A Common Misconception among Evolutionists Re: Creation Science

Stix stix at BAAWA.com.au
Mon Oct 26 14:27:28 EST 1998


Adam & Melody Smith posted the following to alt.atheism:

>Exactly. Evolution is a belief just as is Creation. Neither view is more
>scientific. Which is more logical can be debated; is order spontaneous or
>does it require an Organizer? Science is the observation of phenomena and
>hypotheses based on such obsevations. Since the past can not be observed,
>all ideas of what may have created the present are simply beliefs derived
>from observations of current events. These ideas cannot be tested, proved,
>or disproved, so they do not become hypotheses, or theories. The so-called
>"Theory of Evolution" should be re-named the Religion of Evolution, since it
>is merely a belief about what might have happened. The claim that it is more
>scientific than Creationism is completely ludicrous.

<sigh>

Yet another ignorant idiot with a mouth. I'm so sick of you brainless
imbeciles; all you ever do is parrot BULLSHIT.

Here, dipstick. Fuck off and learn -- or just fuck off.

Frequently Asked Questions and their answers.

The following is a list of questions that appear frequently in the
Usenet newsgroup talk.origins. Brief answers are given for each question
along with a pointer to one or more relevant files. 

Q: What is the purpose of talk.origins?

A: The purpose of talk.origins is to provide a forum for discussion of
issues related to biological and physical origins. See the talk.origins
Welcome FAQ:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-welcome.html

the Archive welcome file:

http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/welcome.html

and the Talk.Origins Archive's Must-Read FAQs:
 
http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs-mustread.html

Q: I thought evolution was just a theory. Why do you call it a fact? 

A: Biological evolution is a change in the genetic characteristics of a
population over time. That this happens is a fact. Biological evolution
also refers to the common descent of living organisms from shared
ancestors. The evidence for historical evolution -- genetic, fossil,
anatomical, etc. -- is so overwhelming that it is also considered a
fact. The theory of evolution describes the mechanisms that cause
evolution. So evolution is both a fact and a theory. 
See the Evolution is a Fact and a Theory FAQ:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolution-fact.html

Introduction to Evolutionary Biology FAQ:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-intro-to-biology.html

and the Five Major Misconceptions about Evolution FAQ:
 
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-misconceptions.html#proof

Q: Don't you have to be an atheist to accept evolution?

A: No. Many people of Christian and other faiths accept evolution as the
scientific explanation for biodiversity. 
See the God and Evolution FAQ:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-god.html

and the Interpretations of Genesis FAQ:
 
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/interpretations.html

Q: Isn't evolution just an unfalsifiable tautology?

A: No. Evolutionary theory is in exactly the same condition as any other
valid scientific theory, and many criticisms of it that rely on
philosophy are misguided. See the Evolution and Philosophy FAQ:
 
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolphil.html

Q: If evolution is true, then why are there so many gaps in the fossil
record? Shouldn't there be more transitional fossils?
 
A: Due to the rarity of preservation and the likelihood that speciation
occurs in small populations during geologically short periods of time,
transitions between species are uncommon in the fossil record.
Transitions at higher taxonomic levels, however, are abundant. See the
Transitional Vertebrate Fossils FAQ:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional.html

The Fossil Hominids FAQ:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/fossil-hominids.html

and the Punctuated Equilibria FAQ:
 
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/punc-eq.html

Q: No one has ever directly observed evolution happening, so how do you
know it's true?

A: Evolution has been observed, both directly and indirectly. It is
true. See the Five Major Misconceptions about Evolution FAQ:
 
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-misconceptions.html#observe

Q: Then why has no one ever seen a new species appear?

A: Speciation has been observed, both in the laboratory and in nature.
See the Observed Instances of Speciation FAQ:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html

and another FAQ listing some more observed speciation events:
 
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/speciation.html

Q: Doesn't the perfection of the human body prove Creation?

A: No. In fact, humans (and other animals) have many suboptimal
characteristics. See the FAQ on Evidence for Jury-Rigged Design in
nature:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/jury-rigged.html

Q: According to evolution, the diversity of life is a result of chance
occurrence. Doesn't that make evolution wildly improbable?
 
A: Evolution is not simply a result of random chance. It is also a
result of non-random selection. See the Evolution and Chance FAQ:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/chance.html

and the Five Major Misconceptions about Evolution FAQ:
 
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-misconceptions.html#chance

Q: Doesn't evolution violate the second law of thermodynamics? After
all, order cannot come from disorder.
 
A: Evolution does not violate the second law of thermodynamics. Order
emerges from disorder all the time. Snowflakes form, trees grow, and
embryos develop, etc. See the Second Law of Thermodynamics, Evolution,
and Probability FAQ:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/thermo.html

and the Five Major Misconceptions about Evolution FAQ:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-misconceptions.html#thermo

Q: Didn't Darwin renounce evolution on his deathbed?

A: The Darwin deathbed story is false. And in any case, it is
irrelevant. A scientific theory stands or falls according to how well it
is supported by the facts, not according to who believes it. 
See the Lady Hope Story FAQ:
 
http://www.ediacara.org/hope.html

Q: Where can I learn more about evolution?
 
A: You might start with the talk.origins FAQs. If, however, you want a
thorough understanding of evolution, a library would be a more
appropriate place to look. 

The following FAQs provide some good references:

the Creation/Evolution Reading List:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/reading-list.html

the Introduction to Evolutionary Biology FAQ:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-intro-to-biology.html

the "What is Evolution?" FAQ:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolution-definition.html

and the Talk.Origins Archive's Evolution FAQs:
 
http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs-evolution.html

Q: How do you know the earth is really old? Lots of evidence says it's
young.

A: According to numerous, independent dating methods, the earth is known
to be approximately 4.5 billion years old. Most young-earth arguments
rely on inappropriate extrapolations from a few carefully selected and
often erroneous data points. See the Age of the Earth FAQ:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-age-of-earth.html

and the Talk.Origins Archive's Young Earth FAQs:
 
http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs-youngearth.html

Q: But radiometric dating methods rely on the assumptions of
non-contamination and constant rates of decay. What if these assumptions
are wrong?
 
A: Radiometric isochron dating techniques reveal whether contamination
has occurred, while numerous theoretical calculations, experiments, and
astronomical observations support the notion that decay rates are
constant. 
See the Isochron Dating FAQ:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/isochron-dating.html

and the Age of the Earth FAQ:
 
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-age-of-earth.html

Q: I heard that the speed of light has changed a lot. This means that
light from galaxies billions of light years away might not really be
billions of years old. Is this true?

A: Barry Setterfield's hypothesis of a decay in the speed of light was
based on flawed extrapolations from inaccurate measurements, many of
which were taken hundreds of years ago. See the C-Decay FAQ:
 
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/c-decay.html

Q: If Earth is so old, doesn't that mean Earth's decaying magnetic field
would have been unacceptably high at one time?
 
A: No. The Earth's magnetic field is known to have varied in intensity
and reversed in polarity numerous times throughout the planet's history.

See the FAQ on the Earth's Magnetic Field:
 
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/magfields.html

Q: Isn't the fossil record a result of the global flood described in the
Book of Genesis?

A: No. A global flood cannot explain the sorting of fossils observed in
the geological record. This was recognized even prior to the proposal of
evolutionary theory. See the Problems with a Global Flood FAQ:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-noahs-ark.html

and the Talk.Origins Archive's Flood Geology FAQs:

http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs-flood.html

Q: What about those fossils that cut through multiple layers?

A: They have natural explanations: tree-roots that grew into soft,
underlying layers of clay, and fossils found in inclined strata. They
can also be observed forming in modern environments. See the
"Polystrate" Fossils FAQ:
 
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/polystrate.html

Q: What about those human footprints that appear next to dinosaur
footprints?
 
A: The "man-tracks" of the Paluxy Riverbed in Glen Rose, Texas were not
man tracks at all. Some were eroded dinosaur tracks, and others were
human carvings. 
See the FAQ on the Texas Dinosaur/"Man Track" Controversy:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/paluxy.html

Q: Didn't they find Noah's Ark? I saw something on TV about this.

A: The producers of America's 1993 CBS television show, "The Incredible
Discovery of Noah's Ark," were hoaxed. Other ark discovery claims have
not been substantiated. See the FAQ on Sun Pictures and the Noah's Ark
Hoax:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/ark-hoax.html 

Q: The odds against a simple cell coming into being without divine
intervention are staggering.
 
A: And irrelevant. Scientists don't claim that cells came into being
through random processes. They are thought to have evolved from more
primitive precursors. 
See the Interim Abiogenesis FAQ:
 
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-abiogenesis.html

Q: Creationists are qualified and honest scientists. How can they be
wrong?
 
A: The quality of an argument is not determined by the credentials of
its author. Even if it was, a number of well-known creationists have
questionable credentials. Furthermore, many creationists have engaged in
dishonest tactics like quoting out of context or making up references. 

See the Suspicious Creationist Credentials FAQ:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/credentials.html

and the Talk.Origins Archive's Creationism FAQs:
 
http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs-creationists.html

Q: What about Immanuel Velikovsky? Didn't he show that Earth has
experienced a lot of major catastrophes?

A: No, he simply claimed that certain written legends must have
described real events. See the Talk.Origins Archive's Catastrophism FAQs
and the Velikovsky FAQ:
 
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-velikovsky.html

Q: Where can I find more material on the Creation/Evolution debate? 
 	
A: Contact the National Center for Science Education:

http://www.NatCenSciEd.org/

or see the Talk.Origins Archive and its "Other links" page:

http://www.talkorigins.org/

http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/other-links.html

Also see the talk.origins Book Recommendations FAQ:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/reading-list.html

and the Creation/Evolution Organizations and Periodicals FAQ:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/organizations.html


Stix
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
"Each living creature only has one asshole;
but on Earth the number of assholes exceeds
the number of living creatures......"
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