothesis in the context of the primitive scientific understanding of the nineteenth century, and to this day it has not been backed up by any scientific discovery or experiment.”
It has been backed up by countless discoveries and experiments. High school students across the world perform evolution experiments as part of their studies, so reliably does life adapt to it’s environment. Google “evolution experiment” and you will find countless examples. One of the first was performed in the mid to late 1800s when a scientist heated up several containers of bacteria to figure out what temperature they could not survive at, then he took some of the original bacteria and heated them up in 7 more containers to the same temperature, but this time did it in very gradual increments over 7 years so that many generations would pass and natural selection would have time to occur. The result were bacteria that showed no signs of distress at the temperatures all the previous bacteria had died – furthermore when he began to lower the temperature of some of the containers the bacteria started dying, they were adapted to the heat but now could not tolerate the temperature they were previously adapted to. Scientists have observed bacteria adapting to new, synthetic food sources like nylon and becoming resistant to antibiotics. They have observed new, more infectious strains of countless diseases emerge (why do you think you need a new flu vaccine each year – by the time the flu makes it’s way around to you again it’s not the same virus so your immune system doesn’t recognize it and occasionally a super-flu is produced which kills hundreds of thousands of people). The claim that there is no experimental evidence of evolution is either grossly ignorant or an outright lie. There are entire industries that revolve around things like the adaptation of cancer cells to chemo therapy and radiation and the adaptation of insects to pesticides.
They then say it is impossible for “the first cell” to have arisen by abiogenesis, when what they mean by “the first cell” is modern cells that have been evolving for billions of years and are by definition vastly more complicated than a hypothetical first cell would be. They also argue that proteins cannot occur by “chance” which if you know anything about chemestry is bunk because it’s actually very hard to discover how chemical compounds can arise given the number and combinations of mechanical forces, pressure ranges, temperatures etc in nature. There are too many variables to make blanket statements like that. It took scientists researching the origins of RNA decades to discover the natural mechanism that gives rise to just 2 of it’s 4 chemical components – it turned out to be something as simple as the right combination of temperature, mechanical forces like waves, evaporation and UV radiation from sunlight. It turns out they would readily, spontaneously occur in vast quantities in nature. But even if proteins must be artificial it doesn’t necessarily matter because the first cells could easily have simply not had proteins and proteins or some earlier, simpler version of them could have began as an accidental by-product of some other mechanisms within an early (or not so early) cell.
“HOW DOES THE COLLAPSE OF THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION DEMONSTRATE THE TRUTH OF CREATION”
Many of the “questions” are just statements with a question mark. This section just claims creationism is by default correct (without evidence) because evolution is false. But it doesn’t work that way. If you think lightning is the work of thor and I think lightning is the work of satan, the fact that we can’t think of a third possibility and I can allegedly disprove thor does not logically prove my assertion. There are no “default” answers to questions, and there have been countless times when we had no other explanation for something but a mystical one and we ended up finding out the mystical explanation was wrong. This form of reasoning is literally “I am ignorant therefore my beliefs are correct”.
Then they move onto the “cambrian explosion” and their argument here is very strange. They seem to be implying that life was created in the cambrian period and then evolved to it’s various present forms and saying “na na na na, this disproves evolution!” when, if it were true, it would support theistic evolution and would disprove the notion that life was created in it’s present form. The reality of course is that life did not begin in the cambrian period (and the fossil record has been known for a long time to extend 8 times as far back as the cambrian, or 3.4 billion years ago). Shortly after the discovery of the cambrian period creationists claimed it was proof of creation because many forms of life appeared to pop into existence fully formed with no predecessors. Shortly after this however it was discovered that there were many pre-cambrian fossils but that they were all impressions in stone of soft-bodied animals:
Followed by similar, but now hard-bodied creatures like these:
Pre-cambrian fossils have no bones or exoskeletons, ie the parts of creatures that are hard enough to survive fossilization. So what the cambrian period appears to be is not the emergence of life, but the emergence of traits like bones and exoskeletons in the evolutionary history of life. The fossil record goes 1) billions of years of single-celled organisms preserved in rocks from different geological ages, 2) impressions of soft-bodied worm, slug and jelly-fish like creatures in stone, 3) actual fossilized bones and exoskeletons. The cambrian period is the beginning of the third phase, nothing more.
“There are around 35 different phyla of animals, including the Mollusca, which include soft-bodied creatures such as snails and octopuses, or the Nematoda, which include diminutive worms. The most important feature of these phyla is, as we touched on earlier, that they possess totally different physical characteristics.”
This is just not true. In taxonomy species with similar characteristics are collectively described, ie cats all share certain characteristics but they also share most of those characteristics with lions, tigers, panthers etc, so all of those dozens of species are classified as felines. Dogs share most of their characteristics with each other but they also share most of their characteristics with wolves, coyotes, foxes etc, so they are all classified as canines. And canines and felines all share certain traits with each other like giving live birth, being warm-blooded, having hair as opposed to scales or feathers etc – so felines and and canines (and many other groups) are both classified as mammals. And mammals, reptiles, birds and dinosaurs share some characteristics like having a spinal cord so they are both considered chordates, etc.
The evolutionary explanation for this is common ancestry, that all these groups branched off of each other and have the traits they have in common because they commonly inherited them.
This is supported by many things including that the pattern of emergence of every trait we find in nature can be shown to have happened in a logical, chronological order in the fossil record, ie fins occur before bony fins with digits which occur before legs which occur before mammalian wings etc. If any step in that progression were out of order it would disprove evolution. There is also a great deal of evidence supporting this in embryology and other aspects of the fossil record which I will go into if anyone asks.
Now what the blog claims is that different groups of animals are completely different from each other, therefore they could not have had a common ancestry and must have (with no logic or evidence) been created. The problem here is that they actually do share similarities, just on a cellular and genetic level. Because when multi-cellular life emerged many related groups apparently went in different evolutionary directions before the traits that would define their outward appearance took root. So for instance spiders “look” totally different than dogs or cats, but if you examine their DNA and cell pathways you will find we share a great deal of our ancestry with their single-celled ancestors. Humans have something like 25-50% of our DNA in common with bananas for instance, and they’re not even in the same phyla as us.
Sorry that was long.
“INTERESTING SPINES: Hallucigenia: One of the creatures that suddenly emerged in the Cambrian Age. This and many other Cambrian fossils have hard, sharp spines to protect them from attack. One thing that evolutionists cannot account for is how these creatures should have such an effective defense system when there were no predators around. The lack of predators makes it impossible to explain these spines in terms of natural selection”
I did a google search to see what the earliest signs of predators in the fossil record are and found:
“Predation appears to have become a major selection pressure shortly before the Cambrian period – around 550 million years ago – as evidenced by the almost simultaneous development of calcification in animals and algae, and predation-avoiding burrowing. However, predators had been grazing on micro-organisms since at least 1,000 million years ago.”
So again they’re just telling a lie which, if it were true, would be compelling.
“HOW FAR BACK DO TRACES OF MAN GO? WHY DO THESE NOT SUPPORT EVOLUTION?”
This section gives some footprints that are “like” human prints that are 3 million years old as proof against evolution. The article says:
“They are like modern human footprints. If one were left in the sand of a California beach today, and a four-year old were asked what it was, he would instantly say that somebody had walked there. He wouldn’t be able to tell it from a hundred other prints on the beach, nor would you.”
The problem with this is of course that he would also say these were a human child’s hand prints:
They’re actually racoon tracks. The notion that a non-expert would mistakenly believe something is not evidence that it’s true. And to my knowledge the earliest human ancestor primate species that walked upright was nearly twice as old as those tracks, so I say whatever.
They make the same argument lower, talking about a 1.6 million year old skeleton of a young boy:
“The American paleoanthropologist Alan Walker said that he doubted that ‘the average pathologist could tell the difference between the fossil skeleton and that of a modern human.” This is like saying a non-doctor couldn’t tell if this spot on your x-ray is a tumor or not, so this proves it’s a tumor. It’s anti-intellectual, pseudoscientific hogwash. They’re literally saying the opinion of a non-expert trumps the opinion of the experts.
“Since the beginning of the twentieth century, evolutionists have been portraying the Neanderthals, a vanished human race, as semi-ape creatures. The above portrayal of Neanderthals was used as evolutionist propaganda for decades. However, since the 1980s this myth has begun to collapse. Both fossil studies and traces of Neanderthal culture have shown that these people were not semi-apes. For example, this 26,000-year-old needle proved that Neanderthals were civilised humans who possessed the ability to sew. As a result of this, evolutionist publications such as National Geographic had to start portraying them as civilised, as in the picture below”
Actually the knuckle-dragger cave-man depiction came from popular culture and is based on satirical cartoons from europe mocking the discovery of neanderthals because one of the first neanderthal skeletons discovered was hunched over – further analysis revealed he was in a state of advanced scoliosis and other crippling ailments when he died (at an advanced age) which actually proved the reverse, that he was cared for for many years before he died. The way they tell it is misleading, and the “depiction” they give is this:
I fail to see how that supports their claim.
Furthermore they are not “semi-ape” creatures, humans and neanderthals are both apes in the same way that cats and lions and tigers are all felines. It is a collective group all our species belong do the same way we are all mammals etc. Ape means the same thing as “primate”.
“Despite 150 years of propagandistic evolutionist research into the origin of man, the fossils discovered show that the first human beings suddenly appeared on the Earth, with no “apelike ancestor.”
All human beings are “ape-like”, here are a series of primate skulls, the first is a modern chimpanzee and the others are various human ancestors and off-shoots:
Take a good hard look at these skulls and tell me there’s no similarities between us and other species and no plausible missing links have been found.
“4 WHY IS THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION NOT THE “BASIS OF BIOLOGY”?
ONE claim that is frequently repeated by evolutionists is the lie that the theory of evolution is the basis of biology… Those who put forward this claim suggest that biology could not develop, or even exist, without the theory of evolution.”
This is just a mus-characterization of a common statement, that evolution is the central theory of biology without which not much in the life sciences would make sense, and this is true. The field of biology existed before evolution science came along so clearly this is not what scientists are saying.
They then equate evolution supporters with communist dictators because they supposedly burned books that contradicted their worldview. What disagreeing in a free and pluralistic society has to do with censorship in a dictatorship I have no idea. It’s worth mentioning that the nazis burned books, including darwin’s works which are listed (along with any books that agree with his findings) among the books banned by the nazis. Does this disprove creationism? No, and it would be a cheap shot to try to imply that it did.
“WHY IS THE EXISTENCE OF DIFFERENT RACES NOT EVIDENCE FOR EVOLUTION?”
This section is again weird. It says that biological “variation” is strictly caused by recombination of the same genes (ignoring the role of genetic mutations), and claiming that blacks, whites, asians etc have the traits they do because “Geographical isolation that had happened over human history has led to an atmosphere where different physical features came together in different groups. Over a long period of time, this led to different groups having different bone structures, skin colour, height, and skull volumes. This eventually led to the different races”.
This makes no sense, they seem to be saying that the human race was modified by it’s environment, ie evolved to have separate characteristics, but without using the word evolved or giving a plausible mechanism. What actually happened is that variations are caused by mutations and genetic recombination which make everybody different from each other in lots of little ways and over many generations the members of every species with the most useful genetic variations (like those that result in a stronger immune system or, in the case of ethnicity, increased skin pigment which blocks UV rays in areas with more intense sunlight) the members with those variations will tend to pass their genes to future generations at a greater rate simply because they will tend to survive longer and have more offspring. So the best genes become more common in the gene pool and the worst genes (birth defects etc) gradually get weeded out.
Anyway, this is where the article stops, apparently at “question” (more like declarative statement) 5. So I don’t know where the rest is.
I might do the first half later if you all aren’t bored to tears. Feel free to ask questions or what have you.