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Rebuttal for Creationists – Did God Use Evolution – Introduction

This was something I have been working on for a fair while. In fact it’s something I have wanted to do for ages but lacked the drive to begin.

What I hope to do here is a series of posts as a rebuttal to Creationist Literature.

But Avi! You say! No one fights Creationists Anymore! No one will read your article! It is a fools errand! You would be better off photographing your dog doing something cute and slant it towards a religious angle.

Well? Here is the problem. Creationists stopped fighting US because we make them look like fools. It doesn’t mean they have stopped spreading their bullshit. In fact if anything they have gotten away with a lot more. Rather than try to flog creationism on an equal footing to science they have eroded away at the teaching of science. Often what is being taught is the most shambolic representation of science to children.

So I figured I should field Did God Use Evolution from Answers in Genesis. Written by no other than the father of the German Creationist Movement. Dr. Werner Gitt.

The theory of evolution is currently so widely established that it could be described as the all-inclusive and even the only philosophy of the 20th century.

It’s a bad sign when you start your book with a mistake.

The Theory of Evolution is a Scientific Theory to explain Evolution which is a Scientific Fact. It is not philosophy and purely exists in the realm of evidence.

And really? Marxism, Post Modernism, Structuralism, Post-Structuralism, Neopragmatism and indeed Epistemology. I am not even in philosophy and I can name a few philosophical ideas. I honestly think that the author (Dr. Werner Gitt) is trying to sneak the notion that.

1. Evolution is a Philosophy and doesn’t exist in a realm of proof

2. There are no other philosophical branches out there.

The idea of self-organization from the simple to the more complex has been commonly appropriated—even in disciplines foreign to biological evolution. The development of computers is often falsely referred to as the “evolution of computers,” even though the current high-performance computers are the result of intensive research by many brilliant minds. They have been planned, constructed, and produced on purpose, and are clearly not the result of an evolutionary process.

Yes, however that only applies if we use the biological term of evolution rather than say the colloquial usage of the word which means “A gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form.”. It is a synonym with development when used in this context. I understand Werner is NOT a native speaker to English but in English context of usage of words is important.

He was a lion in battle doesn’t mean he physically turned into a lion during fights.

If you cannot tell the difference between technological usage of a term and scientific usage of a term then we are going to stumble before we begin. I am afraid you don’t grasp the gravity of the situation.

Otherwise you don’t believe in Mathematical Evolution which is the extraction of a root of a quantity either.

Theology, too, was affected; evolutionary ideas have even been carried into biblical exegesis.

We will show below why evolutionistic thought is completely foreign to the Bible. This book is aimed predominantly at Christian readers who might be inclined to accept some version of theistic evolution. Over and above that, the book is set out in such a way that skeptical readers may also be guided to some decision.

The Internet is also completely foreign to the Bible yet we still see Creationists on it.

No the thing is Evolution is inimical to idea of the Bible being the exact History of mankind. And nothing is as much as an affront to Creationists as Biology because it disputes the divinity of Adam and Eve and indeed the whole 6000 year old Earth. If you believe that the Bible is entirely Canon rather than Allegory then if even one tiny bit of it collapses then the whole thing comes crumbling down.

What this means in reality is that Creationists have to make people believe in the same thing as they do because if you tell a lie a sufficient amount of times then the lie carries the same weight as the truth.

The basic assumptions of science are discussed in a separate chapter. This should enable the reader to recognize which basic assumptions he automatically accepts when he decides for or against creation or evolution.

Use of the term “the theory of evolution” is intentionally avoided, because, according to the standards of scientific theory, evolution is a philosophical doctrine and not a scientific theory. For the same reason, we do not refer to creation theory, but to the biblical doctrine of creation. Creation research concerns itself with deducing models from physical reality, which are based on fundamental biblical statements. A total of 20 objections (OB1 to OB20) against theistic evolution are discussed in this book. In addition to valid criticisms of evolution, the alternative, creation, is increasingly expounded more clearly in recent literature, such as [B4, E2, G3, G5, G7, G8, G10, G11, J2, S3, S4, S5]. This book also refers repeatedly to this very sustainable alternative.

Okay and since this is a spread out argument I shall respond in kind with rebuttals. (If I don’t, keep kicking me till I do).

But we do need to keep producing articles even if it is a ludicrous prospect that doesn’t really get many people reading. Because we are preaching to the choir when we should be punching at the lines.

         The author is an information scientist, but the discussions on information concepts in chapter 6 should be readily understood by the layman. In the last chapter, scientific and biblical objections against evolution culminate in the exposition of ten dangers inherent in theistic evolution. Many quotations expose the anti-biblical nature of such a viewpoint.

And yes I understand that we have made these arguments before. You aren’t doing anything new.

You see I do feel we are slowly moving into the nadir of Atheist writing. We do not reward original content as much as we used to. A pithy one liner attached to a picture of Tigger (My dog) would get more hits than this. If I still had Loki (my cat) I would probably get even more hits.

And I understand but here is the thing. The creationists did not vanish when you stopped talking to them. They are still out there spreading their stupid on a daily basis and trying to insert Jesus into Children via more surreptitious routes. And rather than fight science head on they are more willing to do things in a more round about way. They erode the education of science so people don’t understand the world around them. They force science to teach improperly. They have tried to and often succeeded in hamstringing science education to make it as bad as the kind of education that would come from teaching religion as a purely canonical subject. It is creating a nation of people so blinded to actual science that the majority of science is completely alien to the people who benefit from it. It is very short term thinking and it harms thousands of young children in their quest for an actual understanding of the world around them.

So I covered his Introduction. Would people be interested in reading a dissection (Very Post-Modern!) this silly book that’s being flogged to children and “scared parents”?

Comments

  1. The Lorax says

    I think the trouble with rebutting creationist arguments is that it has already been done, several times over. The problem isn’t the lack of rebuttals, it’s the lack of creationists caring about the fact that they keep trotting out the same old tired arguments.

    Just reading those excerpts, I can almost predict what he’s going to say later. Gaps in the fossil record, godless morality, hell he might even be dumb enough to trot out thermodynamics. These are old arguments, and have been shown to be wrong time and again.

    Don’t rebut this guy. Just give him a link to the Internet and tell him to think before he writes.

  2. says

    Oh yes, we can predict what he is going to say but the problem is precisely this.

    We can predict it. Yet his books still sell and people still flog creationism in class rooms. They export these texts across the globe too. We clearly declared victory a bit too early…

  3. usagichan says

    While the arguments may be repetetive, firstly it is always interesting to see how someone different presents them and secondly, there is always the chance (miniscule I know, but you never know it might be like one of those old Bugs Bunny cartoons where Bugs drops a pea on a snowy slope, and before you know it there is a giant snowball rolling over Daffy) that someone searching for the book might stumble on the article and pause for thought; and a pause for thought would be worth it I think!

    Besides which even the replay of an old favourite can be carried off if it is approached with style and panache – so I’d be interested in reading a stylish panachy rebuttal, certainly…

  4. feedmybrain says

    Most of the regulars on FTB are probably well versed in the usual arguments and whilst I’m familiar with them I could do with some revision and hearing arguments phrased differently can increase understanding.
    Also, as usagichan says, you never know, someone might happen upon them and be enlightened.

  5. says

    The development of computers is often falsely referred to as the “evolution of computers

    But, computers did evolve!!! There are many branches of computing that could not compete and died out. Systems like MUMPS and VAX/VMS and system architectures, as well as programming techniques and whole categories of hardware. If you look at the evolution of random access memory, it evolved rapidly from mercury line, to drum, to magnetic toroid core, to microprocessor and then a branch of persistent random access memory evolved into winchester disks and paper tapes or punch cards and then magnetic tapes, magnetic tape cartridges (on one branch) and high capacity winchester drives (which have undergone substantial improvement!) on the other. These are all examples of better ideas replacing older ideas because the better ideas survived and the older ones did not.

    If you go to a science and technology museum like the Musee des Arts et Metiers in Paris, they have these wonderful displays of the evolution of railroad train brakes, from the earliest (a board on a fulcrum that can used to slow the wheel using friction) to the elaborate air-powered multi-safety systems that exist on trains today.

    Technologies evolve. It’s not the same as biological systems but it is, absolutely, the same algorithm. I believe I have read the evolution algorithm described as: “change, plus differential survival” And, yes, that applies to bubble memory and solid state disks just as much as it does to chickens.

  6. says

    theistic evolution

    Yes, I like the theories that come from theistic evolution. Especially the evidence for “ensoulment theory” and the evolution of the soul. Because somehow humans evolved souls and gorillas didn’t. How did that happen? And what’s the evidence that humans evolved souls? Oh, did you say “none” really quietly? I think I heard you say “none.” …

  7. usagichan says

    Marcus Ranum @#5

    Computers don’t evolve, silly. Dog has a magical plan, already has the final perfect state machine designed, and computer makers are just working forwards through his perfect backward projection. See, it all makes sense when you think about it.

    …and if there is no Devil then how do you explain Windows iOS Linux OS2 Warp eh? eh?

    (I rememebr working of a System that ran on MUMPS under VMS – very practical, but not very pretty. Selective pressure for technology (which can be succinctly summarised as “Oooooh Shiny!!!”) is a trifle different than for organic life ;) )

  8. Ken Plozza says

    Computers did evolve (change over time), but we would not use the Theory of Evolution to account for why they evolved. We would use some other hypothesis to describe the process buy which it occurred.

    So much of the issue with this debate lies with non scientific use of of language. The general population are just not equipped to understand our arguments without first been educated (reeducated in some cases) in the meaning and use of proper language. We must start at the basics!

    So any analysis of any book or text to ensure correct language is used is very useful. I would love to see more dissection of this silly little book,. May I also suggest that you use more analogies and other rhetoric tools to make your point. Your use of the Lion analogy made your point about context very well.

  9. says

    The AMD FX 8350 would be of your Neanderthal sub-species, and the Intel i7 xxxx your modern man, although there is some dispute about this.
    – - -

    Many quotations expose the anti-biblical nature of such a viewpoint.

    Exactly! This is a blatant example of circular reasoning, and I mean, WTF! That is the point, that the Bible is deeply flawed. They use evolution as a type of red herring.

    I like saying that not only did genetics come along and irrefutably cement common ancestry for most life forms(possibly exception might be bacteria like organisms around thermal vents, if I understand correctly),
    but that the bible says that if you want striped sheep, you should breed them on ground covered with sticks, and if want spotted sheep, you breed them around rocks and pebbles. I guess someone forgot to tell the sheep that.

    C.A.R.M. is a website that on first appearance(if you are a Christian), comes across as an objective approach to defending the Bible. I, personally, love their sections on how to argue with atheists that give an account of logical fallacies and to be careful so as not to commit them ourselves(Xians). It is hilarious that that is almost exclusively what they use in their arguments, the other considerations being fabricating ‘facts’ and misrepresenting what their opponents say – e.g. strawman arguments. Of course this is use of a logical fallacy, excepting that they have domain on the ‘facts’ that strawmen are built on.

    “How’d that striped/spotted sheep breeding practice thing work out for ya, my most scientific Xian friend?”

  10. bradleybetts says

    @The Lorax #1

    I think the trouble with rebutting creationist arguments is that it has already been done, several times over. The problem isn’t the lack of rebuttals, it’s the lack of creationists caring about the fact that they keep trotting out the same old tired arguments.

    That explains why people have stopped doing it but it’s not an argument for why they should. Creationism and religious affiliation have been dwindling over the last decade or so, and I’d be willing to stake a large portion of money on the idea that this is due in no small part to the many very public eviscerations of creationism and other bad religious ideas by Scientists, Atheists, Secularists and more often than not, people who are a combination of all three. If you are good at tearing apart creationism et al in such a way that people will think about it and realise the idiocy of what they’ve been taught, I think you should do it. Because yes, creationists still exist, and they are going to keep indoctrinating children with their bullshit. There may be no saving the adults who are doing the indoctrinating, but there may still be a chance to save the children they indoctrinate by pointing out the idiocy of what they are being taught. If we stop pointing out the idiocy then the kids will accept it at face value and before you know it we’re back to square one, all because we got bored of repeating ourselves.

  11. says

    @bradleybetts

    That explains why people have stopped doing it but it’s not an argument for why they should. Creationism and religious affiliation have been dwindling over the last decade or so, and I’d be willing to stake a large portion of money on the idea that this is due in no small part to the many very public eviscerations of creationism and other bad religious ideas by Scientists, Atheists, Secularists and more often than not, people who are a combination of all three.

    Yes! It is important to keep answering these questions. Although we have heard them over and over and over again, and they’ve been answered as much, not all Christians have heard the rebuttals, or even know that they exist.

    I bring it up a lot, that I’m living in an evangelical community, but I’ve addressed these issues with the pastors and counselors here, over and over, and the responses I get are that Answers in Genesis, and Darwin on Trial, have taken care of all the attempts to refute the Bible and Christianity(belief in God). It takes repeated explanations from me, and from different angles(there are many ways to refute most ideas Christians have), to get them to understand that it is as not cut and dried as they have been led to believe. It also takes passion it get across the idea that not only are our disagreements numerous, they are important issues.

    Many, many Christians aren’t even aware that there is really any difficulty with Christianity, on a large scale. It takes reiterating, over and over, the secular/skeptical/atheist viewpoint, so as to remove the perception that disagreements over these issues is not just niggling.

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