Philosophical Multicore

Sometimes controversial, sometimes fallacious, sometimes thought-provoking, and always fun.

Point By Point Rebuttal of Creationist Websites part 2

Posted by Michael Dickens on November 30, 2008

WEBSITE SIX
6.1. “There is extensive evidence for the layers of strata in the geologic record being laid down very quickly, similar to the processes observed when Mount St. Helens erupted. Rapid global formation of sedimentary rock beds is evidence that the earth is thousands of years old.”
Note a complete lack of cited evidence here. Saying it’s there is not the same as providing it.

6.2. “For example, sandstone is a major feature of the lower part of the Grand Canyon. The same rock layer is found in Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, South Dakota, the Midwest, the Ozarks, and in northern New York state. Equivalent formations are found across wide portions of Canada, eastern Greenland, and Scotland.”
So sandstone is common. What does this prove?

6.3. “The flood that covered the earth formed the large geological structures that we can observe today.”
So you’re saying 40 days of rain carved out gigantic mountains, when today it takes millions of years to turn rocks into sand on beaches?

Well that one sure was easy.

WEBSITE SEVEN

7.1. “Plants and animals were originally created with large gene pools within created kinds.”
Just because they say “kind” in the Bible doesn’t mean you should use it. “Kind” is not scientific.

7.2. “A large gene pool gives a created kind the genetic potential (the potential to produce a variety of types within a kind) to adapt to a variety of ecosystems and ensure the survival of that kind of organism through natural selection.”
This is correct, but I don’t see how it supports Creationism.

7.3. “Natural selection can only operate on the genetic material already present in a population of organisms. It cannot create new genetic information and subsequently change one kind of organism into another.”
There’s the kicker.

Interestingly, this article is mostly factual. It is, however, misleading. It is possible for a mutation to make the genome larger and to create new information.[a]

We have, in fact, observed one species changing into a different species. See reason 3 on video[c].

WEBSITE TEN
This website has a bunch of articles branching off from it. For the sake of time and saving space, I will not provide quotes on most of them, and will instead rebut the entire article.
10.1. http://www.icr.org/universe-center/
This article made me laugh. The idea is just so silly! But I realized that it wouldn’t seem silly to most people. The ideas here are not very well known. So I will explain it.

The universe is actually 78 billion light years in radius, and only 13 billion years old.[d] This works because of the way the universe is expanding. So we can’t see the entire universe. We can only see 13 billion light-years. The light we see that’s the farthest away has been traveling for the entire existence of the universe. We can see 13 billion light years away in all directions, because that’s how far any photon has gotten, on any side.

Now, why is everything moving away from us? That is because of inertial reference frames.

You’re spinning very rapidly right now, because the earth is spinning. But can you tell? No. It’s because you are in the same inertial reference frame as the earth. It looks like the sun is moving around you.

It’s the same deal with the moving galaxies. If you were on one of those galaxies, you would see earth moving away from you. And everything around you would be moving away, because things that are further out are moving faster than you, and things closer to the center of the universe are moving slower. So it looks as though everything is moving away from you, no matter where you are.

The universe does have a center, but there’s no reason to believe that we are at it.

10.2. http://www.icr.org/universe-power/
“If the laws of nature were just slightly different, the delicate balance would not exist between hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon. Without this balance thousands of critical molecular interactions would not happen. There are only a few elements that can sustain life through their unique properties. Any change would make life impossible.”
That is the only significant portion of this article.

Life as we know it would be impossible. But other sorts of life may be able to exist in many other possible universes. Like life that does not use carbon, and instead uses some other weird element that relies on a different gravitational constant, a different source of energy, etc.

10.3. http://www.icr.org/recent-universe/
We have no direct evidence for the Oort cloud, because if it exists, the comets are just so small and it’s so far away. The comets are separated by about 10 million kilometers on average.[e]

But we have good reason to think it exists. For example, many independent sources confirm that our universe is 13 billion years old, and that earth is 4.6 billion years old. This single lack of evidence is not enough to sway us; it’s just enough to keep us on our toes.

Here is what we think about Oort clouds:
Comets come into the solar system and hit earth when another star disrupts our Oort cloud. Oort clouds are so far out that other stars can significantly affect them.

We also have other evidence for Oort clouds.

There are also other reasons to believe that the Oort cloud exists. The way that comets seem to come from any direction is an indication of a large cloud of comets outside our solar system.

10.4. http://www.icr.org/earth-sun/
“Our solar system is filled with amazing planets, but none are perfect for life except the earth.”
Well obviously the planet that’s perfect for life is the one that life will develop on. Why would life develop on any other planet?
“[tells all the reasons why life wouldn’t work on other planets in our solar system]”

“Each planet in our solar system demonstrates that earth is unique and specially created for life.”
No. Each planet in our solar system demonstrates that life will only develop on planets where it can develop.

10.5. http://www.icr.org/earths-location/
What I said in [10.4] still applies. Life will only develop in places that support the environment of life. If the universe was uniquely created for life, then why are there so many places that are uninhabitable? Like they said, earth is the only planet in the solar system that can support life. Wouldn’t God want there to be more life than just one planet?

10.6. http://www.icr.org/earths-core/
[10.4]

10.7. http://www.icr.org/water-cycle/
[10.4]

10.8. http://www.icr.org/law-conservation/
“Energy cannot be created or destroyed; it can only be changed from one form to another.

Energy is not currently being created. The universe could not have created itself using natural processes because nature did not exist before the universe came into existence. Something beyond nature must have created all the energy and matter that is observed today.”
This is correct.

“The logical conclusion is that our supernatural Creator with infinite power created the universe.”
Something created the universe, yes. It was, by definition, supernatural (at least as we know it). But was it God? There is no evidence for that. (See M Theory.)

10.9. http://www.icr.org/thermodynamics/
“Fortunately for us, the temperature of the universe is not zero. It is moving that way each moment, but it is not there yet.”
It is actually moving away from zero. When energy is expended, it is converted into heat. There is no way (occurring in nature) to convert thermal energy into another form of energy. So eventually, all the energy in the universe will be thermal energy, a.k.a. heat.

“The logical conclusion is that an infinite Creator made the universe a finite time ago.”
See Big Bang Theory and [10.8].

10.10. http://www.icr.org/electromagnetic/
This page states some scientific facts, and then states some religious crap that does not follow from the science. No rebuttal necessary.

10.11. http://www.icr.org/worldwide-flood/
It is possible that there was a global flood. I’m not very familiar with the geology involved. But I think that multiple religions have accounts of a great flood. It is likely that some event triggered a very large flood, and many people across the world saw it as a sign from God.

10.12. http://www.icr.org/geological-strata/
I’m sure that there is evidence for a worldwide flood. But was it a flood created by God to wipe out life on earth? I doubt it.

10.13. http://www.icr.org/fossil-record/
The fossil record is very extensive, and we have accounts of many transitional forms. My first post on this topic has a link to a list.

Not all fossils are expected to have transitional forms. Fossils only form under certain conditions, so we do not see them very often. If every living being ever to exist was fossilized, there would be piles of fossils hundreds of miles high. (I might be off by a few orders of magnitude.)

10.14. http://www.icr.org/creation-dna/
DNA does not, in fact, require intelligence. It’s possible that you randomly throw some rock on the ground, and they spell out a word. (Unlikely, but possible.) Does that mean the rocks are intelligent?

http://godisimaginary.com/i25.htm
http://godisimaginary.com/i37.htm

There are a bunch of articles in the “biological” section that can be explained by evolution, and it’s a waste of time to go over them.

10.15. http://www.icr.org/special-creation/
I like this one because it’s not scientific.

“[Man] is able to imagine and create objects never seen before (art, buildings, etc.).”
Well so is Chimpanzee, Gorilla, Orangutan, Bonobo, Dolphin, Killer Whale, Elephant, Magpie, and possibly Pigeon.[f]

“He is able to ponder his role and fate in creation.”
Other animals (particularly the ones on the above list) may do that. We just have no way to know if they do. (That is, no way to know right now. Someone may discover a way.)

10.16. http://www.icr.org/mitochondrial-eve/
“Variations in mitochondrial DNA between people have conclusively shown that all people have descended from one female, just as it is stated in Scripture.”

Not all people ever. Just all people who are alive. This is called natural selection. That one woman and her descendants were “fittest”, so they survived and eventually all other humans died off. They were probably only a little bit “fitter” in little ways, but it was enough that they eventually were the only humans left.

Fun fact: 1 in 12 people in the world are descendants of Genghis Khan; 1 in 4 in Asia.

WEBSITE ELEVEN
11.1. http://www.icr.org/planet-earth/
The earth is unique, at least among planets that we can effectively study. It can support life. We know that planets that can support life are fairly rare. But how is this evidence of a god? As I said above, God would want there to be humans all over the universe.

Earth’s conditions are very good. But they’re not perfect. Meteors hitting earth kills people. (It helps natural selection move along faster, but according to Creationists, natural selection doesn’t exist.) People dying is bad, from a biblical perspective. And so many places on earth are inhospitable. Antarctica, for example. The Sahara Desert is hospitable, but it sure would be nice if it were not so hot, and if there were, like, trees. So since when is earth “perfect”?

Almost the entire website relies on two arguments: The “earth is perfect” argument, and the “nature is amazing, therefore God exists” argument. The first argument has been refuted, and the second is completely unscientific, appeals to emotion, does not provide any evidence, and does not logically follow.

WEBSITE THIRTEEN
“The claim is sometimes made that Hitler was a Christian – a Roman Catholic until the day he died. In fact, Hitler rejected Christianity.”
Then why does he mention in his journal that the is on a godly mission to kill the Jews?

http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/mischedj/ca_hitler.html

Hitler may have talked about things that were anti-Christianity in order to get more power. But in his personal journal, he clearly states that he is a Christian. He did not always act very Christianly, though. (I’m not going to say he didn’t act atheistish, because there is no such thing as “acting atheistish”.) (What’s the adverb form of “atheist”?)

Whatever his religion, Hitler was not a nice guy, but that doesn’t mean his entire religion is like him. In general, Christians are good people and atheists* are good people. Hitler was not. So let’s stop bickering about whether he was atheist of Christian.

*I am not saying that atheism is a religion. It’s not. It is, however, mutually exclusive with Christianity, because Christianity implies theism. Non-Christian theism is also mutually exclusive with those two groups. For the most part, non-Christian theists are good people, too.

WEBSITE FIFTEEN
I haven’t even read the website yet, and the deception has began. The title is “Darwinian evolution was basis of Nazi legal system”. This is completely irrelevant.

The title has five flaws:

I. It is using the “I don’t like it, so it’s not true” argument about evolution.
II. It is assuming that because evolution was used for evil, that makes evolution evil. I could pull that argument and say that the Bible was the basis of the Crusades, therefore the Bible is evil. But that is clearly not correct. Or here’s a funnier example: box cutters were used to hijack the planes that bombed the World Trade Center, therefore box cutters are evil. This is obviously false.
III. Darwin’s theory is that of NATURAL selection, not selection enforced by humans. It just so happens that human selection works in much the same way.
IV. The Aryan race is not evolutionarily superior to other races. So if Hitler was trying to emulate evolution, he was not doing a very good job. In fact, most characteristics of the Aryan race are recessive, and so less likely to continue. (Dark skin > light skin, brown eyes > blue eyes, dark hair > light hair…)
V. It’s not even true.

At this point, I don’t even need to read the website except to confirm the fifth point. The first four points stand on their own.

“‘Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime are the perfect illustration of what can occur when a civil government declares itself to be completely independent of God’s law.’”
It can also occur when a civil government declares itself to be sent by God to kill people.[27.14]

a: http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/new_info.html
b: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtmbcfb_rdc
c: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDFJviGQth4&feature=related
d: http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/mystery_monday_040524.html
e: http://www.solarviews.com/eng/oort.htm
f: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror_test

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