Refuting more Creationist arguments

In a previous blog entry Addressing some obvious Strawmen I already announced, that I might revisit some Creationist arguments. I’m going to address some of their arguments again in this post. So let’s get started shall we:

T: “How come Evolution stopped?We don’t observe a Cow turning into a whale today!”

Me: “Aside from the fact, that Whales aren’t related to Cows (yes I’ve met a creationist who thinks Evolution claims that) we do in fact still observe evolution. Our lifetimes are too short to notice it with cows or whales but we have observed speciation within fruit flies for example or within bacteria. We have even observed organisms gaining brand new traits via random mutations. One very interesting case would be the Lenski experiment. Here’s a link to a peer reviewed paper concerning the Lenski experiment with e.coli: The Lenski experiment

T: “But it’s still bacteria.”

Me: “Yes it is still bacteria but you fail to see why this is significant. More importantly though, you put your own creation model into checkmate right now. If you want to imply, that bacteria is one “kind” of organism then you have implicitly defined the word kind as a domain. If we look at the domain Eukaryota, I can now say that dogs and cats and pigs are all one kind and with that you’d need to acknowledge macroevolution. More importantly you’d have to believe in macroevolution over the course of just 4000 years. I suggest you improve upon your taxonomy.”

T: “Carbondating is unreliable!”

Me: “While I do concede, that carbondating has been known for giving large margin’s of error it is incorrect to say, that it’s unreliable. It merely becomes unreliable when you misuse the method. If you date the wrong material, such as fossils which have been buried or diamonds etc. the results are going to be wrong. See Carbondating has an upper dating limit of 55.000 years. If you want to date a Dinosaur bone with this method you’re going to land in error, because dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago. How we know they did 65 million years? Through various other dating methods which cross confirm each other. ”

“Before the Fall, all animals were herbivores.Sharp teeth are only evidence for sharp teeth. They were required for the leaves and fruits etc.”

Me: ” If you look at the skull of T-Rex it’s quite clear, that he was NOT a herbivore. Creationists like to bring up Panda’s or fruit bats at this point. product-168-main-main-big-1448059333

If you look at it you can clearly see that he has mostly molars. A lion or T-Rex has vastly different teeth so the analogy fails. More importantly though, carnivores and herbivores not only differentiate when it comes to teeth, they also have different digestive systems. Therefore the creationist would have to believe, that the T-Rex evolved a new digestive system after the fall, with which he would have to acknowledge macroevolution. Or maybe God just added it at random to today’s carnivores but then we would need a mechanism based on which God decided on this. Either way, this argument hopelessly collapses.”

Goodbye from yours truly,

Rene von Boenninghausen @Renevelation

Science doesn’t care about you!

This morning I had a debate with two Muslims about the existence of Allah. Rather quickly, the conversation turned to a rather difficult subject among believers of the Abrahamic religions: The theory of evolution.

It was very clear from the get go, that they had no evidence whatsoever for their faith (as usual) and that the two of them were clearly scientifically illiterate. But then one of them brought up the following point, that I will quote verbatum:

“Islamic science increased the faith of Muslims. Euro[pean] science increased euros in their disbelief. Yet both studied but diff[erent] perspectives”

Now here’s the deal: Science and religion are in essence as Stephen Jay Gould put it non-overlapping magisteria. That of course goes for religion in general. Science does have something to say about whether the world is 6000 years old, whether a global Flood occured and whether life on Earth came to be via special divine creation. The answer to these question is a resounding NO!

When he talked about European science he merely meant science the tool we use to build theories based on the evidence we observe and which are then tested repeatably with risky predictions, experiments you name it.

When he talked about Islamic science he meant Pseudoscience, which conforms to his preconceived notions in which you have to shoehorn evidence, distort evidence or outright ignore it in order to build your model which has no predictive power whatsoever and which doesn’t try to make risky predictions at all since they don’t want to falsify their model.

that is the biggest difference between science of Pseudoscience: Science seeks to disprove theories, it seeks build models with predictive power and then wants to burn those models to the ground. Pseudoscience on the other hand tries to make the evidence fit the foregone conclusion and then tries everything to keep the model alive at all costs.

Sound familar? That’s pretty much Creation science and Answers in Genesis attitude in a nutshell.

For all of you who don’t know: Science doesn’t care about your beliefs. Putting our beliefs to the test, questioning them, doing experiments and bulding models on our observations that are always subject to change should new data arise is what got us the world we have today. The fact, that I can write these words on a computer and publish them in the internet attest to the success of science.

As a rational person you don’t demand, that science conforms to your beliefs, your beliefs conform to science. I’ve got no respect for people who refuse the truth and make up their own so called science to cling to beliefs, that have been nothing but a burden to all of humanity. To quote the great late Carl Sagan: “The sacred truth of science is that there are no sacred truths.”

Goodbye from yours truly,

Rene von Boenninghausen @Renevelation

How can you defend that?!?

Yesterday I had a debate with a young Earth Creationist (YEC) on Twitter. Interestingly enough though, our discussion wasn’t about Evolution vs Creation at all. It was about the following rather famous video featuring Ken Ham.

As I showed him this video, I thought it goes without saying, that teaching children this Strawman version of evolution was wrong, as it is wrong to teach them creationism in that way where they not believe in it but where they will never ever question it, but to my surprise he saw it differently.

He not only denied that Ken was blatantly misrepresenting what evolution is about, he also thought it was a good thing, that these children were “taught the truth at an early age”. He also remarked that children were indoctrinated by the media with evolutionary ideas.

Now, I don’t know to what degree the media in America promotes and celebrates evolution but if I were to find a video in which Richard Dawkins or Bill Nye sat down a bunch of 5 year olds and told them, that no Gods exist and neither did Jesus, that all religions are fake especially Christianity and that Evolution is something that can never ever be questioned and that scientists are an unquestionable authority, I would stand right up and say that telling them that is fundamentally wrong. If  they would make the children repeat the sentence “The scientists say it, I believe it, that settles it!” over and over and over every normal person would shake their head in disgust but creationists aren’t normal people.

With the threat of hell in mind and with the fear, that their children might one day be critical thinkers and might question the Bible or worse abandon it, they have no choice but to do it to their children.

The problem I see is that they must deep down know, that they’re lying to their children and that they shouldn’t stifle the brains of the most innocents among us in this ruthless fashion.

But with the Mafia Boss who puts a gun to their head, they see their hands forced to teach them “the truth” at an age when they can’t tell what truth is.

I on the other hand will go a completely different route with my future children. I will raise them to be critical thinkers. I plan to teach them to ask for evidence for (certain non-mundane) claims. I will tell them, that there are people out there who believe that a personal being created the universe and that they should make up their own mind about it but should always be open to change their minds. As far as our origins are concerned I will talk to them about that an appropriate age of around 10-12 years and when I do it, I will visit a natural history museum with them, where I know that they will be presented with evidence not dogma. Of course I will encourage them in further investigation for what the evidence indicates, because that’s what you should do. What you shouldn’t do is what Ham did: Telling them, that this document known as the Bible is not up for investigation, doubt and scrutiny.

Goodbye from yours truly,

Rene von Boenninghausen @Renevelation