Friday, June 25, 2010

AiG's "12 Arguments Evolutionists Should Avoid"

I was looking for something to write about and I found this on the front page of the AiG website.
12 Arguments Evolutionists Should Avoid

1. Evolution is a fact.

Yes, it is. Why evolutionists should avoid using this as an argument against creationist nonsense is beyond me. They link to an article (on their site) that spends more time talking about the big bang than it does about evolution. The article also uses a dozen or so arguments against evolution that have been thoroughly debunked, so I won't bother doing it again.

2. Only the uneducated reject evolution.

I wouldn't use this as an argument at all ever. I would substitute uneducated for 'scientifically ignorant' and then use it. Many creationists have outstanding academic credentials, and some creationists working for AiG and the discovery institute even have degrees in biology. Most of them obtained their degrees to gain some kind of credibility to back up their creationist idiocy. Jonathan Wells explicitly stated once that he only got his Ph.D.  in molecular and cell biology so he could debunk evolution. This kind of self-deception is rampant within creationists. What baffles me about these people is that they would have had to pretend to accept evolution for several years while they were studying.

3. Overwhelming evidence in all fields of science supports evolution.

As with the first reason, AiG don't seem to realise that it IS the case. Every single piece of evidence ever uncovered supports evolution. They seem to think that because most scientists thought the world was created centuries ago (before Darwin) makes their position more viable. Science changes, new facts are revealed, facts have shown that the earth is over 4 billion years old and that life evolved. Learn to deal with it.

4. Doubting evolution is like doubting gravity.

They are misrepresenting the argument completely. This is generally used as a counter argument to when the creationists say "evolution is only a theory", which is replied to with "gravity is also only a theory".

5. Doubting evolution is like believing the earth is flat.

In a sense it is. Overwhelming, irreconcilable evidence suggests to us that the earth is an oblate spheroid. Similarly, overwhelming irreconcilable evidence suggests to us that life evolved from a single common ancestor. They misrepresent the argument here again, trying to defend their position by saying that the bible says the earth is round (the bible doesn't say it is spherical, merely round). Sure the bible does say that, but the bible also says that the earth is held up by pillars, and mentions the four corners of the earth. Either way, they misrepresented the argument, and it still stands up to scrutiny.

6. It is here so it must have evolved.

I don't know anyone who would use that argument when debating creationists. It is true that these days, scientists simply assume by default that a given organism evolved, and when looking at its ancestry they try to find out how it evolved, but this is only because evolution is a fact. We know evolution happens, we have observed speciation, and we have irreconcilable evidence that all life evolved.

7. Natural selection is evolution.

No it isn't and no scientist will ever say that it is. Natural selection is the driving force behind biological evolution, the two terms are not interchangeable. This seems to be them trying to use 'natural selection' to refer to what they generally call 'micro-evolution' which it also isn't. They refer to different things. AiG fail once again.

8. Common design means common ancestry.

They try to say that Homology doesn't equate to common ancestry, and that it is only an assumption made by scientists. They are (no surprise) wrong. It is not only an assumption. Complementary evidence also helps us understand which animals have common ancestors. Some features evolved several times in different branches of the tree of life, and although they may be almost homologous, they do not share a recent common ancestor. In most cases though, they do.

9. Sedimentary layers show millions of years of geological activity.

Yes, they do. But sedimentary layers are not the only piece of evidence that is used to date the earth, in fact, sedimentary layers aren't even used to date the earth at all. It is the rock from lava flows within sedimentary layers that are used to date the earth. They seem to think that one giant catastrophic global flood can account for all the sedimentary layers we see. This simply isn't the case, and the video I linked a few weeks ago is part of a series that completely debunks creationist geology. The video series is made by a retired geologist too.

10. Mutations drive evolution

The creationist idea of mutations is ghastly. They seem to think that every single mutation is harmful. I'm not going to go into detail on what is wrong with their view here, as it is covered in great detail on TalkOrigins.

11. The Scopes trial.

How is this even an argument against creationism? It's more of an argument against Theocracy, and against religion within government. Idiots.

12. Science vs. Religion.

I also fail to see how this is any kind of argument. For centuries religion has held back the progress of science and through people like the morons at AiG, it is continuing to attempt to do so. Religion is directly responsible for the the Dark Ages, and with creationists running the world, we would sink into another Dark Age, where all scientific progress would be halted for another 1000 years.

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