UPDATE 2; Brit has yet to provide anything close to proof, relying instead on ‘logical arguments’ and quote mining as opposed to physical proof. For the last two weeks she’s been giving us nothing but excuses, so I’m guessing that we’re not going to be getting anything of substance. Case closed, I guess.
UPDATE; anyone with a good understanding of science who wants to correct any of my answers would be great. I’d appreciate it if anyone wants to send this to either a Creation Scientist or a real scientist.
Ok, let’s get this done. The theists get to present their arguments/rationales first. Any and all commentators are welcome to participate in this discussion. I would prefer it if folks kept things civil, but realistically I know that I have no power to enforce that – and I’m a prick at the best of times so it’s hypocritical of me to lecture.
I thought I’d do something of a checklist up here so that readers can play creationist bingo and perhaps encourage any creationists reading this to come up with something better. Of course if anyone thinks I’m wrong please comment below and offer corrections.
Evolution is only a theory.
Most people think a theory falls in the middle of hypothesis and law, but that’s wrong. A scientific theory is “a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and tested hypotheses.” Nothing really changes a theory into a law. So when science talks about the theory of evolution–or the atomic theory or the theory of relativity, for that matter–they aint saying its not true.All sciences rely on indirect evidence. You can’t see subatomic particles, so they look for the trails left by them in cloud chambers.
Evolution is not testable.
In my first comment below there are some links to tests.
Some scientists doubt the truth of evolution.
Whenever someone says this ask them for a citation from someone who isn’t Darwin (The something something eye, something something creation) or anyone from before Newton. Or Ken Ham for that matter.No evidence suggests that evolution is losing adherents. Pick up any journal, and you will find articles that support and extend evolutionary studies where as the ones that don’t are pretty dead in the water. Creationists respond by saying that there is a conspiracy against them and their truth. I’m sure we all know how that goes.
The disagreements among scientists show how little solid science supports evolution.
Like all the branches of Christianity or are they just not true Scotsmen? Scientists are paid to disagree with each other and get grants to test other peoples theories. They like to use their minds critically – ask them to chime in on the Goku vs Superman vs Hulk vs Whoever the Fuck and see what happens.Creationists have taken SJ Gould’s work and chopped it up to make it seem that he had doubted evolution, and they present punctuated equilibrium as though it allows new species to materialize overnight or birds to be born from reptile eggs. A simple ‘citation needed’ suffices here.
If we come from monkeys…
Kill it with fire. The person asking this does not know what evolution is. Sit them down with the wikipedia page and go through it with them. If they refuse and start using their ‘l0jik’ on you ask them why Chinese still exists as a language when Japanese is descended from it.
Evolution cannot explain how life first appeared on earth.
Yup. Doesn’t pretend to. Creationists sometimes try to invalidate all of evolution by pointing to science’s current inability to explain the origin of life. But even if life on earth turned out to have a nonevolutionary origin (for instance, if aliens introduced the first cells billions of years ago), evolution since then would be robustly confirmed by countless microevolutionary and macroevolutionary studies.
The Second Law of Thermodynamics …
I will hunt you down Ken Hovind and Josh Furgerstienwhateveryournameis. The person saying this does not understand thermodynamics. If what they’re saying is correct then crystals and snowflakes would be impossible, because they, too, are complex structures that form spontaneously from disordered parts.
The Second Law actually states that the total entropy of a closed system (one that no energy or matter leaves or enters) cannot decrease. Entropy is a physical concept often casually described as disorder, but it differs significantly from the conversational use of the word.
More important, however, the Second Law permits parts of a system to decrease in entropy as long as other parts experience an offsetting increase. Basically, as long as we are not in a closed environment we can continue growing.
Mutations cannot produce new features.
Citation needed. Many traits produce changes at precise positions in an organism’s DNA. A good example of this is bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Here’s some science on how it works.
Nobody has ever seen a new species evolve.
There’s no Crocaduck!
Or, in Real People Speak; there aren’t any ‘inbetween fossisls’. Actually, there are. One of the most famous fossils of all time is Archaeopteryx, which combines feathers and skeletal structures peculiar to birds with features of dinosaurs.Then there’s Tiktalic. Then there’s Homo Hydlbergensis (spl?) I could go on. We know whales had four-legged ancestors known as Ambulocetus and Rodhocetus. Fossil seashells trace the evolution of mollusks through millions of years. Perhaps 20 or more hominids fill the gap between Lucy the australopithecine and modern humans.
Creationists, though, dismiss these fossil studies. They argue that Archaeopteryx is not a missing link between reptiles and birds–it is just an extinct bird with reptilian features. They want science to produce a Crocoduck.
The eye is too complex…
This is an “argument from design” and you should feel bad for the person using it. Our eyes are ridiculously simple compared to a hawks for example. Our eyes are simply evolved to suit the feeding hours of a diurnal primate.
Update; Evolution is based on circular reasoning.
Ok, so we’re playing bingo again.
Survival of the fittest is a way to describe natural selection, and if you wanted to get into it in more technical detail you should read this. In short, rather than labeling species as more or less fit, you can measure their success by how many offspring they produce under given circumstances. See Dr PR Grants Finch research for some examples. The key is that adaptive fitness can be defined without reference to survival: large beaks are better adapted for crushing seeds, irrespective of whether that trait has survival value under the circumstances (see Grant’s Finches).
I’m sure there are others. Feel free to mention some in the comments.