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Feb 09 2014

A short answer

Just for fun, I thought I’d take a stab at the 22 Messages from Creationists, giving each one a short response. Let’s start with the last one.

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

If we came from our parents and grandparents, why do we still have parents and grandparents? Or, to put it in Christian terms, if Jesus came from God, then why would there still be a God?

Think, dude.

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

“Big Bang” is a figure of speech—nothing actually exploded. The universe has been getting bigger since the beginning of time, which means that as you go back in time, it was smaller. If we do the math, we find that about 13.8 billion years ago, the universe had virtually no size at all. Notice that’s not just the contents of the universe that were small. The universe, space itself, had virtually no size at all. And since that’s the beginning of time (as far as we can tell), there is no “before” during which anything could happen to cause it. The material universe is uncreated, and therefore has no creator.

20. How can you look at the world and not believe Someone Created/thought of it? It’s Amazing!!!

I can do it because I’m not a superstitious animist. Animism is a primitive superstition that seeks to account for things by attributing them to the deliberate actions of unseen magical persons. It has a bad reputation today because it fails to explain anything or provide any useful information. You learn a lot more about disease by studying microbiology (which does explain things) than by deciding illness is caused by evil spirits. Yet animism and superstition live on today, in the form of creationism and ID.

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

There’s two kinds of faith. If we believe whatever we’re told, regardless of the evidence, or even despite the evidence, then that’s one kind of faith, but that’s also the definition of “gullibility.” On the other hand, we can also trust that certain things are true because they are consistent with reality. Reality is consistent with itself, and when we believe the things that are consistent with reality, that’s a different kind of “faith,” and it’s also the definition of “knowledge.” So yes, you can believe in the Big Bang without gullibility-type faith. Just use knowledge-type faith.

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

Because the name “Lucy” is the name scientists gave to one individual specimen of Australopithecus afarensis. Fossils of this particular species are indeed rare, but we do have several other specimens besides Lucy.

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

I don’t have to be here for anyone else’s purpose, and in fact it rather diminishes human worth to suggest we’re all just pawns on someone else’s chessboard. I am here for my own purposes, and in my case that means seeking to make life better for myself and those around me.

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

There are many such mechanisms, of course, as even creationists must admit. There are more than 15 million species known today, and in order for that many species to have descended from a mere 7,000 breeding pairs on board the ark, the rate of increase would have to be much higher than what biologists estimate. If all mutations were negative, we would have to have fewer species today than were on board the Ark, so creationism basically refutes itself.

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?

Because creationism and ID are superstition, accounting for things by attributing them to magical invisible beings. Science seeks to explain the world, which means describing the observable and verifiable chains of cause and effect that turn one set of conditions into a different set of conditions. Creationism and ID actively impede scientific investigation by designating large chunks of the world as effectively off limits, due to magic. Superstition is the opposite of science, and therefore has no place in science class.

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

Evolution is taught as fact precisely because it is not like creationism or the Bible. The Bible is a book of stories, many of which are not consistent with what we find in the real world. The term “fact” refers to things, such as evolution, that are consistent with what we find in the real world. Snakes don’t talk, there are no magical trees whose fruit will make you immortal if you eat it, and rain doesn’t come from God opening doors in the sky to let water from heaven fall down on us. But there are fossils and genes that tell us all about evolution.

13. Does metamorphosis help support evolution?

It’s not something that evolution depends on, and it’s an area of active study, but there’s certainly nothing there to seriously challenge evolution.

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

Creationism requires roughly the same number of transitional species to go from 7,000 created “kinds” to 15 million known species, so the purported “absence” of “inbetweens” does as much harm to creationism as to evolution. But that’s a moot point, since the transitional species aren’t absent. They’re just being denied by creationists—the adult version of “La-la-la, I can’t hear you.”

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

Most of us don’t, but the ones that do are only proposing a reasonable amount of extra-terrestrial intervention. It’s still a violation of Occam’s Razor, but much less so than proposing invisible magical beings operating by an entirely different set of laws than any laws we have ever encountered, from some place that exists outside of everything we have any access to.

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

You have the first kind of faith. (See #19, above.)

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

Depends on how you define “chance.” If you mean random changes happening without any kind of law or order being involved, then no. We’re still studying the origin of life, but what we do know is that biochemical reactions follow strict laws based on the electrostatic properties of the molecules involved. Given these properties, which are inherent in the atomic nature of matter, certain types of interactions are possible, and other types are not. By studying these interactions, we can eventually work out what the initial conditions and chain of events must have been.

8. Where do you derive objective meaning in life?

Meaning is an inherent property of reality itself, and comes from the fact that reality is consistent with itself. “Consistent” means two things: that reality does not contradict itself, and that everything within reality is interconnected to multiple other things. Because of this interconnectedness, we can take the things we already know and use them to discover new things, by following the inherent relationships between them. This interconnectedness is “meaning,” and since it’s an inherent part of the nature of reality itself, it cannot be created.

7. WHAT ABOUT NOETICS?

Noetics is similar to quantum, in that it is sometimes abused by people who want to exploit the woo factor of abstruse topics in order to lend credence to claims that are pure bunk. Noetics has no more to do with evolution than phrenology does.

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

They don’t. And that just goes to show why creationism should not be taught in public schools. It only equips people to fail to understand basic scientific principles.

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

Non-superstitiously.

4. Does not the Second law of thermodynamics disprove Evolution?

No it does not. It also does not disprove the claim that complex, multicellular adults can grow from single fertilized egg cells. Again, creationism only equips people to fail at science.

3. Is it completely illogical that the earth was created mature? i.e. trees created with rings… Adam created as an adult…

It is just as logical as believing that everything was created instantaneously last Thursday: history books with stories, people with “memories,” etc. However, to be scientific, there needs to be more to a conjecture than that it can be framed in superficially plausible terms.

2. Are you scared of a Divine Creator?

No more so than I’m scared of Thor, or leprechauns, or ghosts, or dragons.

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

Absolutely. One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is to equip them to discern the difference between reality and the fantasies by which others will seek to enslave and exploit them.

 

23 comments

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  1. 1
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    It’s interesting how the deliberate “bumper sticker” format of the Buzzfeed article doesn’t negatively impact the creationist arguments one bit. They are slogans with no depth, designed to be blurted out, not pondered.

    I suppose it’s what they’re used to. That’s how they treat their own holy book.

  2. 2
    Andrew G.

    “22. If we came from monkeys then why are there still monkeys?”

    Better response: “If we came from our grandparents, why do we still have cousins?”

    1. 2.1
      Deacon Duncan

      Heh, yeah, I like that one better myself. Thanks.

    2. 2.2
      typecaster

      I’ve always used “If man was created from dust, why is there still dust?” Bringing in grandparents and cousins requires though, and could result in injury.

  3. 3
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    I think the world is even more amazing now that I don’t believe it was cobbled together by unseen puppet masters as a stage for their petty brawl. As a bonus, I don’t have to contort myself into knots explaining why so much of the universe is inimical to the very beings it was ostensibly designed to support.

  4. 4
    wholething

    If we came from dust, why is there still dust?

    1. 4.1
      typecaster

      Sorry, didn’t read the whole thread first.

  5. 5
    rapiddominance

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

    The Cambrian Explosian indicates the possibliity of an extraordinarily RAPID increase of genetic information. Outside of speculation and assumptions, scientists are baffled by the relatively sudden appearance of these advanced life forms.

    There are more than 15 million species known today, and in order for that many species to have descended from a mere 7,000 breeding pairs on board the ark, the rate of increase would have to be much higher than what biologists estimate.

    Some might conjecture that an event like the Cambrian Explosion lends credence to the possibility that life evolved quickly after the ark landed. In other words, if it happened once, it could happen again.

    Scott Morgan

    1. 5.1
      Deacon Duncan

      Are you suggesting that the new Cambrian “information” is sufficient to account for all the millions of new species that would not have been on board any ark?

      I think you might want to learn more about the length of time involved in this “explosion,” and the types of new patterns that appeared in the fossil record, from non-creationist/ID sources.

      1. rapiddominance

        To be honest, Deacon, I don’t even know what the “new patterns” are–not from any source. I’ve just heard a bunch of quibbling from both sides and then speculated on how to apply an idea that I only loosely understood. Its not the type of thing I’m adverse to when it comes to chit-chat.

        Can you site a few sources that might interest me? I’d prefer something on the net so that I don’t have to go to a book store (funds are tight these days), but if you can only site books I guess I can see what I can do.

        Scott Morgan

      2. rapiddominance

        Thank you, Deacon.

  6. 6
    rapiddominance

    “Big Bang” is a figure of speech—nothing actually exploded. The universe has been getting bigger since the beginning of time, which means that as you go back in time, it was smaller.

    I’m not an expert on these matters, but science tv and literature often describe the event as violent, highly energetic, and EXPLOSIVE. In other words, the “dot” didn’t just smoothly begin to expand.

    The universe, space itself, had virtually no size at all. And since that’s the beginning of time (as far as we can tell), there is no “before” during which anything could happen to cause it. The material universe is uncreated, and therefore has no creator.

    Christians usually acknowledge God as the creator of time and as an entity apart from his creation. You’ve said nothing under item #21 to scientifically conclude that the “universe is uncreated, and therefore has no creator”. Science can only claim uncertainty regarding this particular matter.

    1. 6.1
      Deacon Duncan

      In order to create something there must be some point in time when it does not already exist. Since the material universe begins at the same instant as time itself, there has never been a time when the material universe did not exist. Therefore even if God had the power to create the material universe, He would never have the opportunity to do so, since it has existed for all of time. What the Big Bang establishes is that time does not extend infinitely far into the past, but that’s not the same as the universe having a point where it was created.

      1. Aaron

        Haha, you replied before I could get mine typed out. This times a thousand.

      2. rapiddominance

        Therefore even if God had the power to create the material universe, He would never have the opportunity to do so, since it has existed for all of time.

        I suppose that time (along with place) is a prerequisite to “opportunity”. This is the moment, however, when the theist insists that “God exists outside of time” and that time is part of his creation.

        But what does it mean to “exist outside of time”?

        I don’t know.

        Going back to that almost infinitely tiny dot that WAS our universe, are there any good speculations or scientific answers that you can think of as to what caused it to exist OR why it began to expand?

      3. Deacon Duncan

        Causes are dependent on the existence of time, therefore it is meaningless to speak of anything causing the beginning of time (and other artifacts of the Big Bang).

        Our perception and understanding of the world are developed within the context of time, and therefore we take it for granted that everything is understandable in chronological terms such as cause-and-effect. But this understanding is inadequate to deal with the beginning of time, because time has no prior causes. “Prior” means “earlier in time,” but if there were any time earlier than the beginning, then it would not be the beginning.

        As for God “existing outside of time,” that’s actually an inherently incoherent concept. If it were true and meaningful, it would mean God could as easily alter the past as He could the future, and thus you could fairly judge God’s ability to transform the future by praying to Him to change the past, and then seeing how effective He was at it.

      4. rapiddominance

        What the Big Bang establishes is that time does not extend infinitely far into the past, but that’s not the same as the universe having a point where it was created.

        I agree with this. Currently, my idea (based on limited knowledge) is that the Big Bang Theory neither confirms nor denies creation. Do I think the theory allows a certain degree of credence to the notion of creation? Yes, and if I understand correctly some (or many) atheists were a little disturbed by the theory when it first came out. It seems they wanted a more static universe. These days, atheists don’t appear to me to have a problem with it.

      5. Deacon Duncan

        Some apologists have tried to spin the story of the Big Bang to make it look like the discovery was a blow to atheism and a vindication of creationism, but that has never actually been the case. Those who were surprised and/or skeptical about it were simply reacting to the newness of it, regardless of their belief or lack of belief in God. But again, what the Big Bang shows is that, contrary to creationism, there has never been a time when the material universe did not exist—which is unsurprising, since time, along with space, matter, and energy, is what the material universe consists of. If time exists, uncreated, then necessarily at least part of the material universe is uncreated. But the Big Bang theory shows that space, matter, and energy are coterminal with time, i.e. they share the same point of origin and thus are also uncreated, since there never was a time when they did not already exist.

        I don’t see how you can claim that the Big Bang theory fails to deny creation, since it renders the whole concept of creation a moot point. To be the Creator of the universe, God must have the ability, opportunity, and motive. The Genesis myth may ascribe to Him the ability and the motive, but since there has never been a time when the material universe did not exist, the opportunity is missing, and thus He can never create it.

        Think about the beginning of time: it’s an aspect of the material universe, but clearly God did not and cannot cause it to begin to exist. The law of cause-and-effect is a time-dependent relationship: if the effect occurs first (i.e. earlier in time), then whatever happens later cannot be the cause of it. But there is no way any cause could occur earlier in time than the beginning of time. Time must exist first, before there can be any causes of any later effects. Therefore the existence of time must precede all causes, even purportedly supernatural ones. It’s not a question of supernatural power, it’s a question of opportunity. There has never been any time when time did not exist, and therefore time cannot be caused or created by any natural or supernatural agency.

        But perhaps by “creation” you mean something different than God bringing the material universe into existence out of nothing. If so, I would invite you to describe the kind of sequence of events you envision as constituting creation, so we can speak about that specifically. Or perhaps you’re falling into the trap of thinking that there was some period of time before the beginning of time, during which God could make plans about what He wanted to happen at a later time, such as the beginning of time and space. If so, I trust you’ll see the contradiction inherent in assuming that there was a time during which time did not yet exist. Just as an omnipotent God cannot create a weight too heavy for Himself to lift, a Creator cannot do anything during the time when time itself did not exist. It’s a logical impossibility.

      6. rapiddominance

        Actually, I was simply referring to “God bringing the material universe into existence out of nothing.”

        Notice also that I said earlier that I have no idea how God can exist outside of time (even though I’m a believer). My entire existence is bound to time and I have no idea how I, or anything else, can operate outside of it.

        In trying to understand how God can exist outside of time, I can NEVER escape imaging a notion that you just mentioned: “A time before time”. That puts me in the delimma of wondering what God did with infinite time before he created what we call the universe (and what theists also call “creation”)..

        When I said earlier that some (or many) atheists were disturbed when the Big Bang Theory came out, I had no clear idea of numbers or percentages. Perhaps I HAVE been spun along with other theists. That said, despite quotations and histories that I’ve been exposed to, I’m not aware of any of those such atheists lowering their heads and saying quietly to themselves, “Wow. There really is a God!” Einstein might have been troubled by the findings, but I know of no record of him converting or subscribing to a personal deity. (I’m a little confused regarding Einstein’s beliefs. On the one hand, I understand that he subscribed to some idea of pantheism; but on the other hand, he identified himself as agnostic).

        But again, what the Big Bang shows is that, contrary to creationism, there has never been a time when the material universe did not exist—which is unsurprising, since time, along with space, matter, and energy, is what the material universe consists of.

        As a believer in God as our creator, I’m not sure how to respond to this. Whereas I see no conflict with my biblical understanding of God as creator, its clear I don’t have a scientific counterargument. I think we’ve reached one of those dead-ends that theists/atheists come to where its probably best to end the conversation or change the topic. I would ask what you thought about the Super Bowl, but there really isn’t much to talk about there, either.

        If I said anything worth addressing in this comment, the final word is yours. Thank you for using your TIME as an OPPORTUNITY for talking to me in this thread.

  7. 7
    Aaron

    The Cambrian Explosian indicates the possibliity of an extraordinarily RAPID increase of genetic information. Outside of speculation and assumptions, scientists are baffled by the relatively sudden appearance of these advanced life forms…Some might conjecture that an event like the Cambrian Explosion lends credence to the possibility that life evolved quickly after the ark landed

    “extraordinarily rapid” is a very relative term. The estimates for the Explosion were that the rate of generation of new species increased by about an order of magnitude (over the course of 70 or 80 million years). To account for the Biblical story, it would have to be much, much, much faster than the Cambrian Explosion, to a completely absurd degree.

    And characterizing science as being baffled by the Cambrian Explosion when there are several plausible explanations that have been put forth (some of which are testable, and being tested) is as misleading as characterizing small quibbles about particular mechanisms of evolution as “controversies within the field”.

    Christians usually acknowledge God as the creator of time and as an entity apart from his creation.

    This is actually one of Deacon Duncan’s favorite subjects, and he’s somewhat of an authority on it. Do a search for “presuppositionalism” in the context of this blog, and you will find way more material than you’d ever want to read about how it’s absurd to consider a god as a being both outside of reality and part of it.

    1. 7.1
      rapiddominance

      Hey Aaron

      I’ve never actually heard a knowledgable ID person suggest that a Cambrian Explosion took place after the Flood. If the folks at Discovery Institute saw what I wrote they’d probably be as happy with me as they are with Kenneth Hamm right now. I’m not as aware of the numbers as you are, but I kinda had an idea that a 7000 year window might be pushing it scientifically. More than anything, I was just kinda brainstorming. Until I read this post, I never really considered “rapid evolution” after Noah’s landing.

      As for “plausible explanation(S)”, your wording acknowledges–at the very least–that there is not a satisfory explanation for the event as of yet. And lets face it, scientists have been aware of the Cambrian findings for a long time. As for the tests, we’ll have to see how those turn out.

      Perhaps “baffled” is an exxageration, perhaps its not–depending on who you are. My guess is, the scientists who are investigating the matter do find it BAFFLING (perhaps in a good way). On the other hand, for a person well invested and confidedent in Darwinian Theory, I can see how such people wouldn’t be terribly troubled by “gaps”.

      I’ll have to learn more about Deacon’s take on “presuppositionalism”. It sounds interesting.

      Thank you.

      1. Nick Gotts

        a knowledgable ID person

        Oxymoron. “Intelligent Design” is not a scientific theory, but a scam invented in an attempt to get round legal barriers to teaching creationism in public schools in the USA.

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