Field of Science

Creationist erudition 101

Ouch, my God, that burns! Of all the attempts to attack evolution and defend creationism, this article on is one of the most pitiful I have ever read. It's a collection of misunderstandings, logical errors, semantic mistakes all rolled into one, and then coated with an air of erudition (which to creationists largely means quoting someone with a Ph.D. in whatever). Nothing is said that hasn't been said a hundred times over in letters to the editors of American local newspapers across the nation. This article is such a piece of junk that I just can't get over it. Hopefully blogging about it will be the cure of that plague.

But first, who are these people?
The subjects and thrust were selected and developed by Greene Hollowell, the research and composition by Evan Moore.
I googled their names, but all it got was this article. Hollowell supplied the Christian bias and selected which misconceptions to reiterate, and Moore did the hard work of copying and pasting from conservapedia or some such conservative Christian source of Truth.

Damning Christian bias:
In light of today's growing focus on science, it is essential to address the issue [of the conflicting views of evolution and creationism]. Through this treatise, we hope to show that God is the true creator of all life on earth and that evolution is a biased and illogical explanation for the creation and sustaining of life. [Setting yourself up for failure.]
Misrepresenting scientists:
What Scientists Say...

Evolution is derived from Naturalism, which assumes that things made themselves. [Wrong.] Naturalism suggests God had no part in the creation of life and assumes He has not attempted to share with humanity any information about the past.[1] At its core, evolution is the belief that "nothing" became "something." [Is not!] Non-living matter developed into living matter. It assumes that "single-celled organisms gave rise to many-celled organisms." It goes on to propose that "invertebrates gave rise to vertebrates, ape-like creatures gave rise to man, non-intelligent and amoral matter gave rise to intelligence and morality, and man's yearnings gave rise to religions."[2] Evolution is one of the major cornerstones of modern biological theory, taught in most school around the world. In Refuting Evolution, Jonathan Sarfati states, "The whole secular education system in America (and most other countries around the world) is underpinned by evolution."[3] Many scientists believe in evolution because it is the most practical alternative to believing in Creation [that's mostly not the reason - it is the only model supported by evidence], which they consider too incredible.[4] [Here I agree.] Most scientists will also admit evolution is not a proven fact, yet they treat it as fact and teach it as fact. [It is not proven with mathematical rigor (because that is never possible in science), but is so well supported by evidence that the occurrence of evolution is considered a scientific fact. Careful of the semantics!] Ironically, evolution is just as faith-based as Christianity. [Many people will confuse the blind faith in scripture of religions with the "faith" that seeing the same event a thousand times will make it likely that it will occur again. It is called induction, and contrary to religious faith, it actually works.]
Getting some core concepts wrong:
It is important to understand several key principles [Then try a little harder next time.]:

First, "the scientific method is limited to the study of processes as they occur at present." [Nonsense!] Science cannot speculate about past occurrences. [Sure it can. And does. As do everyone else all the time. In courts of law, and returning from the movies: "The house is a total mess, the kids are not in their beds, and the babysitter is nowhere to be seen. I must conclude that she took the money and ran without doing her job."] It can only deal with "how," "what," and "where" questions. "When" and "why" are out of bounds.[5] ["Judging from the body temperature and the fact that his broken wristwatch shows 4:03 AM, I estimate that he has been dead for about 3 hours."] Therefore, it is impossible to apply the scientific method to a concept like the Creation because it occurred so long ago. [No, historical sciences are very solidly based in evidence.]

Second, the word "science" means "knowledge." Since evolution is rooted in science - or so scientists say - it would seem essential to "know" with all certainty that evolution is true. [You are just making up stuff, now. Since we know that nothing about nature can be known with absolute certainty, the goal of knowing this about evolution (or any other scientific theory) is futile. No one in science would accept such a statement.] But no one has actually seen evolution occur. [I have. Many other scientists have.] There is no actual "knowledge" of evolution. [...!] In The Modern Creation Trilogy, Morris and Morris write, "The changes we do see in living species are either "horizontal" changes, at the same level of organized complexity [or] "downward" changes (e.g., mutations and extinctions)."[6] [And Henry Morris is just the person to ask about these things?] There is no scientific evidence for evolution. [There is plenty.] Believing in evolution requires faith.[7] [No, just induction.] Ultimately, neither creation nor evolution can be proved or disproved through evidence. ["Rabbit fossils in the Cambrian" would disprove a large part of evolutionary theory. Go look or shut up!] Both concepts occurred in the past, which the realm of science cannot touch. But creationism can be deemed the more logical faith. [With your interpretation of logic I trust you can deem anything you like.]

Third, one must understand evolution is not a fact. There is a strong difference between the terms "hypothesis," "theory," "law," and "fact." A hypothesis is "a statement that can be tested scientifically by some kind of experiment that could refute it if it is wrong."[8] A theory is a hypothesis that has been tested many times but hasn't been refuted yet. And a law of science is "a theory that has been tested, with positive results, so often and in so many different ways that it is almost certainly a confirmed fact of science."[9] However, many scientists are careful to confess that even a law could eventually be refuted. It is impossible to officially deem a law as absolute fact. Evolution should be called a theory rather than a law or fact of science. [This is one of the most tired semantic fallacies around. The relationship between hypothesis law, etc. is just not as described here. Evolution has occurred, that is the fact. The knowledge we have about how it occurs, and what did occur, is the theory. Within the theory various laws describe, for example, how evolution occurs (e.g. Dollo's law), and hypotheses are continually generated by scientists to be tested in order to increase our knowledge. That really isn't so hard to grasp, though I realize it is much easier to deliberately misconstrue.]
Fossil record inadequacies:
One of the strongest [unsubstantiated] arguments against evolution is lack of evidence in the fossil record. Many evolutionists claim the fossil records prove evolution, but they do not [sic! There is only one fossil record.]. If evolution was the true process of creation and all living things developed [no, evolved] from something else over time, there should be fossils that indicate their transitions. [And many have been found (Tiktaalik is a favorite of mine.)] There should be fossils that depict creatures with "incipient eyes, [half-way wings, half-scales turning into feathers, and partially-evolved forelimbs]."[10] [You say there should be, but evolutionary theory does not predict your ridiculous half-eyes.] Morris and Morris make a valid [no, uninformed] point: "It seems very strange that the fossilization process selected only those individuals for preservation that already had completed particular stages of evolutionary progress, and yet preserved these in great abundance and variety."[11] Billions of fossils have been preserved around the world, but none depicting transitional forms have been found. [I don't know about billions, but either way, many transitional fossils have been found. You can keep saying it all you want, but doing so will not constitute evidence. Read Prothero's Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters for a long list of transitional fossils.]
Funny conclusion:
While this discourse has only taken a cursory look at the information and research surrounding the debate between creationism and evolution, it has hopefully shed a little light on some modern misconceptions about evolution and its place in the world as "scientific fact." [Blinding light.] Ultimately, Darwinian Evolution is merely a theory, and, although it seems rooted in science, it is actually rooted in faith. [In science, "theory" is the highest attainable attribute.]

It is crucial for Christians to understand the Creation and to accept it as truth, because the Creation story is the keystone of Christianity. If one does not believe in the Genesis account, why should they believe anything else the Bible says? [Indeed!] The Creation is the foundation of the Bible, and it is imperative to the Christian's walk with God that they believe in His role as the Creator. [Vaya con Dios, then, ignoranimuses.]


  1. Teehee! This is lovely. It is like what PersonalFailure does, but with less swearing!

    One of these days perhaps I will give that Prothero book to my sister a gift. Once I have girded my loins and actually sat down to watch the Expelled DVD she gave me as a gift.

    One nitpick spelling error, from early in the post: "the cure of that plaque" would be toothpaste, a good, sturdy toothbrush and some floss. :)

  2. Prothero's book is a bit of a heavy read, but can easily be used as a reference book to look up, say, transitional fossils. I highly recommend it.


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