January 15, 2008

The Fact Of Evolution And The Lies Of Creationists

charls darwinI am mostly writing this post so i have a link to send people to when they leave replies on the blog that demonstrate a complete lack of understanding of evolution. I'm fed up of writing the same stuff over and over again.

In this post i am going to clear up a few things about evolution and try to set the record straight, Explain a few misconceptions that creationists have and expose a few of the lies they tell.

Evolution is just a theory.

How many times have you heard this? A lot of creationists assume, Wrongly and probably intentionally, That a theory is somehow less certain than a fact. They assume that a theory is on a lower rung of the hierarchical ladder of certainty that eventually leads to fact.

In science "theory" has a different meaning than the general word "theory". When most people say theory they mean a guess or speculation. In science a theory is simply a way to explain facts. A theory doesn't eventually become a fact, It explains facts.

It is a fact that animals change, Over time, Based on natural selection. The theory that explains this fact is the theory of evolution.

Evolution Doesn't Explain The Origin of Life

That's right, It doesn't. But then, It never claimed to and it never intended to. History class doesn't teach you how to play a trumpet, Does that mean all history is wrong?

Darwinian Evolution only ever claimed to explain the origin of the species, That's why he called the book "the origin of the species". Evolution starts when the first life forms came about and natural selection became a factor. There are sciences that explain how cells could have first formed and how life came about, But Evolution isn't one of them.

Irreducible complexity Proves a Designer

Well it would, If creationists could find a real example of irreducible complexity. Irreducible complexity is a phrase that Michael Behe came up with to describe a characteristic or mechanical part of an organism that requires all of it's parts to be intact from the beginning for it to function and for natural selection to have something to favour. The trouble is, For Behe, That every time creationists think they have found something irreducibly complex evolutionists point out that it had a beneficial function at each stage of it's construction and thus had something for natural selection to favour.

Ken Miller used the mousetrap to explain this. A mouse trap can only function as a mousetrap when all of it's parts are intact. If, for instance, we only have the base, The spring and the arm of the mouse trap it can't kill mice and doesn't function as a mousetrap. But it does function as a tie clip. It still has a beneficial function and as such has something for natural selection to favour.

We Should Teach All Theories And Let Students Decide

No, We shouldn't. We need to teach children the truth at all times. Everything that is taught in a classroom has endured the scientific process that leads to it being taught. If intelligent design can get through this process then it is more than welcome in a science class, If it can't get through this process it is going to have to stay where it belongs, In theology.

The process that all other sciences goes through is;
Claim > Research > Peer review > Concensus > Text book.
The process intelligent design want's to go through is;
Claim > Political preasure > Text book.

If intelligent design is a fact let us see your research. let us see what kind of experiments you do to test your hypotheses. If you can't produce these and can't get through the scientific process you have no business being taught in a science class.

There Are No Transitional Fossils

The trouble with refuting this claim is that when evolutionists are asked to present a transitional fossil they aren't seen to be refuting the claim made by creationists, They are seen to be producing two more gaps where transitional fossils are missing.

It's a dishonest tactic used by creationists. It is simply impossible for evolutionists to comply with this unreasonable request without presenting fossils of every animal species on the planet at every stage of it's development.

As evolutionists find more and more fossils they rightly believe they are adding to the fossil records and adding to our understanding of evolution. But in the illogical mind of the creationist they are simply creating more and more gaps in the fossil record because each gap we fill by finding a fossil creates two gaps either side of it.

Suffice to say, There are transitional fossils that show characteristics and traits developing over time [1]. All we need now is for creationists to develop the integrity and courage to accept them.

Darwin Didn't Believe in Evolution

This statement is usually a result of dishonest quote mining from creationists. They simply look for small snippets of text, Take it out of context and then use it to support their argument when in actual fact the whole quote does nothing to support their claim at all, And is actually the direct opposite of what they are claiming.

Scott Huse fell foul of this type of dishonesty on page 73 of his book The Collapse of Evolution when he quoted Darwin [2] as saying; "To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree.

It looks like Darwin is saying the eye couldn't have evolved by means of natural selection, Doesn't it? But if we look at the quote in it's entirety it paints a completely different picture of what Darwin thought about the evolution of the eye. He goes on to say; "...Yet reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a perfect and complex eye to one very imperfect and simple, each grade being useful to its possessor, can be shown to exist; if further, the eye does vary ever so slightly, and the variations be inherited, which is certainly the case; and if any variation or modification in the organ be ever useful to an animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, can hardly be considered real. How a nerve comes to be sensitive to light, hardly concerns us more than how life itself first originated; but I may remark that several facts make me suspect that any sensitive nerve may be rendered sensitive to light, and likewise to those coarser vibrations of the air which produce sound.

The point Charles Darwin is making here is that, With small beneficial mutations, Even the most seemingly complex organs and functions of an organism can be produced by natural selection.

Intelligent Design Is Not Creationism

The only difference between intelligent design and creationism is the spelling. We know that the name change came about in an attempt to get it taught in a science class and to trick people in to believing it's an actual scientific theory, And not religious mumbo-jumbo.

This is evident by looking at a draft of the intelligent design text book "of pandas and people" where the phrase "cdesign proponentist" was found when a sloppy editor didn't correctly replace "creationist" with "design proponent".

The titles of the drafts alone are evidence that ID is creationism. The first draft, in 1983, was called Creation Biology, the next is Biology and Creation, dated 1986, and is followed by Biology and Origin in 1987. It is not until later in 1987 that Of Pandas and People emerges[3].

This article will be expanded as i become reminded of other lies told by creationists and other misinformation spread by them and their devious organisations.


  1. Here you commit the same type of dishonesty that you accuse Scott Huse of several paragraphs earlier:

    The titles of the drafts alone are evidence that ID is creationism. The first draft, in 1983, was called Creation Biology, the next is Biology and Creation, dated 1986, and is followed by Biology and Origin in 1987. It is not until later in 1987 that Of Pandas and People emerges

    If you have actually seen drafts of this book, drafts which, by the way were NEVER USED in a classroom, or even PUBLISHED, instead of copying out-of-context single words and phrases from conspiracy theorist Barbara Forrest you either knew or should have known that the editor explicity stated in the text that the belief that a supernatural creator was responsible for the creation of humankind, i.e. "creationism", is outside the scope of science.

    If measured by your own standard, you are as dishonest in misrepresenting the authors of Pandas by your selective, out-of-context quoting as you claim Scott Huse was in misrepresenting Darwin.

  2. I don't see how that is out of context. The drafts were titled that and "cdesign proponentist" did appear in the drafts.

    The point was a rebutal to claims that ID isn't creationism.

  3. Good summary so far. You may also want to point people to Scientific american's "15 answers to creationist nonsense" which has been around a few years, but is still useful.

    Just google the above phrase for the link.

  4. I hadn't read the 15 answers before Malcolm, Thanks for the tip, It looks like a great read.

  5. You're welcome.

    Keep fighting the god fight!

    (oops! *good :)