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Answering 22 Creationists

Matt Stopera of BuzzFeed collected 22 messages from creationists to people believe in evolution. It’s a fun list, but it also demonstrates how fallacies can infest our discussions.

1. Are you influencing the minds of children in a positive way?

The answer is yes, since teaching the scientific method inevitably helps children understand the world around us. The question is also an appeal to consequences. Even if the belief that evolution is true has a negative consequence on children; that does not invalidate its veracity. Similarly, a belief in Santa Claus may be good for children, but that does make Santa Claus real.

2. Are you scared of a Divine Creator?

This is an appeal to fear. Answering this question would assume such a being exists, so I will provide no answer.

3. Is it completely illogical that the earth was created mature?

A ‘mature’ Earth does not conform to the available evidence, such as carbon-dating. Moreover, the Omphalos hypothesis would suggest that the creator god is a trickster, planting false evidence to lead us astray from the ultimate truth of their existence. For a creator god with a defining attribute of omniscience, that is illogical.

4. Does not the second law of thermodynamics disprove evolution?

The Second Law of Thermodynamics only applies to closed systems. The Earth is not a closed system – there is something called the Sun.

5. How do you explain a sunset if their [sic] is no God?

The Earth rotates on its axis.

6. If the Big Bang Theory is true and taught as science along with evolution, why do they laws of thermodynamics debunk said theories?

There appears to be some intersection between being a creationist and misunderstanding thermodynamics. The universe is expanding, meaning the maximum allowable entropy also keeps increasing.

7. What about noetics?

Indeed, what about noetics?

8. Where do you derive objective meaning in life?

This is a question is a matter for philosophy, not science, and so it is a ‘red herring’. It also assumes there is an objective meaning.

9. If God did not create everything, how did the first single-celled organism originate? By chance?

The origin of unicellular life is currently unknown, but it is being studied. However, it would be an appeal to ignorance to claim that because of the absence of present knowledge; therefore God must have created everything. Due to the age of the universe, the probability that abiogenesis occurs may be small in a given year, but the expectation that such an event would happen at some point in a life-sustaining universe is very high.

10. I believe in the Big Bang Theory… God said it and BANG it happened!

This is either pithy word-play or an illicit substitution of identicals.

11. Why do evolutionists/secularists/huminists [sic]/non-God believing people reject the idea of their [sic] being a creator God but embrace the concept of intelligent design from aliens or other extra-terestrial [sic] sources?

Firstly, “non-God believing people” are commonly referred to as atheists. Secondly, I’ve never seen polling suggesting that ‘evolutionists’ “embrace” exogenesis.

12. There is no inbetween… the only one found has been Lucy and there are a few pieces of the hundreds necessary for an “official proof”.

More than one hominid has been found. Moreover, evidence is not a simple counting game – what matters is the strength of that evidence.

13. Does metamorphosis help support evolution?

Metamorphosis certainly influenced evolution’s development as a scientific theory, as in Goethe’s Metamorphosis of Plants. However, evolution is not the process you see in the Pokémon franchise.

14. If Evolution is a Theory (like creationism or the Bible) why then is Evolution taught as fact?

A scientific theory is a “well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world”. It is not merely an idea or a belief. For example, gravity is a theory.

15. Because science by definition is a “theory” – not testable, observable, nor repeatable why do you object to creationism or intelligent design being taught in school?

What you have described is the precise opposite of the scientific method, based upon testability, observation and repeatability. I object to creationism being taught as a scientific theory, because it lacks evidential support.

(Video: piadas planas)

Of Monkeys and Beauty

16. What mechanism has science discovered that evidences an increase of genetic information seen in any genetic mutation or evolutionary process?

Survey says… chromosomal duplication.

17. What purpose do you think you are here for if you do not believe in salvation?

Purpose is a matter for philosophy, not science. Humans have the ability to pursue multiple purposes, not just spiritual fulfilment.

18. Why have we found only 1 “Lucy”, when we have found more than 1 of everything else?

This is a repeated mistake over hominids, but we have not found “more than 1 of everything else”. It is plausible there are some species that we have not discovered any remains of thus far. However, when the evidence for such species is discovered, we will become aware of these species.

19. Can you believe “the big bang” without “faith”?

You can believe in the Big Bang Theory, because – at present – that theory best conforms to all available evidence. This is a belief without faith.

20. How can you look at the world and not believe someone created/thought of it? It’s amazing!!!

I agree: the world (and the universe) is beautiful. However, this is an appeal to emotion – beauty can exist without design.

Our planet, and the universe, is beautiful, but that does not necessitate a creator god. (Photo: NASA)

Our planet, and the universe, is beautiful, but that does not necessitate a creator god. (Photo: NASA)

21. Relating to the big big theory… where did the exploding star come from?

The universe began in a hot, dense state; not with an exploding star. Furthermore, where did God come from?

22. If we come from monkeys then why are there still monkeys?

I come from my mother, but my mother is still around. The point is that modern monkeys and humans have a common ancestry – a belief in evolution is not synonymous with the belief that “we come from monkeys”.

Even if you consider creationism to be incorrect, it is still worthwhile to test why you believe that.

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2 comments on “Answering 22 Creationists

  1. west2
    February 6, 2014

    The universe is expanding, meaning the maximum allowable entropy also keeps increasing.

    There is some discussion on the possibility the universe is not expanding, as suggested by Prof Christof Wetterich, at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/roger-highfield/10239254/Astronomic-news-the-universe-may-not-be-expanding-after-all.html

    Also some discussion on why some galaxies are moving towards us at Scientific American. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-can-galaxies-collide/

    There is further discussion at the Astronomy Magazine’s forum on The big bang and the expanding universe at http://cs.astronomy.com/asy/news/f/20/t/32077.aspx with mention of the Shapiro effect.

    Things are never straightforward 🙂

    • Anthony Masters
      February 6, 2014

      Indeed, it may not be, but the present evidence suggests that it is. However, the assumption that the universe is not expanding does not mean the laws of thermodynamics are being violated, which is what the questioner claimed.

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