|Comment:||I was confronted by a Creationist who maintained there was not enough time fort a DNA molecule to evolve and he estimated the earth to be about 10 million years old. What can I say to him?|
Those of us from the MSN Evolution Vs Creationism wish to thank you for your hard work and excellent articles on the issue of Evolution and Creationism over the past year. For your entertainment pleasure, we present to you the 10 worst Creationist arguments/statements that we witnessed being used in our chat room for 2002. In general objections to evolution in our Chat Room were the same endlessly recycled nonsense you have to endure at TalkOrigins. Just a Theory, The Bible says so, No new info, Second Law of Thermo, No transitionals/Missing Links, Moondust, Hoaxes and misidentified fossils, ..etc However we occasionally get stuff that is so off the wall it cannot be easily categorized. These ten are some of the funnier examples of those statements.
Top Ten Worst Creationist Args
# 10 CrzyboutGod: I feel sorry for you. You're all blinded by the TRUTH!
# 9 Trumpet57: If Noah didn't cause the seashells to be mountins then how do u think the fishes got up there by walking on the fins or flying or what? And I'm not ignorent I just want to show if you can't answer.
Under the "oops" category # 8 Livng4him21: If people evolved from monkeys why are there still people?
Under "OMG The Irony" Top Ten Worst Creationist Args # 7 Bleeding_Robot: You're the one who is doing the assuming here. It says in the bible that God made Adam fully formed and the stars the same way. So the light was already on the way to Earth. Anything else is pure guesswork on your part.
# 6 ashydad: How can you call evolution a science? I'm looking at a dictionary right now and there is no mention of evolution under science.
# 5 and the winner of the Utter Lack of Logic Award! Guest_byadamsite: You just said theories can never be proven. Since creation is the only theory that has been proven creation wins again!
Top Ten Worst Creationist Arguments of All Time # 4 InoUrButWhtAmI: Science shows God even holds the atoms together though some of the partcicles have been positive charges and would push on each other. So making the Earth would be a lot easier for him than you think.
# 3 Ko_Uraki : tell me how nothing came from nothing!?!
Top Ten Worst Creationists Arguments of All Time Arg Runner-up!! (Remember that if our winner is for any reason unable to fill their obligations as the poster person for Creationist Idiocy this runner-up will step in) new558 : The whole world uses the seven day week as was predicted by the bible!
And the #1 Worst Creationists Argument of 2002 is.... sweetheart5666 : if evolution is true, then how come horses exist?
(Editor's note: Despite sustained and repeated requests for clarity-between bouts of hysterical laughter-The Hosts and Members of EvC were unable to find out what Sweet meant by this question)
|Response:||Thanks for this concise summary of the majority of our monthly feedbacks for the past five years or so...|
|Response:||Umm, John...if this were a concise summary of the feedback it would have to also include "the world is not flat!"|
|Comment:||I came across reference to this site from a letter in the Fargo (ND) Forum this month. I have only looked at a little of it, but I find this an amazing resource: thorough, up-to-date, well organized, thoughtful, and navigable. I highly commend this site as an introduction into controversies concerning mechanisms of evolution.|
discounted the accumulation of space dust as insignificant
(Morris) when it is very significant. Let me explain. The
Earth and the Moon orbit about one another in a dynamic
equalibrium in which the dominate pair of forces is: the
Gravitational Potential Energy of the Earth is equal in
magnitude to the Kinetic Energy of the Moon. This dominate
pair of forces is based on the Mass of both planets, the
Universal gravitational constant, and the radius between
the planets. If there is no change in this relationship,
then the long term distance between both planets will not
change. This however is not the case. The moon is moving
away from the Earth at between 3.8 cm and 5 cm per year.
This is a change of approximately one part in 12 billion in
the radius annually. That means that either the Universal
gravitational constant is decreasing, or the combined mass
of the planet pair is gaining mass at one part in 12
billion per year. I favor the latter, though the former has
its advocates. The Earth has the bigger mass at 597 x 10^22
kg versus the Moon at 7.35 x 10^22 kg. Dividing 6.04 x
10^24 kg by 12 Billion gives an annual increase in mass of
5 x 10^14 kg. This really is not much if spread over the
surface of both planets, only about one kg per square meter
per year (Earth). About the thickness of three sheets of
paper (0.4 mm thick). The reason it is not noticable is
that it rains and is washed down into the ocean basins
where it collects year after year. The next time it snows
on your cars windshield, let it sit there and melt
undisturbed. The dusty layer left behind is just space
dust, maybe 5% or less of what we get annually.
Let the dust of life collect and there will be a continual new array of nitches created for life to evolve into.
I will drop one more hint. At the peak size of the dinosaurs the rate of accumulation had climbed to 6 x 10^15 kg per year. This was about 4.8 mm per year. This is about 12 times the current rate of accumulation now.
The slow rate now would construct the Earth in 12 billion years which is too slow. The fast rate would construct the Earth in one billion years which is too fast. The average lies somewhere in between. (4.55 Billion Years). Do the math and figure out how fast the Earth really grows, it will astonish you.
Once upon a time, Lord Kelvin produced an elegant analysis of heat transfer of the earth in order to estimate its age. He bracketed the earth's age as somewhere between 20 and 100 million years, IIRC. These figures were used to argue against the idea of common descent, since it severely restricted the available time for evolution to occur. However, Lord Kelvin did not include the effects of radioactivity as a heat source in his analysis. (That's not his fault, since radioactivity hadn't been discovered yet.) Because of this, his conclusions were way off the mark.
The reader's analysis similarly fails to incorporate a key concept. In this case, that concept is tidal forces. Tides contribute to an increasing distance between the earth and the moon, which contradicts the premise upon which the reader builds his argument. An interesting exposition can be seen in this essay.
|Response:||The rate of
accumulation of space dust is not significant, see Meteorite Dust and the Age of
Mr. Clark's description of the Earth-moon system is incorrect, see The Recession of the Moon and the Age of the Earth-Moon System.
|Comment:||“The point is that in a non-isolated [open] system there exists a possibility for formation of ordered, low-entropy structures at sufficiently low temperatures. This ordering principle is responsible for the appearance of ordered structures such as crystals as well as for the phenomena of phase transitions. Unfortunately this principle cannot explain the formation of biological structures.” [I. Prigogine, G. Nicolis and A. Babloyants, Physics Today 25(11):23 (1972)]|
implication of the quote intended by creationists is that
Prigogine et al are showing an inconsistency between
thermodynamics and the natural formation of biological
The truth is exactly the reverse: far from proposing thermodynamics as a problem for the origins of life, the quoted paper is proposing that thermodynamics and the second law is a major contributing factor to the spontaneous formation of complex structures in prebiotic evolution.
It is good practice to identify secondary sources used to obtain such quotes; and to check the quote personally. This may help avoid perpetuating a deceit.
Ilya Prigogine won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1977 for his work in thermodynamics, which was about how dissipative systems form in open systems far from equilibrium. Biological systems are an example.
Most of the article from which you are quoting is on-line; to read it, click on this link. I will give some extracts and discussion here; for more detail please go to the original article.
The article begins with a one sentence summary, as follows:
That is, the article explains how the functional order of biological systems is consistent with the second law.
The article begins by showing a simple case for open systems close to equilibrium in which there is the possibility of the spontaneous formation of low entropy sub-systems. The quote you give appears here, to state that this particular principle does not work for biological systems.
Some more context to your quote:
That is, equilibrium thermodynamics is not what is required. Prigogine developed a theory of non-equilibrium thermodynamics which applies to systems far from equilibrium. There is no violation of the second law required; just the problem of applying thermodynamics to new kinds of systems. The next paragraph in the article considers the order apparent in biological systems a bit further, and concludes with this sentence:
The next section addresses Nonequilibrium open systems, and then the section after directly addresses evolution.
For a very brief and non-technical statement of what Prigogine is proposing....
The second law is, roughly, that entropy increases in all processes, or that heat will flow from hot things to cold things. Roughly speaking, entropy measures the extent to which energy is dissipated in a system. Open systems in a state of great energy flux (like the Earth) will tend to remain far from equilibrium. More importantly, Prigogine shows that in these conditions, ordered structures tend to form which facilitate the net dissipation of energy. Such systems help to drive the universe as a whole to states of increasing entropy, while being maintained in ordered state themselves. The paper goes on to give examples.
Far from proposing thermodynamics as a problem for the origins of life, this paper is proposing that thermodynamics and the second law is a major contributing factor to the spontaneous formation of complex dissipative structures in prebiotic evolution.
[Professor Prigogine has kindly reviewed this feedback at my request, and concurs with my conclusion that the quoted paper is proposing that thermodynamics and the second law as a contributing factor, not a problem. Any errors or defects this response, however, remain my own.]
|Comment:||I just wanted to say that to many people get caught up in issues such as why a global flood wouldn't be possible. If you really believe in something, how it happend shouldn't matter. Look further at the truth, and the truth is that Jesus was born, lived and then died for our sins. Stop getting caught up in the little things, we as humans will never know completely "how" everything happend, just know that it did, and when you meet the maker you can ask Him, just how He did it!!!|
|Response:||The attitudes you are suggesting are called gullibility and ignorance. Many of us believe that they are not virtues.|
|Comment:||If evolution is a fact, why has it stopped? why is it not occuring today?|
occuring today, and is being directly observed and
One of the most famous and thorough examples of direct observation of evolution over an extended period of time is the work of the Grants in observing finches on the Galapagos islands continuously for more than thirty years. A very readable and gripping account of this work is available in
You can find it on Amazon.
See also an on-line review at Jonathan Weiner: The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time.
|Comment:||Hey you, you suck, After I read your comments I told one of my colleagues that it should hurt to be really stupid. He laughed so hard that he broke his chair. Later when I had my college writing class read your comments they all laughed so hard and I could not regain control. The main problems with your writing is that you complain about inaccuracies in publications when you don't go to work and obtain accurate information. I enjoyed reading your the "information" on your site. I would appreciate it if you would send me any further publications, as they are humorous to read. In the future please leave defense of science to professionals, if you were actually serious.|
If one is going to play the arrogance card, it is best to check one's grammar before posting.
|Comment:||I found this
site after there was a slight debate at work earlier today.
Apparently, one of my co-workers had been spouting that
there is a vaste amount of evidence to prove that the Earth
is not nearly as old as scientists say it is. He had been
talking about this yesterday, and the people I were working
with today were talking about it.
Anyway, being a strong science buff, and evolutionist, I inquired about what exactly his "evidence" was, and they told me about the "shrinking sun" and "the receding moon" . I just laughed, and explained to them how things really were (and I was glad to see that you have my exact arguments on this site.)
Actually, I came away from the conversation more confused than anything else- most of what the creationists spout doesn't even make any sense-- so I just had to check the internet to see if these "arguments" were actually real things people actually believe.
|Comment:||Hi there again. Just a quick observation: the link to "The Ten-Percent Myth by Benjamin Radford" from the Nov '00 feedback is broken; I was wondering if you guys had another one, or if you could comment briefly on the myth. I'm curious because I had not heard that the supposition was a myth.|
asking about the myth that we only use ten percent of our
The particular reference you want is
It is now (Jan 2003) on-line at http://www.csicop.org/si/9903/ten-percent-myth.html (skeptical inquirer page), and http://www.snopes.com/science/stats/10percnt.htm (urban legends page).
There is another excellent article online at Science Master, on the brain in general, by Kenneth A. Wesson. Part five of the article address the myth. Note that the brain is used for a lot more than just "thinking".
This story is of considerable relevance to evolution, since there is a considerable evolutionary cost to having a large brain. If we did not make full use of it, this would be a real problem for evolution.
As an aside, it is true that many people do not use their thinking hardware to optimal effect. This is not about how much of the brain you use, but how well you use what you have. This also, is perhaps of some relevance to the creationism evolution debate. :-)
|Comment:||I just want to say THANK YOU for having such an awesome website.It is incredibly informing and refreshing to read. THANK YOU again! Brian Gortner|
couple quick questions for ya:
1) Who is responsible for posting the feedback? Is there a certain deadline that it has to be up, or is it just thrown up "when it's done?"
2) Someone responded once that individual organisms do not evolve, that entire populations evolve. Another person responded to a different question by saying that evolution often happens because of a "glitch" in the copy of a DNA (implied: in a single organism). Can you elaborate/differentiate?
3) I have heard about a self-awareness experiment where chimpanzees were shown a mirror and had a red dot painted on their fur... the idea being that if they looked for it on their own body, they would qualify as being aware of their own existence. If they are aware of their own existence, does this imply that they have a soul?
4) Is it possible to be equally bipedal and quadrepedal? Which organisms, if any, exhibit this feature?
5) Are "Scientific American" and "Discover" magazines held in high regard by the scientific community or are they considered water-down pop science soundbite peddlers?
Thank you for your time.
|Author of:||Evolution and Philosophy|
|Response:||1. When it's
done. The administrator sends out a request to finish up
2. All mutations occur in individuals at first. Evolution occurs as these mutations (now called "alleles" because they are alternative genes in the population, from the Greek prefix "allo-" meaning "other") spread through the population, changing the frequencies of these different genes.
3. For what value or meaning of "soul"? If by "soul" you mean they are self-aware, surely; but if by "soul" you mean "created personal essence", then consult your local theologian of choice.
4. All bipedal organisms bar one have tails that balance them; many of them can move around quadrupedally, but not well. [The exception is, of course, humans.] Some quadrupedal organisms can stand on their hind legs (e.g., dogs, cats, sloths). Generally, though if an individual has adapted as it grows to being one, it does the other very poorly.
5. Now you ask for a personal opinion. Here's mine. Scientific American is generally very good - it has articles written by specialists in the fields. Discover is popscience, and should be taken as such. Sometimes it will be good, and at other times, not so good. I prefer to read the "discussion" articles in the actual science journals - Science and Nature are both excellent if you can get access, and they explain things for the non-specialist but in a non-patronizing manner.
|Comment:||After reading all the links to Mr. Hovind’s information as you requested, it is obvious that you and your friends are certainly opportunists who used an open invitation from Mr. Hovind to engineer the existence of your sites. He repeatedly queried your board for the subject matter, while you quibbled about the rules of argument. If the empirical evidence exists, just tell us. I don’t have $250,000 to award you. But I’d just like to see you answer Mr. Hovind’s offer. Your handling of his offer seems nothing more than skirting the main issue; show me the evidence. Forget the money and the offer. Show me the evidence. The point is, in case you missed it, that evolution is being taught as a fact, shrowded here and there by a few occasions that elude to it being a theory. And also, it seems that regular rules of science don’t apply to the study of evolution. And, why is it that the published answers to Mr. Hovind’s questions contain so many “We don’t know”s? If this thing called evolution is important enough to teach to our children, to the exclusion of other religions, why not teach the empirical data along with it?|
|Response:||This is a
very strange feedback letter. First, you say that we are
"opportunists who used an open invitation from Mr. Hovind
to engineer the existence of our sites". This is
particularly odd in light of the fact that in this huge
archive of information, much less than 1% of it deals with
Hovind at all. The existence of the Talk.Origins Archive
has nothing whatsoever to do with Hovind, and it existed
long before anything in it addressed Hovind at all. So,
Next, you say that Hovind "repeatedly queried" us "for the subject matter". I have no idea what that means. To my knowledge, Kent Hovind has never queried the archive at all for any reason, though some of us have individually have had quite a bit of contact with him. Strike two.
Finally, you think we should take him up on his offer. We get at least one letter every month suggesting that we take up his challenge. But as I have pointed out repeatedly, Hovind's challenge cannot possibly be met - not by evolution, but by ANY factual claim. I have offered Mr. Hovind one million dollars time and time again to prove any empirical claim with the same criteria that he sets up for his challenge. He has not responded. Why? Because he knows, as I do, that he has rigged the challenge so that it is impossible to win. I'll go through the reasons why his challenge is a fraud one more time:
1. His definition of "evolution" is ridiculously broad. Evolution is the theory that all modern plants and animals are derived from a common ancestor through descent with modification. That's all it is. Yet Hovind has wrapped up virtually all of cosmology into evolution as well. His complaint is with atheism, not with evolution as properly defined.
2. Not satisfied merely with defining evolution so broadly as to make it impossible, he then demands that we show that evolution is "the only possible way the observed phenomena could have come into existence". Now I ask you, is it possible to prove ANYTHING if one must prove that it is the only POSSIBLE way it could have happened? By this reasoning, we could never convict anyone of a crime regardless of the evidence. There are always hypothetical alternatives. One could not prove that the planets are held in their orbits by gravity, for example, because it's POSSIBLE that they are instead pushed around by angels in a manner which happens to mimic the predictions of gravity.
3. He leaves the determination up to a handpicked committee that he controls.
Given these restrictions, I will - once again - offer Kent Hovind a million dollars to prove any empirical claim. My money is quite safe. And so is his. And he knows it.
Now, if you want evidence for evolution, the archive is full of discussions of innumerable lines of evidence that can only be explained by evolutionary theory. There is no explanation for the observed biostratigraphy of the fossil record, for example, other than evolution. The only alternative that creationists have come up with to explain that phenomena is flood geology, which fails miserably for about a hundred different reasons, and there are several files in the archive which explain this in great detail.
Strike three. You're out.
|Comment:||Do biologists have any theories as to how woodpeckers evolved?|
evolved by adapting to a particular way of life through
How the Woodpecker Avoids a Headache is a description
of the adaptations that woodpeckers have to their unique
way of life. Despite literally scores of creationist claims
that woodpecker adaptations could not have evolved, the
adaptations of woodpeckers are not unusually complex.
Another bird has done something similar in Hawai'i - a honeyeater has evolved
woodpecker-like features. More information about
woodpeckers, including a reference to Sibley's and
Alquist's phylogeny of birds, is found at
Beware of creationist misunderstandings about what the woodpecker's tongue actually does. It is attached to an elongated hyoid bone, as you can see in the first reference, and does not itself pass around the skull or through any nostrils. In fact, according to the Chaffee Zoological Gardens of Fresno site, it is a cartiliginous process of the bone, not the bone itself, that extends over the head. In John James Audubon's classic Birds of America he notes that the hyoid varies within the (American) species of the order Picidae. He says:
Lest you think this is an evolutionist conspiracy, note that John James Audubon wrote in the 1830s. There is variation in the woodpecker hyoid bone and structures, and intermediate forms are not so impossible as creationist sites claim.
Here is a site with more information on the evolution of woodpeckers.
[Note: Since John Wilkins wrote his reply this Archive has posted Anatomy and Evolution of the Woodpecker's Tongue on this very subject.]
|Comment:||I've looked at the creationist and evolutionist views on the origins of life and have came to the same conclusion on both theories: They both require faith in processes that have never been observed. Creationists try to explain the origin things with a god while evolutionists try to explain the origin of things without a god. Neither group has a shred of factual, observed evidence to explain where it all started. Therefore, in the area of origin, neither is scientific because science requires observation. So I guess it all depends on where you want to put your faith. Thanks for a very informative and usually hatred free website (neither side of this issue does itself any good by being hateful), Jason|
|Author of:||Evolution and Philosophy|
|Response:||While I must disagree with your claim that faith is required in the religious sense (see my FAQ linked above), I totally agree that hateful rhetoric is unnecessary, unhelpful and usually undirected. Whom should we hate? Honest folk trying to make sense of their world, however, misguided? No, of course not. We are I think justified in disliking those who deliberately and knowingly mislead others in the name of religion, and many creationist leaders do exactly that - there is no other sensible conclusion - but hating them? I reserve hate for those who deserve it; criminals who prey on the defenseless.|
|Comment:||Can it be
said that "(around 1000 AD) man thought the world was
Please help me verify this, from those who are experts out there. When did people start the thinking that the world was no longer flat. I'm doing a college paper.
Thanks in advance for all the help I can get on this research.
world was known to be round for about 1500 years before
If you want more information on this, I recommend the following books:
Kuhn, Thomas S. 1959. The Copernican revolution: planetary astronomy in the development of Western thought. New York: Vintage Books.
Dreyer, J. L. E. 1953. A history of astronomy from Thales to Kepler formerly titled History of the planetary systems from Thales to Kepler. New York: Dover. Original edition, 1906 Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press.
Whatever you do, do not believe the works by John William Draper or Andrew Dickson White from the 19th century; they are full of misrepresentations.
which has good information on this subject is
In particular, this book considers popular views of the uneducated masses as well as the intellectual elite. Flat Earth views were not a part of the mainstream, or the educated elite, or the peasant masses.
However, there is an implicit assumption in most discussion of this subject that we are speaking of Europe and specifically of regions under the influence of the church. This is because the notion of the flat earth is so often brought up in discussions of whether or not the church promulgated flat earth views.
In fact, the cosmology of the medieval church was solidly related to the philosophy of pagan Greeks, such as Aristotle. Their religious views were expressed in relation to the Hebrew bible, but their scientific views (in so far as science existed) tended to be from the other sources, just as it is today for the mainstream church. The church was also largely resonsible for spreading the knowledge of the ancient Greeks, and their cosmology prior to Galileo was basically that of Ptolemy: a spherical and stationary Earth with heavenly bodies in motion around it.
In other parts of the world flat earth views were still around. For example, the Edda, from Northern Scandanavia, presents a flat earth model. But as the church gained influence in Scandanavia, the knowledge of the Greeks came along as well and the old models lost influence.
|Comment:||I have known
of this website for a while now, but hadn't realized how
informative it was for evolutionary theory. I thank you for
making this site possible.
your objectiveness in linking true origins, although they
didn't return the favor. I appreciate it not because I
think the true origins is a good site (perish the thought),
because it shows maturity and respect for the opposition--I
Also, how has the site dealt with the the objections to some of the articles that our posted on this site but our classified as "rebutted" on true origins (e.g. 29 'evidences' for Macroevolution)?
Douglas Theobald's essay contains an "Other Links" box that links to Ashby Camp's "rebuttal" on the "trueorigins" site and also to Theobald's response to Camp.
|Comment:||Hello I am a Christian. Aka a follower of Christ.Allthough I beleive in absolute truth It is my opinion that one of the churches greatests strengths is arguing over pointless doctrines. What does it matter how God created the world? the real point of the book of genesis is why good created the world (because he loves us). Do you really think it is worth spending time & money on whether the world is flat or round when there is so much injustice, oppression & toil? Wouldn't it please God more to try & Make the world a better place before we start arguing & feuding & causing more division over things that really don't matter!|
I think that making sure that science is taught in science classes, and that non-science is not taught in those classes, counts as making the world a better place.
WEBSITE! HIGHLY INFORMATIVE!
I used caps, because I felt that to be the best way to describe my appreciation for this site.
more than a bit of error in the statement that all
Creationists utilize the Bible as the source of their
wellstream. There are many of us that see science as the
basis of Creationism, for it is the vastly incomplete study
of all that IS. I find it ironic that pretty much all
scientists utilizing the Evolutionary Method, move backward
toward some predictable guesstimate of a beginning. When
you begin at the neutral place place they ascribe as teh
beginning it is virtually impossible to to objectively move
forward to where we are now. I dare you guys to start with
a few minerals and a little random luck and come up with
life and genetics.
C. F. Pittenger
|Comment:||I am browsing some web sites about dinosaurs. The confusion is that some defined dinosaur as one of the several kinds of reptile and some said that dinosaur was not reptile. So what is dinosaur exactly? Does the word dinosaur represent a class, order or family ?|
older Linnean taxonomy, the order Dinosauria (dinosaurs) is
contained within the class Reptilia (reptiles), within the
phylum Vertebrata (vertebrates).
Many scientists classify organisms according to phylogenetic taxonomy, which organizes groups of organisms (called "clades") according to their shared characteristics. A good discussion of this can be found at the Dinosauria.com site, as well as a cladogram of the clade Dinosauria. You might also check out the Dinosauria page on the Tree of Life site.
According to phylogenetic taxonomy, the clade Reptilia contains all diapsids (animals with two holes in the temporal region of the skull). The diapsids are divided into Lepidosauromorpha (lizards, Sphenodon, and their extinct relatives) and Archosauromorpha (crocodiles, birds, dinosaurs, and their other extinct relatives). In fact, most paleontologists now agree that birds are actually classified as theropod dinosaurs.
name is Justin. I am inquiring about information I found on
this website and hope if you have a moment you can further
my understanding by answering my question. On the site Social Darwinism it
discusses how philosophy and science are basically in to
different realms when differing ones belief. I seem to
understand this though I was curious to know why science
can?t have some explanation for a ?reasonable? conclusion
on ones own personal philosophy or argument. For example, I
have found that homo-sapiens were not the first to have
religion and it was actually the Neanderthals. Also, with
evolution and anthropology can someone not conclude on the
basis that since man has been around so long without
sufficient or any religious beliefs that it was created in
the later years of human evolution?
Thank you for your time, Justin
|Author of:||Evolution and Philosophy|
|Response:||There is a
standard error of argument in philosophy known as the
"genetic fallacy". Briefly, it runs like this: the origins
of something tell you nothing about it being good or bad.
For example, if a mushroom is grown in manure, it does not
make the mushroom bad to eat or less tasty. It may be in
the law that there is a "fruit of the poison tree"
argument, but it doesn't follow in philosophical argument.
Suppose religion did evolve say around 10,000 years ago, and that before that we had no religion (although the Neandertals conceivably might have - the evidence is sparse). So what. If God was not apparent to humans until five minutes ago, and only then in a case of drug-induced hallucination, that does not make the revelation more or less meaningful (although one might think that it is likely not to be revelation).
Each religion has a "back story", as the scriptwriters say, to explain why their religion was unknown until a certain date (although some do this by denying there was ever a period that it was not known). As to the truth, credibility or plausibility of that, science cannot tell, and philosophy can only ask to be self-consistent.
|Comment:||I have a
very similar background, at least educationally to that of
Dr. Johnathan Wells. I had read his book "Icons of
Evolution: Science or Myth?" prior to reading the other
commentaries. I am forced to agree: I found this book an
absolute mytho-philosophical joke. His facts are open ended
and badly sckewed, his basis is no scientific, and flies in
the face of nearly every reasonable scientific fact. facts
hard won in the oppresive shadow of religious dogma. What
Wells seems to want, is to drag science and enlightement
backward 600 years. Our children have enough to contend
with in school without this confusing mumbo-jumbo from a
purported expert. With the onslaught of creationism,
Intellegent design, etc. the intellectual life of the youth
of today do not need this. We try to teach our youth that
science starts with a question and works toward an
answer--ever correcting itself. Wells has begun with an
answer--a dubious one at best, and works backward seeking
proofs. There are none in my opinion.
Dr. W. Sumner Davis Geophysisist
|Comment:||I am working on an assignment for a science class. The professor has asked what organization maintains your site. I am not sure that I see that. Can you answer for me?|
|Author of:||Five Major Misconceptions about Evolution|
|Response:||None. We are volunteers from a variety of backgrounds and geographical areas. We are quite disorganized.|
|Comment:||If you're are so sure of yourself about evolution, than why don't you take up a debate with Kent Hovind? He's been trying for years to have a debate with some so-called scientists to prove their theory, but you evolutionist are too afraid to have a live debate with him. Are you afraid that you're gonna be proven wrong?|
|Response:||It's astonishing how many questions we get like this every month. Does no one bother to actually READ the archive before asking a question about it? Hovind's arguments, his credentials and his fraudulent "challenge" have all been addressed many times over on this site. I myself was challenged to a debate by Hovind several years ago. We agreed on a date, a place and a format, then he changed his mind. I'll ask you this question: Why won't Hovind agree to a written debate to be posted on the web where the whole world can see it? The answer, of course, is that a written debate requires references and citations that can be checked. And that means he'll be caught distorting the evidence as he does time and time again in his seminars. In a live debate, the audience doesn't have access to any of the material he cites. In a written debate, they would. And that's why he refuses to do them.|
|Comment:||When I first
stumbled on this site I thought it was a joke. After
browsing a while though I realized that you seriously
believe the garbage displayed here. Don't you realize that
the entire scientific community is laughing at you. Stop
spreading your psuedoscience. Read, study, and make another
page when you know something about creation.
Visit Dr. Kent Hovind's Page to learn about creation.
You can also visit Answers in Genesis
I will be praying for you.
|Response:||The sheer irony of being accused of "pseudoscience" by someone referring us to Kent Hovind's page is almost overwhelming. If the entire scientific community is laughing at us, then why is evolution accepted by virtually every scientist in every relevant field of science? You could name every single geologist, biologist, anthropologist, paleontologist and geneticist in the entire world who rejects evolution and be done in less than a minute. Feel free to write back if you have a specific criticism to offer.|
|Comment:||This is a wonderful and informative website! Keep up the good work! If you are looking for more article ideas, I think you might want to write an article refuting the oft-repeated creationist claim that the woodpecker's tongue could not have evolved. I had a hard time finding factual anatomical information on the web to rebut those claims.|
|Author of:||Evolution and Philosophy|
|Response:||Serendipity. See above...|
|Comment:||Interesting articles, but as a creationist, I still have a problem with many of the methods used. Firstly, radio-active dating assumes an age for a certain rate of decay. Until a specimen has been examined in a lab for a billion years, we don't truly know its rate of decay. We can assume a half-life of a billion years, but why not a half-life of a thousand years? Where did the bench marks come from? Don't say it is the fossil found in the rock because that is like dating a king by dating the age of the rock that he used to build his castle. The sand on a beach may be old, but not the shell found on it. Assumptions of age can only be made on something of a known age, where recorded history can closely date them. Without this process of using recorded history, would evolutionsts date the pyramids of Egypt at 3 billion years? There rock is that old you would say! So show me how you can know what happens to a chemical or mineral in a million years and then I can see where your assumptions come from. Secondly, since matter on earth is never destroyed or created, then all atoms should be a similar age. The volcanic dust that you date was dust or other minerals before the volcano happened, so why would its age change? Life grows and dies and decays but minerals don't. They may change or combine with others but they are still there and were before. Where did this "young rock" come from, and where did the old rock come from? Did meteors deposit enough new rock to form a crust over the entire earth? I haven't found these answers on your sight, so if you could try and direct me to where to find them, I'd appreciate it.|
|Author of:||Isochron Dating|
are measured in the lab, not merely "assumed." For example,
in 1955, Kovarik and Adams reported an experimental
determination of the U238
half-life, of 4.507 billion years. Their paper describes
one experimental setup:
The half-life can be computed directly from the measured rate of disintegration. It doesn't actually require waiting around for half of the atoms to decay, as some might think. The uncertainty in the measurement is related to the number of decays counted, so scientists compensate for slow-decaying isotopes by measuring the decays among a large number of atoms. (Even one milligram of U238 contains over 2,000,000,000,000,000,000 atoms.)
The modern value used by geologists for the U238 half-life, based on more recent and more accurate experiments, is 4.47 billion years. That's less than 1% different from the value reported in 1955. If you wish to argue for a U238 half-life in the thousand-year range, you'd have to explain why measurements of that half-life by many different researchers were all in agreement on a value that's off by a factor of a million.
Isotopic dating methods don't tell us the age of atoms themselves. Rather, the methods depend on predictable chemical behavior of radioactive atoms, in order to compute the elapsed time since certain significant events in the history of things that are made of such atoms. For example, an isotopic dating method might be used to compute the time since a given mineral cooled enough that a certain radioactive isotope's atoms could no longer move into it or out of it easily.
Since cutting a stone doesn't reset the isotopic clock, no geologist would expect to obtain the age of the pyramids from dating the stone blocks. Creationists often use this analogy ("an isotopic age of a tombstone won't tell you the year of burial"), but geologists are aware of the sorts of events that reset isotopic clocks, and the sorts of events that do not. There is little room to suggest (as that line of argumentation does) that there is universal confusion among geologists on the interpretation of isotopic data.
|Comment:||The previously known Archaeopteryx is no stranger to humans, and in fact was spoken of by biblical writers and known as the Cockatrice. It was, of course, exaggerated about by the unknowledgeable ancient writers, and given a larger-than-life reputation like leviathans and other creatures, having at least part of their history based on true encounters. Remember, when ancient people meet a giant squid out at sea, when they make it to shore safely, they exaggerate their stories to emphasize their fear and amazement. Also there were no cameras or scientific equipment to keep things real, measured, or permanent. Therefore every time a story is repeated, it loses some of the original detail. When something is described to someone else, especially in the absence of a photo, the reciever of the story builds a picture in his mind based on his experiences, then relays that story later based on the picture in his mind and not on the story he heard. _____|
|Author of:||Isochron Dating|
cockatrice is a creature from medieval mythology, not from
the Bible itself. The writers of the King James Version
chose "cockatrice" as a translation of a Hebrew word that
refers to a type of poisonous snake, though there is still
some debate over exactly which type of snake is meant. The Bible
Dictionary : Cockatrice says:
The same word is translated "cobra," "asp," "adder," or "viper," in more modern Bible translations. Since none of the verses describes the creature's appearance, an identification as Archaeopteryx seems unjustified.
|Comment:||Don't you get it at all??? How on earth could ANYTHING have come by chance? Think about this: If the sun was even one inch closer to the earth we would all fry. If it was even one inch farther away from the earth we would all freeze to death. This is only one example if I told you more I'd be writing a book. Everything is so perfectly DESIGNED that there has to be a Creater for it all. Open your eyes look around. If you REALLY LOOK you will see that GOD CREATED EVERYTHING! IN HIS IMAGE! Go read a Bible. I will pray for all of you. May God open your hearts and minds.|
|Response:||Your assertion that if the earth were one inch closer to the sun we would fry and one inch closer we would freeze, is simply nonsense. The earth in fact has an elliptical orbit around the sun, so the distance to the sun changes constantly.|
searched in vain for a place to donate some money to help
your site stay online. While I realize this is a labor of
love and deemed something that needs to be done to combat
close-mindedness, surely the cost can be a burden to those
Has it been discussed whether contributions would be accepted for I'd certainly like to donate to help (I'm already a member of the NCSE and the Westar Institute)?
Regards, Mark Elia