- Education and Science
How To Talk To Creationists.
Arguments for Evolutionists
If you are a subscriber to the Darwinian Theory of Evolution, there may come a time when you find yourself faced with having to (or feeling as though you have to) defend your ideas and beliefs to a Creationist, in this case it is helpful to be forewarned, lest you are rendered utterly speechless by the ‘evidence’ presented to you.
The intelligent design argument – Irreducible complexity- Creationists assert that someorgans, such as the human eye or a bird’s wing,are far too complex to have evolved. They claim that these things are ‘irreducibly complex’. This means that if one part of the whole was removed, it would cease to function, therefore it could not have evolved ‘bit by bit’, it must have been designed exactly the way it is. (Darwin admitted this would undo his theory, as yet no evidence has been found to support the idea.) What good is half an eye or wing? They say. (Well, it’s actually better than none at all). I know, I know, it shows a breathtaking misunderstanding of the mechanics of evolution and natural selection. There are so many examples in nature of rudimentary eyes or light sensing organs.
Just ask: 1. why God chose to make the eyes of octopus and most owls many times more efficient than ours. 2. Why design flightless birds with wings? Or tertiary molars (wisdom teeth) that hardly ever actually fit into the current shape of our jaw? Evolution can be a little slow and sloppy, things get left behind, like goose bumps in humans.
God is supposed to be perfect, infallible, what’s with the sloppy design? Personally, as a set designer, if I could design a set building system that began with a simple bunch of materials that I set in place and then just let the set build and grow itself, – I would call that truly elegant design!
Be ready for this one – straight from the mouth of Charlie himself:
"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." (Darwin 1872).
Just like the best television news editors, this quote is always delivered out of context to the extent that it is just cut off in the middle of the paragraph.
“…Reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a simple and imperfect eye to one complex and perfect can be shown to exist, each grade being useful to its possessor, as is certainly the case; if further, the eye ever varies and the variations be inherited, as is likewise certainly the case; and if such variations should be useful to any 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, should not be considered as subversive of the theory.”
Ask if they’ve also read Chapter VI: Difficulties of the Theory, or Chapter VII: Miscellaneous Objections to the Theory of Natural Selection.
No evidence for evolution - You will be told about incomplete fossil records and the unreliability of carbon dating. There are many, many ways to date rocks and fossils. Most commonly the level of decay of radioactive elements. This is way more reliable. (The Earth is 4.54 billion yrs old, btw, not 2000). Mitochondrial DNA studies have filled in lots of ‘gaps’ in our knowledge (the Creationist mind loves these gaps). There is so much evidence. They need to go to the library of their nearest university
Science Often Gets Things Wrong – Yes. Correct. And when this happens, it acknowledges the fact and cheerfully continues to investigate. Technological improvements and innovations have often been the reason for finding mistakes – technology; the stylish sibling of science. A lot of the Creationist argument seems to be science-bashing, but ask them - as a Christian would you prefer to live without any scientific research or development?
It’s All So Highly Improbable! – Creationists claim that the chances of life as we know it arising from a bunch of gasses and rocks flinging around the ether, crashing into each other and then evolving from amoeba to iPod inventing humans is very unlikely. Yes! It IS improbable, yet no more than Jesus actually existing. Given that no other of his contemporary writers, historians, politicians, military personnel, poll and census takers, tax collectors or gossip columnists ever mentioned him. (NOTE: It’s best not to use the Jesus line if you suspect the person is armed).
Just mention the following fact – A conservative estimate shows there are around a billion billion planets in the universe, if the chance of life occurring was 1 in a billion, there would still be a billion planets with life as we know it… or perhaps very different, or just similar, depending on the environment in which it evolved.
2nd Law of Thermodynamics (Entropy)- states that “systems must become more disordered over time.” Therefore complex organisms couldn’t have evolved in an ‘upwards gradient’, so to speak, from simple chemicals. The bit they leave out, or don’t know is that this 2nd law only applies to closed systems, that is nothing – energy or matter – gets in or out. That’s why is described as Entropy of isolated systems. Earth doesn’t qualify.
Ask them this, how many laws of them are there? What are they? BTW there were 3, now a 4th, (called Zeroth, silly name) has been introduced. The 3 Laws:
(1) You cannot win (you can’t get something for nothing because matter and energy are conserved. (2) You cannot break even (you cannot return to the same energy state because entropy always increases. (3) You cannot get out of the game (because absolute zero is not attainable). C.P. Snow
Ok – so might have noticed two things –The Creationist argument mostly only attempts to decry evolution, there is never any actual proof offered to support the counter-theory of How We Got Here. The simple fact is, Creationists have NO evidence. Just the bible and “knowing” - Faith is having a belief without the need for proof.
Also, Creationists constantly trot out arguments science has already addressed. They have nothing new.
Above all – keep your cool. You won’t change the Creationist’s mind, but you may yet hold on to yours!
If you feel you would like to lookup some Creationist websites to let them clarify their argument its best not to bother. It won’t help, at best you’ll get a laugh, at worst angry and depressed.