Is belief in Evolution Scientific or Religious? A Response to Scientific American: Part 3

This is a continuation of my last blog post responding to the Scientific American Article: “15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense”. Today, I will talk about two arguments that John Rennie, the editor in chief of Scientific American, states creationists use against evolution.

The first argument I’m going to talk about is: 3. Evolution is unscientific, because it is not testable or falsifiable. It makes claims about events that were not observed and can never be re-created.” Before I start sharing how Rennie responded to this argument, I would like to point out that evolution is unscientific because it is not observable and repeatable NOT because it’s not testable or falsifiable. Rennie, once again, misrepresents biblical creationists by misstating this argument.

Rennie responds by stating that this argument fails to understand two parts of evolution: microevolution and macroevolution. “Microevolution looks at changes within species over time--changes that may be preludes to speciation, the origin of new species. Macroevolution studies how taxonomic groups above the level of species change,” says Rennie. Microevolution is also known as natural selection and I will discuss it later in this post.

For macroevolution, a change of animal kind, Rennie says that its evidence is inferred from fossils and DNA, not direct observation. By saying this, Rennie admits that evolution is not scientific. To be scientific, evolution must be observed and repeated, not just inferred. In his response, Rennie does not bring up any examples of DNA referring to evolution. He does, however, bring up an example of inference from the fossil record. I have already talked about how Rennie has contradicted himself concerning evidence from the fossil record [see: Misrepresenting and Misunderstanding, A Response to Scientific Amer...]. I also showed how the fossil record does not point to evolution [see: Is Evolution Fact or Faith? A Response to Scientific American: Part 1]. This points to Rennie’s religious faith in the fossil record because he always states “the fossil record proves evolution” blindly when someone questions evolution. I will now, once again, show the weakness in Rennie’s religious belief in the fossil record.

His example is: “For instance, evolution implies that between the earliest-known ancestors of humans (roughly five million years old) and the appearance of anatomically modern humans (about 100,000 years ago), one should find a succession of hominid creatures with features progressively less apelike and more modern, which is indeed what the fossil record shows. But one should not--and does not--find modern human fossils embedded in strata from the Jurassic period (144 million years ago). Evolutionary biology routinely makes predictions far more refined and precise than this, and researchers test them constantly.”

Evolutionists love to bring up that we have never found a human fossil in the same rock layers we find dinosaurs, but this does not refute biblical creation or prove evolution. The article, Why Don’t We Find Human & Dinosaur Fossils Together? by Bodie Hodge, explains this principle in great detail. On the other hand, the statement that we don’t find out-of-place fossils, which would severely weaken evolution, is false. Here are many articles, written by scientists, showing examples of out-of-place fossils (out-of-place for evolution, of course): Are fossils ever found in the wrong place? by Michael Oard, M.S.; Out of Place Marine Fossil Disrupts Evolutionary Index by Brian Thomas, M.S.; Is Every Fossil in Its (Evolutionary) Place? by Vernon R. Cupps, Ph.D. and Brian Thomas, M.S.; and Cambrian Fossils Found in 'Wrong' Place by Brian Thomas, M.S.

So Darwinian evolution (macroevolution), a change of kinds, is unscientific because it cannot be observed or repeated and the “inferring” evidence is weak at best.

Now, microevolution or natural selection is often used as evidence for Darwinian evolution. This brings us to our next creationist argument for today: “11. Natural selection might explain microevolution, but it cannot explain the origin of new species and higher orders of life.” Rennie responds: “Evolutionary biologists have written extensively about how natural selection could produce new species… if a population of organisms were isolated from the rest of its species by geographical boundaries, it might be subjected to different selective pressures. Changes would accumulate in the isolated population. If those changes became so significant that the splinter group could not or routinely would not breed with the original stock, then the splinter group would be reproductively isolated and on its way toward becoming a new species.”

Evolutionists claim that the new, reproductively isolated, species would have a group break off and form a new species and so on. After millions of years and many cycles of natural selection, you could have one kind of animal change into another (e.g. Cat to Dog; Reptile to Bird; and Ape-like creature to Man).

To refute this, I need to inform you of some basics of natural selection through an example of it. Here is a common example used by biblical creationists: Let’s say there are two dogs, one male and one female, and they both have medium length hair. The genetics that determine their hair length will be represented by LS (L for the long hair gene and S for the short hair gene). When they have puppies, each pup will inherit one ‘hair length gene’ from each parent. So, some puppies will have long hair (LL), some will have medium hair (LS), and the others will have short hair (SS). Several generations go by and there are lots of dogs, so they spread out. Some move to a cold climate area. Because of the cold, the dogs with medium hair and short hair die and the long haired dogs survive (the opposite would be true if they had moved to a hot climate area). Now only long haired dogs live in the cold area. They also will only have long haired puppies because they lack the “S” gene necessary to produce short haired dogs. Now they and their young can better survive the cold climate.

That is how natural selection works. In this example, I only talked about one set of genes, but there would actually be hundreds of genes that would be affected. Over time, these dogs would look very different from the original dog pair, and could possibly be called a new species of dog.

There are two reasons why natural selection would not lead to a change in kinds: 1. Natural selection always results in a loss of genetics. As you saw in my example, the dogs in the cold climate never gained genetics in order to survive, they had to lose genes (such as the “S” short hair gene) in order to survive. Darwinian evolution (macroevolution), a change of kinds, requires organisms to gain genetics. Otherwise, animals could not move up the evolutionary ladder. 2. No matter how much genetics is lost in that isolated dog group, it will still be a dog group, it will not change into a new kind.

Darwin’s original example of natural selection was of the finches on the Galapagos Islands. During a drought on these islands, the average beak size on the finches increased due to the fact that a larger beak helps a finch to survive a drought. As we have learned, this is not an example of Darwinian evolution as many evolutionists have claimed. Since larger beaked finches could survive the drought they continued to breed as normal. As for the smaller beaked finches, they began to die out due to their inability to survive the drought. This is, once again, a loss of genetics. The finches lost the genes to produce small beaks in order to survive and the change did not point to a new kind, the finches still were finches. When the drought ended, the few small beaked finches that survived, began to breed regularly and the average beak size returned to normal. This is hardly a prelude to macroevolution.

To learn more about natural selection and why it is not evolution, read this article by Dr. Georgia Purdom who has a Ph.D. in molecular genetics: Is Natural Selection the Same Thing as Evolution?

To finish, Rennie admits that he and other evolutionists are willing to believe that there might be something beyond natural selection that is the driving force behind evolution, but he says, “Yet those forces must be natural; they cannot be attributed to the actions of mysterious creative intelligences whose existence, in scientific terms, is unproved.” In short, he is willing to believe anything as long as it doesn’t include a god. This is the religion of all atheistic evolutionists: They have faith that there is no god and that evolution is true, and this, in scientific terms, is unproved.

Thank you for reading this post. My next post will talk about the origin of life.

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Until next time,

Kirk F.

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