Argument 1: Evolution is a fact
This isn’t an argument, it’s a statement.
A true statement, based on the overwhelming empirical evidence for evolution.
Scientific understanding requires both facts and theories that can explain those facts in a coherent manner. Evolution, in this context, is both a fact and a theory. It is an incontrovertible fact that organisms have changed, or evolved, during the history of life on Earth. And biologists have identified and investigated mechanisms that can explain the major patterns of change.
Argument 2: Only the uneducated reject evolution
This is not a claim made by “evolutionists”.
This is a misinterpretation of the evidence that shows that those people who are more educated, are far more likely to accept the fact of evolution, compared to those who are relatively uneducated. College graduates believe evolution more than high school graduates. The National Academy of Sciences boasts over 98% acceptance of evolution, and 93% disbelief in a creator god.
This graph shows the USA second only to Turkey in rejecting evolution, with a staggering 50+ percent of those asked rejecting evolution as false. Those countries to the far left of the graph (with <20% rejection of evolution), all have higher education standards and less religiosity than those on the right, like the USA and Turkey. Many studies show a direct correlation between higher education and acceptance of evolution.
Argument 3: Overwhelming evidence in all fields of science supports evolution
AIG – The irony, of course, is that for centuries prior to Darwin’s publication of On the Origin of Species, the majority of scientists found the opposite to be true: the “evidence” supported creation. What changed? Not the evidence.
No, what changed was the understanding of the evidence when viewed through a lens unfiltered by religious dogma. An acceptance of the convergence of evidence from many totally separate fields of study that ALL point to the same incontrovertible conclusion, that all life forms on earth (animal and plant), have share a common ancestor that existed more than three billion years ago.
Argument 4: Doubting evolution is like doubting gravity
AIG – Why does this argument fail? We’ll show you. Take a pencil or pen. Hold it in the air. Then drop it to the floor. That’s gravity. Next, make a single-celled organism—like an amoeba—turn into a goat. Go ahead. We’ll wait. . . . No?
Dropping a pencil is observational evidence of gravity. (the theory of gravity attempts to explain this observed phenomena) No-one who understands physics denies gravity, just as no-one who understands biology, or paleontology, denies evolution.
AIG – As you can see, there’s a fundamental difference between operational science, which can be tested through repeatable experimentation, and historical science, which cannot.
There is no such thing as historical science. All science is observational, none more so than evolution by natural selection. Paleontologists observe fossils and rock strata, biologists observe cells dividing, genetic diversity in nature, speciation in the laboratory, astronomers and cosmologists observe light from distant galaxies, physicists observe radioactive decay in elements.
In a court of law, no more weight is given to evidence from eyewitnesses. compared to forensic evidence. On the contrary, most judges would tell you that eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable. Many historical crimes have been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, using fingerprints or other such forensic technology, what ken Ham would call “historical” science. I sure hope he’s never on a jury of peers judging me.
Argument 5 Doubting evolution is like believing the earth is flat
AIG – …….direct, repeatable observation shows us the earth is round and orbiting the sun. Evolutionary stories about fossils are not direct observations; they’re assumption-based beliefs.
Direct repeatable observation shows us that Precambrian fossils are always found in Precambrian rock strata (but never rabbits)
Direct, repeatable observation shows us that speciation occurs, both in the laboratory and in the wild.
Direct, repeatable observation shows us that elements decay at a known rate.
Direct repeatable observation shows us that light travels at a constant speed in a vacuum
Argument 6: It’s here, so it must have evolved
This is yet another alleged argument from us evolutionists that I am yet to actually hear or read. Anywhere.
Argument 7: Natural selection is evolution
Argument 8: Common design means common ancestry
AIG – Historical common descent is not and cannot be confirmed through observation. Rather, certain observations are explained by assumptions about the past. These observations, we might add, have alternative explanations. Common body plans (homology), for example, do not prove common descent—that’s an assumption. A common Designer fits the evidence just as well, if not better.
Focus in: Comparative Similarities: Homology
Argument 9: Sedimentary layers show millions of years of geological activity
AIG – Sedimentary layers show one thing: sedimentary layers. In other words, we can—and should—study the rocks, but the claim that rocks prove the earth must be billions of years old ignores one important point: such an interpretation is built upon a stack of assumptions. When we start from the Bible and examine the rocks within the framework of a global Flood, the need for long ages vanishes.
This is one of my absolute favourites.
Creationists love using the Grand Canyon as an example of the destructive force of the global flood. They even have creationist tours of the canyon. They kayak down the rapids, all the while observing the hundreds of sedimentary layers, each containing different types of fossils or minerals, hundreds of feet high, while the guide explains to them how the flood laid down all those separate layers and sorted all the creatures into a neat order.
Then later on during the tour, the guide will explain how it was the flood that carved the great canyon out of the rock. Are you confused yet?
I like looking at aerial views of the grand canyon and imagining a raging torrent of global floodwaters carving a furrow into the stone and creating a canyon a mile high and a mile wide in just a very short time. And then I wonder about the meandering 🙂 I’ve never seen a raging river meander.
According to Answers in Genesis and other “flood geologists”, this was caused by a raging torrent in a few weeks or months……..
Argument 10: Mutations drive evolution
AIG – Perhaps because of movies and fiction, the popular idea is that mutations make evolution go. Given enough time, shifts in the genetic code will produce all the variety of plants and animals on earth—and beyond. The problem? Mutations cannot produce the types of changes evolution requires—not even close. Some may benefit an organism (e.g., beetles on a windy island losing wings), but virtually every time mutations come with a cost.
Argument 11: The Scopes trial
AIG – Misconceptions about the Scopes trial run rampant.
How is the Scopes Trial an argument?
It might be an argument for separating the church from the state, or removing superstitious religious dogma from classrooms, but it’s not and never has been an “argument” for or against evolution.
Argument 12: Science vs. religion
AIG – News stories thrive on conflict and intrigue, and one common theme presents science and religion as opposing forces—reason struggling to overcome draconian divine revelation. It grabs attention, but it’s bunk. Many atheists and humanists oppose biblical Christianity, but science does not.
Science doesn’t “oppose” anything.
Science is a method for determining the truth about reality, using tried and tested protocols.
Creationism will never be a scientific theory like evolution, as it is unfalsifiable.
Whilst there may be creationist scientists, none of them can use their creation beliefs to do science, because having a preconceived notion that is anathema to the scientific method.