Thursday, January 14, 2010

One More Example of Bad Anti-Evolution Arguments

I've never seen a good scientific argument against evolution. I've seen good Scriptural arguments against evolution, but I've never seen any presentation against evolution that wasn't almost exclusively misinformation.

Listen, if you think the Scriptures argue against evolution. Say so. Then tell us why we should ignore the evidence in nature—God's creation—that science is finding.

If you think we should choose the Bible over science, do so! Don't use nonsensical arguments and invented facts and thus create your own pseudo-science that couldn't possibly be true.

Here's a typical example. If you know of an exception, a set of valid arguments that evolution is not true, let me know. I've never seen one!

Make sure, though, that your suggestion doesn't include the arguments in the video on the page linked above. I refute all his points below. They're really easy because his arguments are bad reasoning based on evidence that someone wishes existed but doesn't.

The video on that page claims that all the following are evolutionist assumptions:

Spontaneous Generation

The video claims that evolutionists assume spontaneous generation, which is that "somehow dead chemicals came to life."

What's funny about this claim is that it's somewhat true. Evolution doesn't address the origins of life. It addresses the development of life. The science of abiogenesis addresses the origins of life.

As such, evolution does assume that life generated somehow, but not spontaneously.

The reference to spontaneous generation is an example of inflammatory language. Everyone knows the term spontaneous generation as referring to the medieval idea that dirty rags and other filth could generate maggots or cockroaches or rats. That's disproved.

The idea that life arose from non-life is not proven. It almost certainly will be. Articles like these show how science is closing in on how life might have originated on the early earth.

However, evolution is true whether or not life arose from non-life. Evolution looks at the fossil record and the relatedness of organisms alive today and concludes that living things have changed drastically through inheritance over hundreds of millions of years.

That conclusion is supported by the evidence in creation, and arguments against it have been proven in adequate for 150 years now.

Spontaneous generation only happened once

This, too, is not an assumption of evolution. First, no one assumes that life spontaneously generated, not even once.

Second, prior to a few years ago, scientists assumed that the origin of life was so unlikely that it was probably it only happened once. Now, it's beginning to look as though life isn't so improbable after all.

Either way, we have no idea at this point whether it only happened once or not, and science does not make that assumption.

The video then goes on to repeat the false idea that the generation of life requires the random collection of amino acids into a protein. It then calculates the odds of amino acids randomly forming into a protein and gives us an incredibly high number.

Well, no it doesn't. The dentist doing the video obviously doesn't know scientific notation, so he mistakenly gives us a 100% probability by saying it's "one to the one-hundred-and-forty-first power."

That would be one.

He then changes it to a negative one-hundred-forty-first power.

That would also be one.


The fact is, if life arose from non-life, it did it by some form of early replication. That form of early replication would give rise to the RNA/DNA that is the basis of life today. Scientists are on the hunt for that mechanism, and they get closer every year.

For example, the video mentions that life uses only left-handed amino acids, no right-handed ones. Yet amino acids occur in equal amounts in nature. How did we end up with all left-handed ones?

NASA, for example, found:

The organic synthesis of amino acids has proven to be fairly easy. The problem, he says, has been that the pre-biotic soup was a diverse array of both right- and left-handed molecules. This study points to a mechanism that could have selected and organized the left- and right-handed molecules.

What study?

Hazen and his collaborators performed a simple experiment. They immersed a fist-sized crystal of the common mineral calcite, which forms limestone and the hard parts of many sea animals, in a dilute solution of the amino acid aspartic acid and found that the left-and right-handed variants of the acid molecules adsorbed (attached) preferentially onto different faces of the calcite crystal.

In other words, the mineral calcite, common on the early earth, sorts amino acids by handedness. The researchers said it would be easy to imagine tidal pools forming on calcite or a similar crystal in which a pool had only left-handed amino acids in it.

Suddenly the odds are greatly reduced.

Science is looking for mechanisms that make the formation of RNA, DNA, and proteins happen, not for "spontaneous generation."

And they're getting closer.

Viruses, Plants, and Bacteria are all related

The video says that this is an assumption based on the difficulty of spontaneous generation. Since science assumes it could only have happened once, then everything must be related.

There's nothing true about this.

People argue about Charles Darwin's Origin of Species all the time, but most have never read it.

Darwin did not argue from fossils that all of life is related. He argued it based on what he saw in the flora and fauna that is around today. The immense difficulty of categorizing life into species, genera, and families drove him to postulate their inter-relatedness, not an assumption of life's origins.

You should read the book sometime. It's fascinating.

Since then the fossil record, the discovery of DNA, and molecular biology has thoroughly backed Darwin up.

The video also makes the common but false claim that there are no transitional forms.

My own web site documents transitional forms for whales going back 53 million years and transitional forms for humans going back 4.4 million years.

That's only the tip of the iceberg.

Invertebrates gave rise to vertebrates

The video gives this as the last assumption, but it's not really what it goes on to talk about. Instead it attacks a couple transitional forms.

It claims that archeopteryx is not a transitional form. Scientists not admit it's almost pure bird. That's simply a false claim. There's nothing to refute here. Let him show his claim is true. Only anti-evolutionists claim such a thing.

We don't need archeopteryx anymore anyway. Several feathered dinosaurs have been found, as the video itself points out. The transitional forms have been growing in both directions, both before and after archeopteryx.

He then somehow tries to use ramapithecus as evidence against evolution! This 10-million-year-old fossil was thought to be an ancestor of man, but molecular studies have proven it to be a more likely ancestor of orangutans.

This disproves evolution???

I think it's an argument for evolution and that scientists are honest enough to learn and adjust.

Come on, those of you saints who want to defend your theology against evolution. If you're going to delve into science, you're going to have to do a lot better than this.

Otherwise, please stick to solely scriptural arguments.

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