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About Answers to QuestionEvolution.com
QuestionEvolution.com poses a number of questions gleaned from creationist literature, and presents them as "significant stumbling block[s] for the evolution model." Honorably, that site creator's has linked with this site to provide answers to those questions that "remain unanswered by the evolutionist," in effect fulfilling the promise on his rebuttal page. Unfortunately, that honor wore out a couple of years later, when he quietly removed those links to these rebuttals.
Quotes from QuestionEvolution.com and remarks from the site's creator are indicated by an emphasized font style.
Answers to About QuestionEvolution.com
David Wise • Aron-Ra
[QuestionEvolution.com] was originally compiled as a worksheet for a class on the evolution / creation debate. It is not intended to make a case for biblical creation, as there are many excellent books that do that. Rather it was created to show that the theory that is presented as scientific (evolution) is really not nearly as well supported by scientific fact and discoveries as the average evolutionist believes. A careful and objective study of the universe points one more in the direction of special creation than natural evolution.
The questions found on [QuestionEvolution.com] remain unanswered by the evolutionist. This list includes questions from different categories relating to past and present observations about the universe. While some are routinely dismissed, most are a significant stumbling block for the evolution model - taken as a group they point to the general failure of most of the accepted "scientific" theories to explain the data all around us.
David Wise (September 3, 2003)
I saw the announcement of your new site on the TrueOrigins forum on Yahoo, so I took a look at it. I'm sorry to say that your claims are just the same tired old nonsensical false claims that we've been hearing and refuting since before I started following the creation/evolution "issue" in 1981.
Yes, that's right, they've been refuted for years, decades even. That claim on your home page, "The questions found on this site remain unanswered by the evolutionist", is completely false. Your "questions" have been fairly standard creationist fare for two to three decades now and they have been answered repeatedly. The problem is that the creationist literature just keeps recycling the same old refuted claims while suppressing the truth about those claims, including that they had been answered and refuted.
You say that you developed this as a worksheet for a evolution/creation class. It is obvious which side ran this class, because basically they lied to you. They fed you all the old refuted claims, but they did not inform you of how they had been refuted, nor what is wrong with them, nor even that they had been refuted at all. How old were the students in the class? In their twenties? Teenagers? If so, then most of these claims are older than the students are and they were answered and were refuted before those students were ever born. Their having taught you that "The questions found on this site remain unanswered by the evolutionist" is an outright lie, though I do not doubt that your teacher isn't aware of that but rather had been lied to himself. Your teacher is undoubtedly just as ignorant of the truth as you have been and so repeated those lies without realizing that they are lies.
Now, at times creationists will drop a claim because it had been so soundly refuted and to continue to support it would bring too much negative publicity, but it doesn't stay dropped for long. In a few years when they feel that everyone has forgotten the incident the creationists resurrect it as "new scientific evidence." Sure, the creationists who had witnessed their hero caught in a lie would remember, but every few years PT Barnum is vindicated yet again as a new batch of young creationists arrives in awe of all this "brand-new scientific discoveries supporting creation", even though in reality many of the claims are older than these new creationists are and were refuted before they were even born. This creates the situation that we call "having to slay the slain", because those refuted old false claims just keep taking on new life as the creationist community keeps recycling them over and over and keeps suppressing news of their refutation.
Case in point: Circa 1989, I witnessed a young creationist getting up in front of a mixed group and announcing a brand-new scientific discovery that was going to blow all those evolutionists away: the speed of light has been slowing down. Immediately, all the "evolutionists" in the audience burst into laughter and started explaining to him what that claim said and why it was wrong. The truth is that Setterfield's claim was already about a decade old at that time and had been refuted long before that young creationist "discovered" it. Poor kid never knew what had hit him.
Case in point: In a 1985 debate, I heard Henry Morris repeat a claim about a "1976" NASA document, "written well into the space age", which showed that the moon should be covered in a thick layer of dust if it were as old as 4.5 billion years. His claim was also in his book, "Scientific Creationism". I obtained Slusher's letter (Duane Gish actually sent me a copy) describing that claim and I found the NASA document in question in the university library. It was actually dated 1965 (before the moon landings, i.e. not written "well into the space age") and Slusher had misrepresented it in order to inflate his estimate for the moon by a factor of 10,000 -- instead of 284.8 feet of dust his calculations really show about 1/3 inch. Duane Gish, my ICR contact point in this matter, at first tried to bluff his way out and then simply refused to reply. A few years later, a friend wrote to the ICR about this claim and was informed that they no longer used that claim. And yet now, more than 12 years later, Henry Morris' book still carries that claim and almost every ICR book currently being sold contains an appendix of "uniformitarian estimates of the age of the earth" which includes Slusher's bogus moondust claim. Any young creationist picking up one of those books today would think that that claim is still current and would not know that the ICR itself had dropped that claim over twelve years ago. In fact, YOU used that very same bogus claim on your site. BTW, Answers in Genesis (AiG) also warns against using that claim; more on that later.
A cyber-friend, Carl Drews, is an evangelical Christian who had to leave his church because his pastor implicitly condoned using lies to support their faith -- Carl offers his story here. He had urged Carl to take a creation/evolution class based on AiG video tapes. Carl found those tapes to be full of false claims, misquotes, and misrepresentations. When Carl offered a list of corrections, nobody in the class was at all interested in the truth; they were just in that class to gather fresh "ammo" to use in proselytizing.
Nor are they the only ones. Many creationists collect creation science claims as "ammo" to use in proselytizing and in fighting against evolution. But using these false claims is worse than loading up with blanks. On my quotes page, I quote one creationist, Scott Rauch, who said: "I still hold some anger because I believe the evangelical Christian community did not properly prepare me for the creation/evolution debate. They gave me a gun loaded with blanks, and sent me out. I was creamed."
You gathered some "ammo" in your class and are using that "ammo" on your page. But using that "ammo" will back-fire on you, destroying you and your position. Using that "ammo", you will succeed in exposing yourself as a liar and your cause and your religion itself as nothing but a pack of lies. Read the "Muddying the water?" conclusion to the Answers in Genesis' commentary, "What About Carl Baugh?": "It is sad that Carl Baugh will 'muddy the water' for many Christians and non-Christians. Some Christians will try to use Baugh's 'evidences' in witnessing and get 'shot down' by someone who is scientifically literate. The ones witnessed to will thereafter be wary of all creation evidences and even more inclined to dismiss Christians as nut cases not worth listening to.
"Also, the Christian is likely to be less apt to witness, even perhaps tempted to doubt their own faith (wondering what other misinformation they have gullibly believed from Christian teachers). CSF ministers to strengthen the faith of Christians and equip them for the work of evangelism and, sadly, the long term effect of Carl Baugh's efforts will be detrimental to both.
"We would much rather be spending all our time positively encouraging and equipping rather than countering the well-intentioned but misguided efforts of some like Carl Baugh, but we cannot stand idly by knowing people are being misled. Truth sets people free, not error!"
Your teacher in that class lied to you and handed out blank "ammo" for you to use. Now, I do not doubt that your teacher isn't aware of that but rather had been lied to himself. Your teacher is undoubtedly just as ignorant of the truth as you have been and so repeated those lies without realizing that they are lies.
But the professional creationists like Gish and Morris and Hovind do know better. They have had their claims answered and they know the refutations. They know the entire history because they have been part of it. When I wrote to Hovind about his false solar-mass-loss claim (read below, because you have repeated a version of it), he did everything he could to AVOID discussing his own claim. It became very obvious that he is fully aware that his claim has very serious problems, but does that stop him from continuing to use it? It never has before. No matter how many times their claims have been exposed as false and misleading, the professional creationists continue to use them, knowing that they are false and misleading.
I had always been taught that the Christian god is the "God of Truth", yet I do not see that when I look at creation science and its practitioners. One local creationist evangelizer I had corresponded with proved to be the worst habitual liar I have ever encountered; at one point he proclaimed that "nothing is more important than the truth" and then almost immediately told yet another lie.
What you need to do as a Christian who loves the Truth is that you must study and test each claim. If the claim turns out to be false, then you must not only stop using it, but you must also warn others to not use it and to correct them when they do. That is what you must do if you are to serve Truth. If you don't, then you are serving the Other Side.
"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good"
1 Thessalonians 5:21, KJV
David Wise (September 3, 2003)
The second thing about your site that hit me was that your bibliography is non-existent. Where is your documentation? What are the sources for the claims that you have posted? What are those claims based on? What are the rates that you cite and how were they arrived at (eg, "present accumulation" of meteoric dust onto the moon)? How are we supposed to comment on or rebut something that you will not reveal?
Fortunately, most of your claims are quite well-known and we do know some sources for them. Though they might not be the same as your source, since these claims circulate throughout the creationist community like urban legends.
In fact, a number of your claims are listed in an Answers in Genesis article concerning claims that creationists should not use. You should also note that several of Kent Hovind's claims are also on that list.
Just as an example -- and because I still cannot believe that anybody could consider for even a second to use this claim -- here's your claim from the "Biology" page: "Why are there still monkeys?" Go ahead and look it up in that AiG article and see for yourself.
I have only seen that claim actually used about three times in the 22 years I've been following the creation/evolution "issue" (quoted because it doesn't really exist, but rather is more a fabrication of "creation science") and each time I see it I get the same sick feeling of "the poor idiot, he just shot himself square in the foot again." It's the kind of really outlandishly stupid claim that somebody would dream up to spoof a creationist who is completely ignorant of even the most basic evolutionary theory, which is why I am always so shocked and appalled when I see somebody actually using it in earnest. I'm not trying to insult anyone here, but it just boggles the mind how anybody could not see what an obvious howler that claim is.
Seriously, now, explain yourself. Why do you think that there shouldn't still be monkeys? What part of evolutionary theory do you think requires all monkeys to be extinct? What makes you think that evolution requires that the instant the first animal crawled up onto the land that all life in the seas died out? Do a little reading on "allopatric speciation" (not from a creationist source, please, they're much too likely to misrepresent it) and then you should realize your error. And you should start to realize how much this type of claim discredits you and your cause.
Now on to your other claims. This will take several emails written over much time.
As presented on [QuestionEvolution.com], the two models for the origin of life and the universe were defined as follows:
The Evolution Model - Assuming no god and therefore no divine intervention or direction of any kind. A model which relies on uniformitism, natural selection, time and chance.
The Creation Model - This model, although not relying on the Bible for proof, does rely on the scenario as described therein, especially the order of the work performed in the six 24-hour days and the global, catastrophic flood.
All other models and theories are some mixture of these two, and were not considered on [QuestionEvolution.com].
David Wise (September 3, 2003)
OK, I see you're playing the old "Two Model Approach" game in which you rely solely on attacking your misconceptions about evolution in order to "prove" your "creation model" which you never present any evidence or support for. That is the basis for all of "creation science". It is a prime example of the "False Dichotomy" fallacy whose only practical use is to deceive and manipulate one's audience, which probably explains its enormous popularity among proselytizers.
It is noteworthy that you have broken slightly from general creation-science practice in that you at least give lip service to the existence of more models than the two standard contrived "models". At least you are able to avoid the embarassment of having to lump the vast majority of the world's religions, both ancient and modern, into the "atheistic naturalistic" "evolution model". However, at the same time, you still toe the creation-science mark by limiting the discussion to only those two contrived "models" AND at the same time presenting the fallacious conclusion that it's either your "evolution model" or your "creation model" and that by attacking your contrived "evolution model" you demonstrate support for your "creation model".
The reason why that conclusion is fallacious is because you are operating a false dichotomy. In a TRUE dichotomy, you really do have a choice between a few (usually two) clearly defined mutually-exclusive possibilities wherein one of them HAS to be true -- ie, they cannot all be false. In a TRUE dichotomy, by eliminating all the choices that can be demonstrated to be false, you are left with a single choice which must be true. That is in a TRUE dichotomy.
In a FALSE dichotomy, you create the illusion that you have a true dichotomy, whereas in reality you do not. In a FALSE dichotomy, eliminating the other "choices" does nothing at to prove the remaining "choice" to be true nor does it lend that remaining "choice" any support. Indeed, if the creationist is not careful, the false dichotomy of the "Two Model Approach" can AND HAS "proven" atheism instead of special creation. Indeed, many consider creation science to be one of the major contributors to the growth and spread of atheism.
But the bottom line here is that your statement of intent is false, especially given your approach of solely attacking your misunderstanding of evolution and of science:
"A careful and objective study of the universe points one more in the direction of special creation than natural evolution."
No, all your site demonstrates is that YOUR "evolution model" fails, not that evolution fails. And your site itself completely fails to demonstrate any support whatsoever for your "creation model". In order to demonstrate support for your "creation model", you would need to actually present positive evidence FOR creation, something that creationists have steadfastly refused to do for decades. The truth of the matter is that the facts of the natural world most strongly support one of those other models that you were so careful to not examine.
PS - Two different tests are used to detect a false dichotomy. Since a dichotomy places one on the "horns of a dilemma", their names are taken from that metaphor:
1. Going between the horns. Show that there are more choices than have been presented. You have already done that with your admission that other "models" exist. Indeed, there is a near-continuous spectrum of ideas/models involving creation and evolution. All your false dichotomy presents are two very extreme forms where are actually held by small minorities.
2. Grabbing the horns. Show that the two "mutually exclusive" choices are in fact NOT mutually exclusive, that they could both be true at the same time. In fact, creation and evolution are not mutually exclusive, nor do they need to conflict. It is only in certain extreme views that a conflict is seen.
It must be noted that your "evolution model" is not about evolution. Rather, it describes an extreme form of a PHILOSOPHY called evolutionISM. Although creationists frequently mix the two words together, evolution and evolutionISM are two different things.
Now, I would agree that extreme evolutionISM would conflict with theistic beliefs. But extreme evolutionISM misinterprets the relationship between science and religion, ironically in much the same way that creation science misinterprets that relationship. Science does not and cannot disprove God, nor is God restricted from using natural processes. The position that restricts God from using natural processes and maintains that finding a natural cause for something disproves God is the "God of the Gaps", which is a false theology.
Physicist Dr. Allan H. Harvey is a Christian whose essays include two concerning the "God of the Gaps" and why you should not be using it. From his essay, "A Personal View of the Evolution Issue": "The theory of evolution has been used as a tool by those arguing for atheism. However, as we have seen, this is not a valid use of the science itself; it is a philosophical extrapolation abetted by a "God of the Gaps" outlook. To reject the science because some abuse it in this manner would be to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Around 1800, some were using the determinism and broad explanatory success of Newton's science to advocate atheism. I don't know how churches responded, but it would have been a sad misdirection of effort for them to attack Newton's science (even though, like Darwin's science, it was not perfectly established as "fact"). Instead, the right thing in such situations is to reject the philosophical falsehood that having a scientific explanation for something in nature excludes God from being the creator and sustainer of that something."
In that essay, Dr. Harvey also points out that creationists' ignorant opposition to science only serves to place unnecessary stumbling blocks in the way of those who recognize their claims as nonsense. As Saint Augustine pointed out in the fourth century ("De Genese ad litteram"):
"It very often happens that there is some question as to the earth or the sky, or the other elements of this world -- respecting which one who is not a Christian has knowledge derived from most certain reasoning or observation, and it is very disgraceful and mischievous and of all things to be carefully avoided, that a Christian speaking of such matters as being according to the Christian Scriptures, should be heard by an unbeliever talking such nonsense that the unbeliever perceiving him to be as wide of the mark as east from west, can hardly restrain himself from laughing.
"And the real evil is not that a man is subjected to derision because of his error, but it is that to profane eyes, our authors (that is to say, the sacred authors) are regarded as having had such thoughts; and are also exposed to blame and scorn upon the score of ignorance, to the greatest possible misfortune of people whom we wish to save. For, in fine, these profane people happen upon a Christian busy in making mistakes on a subject which they know perfectly well; how, then, will they believe these holy books? How will they believe in the resurrection of the dead and in the hope of life eternal, and in the kingdom of heaven, when, according to an erroneous assumption, these books seem to them to have as their object those very things which they, the profane, by their direct experience or by calculation which admits of no doubt? It is impossible to say what vexation and sorrow prudent Christians meet with through these presumptuous and bold spirits who, taken to task one day for their silly and false opinion, and realizing themselves on the point of being convicted by men who are not obedient to the authority of our holy books, wish to defend their assertions so thoughtless, so bold, and so manifestly false. For they then commence to bring forward as a proof precisely our holy books, or again they attribute to them from memory that which seems to support their opinion, and they quote numerous passages, understanding neither the texts they quote, nor the subject about which they are making statement."
It is not without good reason that "creation science" is considered one of the principal causes for the growth and spread of atheism. I also have a growing list of former creationists whose faith was either destroyed or nearly destroyed by "creation science."
Your beef is not with evolution, but rather with evolutionISM. So address the real problems of evolutionISM and fight against IT, not against your imaginary "problems" of science. In attacking your strawman version of science instead of your real opponent, you only succeed in exposing your ignorance of the real issues involved and your ignorance of science and of the facts (your site does an excellent job of this). You only succeed in exposing yourself as a fool, which does your cause no good whatsoever.
Aron-Ra (September 7, 2003)
I have a great many criticisms of this site that should be addressed, not the least of which being your "evolutionist" forum which remains mysteriously empty even though I know of several evolutionists who have posted challenges to it.
As for the objectivity which your site claims, compare that to http://www.talkorigins.org/ and you'll see that there aren't any of the misleading questions posted there that your site relies on, and in fact there are several links to creationists sites allowing them to explain their positions in their own words first-hand. In truth there's no better way to plead for evolution than to allow creationists a chance to speak for themselves.
Would you then be so bold as to post a link to the Talk.Origins Usenet group on your site? I doubt very much if you would even consider doing something like that. You should see how your site is being shredded in the thread bearing your name.
I also doubt if you'll make any of the necessary changes to your site should I show sufficient reason for their correction. For example, the evolution model is accepted by many Christians, most of them in fact. The United States is the only 1st world country with a considerable percentage of creationists, a distinction that has made us something of a curiosity even in the global Christian community as well as the scientific one. And we're not setting a very good example either because we're not only the most religious country in the 1st world, but we also have (by far) the highest violent crime rate of any developed nation. For the rest of the world, the answer to why both our religiosity and criminality have taken such hold on our populace is obvious. Our education system is substandard across the board. For example, our science students rank 37th in the world's scholastic average, well below Europe and most of Asia. We score just barely higher than some of the Islamic nations who still enforce theocracy. That level of scholastic ineptitude is what leads to sites like yours.
The US may be divided on the issue of human origins, but the rest of Christendom is dominated by evolutionists. And beyond the Christian world, evolution is also accepted by many Hindus and those of many other religions as well. So obviously there is no requirement in it that there be no god despite what your site claims. If you leave this comment on your site knowing this, it will be considered a deliberate attempt at deception.
Contrary to the claims on your site, the creation model does rely on religious books as their only evidence, but it doesn't rely on the universe being formed in six literal days. You're forgetting that Old-Age Creationists are Biblical creationists too. There are also about 800 million Hindu creationists who's Vedic scriptures are far older than your Bible, and these ancient documents claim that the universe was created more-or-less all-at-once 4.32 billion years ago. Hinduism definitely isn't a mixture of either materialism or six-day Biblical creationism despite your claim that all other models and theories are some mixture of these two. What it really comes down to is one globally consistent scientific model and a whole bunch of inter-conflicting and unrelated religious myths with the Bible being no more significant than the Zend Avesta or the Bhagavad-Gita.
There are many other conceptual origins that aren't related to these two either, including Inuit and Australian creation myths, alien seeding, (as with the Raelians and Scientologists) and of course Intelligent Design "theory". But in fact there is only one scientific Theory on the subject, and that field of study is supported by most Christians including one of the world's foremost paleontologists, Dr. Bob Bakker, who is both an evolutionist as well as a born-again Southern Baptist minister. Maybe you should write him about your site? I'm sure he'd get a kick out of it just as I'm sure you'd get a kick out of him.
Then finally this site obviously is specifically meant to present a case for Biblical creationism though you pretend to deny that, and there have never been any decent books that can even try to defend creationism on scientific grounds. Evolution is far better supported than you could possibly know. I and many other "evolutionists" have already answered every question on your site in public forum as evidenced by the Talk.Origins archives, and will do so again for you here. None of your challenges will be dismissed until they are properly addressed, and none of them represent any stumbling block for evolutionary Theory. Oh, and one more thing. Evolution is a fundamental aspect of biology. It hasn't got squat to do with the solar system.
So every claim on your home page is already dead-wrong back-to-front, and that's just the first page! Your entire site is one long list of falsehoods, and I'm prepared to prove that to your satisfaction if you'll guarantee that all of my statements will be posted on your site in their entirety verbatim, and that you will properly address every point and answer every direct question I put to you. A careful and objective study of the universe points one only in the direction of natural evolution, and I'm prepared to prove that to you as well. Take your Aristotle quote to heart on this one, and try it out.
If you accept, I will begin by addressing each of the questions you pose in your Biology section, (the ones you wrongly claimed no "evolutionist" has ever answered) and I will counter all of the erroneous claims you make there. I don't intend to waste my time, so this will be a formal exchange, and you may want to set a page aside just for that. And remember that I'm not just going to argue a different opinion, I'm going to prove my points as conclusively as possible.
This message is also being posted to the Talk.Origins Usenet group so that experts from both sides around the world will know if you refuse my simple challenge.
L. Aron Nelson
[See the QuestionEvolution.com's webmaster respond on the correspondence page.]