The Talk.Origins Archive: Exploring the Creation/Evolution Controversy

Duane Gish and Creationism
Duane Gish's Response to Richard Trott
[Last Update: March 29, 1994]

[On May 3, 1994 the Rutgers Review published a heavily edited response by Duane Gish to Richard Trott's critique under the title "Creationist Speaker Responds." Gish's complete response appears below. Trott has written a point-by-point rebuttal to Gish's response. Each number in brackets is a link to the point in Trott's rebuttal that answers the preceding claim by Gish.]

I have been sent a copy of the article "Lying for Jesus: Duane Gish and Creationism at Rutgers" by Richard Trott. The very title of the article was inflammatory and reveals the extreme bias of the author.[1] I wish to respond to a few of Trott's assertions. He stated that I had contradicted myself "numerous times." He then proceeded to give one alleged example,[2] misquoting me in doing so.[3] He states, "Gish stated that neither evolution nor creationism is scientific since, among other things, neither is falsifiable. Gish proceeded to spend the remainder of his lecture attempting to falsify evolution." What I actually said was that neither evolution nor creation is a scientific theory, that no theory on origins can be a scientific theory, since there were no human witnesses to the origin of the universe, life or even a single living thing.[4] These events took place in the unobservable past and are not repeatable today. I documented that claim by quoting an article by evolutionary biologists Paul Ehrlich and L.C. Birch (Nature214:352, 1967) who stated explicitly that the theory of evolution is outside of empirical science because no one can think of ways in which to test it.[5] I did state that evolution and creation have scientific characteristics, and can be discussed in scientific terms. Evolution and creation are theories about history, inferences based upon circumstantial evidence.[6] I then proceeded to describe the circumstantial evidence from biology, the fossil record, thermodynamics, and probability laws which I maintain provides powerful positive support for creation.[7]

Trott states that "Gish preached falsehoods about the fossil record." I notice that Trott fails completely to respond to the evidence I presented that no one has found any evidence whatsoever of ancestors for the vast array of complex invertebrates that abruptly appear fully formed in Cambrian rocks [8] and that, in spite of the billions times billions of fossil invertebrates and untold billions of fossil fishes, no one has found a single one of the billions times billions of fossil transitional forms between invertebrates and fishes that must exist if evolution is true.[9] Every one of the major kinds of fishes appear in the fossil record fully formed, without a trace of an ancestor.[10] These facts alone establish that evolution has not taken place on the earth.[11] Trott claims that Monoclonuis and Protoceratops were evolutionary precursors of Triceratops, a three-horned dinosaur. Well, which is it Trott, Monoclonuis or Protoceratops? They both cannot be the ancestor.[12] As a matter of fact, neither was. Monoclonuis was a one-horned dinosaur,[13] complete at its first appearance,[14] and no evolutionary paleontologist that I know of suggests that it was ancestral to Triceratops.[15] Protoceratops had no horns at all, and is really misnamed. Romer (Vertebrate Paleontology, 3rd ed., p 163) states, "Protoceratops belies its name, for horns are not present."[16] Weishampel, Dodson, and Osmolska (The Dinosauria, University of California Press, 1990, p. 610) concerning the protoceratopsids, writes of the "presumed ancestry for ceratopsids."[17] How could the protoceratopsids be ancestral to Triceratops when they were contemporaneous with Triceratops? [18] In fact, Weishampel and co-authors state (p. 610) "Late Maastrichtian 'Lepoceratops gracilis,' one of the most primitive protoceratopsids, was one of the last dinosaurs in North America."[19] On that same page they state that "There is a sharp discontinuity in size and correlative allometric features between protoceratopsids and ceratopsids, and there is never confusion between members of one family and members of the other."[20] Thus, the horned dinosaurs, just as is the case with duckbilled dinosaurs, stegosaurids, and all other dinosaurs, appear fully formed, with no transitional forms.[21]

Trott, as do most evolutionists, touts Archaeopteryx as a transitional form between reptiles and birds.[22] If evolution were true, evolutionists should be able to display thousands of undoubted transitional forms, but they usually mention only one possibility, Archaeopteryx.[23] Archaeopteryx had feathers identical to those of modern birds. It had the basic form and pattern of the avian wing, perching feet, a skull totally birdlike, a furcula, or wishbone, and other features of a bird.[24] Furthermore, Chatterjee and others report that they found fossils of a bird in Texas, which they claim was 75 million years older than Archaeopteryx, but which, they say, in some respects, is even more birdlike than Archaeopteryx.[25] Finally, not a trace of transitional forms can be found for any of the other flying creatures -- flying reptiles, bats (flying mammals), and flying insects, all of which appear fully formed.[26]

Trott claims that I am either incredibly ignorant or showed "a stunning lack of integrity" when I stated that when Lord Zuckerman wrote in 1970 that Australopithecus was not ancestral to Homo sapiens, he had most of the evidence that we have today. Trott states that many new discoveries have been made since then. My remarks were specifically referring to Australopithecus.[27] Lord Zuckerman and his scientific team spent 15 years studying fossils of Australopithecus supposedly one to two million years younger, or more recent in time, than Johanson's "Lucy" (Australopithecus afarensis).[28] If anything, they should be more advanced, or manlike than "Lucy."[29] Their research convinced Lord Zuckerman and his research team that these creatures did not walk upright and were not intermediate between ape and man.[30] Furthermore, Trott fails to mention entirely that I stated that Charles Oxnard had studied these fossils during the two decades since publication of Lord Zuckerman's book, and Oxnard states emphatically that his research, utilizing the most sophisticated methods of anatomical research, reveals that the australopithecines did not walk upright in a human manner,[31] were not intermediate between ape and man, and definitely were not human ancestors. He includes Johanson's fossils in his analysis. (The Order of Man, Yale University Press, 1984, p. 332).[32]

Trott labeled my remark about evolutionists predicting that living organisms would be found on Mars as laughable. Evolutionists were not laughing when they made these predictions, and they certainly were not laughing when tests failed to produce evidence of life on Mars. In fact, not a single molecule of any kind related to life was found.[33]

Trott certainly knows nothing about problems the Second Law of Thermodynamics poses for evolution. This fundamental law of science tells us that an isolated or closed system will never increase in order and complexity -- it will never become more highly organized.[34] The Second Law tells us that an isolated or closed system will always deteriorate, becoming less organized, less complex, going from order to disorder, from complex to simple.[35] Yet Trott and evolutionists believe that the universe is an isolated system that began in a state of chaos and disorder and the simplicity of hydrogen gas (produced by a hypothetical Big Bang of a hypothetical Cosmic egg),[36] and transformed itself into the incredibly complex universe that we have today, including people with 30 trillion cells, and including 12 billion brain cells with 120 trillion connections. That is a clear violation of the Second Law.[37] Trott talks about living things as open systems, but makes no pretense of explaining the origin of the universe or the origin of life in spite of the universal tendency of all systems to deteriorate and run down.[38] I challenged evolutionists to explain how the natural laws and processes that are now leading inevitably to the death and destruction of the universe (if there is no God), also could have been responsible for its origin. Trott does not respond to this challenge.[39]

Trott claims to have found in Science and Earth History - The Evolution/Creation Controversy (Prometheus Books, 1987), by Arthur Strahler, some evidence for fossil transitional forms between invertebrates and vertebrates.[40] Well, let's see what Strahler has to say. On p. 316, Strahler states "Origin of the vertebrates is obscure - there is no fossil record preceding the occurrence of fishes in the Ordovician time."[41] On p. 408, Strahler writes, "In a series of quotations from Romer (1966), Gish finds all the confessions he needs from the evolutionists that each of these classes appears suddenly and with no trace of ancestors. The absence of the transitional fossils in the gaps between each group of fishes and its ancestor is repeated in standard treatises on vertebrate evolution. Even Chris McGowan's anticreationist work, purporting to show 'why the creationists are wrong,' makes no mention of Gish's four pages of text on the origin of the fish classes. Knowing that McGowan is an authority on vertebrate paleontology, keen on faulting the creationists at every opportunity, I must assume that I haven't missed anything important in this area. This is one count in the creationists' charge that can only evoke in unison from the paleontologists a plea of 'nolo contendere.'"[42] There you have it! Strahler completely confirms my assertions that there is not a trace of fossilized ancestors for each of the major kinds of fishes, or transitional forms between these major classes.[43]

All that can be said about Trott's article is that it was slanderous and contrary to the scientific evidence.[44] In his zeal to defend his evolutionary religion, he makes it clear that his position is based on evangelistic dogma, not science.[45]

[Go to: Trott's rebuttal.]

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