This is a continuation of my last blog post responding to the Scientific American Article: “15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense”. Today, I will answer the first argument that John Rennie, the editor in chief of Scientific American, uses against creationism.
The first argument that Rennie says creationists use is this: “1. Evolution is only a theory. It is not a fact or a scientific law.” Rennie’s response was that the term “theory of evolution” used by scientists was not referring to actual theory as the category between a hypothesis and a scientific law. Instead, they are using the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) definition of theory: "a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and tested hypotheses." Rennie makes it clear that when scientists call evolution a “theory” they are, to quote, “not expressing reservations about its truth.”
Rennie then states the NAS’s definition of a fact: "an observation that has been repeatedly confirmed and for all practical purposes is accepted as 'true." He then uses the supposed visual evidence of evolution in the fossil record as the observable evidence for evolution saying, “Although no one observed those transformations, the indirect evidence is clear, unambiguous and compelling.” To finish, Rennie points out that the fossil record being indirect evidence for evolution does not weaken his argument. “All sciences frequently rely on indirect evidence.” says Rennie, and then he uses atoms as an example of something scientists can not directly observe but can indirectly observe by “tracks that the particles leave in cloud chambers.”
First of all, the argument that evolution is only a theory and not a fact is a bad argument and one that a biblical creationist would, or should, never use. I will explain why in a moment but first I will need to explain the difference between: Biblical Creationism, Young-Earth Creationism, and “Intelligent Design”.
Intelligent design is a movement that tries to refute atheistic evolution by showing evidence for an “intelligent designer” as opposed to random chance. I do have some problems with this group. Although they argue for a god, they are not necessarily Christian. They also promote ideas such as that God used evolution which I and my fellow biblical creationists would not agree with. Basically, intelligent design states, “There is a creator, the ‘who, how, and when’ do not matter.” (To their credit, some intelligent design people would say that the “who” is important)
Young-earth creationism is, in short, that the earth is young and evolution and millions of years is false. Although I would agree with those two statements, having a belief that revolves around a young earth creates problems. Young-earth creationists often deny science and call things, such as dinosaurs, propaganda created by atheists with the purpose of destroying religion. In short, young-earth creationists see themselves in a battle of religion vs. science.
Biblical creationism is different than young-earth creationism. Biblical creation revolves around God’s inerrant word: the Bible. Although biblical creationists believe in a young earth and that evolution is false, they do not believe in a battle between religion vs. science. Instead, it is held that observational science actually affirms the Bible rather than disproves it. It is also held that science would not be possible if the Bible was not true. (I will discuss this in a later post). Keep in mind that these are just basic descriptions of these beliefs, they all go much deeper than this.
Now that I have defined these belief systems, it is time to return to Rennie’s article. While the argument that evolution is only a theory and not a fact is a bad argument and one that a biblical creationist should not use, it is one that someone from the intelligent design movement might use. This is a mistake that Rennie makes frequently in his article. He states an argument from one type of creationist and says he responded to them all, but this is not so.
Biblical creationists, like myself, would not even call evolution a theory. In fact, it is, at best, an unconfirmed hypothesis. Rennie’s statement that we can see evolution in the fossil record is false. The following article gives more than ten reasons why the fossil record does not support evolution: The Real Nature of the Fossil Record by John D. Morris, Ph.D.
Even though someone could pass off evolution as an unconfirmed hypothesis, it is, in truth, a religious belief. To be clear, I did just call evolution a religious belief. The reason I do that is because people have blind faith in evolution. In the video Evolution vs. God the interviewer, Ray Comfort, asks college students and professors for an observable, repeatable evidence for Darwinian evolution, namely a change in kinds. Note, not a single person could name any proof of a change in kind. They often admitted that they took it on faith that what they were taught about evolution was true. Rennie’s fossil record “evidence” does not prove evolution because it is not observable, as shown in Dr. Morris’s article. Even if it was observable, it would not apply because it is not repeatable. Science must be observable and repeatable, that is just a basic fact.
Since people cannot provide an observable, repeatable evidence for evolution, their belief is not scientific. Instead, it is purely based in their blind faith. Rennie tries to skim over this fact by saying that the fossil record is evidence for evolution in the same way tracks in cloud chambers are evidence for the existence of atoms, but these examples are not analogous. The tracts in cloud chambers are both observable and repeatable whereas evolution in the fossil record is not. So Rennie’s theory of evolution is not as clear cut as he makes it out to be.
Thank you for reading this post, my next post will continue to respond to the Scientific American’s arguments.
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Until next time,