Refutation of “Evolution: A Fairy Tale for Grownups” – Questions 41 – 50
True or False question: Darwin said the following, “But, as by this theory, innumerable transitional forms must have existed, why do we not find them embedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth?” Comfort answers “True” (Source: Origin of Species,
chapter 6).Comfort goes on to say “Darwin goes on in the next paragraph to say that he believes the transitional forms (“missing links”) are missing because the fossil record is
“incomplete.” Yet here we are almost 150 years later, and all the missing links are still missing. Animals always show up in the fossil record fully formed. There are no undisputed transitional forms.”
Darwin later on in his book went on too explain why we should not expect to find “innumerable” transitional fossils, and his points have been proven to be valid factors. Despite this we have indeed found thousands of transitional fossils.
A decade ago, Kathleen Hunt, a zoologist with the University of Washington, produced a list of a few hundred of the more dramatic transitional species known so far, all of which definitely fit every criteria required of the most restrictive definition. Myriad transitional species have been, and still are being, discovered; so many in fact that lots of biologists and paleontologists now consider that list “innumerable” especially since the tally of definite transitionals keeps growing so fast! Several lineages are now virtually complete, including our own.
“Author Luther Sunderland saw the problems with the fossil record, so he determined to get the definitive answer from the top museums themselves. Sunderland interviewed five respected museum officials, recognized authorities in their individual fields of study, including representatives from the American Museum, the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, and the British Museum of Natural history. None of the five officials were able to offer a single example of a transitional series of fossilized organisms that document the transformation of one kind of plant or animal into another.”
(Source: Randall Niles, “Problems with the Fossil Record,” All About the Journey www.allaboutthejourney.org/problems-with-the-fossil-record.htm)
“To the question why we do not find rich fossiliferous deposits belonging to these assumed earlier periods prior to the Cambrian system, I can give no statistical
answer…The case at present must remain inexplicable and may be truly argued as a valid argument against the viewers here entertained.”(Source: Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, pp. 350-351.)
“The fossil record had caused Darwin more grief than joy. Nothing distressed him more than the Cambrian
explosion, the coincident appearance of almost all complex organic designs.”(Source: Stephen J. Gould, The Panda’s Thumb (New York: W.W. Norton, 1980), pp. 238-239)
True or False question: Discovered by Reiner Protsch von Zieten, “Hahnhofersand Man” (a “missing link” between Neanderthals and modern humans) was later discredited. Comfort answers “True” and includes the following, “On February 18, 2005, Protsch was forced to retire in disgrace after a Franfurt University panel ruled that throughout his career he had “fabricated data and plagiarized the work of his colleagues.” They found that he systematically lied about the age of human skulls, dating them tens of thousands of years old, even though they were much younger.” (Source: “Anthropologist resigns in ‘dating disaster,’ February 19, 2005 www.worldnetdaily.com/new/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=42940)
“The number of years that modern humans and thought to have overlapped with Neanderthals in Europe is shrinking fast, and some scientists now say that figure could drop to zero. Neanderthals lived in Europe and western Asia from 230,000 to 29,000 years ago, petering out soon after the arrival of modern humans from Africa. There is much debate on exactly how Neanderthals went extinct. Theories include climate change and the possession of inferior tools compared to those made by modern humans. Anthropologists also disagree on whether modern humans and Neanderthals are the same species and interbred. Now, some scientists dispute whether they lived side-by-side at all in Europe.” (Source: “Neanderthals and Modern Humans May Have Never Met,” May 9, 2006 www.foxnews.com/story/0,29333,194702,00.html)
“Despite the excited and optimistic claims that have been made by some paleontologists, no fossil hominid
species can be established as our direct ancestor.”(Source: Evolutionist and Harvard Richard C. Lewontin, Human Diversity (Scientific American Library, 1995), p. 163)
Even if this was the case, we still have genetic evidence that
prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that we share a common ancestry with other primates.
True or False question: to illustrate Darwinian evolution’s “natural selection,” the Encyclopedia Britannica used two photos, one showing a light-colored moth and a dark-colored moth against a light background, and then against a dark background. This “peppered moth” evidence of evolution was later proved to be fraudulent. Comfort answers “True”(Source: Judith Hooper, Of Moths and Men: An Evolutionary Tale (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2002), p. 377)
The peppered moth example has never been proven fraudulent. The following In-Depth comment is a poor argument put forth by creationist, but it does not hold any weight.
“The problems with using the peppered mots as an evolutionary icon only begin there. There also is a serious problem with those images that adorn so many textbooks. The problem is—the images were faked!…One paper described how it was done—dead moths were glued to the tree. University of Massachusetts biologist Theodore Sargent helped glue moths onto trees for a NOVA documentary. He says textbooks and films have featured ‘a lot of fraudulent photographs’ (emphasis in original).
The theory of moths ‘evolving camouflage’ for survival was totally false. And, even though many of the writers and textbook publishers know the truth, they are sill using the images today.
Also consider that dark moths and light moths have always been around. There was no new genetic material created to form a black moth. This ‘textbook story’ is nothing more than gene frequencies shifting back and forth, we still are dealing with a single created kind. The moths are still moths! They did not evolve into spiders, cats, or humans. Yet, sadly, the peppered moths nevertheless are being used as ‘proof’ for evolution. Young people need to understand that while the moth population always had the built-in ability to vary in color, the moths never had the ability to become anything other than moths.” (Source: Brad Harrub, Ph.D., “Peppered with Dishonesty” www.apologeticpress.org/articles/2365)
pictures do not change the real picture. The peppered moth story is
consistent with many other experiments and observations of crypsis
and coloration in other species. Based on this, the textbooks are not
deceiving anyone, rather this is poor understanding on the creationists part.
Apologeticpress is not a academic or scientific source.
Bible question: which book of the Bible said that blood is the source of life and health thousands of years before moden science discovered the fact? Comfort answers “Leviticus” and explains “Leviticus 17:11 says, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.””
We are discussing the theory of evolution, not theology. Trying to prove the validity of cheery-picked Scriptures does not prove it true, nor does it magically invalidate the fact of evolution.
Leviticus 17:11 and 14 say, respectively, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul,” and “For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.”
Wow, the ancient Israelites managed to figure out that you could die if you bled a lot. Considering they would have fought many battles both before and after the Torah was written, that’s not even close to scientific foreknowledge. In any case, if the Biblical message was unambiguously “don’t bleed your patients”, why did devoutly Christian physicians continue to use bleeding (and leeches) for hundreds of years?
The view of blood as the essence for life predates the Bible. The Code of Hammurabi from Mesopotamia (about 1727 B.C.E., before Leviticus was written) has a phrase which translates, “to pour out his life-blood like water.” In the Enuma Elish, blood was an essential ingredient which mankind was created from. Ugaritic and Egyptian sources also note the importance of blood.
But is blood thee essence of life??? It appear not, since creatures and organisms can live without blood, such as the jellyfish, sponges, plants, etc.
“Blood carries gases, nutrients and waste products through the body. Blood also fights infections, heals
wounds and performs many other vital functions. There is no substitute for blood. It cannot be made or manufactured. Donors are the only source of blood for patients who need it.”(Source: “What is Blood?” America’s Blood Centers www.americasblood.org/go.cfm?do=Page.View&pid=11)
“It was not realized until the discovery of the circulation of blood by the creationist William Harvey, in about 1620, that biological ‘life’ really is maintained by the blood, which both brings nourishment to all parts of the body and also carries away its wastes. Its spiritual truth is even more significant. The blood, when shed on the altar, would serve as an ‘atonement’ (literally, ‘covering’) for the soul of the guilty sinner making the offering. In fact, the ‘life’ of the flesh is actually its ‘soul,’ for ‘life’ and ‘soul’ both translate the same Hebrew word (nephesh) in this text. When the blood was offered, it was thus an offering of life itself in substitution for the life of the sinner who deserved to die.”(Source: Henry Morris, Ph.D., “Life in the Blood” www.icr.org/index.php?module=articles&action=view&ID=1823)
Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology
True or False question: The famed “Nebraska man” was derived from a single tooth, which was later found to be from an extinct dog.Comfort answers “False. It was later found to be from an extinct pig.”(Source: John Reader, Missing Links [London: William Collins Sons & Co., 1981], p. 110)
The tooth was never held in high regard by scientists. Osborn, who described it, was unsure whether it came from a hominid or from another kind of ape, and others were skeptical that it even belonged to a primate. The illustration was done for a popular publication and was clearly labeled as highly imaginative.
Nebraska Man is an example of science working well. An intriguing discovery was made that could have important implications. The discoverer announced the discovery and sent casts of it to several other experts. Scientists were initially skeptical. More evidence was gathered, ultimately showing that the initial interpretation was wrong. Finally, a retraction was prominently published.
“In 1922, Henry Fairfield Osborn, the director of the American Museum of Natural History, declared that he
had found a fossil molar tooth belonging to the Pliocene period in western Nebraska near Snake Brook. This tooth allegedly bore common characteristics of both man and ape. An extensive scientific debate began surrounding this fossil, which came to be called ‘Nebraska man,’ in which some interpreted this tooth as belonging to Pithecanthropus erectus, while others claimed it was closer to human beings. Nebraska man was also immediately given a ‘scientific name,’ Hesperopithecus heroldcooki.Many authorities gave Osborn their support. Based on this single tooth, reconstructions of Nebraska man’s head and body were drawn. Moreover, Nebraska man was even pictured along with his wife and children, as a whole family in a natural setting. All of these scenarios were developed from just one tooth. Evolutionist circles placed such faith in this ‘ghost man’ that when a researcher named William Bryan opposed these biased
conclusions relying on a single tooth, he was harshly criticized.In 1927, other parts of the skeleton were found. According to these newly discovered pieces, the tooth
belonged neither to a man nor to an ape. It was realized that it belonged to an extinct species of wild American pig called Prosthennops. William Gergory entitled the article published in Science in which he announced the truth, “Hesperopithecus Apparently Not an Ape Nor a Man.” Then all the drawings of Hesperopithecus haroldcooki and his ‘family’ were hurriedly
removed from evolution literature.”(Source: Harun Yahya, “The Nebraska Man Scandal” www.darwinism-refuted.com/origin_of_man_16.html)
“evolutionary experts” and right here, Comfort provides a quote from a non-biologist.
paranoid propagandists also commonly contend –based only on these exceptions– that each of the thousands of fossil hominids we’ve found and confirmed before and since were all proven to be fakes too –even when the alleged authorities making these claims are already-exposed charlatans currently imprisoned for fraud.
Fill in the blank question: Molecular biologist Harry Rubin wrote, “Life, even in bacteria, is ___________.”Comfort answers “is too complex to have occurred by
chance.”(Source: “Life, Even in Bacteria, Is Too complex to Have Occurred by Chance” in Henry Margenau and Roy Varghese, eds., Cosmos, Bios, Theos, p. 203).Comfort goes on to say, “Amazingly, Professor Rubin goes on to say he believes life was “created,” but that he rejects the “literal interpretation” of what he calls “the Bible story.” A few sentences later, he maintains that he
still believes in evolution.”
“Now imagine 10^50 blind persons [that’s 100,000 billion billion billion billion billion people; standing shoulder to shoulder, they would more than fill our entire planetary system] each with a scrambled Rubik cube and try to conceive of the chance of them all simultaneously arriving at the solved form. You then have the chance of arriving by random shuffling [random variation] of just one of the many biopolymers on which life depends. The notion that not only the biopolymers but the operating program of a living cell could be arrived at by chance is a primordial soup here on Earth is evidently nonsense of a high order.”
(Source: Sir Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe, Evolution from Space (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1984), p. 176)
Regardless of the odds of life forming naturally, the origin of life has no bearing on the theory of evolution. Evolution explains how life diversifies, not how it began. Since evolution at every level is -by definition- limited to the variation of allele frequencies inherited over generations of living organisms, then it obviously can’t operate where no genomes yet exist. The evolutionary process starts with genetics and can’t start before it. So how the first genes came about may seem similar to evolution, and may even involve a form of natural selection in some way, but it is in fact a very different chemical process called “abiogenesis.”
Fill in the blank question: H. S. Lipson, Professor of Physics, University of Manchester, UK, wrote, “Evolution became in a sense a ___________; almost all scientists
accepted it, and many are prepared to ‘bend’ their observations to fit in with it.”Comfort answers “scientific religion.”(Source: “A Physicist Looks at Evolution,” Physics Bulletin, Vol. 31, May 1980, p. 138)
“evolutionary experts” and right here, Comfort provides a quote from a non-biologist. As Comfort already made clear, Lipson is a physicist, not a biologist.
“For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He
has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”(Source: Robert Jastrow (self-proclaimed agnostic), God and the Astronomers (New York: W. W. Norton, 1978), p. 116)
“The irony is devastating. The main purpose of Darwinism was to drive every last trace of an incredible
God from biology. But the theory replaces God with an even more incredible deity—omnipotent chance.”(Source: T. Rosazak, Unfinished Animal (1975), pp. 101-102)
“evolutionary experts” and right here, Comfort provides a quote from a non-biologist. Rosazak is not a scientist, he is a historian. Roszak received his B.A. from UCLA and Ph.D. in History from Princeton University.
“Contrary to the popular notion that only creationism relies on the supernatural, evolutionism must as well, since the probabilities of random formation of life are so tiny as to require a ‘miracle’ for spontaneous generation tantamount to a theological argument.”(Source: Chandra Wickramasinghe (Professor of Applied Math & Astronomy, University College, Cardiff), cited in Norman L. Geisler, Creator in the Courtroom:
Scopes II (Mieford, MI: Mott Media, 1982), p. 151.)
“evolutionary experts” and right here, Comfort provides a quote from a non-biologist. As this source already demonstrated, Wickramasinghe is not a biologist, he is a mathematician and a astronomer. Norman Geisler is much less qualified.
In what year did Science Digest publish this quote? “The remarkable fact is that all the physical evidence we have for human evolution can still be placed, with room to spare, inside a single coffin*…Modern apes, for instance, seem to have sprung out of nowhere. They have no yesterday, no fossil record. And the true origin of modern humans—of upright, naked, tool-making, big-brained beings—is, if we ere to be honest with ourselves, an equally mysterious matter.”Comfort answers “1982”(Source: Dr. Lyall Watson, “The Water People,” Science Digest, May 1982, p. 44).*Comfort’s footnote says “The ‘coffin’ would be empty. There is no empirical evidence in the fossil record for human evolution.”
One sometimes reads that all hominid fossils could fit in a coffin, or on a table, or a billiard table. That is a misleading image, as there are now thousands of hominid fossils. Lubenow found that there were fossils from almost 4,000 hominid individuals catalogued as of 1976 (Lubenow, Marvin, 1992. Bones of Contention: A Creationist Assessment of the Human Fossils. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, chap. 3). As of 1999, there were fossils of about 150 Homo erectus individuals, 90 Australopithecus robustus, 150 Australopithecus afarensis, 500 Neanderthals, and more
This would also mean Ray Comfort deliberately lied about there not being any “empirical evidence in the fossil record for human evolution.” He shamelessly lied without giving a passing nod to his conscience or his beloved Ninth Commandment – which makes one wonder how serious a pathological liar takes a religious doctrine that demands absolute honesty.
“The fossil record—in defiance of Darwin’s whole idea of gradual change—often makes great leaps from one form to the next. Far from the display of intermediates to be
expected from slow advance through natural selection, many species appear without warning, persist in fixed form and disappear, leaving no descendants. Geology assuredly does not reveal any finely graduated organic chain, and this is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against the theory of evolution.”(Source: Steve Jones, Almost Like a Whale: The Origin of Species Updated (London: Doubleday, 1999), p. 252)
“All paleontologists know that the fossil record contains precious little in the way of intermediate forms; transitions between major groups are characteristically from this dilemma by invoking the extreme imperfection of the fossil record.”(Source: Stephen J. Gould, The Panda’s Thumb (New York: W. W. Norton, 1980), p. 189)
Gould follows up with the following,
“Although I reject this argument (for reasons discussed in [“The Episodic Nature of Evolutionary Change”]), let us grant the traditional escape and ask a different question. Even though we have no direct evidence for smooth transitions, can we invent a reasonable sequence of intermediate forms — that is, viable, functioning organisms — between ancestors and descendants in major structural transitions? Of what possible use are the imperfect incipient stages of useful structures? What good is half a jaw or half a wing? The concept of preadaptation provides the conventional answer by permitting us to argue that incipient stages performed different functions. The half jaw worked perfectly well as a series of gill-supporting bones; the half wing may have trapped prey or controlled body temperature. I regard preadaptation as an important, even an indispensable, concept. But a plausible story is not necessarily true. I do not doubt that preadaptation can save gradualism in some cases, but does it permit us to invent a tale of continuity in most or all cases? I submit, although it may only reflect my lack of imagination, that the answer is no, and I invoke two recently supported cases of discontinuous change in my defense.” http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/mine/part1-3.html
“What is missing are the many intermediate forms hypothesized by Darwin, and the continual divergence of major lineages into the morphospace between distinct
adaptive types.”(Source: Robert L. Carroll, “Towards a new evolutionary synthesis,” Trends in Evolution and Ecology, Vol. 15, No. 1, January 2000, p. 27)
Fill in the blank question: Dr. Michael Walker, Senior Lecturer of Anthropology at Sydney University, said,
“One is forced to conclude that many scientists and technologies pay lip-service to Darwinian theory, only because it __________.”
Comfort answers “supposedly excludes a Creator.”(Source: Quadrant, October 1982, p. 44)
“All of us who study the origin of life find that the more we look into it, the more we feel that it is too complex to have evolved anywhere. We believe as an article of faith that life evolved from dead matter on this planet. It is just that its complexity is so great, it is hard for us to imagine that it did.”(Source: Dr. Harold Urey (Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry), Christian Science Monitor, 4 January 1962, p. 4)
“The ‘standard scientific theory’ of evolution is that ‘human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process’ (Shermer, 2002). Dawkins let the cat out of bag when he observed that ‘the whole point of the theory of evolution by natural selection was that it provided a non-miraculous account of the existence of complex adaptions’ (Dawkins, 1986b, p. 249; emphasis added).
Dawkins had just cited with approval Darwin’s response to the geologist Lyell, ‘I would give nothing for the theory of Natural selection, if it requires miraculous additions in any one stage of descent’ (Darwin, 1898, 2:6-7) adding with approval, ‘For Darwin, any evolution that had to be helped over the jumps by God was not evolution at all ‘ (Dawkins, 1986b, p. 249; Dennett, 1995, p. 290). Such ‘guided evolution’ would be no less ‘divine creation’ than if it were ‘instantaneous’” (Dawkins, 1986, pp. 316-317).
(Source: Stephen E. Jones, “Problems of Evolution” www.members.inet.net.au/~sejonees/PoE/pe03rlgn.html#rlgnvnsntggd)
It does not matter if there is a God or not, the fact of evolution remains — just as the fact of gravity found remain whether Krishna exists or not.
“In other words, it’s Natural Selection or a Creator. There is no middle ground. This is why prominent Darwinists like G. G. Simpson and Stephen Jay Gould, who are not secretive about their hostility to religion, cling so vehemently to natural selection. To do otherwise would be to admit the probability that there is design in nature—and hence a Designer.”(Source: G. S. Johnston, “The Genesis Controversy,” Crisis, May 1989, p. 17)
The reason why critical and respectable scientists accept the theory of evolution is because it alone is the scientific model that has any facts, and is the only scientific explanation for the diversity of life — no other explanation has any evidence or meet the qualifications to be a scientific theory.
Fill in the blank question: Prof. of paleontology T. N. George stated: “There is no need to apologize any longer for the poverty of the fossil record. In some ways it has
become almost unmanageably rich, and discovery is out-pacing integration. The fossil record nevertheless continues to be composed mainly of ___________.”Comfort answers “gaps.”(Source: T. Neville George, “Fossils in Evolutionary Perspective,” Science Progress, Vol. 48, January 1960, p. 5)
Quote Mine/Distorted message of author
This quote is actually by T. Neville George, and is 30 pages long. Here is the rest of the paragraph (words omitted by Comfort are in bold)
“There is no need to apologize any longer for the poverty of the fossil record. In some ways it has become almost unmanageably rich, and discovery is out-pacing integration: the growing number of species of Formaminifera that remain undescribed in the cabinets of the oil companies probably is of the order of thousands; and while most other organic groups are not so fully collected the ratio of added finds to palaeontologists studying them is constantly expanding. But what remains to be discovered is likely to be of less and less radical importance in revealing major novelties, more and more of detailed infilling of fossil series whose outlines are known. The main phyla, in so far as they are represented by fossils, now have a long and full history that is made three-dimensional by a repeatedly cladal phylogeny. The gaps are being closed not only by major annectant forms, the “missing links” that Darwin so deplored, like the fish-amphibian ichthyostegids, the amphibian-reptile seymouriamorphs, and the reptile-mammal ictidosaurs, but also by new discoveries of phyletic affiliations, as in graptolite structure.”
He goes on to say,
“Together, the discovery of new fossil forms, the filling out of the details of bioserial change, the interpretation of biofacies, the adoption of new techniques both in fossil morphology and in fossil manipulation, and the establishment of a progressively refined timescale contribute to a present-day palaeontology offering the strongest support, the demonstrative “proof,” of the fact and the process of evolution in terms wholly concordant with the essence of Darwinian theory.”
So we see that when George is claiming that “In some ways it [the fossil record] has become almost unmanageably rich…” he’s referring to particular groups of creatures, something the Quote Mining Creationist neglects to mention, or even hint at. By this point there should be no doubt that George advocates evolution.
TOTALS FOR THIS SEGMENT (Q 41 – 50) 29 Total Quotes
|Fallacy||Number of Fallacies|
|Appeal to Authority||0|
|Not a qualified biologist or scientist||6|
|Not Relevant to Evolutionary theory or Biology||7|
|Not Damaging to Evolutionary theory||16|
|Distortion of Science||4|