Refutation of Ray Comfort’s “The School of Biblical Evangelism” (Part 5)
Lesson 61: Scientific Facts in the Bible Part 1
Kirk’s comment: The evidence for the existence of God is truly overwhelming — something of which many people are completely unaware. The laws of natural science, archeology, astronomy, biology, and prophecy all point to an infinitely intelligent Creator, as the next few lessons show.
None of the statements Kirk made in this comment are true. Laws of natural science only reveal the mechanisms of a natural world that do not require any supernatural or divine guidance.
Archeology does not support the Bible as much as Comfort wishes. In fact, due to the increasing contrary evidence against Biblical stories, the term “biblical archaeology” has been discarded by professional archaeologists.
Neither astronomy and biology point to a “creator.” Biology has revealed that humans are simply animals. Astronomy gives no hint of an “intelligent” craftsmanship. Kirk may be implying the anthropic principle, but the principle has been discredited.
Finally, prophecies are not valid arguments for a creator. Prophecies are usually vague, self-fulfilled, or predict the inevitable.
Answering the question “If God is perfect, why did He make an imperfect creation?” Ray answers that “the Bible tells us that the Genesis creation was “good.” There was no sin and therefore no suffering or death.” Why then did God give Adam and Eve the ability to sin, knowing full well that they would sin and bring death and pain to the human race? Some believe that if Adam had been created without the ability to choose, then he would have been a “robot.” A father cannot make his children love him. They choose to love him because they have a free will. Others point out that humanity would never have seen the depth of the love of God, as displayed in the cross, unless Adam had sinned, and that fact could be one reason why God allowed sin to enter the world.”
No death? How about shark babies who must eat their fellow sibling embryos to survive while in their mother’s womb?
If there was no suffering in the time of Eden, why do humans have an immune system? If there was no suffering, that must mean there was no diseases. And if there no diseases, why would our bodies need defenses from external forces? That fact alone that humans have immune systems means that diseases have been present since the time of man.
Furthermore, a world without death not only is incorrect, it does not make sense. A world without death would be far from Edenic. Either there would be no possibility of new birth, in which case none of us could be alive today, or the world would become so overpopulated with living things that most people would be buried alive under others. Death is a necessary part of life.
All this aside, the questions “why and how would a perfect being create an imperfect creation?” This alone disputes that the hypothesis that there is a perfect creator.
If I made a million tiny robots and programmed them to love me, to worship me, to sing songs praising me and to weep at the sight of my perfection, you’d call me, at least, twisted.
If, however, I made a million tiny robots with free will, and then demanded they love me, worship me, sing songs about me, weep at the sight of my perfection, and threatened them with eternal torment if they chose not to, you’d call me God. – Anonymous
Science expresses the universe in five terms: time, space, matter, power, and motion. Genesis 1:1,2 revealed such truths to the Hebrews in 1450 B.C.: “In the beginning [time] God created [power] the heaven [space] and the earth [matter] . . . And the Spirit of God moved [motion] upon the face of the waters.” The first thing God tells man is that He controls of all aspects of the universe.
This is not scientific, it is merely literacy analysis – basically one can link words and make anything seem to include certain concepts like motion and time. The Hermopolitan Creation is much older that the Genesis creation (in fact, Genesis may have copied from the Hermopolitan Creation), so Ray’s comment that Genesis was the first to “discover” terms like motion, space and time is without merit.
Here are several unscientific claim in the book of Genesis that Ray ether overlooks or deliberately dos not share with the reader. Genesis says the earth was without form, but water did exist. From that water, God made the land rise from the depths. Next, God creates vegetation, and project Earth is done. Then afterwards, God creates the sun, moon and stars. First of all, science knows that is not the order of events ho the earth came to be, and we know that the sun and stars are not younger than the earth.
Only in recent years has science discovered that everything we see is composed of invisible atoms. Scripture tells us in Hebrews 11:3 that the “things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”
The ancient Greeks were already discussing the natural structure of the universe, for a long time the common belief was the universe was made of four elements.
If the Bible were in any way scientific, this verse would obviously not begin “by faith” but “by observation.” If it were any bit scientific, it would have much better ways to describe the structure of the universe is made of tiny particles. Science uses very precise language in order to avoid such confusion, something which Ray Comfort’s best friend apparently thought unnecessary when passing on his pearls of wisdom.
It is also interesting to note that scientists now understand the universe is expanding or stretching out. Nine times in Scripture we are told that God stretches out the heavens like a curtain (e.g., Psalm 104:2).
WAIT A MINUTE! In chapter 8 of Ray Comfort’s “Scientific Facts in the Bible,” Ray Comfort quotes Genesis 2 that said that the making of creation was “finished” once and for all. Now Ray is quoting a verse saying that creation is still busy stretching and forming the heavens all around? Which is it?
Ray Comfort, you can’t have it both ways.
This is to say nothing of the fact that this verse describes the heavens as being equivalent to solid pieces of cloth. This may represent good science reporting to Ray Comfort, but to all scientists and cosmologists this is off the mark. This verse compares the heavens to the fabric of a tent, not a three-dimensional universe many billions of light-years across from which the Earth is suspended.
It DOES match the Hebrew view that the heavens consisted of a solid material piece of the “firmament.”
Any claim that this verse is referring to the expansion of the universe as it is understood by modern science is straw grasping at its most extreme.
At a time when it was believed that the earth sat on a large animal or a giant (1500 B.C.), the Bible spoke of the earth’s free float in space: “He … hangs the earth upon nothing” (Job 26:7).
Ray provides no source or reference that the common belief (among the common folk or amongst scientists) that the earth sat on the back of an animal or giant. Not one source, no references provided.
That aside, does the Earth “free float in space”? Does the Earth “hang upon nothing?” Answer: no and no.
The gravity of the Sun pulls on the Earth, keeping it in orbit. If it “free float in space” as Ray and the Bible assert, the Earth would be a “rogue” or “orphan” planet with no sunlight.
Ray Comfort is aware of this fact, and he is aware that he is wrong whenever he asserts that the Earth does not “free float in space”… but he never admits when he is wrong.
Finally, does the Earth hang upon “nothing”? To define nothing is to say not real or non-existent but beneath the earth (and all around it) we find empty space, cosmic dust, stars, etc. Plus, even the Bible does not agree with Ray Comfort. Examples, Job 38:4-6 refers to earth having a foundation and footings, in direct contradiction to the idea that it is unsupported. Job 26:11 says heaven is supported by pillars. Many verses throughout the Bible refer to a solid firmament.
The prophet Isaiah also tells us that the earth is round: “It is he that sits upon the circle of the earth” (Isaiah 40:22). This is not a reference to a flat disk, as some skeptics maintain, but to a sphere. Secular man discovered this 2,400 years later. At a time when science believed that the earth was flat, it was the Scriptures that inspired Christopher Columbus to sail around the world.
Isaiah and the Bible does not support around earth. The Bible does say “circle” but circles are 2 dimensional and flat, not spherical. The flat-earth position was widely held belief by early Christian fathers, who taught and preached that the earth was flat. Just to name a few:
- Theophilius of Antioch
- Cyril of Jerusalem
- Ephraim of Syrus
- Athanasius of Alexanderia
- Diodorus of Tarsus
- Theodore of Mopsuestia
- Epiphanius of Salamis
- John Chrysostom
- Hilary of Poitiers
- Severianus of Gabala
For ages, scientists believed in a geocentric view of the universe. The differences between night and day were believed to be caused by the sun revolving around the earth. Today, we know that the earth’s rotation on its axis is responsible for the sun’s rising and setting. But 4,000 or more years ago, it was written, “Have you commanded the morning since your days; and caused the day spring [dawn] to know his place? . . . It [the earth] is turned as clay to the seal” (Job 38:12,14). The picture here is of a clay vessel being turned or rotated upon the potter’s wheel—an accurate analogy of the earth’s rotation.
Luke 17:34–36 says the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will occur while some are asleep at night and others are working at daytime activities in the field. This is another clear indication of a revolving earth, with day and night occurring at the same time.
This verse is, at best, clear speculation and wishful thinking. All if says is that Jesus will come back “that night” when some dudes are asleep and others are grinding or just “in the field” (it doesn’t say what they are doing in the field, they could just be taking a midnight walk. I myself do this constantly when almost everyone else is asleep. I like to walk at night, it is very peaceful.)
None of these verses say that the women will be awake and grinding (o-la-lah) “during the day”, in fact nowhere does it even mention “day.” All these verses say is that it will take place “that night.” All these activities can be done while at night, and apparently you must have missed that part or you have a bit of trouble reading English. Ergo, Ray Comfort are merely assuming that since it mentions some people will be awake during night must therefore mean it must be daytime, which is as ridiculous as saying the fact some people watch midnight movies at the local theater means they are watching the film while its broad daylight outside. These verses fail to provide any indication or hint that the author was aware of a round or revolving earth.
God told Job in 1500 B.C.: “Can you send lightnings, that they may go, and say to you, Here we are?” (Job 38:35). The Bible here is making what appears to be a scientifically ludicrous statement—that light can be sent, and then manifest itself in speech. But did you know that radio waves travel at the speed of light? This is why you can have instantaneous wireless communication with someone on the other side of the earth. Science didn’t discover this until 1864 when “British scientist James Clerk Maxwell suggested that electricity and light waves were two forms of the same thing” (Modern Century Illustrated Encyclopedia).
Bloody hell, Ray Comfort apparently does not even know the difference between lightning, light and radio waves. Does anybody see a flash of lightning every time they tune into the traffic report? Either Ray Comfort does not have a clue what lightning and radio waves are, or Ray Comfort is just a despicable liar. Since this is Ray Comfort, based on my all my work reviewing his material, I think he is just clueless on how the world works, but I can safely say that he is a deliberate liar.
The passage Ray Comfort posted specifically talks about LIGTHNING. That’s it, lightning. Lightning consists of electrical current discharge (the light effect is due to incandescence). This is not the same thing as “radio waves” (electromagnetic spectrum wavelengths), which you need special equipment to even convert into sound. LIGHTNING does not send speeches or signals like radio waves. The only thing they have in common is speed, that’s it. But even a simpleton should know that similar speed does not mean they are the same thing. Nowhere in this bloody bible passage does it hint that is referring to both lightning and radio waves, or indicating that the author even knew what a radio waves actually are. All Ray Comfort has done, rather idiotically, is compare the speeds of these two separate different natural forces and trying to pass them off as the same damn thing. This is just as feeble-minded as saying a horse can run just as fast as a old car, therefore this means that the car can eat hay.
Job 38:19 asks, “Where is the way where light dwells?” Modern man has only recently discovered that light (electromagnetic radiation) has a “way,” traveling at 186,000 miles per second.
Another embarrassingly vague verse. Far from explicitly stating that light MOVES, this paragraph suggests that both darkness and light DWELL somewhere (so, maybe it’s implied, but it’s still hardly a good description of light). It also suggests that darkness is an actual THING, rather than just the mere absence of light. Nowhere in this verse does it calculate how fast light travels (which it does not make clear if it “travels” at all), nor does it even attempt to explain what the bloody hell “light” even is. No mention or indication of photons or anything. This bible verse is USELESS. It really is such a shame that your omnipotent god couldn’t be just a little better at grammar because it leaves that his burblings open to interpretation by any passing half-wit with an agenda.
Science has discovered that stars emit radio waves, which are received on earth as a high pitch. God mentioned this in Job 38:7: “When the morning stars sang together. . .”
Job 38:19 says “Where is the way where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof?” Notice they conveniently forget to mention that light is also mentioned as dwelling, or staying in one place. Also, they ignore the fact that the bible treats darkness like it actually exists, when really it’s the absence of light. Also, it’s Job, which, once again, is a very poetic part of the bible. They also ignore Job 38:20: “That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof?” Light and darkness do not have “bounds” or as the NIV translates it, places and dwellings (at least not one specific one).
Lesson 65: Evolution Part 1
Kirk’s comment: Evolution is a religion that is believed by men and women, boys and girls, intellectuals and fools. I was one of them until I was willing to investigate the facts.
The first piece of original text written paints the underlying theme behind these chapters – the old creationist propaganda parade of painting evolution as a religion. Evolution is NOT a religion. Evolution as religion has been rejected by the courts: ”Assuming for the purposes of argument, however, that evolution is a religion or religious tenet, the remedy is to stop the teaching of evolution, not establish another religion in opposition to it. Yet it is clearly established in the case law, and perhaps also in common sense, that evolution is not a religion and that teaching evolution does not violate the Establishment Clause.” The court cases Epperson v. Arkansas, Willoughby v. Stever, and Wright v. Houston Indep. School Dist.
Kirk Cameron has not investigated any facts, he never was interested in investigating the facts. We can tell this, especially after his public embarrassment of absurdly declaring that the theory of evolution should produce “crocoducks” and several other two present but separate species combined into one animal. In fact, Charles Darwin explained in detail why we should NOT find anything like this. We’re not looking for a blend of two species that both currently exist. Such a thing would actually go against evolution. Instead, Darwin said, that if his theory were true, then what we should find would be a basal form potentially ancestral to both current species. And in this one case alone, we’ve found dozens of them in a near continuous lineage dating beyond the dawn of the Mesozoic era.
This is why creationists demand only monstrous absurdities or issue challenges they know still couldn’t be satisfied no matter how true evolution may be; because they know already that whatever they insist on seeing today we may show them tomorrow, and if that happens, they’ll have to make up new excuses for why it still doesn’t count. So they won’t request to see anything evolution actually requires, and they usually won’t define any criteria they would accept either, because they already know they won’t accept anything even if we show them everything they ever ask for.
Ray attempts to answer the question “Doesn’t the Big Bang theory disprove the Genesis account of creation?” Ray responds with
Try to think of any explosion that has produced order. Does a terrorist bomb create harmony? Big bangs cause chaos. How could a Big Bang produce a rose, apple trees, fish, sunsets, the seasons, hummingbirds, polar bears—thousands of birds and animals, each with its own eyes, nose, and mouth? A child can see that there is “grand design” in creation. Here is an interesting experiment: Empty your garage of every piece of metal, wood, paint, rubber, and plastic. Make sure there is nothing there. Nothing. Then wait for ten years and see if a Mercedes evolves. If it doesn’t appear, leave it for 20 years. If that doesn’t work, try it for 100 years. Then try leaving it for 10,000 years. Here’s what will produce the necessary blind faith to make the evolutionary process believable: leave it for 250 million years.
The child’s logic Ray is so fond of claiming can prove God will lead you astray here. You might think that an event with “bang” in its name was an explosion, but it wasn’t. Instead, it was more akin to the everything in existence being in a very hot dense state, which then expanded. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_bang). This expansion was not an explosion, with chunks of matter chaotically flying off at random, but rather the space itself expanding, spreading the universe apart, like spots on a balloon traveling away from each other as it is blown up. The big bang theory states that a great many things happened en-route to the universe we see today, but at no point did it “explode.” Thus proclaiming that as explosions don’t produce order, neither did the big bang is to make an irrelevant analogy, akin to going “if cows don’t produce coke then coke doesn’t exist.”
Like comparing the big bang to an explosion, comparing a sealed, empty garage’s inability to spontaneously generate a Mercedes to the earth is a horribly flawed analogy on many levels; so to use it to dismiss evolution is a horribly flawed argument. For starters, unlike the garage, the earth is not sealed. It is an open system with huge amounts of energy pouring in from the sun and the occasional lump of space rock providing minerals. Further, unlike the empty garage, the earth is not desolate and stripped of resources. Even if you ignore life on this planet, you’re still left with a plethora of chemicals, compounds and rocks which are needed for certain types of life. Finally there is the biggest problem – what you’re expecting to appear in the garage is an inanimate non-biological object. What you expect to appear on the earth is very animate and very biological.
Ray then attempts to explain the creationist word “kind.” He says “The Book of Genesis tells us that God created everything—nothing “evolved.” Every creature was given the ability to reproduce after its own kind as is stated ten times in Genesis 1. Dogs do not produce cats. Neither do cats and dogs have a common ancestry. Dogs began as dogs and are still dogs. They vary in species from Chihuahuas to Saint Bernards, but you will not find a “dat” or a “cog” (part cat/dog) throughout God’s creation. Frogs don’t reproduce oysters, cows don’t have lambs, and pregnant pigs don’t give birth to rabbits. God made monkeys as monkeys, and man as man.”
(If Ray’s God existed, and made “man as man,” then God made man as an ape.
“Neither do cats and dogs have a common ancestry” BUZZER! Wrong again.
Thanks to science, we’ve traced the Miacid lines back to a split with the Vivverid lines. More on that later.)
Ray later on says “Each creature brings forth after its own kind. That’s no theory; that’s a fact. Why then should we believe that man came from another species? If evolution were true, it would prove that the Bible is false. However, the whole of creation stands in contradiction to the theory of evolution. Evolution is science fiction. While we do see what’s called “microevolution”—variations within species (such as different types of dogs)—we don’t see any evidence of “macroevolution”—one species evolving into another species. Microevolution is observable, while macroevolution takes a tremendous leap of faith. If Christians had as much faith in God as atheists have in the theory of evolution, we would see revival. Like little children, atheists believe without a shred of evidence.”
Here Ray says “kinds” of animals do not variate into new “kinds.” Of course creationists can’t say what a “kind’ is either, because it’s impossible to identify any point in taxonomy where everything that ever lived isn’t evidently related to everything else. So they largely ignore phylogenetics altogether. If “kind” is determined of an animal producing something of itself, then there is only one kind overall: life. But the fact is Ray doesn’t get to conveniently redefine what these terms have always meant to the scientists who invented those words in the first place. According to Universities actually teaching this subject, microevolution is variation within species, and macroevolution is variation between species. The different breeds of dogs are an example of microevolution, while the different species of wolves and foxes, panthers and felines, horses and zebras, or llamas and camels –are all examples of macroevolution. Each set is definitely biologically closely-related, but they’re each different species, not different “kinds” of the same one.
Macroevolution is properly defined as the emergence of new taxa at or above the species level. The only time creationists will use the proper definition is when they are as-yet unaware of the fact that speciation has already been directly-observed and documented dozens of times –both in the lab and in naturally-controlled conditions in the field. In fact, we’ve seen it so many times we’ve had to categorize recurrent types of macroevolution we’ve seen so often repeated. Once creationists find out about all this, their first reaction is to use the excuse that some newly evolved species of fruit fly or fish somehow still doesn’t count because it’s “still” a fly or it’s “still” a fish. Well of course it is! Evolution couldn’t permit them to be anything else.
Creationists demand that the new species be so different from their parents that one can’t even tell they’re related. The irony there is that evolutionary theory never suggests that one “kind” of thing ever turned into another, fundamentally-different “kind” of anything, not unless you ignore all the intermediate stages –which of course creationists do.
To comprehend Evolutionary Theory, one must first understand that it’s only ever a matter of changing proportions –altering or enhancing existing features to build on what is already there. Developmental biology, genetics, and comparative morphology combine to confirm many of these taxonomic stages such that organs do not seem to have appeared abruptly or fully-formed as if out of nowhere, because there is an implied evolutionary origin evident in every case. Even the transition of fish-to-tetrapods, dinosaurs-to-birds, or apes-to-men are each are just a matter of incremental, superficial changes being slowly compiled atop successive tiers of fundamental similarities. These represent monophyletic clades which will forever encompass all the descendants of that clade. This is why birds are still dinosaurs, and humans are still apes, and both are still stegocephalian chordates.
No matter how much you or your heirs may change, you obviously can’t outgrow heredity. The very concept of common ancestry is a multi-tiered and intertwined complex phylogenetic system which shows why there can’t be any distinctly separate “kinds” to begin with! At the same time, the act of speciation splits the population presenting an eventually impassable boundary between them. We often see this demonstrated live in the form of “ring species”, where different evolutionary stages exist all at once in a geographic rather than chronological distribution. Subspecies (A) may breed with subspecies (B), and (B) may breed with (C), and (C) with (D), but (A) and (D) cannot interbreed because by the time their territories overlap again, they’ve grown too distant genetically, and can’t come back. This is when we see the formation of new features, organs, or skeletal structures, each examples of new genetic “information.” What all these show is that even though a new species of perching bird (for example) is “still” a finch, it is now a different “kind” of finch, a distinct descendant species proving there is no “boundary” against macroevolution.
As the evidence just pointed out, there are no “kinds” (or boundaries) at all and all life shares a common ancestry. Ray states that cats and dogs do not ave a common ancestry, but apparently they do and we can show and prove it. (Source: http://sysbio.oxfordjournals.org/content/54/2/317.full.pdf+html)
Ray attempts to immaturely mock the theory of evolution by claiming that no “dat” or “cog” (meaning no part-dog part-cat) will ever be found. But has it already been found? Has Ray ever seen or heard of creatures like the Aardwolf? It looks like a tiny fox, and many people mistake it for a wolf based on its name. However, the Aardwolf is no a wolf at all, in fact it is more related to cats (which has been proven by genetics and taxonomy). Hyenas look like dogs, but they are not dogs. We know for a fact that there once existed “dog-bears” (family: Hemicyonidea) and “bear-dogs” (Amphicyonidea), but has there ever been a time where anyone can find a animal that was the ancestor of cats (felines) and dogs (carnivora)? Thanks to science, we’ve traced the Miacid lines back to a split with the Vivverid lines. The Miacid was the most primitive of all carniformes (dogs), and the first dog has been given the name Hesperocyon. This aboreal dog had quasi-hands, long tail, and plantigrade feet.
In summary, if God indeed made monkeys as monkeys (which there is no evidence that any supernatural entity created anything), then God made man as monkeys. Despite Ray’s pleas and denials, humans are apes, biologically, definitely and definitively. Ray asks “Why then should we believe that man came from another species?” The word, “ape” doesn’t refer to a species, but to a parent category of collective species, and we’re included. This is no arbitrary classification like the creationists use. It was first determined via meticulous physical analysis by Christian scientists a century before Darwin, and has been confirmed in recent years with new revelations in genetics. Furthermore, it is impossible to define all the characters exclusively indicative of every known member of the family of apes without describing our own genera as one among them. Consequently, we can and have proven that humans are apes in exactly the same way that lions are cats, and iguanas are lizards, and whales are mammals. So where is the proof that humans descend from apes, and why should we believe it? How about the fact that we’re still apes right now! And we are not saying that because some scientists ”want” you to believe it. We say it because we can prove it, and the fact remains if you believe it or not. Just as it is a fact that humans are mammals, it is a fact that humans are apes.
Ray quotes Stephen J. Gould “This notion of species as ‘natural kinds’ fits splendidly with creationist tenets of a pre-Darwinian age. Louis Agassiz even argued that species are God’s individual thoughts, made incarnate so that we might perceive both His majesty and His message. Species, Agassiz wrote, are ‘instituted by the Divine Intelligence as the categories of his mode of thinking.’ But how could a division of the organic world into discrete entities be justified by an evolutionary theory that proclaimed ceaseless change as the fundamental fact of nature?”
More than anything, Ray’s use of this passage should be enough to make you be skeptical of everything he says as it demonstrates he does not bother to read the sources he quotes from nor does he care whether these quotes are representative of his opponent’s position.
If one were to read what Stephen J. Gould is writing, you would find he is actually saying, in essence “an error in evolutionary thinking is to view it as contradicting the existence of species because it says everything is constantly changing. Species exist, so this is wrong. Evolution actually suggests there is rapid change between species, not constant change.” (Source: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/mine/part3.html)
Ray then includes a pie from creationist Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis
“Adaptation and natural selection are biological facts; amoeba-to-man evolution is not. Natural selection can only work on the genetic information present in a population of organisms—it cannot create new information. For example, since no known reptiles have genes for feathers, no amount of selection will produce a feathered reptile. Mutations in genes can only modify or eliminate existing structures, not create new ones.”
Firstly, we have Ken Ham, the founder and leader of the young-earth creationist organization Answers in Genesis admit that natural selection and adaption are indeed biological facts. That’s a big step.
What Ham objects to is the fact that mutations often add information. So the question is: do mutations add information? Apparently, they indeed do and we can demonstrate and prove it.
The evolution of life is analogous to the evolution of language. For example, there are several languages based on the Roman alphabet of only 26 letters. Yet by arranging these in different orders, we’ve added several hundred thousand words to English since the 5th century, and many of them were completely new. The principle is the same in genetics. There are millions of named and classified species of life, all of them based on a variable arrangement of only four chemical components.
For another example, we know that Spanish, Italian, French, and Portuguese all evolved from Latin, a vernacular which is now extinct. Each of these newer tongues emerged via a slow accumulation of their own unique slang lingo –thus diverging into new dialects, and eventually distinct forms of gibberish such that the new Romans could no longer communicate with either Parisians or Spaniards.
Similarly, if we took an original Latin speaking population and divided them sequestered in complete isolation over several centuries, they might still be able to understand each other, or their jargon may have become unintelligible to foreigners. But they won’t start speaking Italian or Rumanian because identical vocabularies aren’t going to occur twice.
It works the same way in biology. Mutations are degrees of variation which are usually quite subtle but cumulative, normally harmless, and occasionally advantageous. Any change in information is different information, not already present, and therefore can only be considered “new”. But of the many types of mutations known to occur, there are additions and duplications as well as deletions and the rest. So yes, genetic material can be added or taken away. But as to whether “information” has been added as opposed to lost, we can’t really tell because creationists won’t tell us what they think “information” is or how to measure it. They’ll readily state (as if it had somehow been confirmed) that it takes more “information” to make a bird than it does a dinosaur, but if you ask ’em how much more, they’ll shut right up. And if you demand to see the data that justifies how they could even make that claim in the first place, they’ll to change the subject.
Do reptile genes contain the “information” for feathers? Apparently the do, and has already been demonstrated through the fact of adaptation (which Ken accepts). Genetics as well the fossil record have shown us that dinosaurs did indeed develop feathers (which may not have flown at first, but feathers none the less).
Ray then talks about vestigial organs “Evolutionists also claim that the human body has ”vestigial organs” — worthless leftovers from evolution—such as the appendix and tailbone. The truth is that these do have a purpose: the appendix is part of the human immune system, and the “tailbone” actually supports muscles that are necessary for daily bodily functions.”
The misconception about evolution in this paragraph is that it claims vestigial organs have no purpose and are “worthless leftovers.” This is not and never was the case. A vestigial organ is merely something which has lost its original purpose.(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vestigiality) It doesn’t have to have no purpose at all, just lack its original use. The tailbone may very well support muscles but its no longer a tail and the appendix may play a role in our immune system but it is no longer used to digest leaves.(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_vestigiality)
This provides evidence for evolution because it demonstrates that the organism in question has changed. The tailbone has been altered from its original format, demonstrating humanity evolved. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_vestigiality#Coccyx) What they changed into isn’t useless but that doesn’t mean they haven’t changed.
The Peppered Moth: Evolution Comes Unglued
For the large bulk of this section, Ray quotes Mark Verney. “However, this ‘clearest case’ of purported Darwinian evolution by natural selection is not true! The nocturnal peppered moth does not rest on the trunks of trees during the day. In fact, despite over 40 years of intense field study, only two peppered moths have ever been seen naturally resting on tree trunks! So where did all the evolution textbook pictures of peppered moths on different colored tree trunks come from? They were all staged. The moths were glued, pinned, or placed onto tree trunks and their pictures taken.”
The problem with this passage is it conflates the staged images used to illustrate the study with the study itself, akin to arguing that since an artist’s depiction of what a dinosaur looked like is fake the fossil itself doesn’t exist. The photo is not the study, it is merely a staged example to make it easier to understand. There are several actual investigations into how Peppered Moths have changed which have shown that the two variants of the species (black and white) have changed throughout time. In the 1800s white was the overwhelming majority but in the 1900s the balance swung the other way. The idea being that as the environment got increasingly more polluted the white moth’s stood out more and were eaten more often by birds. There is some debate over if that is the correct answer for why the change but the discussion has absolutely nothing to do with text book photos being posed. And for the record, a single study observed 12 Peppered Moths resting on tree trunks, the other 35 in the study were found on branches. (Source: http://talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB601_1.html)
“However, this clearest case of purported Darwinian evolution by natural selection is not true. The nocturnal peppered moth does not rest on the trunks of trees during the day. In fact, despite over 40 years on intense field research, only two peppered moths have been seen naturally resting on tree trunks.”
It didn’t take me long to track down the source of this particular piece of disinformation. It comes from a review by evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne, in the respected scientific journal Nature, of a book on the evolution of insect pigments by Michael Majerus and a subsequent inacurrate and sloppy newspaper article in the Telegraph.
Coyne was echoing Sargeant and colleagues in questioning various field experiments conducted by Bernard Kettlewell in the 1970s regarding the predation of light and dark moths really showed that birds were responsible or whether other mechanisms were at work, hence the emphasis on the resting sites of the moths.
In any case, Coyne was also mistaken when he stated that only 2 moths had ever been found on trees, because in the very book he was reviewing Majerus himself states that he had personally found 47 such specimens. While this shows that the scientists are human and make mistakes, why is it the Creationists responsible for these lies didn’t read the actual book in the question to find this out, or even maybe this excellent peer-reviewed scientific review on the subject? Perhaps it was because they weren’t interested in the truth, but rather in spreading their slander to impugn evolutionary theory because it contradicts their own primitive creation myths.
So, in the end, the things that were NOT in question were the FACTS that the Moth color did change with the onset of the British industrialization and was reversed with the implementation of the clean air act; that this color change was due to a redistribution of the allelic frequency of the dominant gene responsible for the dark color; and that exactly the same phenomenon was observed in the United States. As such, the Peppered Moth is a perfect example of the FACT that evolutionary occurs. The only thing being debated is the exact mechanism of HOW it was occurring in this specific instance.
This is, in fact, a perfect example of healthy and honest intellectual debate and how science is willing to question existing knowledge, reassess the status quo and make changes in the light of new data. This is what allows it to continually improve and advance as each new development is incorporated into the body of knowledge while the unbending dogmatic mindset of the creationist is satisfied with explaining nothing by explaining everything with their god.
“They were all staged. The moths were glued, pinned, or placed onto tree trunks and their pictures taken. The scientists who used these pictures in their books to prove evolution all conveniently forgot to tell their readers this fact.”
While creationists may have nothing better to do with their time than site in a ostentatious barn and mumble archaic incantations at the ceiling, scientists and wildlife photographers have more useful things to with their than sitting in a wood while twiddling their thumbs and waiting for the moths to settle onto a branches. Such staging is standard practice for this reason and these illustrations are just that — illustrations to demonstrate points and not scientific documentation of natural phenomena. Creationist who feel that this should have been pointed out to the readers also presumably feel that Fox News should also nightly remind their viewers that the repulsive liar on their TV is not actually Glen Beck but a two-dimensional representation on a grid of phosphors, plasmas or diodes on their screens.
To suggest that these photographs were in any way deceptive is to be either completely ignorant of the point, incredibly mentally challenged or brazenly deceptive. In Ray and Kirk’s case, it may even be all three.
“If the best example of evolution is not true, how about all their other supposed examples? It makes you wonder doesn’t it?”
AHA — there it is! The Achilles Heel Fallacy. Creationist’s are nothing if not predictable. Even if by some miracle these sneaky weasels were right, this would in no way discredit the remaining mountain of evidence upon which the theory of evolution is built.
This is simplistic and dirty little smear that any politician would be proud of, and it you fall for it you’re merely submitting yourself to being led by the nose by these filthy liars.
Ray quotes Harvard professor and evolutionist Steven Jay Gould, making it appear that there is a scientific bias: “Facts do not ‘speak for themselves’; they are read in light of theory.” Even Charles Darwin concedes, “Alas, how frequent, how almost universal it is in an author to persuade himself of the truth of his own dogmas.” When scientists proclaim the theory of evolution as “fact,” keep in mind that they are not unbiased observers who are simply reporting the evidence.”
Ray shies away from making an actual argument against change here because doing so would expose an absurd hypocrisy in his thinking – since all of science involves interpretation to use its existence to argue solely against evolution is inconsistent. Instead, he merely raises the issue and then leaves it hanging, failing to explain how all of science is vulnerable to this and how, as such, all of science works to compensate for it.
Ray ends this section with a quote from Sir Arthur Keith, who wrote in the Foreword to Origin of Species (100th edition), “Evolution is unproved and unprovable. We believe it only because the only alternative is special creation, and that is unthinkable.”
This is quite simply 100% fictitious (Source: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/mine/part1-4.html#quote81) and an example of one creationist making up a lie, and it being spread from creationist to creationist without any of them verifying it. Perhaps the most hilarious part is that this quote is supposed to be from a book published 4 years after Sir Arthur Keith died. Sir Arthur Keith did write a foreword for Origin of Species, in 1928, but the quote is not related to that at all, or representative of Sir Arthur Keith’s actual views on the Theory of Evolution. All signs are that the quote is simple creationist dishonesty.
Feathers for Arrows
Ray gives a scenario of a lion devouring a doe, going into grim detail of the slaughter. Next, Ray states the following: It is a strong consolation to know that this isn’t the way God planned it in the beginning. Animals were not created to devour each other; they were created to be vegetarian (Genesis 1:29,30). The original creation was “good” and was not filled with violence and bloodshed. We live in a fallen creation (Romans 8:20–23). As a result of Adam’s sin, the perfect creation was cursed and death was introduced into the world (Romans 5:12). The day will come when the entire creation will be delivered from the “bondage of corruption” and there will be no more curse. In the new heaven and new earth, “the wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock . . .They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain” (Isaiah 65:25; see also Isaiah 11:6–9).
All animals create to be vegetarian? So animals with sharp teeth (like sharks, dinosaurs, lions, piranha’s, snakes, etc) use their sharp teeth to crush and grind grass? No, sharp teeth are meant to devour meat and bones. Why would snakes be made with fangs that inject venom? Were they meant to poison or paralyze their salads? While still in their mother’s womb, shark babies must eat their fellow sibling embryos to survive. This is simply cannibalism, and every shark is born a predator. Many animals have strict diets that they can only be carnivores and scavengers.
And why should man be given the blame for all the suffering in the world, especially if God is all-knowing and made man in the first place?
Lesson 66: Evolution Part 2
Questions and Objections
“Where did Cain get his wife?” Ray answers that Cain and Abel must have married their sisters, until God later outlawed marriage between immediate family members.
So marriage was once included brother and sister? HOW DARE SOMEONE try to redefine marriage!!!
It’s amusing to hear Christians and creationists cry over and over that God does not change his mind or never would do bizarre things. And yet, even proud liars like Ray Comfort have to come to realize that their imaginary friend changes his mind. One day, marrying siblings is okay with God. Tomorrow, its not right with God. Today, many Christians think two homosexual adults can’t marry, but these same people REFUSE to acknowledge that gay marriage might one day be okay with God.
Ray says that man was created “without understanding” (Ps. 32:9) and human beings are different than the other animals because we are made in the “image of God” and we are aware of our awareness. Ray says only humans appreciate creation (sunlight, Grand Canyon, music, etc). Man has the ability to discover natural laws and appreciate special metals.
Ray says we are more than just animals in the evolutionary chain, because God gave man domain (authority) over the other animals because we have a higher intellect. Ray then gives examples of animals tamed by humans and how certain animals provide for humans.
Ray then quote mines Stephen Hawking.
Our “awareness of our awareness” can be explained by evolution with no need to include magic or the supernatural. (Source: http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB400.html)
Man does not have “authority” over the rest of the animals kingdom because humanity was given permission from some divine entity.
Low Probabilities Refute Evolution
Here, Ray argues the extreme probabilities of abiogenesis refute evolution. Ray quotes Sir Fred Hoyle “The chance that higher life forms might have emerged in this way is comparable to the chance that a tornado sweeping through a junkyard might assemble a Boeing 747 from materials therein.”
Ray then says a famous mathematician (no name given) says that the likelihood of life forming naturally is 10^40,009 and thus refutes Darwin’s theory, and states there never was a primordial soup on this planet nor any other. The source for this comes from Evolution From Space
Ray then brings up Michael Behe, while noting he supports evolution, says that Darwin’s theory cannot explain the cellular systems that are too complex to have evolved randomly.
Hoyle’s Boeing 747 analogy does not affect the theory of evolution, it also fails to represent abiogenesis. (Source: http://www.ebonmusings.org/evolution/tornado.html)
The odds against abiogenesis does not affect the theory of evolution. The theory of evolution only explains how life diversified after life came about (however it did – which turns out to actually be abiogenesis). Evolution From Space was written by Sir Fred Hoyle, an astronomer not a mathematician.
Every objection brought forth by Behe has shown to be false. Every complex system has been shown and proven to evolve naturally.
Earth’s Population Refutes Evolution
Ray provides a paragraph from Grant R. Jeffery. Jeffery states the following;
“The evolutionary scientists who believe that man existed for over a million years have an almost insurmountable problem. Using the assumption of forty-three years for an average human generation, the population growth over a million years would produce 23,256 consecutive generations. We calculate the expected population by starting with one couple one million years ago and use the same assumption of a forty-three year generation and 2.5 children per family…The evolutionary theory of a million years of growth would produce trillion x trillions x trillions x trillions of people that should be alive today on our planet. To put this into perspective, this number is vastly greater than the total number of atoms in our vast universe. If mankind had lived on earth for a million years, we would be standing on enormously high mountains of bones from the trillions of skeletons of those who had died in past generations. However, despite the tremendous archaeological and scientific investigation in the last two centuries, the scientists have not found a fraction of the trillions of skeletons predicted by the theory of evolutionary scientists.”
The traditional date for the Flood is 2350 B.C.E. with only eight survivors (Noah and his family). In 1446 B.C.E., Moses was said to be leading 600,000 men (plus women and children) on the Exodus (this is not including the population of the Egyptians and over every human civilization across the globe. So we have a 900 year gap. Assuming that every generation is 43 years apart with 2.5 children, by the time Noah’s family multiplied, less than a hundred people would be left to build the pyramids. Based on this math, there never was 600,000 men who fled from Egypt, let alone enough people to populate the great nation of Egypt. So based on this mathematics, the Bible is completely wrong.
However, the truth is this mathematical formula is deeply flawed. For one thing, it is too concrete, and does not take into account wars, plagues, famines, infertility, murder, accidental death, and such.
Ray provides a scenario of an evangelical preacher meeting two environmental people who both accept evolution. The environmentalists are trying to save the trees because they are the lungs of the earth. The evangelical then asks what do they think about abortion? The answer it is a woman’s choice. Next, the evangelical asks them “what is the number one killer of drivers in the United States?” They answer drunk driving, but the evangelical answers trees. Ray then provides in italics “Living the highways of America are millions of trees. When a car goes off road and hits a tree, the tree doesn’t move, the driver does – into eternity.”
Blaming trees for the death of drivers is like blaming the ground for killing sky divers or people who trip and hit their heads. We don’ do that. Rather, we blame the cause of what made people fatally collide with the trees or ground. Drunk or distracted driving, faulty brakes, rainy or slippery road, parachute had a hole, and so on and so on.
Lesson 66: Evolution Part 3
Ray begins with a quotation from Michael Ruse. “An increasing number of scientists, most particularly a growing number of evolutionists . . . argue that Darwinian evolutionary theory is no genuine scientific theory at all . . . Many of the critics have the highest intellectual credentials.” MICHAEL RUSE, “Darwin’s Theory: An Exercise in Science,” New Scientist
Ruse’s claims are 3 decades old, and many prominent evolutionary biologists call him clueless. (Sources: http://scienceblogs.com/evolutionblog/2009/06/ruse_news.php and http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/06/in_which_andrew_brown_gets_eve.php)
Quote from Kirk: The earth is a masterpiece of God’s design and creativity. Even scientists stand in awe and wonder of this beautiful display of God’s handiwork.
“Masterpiece” “design” and “creativity” are very poor choice of words. Volcanoes, disease, tsunamis, cancer, earthquakes, parasites, viruses, plagues, and so on does NOT point to the handiwork of a all-loving deity.
Starts off with the objection “Adam was a mythical figure who never actually existed.” Ray responds that Adam is a key figure in the bible, and him as well as his descendants are described in the Bible as literal people. Ray says if Adam did not exist, then neither did his descendants. Jesus claims to be a descendant of Adam, and Ray claims “it is impossible to be descended from a myth.”
The claim of being descended from a mythical person does not give credence that the said mythical person was actually not a myth at all. Augustus Caesar claimed to be a descendant of the goddess Aphrodite, he claimed that he had actual genealogical proof. While we can verify that Augustus existed, his self-description of his heritage does not prove the existence of Aphrodite. Likewise, it is easy to claim that Adam was a myth, as well as Jesus (see Jesus myth theory).
Not only can we be skeptical of the belief we are descendants of a single human being, we can actually PROVE we are not using simple genetics.
Ray argues the rejection of the Bible’s account of creation as given in the Book of Genesis could rightly be called “Genecide.” Ray says this “intellectual genocide” has given the godless “a temporary license to labor to the extremes of their imagination, giving birth to painful conjecture about our human beginnings. They speak in speculation, the uncertain language of those who drift aimlessly across the endless sea of secular philosophy.” Whereas, as Ray states, the Bible speaks in a matter-of-fact style regarding man’s origins and purpose. Furthermore, Ray says “Genesis explains the origins of sin, the curse, death, marriage, the family, government, and so on.” Ray only emphasizes on marriage, claiming “In teaching about the significance of marriage (Mark 10:6–9), Jesus confirmed that the creation of Adam and Eve was a real historical event when He quoted Genesis 1:27 and 2:24.”
Jesus quoted Genesis, therefore Jesus claimed that Adam and Eve were real historical people… congratulations, you’ve just demonstrated that even the Son of God is full of lies.
Creation in Six Days
When addressing the actual creation of the planet, Ray turns to Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis who claims that the universe and Earth is a mere 6,000 years old and was created in 6 literal 24 hour periods. Ham says the following,
“To understand the meaning of ‘day’ in Genesis 1, we need to determine how the Hebrew word for ‘day,’ yom, is used in the context of Scripture . . . A number, and the phrase ‘evening and morning,’ are used for each of the six days of creation (Genesis 1:5,8,13,19,23,31). Outside Genesis 1, yom is used with a number 410 times, and each time it means an ordinary day — why would Genesis 1 be the exception? Outside Genesis 1, yom is used with the word ‘evening’ or ‘morning’ 23 times. ‘Evening’ and ‘morning’ appear in association, but without yom, 38 times. All 61 times the text refers to an ordinary day — why would Genesis 1 be the exception? In Genesis 1:5, yom occurs in context with the word ‘night.’ Outside of Genesis 1, ‘night’ is used with yom 53 times — and each time it means an ordinary day. Why would Genesis 1 be the exception? Even the usage of the word ‘light’ with yom in this passage determines the meaning as an ordinary day.”
For the sake of argument, allowing Ken Ham’s interpretation of Genesis claiming the earth was created in 6 literal 24 hour days, then by that alone Genesis and Scripture would be completely false since there is not a single shred of evidence that the Earth formed in such a way via magically.
Next, Ray introduces Dr. James Barr (professor of Hebrew at Oxford University) and provides a quote from Barr,
“So far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Genesis 1–11 intended to convey to their readers the idea that (a) creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience; (b) the figures contained in the Genesis genealogies provided by simple addition a chronology from the beginning of the world up to later stages in the biblical story; (c) Noah’s Flood was understood to be worldwide and extinguish all human and animal life except for those in the ark.”
So by Dr. Jams Barr’s admission, every Hebrew or Old Testament university agrees that the authors of Genesis was selling BULLSHIT.
Regardless if the authors intended or not to sell the literal story of a 6 day creation, filled with incestuous humans, and a boat floating over a world-wide flood, we KNOW these events never happened.
Points to Ponder About the Flood and Noah’s Ark
To address Noah’s Flood, Ray turns to the incarcerated “Dr.” Kent Hovind. Hovind first quotes 2 Peter 3:3-8, calling those who scoff at the Bible are people who are “willingly ignorant.” Hovind offers 23 “points” that he claims make the flood a fact of geology and history.
It should be plainly obvious to everyone that the moment a person uses MISTER Kent Hovind as a source for their position, they instantly lose all credibility.
Mister Kent Hovind is not a scientist in any sense of the word. Rather, he is a professional liar, a con artist, a charlatan, a propagandist, a conspiracy nut, reality denialist, and possibly mentally unstable. Mister Kent Hovind is currently in federal prison for tax evasion, now known as inmate 06452-017, and was not released when his whole 5 year sentence was served. Instead he was moved to a supermax (meaning the highest security in the federal prison system).
Mister Kent Hovind has frequently and proudly declared that he was on a mission by God to spread creationist lies about science. Obviously, that voice shows signs that he is not right in the head. Hovind said in court that he couldn’t be taxed on his millions of dollars of assets because everything he owned belonged to God. He also refused to acknowledge the Untied States had any jurisdiction over the Republic of Florida.
Conspiracy theories run rampant among the reality denialists. While Ray Comfort is a reality denialist regarding biology and other fields of science, there are times he follows a common delusion amongst scores of American Christians that their freedoms are under attack due to the ban of school-endorsed and led prayer.
But regarding the supposed 23 evidences for a fictional flood, most all of these points are addressed at Talk-Origins.
1. Over 500 Flood legends from all parts of the world have been found. Most have similarities to the Genesis account.
Floods, like volcanoes, earthquakes, tornadoes and lightning, are natural disasters with unknown causes. In ancient era, humans blamed the unknown on the supernatural. Mr. Hovind interpretation of these flood myths actually do not represent the Noah flood myth at all (see Kent Hovind’s Creation Seminar: Dinosaurs and the Bible for details).
2. Noah’s ark was built only to float, not to sail anywhere. Many ark scholars believe that the ark was a “barge” shape, not a pointed “boat” shape. This would greatly increase the cargo capacity. Scoffers have pointed out that the largest sailing ships were less than 300 feet because of the problem of twisting and flexing the boat. These ships had giant masts and sails to catch the wind. Noah’s ark needed neither of those and therefore had far less torsional stress.
“Six-master” refers to the length of the hull. It mattereth not one jot nor tittle whether the ark had masts, be they numbered none or many. Hull length and strength is the issue, not whether Noah was trying to sail the mythical hulk. The Chinese treasure ships were also constructed quite differently. They used a keel bound and reinforced it with iron. They also came with a large contingent of iron workers to make the constant repairs necessary to keep the ship sea worthy. Finally, none of the treasure ships approached the size of Mr. Hovind’s proposed Ark.
3. Even using the small 18-inch cubit (my height is 6’1″ and I have a 21-inch cubit), the ark was large enough to hold all the required animals, people, and food with room to spare.
Jumping to conclusions without providing any evidence or data.
4. The length-to-width ratio of 6 to 1 is what shipbuilders today often use. This is the best ratio for stability in stormy weather.
Who says that this ratio started with Noah? It may have predated him.
5. The ark may have had a “moon-pool” in the center. The larger ships would have a hole in the center of the bottom of the boat with walls extending up into the ship. There are several reasons for this feature:
a) It allowed water to go up into the hole as the ship crested waves. This would be needed to relieve strain on longer ships.
b) The rising and lowering water acted as a piston to pump fresh air in and out of the ship. This would prevent the buildup of dangerous
gasses from all the animals on board.
c) The hole was a great place to dump waste into the ocean without going outside.
The moon pool, according to the British term this: 2-tonne Square Wheel Syndrome. This 2-tonne wheel will roll if you find a steep enough grade, utilize a large block and tackle, a few pry bars, a chainfall, 2 logs, 3 come-alongs, a few dozen strong men… you see the problem.
6. The ark may have had large drogue (anchor) stones suspended over the sides to keep it more stable in rough weather. Many of these stones have been found in the region where the ark landed.
Actually, these stones are found throughout Armenia. The “anchor” stones likely had nothing to do with Christianity or the ark. Such stones were known to have been crafted by pagans for their worship before Christianity came to Armenia. The “rope holes” were niches for lamps. When Christianity came to the region, the stones were Christianized by inscribing Christian symbols on them. (Source: Merling, David, n.d., Has Noah’s Ark been found? [http://www.tentmaker.org/WAR/HasNoahsArkBeenFound1.html] ) The rock from which the anchor stones are made is volcanic rock found around Mount Ararat where the anchor stones were found, but not found in Mesopotamia (Iraq) from which Noah is alleged to have departed (Collins and Fasold 1996). If the stones were crafted by Noah, they would have come from the region where Noah came from, not where he landed.
7. Noah lived for 950 years. Many Bible scholars believe the pre-Flood people were much larger than modern man. Skeletons over 11 feet tall have been found. If Noah were taller, his cubit (elbow to finger-tip) would have been much larger also. This would make the ark larger by the same ratio.
It is impossible for the human body to live 900 years. Only about 25 11 foot-tall skeletons have been found. They are statistically irrelevant when you consider the world population ranging in the billions. Should a rare trait found to exist in 25 individuals compared to 6 billion as anecdotal evidence? No, it proves nothing. When you consider these 25 skeletons represent the entire population of giants throughout history, Mr. Hovind’s hypothesis is laughable. There is no clue or evidence determining the height of Noah because Noah is a fictional character to begin with. That aside, speculating on his height to keep the dimensions of the Ark a mystery is a typical creationist method – vagueness. In this case, creationists like Kent Hovind and Ray Comfort do not actually think and create testable models. Rather, their best response is a vague scenario leaving the details out and including several unverifiable factors.
8. Noah brought two kinds of animals onto the Ark (sometimes seven of each kind), not of each species or variety. Noah had only two of the dog kind, which includes wolves, coyotes, foxes, mutts, etc. The “kind” grouping is probably closer to our modern family division in taxonomy, which would greatly reduce the space need for the Ark. Animals have greatly diversified since the Flood 4,400 years ago. This “diversification” is not anything similar to the great claims that evolution teaches.
So “Kind” does not mean species or variety.
9. Noah did not have to go and get all the animals, God brought them to him.
How??? That is the central question: How did God escort the animals to the Ark? How did the flightless New Zealand Kiwi reach the Middle East? How did the American bison make it across the Atlantic Ocean?
These types of questions are never answered.
The only answer usually given by creationists are “God did it all” – basically invoking magic.
10. Only land-dwelling animals had to be brought aboard.
Where the dinosaurs brought unto the Ark? Even if not, could they all fit?
11. Many animals sleep, hibernate or become inactive during cold weather.
Most animals do not hibernate, and most of the ones that do are small animals. The large animals are the ones that require the most food and care. Among them, hibernation would probably have been an insignificant factor. According to the Global Flood, the highest mountain was flooded. In order to cover the highest mountain today, Mt. Everest, the sea level would have to rise to 29,055 feet. Virtually all animals in an environment at that height which they are not accustomed to would die instantly. Even animals that could survive in severe cold weather would die due to lack of oxygen.
12. All animals and people were vegetarians before and during the Flood.
This cannot be, because certain creatures have strict diets, often times carnivorous. How would a family of eight even feed all the animals? Three hundred and twenty full-time employees are needed to care for fewer than 3000 animals at the Washington National Zoo. On the ark, there were eight people to tend more than 15,000 animals (assuming Noah’s crew were not needed to do maintenance and bail water). They would have had to work more than fifty times harder than professional zookeepers. Double shifts are not enough to make up the difference.
13. Pre-flood people were probably smarter and more technological developed than people today. They had longer life-spans and Adam had direct contact with God.
There is absolutely no evidence that ancient Bronze Age civilization was more technological or smarter than present day people.
14. The Bible says the highest mountain was covered by 15 cubits of water. Hovind says “This is half the height of the Ark. The Ark was safe from scrapping bottom at all times.”
So the Ark was only 30 cubits tall?
15. The larger mountains that exist today did not exist until after the Flood.
Where is MISTER Hovind’s evidence? How high was the highest mountain then, and were is the geological evidence that mountains did not rise as high as Everest? What was the supposed highest elevation several thousands of years ago?
16. There is enough water in the ocean to flood the world by 8,000 feet, if the Earth was smoother.
This is speculation, because they would have to flatten the whole surface of earth to such a large degree.
17. Hovind says many claim that the Ark has been found in recent times. Two schools of thought: one says that the Ark is on Mt. Ararat covered in snow (CBS showed a special on this in 1993), the other says that the Ark is 17 miles south of Mt. Ararat in the “valley of eight.”
Wrong on both accounts.
18. The continents were not separated until 100-300 years AFTER the flood (Genesis 10:25). People and the animals have had plenty of time to migrate across the world since then.
No date is provided when exactly the Flood ended. There is no geological evidence that the continents separated to their present location in a mere span of 100-30 years. Rather, it would have taken several million.
So if we assume the Earth is 6,000 years old, and the Flood happened several hundred years later. If we are generous and assume that Pangea split 300 years after the Flood to the modern continents, the amount of energy needed to produce the modern shape of the Earth would be astronomical.
19. The top 3,000 feet of Mt. Everest (26,000-29,000 feet) is made up of sedimentary rock packed with sea shells and other ocean-dwelling rocks.
Shells on mountains are easily explained by uplift of the land. Although this process is slow, it is observed happening today, and it accounts not only for the seashells on mountains but also for the other geological and paleontological features of those mountains. The sea once did cover the areas where the fossils are found, but they were not mountains at the time; they were shallow seas.
A flood cannot explain the presence of marine shells on mountains for the following reasons:
* Floods erode mountains and deposit their sediments in valleys.
* In many cases, the fossils are in the same positions as they grow in life, not scattered as if they were redeposited by a flood. This was noted as early as the sixteenth century by Leonardo da Vinci.(Source: Gould, Stephen J., 1998. The upwardly mobile fossils of Leonardo’s living earth. In: Leonardo’s Mountain of Clams and the Diet of Worms, New York: Three Rivers Press, pp. 17-44.)
* Other evidence, such as fossilized tracks and burrows of marine organisms, show that the region was once under the sea. Seashells are not found in sediments that were not formerly covered by sea.
20. Sedimentary rock is found all over the world. Sedimentary rock is formed in water.
This does not imply that all the sedimentary rock was under water at the same time.
Why would there be Precambrian rocks below ones feet in the Canadian Shield area, yet the entire geologic column in the Williston Basin in North Dakota? Why would a global flood scour down to the Precambrian in one place yet at the same time deposit tens of thousands of feet of sediment in another when it is exactly the same process? Giant post-pyramid ice ages are not an explanation as there is no written record or other evidence of increased historical glaciation to the extent needed to scour the Canadian Shield down in the last 4500 years, not to mention such Precambrian rocks elsewhere on Earth like South Africa.
21. Petrified clams in the closed position (found all over the world, even on the top of Mt. Everest) testify to their rapid burial while they were still alive.
See point 19 above.
22. Bent rock layers, fossil graveyards, and polystrata fossils are best explained by a Flood.
Polystrata fossils are not explained by the flood. Single floods can deposit sediments up to several feet thick. Furthermore, trees buried in such sediments do not die and decay immediately; the trunks can remain there for years or even decades. (Source: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/polystrate/trees.html)
23. People chooses not to believe in the Flood because it speaks of the judgment of God’s on sin (2 Peter 3:3-8)
This is not an argument or positive proof for the flood.
One Common Ancestor
Ray claims that science has proven that we all come from a single ancestor. Despite us all being descendants of Noah, we are all descendants of Adam. Ray quotes a ”U.S. News and World Report” stating “Researchers suggest that virtually all modern men – 99% of them, says one scientist – are closely related genetically and share genes with one male ancestor, dubbed ‘Y-Chromosome Adam.’ We are finding that humans have very, very shallow genetic roots which go back very recently to one common ancestor… That indicates that there was an origin in a specific location on the globe, and then it spread from there.” (December 4, 1995)
This video will explain why this “Y-Chromosome Adam” as well as “Mitochondrial Eve” is not what creationists imply what it means. “Y-Chromosome Adam” is not the only male in the human species (Within his own generation and the male humans before him), nor is he alive around the same time “Mitochondria Eve” is alive (rather, they are 70,000 years apart). Same for “Mitochondria Eve” – she is not the first female woman (more exist within her generation and had existed long before she existed). “Y-Chromosome Adam” and “Mitochondria Eve” did not live at the same time (and likely not the same place).
Lesson 67: Evolution Part 4
We Are Wonderfully Made
Ray introduces Michael Behe, noting that Behe accepts the theory of evolution, claims that there are several mechanisms in living organisms that are too complex to have evolved randomly. He provides the mouse trap as an example. Removal of any part, and the mouse trap loses its function.
Every mechanism Behe has objected to being too complex to evolve has been shown to be false. Even his mouse trap analogy is flawed. For instance, it is possible to form a mouse trap with four or three parts.
Plus, nature is fully capable of creating a “trap” naturally — not for mice, but for flies. The Venus Fly trap is a great example, that developed through small gradual steps.
The theory of evolution says that small gradual changes develop into complex mechanisms. Still using the mousetrap, starting with the base. The base alone can serve a wide range of purposes, but as far as killing mice, natural selection would favor any development that would assist the trap. Keep this process up, and before you know it, you have a conventional mouse trap with 5 parts.
Next, Ray brings up the human eye. Ray says that any removal part of the eye, and the rest is “worthless.” Ray quote-mines Charles Darwin on the eye, “To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree.” Ray says the eye contains 137 million light-sensitive cells, and this could not have evolved naturally. Ray quotes Darwin again, “If it can be shown to not evolve through gradual steps, then my theory would completely break down.” Based on this, Ray says Darwin admitted evolution cannot be true and we are therefore fearfully and wonderfully created.
The quote is taken out of context. Darwin answered the seeming problem he introduced. The paragraph continues,
“Yet reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a perfect and complex eye to one very imperfect and simple, each grade being useful to its possessor, can be shown to exist; if further, the eye does vary ever so slightly, and the variations be inherited, which is certainly the case; and if any variation or modification in the organ be ever useful to an animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, can hardly be considered real. How a nerve comes to be sensitive to light, hardly concerns us more than how life itself first originated; but I may remark that several facts make me suspect that any sensitive nerve may be rendered sensitive to light, and likewise to those coarser vibrations of the air which produce sound.” (Darwin 1872, 143-144)
Darwin continues with three more pages describing a sequence of plausible intermediate stages between eyelessness and human eyes, giving examples from existing organisms to show that the intermediates are viable.
Evolution and Blood
Ray brings up the irreducible complexity of the blood clotting system, particularly the blood platelets. These platelets promote the clotting process to release proteins called “clotting factors.” To form this requires 12 specific individual chemical reactions. Ray says “If evolution were true, and if 12-step process did not happen in the first generation, no creature would have survived. They would all have bled to death.”
Blood clotting is not irreducibly complex. Some animals — dolphins, for example — get along fine without the Hagemann factor (Source: Robinson, A. J., M. Kropatkin, and P. M. Aggeler. 1969. Hagemann factor (factor XII) deficiency in marine mammals. Science 166: 1420-1422.), a component of the human blood clotting system which Behe includes in its “irreducible” complexity (Behe 1996, 84). Doolittle and Feng predicted that “lower” vertebrates would lack the “contact pathway” of blood clotting. Work on the genomes of the puffer fish and zebrafish have confirmed this (Source: Davidson, C. J., E. G. Tuddenham, and J. H. McVey. 2003. 450 million years of hemostasis. Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis 1: 1478-1497.)
God Made Them Male and Female
Ray notes that almost all forms of life come in male and female. Ray asks which came first according to the evolutionary theory. Ray says neither of them could have come before the other. Ray then asks how could these two spontaneously come to be with their complex complementary reproductive systems already intact?
Which came first? The female came first.
Ray says there are several other problems with the evolutionary theory;
*Did the first bird breathe?
*Did it breathe before it evolved lungs?
*How did it do this?
*Why did it evolve lungs if it happily survived without them?
*Did the bird have a mouth?
*How did it eat before it evolved a mouth?
*Where did the mouth send food before the stomach evolved?
Did the first bird breathe air… absolutely yes. By definition, avians like us, breathe air. At no point in evolution does it hint that avians lived without lungs.
Lesson 68: Evolution Part 5
Starts off with the question, “Where do all the races come from?” Ray responds with “The Bible informed us 2,000 years ago that God has made all nations from “one blood” (Acts 17:26). We are all of the same race—the “human race,” descendants of Adam and Eve, something science is slowly coming to realize.”
Missing Link Still Missing
Starts off with naming evolutionary “hoax” Archaeorapture.
“In U.S. News & World Report (February 14, 2000), a writer asks: “Did dinos soar? Imaginations certainly took flight over Archaeoraptor Liaoningensis, a birdlike fossil with a meat-eater’s tail that was spirited out of northeastern China, ‘discovered’ at a Tucson, Arizona, gem and mineral show last year, and displayed at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C. Some 110,000 visitors saw the exhibit, which closed January 17; millions more read about the find in November’s National Geographic. Now, paleontologists are eating crow. Instead of ‘a true missing link’ connecting dinosaurs to birds, the specimen appears to be a composite, its unusual appendage likely tacked on by a Chinese farmer, not evolution.”
Only a handful of scientists ever saw Archaeoraptor, but every one who did noted that it was composite piece, and the artistic amateurs who paid for the fossil were repeatedly warned that some parts of it might not even belong to the whole. Popular press foolishly scooped the story prior to peer review, where it was instantly exposed as a fake by multiple experts, and each submission to scientific journals was immediately rejected. Archaeoraptor therefore fooled no one in the scientific community at all.
The irony there is that the tail of the alleged Archaeoraptor turned out to belong to the as-yet undiscovered Microraptor, a four-winged and apparently gliding feathered dinosaur which turned out to be even more compelling proof of avian evolution from dinosaurs than Archeopteryx was in Darwin’s day.
Ray talks about Piltdown Man
Our Times: The Illustrated History of the 20th Century details the fraud of an evolutionary “find”: “Charles Dawson, a British lawyer and amateur geologist, announced in 1912 his discovery of pieces of a human skull and an apelike jaw in a gravel pit near the town of Piltdown, England . . . Dawson’s announcement stopped the scorn cold. Experts instantly declared Piltdown Man (estimated to be 300,000 to one million years old) the evolutionary find of the century. Darwin’s missing link had been identified…Or so it seemed for the next 40 or so years. Then, in the early fifties . . . scientists began to suspect misattribution. In 1953, that suspicion gave way to a full-blown scandal: Piltdown Man was a hoax. Radiocarbon tests proved that its skull belonged to a 600-year-old woman, and its jaw to a 500-year-old orangutan from the East Indies.”
The British museum touted the “Piltdown man” as authentic, but the American Museum of Natural History displayed it only as a “mixture of ape and man fossils”, which is what it eventually turned out to be.
There was no way to adequately examine such things back in 1915. Chemical tests –common today- didn’t yet exist and we didn’t yet have a practical understanding of radiation. And before the first australopiths were discovered, we didn’t know exactly what to expect of the links that were then still missing between humans and the other apes known at that time. But as we began filling in the gaps in human evolution with thousands of legitimate fossils, a pattern emerged which left Piltdown an increasingly obvious anomaly. Consequently it was taken off display and stored away almost continuously for decades. It lost importance in most discussions because, in light of everything else we discovered over the next few decades, it just never fit, and was eventually dismissed from the list of potential human ancestors for that reason.
As the years wore on, criticism arose against everyone who ever promoted the Piltdown collection because there seemed to be so much wrong with it. Finally, in the 1950s, it was taken back out of the box and scrutinized via more modern means. First fluorine dating revealed that it was much too recent, and it was shown to have been chemically-treated to give a false impression of its age and mineral composition. Then it was finally determined that the jaw must have come from an orangutan, and that it had been deliberately reshaped with modern tools in a well-crafted and deliberate forgery.
Ray goes on to say;
“The Piltdown Man fraud wasn’t an isolated incident. The famed Nebraska Man was derived from a single tooth, which was later found to be from an extinct pig. Java Man, found in the early 20th century, was nothing more than a piece of skull, a fragment of a thigh bone, and three molar teeth. The rest came from the deeply fertile imaginations of plaster of Paris workers. Java Man is now regarded as fully human. Heidelberg Man came from a jawbone, a large chin section, and a few teeth.Most scientists reject the jawbone because it’s similar to that of modern man. Still, many evolutionists believe that he’s 250,000 years old. No doubt they pinpointed his birthday with carbon dating. However, Time magazine (June 11, 1990) published a science article subtitled, “Geologists show that carbon dating can be way off.” (For example, Science magazine [vol. 224, 1984] reported, “Shells from living snails were carbon dated as being 27,000 years old.”) And don’t look to Neanderthal Man for any evidence of evolution. He died of exposure. His skull was exposed as being fully human, not ape. Not only was his stooped posture found to be caused by disease, but he also spoke and was artistic and religious.”
Carbon-14 contents as low as 3.3 +/- 0.2 percent modern (apparent age, 27,000 years) measured from the shells of snails Melanoides tuberculatus living in artesian springs in southern Nevada are attributed to fixation of dissolved HCO3– with which the shells are in carbon isotope equilibrium.
In other words, the apparent age of 27,000 years for these snail shells is another example of the reservoir effect. The springs, from which the snails came, were fed by carbonate aquifers. As this water percolated through the enclosing carbonates, it dissolved limestone and dolomite hundreds of millions of years old. The dissolution of limestone and dolomite introduced considerable quantities of “dead carbon” into the groundwater. As a result, the groundwater which fed the spring and in which the snails lived was significantly deficient in carbon-14 relative to what is found in the atmosphere. When the snails made their shells, they incorporated an excess amount of “dead carbon,” relative to modern atmosphere, into their shells, which resulted in the excessively old apparent date.
Contrary to the complaints of creationists, conventional scientists are well aware of this problem. They test for it and take it into account when interpreting radiocarbon data. In cases where corrections for presence of dead carbon cannot be made, such dates are readily recognized as erroneous and can be safely disregarded. This is not the fatal flaw to radiometric dating that some creationists claim it to be. It just shows that dates from mollusks from streams and lakes need to be carefully evaluated as to their reliability. Other materials, such as wood, charcoal, bone, and hide, would remain unaffected by this type of reservoir effect. If found with shells in the same layer, these materials could be dated to determine if shells are locally affected by the reservoir effect and, if so, how much their radiocarbon dates have been skewed by it.
Evolutions Circular Reasoning
Ray introduces “Dr.” Kent Hovind as explaining that there are 6 different radiometric dating systems and ”the assumed age of the sample will dictate which dating method is used because each will give a different result.” Hovind says when a dinosaur bone is found, they do not carbon date it because the result would place the bone less than 10,000 years old.
Convicted fraudster and charlatan MISTER Kent Hovind is actually wrong. The reason why carbon dating is not used on dinosaur bones is for this simple reason: THERE IS NO ****** CARBON IN IT!
Life’s Origins: The Ever-changing Mind of Science
Ray says “According to an NBC News report in August 1999, there was a “remarkable” discovery in Australia. They reported that, according to the Journal of Science, scientists had found what they considered to be proof that life appeared on earth 2.7 billion years ago — a billion years earlier than previously thought.” Ray points out the scientists were off by 1,000,000,000 years, which could change upon their next discovery.
CBS News reported in October 1999 that discoveries were made of the bones of an unknown animal in Asia that may be as much as 40 million years old. This changed scientific minds as to where man first originated. Scientists once believed that primates evolved in Africa, but now they think they may be wrong, and that man’s ancestors may have originated in Asia. So they believe . . . until the next discovery. USA Today (March 21, 2001) reported, “Paleontologists have discovered a new skeleton in the closet of human ancestry that is likely to force science to revise, if not scrap, current theories of human origins.” Reuters reported that the discovery left “scientists of human evolution . . . confused,” saying, “Lucy may not even be a direct human ancestor after all.”
Ray quotes Charles Spurgeon addressing the fallibility (and folly) of science:
“We are invited, brethren, most earnestly to go away from the old-fashioned belief of our forefathers because of the supposed discoveries of science. What is science? The method by which man tries to hide his ignorance. It should not be so, but so it is. You are not to be dogmatical in theology, my brethren, it is wicked; but for scientific men it is the correct thing. You are never to assert anything very strongly; but scientists may boldly assert what they cannot prove, and may demand a faith far more credulous than any we possess. Forsooth, you and I are to take our Bibles and shape and mould our belief according to the ever-shifting teachings of so-called scientific men.What folly is this! Why, the march of science, falsely so called, through the world may be traced by exploded fallacies and abandoned theories. Former explorers once adored are now ridiculed; the continual wreckings of false hypotheses is a matter of universal notoriety. You may tell where the supposed learned have encamped by the debris left behind of suppositions and theories as plentiful as broken bottles.”
Turns out Spurgeon is no more smarter than Ray Comfort. Spurgeon is factually wrong about many things. Going in order;
- Science is not a method to hide in ignorance. Rather, it is a method to overturn ignorance. Undiscovered knowledge is out there, and we have to find it. Science is a tool to help us discover the unknown, not to keep us from knowing.
- Science is not dogmatic, nor do scientists assert things things they cannot prove. Science, as Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron often love to cry about, has been wrong before as new evidence is discovered and new models are developed. In science, everything must be falsifiable, because future data could reveal current models to be false. This is why scientists do not use absolute terms and Ray Comfort knows this. Ray Comfort often loves to point out the lack of using absolute terms as what he calls the “language of speculation.” So even Ray knows that scientists are not dogmatic.
- Science does not demand faith. Evidence is always provided, everything is peer-reviewed carefully. A theory has to be tested indefinitely. It demands understanding instead of belief. So it must be based on verifiable evidence; It must explain related observations with a measurable degree of accuracy; It must withstand continuous critical analysis in peer review, and it must be falsifiable too. If it doesn’t fulfill all these conditions at once, then it isn’t science. If it meets none of them, it may be religion.