This is a page directed toward the creationist.
You have contacted me and offered some argument against the theory of evolution, or in support of your creationist beliefs. I have debated over a hundred people who wished to express their beliefs. So constant were these intrusions that I found myself dealing with long letters from creationists nearly every day. In my effort to be thorough, I consistently spent 3-4 hours per day dealing with these letters. I no longer choose to engage in these debates, due to the amount of time it requires. I would rather spend my precious time with my family, and in more constructive pursuits.
In dealing with anti-evolutionists, I found myself confronted with the same questions over and over again. It sounds like a broken record. I wound up re-using some of my same replies. I decided, in order to save time, to compile the most common questions and statements, and my replies to them. These are REAL questions and statements that were submitted to me. In doing the compiling, I amassed over 200 pages of text. As you can imagine, this is a work in progress, and will take some time to complete. Check back often.
last update: 2.15.01
For lists of specific, technical rebuttals to creationist arguments, try these resources:
I do not, for the most part, address specific scientific arguments in this document. That has already been done. I am rebutting nonscientific objections and misconceptions that people hold. These are non-technical, plain English answers, presented in a conversational style.
- Frequently Encountered Criticisms in the Creation/Evolution Debate
- Frequently Asked Questions (Talk.Origins)
- The General Anti-Creation FAQ (T.O.)
- Five Major Misconceptions Concerning Evolution (T.O.)
- How Good are Those Young Earth Arguments?
- The Talk Origins Search Engine (type in a word related to your argument)
I recommend that you be at least familiar with the basic concepts of evolutionary biology, whether or not you accept it. Please read my paper "Evolution for Beginners".
Index to Questions Why won't evolutionists enter into a debate with creationists? Evolution is a very carefully protected state religion in this humanist world today. Why should creation not be taught if evolution is taught? Both should be be taught side by side so that the students can decide. Evolution is just a religion. From just the evidence I see around me, I see the work of intelligence, not chance. But, evolution is JUST a theory! You say creationists have no evidence for creation, and we say you have no evidence for evolution. So we're even. The Flood Story has been passed down through all cultures, and appears in all mythologies in every part of the world. Nearly 50% of Americans believe the biblical account. The complexity of life requires a designer. The human eye could never have gotten here by chance. I don't feel your evidence supports your theory, you don't think my evidence supports mine. Scientific journals are put together mainly by evolutionists, and a paper put together by a creationist might not even get considered. Hundreds of quotes have been taken from scientific journals (from atheists and theistic evolutionists) that go against evolution. Where did everything around us come from? Darwinism gave slavery a huge excuse. Darwin's views on races gave Hitler an excuse to kill the Jews. Science Should be able to incorporate supernatural explanations. Evolutionists will not accept any evidence that contradicts their theory. Which version of evolution do you believe? Scientists have already decided that evolution is true to the exclusion of all else, and this is not science. How do you know what happened? Were you there? There is a "missing link" between our ape-like ancestors and modern man. It is just too improbable that evolution could produce a world so complex, with humans and other organisms so finely tuned and perfect. Evolution says we got here just by pure chance, and I just can't believe that! There are scientific alternatives to Evolution that deserve equal classroom time. Radiometric Dating is unreliable and cannot establish the age of the Earth. The Concept of Evolution is hostile to religion. Why haven't you answered the Questions put to evolutionists by creationists? . . . . . . . . . . .
1. Why won't you enter into a debate with a creationist?
I have tried three times to initiate a debate with Mr. Kent Hovind. If you notice on the bottom of this page (where I answer the Questions of Kent Hovind) I issue a challenge for a written, online debate. I have emailed him this challenge several times, and posted his reply. Here are a few highlights:
On 7/23/99, Mr. Hovind refused to accept my challenge, saying: "I have never refused a live debate where it will do the audience some good but I don't have time or interest in a slow, time consuming e-mail debate where the results are never known. As for "stage tricks" I normally let the evolutionist chose the location, the moderator and the rules. The only thing I insist on is equal time for each side. If you want a point by point debate where the audience votes on who wins each point I am ready and anxious for that."
To this I replied: "What WOULD do the audience good are references for the material given, with web links, charts, diagrams, and explanations given in depth. Scientific explanations are very detailed and complex. They are not suitable for a live debate format. Your questions can't be properly answered in 1, 3, or even 5 minutes-- not when the audience lacks the scientific education to understand them. Politics and religion are suited for live debates, but not science. How can the audience be served by keeping them from the underlying facts and basic scientific methodology? Why would you want to shield them from this?
As for "stage tricks", I have seen you ask a question on a certain topic, then right at the end you make offhand remarks on a different topic. Of course, the evolutionist can't address them both. It comes across like an unanswered problem. Clever trick... And you also claimed you would address only topics covered in your book, and then didn't stick to your word, and diverged onto other topics. (You did that in Peoria).
I am ready and anxious for a web-based debate. A once-and-for-all debate. Something that everyone in the world could read. A debate where they can click on the links and go to the diagrams and references. Something that would endure. A debate where none of your points, however small, would go unanswered. A debate that would not depend upon inflection, appearance, and stage presence. Your so-called "points" that you "win" are won on emotional appeal. Have you noticed that? The web is the only neutral ground.
If you, as you say, spend so much time traveling around engaged in such debates, I would think you would welcome such an opportunity to conduct what could potentially be your most important, widely-read and thorough debate ever, all from the comfort of your desk. Think of the detail you could go into. Wouldn't that be of the most benefit to the audience?
I don't accept your explanation that it would be time consuming. Your traveling debates sound far more time consuming. Much of your information must already exist in text form on your website or elsewhere, for easy cut-and-paste responding. As for it being slow, I concede that. Haven't you spent the last two years in debates? You might have spent that time in one single, in depth debate. Is the issue so trivial? Doesn't it deserve the time it takes for a PROPER scientific debate?
I renew my request, even more strenuously, for a web-based debate. In an oral debate, it is not possible to properly answer your questions nor scrutinize your responses. If you claim it is too much of an inconvenience, I can only conclude that you do not hold the welfare of your audience in high regard."
But, alas, Mr. Hovind refused again to engage me in a written debate.
It is clear that there is one thing he's big on... swaying public opinion and then gauging the results. He believes that scientific truths are established by popular vote. It's quite clear that he is only interested in undermining the public conception of science, and that he is not interested in challenging mainstream science. Instead he circumvents the proper channels, and is attempting some kind of grass-roots indoctrination. But it is simply misinformation, bad science and faulty logic. I have seen him debate live and in person. He dodged all the questions and gave slick, but empty, comical comebacks. His supporters (who came in buses to see him), thought he was great. But there was no science in his comments. He was like a polished used car salesman.
An oral, public debate would not thorough or detailed enough; it would hinge more on presentation than substance. Mr. Hovind's objections to a written debate are unconvincing. I have also have a standing offer to debate Mr. Walter Brown of the Center for Scientific Creationism. He has yet to reply.
Here are links to debates with creationists.
2. Evolution is a very carefully protected state religion in this humanist world today.
Then why can't we get it taught consistently in public schools? Why is it still avoided? Why to textbook publishers avoid the subject? Why do very few people, especially those kids in school, understand it? If you disagree with me, then tell me-- can you accurately describe how evolution works? Can you explain punctuated equilibria? I know you don't accept it, but I'd like to hear your version of it.
When I went to high school (class of 83), I received ONE CLASS on evolution. Just one hour. Beyond that, it was not mentioned. And they even brought in a creationist to rebut it. And when the class was happening, another science teacher came in to give "the other side". He mentioned the bogus Second Law of Thermodynamics argument. I raised my hand and said, "But doesn't the Second Law apply to closed systems that receive no external energy? Doesn't the Second Law allow the transference of energy from one part of a system to another, so that even in a closed system, part of in can increase in order, while the other part decreases in order?" He stuttered and sidestepped the question. My classmates were a little surprised, I can tell you. And this was in St. Louis! I had to teach myself about it by reading books.
In speaking to high school students these days, I can verify that they also are not receiving any education regarding evolution. This would explain why very few people in our society, adults included, properly understands evolution, and science in general.
3. Why should creation not be taught if evolution is taught? Both should be be taught side by side so that the students can decide which one makes more sense. If creation can't be taught, then evolution shouldn't either. That seems fair to me.
Let's break this part up. First, WHICH creationism should be taught? Most Catholics believe that God used evolution to bring about life. Native Americans have their own creationism, Hindus have theirs, there are other religions out there... What makes the Christian version of creation 'the one' to be taught? Because it is more popular? Those others believe in their creation accounts just as strongly as you believe in yours. And yours is not more strongly supported than theirs. How does the *government* decide which creationism gets taught? And yes, what about all the people who have chosen not to believe in a god? At least 10% of the U.S. population are atheists. It's probably closer to 15 or 20%. Let's say around 30 million atheists in this country alone. Don't we have the right to have our children raised in a religiously-neutral public school system?
Exactly which "Creation" should be included in your public school scheme? Forgive my ignorance, but is there a law out there that says Protestant Christianity is the official American religion? Why not teach children that the Catholic Christian god created humanity through Directed Evolution, as the Catholic Church maintains?
There are plenty of Native Americans out there that may not want their children to be told some Middle Eastern Mountain God created the earth, when everyone knows that Raven tricked turtle into diving beneath the World Ocean, creating the continents grain by grain. Likewise, I know Hindus who would be very unhappy if their children came home claiming that school taught them it was Jehovah, not Indra, that was responsible for the first humans. How would you like it if your son or daughter was taught in school that the Shinto gods, not the Christian Gods, were real? Would you want your kids to go to a school like that?
Each of the religions I mentions is a real, living religion, with real, living people that believe in it. Many of them are Americans, who pay taxes and love their country just as much as you or me. When a kid learns evolution in school, he or she does not learn that there is no god(s). They learn that science believes evolution is the process that created all the living creatures on Earth, just like they learn that gravity makes the Earth orbit the Sun. If your religion disagrees with science, great. Your church/temple/etc. can teach your kids what parts of science don't agree with your relgion. Schools should never mention religion, either to justify it or to denounce it.
So long as America is a democracy, and not everyone in it follows the exact same relgion, then how can we teach the beliefs of one relgion in school? We would have to teach the beliefs of all relgions, and teach them equally. Do you really want your child being taught that the Bible is equal to the Vedas? Do you want a teacher to say the words "Some people believe in Jesus, but Buddha is just as real, and did just as many miracles, and came 500 years earlier." That's what we'd have to do, teach your kids that all other gods are equal to yours, and I don't think that you would want it that way. It is not the government's job to teach religion.
Second, I have no problem with creationism being taught in a comparative religion class. That's where it belongs. But how can creationism be defined as science? For example, what is the theory of creationism? How did the Designer bring about creation? What were the methods he used? How do we know? What is the evidence for any of it? What if creationism could not rely AT ALL on the bible... where would it get any of it's ideas? Can you see why creationism can't be taught in public school science class? What would they teach? Why, Genesis Chapter One, of course!
If creationists have any real scientific ideas, they need to submit them to mainstream peer-reviewed scientific journals, and get their stuff accepted in the traditional manner. But they don't even try to do this. They circumvent the process, and try to bring their material directly to the public, who aren't in a position to judge it's validity. Creationists have attempted to undermine evolutionary science, but after 30 years of trying, they have failed at every attempt. I have never seen a valid creationist argument.
The most effective analogy I have seen in this case is a mathematical one. If one side of the argument says 2+2=4, and the other side says 2+2=6, should we teach both versions in school? Should we compromise and teach that 2+2=5? One side is right, and one is not. Creationism is in error, and cannot be established by any scientific inquiry.
Since some Christians do not believe that germs cause disease, but the other way around, should medical schools teach this "alternative" approach, and claim that the Germ Theory of Disease is "JUST" a theory, just to keep from offending these Christians?
4. Evolution is just a religion.
How so? It has no deity. No worship. No priests. No sabbath. No commandments. No inerrant doctrine-- it is constantly undergoing revision. It has no reliance on the supernatural or miracles. It has no penalties for unbelief. Belief in evolution carries no promises of reward. It is acceptable for any deity, including Jehovah, to be inserted in the forefront, taking credit for the progression of evolution. How, then, is evolution a religion? Are other scientific theories, such as the theory of relativity, also a religion? How does one distinguish and determine this?
This is merely a ploy by creationists to get evolution removed from public schools on the grounds that it is a religion, and not science. Many people of of all different faiths accept evolution. It is NOT an atheistic conspiracy. Many of the scientists working on evolution are Christians. Of Americans who accept evolution, 80% of them are Christians.
5. From just the evidence I see around me, I see the work of intelligence, not chance.
Such as? You call it evidence, but it is merely an opinion, an inference, of intelligent design based on what you see as complexity. But can you prove it? It sounds to me like you are saying "The world is so complex that I can't imagine how it could have evolved, so it there's no way it could have, and so must have been created." But that is not science... that's an opinion. It is based A PRIORI on your religious beliefs.
6. But, evolution is JUST a theory!
I have encountered this erroneous and childish statement so many times that I have written my response in a separate, but brief, article. Please read it HERE.
7. You say us creationists have no scientific evidence for a young earth and creation, and we creationists say you evolutionists have no scientific evidence for an old earth and evolution. So we're even.
A) The fossil record supports evolution, not creation. How does creationism explain the sequence of fossils that are found in the order that evolution predicts they should be? Increasing in diversity and complexity... Why aren't fossils found in random order, such as a flood would produce? Why are fossil plants found to be more primitive when you dig deeper in the fossil record, and more similar to modern plants as you get nearer to the surface? How come the fossil record reveals that 99 percent of all the species that have ever lived are extinct? How does creationism explain extinctions, such as dinosaur fossils found in abundance below a certain line, then none are found at all above it? Only evolution can explain these things.
The Flood of Noah cannot explain any of these things. The Flood never happened. That has been established beyond a reasonable doubt. Want to know how? Here are just a few points:
1. We would expect to observe a uniform, worldwide blanket of randomly sorted boulders, cobbles, sand, and silt overlain by a layer of clay. This blanket would overlie any pre-existing geologic record. This worldwide blanket does not exist.
2. We would expect to see no sorting in regard to sediment type and size. The maelstrom of a flood would only permit "dumping" of transported sediment in accord with Stokes Law.
4. There would be no segregation of fossils. If all organisms lived at the same time, we would expect to see trilobites, brachiopods, ammonites, dinosaurs, and mammals (including humans) all randomly mixed together in the worldwide blanket described in point #1. (This is not what is observed.) The fossil record exhibits an order predicted by the theory of evolution, from simple forms to more complex forms, and from creatures very unlike modern species to those more closely resembling modern species. Never has there been found any fossils that have been laid down "out of order".
In addition, there would be no extinction events found in the fossil record. There are at least five major extinction events, most notably the one that killed off the dinosaurs (and 90% of all other life) 65 million years ago. There is no way to explain these geological features with a global flood.
6. Igneous rocks, if they existed at all in flood sediments, would all be in the form of pillow lava, which are extruded underwater. There could be no segregation of igneous rock types. Basalt would be the only igneous rock type because all activity would have been extrusive. There would be a complete absence of volcanic layers within the strata. In reality, there are very clearly defined volcanic layers, from which radiometric dates are obtained.
9. No varves, ice cores, tree ring ensembles, coral cores, or other examples of periodically accumulated accretion should be found to extend back beyond the time of the Flood. They do. Ice cores, drilled from stable ice plains, show 40,000 years of annual layers. Varves, which are mineral deposits, show millions of years of annual layers.
10. Because of the catastrophic force of the marine environment and the lack of exposure of the land during the flood, we would expect to find no examples at all in the geologic record of the following delicate fossils or evidence for land deposition :
All these fragile features are found deep in the geological record. A catastrophic flood would have destroyed them.
- fossilized dinosaur nests
- ant nests
- termite nests
- bird nests (of a relative of the flamingo in the Green River Formation in Wyoming)
- fragile wasp nests
- complex rodent burrows
- animal dung left in its original position of deposition as it hardened on dry, solid ground
- trackways of land animals
- raindrop imprints
- fossilized mudcracks
- Fragile things preserved as fossils, such as bird feathers (Confuciusornis)
- ferns (adjacent to coal beds)
- insects (Oligocene lake beds near Florrisant, CO),
15. There would be genetic evidence of a recent population bottleneck in all extant species. There is no such genetic bottleneck, dating from 6-10 thousand years ago.
19. There would just be one age from the top to the bottom of the geological column. In other words, whether you pick a rock from the top of the Grand Canyon or the very bottom, they both should be 10,000 years old. There would be no reason to find agreement between the layered rocks and their ages, which were determined both stratigraphically and radiometrically. There are very real increases in age as one digs deeper down in the column.
20. We should expect that all mountain ranges (being all formed during or immediately after the Flood) should show similar, near equal amounts of erosion. They don't.
24. In regard to fossils, there are very important predictions if the global flood really occurred:
A) None of the marine fossils would be encrusted by other fossils, or show any sign of boring by organisms after death.
B) None of the vertebrate fossils should show signs of scavenging or prolonged weathering by exposure on the ground.
In other words, if the Flood happened, fossil vertebrates should consist only of freshly broken bone exhibiting no sign of scavenging or of having lain on the ground or sea bottom for a long period of time.
25. Zoogeography should show a dispersal pattern demonstrating that the point of origin of all species is in the Middle East (the disembarking point for Noah's ark). It doesn't.
28. Fossilized plants should be represented equally throughout all the geological layers, with no sorting from 'primitive' to 'modern'. This is not the case.
The full article is here.
No creationist has been able to answer it. NOT ONE. Not Hovind, Morris, Gish, no one. Why don't you email them and ask why they are avoiding it?
Think about it. What evidence can you give me, right now off the top of your head, that proves creation? How was it done? What was everything created from? Have Adam's fossilized bones been found?
B) Other, concrete evidence for evolution include transitional fossils, of which there are many.
The Transitional Fossils FAQ
Hominid Fossil Skulls
Recent Fossil Finds that Close "Gaps"
C) Genetic Evidence. Chimpanzees are thought to be humanity's closest living relative. They share more of our DNA than any other animal-- 98.7%. Gorillas have slightly less similarity, and monkeys have slight less than that, more distant mammals have even less, reptiles have even less, and so on... just like evolution predicts. But there's more than that. Chimpanzees also have our genetic mistakes, called psuedogenes.
Why would an intelligent designer not only copy human DNA into chimps, but the errors as well? In 1941, the author of one chemistry textbook sued another, charging that portions of his textbook had been plagiarized (Colonial Book Co, Inc. v. Amsco School Publications, Inc., New York, 1941). In 1946 the publisher of a trade directory for the construction industry made similar charges against a competing publisher (SubContractors Register, Inc. v McGovern's Contractors Manual, Inc. New York, 1946). In both cases, mere similarity between the contents of the alleged copies and the originals was not considered compelling evidence of copying. After all, both chemistry textbooks were describing the same body of chemical knowledge (the books were designed to "function similarly") and both directories listed members of the same industry, so a good deal of resemblance would be expected even if no copying had occurred. But in both cases, errors present in the "originals" appeared in the alleged copies. The courts judged that it was inconceivable that the same errors could have been made independently by each plaintiff and defendant, and ruled in both cases that copying had occurred. The principle that duplicated errors imply copying is now well established in copyright law. (In recognition of this fact, directory publishers routinely include false entries in their directories to trap potential plagiarizers.)
Can "errors" in modern species be used as evidence of "copying" from ancient ancestors? In fact, the answer to this question appears to be "yes," since recent molecular genetics investigations have uncovered some examples of the same "errors" present in the genetic material of humans and apes. Click HERE for the full story.
Evolution can explain this. Can creationism? Only a deceitful or incompetent creator would do such a thing. Think about it.
D) Evolution is observed both in the laboratory and in the real world, all the time.
(Examples to follow.)
Observed Instances of Speciation
More Instances of Observed Speciation
8. The Flood Story has been passed down through all cultures, and appears in all mythologies in every part of the world.
Many cultures have no flood mythology at all. It is nearly inconceivable that, if the Flood of Noah happened, that a people could forget about that event. Other flood myths are nothing like that of Noah. In some, the floods were distinctly local. In others, only one human couple survived. In other flood mythologies, only the culture in question survived. And in others, many cultures survived. Many early cultures have flood mythologies because most early cultures lived near rivers, in fertile flood plains, where floods are common. It is thought that the Great Flood of Noah was inspired by the Black Sea flood, around 5,000 years ago.
Cherokee (Great Lakes area; eastern Tennessee):
A dog stood at the river bank and howled piteously. Rebuked by his master, the dog said a flood was coming, and he must build a boat. Furthermore, the dog said, he must throw him, the dog, into the water. For a sign that he spoke the truth, the dog showed the back of his neck, which was raw and bare with flesh and bone showing. The man followed directions, and he and his family survived; from them, the present population is descended. [Gaster, pp. 116-117]
Unktehi, a water monster, fought the people and caused a great flood. The people retreated to a hill, but the water swept over them, killing them all. The blood gelled and turned to pipestone. Unktehi was also turned to stone; her bones are in the Badlands now. A giant eagle, Wanblee Galeshka, swept down, saved one girl from the flood, and made her his wife. [Erdoes & Ortiz, pp. 93-95]
In another version, the thunderbirds fought and defeated Unktehi and her children before the waters washed over the highest mountain. [Erdoes & Ortiz, pp. 220-221]
For the most complete account of flood mythologies on the web, please click here.
9. Nearly 50% of Americans believe the biblical account.
And recent polls show also that about 50% of Americans don't know that the sun is a star, and that the earth revolves around it! Is this a good thing? Should we then teach that in science class? Should such ignorance be condoned and incorporated into our educational institutions? All the more reason to teach evolution in schools!
500 years ago, 99% of humanity believed the earth was flat. Were they right? Popular opinion means nothing.
10. The complexity of life requires a designer. The human eye could never have gotten here by chance.
The complexity of life does not require a designer. It requires an explanation.
The human eye is one of the least impressive eyes in the animal kingdom. If we were designed by a Designer, he gave many other animals much better eyes than he gave us. Some can see ultraviolet light, some can see in near darkness. And predators have especially good vision... it seems to me that predators who rely on good vision have evolved much better eyesight than us humans... just look at a peregrine falcon, for example. It has eyes larger than human eyes, and can spot prey, usually mice, from 1000 feet in the air. If we were the Designer's intended ultimate creation, why didn't we get the best eyes on the planet?
As for the evolution of the eye, consider this. Just think about it. Imagine a species of flatworm that evolves, purely by chance, over millions of years, light sensitive cells on the top of it's head. Would there be an advantage in having light sensitive cells? Sure. Now the selective pressure begins. Those with better abilities to utilize this trait can be more successful at making a living, and therefore can leave more offspring. Any advantage to this light sensitive cell would even more beneficial to the species, and therefore is passed on. Would it be advantageous to be able to detect movement? Sure, you could avoid being killed by a predator. Would it be advantageous for a predator to be able to detect the movement of it's prey? Of course. So a sort of "arms race" began, and there was extreme selective pressures driving the evolution of the eye.
The fact is that the first eye was not a complex, human eye... not even a vertebrate eye. The eye evolved fully functional before life ever left the water. This has nothing to do with the "human" eye. Why do we have two eyes? Because our hominid ancestors had 2 eyes, and because the primitive mammal that they evolved from had 2 eyes, and their reptilian ancestors had 2 eyes, and their amphibian ancestors had 2 eyes, and the fish species from which they evolved had 2 eyes.
Where would a light sensitive cell come from? This isn't a question about structures built out of cells. If a cell can easily be light sensitive, then of course a multicellular creature can be light sensitive.
A multicellular creature can easily evolve so that only some of its cells perform a particular function. It just requires a "switch", a chemical which is present in only a part of an embryo's body. Some function (such as light sensitivity) may become dependent on the switch. This dependency is to the creature's advantage, because it is wasteful if too many cells are turning food into light-sensitive chemicals.
So, the really basic question is about a single cell. We know why it would find vision useful. We know what chemicals are needed by eye spots in creatures alive today. Are they strange and hard to come by? The answer is, no. It is thought that eye spots have been around for half a billion to a billion years. (The evidence from conserved homeobox genes says that the common ancestor of mammals and insects had a light detector.) But, photosynthesis is far older. We know this because of algae fossils, and from the idea that plants and bacteria would have inherited photosynthesis from a common ancestor. And besides, early life would have run out of organic molecules if it didn't learn to make its own with photosynthesis.
So, light sensitive chemistry was around. We can also assume that something like Vitamin A was around, since it is found in so many creatures. And, the light sensitive chemical humans use for "night vision" (rhodopsin) is just a variation on Vitamin A. There is nothing about this chemical that makes it hard for cells to make, and it resembles chemicals that have other uses. For example, one slight variation of rhodopsin is melanopsin, which is used by chameleons in their light-sensitive pigment cells.
Although black-and-white vision would have come first, the chemistry of color vision isn't very complicated either. http://talkorigins.org/faqs/vision.html
There are lots of creatures alive today who have poor vision. They apparently find their vision useful. Blind cave fish show us that a creature which doesn't need its eyes, may lose them. So, a creature which has poor vision is using it.
The worst possible vision just tells a creature if it's light or dark. That might sound pretty useless, but lots of modern creatures (like scallops and Chlamydomonas) have that kind of vision. For example, there are sea dwellers who come to the surface at night. Or, a bottom-dweller could use sudden darkness as a warning that a shadow had been cast across it. It might indicate a good moment to retreat deeper into one's burrow. For slightly better vision, you don't look in all directions. You point your eye. A sea creature which wanted to know which-way-to-the-surface would benefit from that, even with very poor pointing. Planaria learn the direction to the light, so that they can retreat into the deepest shadows. With better pointing, you can tell which direction to the predator (or prey). That's useful if you need to know which escape route to use. Better pointing also makes it easier to not bump into things.
In short, information is useful to mobile creatures, and the more sophisticated the lifestyle, the more the players need to know. Bees need to see flowers, which means they need to see color. Predators need to know grabbing distances, so they get depth perception by having two or more eyes. Some sea creatures put their eyes out on long stalks: chameleons put them on turrets: grasshoppers and spiders put them all over the place.
Hawks and owls actually have better eyesight than humans. (They also see with four primary colors, rather than the three that humans use.) So, creatures that are alive today display a wide range of visual skills. All of them seem to benefit. Apparently "half an eye" is a wonderful thing.
To sum up---
Every step of the evolution of the eye exists in some organism today, which shows that each step is viable. From a light sensitive cell in a flatworm, to a pinhole eye, to a primitive lens, to a camera eye. Each stage still exists in some species, and the more primitive the eye is, the more primitive is the species.
Partial vision is better than less vision at all stages of that process. Partially sighted people are able to avoid large objects and find light sources. So the argument that "What good is half an eye?" is a bogus argument. Ask someone with 50% vision if they want to give that up and be 100% blind...
Any light sensitive spot already has nerve connections, so the subsequent changes merely require changes in the wiring of those nerves. Since nerves "find" their neighbors during growth, there is no difficulty here. Biologists have calculated that eyes have evolved independently at least 40 times in the history of life.
11. We could go on and on, that's the way it'll be for years to come, I don't feel your evidence supports your theory, you don't think my evidence supports mine.
What theory?? There isn't a creation theory. A scientific theory is an explanation of a natural phenomena; an explanation that makes predictions, is testable, and falsifiable. So, what is the theory of creation?
12. Scientific journals are put together mainly by evolutionists, and a paper put together by a creationist might not even get considered.
Why would you think so? Because the journal editors are biased? Or could it be because creationism is just bad science? How many creationists actually have scientific degrees? Does Kent Hovind? No. Does Henry Morris (the founder of creationism)? No.
13. Hundreds of quotes have been taken from scientific journals (from atheists and theistic evolutionists) that go against evolution and have helped back up a creationist viewpoint.
And every such quote that I have ever seen has been taken out of context, or an outright lie. I'm not kidding, I uncovered some myself:
Supernova remants: A case of Fabrication
14. Where did everything around us come from?
You might start with this short page I wrote on cosmology. It's a tough subject, but my intention was to write something that the average person could understand. You have to realize that to approach that subject realistically, you have to understand not only basic physics, but the Theories of General and Special Relativity, and Quantum Theory. This alone takes a decade of higher mathematics.
15. Darwinism gave slavery a huge excuse. Though people would mistakenly site biblical passages, Darwin's views on races did more. It gave Hitler an excuse to kill the Jews.
Wow, what kind of history have you been reading? Hitler was a fanatical Christian. Hitler wrote in his autobiography Mein Kampf: "I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord."
"We were convinced that the people needs and requires this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out. "
-Adolf Hitler, in a speech in Berlin on 24 Oct. 1933
Hitler's Christianity (quotes from his books and speeches)
Blaming Darwin for slavery is unbelievable. Think about it. Slavery was an American institution LONG before Charles Darwin was born. He published his Origin of Species near the END of slavery, in the 1850's. How many slave owners read Darwin's books, do you suppose? Probably none. Now, how many slave owners do you think were regular bible-readers?
The bible condones slavery all throughout it's pages. God's Chosen People had slaves. Are you going to try to blame Darwin for that too?
"As for your male and female slaves whom you may have: you may buy male and female slaves from the nations that are round about you. You may also buy from among the strangers who sojourn with you and their families that are with you, who have been born in your land; and they may be your property. You may bequeath them to your sons after you, to inherit as a possession forever; you may make slaves of them, but over your bretheren the people of Israel you shall not rule, one over another, with harshness."
"Slaves, be obedient to those who are your earthly masters, with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as to Christ...."
"And that slave who knew his master's will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will receive many lashes, but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few." (Jesus speaking)
Did Jesus EVER say "Thou shalt not enslave thy fellow man"? No, he didn't.
16. Science Should be able to incorporate supernatural explanations.
17. Evolutionists will not accept any evidence that contradicts their theory.
18. Which version of evolution do you believe?
There is nothing wrong with healthy dialog between legitimate scientists with different opinions about the processes of Evolution. It is a necessary step in the establishment of truth. Scientists do not debate whether or not Evolution actually occurs, but only on the subtle methods by which it proceeds. The only "scientists" debating the truth of evolution are not scientists at all, but "Creationists", those usually with a limited scientific background, and a specific agenda of furthering their religious ideology. In fact, a very real dissention occurs between creationists: there are Young Earth creationists- those that believe the earth is less than 10,000 years old, and Old Earth Creationists- those that accept the evidence that the earth is 4.5 billion years old. Now that's quite a spread...
19. Scientists have already decided that evolution is true to the exclusion of all else, and this is not science.
There are hypothetical examples which could, in theory, cause the theory of evolution to be revised or even abandoned.
20. How do you know what happened? Were you there?
This is one of the most childish and nonscientific of all statements in this controversy. This argument, if valid, would do away with nearly all of science. Historical sciences reconstruct the past through physical clues. Consider archeology. Consider forensic science.
No one has ever been down into the bowels of an active volcano, yet we know how they work. No one has ever witnessed the orbiting of our planets around our sun, but we know it happens.
21. There is a "missing link" between our ape-like ancestors and modern man.
There are no true missing links that in any way threaten the concept of Evolution. The fossil record is astonishingly consistent between all species of the plant and animal kindoms. There are directly traceable connections through the fossil record, including transitionary forms, as well as many examples of living species which retain vestiges of transitionary forms such as the lungfish, or modern examples that make use of laterally developed traits such the mudskipper (a fish that pulls itself from one pond to another, which illustrates that fish can indeed develop weight-bearing fins and make excursions onto dry land), and egg-laying mammals such as the echidna and the duck-billed platypus. Genetic research also supports the consistent transition of life, concluding with the fact that humans and our closest related speicies, the chimpanzee, share more than 98% of our genetic material. As species of animals get farther from us in morphology (physical appearance and structure), they get farther from us genetically. The conclusion is inescapable. Sometimes, anti-evolutionists even make the claim that "evolutionists know that the fossil record does not support evolution, but they ignore it." That is simply a lie.
Go HERE for more on the subject of transitional fossils. Also, click Here to read news of recent fossil discoveries which fill the supposed gaps.
22. It is just too improbable that evolution could produce a world so complex, with humans and other organisms so finely tuned and perfect.
First off, this is not a scientific statment of any kind. It isn't even a valid argument; it is an opinion, with no supportive evidence. The fact that organisms are so well adapted to their environments is evidence for evolution, not against it. Fine tuning is the result of non-random natural selection. The real problem with this statement, however, is that the person making it assumes that the world we see today is the only possible world that could exist. The fact is that humans do not have to be here. If one assumes that all possible world scenarios (one of which has humans) have equal validity and had equal chance of occuring, then the statement about improbability has no meaning. It would be like throwing four dice, and getting a result of 6-1-3-1 (at odds of 1296 to 1 against), and then being amazed at the improbability of getting that sequence, but not realizing that there is nothing special in that particular sequence. All possible outcomes are equally valid, and no one result should be seen as inevitable or expected. The odds of getting any outcome at all are 1 to 1. But if you predicted beforehand that you would get the 6-1-3-1 combination, then that would be incredible.
Another way to examine this is to consider the lottery. Let's say that you win the lottery, a hundred million to one chance. You could say to yourself: "The odds were a hundred million to one against me winning the lottery, so there could be no way I actually won. It is too improbable." But the fact is you won, and the odds don't change that. Just like the fact that we ARE HERE on Earth. If, however, someone predicted that you were going to win the lottery beforehand, well that would indeed be too improbable, and we would have to suspect some cheating. But to talk about the odds after the fact is pointless and proves nothing at all.
So, if someone who observed the Earth 4.5 billion years ago predicted the eventual domination of the planet Earth by Humankind, that would indeed be too improbable. In short, there is no way to statistically prove that we did not evolve
This is also a form of "The Argument from Personal Incredulity". This is when someone says "I just can't believe that we could have evolved from some other creature!" In the mind of the person who says this, this statement constitutes evidence (!), and he or she concludes evolution did not take place because they "just can't believe it". The statement is in fact a personal bias, not a logical argument. If you "just can't believe it", look at this page.
23. Evolution says we got here just by pure chance, and I just can't believe that!
Well, no sane person would! That is called a Straw Man Argument, which means that if you want to more easily attack an opposing position, you make a silly caricature of that position, one that no one would believe. In fact, evolution does not state that things evolved by chance. That Straw Man urban myth has been, and continues to be, spread by anti-evolutionists to cause doubt and confusion. Actually, half of evolution is non-random: natural selection. If natural selection were completely random, evolution wouldn't work!
24. There are scientific alternatives to Evolution that deserve equal classroom time.
No there aren't. The "alternatives" are far from science, and have no business being in a classroom. Creation Science, the supposed 'alternative', is not science, and you only need to read a few statments from their own writing to see why. Click here for more on this subject.
25. Radiometric Dating is unreliable and cannot establish the age of the Earth.
This common argument is simply untrue. Here is a complete explanation of radiometric dating, and the reasons it is reliable (from a Christian source).
26. The Concept of Evolution is hostile to religion.
No it isn't. The majority of major religious organizations accept Evolution. Evolutionary principles have nothing to do with religion. Of course, it is possible to interpret the results of scientific study in different ways. Yet those interpretations are the result of free choice and access to information, things which cannot be curtailed. People have the right to believe whatever they want. You DO NOT HAVE TO ABANDON YOUR RELIGION TO ACCEPT EVOLUTION! Here is a statement from an Evangelical Christian Evolutionary Scientist.
27. Why haven't you answered the Questions put to evolutionists by creationists?
Oh, but I have. And so have others. Creationists claim that evolutionists avoid answering their questions, and they claim that there are many unresolved scientific problems which are damaging to the theory of evolution. Read my rebuttal to such "lists of problems".
Answers to the 20 Questions for Evolutionists
The Wild, Wild World of Kent Hovind