Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Creationists Say, "Stop Calling Evolution 'Just a Theory'"

The primary authority for Answers in Genesis is the infallible Word of God, the Bible (see Q&A Bible). All theories of science are fallible, and new data often overturn previously held theories. Evolutionists continually revise their theories because of new data, so it should not be surprising or distressing that some creationist scientific theories need to be revised too.

The first article on this page sums up what the creationists’ attitude should be about various ideas and theories. The other articles provide examples of arguments that should no longer be used; some arguments are definitely fallacious, while others are merely doubtful or unsubstantiated. We provide brief explanations why, and/or hyperlinks to other articles on this Web site with more detailed explanations. We don’t claim that this list is exhaustive—it will be updated with additions and maybe deletions as new evidence is discovered. Many of these arguments have never been promoted by AiG, and some have not been promoted by any major creationist organization (so they were not directed at anyone in particular), but are instead straw men set up by anti-creationists. --Answers in Genesis [emphasis added]


I just stumbled across this fascinating page on the huge creationist organization Answers in Genesis's website. Although it is a strong advocate of young-Earth creationism (i.e. God created the Earth less than 10,000 years ago) it lists a number of arguments that creationists should not use since they are either untrue or "doubtful."

Interestingly, I've seen many of them used by creationists on my blog:

"Arguments we think creationists should NOT use"
‘No new species have been produced.’
‘Archaeopteryx is a fraud’
‘There are no beneficial mutations.’
‘Ron Wyatt has found Noah’s Ark’

"What arguments are doubtful, hence inadvisable to use?"
‘There was no rain before the Flood.’
‘Evolution is just a theory.’
‘The speed of light has decreased over time’
‘There are no transitional forms.’
‘Creationists believe in microevolution but not macroevolution.’


So, my creationist readers, if you won't believe me about these claims, perhaps you'll believe Answers in Genesis.

My non-creationist readers, I highly recommend checking the site out anyway -- it's fascinating. For example, I learned about Dr Russell Humphreys, a "creationist physicist" who "was inspired to develop a new creationist cosmology which appears to solve the problem of the apparent conflict [of being able to see millions of light-years away even though he doesn't believe that the speed of light has slowed significantly] with the Bible’s clear, authoritative teaching of a recent creation." I also learned that there is a International Conference on Creationism and that they claim to value the concept of peer review.

27 comments:

oracle25 said...

Interestingly enough this very same site has answers to your eye evolution argument.

First off I do not know much about them but I have found overwhelming evidence that Archaeopteryx is a fraud. I believe these people a probably afraid of scientific backlash and so have rejected sound evidence in favor of popularity. While agree with some of them I do not agree with all.

Jewish Atheist said...

First off I do not know much about them but I have found overwhelming evidence that Archaeopteryx is a fraud.

Care to share?

Orthoprax said...

Oracle,

I'm on the edge of my seat...

Random said...

There is indeed a theory doing the rounds that archeopteryx is a forgery (see http://www.chebucto.ns.ca/Environment/NHR/archaeopteryx.html for an account of it), but far from being "overwhelming" the evidence is actually virtually non-existent and is supported by no serious paleontologist.

And just in case anybody is seriously prepared to argue that paleontologists are covering up a fraud to avoid embarassing their profession, I have two words for you - Piltdown Man.

oracle25 said...

I will be sharing the argument on Archaeopterix in a future post, but I was just wondering: JA, why do you find this site so interesting? your an evolutionist correct? And I thought you believed that ID was bad science.

Jewish Atheist said...

I find it interesting for 2 reasons:

1) Even though they are creationists, they still disagree with some of the sillier arguments creationists make. I thought that people like you might be more inclined to listen to them than to me.

2) It's interesting to see what makes creationists tick. It's just such a foreign concept for me. Even when I was an Orthodox Jew, I always believed in evolution and the Big Bang -- I just thought God was behind it somehow. The idea that people still believe the Earth is literally 6000 years old (I don't mean the day=era crowd) is amazing to me, and I like to figure out what's going on in their heads.

oracle25 said...

Ah, yes the "Day-Age" people, I used to be one. I still find many f there arguments convincing. You may be interested in this site www.reasonstobelieve.org, they are one of the most respected Day-Age groups on the planet. Maybe some day I will become convinced enough to buy that theory again but as of now I am a new earth creationist.

Kyaroko said...

I had this amazing revelation about relativity one time when I was stoned at my buddy Josh's place and it took me literally a year to walk from the living room to the bathroom. I'm going to share my argument in a future post, but let me just tell you now that the center of the universe is in Savannah, GA in Josh's hallway.

Kyaroko said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Stephen (aka Q) said...

I think it wholly admirable that JA is willing to scrutinize a creationist Web site, just as I read science books written by atheists. We should always actively seek out data on both sides of a contentious issue, not just arguments that confirm what we already believe.

I haven't spent much time investigating the Intelligent Design movement, but I understand (from an ID proponent, Dr. Groothuis) that they accept that the cosmos is ancient.

I am a creationist in the way that JA used to be one: i.e., I believe God was "behind" the Big Bang and evolution. I would add that even that is a problematic position in some respects. For example, there have been several extinction episodes in the course of evolutionary history, which is hard to explain if you believe the process is purposeful and end-oriented.

I prefer to face up to the difficulties which arise within my worldview. No one achieves perfect objectivity, but I believe it is necessary to aim for objectivity (and truth!) nonetheless. Therefore I concede that many of the arguments put forward by creationists are spurious.

I also agree with the "Answers in Genesis" folks (though I hadn't heard of them until now). Any chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Therefore it is better to cast aside weak arguments before they undermine the relatively strong claims made by creationists.
Q

oracle25 said...

There are different types of creationists. People like the Day-Age people believe in the Big Bang and an old universe

asher said...

Hey, there are no facts to back up ID. There are also no facts to back up evolution.

The Book of Unproven Theories:

1. The Holocaust Never Happened
2. Lee Harvey Oswald worked with the CIA, the Mafia and Cuban exiles to assasinate JFK
3. Crop Circles are caused by aliens
4. Big Foot exists
5. Aliens and Spaceships are being kept by the government in a secret complex in area 51, Roswell, N.M.
6. Paul is dead
7. We never got to the moon.
8. Cold fusion is possible
9. A car than can run on gas or urine was invented but the patent was bought by GM (or Ford)
10.2,000 Jews who worked in the WTC were told not to come in on 9/11
11. The Freemasons are running the world.
12. The Jews are running the world.
13. Devil worshipping cults are rampant thoughout the United States
14. You can make batteries last longer by putting them in the freezer.
15. Jim Morrison faked his death
16. Elvis is still alive
17. Hitler is still alive
18. Consumer Reports is unbiased
19. Professional wrestling is not fixed.
20. People act more strangely on full moons and new moons.
21. Ted Kennedy's tires were shot out which caused the accident at Chappikwitik
22. Life began on this earth as a very simple life form and through natural selection evolved into trees, plants, humans and other mammals.
23. UFO's are real and they occasionally abduct people from rural areas.
24. Sherlock Holmes was a real person.

I could go on but what's the point? Evolution is accepted as fact by many people. They base this on:
a. scientific things they have read,
b. the idea that God is not behind human existance so this is the next best explanation,
c. many scientists believe it

It comes down to "I'm the Mommy, that's why".

Can you comment on the "Teach the controversy" idea? This is the idea that students are taught evolution and are also taught why evolution is under attack. Surely something that you consider "science" should be able to withstand this challenge.

oracle25 said...

Sounds like a good idea to me:) but I think that public school students should be taught every theory so they can decide for themselves.

Jewish Atheist said...

Sure, if you want to teach them the Hindu creation theory, the Native American creation theory, the aboriginal Australian creation theory, the Bantu creation theory, the ancient Greek and Roman creation theories, the Sumerian, the Egyptian, the Norse, etc. That would probably be pretty interesting and enlightening. Would you agree to that oracle25?

oracle25 said...

Sure all of those could be taken from the ID theory. The mistake you make is believing that ID only has to do with christianity, while in truth all it has to do with is the idea that a supreme being(s) created the universe.

Jewish Atheist said...

If you wanted to teach a class on all of the creation stories, I'd be fine with that. Most Americans could use some comparitive religion. I do worry that people would a) use ID as a cover to teach Christianity or b) teach children that ID is a scientific theory.

Jack's Shack said...

I never had a problem believing in G-d and believing in evolution. They are not incompatible beliefs.

CyberKitten said...

JA said: Most Americans could use some comparitive religion.

We have something like that over here. Religious Education in our schools is a compulsory subject, though it my day it was often a class that people used as extra study time.

I understand that these days its far more structured around Comparative Religions. Though, of course if children are taught that all religions are equally valid they might end up thinking that they are all equally invalid.

There is also a move to teach Secular Humanism in the same class - which should make things even more interesting....

oracle25 said...

ID is a scientific theory, it was developed by several former evolutionists, wether or not you agree with the theory is irrelevant the fact is it IS a scientific theory. Not only that but at this point it has as much evidence (if not more) to support it as evolution does. to not teach it is irresponsible and unscientific. The fact that you do not even want to examine it in public schools shows that you are more a student of Atheism than you are a student of science.

Jewish Atheist said...

ID is a scientific theory

Scientific theories make testable predictions. For example, evolution predicts that organisms, when applied a selective pressure, will evolve. Evolution also explains things which previously made no sense like, why are there marsupials in Australia, but mammals in Africa? Why is sickle-cell anemia more common in people of African descent than of Asian? Why do people have tailbones? Why are bats' wings so different from birds' wings?

Jewish Atheist said...

(and why are the bones in bats' wings similar to other mammals' arms?)

Jack's Shack said...

ID is nothing more than a marketing term designed to hide "creationism" from people.

oracle25 said...

Fine, I suppose for Atheists ignorance truly is bliss.

Eric said...

My favorite part of that article was this:

Dr Humphreys’ new creationist cosmology literally ‘falls out’ of the equations of GR, so long as one assumes that the universe has a boundary. In other words, that it has a center and an edge—that if you were to travel off into space, you would eventually come to a place beyond which there was no more matter. In this cosmology, the earth is near the center, as it appears to be as we look out into space.

This might sound like common sense, as indeed it is, but all modern secular (big bang) cosmologies deny this. That is, they make arbitrary assumption (without any scientific necessity) that the universe has no boundaries—no edge and no center. In this assumed universe, every galaxy would be surrounded by galaxies spread evenly in all directions (on a large enough scale), and so, therefore, all the net gravitational forces cancel out.



(emphasis is mine) This in an article about needing to invent an alternate cosomology to explain a young earth hypothesis that is purely arbitrary. Oh how I adore Irony.

Eric said...

btw, the unbounded universe isn't an arbitrary assumption. It's based on homogeneous background radiation and other observations.
(which a lay person like myself can grasp, considering it's explanation in universe in a nutshell, and online (here for instance) is pretty straighforward.

Robert West said...

JA:
On the off chance you are not familar with www.talkreason.org it's a great source for evolutionists. You can get the whole Dover decision and assorted
comments that made ID's chief witness, Michael Behe,PhD,look like
the ass he is.It's impossible to
get thru the ineffible stupidity
of Creationists and debate them
and this source as well as The Panda's Thumb helps cut to the
chase.
RW

Robert West said...

{1}Hey, there are no facts to back up ID.
{2}There are also no facts to back
up evolution.
{3}Therefore there are no facts.

Right,asher?