Evolution: A Fairy Tale for Grownups

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Evolution: A Fairy Tale for Grownups is a book authored by Ray Comfort, published in 2008. In this book, Ray asks a series of questions that he hopes will undermine people's acceptance of the theory of evolution. However, there are many many problems with Comfort's rather dishonest approach. This article will provide a side-by-side commentary and critical analysis of this book, along with highlights of certain fallacies throughout the book.


[edit] Explanation

To make it easier to review Comfort's stupidity, we've categorized it. Here's the explanations of the categories:

[edit] Fallacies

  • Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

First and foremost, what must be carefully observed is if the quote provided by Ray Comfort even addresses the theory of evolution. Many of the quotes brought up by Comfort's sources do not even address the theory of evolution in the slightest. For example, several of Comfort's sources address the religiosity of Albert Einstein or try to prove the historicity or credibility of the Bible. The arguments presented by these sources (even if they were correct) do not have any relevance whatsoever to cellular biology or the theory of evolution.

It must be noted that Comfort, and several of his sources, deliberately and maliciously confuse the theory of evolution is meant to also explain the origin of life and/or the origin of the universe. However, the truth is that the theory of evolution does not and it not meant to explain such questions. Evolution only explains and answers the divergence of life, nothing more.

  • Not a qualified biologist

Next, we must check to see if the sources are coming from credible scientists. Despite Comfort's claim that he would be using quotes from "evolutionary experts" (Introduction, pg. 5), many of these quotes come from men who are not qualified biologists or any other relevant fields (or even qualified scientists at all). Throughout this review of the book, every quote-mine will be pointed out and revealed, as well as every instance when the person is not a biologist or a scientist.

Often times, Comfort provides sources from apologetic sites, usually written by men who are not scientists in the slightest. Many of them are ministers, apologists, or freelance journalists who write whatever they want. Regardless, none of these men are “evolutionary experts” who submit their papers to academic sources for peer review – rather, they are all tired-old rants that have been addressed countless times, but these religious men continue to kick the dead horse.

  • Does not damage evolutionary theory

This is regarding references that actually DO address relevant fields such as cellular biology, genetics, taxonomy and paleontology. There are handfuls of the references provided by Comfort that stay on point, but they do not damage the theory of evolution as Comfort wishes they did. References that fit under this category usually address the Cambrian explosion, lack of fossils, or try to present several evolutionary “hoaxes.” Unfortunately, these typical creationist arguments do not damage the theory of evolution for multiple reasons. Creationists tend to use the Achilles Heel fallacy, and think if they can prove that there are no fossils and a few of them were faked, then the entire theory of evolution is destroyed. That is not the case at all. There are vast amounts of data and peer-reviewed papers (which creationists obviously and deliberately ignore) examining the evidence for the Cambrian explosion and transitional fossils, and the fact is these “arguments” are wrong and have been known to be wrong for a very long time.

  • Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

A large portion of the quotes Comfort provides are quote mines - distortions of what the author intended to mean. While other quotes may be legitimate, they come from creationists or are not even addressing the theory of evolutionary all.

Important note: Please be careful when you read a reference that includes one or more “...” spaces. Chances are very likely that something very significant was purposefully left out to alter the persons main message in favor of appearing anti-evolution. This is a common tactic amongst creationists.

  • Outdated Source

Many of the quotes in this book are highly outdated; Less than half (about 40%) of these quotes were made within the last 20 years. The rest are over 20 years old. In fact, 15% were over 40 years old, going all the way back to Darwin's day and even one reference to Isaac Newton.

Often times, the quotes and claims that are out-dated no longer apply because years of scientific research has built a stronger understanding of the theory of evolution (as well as many other scientific fields). For instance, quoting a source over a decade old about the lack of transitional fossils is useless, especially over the past recent years of many findings of numerous transitional fossils, making the older claims moot and worthless.

  • Appeal to authority

Comfort hopes to accomplish this by using quotes from various sources as evidence. However, there are several major problems with Comfort's approach. For starters, rather than presenting actual scientific evidence, Comfort resorts to quotes, which is a fallacy known as appeal to authority.

  • Non-Academic Source

Comfort cites the popular press as though they are legitimate scientific sources who represent the full scientific consensus. For example, he claims that the 1999 archaeoraptor hoax fooled the entire scientific community, although no one was fooled but a few people at National Geographic, which, although it has an important-sounding name, is a magazine, not a peer-reviewed journal.

Comfort also includes several sources that are not in the least scientific, academic, or scholarly; such as World Net Daily and Fox News. Some of his sources are Christian apologetic sites. Sites like these are not concerned with providing accurate scientific material (and often rather anti-scientific material). They only write and publish anything that fits into their dogmatic views, and dismiss all legitimate scientific evidence if they think it contradicts their personal beliefs. To understand how closed they are, here are several examples of creationist and apologetic sites that openly proclaim their dogmatic biases on their websites (as if it is something to be proud of); By definition, no apparent, perceived, or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record.” – Answersingenesis.org

“verbal inspiration guarantees that these writings, as originally and miraculously given, are infallible and completely authoritative on all matters with which they deal, free from error of any sort, scientific and historical as well as moral and theological.” – Institute for Creation Research

Revealed Truth: That which is revealed in Scripture, whether or not man has scientifically proved it. If it is in the Bible, it is already true without requiring additional proof.Fallacy: that which contradicts God’s revealed truth, no matter how scientific, how commonly believed, or how apparently workable or logical it may seem.” – Bob Jones University, Biology Student Text (3rd ed. – 2 vol.)

Notice that they all admit that they will automatically and thoughtlessly reject without consideration, any and all evidence that which may presented should it appear to disagree with their a priory preconceived religious conclusion.

  • Distortion of Science

Finally, many references throughout this book are false and blatant attacks against evolutionary theory and science in general. Many references make serious mistakes and errors in regards to the nature of science or the evidence in favor of it. Example, many of the questions claim there are no transitional fossils, but this is absolutely not true. The next section will provide and explain several more examples.

[edit] Table

Here is a table counting each fallacy discovered by RationalWiki (due to change as more is collected);

List of Fallacies Number of Fallacies
Quote Mining 63
Appeal to Authority 23
Outdated Source 71
Non-Academic Source 53
Not a qualified biologist or scientist 54
Not Relevant to Evolutionary theory or Biology 78
Not Damaging to Evolutionary theory 122
Distortion of Science 66
Total: 530

Throughout the 101 “Questions” of this book, Comfort provides a total of 272 references (some of which have no sources provided to verify their validity). As this chart shows, most of Comfort's book is entirely outdated and does not even address the theory of evolution. Most of his sources are not even from academic sources or even biologists.

[edit] Common criticisms towards evolution

Many of the questions attack the fossil record, since Ray Comfort still holds that the greatest evidence for evolution are fossils, and thus showing weakness in this field shows the inferiority of all science. This is not the case, because even if we did not have a single fossil at all, we still have mountains of evidence to prove evolution;

Virtually all scientific fields not only support evolution, they confirm evolution in great detail. Certain field of science depend on the fact of evolution, such as agriculture and medicine (which Ray admits he does go to the hospital to get treated or vaccinated). One more note, Ray Comfort does not understand what a transitional fossil is, despite his repeated pleas that he does indeed know. To Comforts mind, a transitional fossil would not be something similar to Cameron's crocoduck. However, ducks are not descended from crocodiles, nor are crocodiles descended from ducks, so there has never been a transition from crocodiles to ducks, or ducks to crocodiles, so we wouldn't expect to find any such fossils. In fact, 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, he 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.

Comfort also makes several attacks against gradualism. Gradualism was the notion that evolution occurs slowly and steadily. However, we now know that this is not the case, due to all the science that we've done since Darwin. Apart from attacking gradualism and transitional forms, comfort tries to refute the entire fossil record by naming a few hoaxes, but these are only a few rare exceptions made by actual qualified scientists and does not refute archeology, and ignores both the fact that creationists have several hoaxes of their own (such as the Paluxy footprints, the Calaveras skull, Moab and Malachite Man, and others). More telling is how people deal with these hoaxes. Example, when Piltdown was exposed, it stopped being used as evidence. The creationist hoaxes, however, can still be found cited as if they were real. Piltdown has been over and done with for decades, but the dishonesty of creationist hoaxes continues.

Comfort also tries to refute the theory of evolution by attacking other scientific fields (abiogenesis, the Big Bang, carbon-dating, anthropic principle, quantum theory, etc.). Evolutionary theory has no connection with any of these fields and has nothing to contribute or say about them, thus any such comments are therefore irrelevant.

Comfort also attempts to refute evolution by trying to provide "evidence" for the Bible, such as archaeology and several passages that could be interpreted as scientific foreknowledge. While Ray's sources are wrong, simply attempting to add credulity to the Bible (or any other religious text) does not refute evolution in any way no more than it refutes atomic theory or gravity. All of these (evolution, atoms, and gravity) are scientific theories and facts.

[edit] Arguments in favor of Young Earth Creationism

Several of the "101 questions" are attempts to prove Young Earth creationism. Here are a few examples,

  • man co-existed with dinosaurs (Question 74)
  • carbon-dating is flawed
  • the geological column does not exist (Question 101)

Despite Ray Comfort's attempts to distance himself from revealing his thoughts on how old the earth and universe is, this book provides a demonstration of his views.

[edit] Side-by-side

[edit] Introduction

Evolution: A Fairy Tale For Grownups RationalWiki Responses
Comfort starts this introduction retelling the story of Charles Darwin, claiming he was disillusioned about God, and came up with a theory to explain the "amazing order and complexity came from nothing and randomly evolved over time." As already explained to Comfort countless times, evolution does not claim anything came from nothing (that is what creationists argue for) and natural selection is not random.

Ray states that throughout this book, he will demonstrate that the theory of evolution is not a fact, but a theory. He stresses that again by saying "it is just a theory." Obviously, Ray does not know what a theory is. Evolution is a theory AND a fact. The following are also theories: the earth orbiting around the sun heliocentrism, germs causing disease, gravity, atoms, cells, etc. These are all theories and facts, just like evolution. But Ray and his ilk are not arguing against any of the others, they single out evolution because they think it conflicts with their religious views. Because of this, Ray will not accept any evidence provided for evolution.

Bear in mind, the word “theory” in laymen's terms is VERY different from scientific terms. Theories are grand fields of study, each supported by facts. Creationists like Ray Comfort proudly parade that “theories” can never be proven. Well, if music theory is a field of study, and as such can never be proved, then neither can the theories of evolution or even economics, and for the same reason. THAT notion is silly. Even if a theory passes every test forever, we still wouldn’t say it was proved, because positive proof exists only in matters of mathematics or law, wherein evolution actually has been proven. Otherwise, no theory has ever been proved, nor can be. They can only be dis-proved. And when that happens, a theory that doesn’t work must be replaced by one that does. We can’t discard any theory just because we haven’t perfected every part of it yet. You can’t trade something that works for nothing that doesn’t. If the original theory works at all, you’ll still have to use it, and perhaps fix it. But we can’t dismiss it until we can replace it with something better. And Darwin’s theory is actually better-supported than Newton’s theory of gravity.


Ray claims that throughout his book, many people will claim that some of the quotes will be quote-mined (and indeed they will be and we can prove it). Ray explains that quote-mining is using a quote in a way that was not intended by the author. This is correct and Ray cannot claim ignorance of this fallacy. Ray responds with the following;
"This book will no doubt be seen by some as “quote mining.” This is the practice of taking a quote (often out of its context), and using it in a way that was never intended by the author. However, every gold nugget is legitimately mined out of its context. No one seriously values the earth that encases the gold. So, when I uncover an evolutionary expert quietly admitting that he has no evidence to back up his theory, I don’t see any value in the soil of his surrounding words. I merely extract what I believe is of value for those who want to discover the truth about the theory of evolution."
Basically, Ray Comfort just openly admitted that he knows he is quote-mining on purpose and is deliberately being misleading and lying to the reader. Comfort knows what he is doing and now we all know: Ray Comfort is a lying hypocrite. Ray is known to straight up call strangers, lay people, or anybody in general liars and tell them lying is wrong since it violates God's Law. Ray made it VERY CLEAR in his book School of Biblical Evangelism that the Ninth Commandment demands that "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. God is a God of truth and His Law demands absolute honesty from the heart" and "People often claim that they have told only a “white lie.” But there is no difference between a white lie, a half-truth, a fib, or an exaggeration. All are lies in the sight of God." [1] Well, coming straight from Ray Comfort himself, a lie is a lie, telling a half-truth is a lie, and by that same logic "quote-mining" is a big fat lie. But it seems lying for Jesus is perfectly okay? Wrong. If Ray firmly believes that Christianity makes you a moral person, an honest person, a better person, then under no circumstances are you to knowingly lie. But here in the Introduction, Ray announced he knew inexcusably full well that he was being deceitful, and had to make an excuse ahead of time to counter the immense criticism that would follow after the publication of this book.

Also note the part where Ray says "I don’t see any value in the soil of his surrounding words. I merely extract what I believe is of value..." this basically means that Ray went out of his way to look through entire publications and crop the bits to make the authors appear they do not support the proposition they are trying to prove. This also means that Ray deliberately overlooked all the physical evidence provided by these scientists that are meant to prove the theory of evolution. So not only is Ray a hypocritical liar, it seems he is also willingly ignorant and wishes his readers to remain ignorant too.

Ray Comfort likes to praise himself as the champion of truth, because he spreads the Word of God. However if you have to lie in order to support and declare your position, they you obviously know that your position is not true. Ray Comfort, you are a liar.


Next, Ray Comfort goes on to explain what a transitional fossil is. Ray defines a transitional fossil as "a fossil showing one life form evolving (or changing) to create another, new form of life." Ray Comfort is still convinced that the strongest evidence for evolution is fossils, which is not true at all. This is not an accurate definition of a transitional fossil. A transitional fossil is a creature with a mosaic of features shared between older creatures and modern animals. Evolution does not argue that "new life" will evolve, since nothing can escape its heritage. All life on earth is carbon based, and no "new life" has evolved since.

The only evidence Ray claims evolutionists have are drawings of monkeys slowly straightening upright into modern humans. Next, he defines evolution in "simplistic terms" (that is, his own twisted version that is far from what evolution actually is)
The universe began with a "big bang" where something suddenly came from nothing, and from there water formed, primitive life appeared in the water, it came up on land, became male and female primates, then eventually evolved into modern man. In other words, simple life forms "transitioned" from one species to another until apes became men and women. however, there is a big problem for those who believe in this theory. Scientists cant find a legitimate "missing link" between apes and man in the fossil record.
Where to begin. The first half is one big straw man of cosmology, abiogenesis, and biology. Again, evolution has nothing to do with the Big Bang Theory. Life would still evolve regardless how the universe formed. The Big Bang does not claim everything came from nothing, that is what creationists argue for: that everything was "magically" created out of thin air. Ray mocks the idea that animals can come from the water and live on land, but he is ignorant of dozens of modern animals that do just that, like the mudskipper. Does Ray seriously think that male and females did not exist until apes originated? Also, the missing link is no longer missing and it hasn't been for many years. We have found dozens of authentic and proven transitional fossils, but creationist will do anything to dismiss it outright. They demand to see a half-man half-ape, which is like asking for a half-duck half-bird, or where is the midway point between Los Angeles and California? So where is the evidence that man evolved from apes? How about the fact that we are apes right now.

Comfort claims to have searched and studied quotes from paleontologists, and concluded they were all "quacks." He says he has interviewed evolutionists, and they are forced to admit they have a "few" transitional fossils that they may fit into a coffin. Ray just admitted, he was only searching for "quotes" and not the actual evidence and discoveries. He is basing these "quacks" on quotes, not based on their models, proofs or data. As for stating he interviews "evolutionists", this is not true. As already seen on his show Way of the Master about evolution, he only interviews random people on the street. Also, we have millions of transitional fossils that it would be impossible to fit into a coffin (unless the coffin was as bigger than the state of Montana).

Ray includes a quote from the Indiana University website [2] that claims that transitional fossil evidence is "few" and "very spotty." Ray however disagrees and claims that none exist at all. Not one. They only exist in the imaginations of pseudoscientific evolutionists. When the website mentions the word "hypothesis," Ray says that just means "imagination." Here is the full quote from the website (bold are lines Ray omitted),
According to the theory of evolution, the "descent with modification" road to humans (or any other group, for that matter) is paved with a sequence of transitional fossils, spaced out in a time sequence reflected in the ages of the fossils found. Since fossils of soft-bodied animals are relatively rare (they don't fossilize easily), the record is rather spotty prior to the first appearance of vertebrates (in the form of jawless fishes), so this lesson will focus only on the fossil record of vertebrates. ... However, most of those groups along the way apparently failed to survive in their original forms. They became extinct. But fortunately, some members of some of those groups were fossilized, and a few of those are found from time to time, giving us the hit-or-miss, very spotty record of fossils which has lead us to hypothesize that picture of a branched tree of being which we call evolution. New fossils are being found every day, helping to fill in some of the gaps, and those fossils continue to confirm and strengthen that picture of life through time with ever-increasing detail.

Ray says evolutionists speak in what Ray calls the "language of speculation;" that is, their responses do not include absolute terms. They use words like probably, possibly, perhaps, maybe, could be, etc. Ray still does not understand that science never claims to be absolutely correct. Scientific theories must remain falsifiable, as new collected data could alter, improve or disprove any given scientific law or theory.

Next, Ray says two Gallup polls in 1982 and 2007 show that over 80 percent of the American population believes God created man, claiming the people have not been "fooled." What he does not explain is if these people believe God used evolution as a tool for making humans. Also, scientific legitimacy and truth is not based on popular vote. Plus, Ray is asking the wrong people. Over 95 percent The National Association of Scientists, the elite and brilliant scientists of America, accept evolution as a fact.

Ray claims to not be an expert on the subject of evolution, therefore throughout this book he will quote (quote-mine) from "evolutionary experts" what they believe about the theory of evolution and that it requires blind faith to accept evolution. Ray does not claim to be an expert on the subject — no duh, we already knew that. Someone who is not trained int he field of science, has no scientific degree of any kind, should not be making a book on something they do not understand. Ray is attempting to refute the strongest theory in science with quote (actually, quote mines), which is like using a few altered quotes from scientists to disprove gravity. Unfortunately, gravity nor any scientific theory is refuted with quotes.

Evolution does not requires faith, since we actually have evidence that Ray is careful not to share and the fact that we observe evolution now.


Anti-evolution work will be shown throughout the book, talkorigins made an article explained the creationists fallacious and dishonest methods of presenting such quotations.[3]

Evolution: A Fairy Tale For Grownups RationalWiki Responses

[edit] Question 1

Comfort begins the first question with the following: "In what year did USA Today report: Paleontologists have discovered a new skeleton in the closet of human ancestry that is likely to to force science to revise, if not scrap, current theories of human origins"? The discovery left scientists confused, saying, "Lucy may not even be a direct human ancestor after all."

Rays answer: 2001. (Tim Friend, "Discovery rocks human-origin theories" USA Today, March 21, 2001[4])

Does not damage evolutionary theory

The fossil in question is Kenyanthropus platyops, estimated age is between 3.5 and 3.2 million years. This is a mostly complete cranium which came in two pieces: a skullcase which was heavily distorted, and a face which was much better preserved. The fossil has an unusual combination of characteristics, most notably a broad flat face and small teeth. The name Kenyanthropus platyops means "Flat faced man of Kenya". The brain size is similar to that of australopithecines.[5]

However, this fossil does not disprove the theory of evolution. It is still undergoing investigation of where it may fit into our lineage, but it does not disprove the fact that humans are apes and share a common ancestor with other apes. What the author of this article proposes is that humans may belong to a separate genus, but they remain unsure. The article includes the following quote "I and many others believe Lucy needs to be replaced, but I'm not sure Kenyanthropus is the one," says Rick Potts of the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of Natural History.

Even without a fossil, we still can prove that humans share a common ancestor with apes based on genetics, taxonomy, phylogenetics, and much more.

Non-Academic Source

USA Today is not a scientific journal.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“Paleontologists in Africa have found a 3.5 million-year-old skull from what they say is an entirely new branch of the early human family tree, a discovery that threatens to overturn the prevailing view that a single line of descent stretched through the early stages of human ancestry. The discoverers and other scientists of human evolution say they are not necessarily surprised by the findings, but certainly confused. Now it seems that the fossil species Australopithecus afarensis, which lived from about four million to three million years ago and is best known from the celebrated Lucy skeleton, was not alone on the African plain. Lucy may not even be a direct human ancestor after all. John Noble Wilford, "Skull May Alter Experts' View Of Human Descent's Branches," The New York Times, March 22, 2001 <http://www.nytimes.com/2001/03/22/world/skull-may-alter-experts-view-of-human-descent-s-branches.html> Non-Academic Source

The New York Times's not a scientific journal. Any body can publish their material and opinions onto such magazines and newspapers, and New York Times does not provide proper peer-review.

Does not damage evolutionary theory

At best, this fossil piece only offers that the proposed hominid fossil Australopithecus afarensis (Lucy) was not the only species of hominidea in Africa at the time. The paper says Lucy “may not” even be a direct human ancestor – specifically note the “may not” part. It is not concrete proof that Lucy is therefore dismissed or rejected. Lucy to this day remains the prime candidate of our early evolutionary ancestry. Furthermore, while Kenyanthropus platyops may be a early species of hominidea, nothing about this refutes the fact that humans share a common ancestor with other primates. Even if scientists have not discovered a single fossil, genetics alone can and has proven that humans share a common ancestor with other apes.

Distortion of Science

Recent evidence has proven the Lucy did not walk quadrupedal but upright.[6] The first comment says that the find might "overturn the prevailing view that a single line of descent stretched through the early stages of human ancestry." Observing the conclusion of this comment, which is a little more obvious: "Lucy may not even be a direct human ancestor after all." Interesting, but it has no bearing on our confidence in evolutionary theory in general.


“The evidence given above makes it overwhelmingly likely that Lucy was no more than a variety of pygmy chimpanzee, and walked the same way (awkwardly upright on occasions, but mostly quadrupedal). The 'evidence' for the alleged transformation from ape to man is extremely unconvincing.” Albert W. Mehlert, Former Evolutionist & paleoanthropology researcher. "Lucy - Evolution's Solitary Claim for Ape/Man." CRS Quarterly, Volume 22, No. 3, p. 145 Non-Academic Source

CRS Quarterly is not an academic source where a person’s material is subject to scientific peer-review. In fact, it is the very antithesis of a scientific paper. It is in fact a quarterly journal of the Creation Research Society

Distortion of Science

"Lucy was a chimpanzee. The 'evidence' for the transformation from ape to man is unconvincing." This point also might go over your head if you're not scientific, but the title of the article makes the point obvious: "Lucy: Evolution's Solitary Claim for Ape/Man". This article is talking strictly about the relationship between Lucy and humans. It's not saying anything fundamental about evolutionary theory.

Neither of these comments is saying anything about scrapping evolutionary theory, or even revisiting the idea that we are apes descended from apes. They're just talking about scrapping the prevailing views concerning "the early stages of human ancestry." All they're talking about here is the details of the family tree that we share with the other primates. Neither one of these comments says anything incriminating.


“Evidence from fossils now points overwhelmingly away from the classical Darwinism which most Americans learned in high school... The missing link between man and the apes … is merely the most glamorous of a whole hierarchy of phantom creatures. In the fossil record, missing links are the rule... The more scientists have searched for the transitional forms between species, the more they have been frustrated.” Adler, Jerry “Is Man a Subtle Accident?,” Newsweek, November 3, 1980 Not a qualified biologist

Jerry Adler is a contributing editor at Newsweek.

Non-Academic Source

Comfort said in the Introduction of this book he would be quoting “evolutionary experts” and right here, Comfort provides a quote from a non-biologist. Jerry Adler is a contributing editor at Newsweek. He is not a scientist.

Newsweek is not a scholarly or scientific source.

Distortion of Science

Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Finally, the last comment: the evidence points away from Darwinism? Another look at the article reveals something different;

"Evidence from fossils now points overwhelmingly away from the classical Darwinism which most Americans learned in high school: that new species evolve out of existing ones by the gradual accumulation of small changes. Increasingly, scientists now believe that species change little for millions of years and then evolve quickly."

Context certainly does seem to be important here. The part that Ray quotes seems to say that evolutionary theory itself is in crisis. In proper context, we can see that the author is not saying anything about evolutionary theory. He's saying that the changes in species are often sudden, contrary to the prevailing gradualist view at the time. He even goes on to say that "the new theories are intended to explain how evolution came about—not to supplant it as a principle."

Clearly, no quiet admissions of lack of evidence concerning evolutionary theory are apparent in any of this commentary. The question itself and the first two comments simply say nothing negative at all about any facet of science. The third comment was quote-mined and grossly misrepresented. Finally, let's look at the sources for all these excerpts: USA Today in 2001; The New York Times in 2001; Newsweek in 1980; and CRS Quarterly. Even if any of these quotes did say something incriminating about evolutionary theory, we should be very careful not to grant them too much credence, given that the first three are popular press and the last one is the quarterly journal of the Creation Research Society. Not to mention that two of the articles were already seven years old when Ray published his book, and one of them almost thirty. An awful lot of knowledge can be gained since in three decades. Question #1 is empty.


[edit] Question 2

"Who said it? "An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have to have been satisfied to get it going"? Comfort answers “Sir Francis Crick” (Source: Life Itself, Its Origins and Nature, 1981, p. 88) and adds, “Francis Crick (1916-2004) was an English molecular biologist, physicist, and neuroscientist who is most noted for being one of the co-discoverers of the structure of the DNA molecule in 1953. He, James D. Watson, and Maurice Wilkins were jointly awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine “for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material.”” Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

What Ray, and many other anti-evolutionists, did not post was the rest of the sentence and the rest of the paragraph by Francis Crick:

" . . . so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going. But this should not be taken to imply that there are good reasons to believe that it could not have started on the earth by a perfectly reasonable sequence of fairly ordinary chemical reactions. The plain fact is that the time available was too long, the many microenvironments on the earth's surface too diverse, the various chemical possibilities too numerous and our own knowledge and imagination too feeble to allow us to be able to unravel exactly how it might or might not have happened such a long time ago, especially as we have no experimental evidence from that era to check our ideas against."

It's obvious that whoever posted the sentence cut off in the middle as it was either was deliberately dishonest, or never bothered to read the original.


[edit] In-Depth Comment

"Leslie Orgel is one of the leading figures in origin-of-life research since many years, and he is one of several researchers who independently from each other proposed in the 1960's the RNA woorld as a precursor of the current DNA/protein world. Gerald oyce is also a top scientist in the field. The authors argue in a joint article published in The RNA World, 2nd edition (2000), p. 68, on solid chemical grounds that, because of the complex and stereospecific chemistry required, 'the de novo appearance of oligonucleotides on the primitive earth would have been a near miracle'....They go on to say that although the presumed RNA world should be considered a milestone and a plateau in the early history of the earth, the concept 'does not explain how life originated' (p.74). They conclude (p.74): 'One can sketch out a logical order of events, beginning with prebiotic chemistry and ending with DNA/protein based lief. However it must be said that the details of these events remain obscure and are not likely to be known in the near future.'” (Source: Albrecht Moritz, "The Origin of Life" October 31, 2006 <www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/originoflife.html>). Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

The quote by Albert Moritz provided by Ray does not appear anywhere in the source he provided.


[edit] Question 3

Fill in the blank. David Kitts, an evolutionary paleontologist, said 'Despite the bright promise that paleontology provides a means of 'seeing' evolution, it has presented some nasty difficulties for evolutionists the most notorious of which is the presence of 'gaps' in the fossil record. Evolution requires ________ between species and paleontology does not provide them." Comfort's answer: "intermediate forms" (Source: Evolution, Vol. 28, September 1974, p. 467). Comfort goes on to add, “Although faced with no paleontological way to show one species changing into another, Kitts holds on to his belief in evolution.” Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Aside from the presence of a dash between "promise" and "that" in the original text, the quote is accurate. But does Kitts believe that these gaps disprove evolution? On page 468 we find this:

The claim has been repeatedly made that the fossil record provides a basis for the falsification of synthetic theory [Neo-Darwinism] and Simpson has demonstrated that this is not the case.

Kitts outlines several different hypotheses as to why the fossil record appears the way it does, among them Punctuated Equilibrium, but at no point does he abandon evolution as an explanation for what is seen.[7]

Outdated Source


[edit] In-Depth Comments

"Given the fact of evolution, one would expect to find fossils to document a steady gradual change from ancestral forms to the descendants. But this is not what paleontologist find. Instead, he or she finds gaps in just about every phyletic series." Ernst Mayr, What Evolution Is, 2001. p. 14 Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Notice Ernst Mayr calls evolution a fact, but Ray is giving the false impression that intermediate fossils do not exist and there are huge gaps in the record. In the same page, Mayr answers why this is and how it is not a problem for the theory off evolution. Mayr states that there are several lineages that are complete — he mentions the lineage between therapsid reptile and mammals, as well as land-dwelling animals to whales AND humans from australopithecus ancestors. Mayr states many intermediate transitional fossils have been found (he even names Archaeopteryx). Mayr explains that it is very rare for an animal to fossilize because most animals and plants are eaten. So basically, Mayr is not saying that these gaps in the fossil record disprove evolution, nor is he saying it is a problem for the theory. In fact, Mayr provides an explanation why this is, and how it compliments the theory of evolution.


"A persistent problem in evolutionary biology has been the absence of intermediate forms in the fossil record. Long-term gradual transfigurations of single lineages are rare and generally involve simple size increase or trivial phenotypic effects. Typically, the record consists of successive ancestor-descendant lineages, morphologically invariant through time and unconnected by intermediates." — P. G. Williamson, Paleontological Documentation of Speciation in Cenozoic Molluscs from Turkana Basin, 1982, pg. 163. Outdated Source

Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

This is actually from the journal Nature 293:437-443 and occurs on page 440. Possibly the original quote-miner got it from a later collection of papers. The quote is at the start of the concluding section of the paper, where Willianson discusses the implications of his research (and in fact the section is called "Implications"). Williamson certainly believes that evolution has occurred, because earlier in the paper he writes: "The 19 species lineages in the section represent 18 genera and 12 families, thus ancestor-descendant relationships between species lineages and their derivative taxa are unambiguous." The quoted section introduces the idea of punctuated equilibrium, and Williamson feels that his research conforms to that idea. He sampled roughly 3,300 individuals.


"The majority of major groups appear suddenly in rocks, with virtually no evidence of transition from their ancestors." — D. Futuyma, Science on Trial: The Case for Evolution, 1983, p. 82. Outdated Source

Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Finally, and rather ironic, Futuyma immediately follows this with the observation of an early example, by Gish, of quote mining. A little later he says: "The transitional forms that evolve so quickly, and in such a small area, are very unlikely to be picked up in the fossil record. Only when the newly evolved species extends its range will it suddenly appear in the fossil record. Eldredge and Gould have suggested, therefore, that the fossil record should show stasis, or equilibrium, of established species, punctuated occasionally by the appearance of new forms. Hence, the fossil record would be most inadequate exactly where we need it most -- at the origin of major new groups of organisms." p. 83


[edit] Question 4

Question 4 uses a quote from Dr. Tim White that anthropologists want to find a hominid fossil so much that "any scrap of bone will become a hominid fossil" from a New Scientist article were a dolphin bone was mistaken for a hominid collarbone.[8] Distortion of Science

This tries to portray scientists as biased and dogmatic. Scientific results are tested. This has two very important consequences: First, the scientists know that their results will be subject to challenge, so they work harder to make sure the evidence really does support their results. Second, published ideas that the evidence does not support will get rejected, especially in times or places with different cultural biases.

Creationists find what they want to find. Since their entire world view is threatened by finding disconfirming evidence, they are very highly motivated not to see it. Scientists, on the other hand, usually welcome disconfirming evidence when it comes along. But as it stands, there is no evidence confirming or supporting creationism.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“Evolutionists present much of their finds as if they were compelling and factual explanations to human evolution. In fact, they base their conclusions on mere speculation and often the flimsiest of `finds'. Many discoveries of supposed hominids consist of only a mouth fragment, a leg bone, a hip bone, or a knee joint. On this alone, they have considered it to be a hominid. They even name it, reconstruct what it looked like, and present it to the public as a fact. Some of these finds have turned out to be those of a pig, donkey, or the result of a hoax. One hoax consisted of someone placing a human skull with an ape's jaw. Evolutionist declared it to be a hominid for fifty years without having done an in depth study of it. Some finds consist of an assortment of fragments found miles apart and then placed together to look as though they came from the same individual. Sometimes rocks as simple as those found in any backyard are called tools of hominids and are pictured in books. Footprints that look identical to any person's today are sometimes declared in books and accepted as those of hominids. The brow ridge that supposedly marked the hominid appears only in one skull.” (Source: Doug LaPointe, “The Top Evidences Against the Theory of Evolution” <http://emporium.turnpike.net/C/cs/evid4.htm>). Not a qualified biologist

Doug LaPointe is not a scientist, he is a pastor who graduated with a degree in Communications at Rutgers University.[9]

Non-Academic Source

This piece is actually an of-shot web page from www.bestbiblescience.org.

Distortion of Science

Regarding LaPointe, his arguments are way off. Evolution is not based on fragmentary fossils. The theory would still be extremely robust with no fossils at all, based on evidence from modern life. Furthermore, there are more than enough substantially complete skeletons to support evolution. The whale transitional sequence, for example, is based on several excellent skeletons. A single bone, even in isolation, can give a surprising amount of information. A tooth, for example, can show generally what kind of food an animal ate and give an idea of its size. These conclusions, in turn, tell how the animal fits into the ecology. Bones are never considered in isolation; rather, they are compared with other bones from more complete skeletons. If you have a bone that looks like an Iguanodon femur but smaller, to give a simple example, the reconstruction would look a lot like a smaller Iguanodon. A complete reconstruction, however, is possible only if you can match the single bone to an animal for which there is a complete skeleton already.


“A long-enduring and regrettable effect of the success of the Origin [of Species] was the addiction of biologists to unverifiable speculation...This situation, where scientific men rally to the defense of a doctrine that they are unable to define scientifically, much less demonstrate with scientific rigour, attempting to maintain its credit with the public by the suppression of criticism and the elimination of difficulties, is abnormal and undesirable in science.” From “evolutionist” W. R. Thompson, Introduction to The Origin of Species 6th Edition (New york; e. P. Dutton & Co., 1956), p. xxii. Outdated Source

Distortion of Science

The quote from Thompson is highly inaccurate and outdated. Thompson offers nothing more than “Such is the effect of Darwinian fantasy on biological thinking.”

Thompson was not a layman, but a scientist with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto, a Master of Science degree from Cornell, a “D.Sc.” from the University of Paris, and a Ph.D. from the University of St. Maximin. He was a practicing entomologist (one who studies insects) and a Fellow of the Royal Society. Yet despite all this, and in spite of a background that should have provided him with the skills necessary to construct a logical critique of Poulton’s article, and the claim that experiments have shown that this variety of Lantern Fly is mimicking an alligator, all Thompson can do is state that it’s a fantasy. If Thompson truly felt that he had a point, he should have backed it up with evidence.


[edit] Question 5

This question asks who said it? "To postulate that the development and survival of the fittest is entirely a consequence of chance and mutations (Ray's footnote: In biology, mutations are changes to the base pair sequence of the genetic material of an organism) seems to me a hypothesis based on no evidence and irreconcilable with the facts. These classical evolutionary theories are a gross oversimplification of an immensely complex and intricate mass of facts, and it amazes me that they are swallowed so uncritically and so readily, and for such a long time, by so many scientists without a murmur of protest." Comfort answers “Sir Ernst Chain,” co-holder of the 1945 Nobel Prize for developing penicillin. (Source: Ronald W. Clark, The Life of Ernst Chain [New York: St. Martin's Press, 1985], pp. 147-148) Not a qualified biologist

Ronald W. Clark is not a scientist, he is a biographer and author.

Outdated Source

Appeal to authority

Chain was a biochemist, but his personal views does not agree with the actual evidence. Chain's primary objection to evolution is that the probability of the origin of DNA molecules by sheer chance is too small to be seriously considered - however, this is an outdated objection to abiogenesis, not evolution. Additionally, his objection is an argument from ignorance - even if we were to discover that the true probability was enormously small, that has no bearing on whether or not it actually occurred because 'unlikely' does not equate to 'impossible'.

Modern theories refute Chain's objection by noting that it's based on fundamentally flawed assumptions. The first 'life' forms need not resemble modern proteins, they could have been single, self-replicating molecules or any number of other simple living things. The formation of these simple polymers is a natural function of chemistry and the element of 'sheer chance' is limited.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“'Survival of the fittest' and 'natural selection.' No matter what phraseology one generates, the basic fact remains the same: any physical change of any size, shape or form is strictly the result of purposeful alignment of billions of nucleotides (in the DNA). Nature or species do not have the capacity for rearranging them, nor adding them. Consequently no leap (saltation) can occur from one species to another. The only way we know for a DNA to be altered is through a meaningful intervention from an outside source of intelligence: one who knows what it is doing, such as our genetic engineers are now performing in their laboratories.” (Source: I. L. Cohen (officer of the Archaeological Institute of America) taken from the book Darwin Was Wrong: A Study in Probabilities (New York: New Research Publications, Inc., 1984, p. 209) Outdated Source

Not a qualified biologist

Cohen is a mathematician, not a biologist, so already he is making claims outside his field. Rearrangements of DNA do happen naturally, and no scientist (not even Cohen) has provided any evidence of supernatural influence regarding evolution. The best argument they come up with is the flawed argument from probability. 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.


[edit] Question 6

A true or false question. "There is ample fossil evidence to support mankind evolved from ape-like creatures." Comfort (unsurprisingly) answers false and then provides another quote: “Species that were once thought to have turned into others have been found to overlap in time with these alleged descendents. In fact, the fossil record does not convincingly document a single transition from one species to another.” (Source: S. M. Stanely, The New Evolutionary Timetable: Fossils, Genes, and the Origin of Species (New York: Basic books, 1981), p. 95) Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Here is the full quote (words Comfort omits are in bold);

Superb fossil data have recently been gathered from deposits of early Cenozoic Age in the Bighorn Basin of Wyoming. These deposits represent the first part of the Eocene Epoch, a critical interval when many types of modern mammals came into being. The Bighorn Basin, in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, received large volumes of sediment from the Rockies when they were being uplifted, early in the Age of Mammals. In its remarkable degree of completeness, the fossil record here for the Early Eocene is unmatched by contemporary deposits exposed elsewhere in the world. The deposits of the Bighorn Basin provide a nearly continuous local depositional record for this interval, which lasted some five million years. It used to be assumed that certain populations of the basin could be linked together in such a way as to illustrate continuous evolution. Careful collecting has now shown otherwise. Species that were once thought to have turned into others have been found to overlap in time with these alleged descendants. In fact, the fossil record does not convincingly document a single transition from one species to another. Furthermore, species lasted for astoundingly long periods of time. David M. Schankler has recently gathered data for about eighty mammal species that are known from more than two stratigraphic levels in the Bighorn Basin. Very few of these species existed for less than half a million years, and their average duration was greater than a million years.

Outdated Source

Does not damage evolutionary theory

There are mountains of evidence to prove that man evolved from ape-like creatures, Ray Comfort is only asking for fossil evidence. We have found many fossils that our lineage is not considered complete[10], but even without a single fossil, we still have plenty evidence of common descent. Demanding an “ape-man” is actually just as silly as asking to see a mammal-man, or a half-human, half-vertebrate. How about a half dachshund, half dog? It’s the same thing. One may as well insist on seeing a town half way between Los Angeles and California. Because the problem with bridging the gap between humans and apes is that there is no gap because humans ARE apes –definitely and definitively. 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? How about the fact that we’re still apes right now!


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“...the gradual morphological transitions between presumed ancestors and descendants, anticipated by most biologists, are missing.” (Source: David E. Schindel (Curator of Invertebrate Fossils, Peabody Museum of Natural History), “The Gaps in the Fossil Record,” Nature Vol. 297, 27 May 1982, p. 282.) Outdated Source

Distortion of Science

Talkorigins.org has a whole list of transitional fossils that have closed the gaps creationists constantly bring up.


“Indeed, it is the chief frustration of the fossil record that we do not have empirical evidence for sustained trends in the evolution of most complex morphological adaptations.” (Source: Stephen J. Gould and Niles Eldredge, “Species Selection: Its Range and Power,” Nature, Vol. 334, 7 July 1988, p. 19) Outdated Source

Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

The quote by Stephen J. Gould is a quote mine.[11] Gould was explaining punctuated equilibrium, but his work before and afterward explicitly showed that he did accept there were hundreds of transitional fossils.


[edit] Question 7

This question address archaeology and the Bible. Somehow, Ray Comfort thinks this refutes evolution. The question is which publication reported the following: "In an extraordinary way, modern archaeology is affirming the historical core of the Old and New Testaments, supporting key portions of crucial biblical stories." Comfort answers Readers Digest (Jeffery L. Sheler, "Is the Bible True?" June 2000). Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

The reliability of biblical history is irrelevant to the subject of evolution.

Does not damage evolutionary theory

Even if the archaeology provided any support to the biblical stories (which they don’t), it wouldn’t damage the credibility of the theory of evolution in any way. If we discovered that Jericho and the Exodus happened, that would not change the reality that we (humans) are apes by definition nor would it automatically make the evidence for evolution vanish.

Non-Academic Source

Readers Digest can publish whatever they wish. How about a legitimate historical journal, or at least by an authentic historian or archaeologist. Jeffery Sheler is a freelance journalist, who worked for the U.S. News & World Report for 24 years, including 15 years as the religion editor. Lets take a look at what two authentic historians and archaeologists and see if they support Ray's claim that archaeology supports the Bible,

  • William Denver, an archaeologists normally associated with the more conservative end of Syro-Palestinian archaeology, has labeled the question of the historicity of Exodus “dead.”
  • Israeli archaeologist Ze,ev Herzog, provides the current consensus view on the historicity of the Exodus: “The Israelites were never in Egypt. They never came from abroad. This whole chain is broken. It is not a historical one. It is a later legendary reconstruction—made in the seventh century [BCE]—of a history that never happened.”

[edit] In-Depth Comments

Michael D. Lemonick ("Are the Bible stories True?" Time June 24, 2001) that evidence has been found proving the existence of David's kingdom. Not a qualified biologist

Comfort said in the Introduction of this book he would be quoting “evolutionary experts” and right here, Comfort provides a quote from a non-biologist. Michael D. Lemonick is a journalist, not a scientist.

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

The historical validity of David is irrelevant to the evidence for evolution.

Does not damage evolutionary theory

Even if the archaeology provided support to the biblical stories of David, it wouldn’t damage the credibility of the theory of evolution in any way. Discovering a stone with several engravings on it does not instantly change the reality that we (humans) are apes by definition nor would it automatically make the evidence for evolution vanish. The quote by Lemonick is also misleading. Skeptics do not question the existence of David, but the size of his empire. Archaeological evidence does not support the description of his empire as described in the Bible.


“During the past four decades, spectacular discoveries have produced data corroborating the historical backdrop of the Gospels. In 1968, for example, the skeletal remains of a crucified man were found in a burial cave in northern Jerusalem...There was evidence that his wrists may have been pierced with nails. The knees had been doubled up and turned sideways and an iron nail (still lodged in the heel bone of one foot) driven through both heels. The shinbones appeared to have been broken, perhaps corroborating the Gospel of John.” (Source: Jeffery L. Sheler. “Is the Bible True?” Readers Digest June 2000) that a skeleton in Jerusalem was found that showed evidence of crucifixion. Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

The historical validity of the Gospels is irrelevant to the evidence for evolution.

Does not damage evolutionary theory

Even if the archaeology provided support to the biblical stories, it wouldn’t damage the credibility of the theory of evolution in any way.

Non-Academic Source

Sheler's quote proves nothing except crucifixion was practiced back then. Nobody argues against this. What the problem is that there is no evidence for a crucified man who rose from the dead several days later. There is no evidence of a massive earthquake, a solar eclipse, nor a mass resurrection of the dead who walked in the streets of Jerusalem for all to see.

We know that Greek heroes were often buried in certain fashions, and we have evidence of these burials, but that does not mean mythical Greek heroes described in Homer's epics as real.


“At the present stage of geological research, we have to admit that there is nothing in the geological records that runs contrary to the view of conservative creationists, that God created each species separately, presumably from the dust of the earth.” (Source: Edmund J. Ambrose (Emeritus Professor of Cell Biology, University of London), The Nature and Origin of the Biological World (John Wiley & Sons, 1982) p. 164) Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Turns out this is a quote mine. The full quote is provided below, with omitted words in bold;

We need to remember that the only evidence about the way events occurred in the past is found in the geological records. However sophisticated advances in molecular genetics and molecular engineering may become eventually, the fact that a genetic change or even a new species might be generated eventually in the laboratory does not tell us how new species arose in the past history of the earth. They merely provide possible mechanisms. At the present stage of geological research, we have to admit that there is nothing in the geological records that runs contrary to the view of conservative creationists, that God created each species separately, presumably from the dust of the earth. My own view is that this does not strengthen the creationists' arguments.

Does not damage evolutionary theory

So Ambrose believes that the fossil record is incomplete, but doesn't feel that this strengthens the creationist's hand. But he does feel that the geological record supports evolution, as we can see on page 103:

It is strikingly clear in the geological records, when life had reached the stage where organisms were capable of living in a previously unoccupied region of the planet, such as the move from estuaries to dry land, the appearance of plants growing to great heights which provided a location (habitat) for climbing animals, or when birds and insects actually moved up and flew in the air[sp] above the earth's surface. Large numbers of new species appeared at these times; this has been called radiation, a spreading out of life.

Outdated Source

Outdated Source

Distortion of Science

Taking the quote-mine at face value, Ambrose would be completely mistaken. The geological record does not support a young earth, global flood, or any other myth in creationism.


[edit] Question 8

Fill in the blank question. Richard Dawkins said "feathers are modified reptilian ______" Ray answers "scales" (put provides no source) and argues this is false. Ray Comfort uses arguments from Jonathan Sarfati, and creationist author with a PhD in chemistry. Sarfati formerly worked for Answers in Genesis (AiG), presently works for Creation Ministries International (CMI) as co-editor of their magazine, Creation. Not a qualified biologist

Sarfati is not a paleontologist, biologist or skilled in taxonomy. Here is a site that reveals Sarfati's fallacious works.[12] Sarfati's work has been known as "crude piece of propaganda" by the National Center for Science Education.[13] Reed A. Cartwright and Dr Douglas L. Theobald, have criticized Sarfati's claims such as one that accuses scientists of continually changing the definition of vestigial to match the evidence.[14]

Distortion of Science

Feathers are indeed modified reptilian scales[1].


[edit] In-Depth Comment

Comfort quotes E. Mayr, "Paleontologists had long been aware of a seeming contradiction between Darwin's postulate of gradualism...and the actual findings of paleontology. Following phylogenetic lines through time seemed to reveal only minimal gradual changes but no clear evidence for any change of a species into a different genus or for the gradual origin of an evolutionary novelty. Anything truly novel always seemed to appear quiet abruptly in the fossil record." (Source: One Long Argument 1991, pg. 138) Outdated Source

Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Not surprising, the quote by Mayr is a quote mine. Continuing on, it reads, "During the synthesis it became clear that since new evolutionary departures seem to take place almost invariably in localized isolated populations, it is not surprising that the fossil record does not reflect these sequences." Ernst Mayr there is paraphrasing Steve Gould's findings and he's talking about species levels. In other words, the level at which punctuated equilibrium applies to single lineages of one species moving to the next as we talked about before. Mayr is not not talking about things like the origins of birds and feathers and whales and getting land creatures out of that. Ernst Mayr was not a paleontologist and did not familiarize himself with the date of the fossil record.


[edit] Question 9

Addressing transitional fossils. Does transitional fossils prove macroevolution as a scientific fact? Ray answers “no,” and provides a quote from Luther D. Sutherland's book Darwin's Enigma. “Now, after over 120 years of the most extensive and painstaking geological exploration of every continent and ocean bottom, the picture is infinitely more vivid and complete than it was in 1859. Formations have been discovered containing hundreds of billions of fossils and our museums are filled with over 100-million fossils of 250,000 different species. The availability of this profusion of hard scientific data should permit objective investigators to determine if Darwin was on the right track.” (Source: Luther D. Sunderland (Creationist), Darwin's Enigma: Fossils and Other Problems, 4th edition, Master Books, 1988, p. 9 (Emphasis added by Comfort) Ray Comfort claims that nothing has changed in 30 years. Does not damage evolutionary theory

Darwin's Enigma is a rather infamous creationist book piled with dishonesty, but several years later the author changed his views. Apparently a lot has happened in thirty years.

Distortion of Science

Transitional fossils do prove macroevolution is a fact, but so does phylogeny, speciation, specie rings, and much more. 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.

Apparently, Ray Comfort, A LOT has happened in thirty years.


[edit] In-Depth Comment

"Given that evolution, according to Darwin, was in a continual state of motion, with ongoing but slow and gradual change accruing over long periods of time, it follows logically that the fossil record should be rife with examples of transitional forms leading from the less to more evolved...But when the dust settled, and the fossils were assessed in terms of whether they validated Darwin's evolutionary predictions, a clear picture of slow, gradual evolution, with smooth transitions and transformations from fossils of one period to another, was not forthcoming. Instead of filling the gaps in the fossil record with so-called missing links, most paleontologists found themselves facing a situation in which there were only gaps in the fossil record, with no evidence of tansformational intermediates between documented fossil species." (Source: Jeffrey H. Schwartz, Sudden Origins: Fossils, Genes and the Emergence of Species (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1999), p. 89). Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Here is the full quote

Given that evolution, according to Darwin, was in a continual state of motion, with ongoing but slow and gradual change accruing over long periods of time, it followed logically that the fossil record should be rife with examples of transitional forms leading from the less to the more evolved. Not only had Darwin put these thoughts into words but he had also illustrated them in a diagram that consisted of hypothesized ancestors giving rise over time to hypothesized lineages of descendant organisms. In various places in this diagram, Darwin indicated the extinctions of hypothetical lineages as well as the origins of a multiplicity of species from the same ancestor. In words and in illustration -- the only illustration in On the Origin of Species -- Darwin breathed new life into the discipline of paleontology, which was the only field of study that could provide the scientific world with an actual picture of his view of evolution.

Fueled in no small way by the role that paleontology could assume -- reconstructing and also demonstrating the course of evolution -- the world's leading museums of natural history focused on fossil collecting. When these institutions were first founded, they were envisioned as the forums for displaying, in often overfilled and poorly labeled cabinets, unorganized geologic and biological collections of plain old specimens. Now, armed with the possibility of being able to exhibit not just an array of fossils but the drama of evolution itself, museums vied with one another to secure the best fossil localities and discover increasingly older representatives of the lineages of now-extinct animals. In the American West, fossil hunting took on the stereotype of the ruthless Old West. Fossil localities were kept secret and guarded by men with rifles. Armed guards also accompanied the trainloads of plaster-protected and crated fossils that often traveled by night in order to avoid detection. Sometimes, however, these attempts at secrecy did not work, and gangs from rival museums would successfully raid and loot the paleontological spoils of the competition.

But when the dust settled, and the fossils were assessed in terms of whether they validated Darwin's evolutionary predictions, a clear picture of slow, gradual evolution, with smooth transitions and transformations from fossils of one period to another, was not forthcoming. Instead of filling in the gaps in the fossil record with so-called missing links, most paleontologists found themselves facing a situation in which there were only gaps in the fossil record, with no evidence of transformational evolutionary intermediates between documented fossil species. Without fossil intermediates to back up Darwinian predictions of how evolution works, the turn of the century saw [P. 90] both paleontology (an evolutionary discipline) and gradual change via natural selection (an evolutionary model) fall on hard times. Even the paleontologists' special plea---that the gaps in the fossil record were the consequences of poor preservation, the loss of fossils through erosion or other destructive processes---did not work.

The egregious omission of context is evident from the sentence immediately following, but omitted from, the original quotation. The most natural interpretation of the quotation, as originally given, is that in the second sentence Schwartz was referring to the contemporary status of palaeontology. However, in the section of Sudden Origins from which the quotation was taken, Schwartz was giving a historical account of the fate of Darwin's theory, and of palaeontological activities, in the years immediately following the publication of On the Origin of Species. It is clear from the missing context that in the last sentence of the cited quotation Schwartz was referring to the status of palaeontology towards the end of the 19th century.

Schwartz's opinion about the state of palaeontology may be at the time he was writing (c. 1999, when his book was published) which may well be much the same as it is about its state towards the end of the 19th century. Nevertheless, the cited quotation provides no evidence whatsoever that this is the case, since, as already noted, Schwartz was there referring only to the situation as it stood at the earlier period.

As the complete version of the quotation shows, the omitted text indicated by the second ellipsis in the original version comprises three full sentences at the end of the paragraph where it starts, the entire following paragraph, and one sentence at the beginning of the next. If the proper context, as indicated above, had been otherwise provided, the omission of this text would not seem to me, by itself, to have substantially changed the meaning of the quoted text. Nevertheless, the quotation, as given, suggests a much closer connection between its first and second sentences than there actually is between them in Schwartz's original text.

In the second sentence of the original quotation, the word "evolutionary" has been omitted from between "transformational" and "intermediates". Presumably this was an inadvertent copying error, since it does not appear to favor any particular interpretation of the original text over any other.


[edit] Question 10

True or False question. Does the first law of thermodynamics state energy and matter cannot be created. Comfort correctly answers “True” but argues that this proves the the Bible true and the Big Bang Theory false, because Comfort claims it says everything came from nothing. Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

How does the Big Bang prove the Bible? The Bible says that the universe was created magically from nothing. The Big Bang does not say at all that the universe was created magically or from nothing. While some scientists may claim that the universe originated from nothing, they no not mean that all matter was created from nothing. To clarify, they say that space and matter was so small that it seemed almost irrelevant to include it in their equations, but they understand that there was always something. Dr. Sten Odenwald (Raytheon STX) for NASA, Education and Public Outreach program, 2001 spelled out what scientists mean when they say "nothing:"

How can 'nothing' do anything at all, let alone create an entire universe? When physicists say 'nothing' they are being playful with the english language, because we often think of the vacuum as being 'empty' or 'nothing' when in fact physicists know full well that the vacuum is far from empty. The primordial 'state' at the Big Bang was far from being the kind of 'nothingness' you might have in mind. We don't have a full mathematical theory for describing this 'state' yet, but it was probably 'multi- dimensional', it was probably a superposition of many different 'fields', and these fields, or whatever they were, were undergoing 'quantum fluctuations'. Space and time were not the things we know them to be today because our world is a lot colder than the way it started out. Nothingness was not nothing, but it was not anything like the kinds of 'somethings' we know about today. We have no words to describe it, and the ones we borrow (that are listed in the Oxford English Dictionary) are based on the wrong physical insight.

[edit] In-Depth Comment

“First Law of thermodynamics: Energy can be changed from one form to another, but it cannot be created or destroyed. The total amount amount of energy and matter in the Universe remains constant, merely changing from one form to another. The First Law of Thermodynamics (Conservation) states that energy is always conserved; it cannot be created or destroyed. In essense, energy can be converted from one form into another.” Michael J. Farabee, Ph.D., "Online Biology book 2007 [15] Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

Does not damage evolutionary theory

The quote provided is correct, but Ray's conclusion is not. Ray's position, creationism, states God created everything. In the book of Genesis, God said "Let there be..." and it was. This is basically an incantation (i.e. MAGIC) that created everything out of thin air (nothing). It does not explain how God created anything, nor does Ray provide anything that is only the result of supernatural creation.


[edit] Question 11

Regarding the fossil Mononykus as thought to be a bird was a "fossorial tetropad," which paper recorded this? Ray answers Time. Non-Academic Source

Time is not a science article. Monokykus may not have been subjected to peer review before going public, and this is not the first time in all the fields of science when things like this happen. Mononykus is not a tetropad, but a theropod. Mononykus is usually reconstructed with a covering of feathers. Indeed, in the fossil of its relative Shuvuuia feather traces were discovered, proving that Alvarezsauridae (same family of Mononykus) were among the theropod lineages with feathers.

Does not damage evolutionary theory

This piece also ignores the vast library and collections of confirmed fossilized transitional birds.[16]

Discrediting one fossil does not automatically discredit all of the others


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“The researchers found lots of Mononykus bones while digging over the past few years, but one in particular convinced them they'd found a bird. Mononykus had a keel—a prominent ridge that extends forward from the breastbone—to which the muscles that allow flight would attach. With arms instead of wings, Mononykus obviously wouldn't fly. But the keel, says Norell, betrays its bird heritage.

Not everyone is convinced. 'It's very interesting as whatever it is,' says Storrs Olson, a curator of birds at the Smithsonian Institution, 'but it's not a bird.' He thinks the keeled breastbone looks much more like the sternum of a mole, a digging creature, than the sternum of a bird. And trying to make digging hooks out of a bird's wings, says Olson, would be 'like trying to make a backhoe out of an airplane.' Other researchers speculate that the keel came from another animal altogether and was mistakenly lumped in with the Mononykus bones. A better interpretation of the evidence, they say, would be to call Mononykus a birdlike dinosaur.” (Source: Kathy Svitil, “Bird or mole? Mononykus olecranus, a bird-like fossil with claws instead of wings,” Discover, January 1994).

Does not damage evolutionary theory

Notice the ending piece, “A better interpretation of the evidence, they say, would be to call Mononykus a birdlike dinosaur.”

This reference is another failure by Ray Comfort's plan to provide a reference to discredit the theory of evolution as a whole. Discrediting one fossil does not discredit all the other thousands of fossils that have sufficiently and thoroughly proven the theory of evolution.


[edit] Question 12

Question about the Bible. Which book reveals the seasons are caused by changing positions of the sun? Ray answers Genesis 1:14 "and God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to let the day and night be divided and let there be days, seasons, and years." Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

This bible verse provided by Ray Comfort says nothing at all about the tilt of the earth or angle of the earth in relation to the sun. All it says is "let the day and night be divided and let there be days, seasons, and years." This is biblical scientific foreknowledge at its best? Nothing about astronomical position, orbit, speed of light, angles, angular momentum, nothing at all.

Distortion of Science

If you read further, Genesis 1:16 says "And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also." The moon is not a light! You can only see it glow only because of the sun's reflection off of it. During some of its phases, you can't even see it at all! Also, note that in Genesis 1:14 it says "firmament." There are dozens of instances where the Bible hints and promotes the flat earth hypothesis.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

Includes a quote from National Geographic that explains changing position of the tilt of the earth changes temperature and length of daylight in certain seasons. The article also says "the astronomical position of the Earth causes the seasons." Does not damage evolutionary theory

This reference does not provide any proof for Comforts “biblical scientific foreknowledge.” It goes into much greater detail of how the days and seasons form. While the scientific evidence for the tilt of the Earth is sufficient, it does not matter to the field of biology or the theory of evolution.


“We account the Scriptures of God to be the most sublime philosophy. I find more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history whatsoever.” (Source: Sir Isaac Newton. No other verification for this reference is provided) Appeal to authority

Using the personal views of a single smart scientist does not provide credulity to a sacred text. Comfort would easily dismiss any smart scientist who gave any credit to the Qu'ran or the Bhagitavida. Likewise, the validity of Scripture (for which none have been revealed) does not disprove or damage the fact of evolution via natural selection.

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

The quote from Sir Isaac Newton gives no credibility to the Bible, nor does it have any value in regards to the evidence of the theory of evolution.


The last quote from geologist James Dwight Dana addressing Yale senior students, "Young men, as you go forth, remember that I, an old man, who has known only science my whole life, say unto you that there are no truer facts than the facts found within the Holy Scripture.” Comfort does not provide any source. All he shares is that Dana was a geologist in the 19th century “whose Manual of Geology was on the shelf of almost every American geologist.” Appeal to authority

Dana was a geologist, his work is not in the field of biology of evolution, thus including him in this book is baseless and meaningless. We cannot verify if this is what he said, nor has Dana provided any evidence for this claim.


[edit] Question 13

Fill in the blank. A quote from a textbook author Gary Parker that "fossils are a great embarrassment to _____." Comfort answers "evolutionary theory.' Comfort's source is from a video On the Origin of Species by William Glashouwer and Paul Taylor. Comfort then gives a brief intro to Gary Parker while naming his credentials. Comfort says that Gary Parker eventually stopped accepting evolution because of the lack of evidence. Distortion of Science

Gary Parker is simply and demonstrably wrong here. Why do we not find millions of fossils but rather we find gaps? When something dies, it is usually disassembled, digested, and decomposed. Only rarely is anything ever fossilized, and even fewer things are very well-preserved. Because the conditions required for that process are so particular, the fossil record can only represent a tiny fraction of everything that has ever lived. Darwin provided many environmental dynamics explaining why no single quarry could ever provide a continuous record of biological events, and why it would be impossible to find all the fossilized ancestors of every lineage. But despite this, he predicted that future generations, -having the benefit of better understanding- would discover a substantial number of fossil species which he called “intermediate” or “transitional” between what we see alive today and their taxonomic ancestors at successive levels in paleontological history.

In fact, in the century-and-a-half since then, we’ve found millions of evolutionary intermediaries in the fossil record, much more than Darwin said he could reasonably hope for. There are three different types of transitional forms and we have ample examples of each. But creationists still insist that we’ve never found a single one, because what they usually ask us to present are impossible parodies which evolution would neither produce nor permit (like the Crocoduck) Parker does not explain what he means by the word "kind" either. We have found thousands of fossils between families, orders, and classes, such as transitions from dinosaurs to birds, fish to tetrapods, and transitions from condylarths (a kind of land mammal) to fully aquatic modern manatees (in particular, Pezosiren portelli is clearly a sirenian, but its hind limbs and pelvis are unreduced). We even find transitions between kingdoms and phyla (Cambrian and Precambrain fossils Anomalocaris and Opabinia are transitional between arthropods and lobopods). 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.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

Comfort provides another quote by Gary Parker, "If evolution were true, we should find literally millions of fossils that show how one kind of life slowly and gradually changed to another kind of life. But missing links are the trade secret, in a sense, of paleontology. The point is, the links are still missing. What we really find are gaps that sharpen up the boundaries between kinds. It's those gaps which provide us with the evidence of creation of separate kinds. As a matter of fact, there are gaps between each of the major kinds of plants and animals. Transition forms are missing by the millions. What we do find are separate and complex kinds, pointing to creation." Distortion of Science

Does not damage evolutionary theory

As for the missing link, they are no longer missing, not even in human lineage. Now the problem for evolution is that there are too many contenders, while a compounding problem for creationists is that not even one of them should exist if their story was true. And yet they do –by the bushelful! Despite their complaints to the contrary, the intermediate gradations in the human evolutionary line are now so fine that paleoanthropologists can’t agree whether they’re all different species or merely mildly modified varieties of the same ones, such that there are no more links needed for human evolution anymore.


The next quote-mine Comfort provides comes from the book Darwin's Enigma that has a whole article refuting it [17] Does not damage evolutionary theory

The author of Darwin's Enigma several years later publishing the book, came out and stated he was being misrepresented by creationists.


[edit] Question 14

Regarding the Cambrian Explosion. Who said "With few exceptions, radically new kinds of organisms appear for the first time in the fossil record fully evolved, with most of their characteristic features present." Comfort answers “T.S. Kemp” (Source: Fossils and Evolution, 1999, p.253). Does not damage evolutionary theory

The Cambrian explosion does not refute evolution. In fact, the two are compatible.[2]


[edit] In-Depth Comments

Comfort includes a quote from Derek V. Ager who admits there is no evidence of gradual evolution, despite Ager being an evolutionist. "The point emerges that if we examine the fossil record in detail, whether at the level of orders or species, we find——over and over again——not gradual evolution, but the sudden explosion of one group at the expense of another."(Source:"The Nature of the Fossil Record," Proceedings of the British Geological Association, Vol. 87, 1976, p. 133) Does not damage evolutionary theory

Even without a single fossil, we can confirm evolutionary theory and common descent through genetics. Furthermore, the Cambrian explosion does not contradict evolutionary theory.

Outdated Source

As for Ager, the source is highly outdated. Much was discovered in the past several decades that has shown gradual evolution. The horns of titanotheres (extinct Cenozoic mammals) appear in progressively larger sizes, from nothing to prominence. Other head and neck features also evolved. These features are adaptations for head-on ramming analogous to sheep behavior. Scallops of the genus Chesapecten show gradual change in one "ear" of their hinge over about 13 million years (the ribs also change). This is just a small samples of the bigger picture.


Comfort provides a quote from Niles Eldredge's website[18] but no longer exists. Eldredge's website no longer exists. The contents of this quote cannot be verified, if it came from Eldredges website at all.

[edit] Question 15

True or False question: A Chinese farmer glued together the head and body of a primitive bird and the tail and hind limbs of a dinosaur, and in 1999 completely fooled the world-wide scientific community into thinking that they had found the “missing link” between carnivorous dinosaurs and modern birds. Comfort answers “True.” (Source: National Geographic, Vol. 196, November 1999, No. 5). Comfort then adds, “Named 'Archaeoraptor,' this fossil find constitutes the most recent evolution fraud...that we know of. Storrs L. Olson of the Smithsonian Institute said, “ National Geographic has reached an all-time low for engaging in sensationalistic, unsubstantiated, tabloid journalism” (Open letter to Dr. Peter Raven, Secretary, National Geographic Society, November 1, 1999 <www.trueorigin.org/birdevoletter.asp>) Does not damage evolutionary theory

Archaeoraptor was not a scientific fraud. It was put together by the Chinese fossil hunter who discovered it. The pieces were assembled to make the fossil more marketable to collectors, not to researchers. Archaeoraptor was published in the popular press, not in peer-reviewed journals. The main author of the article about it was National Geographic's art editor, not a scientist. Nature and Science both rejected papers describing it, citing suspicions that it was doctored and illegally smuggled (Dalton 2000; Simons 2000). Normal scientific procedures worked to uphold high standards.


[edit] In-Depth Comment

“The principal part of a famously fabricated dinosaur fossil is an ancient fish-eating bird, scientists report. The Archaeoraptor fossil was introduced in 1999 and hailed as the missing evolutionary link between carnivorous dinosaurs and modern birds. It was fairly quickly exposed as bogus, a composite containing the head and body of a primitive bird and the tail and hind limbs of a dromaesaur, glued together by a Chinese farmer.

Initial CT scans suggested that the fossil might have been made up of anywhere from two to five specimens of two or more species. Chinese and American scientists now report that the fabricated fossil is made up of two species. The tail and hind limbs were identified in 2000 as belonging to a Microraptor zhaoianus, a small, bipedal, meat-eating dinosaur with some bird-like features.

Scientists in the November 21 issue of the journal Nature report that the avian parts of the false dinosaur-bird fossil are from one specimen, a fish-eating bird known as Yanornis martini.” (Source: Hillary Mayell, National Geographic News, November 20, 2002 <http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/11/1120_021120_raptor.html>

Does not damage evolutionary theory

Note, that Mayell tells that Archaeoraptor was exposed by scientists, not creationists. 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.

The scientific process of peer-review seeks out and exposes fraud by design. But antievolutionist arguments are withheld from peer-review because they are driven entirely by frauds including misstatements, out-of-context quote-mining, and contrived or distorted falsehoods, and terms erroneously redefined into instigative reactionary nonsense unintelligible as anything other than propaganda. In short, if creationists knew how to expose a fraud, they wouldn’t be creationists anymore.


[edit] Question 16

Who said it? "It's as though they were just planted there, without any evolutionary history." Comfort answers “Richard Dawkins” in his book The Blind Watchmaker [New York: W. W. Norton Co., 1987], p. 229). Comfort adds, “evolutionist Richard Dawkins goes on to say in the next paragraph that all evolutionists 'despise so-called scientific creationists' and reject divine creation. He proposes that the fossils must just appear like that because of 'imperfections in the fossil record.'” Does not damage evolutionary theory

Dawkins doesn't claim to know why there is so little pre-Cambrian fossil evidence but he suspects "it might be that many of these animals had only soft parts to their bodies: no shells or bones to fossilize" (Dawkins 1996: 230) Dawkins is also aware that the Cambrian does not refute evolution, it rather supports it.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“For all of the animal phyla to appear in one single, short burst of diversification is not an obviously predicable outcome of evolution.” (Source: Peter Ward and Donald Brownlee, Rare Earth (Springer, 2000), p. 150). Does not damage evolutionary theory

Ward and Brownlee are advocates of the Rare Earth hypothesis. While their hypothesis is not widely accepted amongst astrobiologists, the Rare Earth hypothesis only argues life can appear on planets that share earth's characteristics. However life started on Earth is irrelevant to the theory of evolution. Evolution only occurs when new alleles are spread throughout a given community.

Despite Ward and Brown's statements about no new phyla appearing after the Cambrian Explosion, only some phyla appear in the Cambrian explosion. In particular, all plants postdate the Cambrian, and flowering plants, by far the dominant form of land life today, only appeared about 140 Million years ago.


“One of the most difficult problems in evolutionary paleontology has been the almost abrupt appearance of the major animal groups—classes and phyla—in full-fledged form, in the Cambrian and Ordovician periods.” (Source: A. G. Fisher, Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, 1998, fossil section) Does not damage evolutionary theory

There are several plausible explanations for why diversification may have been relatively sudden that does not contradict or invalidate the theory of evolution.


“Most orders, classes, and phyla appear abruptly, and commonly have already acquired all the characters that distinguish them.” (Source: Francisco J. Ayala and James W. Valentine, Evolving: The Theory and Process of Organic Evolution (Menlo Park, CA: Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Co., 1979), p. 266). Does not damage evolutionary theory

Even if this was correct, that most orders, classes, and phyla appear suddenly in the Cambrian explosion, it does not pose as a problem to the theory of evolution. Molecular evidence shows that at least six animal phyla are Precambrian.[19] Although many new animal forms appeared during the Cambrian, not all did. According to one reference,[20] eleven of thirty-two metazoan phyla appear during the Cambrian, one appears Precambrian, eight after the Cambrian, and twelve have no fossil record.

This comes to show that evolution did take place before and after the Cambrian Explosion.

Outdated Source


[edit] Question 17

Fill in the blank question. At the turn of the 19th century, Robert Wiedersheim listed over a hundred _______ organs. Comfort answers "vestigials" and says we have found functions for each and every one of them. Does not damage evolutionary theory

Vestigial organs are still legitimate evidences for evolution.

Distortion of Science

"Vestigial" does not mean an organ is useless. A vestige is a "trace or visible sign left by something lost or vanished" (G. & C. Merriam 1974, 769). Robert Wiedersheim, the notorious cataloguer of 86 human vestigial structures, never claims that vestigial structures must lack functions. In the introduction to The Structure of Man, Wiedersheim defines "vestigial" in evolutionary terms:

Comparative morphology points not only to the essentially similar plan of organization of the bodies of all Vertebrates, ... but also to the occurrence in them of certain organs, or parts of organs, now known as 'vestigial.' By such organs are meant those which were formerly of greater physiological significance than at present." (Wiedersheim 1893, p. 2)

[edit] In-Depth Comment

Comfort includes a quote from Turkish creationist Harun Yahya (whose real name is Adnan Oktar). Oktar blames the ills of Turkey on evolution, the Jews, and the Freemasons. He is also a Holocaust denialist.

Here is Harun's comment:

"A list of vestigial organs that was made by the German Anatomist R. Wiedersheim in 1895 included approximately 100 structures, including the appendix and the coccyx. As science progressed, it was discovered that all of the organs in Wiedersheim's list in fact had very important functions.... All of these were once considered to be "vestigial organs." Finally, the semi-lunar fold in the eye, which was referred to as a vestigial organ by Darwin, has been found in fact to be in charge of cleansing and lubricating the eye." - Harun Yahya, Evolution Deceit 1999
As for Holocaust denier and old Earth creationist Harun Yahya, some vestigial organs can be determined to be useless if experiments show that organisms with them survive no better than organisms without them. The human appendix may not be functional. Its absence causes no known harmful effects (other than surgical complications from removing it). When it is present, there is a 7 percent lifetime risk of acute appendicitis, which is usually fatal without modern surgical techniques (Hardin 1999). The coccyx is a developmental remnant of the embryonic tail that forms in humans and then is degraded and eaten by our immune system. Our internal tail is unnecessary for sitting, walking, and elimination (all of which are functions attributed to the coccyx by many anti-evolutionists). The caudal vertebrae of the coccyx can cause extreme and unnecessary chronic pain in some unfortunate people, a condition called coccydynia. The entire coccyx can be surgically removed without any ill effects (besides surgical complications), with the only complaint, in a small fraction of patients, being that the removal of the coccyx sadly did not remove their pain (Grossovan and Dam 1995; Perkins et al. 2003; Postacchini Massobrio 1983; Ramsey et al. 2003; Shaposhnikov 1997; Wray 1991).[21]

[edit] Question 18

Who said it question; "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." Ray answers “Albert Einstein.” (Source: Science, Philosophy, and Religion: a Symposium, New York 1941). Outdated Source

Does not damage evolutionary theory

Appeal to authority

Quoting one great scientist’s personal views on religion does not invalidate science or open credible room for religion and thus trumping science.

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

The evidence of evolution and science in general does not rest on the opinions of a single scientist. Yes, Einstein was brilliant, but his personal perspectives of science does not over-rule it. Religion does not guide science or theories. 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.


[edit] In-Depth Comment

Comfort's first quote is from Denis Brian's opinion of Einstein's views of science and religion. While Brian notes that Einstein did not believe in a personal God, he claims Einstein was not an atheist or a pantheist. Brain also quotes Einstein that we are children in a library filled with books written in many different languages. (Source: Denis Brian, Einstein: A Life [New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1996] pg. 186). Does not damage evolutionary theory

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

We are discussing evolution, not the personal views of Einstein. The quote from Brian is a secondary source, and less trustworthy than what Einstein said himself on the matter. Einstein believed that the universe was a wondrous mystery waiting to be discovered, but he did not fill in the unknown and unexplained with gods, fairies, deities, aliens, etc. This is what Ray Comfort and other theists do, assume that their narrow beliefs explain away the unknown without a shred of evidence.


[edit] Question 19

True or false question. "Nobel Prize winner Sir Ernest Chain once said of the theory of evolution, 'I would rather believe in fairy tales than in such wild speculation.'" Ray answers “True.” (Source: Ronald W. Clark, The Life of Ernest Chain [New York: St. Martin's Press, 1985] pg. 147-148.) Outdated Source

Ernest Chain may have been a brilliant bio-chemist and Nobel Prize winner, but scientists have discovered so much after Chain's death in 1979. For example, it wasn't until 2005 that scientists have confirmed that Chromosome 2 proved that humans share a common ancestor with other apes via genetics.

Does not damage evolutionary theory

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

The validity of evolution does not rest on the personal views of a single Nobel Prize winner. Rather it rests on the the mountains of evidence that Ray Comfort is failing to address.

Appeal to authority

Ernest was a biochemist and received a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, however he disagreed with the theory due to his personal views. One man's personal opinion does not have any weight over the massive amounts of evidence for evolution.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

From R. Dickerson, "The evolution of genetic machinery is the step for which there are no laboratory models; hence we can speculate endlessly, unfettered by inconvenient facts." Source: "Chemical Evolution and the Origin of Life," Scientific American, September 1978, pg. 70. Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

Does not damage evolutionary theory

Dickerson is rather addressing the origin of life, which is a completely different topic and field of discussion than evolution. The theory of evolution only addresses the diversity of life, not the origin of it. That is a separate field of study called abiogenesis.

Outdated Source

The second quote from Dickerson is outdated. Several solid hypothesis and theories have been proposed since then.


"A large number of well-trained scientists outside of evolutionary biology and paleontology unfortunately gotten the idea that the fossil record is far more Darwinian that it is. This probably comes from the oversimplification inevitable from secondary sources: low-level textbooks, semi-popular articles, and so on. Also there is probably some wishful thinking involved. In the years after Darwin, his advocates hoped to find predictable progressions. In general, these have not been found——yet the optimism has died hard and some pure fantasy has crept into the textbooks." (Emphasis added by Ray Comfort). His source: David Raup, "Evolution in the fossil record." Science Vol. 213, pg. 289. Appeal to authority

Does not damage evolutionary theory

Finally, the last quote from Raup, even if we did not have a single fossil, the evidence for common descent is overwhelming. Could not find Raup's article on Google Scholar, but still falls under the fallacy argument from authority. It also is out of touch with the evidence that has since been found. After many years, we have found more fossils than Darwin could have reasonably hoped for. 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.


[edit] Question 20

Fill in the blank. Stephen J. Gould said "The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many cases, has been a persistent and nagging problem for __________" Ray answers "gradualist accounts of evolution." Gould, Stephen J., 'Is a new and general theory of evolution emerging?' Paleobiology, vol 6(1), January 1980, p. 127. Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

In typical quote-mining style, the sentence used by Gould has been taken out of its natural ecosystem. In this section of the paper, Gould is outlining the challenge to gradualist models of macroevolution in three loosely united themes. He is not challenging evolution itself nor is he discounting the vast wealth of fossil data that already exists.

2. The saltational initiation of major transitions: The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary states between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many cases, has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution. St. George Mivart (1871), Darwin's most cogent critic, referred to it as the dilemma of "the incipient stages of useful structures" -- of what possible benefit to a reptile is two percent of a wing? The dilemma has two potential solutions. The first, preferred by Darwinians because it preserves both gradualism and adaptation, is the principle of preadaptation: the intermediate stages functioned in another way but were, by good fortune in retrospect, pre-adapted to a new role they could play only after greater elaboration. Thus, if feathers first functioned "for" insulation and later "for" the trapping of insect prey (Ostrom 1979) a proto-wing might be built without any reference to flight.

The next paragraph goes as follows

I do not doubt the supreme importance of preadaptation, but the other alternative, treated with caution, reluctance, disdain or even fear by the modern synthesis, now deserves a rehearing in the light of renewed interest in development: perhaps, in many cases, the intermediates never existed. I do not refer to the saltational origin of entire new designs, complete in all their complex and integrated features -- a fantasy that would be truly anti-Darwinian in denying any creativity to selection and relegating it to the role of eliminating new models. Instead, I envisage a potential saltational origin for the essential features of key adaptations. Why may we not imagine that gill arch bones of an ancestral agnathan moved forward in one step to surround the mouth and form proto-jaws? Such a change would scarcely establish the Bauplan of the gnathostomes. So much more must be altered in the reconstruction of agnathan design -- the building of a true shoulder girdle with bony, paired appendages, to say the least. But the discontinuous origin of a proto-jaw might set up new regimes of development and selection that would quickly lead to other, coordinated modifications." (Gould, Stephen J., 'Is a new and general theory of evolution emerging?' Paleobiology, vol 6(1), January 1980, pp. 126-127)

Gould then goes on to show that Darwin conflated gradualism with natural selection, and then talks more in point #2 about future work in the field of evolutionary development that yields testable hypothesis for small changes in developmental pathways (corresponding to small evolutionary changes) yielding large changes in adult body plans. Gould states that this is the kind of approach that will give forth real information rather than adaptive stories or hypothetical intermediates. Gould was probably not exactly a 'visionary' for proposing this in print, but evolutionary developmental biology seems to be giving plenty of support to the theory of evolution these days.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“One hundred and twenty years of paleontological research later, it has become abundantly clear that the fossil record will not confirm this part of Darwin's predictions. Nor is the problem a miserably poor record. The fossil record simply shows that this prediction is wrong." (Eldredge, N. and Tattersall, I., The Myths of Human Evolution, 1982, p. 45-46) Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

The Eldridge and Tattarsall is also taken out of context. Bold line are words Comfort omitted,

That individual kinds of fossils remain recognizably the same throughout the length of their occurrence in the fossil record had been known to paleontologists long before Darwin published his Origin. Darwin himself, troubled by the stubbornness of the fossil record in refusing to yield abundant examples of gradual change, devoted two chapters to the fossil record. To preserve his argument he was forced to assert that the fossil record was too incomplete, to full of gaps, to produce the expected patterns of change. He prophesied that future generations of paleontologists would fill in these gaps by diligent search and then his major thesis - that evolutionary change is gradual and progressive - would be vindicated. One hundred and twenty years of paleontological research later, it has become abundantly clear that the fossil record will not confirm this part of Darwin's predictions. Nor is the problem a miserably poor record. The fossil record simply shows that this prediction is wrong.

The Next paragraph goes on as follows,

The observation that species are amazingly conservative and static entities throughout long periods of time has all the qualities of the emperor's new clothes: everyone knew it but preferred to ignore it. Paleontologists, faced with a recalcitrant record obstinately refusing to yield Darwin's predicted pattern, simply looked the other way. Rather than challenge well-entrenched evolutionary theory, paleontologists tacitly agreed with their zoological colleagues that the fossil record was too poor to do much beyond supporting, in a general sort of way, the basic thesis that life had evolved.

Note the claim that the fossil record supports evolution.


“For more than a century biologists have portrayed the evolution of life as a gradual unfolding...Today the fossil record...is forcing us to revise this conventional view.” (Source: S. M. Stanley, The New Evolutionary Timetable: Fossils, Genes, and the Origin of Species (New York: Basic Books, 1981), p. 3) Outdated Source

Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Here is the full quote (with words omitted in bold)

The word "evolution" means unfolding, and for more than a century biologists have portrayed the evolution of life as a gradual unfolding of new living things from old, the slow molding of animals and plants into entirely different forms. It was this persistent style of change that Darwin described as "The Origin of Species." Today the fossil record——a rich store of information that was long un-tapped——is forcing us to revise this conventional view of evolution. As it turns out, myriads of species have inhabited the Earth for millions of years without evolving noticeably. On the other hand, major evolutionary transitions have been wrought during episodes of rapid change, when new species have quickly bedded off from old ones. In short, evolution has moved by fits and starts.

Stanley does on to explain that there is fossil evidence that proves the theory of evolution, but he argues in favor of the punctuated equilibrium model.


[edit] Question 21

Comfort claims since there have been no transitional fossils found, German geneticist Richard Goldschmidt "speculated" that there must be some "quantum leaps" from one species to another. Comfort quotes Goldschmidt and asks to fill in the blank, "The major evolutionary advances must have taken place in large steps...The many missing links in the paleontological record are sought for in vain because they have never existed: 'the first bird hatched from a reptilian egg.'" Comfort asks to fill in the blank, "His [Goldshmidts] ridiculous theory is called ______." The answer: punctuated equilibrium. Quoting Goldschmidt from his book The Material Basis for Evolution. Comfort bashes Goldschmidt for proposing punctuated equilibrium, but the one who first proposed it was biologist Stephen J. Gould. The purpose of punctuated equilibrium was to explain the sudden divergence of species (which does not leave a lot of transitional fossils in between). Evidence does support Punctuated equilibrium, however many transitional fossils have been found.

Does not damage evolutionary theory

Ray Comfort’s dismissal of punctuated equilibrium is based entirely on denialism. Ray Comfort only calls it “speculation” and “ridiculous” – all coming from a man with no degree in any scientific field, and has shown throughout his published material to know close to absolute nothing about the theory of evolution or science in general. If Ray Comfort wishes to make a valid case against punctuated equilibrium, simply going “nah-ah” is not going to cut it.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

"The old Darwinian view of evolution as a ladder of more and more efficient forms leading up to the present is not borne out by the evidence. (Source: Newell, Why Scientists Believe Evolution, American Geological Institute pamphlet, 1984, pg. 10.) Outdated Source

Does not damage evolutionary theory

While Newell's quote is seriously outdated, it does not undermine evolution at all. The more current and proper view supported by the evidence still supports the theory of evolution. The proper view is not a ladder but like a bush - with the branches sprouting outward in all directions, not linear. The claim refers to results that indicate that horizontal gene transfer was common in the very earliest life. In other words, genetic information was not inherited only from one's immediate ancestor; some was obtained from entirely different organisms, too. As a result, the tree of life does not stem from a single trunk but from a reticulated collection of stems.[22] This does not invalidate the theory of evolution, though. It says only that another mechanism of heredity was once more common.

Horizontal gene transfer does not invalidate phylogenetics. Horizontal gene transfer is not a major factor affecting modern life, including all macroscopic life: "Although HGT does occur with important evolutionary consequences, classical Darwinian lineages seem to be the dominant mode of evolution for modern organisms."[23] [24] And it is still possible to compute phylogenies while taking horizontal gene transfer into account.[25]

Also, let it be noted that almost everybody says this is true. But Darwin's theory never did require "more and more efficient forms", right from the get-go. That was Lamarck's theory.


“I believe that our failure to find any clear vector of fitfully accumulating progress...represents our greatest dilemma for a study of pattern in life's history.” (Source: S. J. Gould, “The paradox of the first tier: an agenda for paleobiology,” Paleobiology, Vol. 11, No. 1, Winter 1985, p. 3). Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

The full quote reads as follows (with words omitted in bold):

"I believe that our failure to find any clear vector of fitfully accumulating progress, despite expectations that processes regulating the first tier should yield such advance, represents our greatest dilemma for a study of pattern in life's history. I shall call it the paradox of the first tier. In principle, two types of solutions might resolve this paradox (both, I suspect, with considerable validity). Perhaps, first of all, processes at the first tier do regulate life's history (as Darwinian tradition assumes), but we have been wrong about the nature of these processesand that an appropriate revision will no longer yield an expectation of progress (which may never have had any deep justification beyond culturally conditioned hope in any case). Only in this context can we understand the passion that surrounds some contemporary debates about the first tier-particularly the challenge to competition's hegemony as the regulator of diversity, structuring agent of communities, and motor of change. (See Hutchinson {I9591 and Dawkins and Krebs {I9791 for the classic statement and its macro-evolutionary extrapolation; and Simberloff {1983, 1984) for its sharp critique.) Simberloff, I think, is correct when he writes (1984, p. 22): "Still to be explained is why competition dominates ecological thinking, given the paucity of hard data to support it. The main reason, it seems, is the strong philosophical and religious appeal of the idea that something keeps nature in balance." Believe me, it is a pleasure to sit back, sip a beer, and watch something evoke more passion than punctuated equilibrium. The second solution holds that forces of the first tier may indeed yield fitful progress, but that distinct processes at the second and third tiers reverse, dilute, or undo whatever the first tier can accumulate. This paper is dedicated to a defense of this second solution to the paradox of the first tier and therefore to what Maynard Smith (1984) has celebrated, in his quintessentially English metaphor, as the return of paleontology to the high table of evolutionary theory."

As we can see here, Gould provided two plausible solutions (both of which he approves of) to this "dilemma." Gould goes on to explore Punctuated equilibrium.

As Ray Comfort stated in the Introduction of this book, he stated "when I uncover an evolutionary expert quietly admitting that he has no evidence to back up his theory, I don’t see any value in the soil of his surrounding words. I merely extract what I believe is of value for those who want to discover the truth about the theory of evolution." So basically what Ray Comfort has done here with Gould's quote is take out a few sentences while explicitly leaving out the evidences or any plausible scientific explanations.

Outdated Source

Does not damage evolutionary theory


[edit] Question 22

Fill in the blank question: in the Origin of Species Charles Darwin wrote "The number of intermediate varieties which have formerly existed on earth must be truly enormous. Why is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such __________? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory." Comfort answers "intermediate links" and then adds a piece by Sarfati, "Transitional forms are completely absent from the fossil record. There are no so-called "missing links" that show one animal changing into another. Darwin was worried that the fossil record did not support his theory." (Source: Dr. Jonathan Sarfati, Refuting Evolution.) Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Darwin explained why there is a lack of intermediate links in the geological column in the very next line! Darwin goes on to say,

The explanation lies, as I believe, in the extreme imperfection of the geological record.

And we now know Darwin was right, and in fact Darwin wrote this because he expected such criticisms to follow so he dedicated a section of his work to refute it quite extensively.

Not a qualified biologist

Comfort said in the Introduction of this book he would be quoting "evolutionary experts" and right here, Comfort provides a quote from a non-biologist. Sarfati is not a paleontologist or biologist, and his works have been overall dismissed as unscientific from actual scientists.

Non-Academic Source

Sarfati is not a paleontologist, biologist or skilled in taxonomy. Here is a site that reveals Sarfati's fallacious works.[26] Sarfati's work has been known as "crude piece of propaganda" by the National Center for Science Education.[27] Reed A. Cartwright and Dr Douglas L. Theobald, have criticized Sarfati's claims such as one that accuses scientists of continually changing the definition of vestigial to match the evidence.[28]


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“Many fossils have been collected since 1859, tons of them, yet the impact they have had on our understanding of the relationships between living organisms is barely perceptible...In fact, I do not think it is unfair to say that fossils, or at least the transitional interpretation of fossils, have clouded rather than clarified our attempts to reconstruct phylogeny.” (Source: P. L. Fortey, "Neontological Analysis Versus Paleontological Stories,” Problems of Phylogenetic Reconstruction (London: Academic Press, 1982), pp. 120-121). Outdated Source

Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

The author's name was misspelled, and it was miscited. The full and correct citation is: Forey, P. L., (1982) "Neontological Analysis Versus Palaeontological Stories". in Joysey, K.A. and Friday, A.E (eds) Problems of Phylogenetic Reconstruction. Systematics Association Special Volume 21. London, Academic Press.

It was from controversies that surrounded the rise of cladism. A cladistics purist does not look for ancestors since cladograms do not indicate them. When put in context, here is what Forey states (with words omitted in bold);

“Many fossils have been collected since 1859, tons of them, yet the impact they have had on our understanding of the relationships between living organisms is barely perceptible. For instance, a recent symposium was held by this Society under the heading "The origin of major invertebrate groups." Many of the papers delivered at that meeting had a strong paleontological bias yet ideas of "relationships" of major invertebrate groups seem very unclear ([refs]). In fact, I do not [p120

“Granted an evolutionary origin of the main groups of animals, and not an act of special creation, the absence of any record whatsoever of a single member of any of the phyla in the Pre-Cambrian rocks remain as inexplicable on orthodox grounds as it was to Darwin." (Source: T. Neville (George Professor of Geology at the University of Glasgow), "Fossils in Evolutionary Perspective," Science Progress, Vol. 48, No. 189, January 1960, p. 5.) Does not damage evolutionary theory

Even if we did not have any fossilized remains in the Pre-Cambrian (which we do) that would not be detrimental to the theory of evolution. Creationists almost always invoke this ridiculous Achilles-heel fallacy, thinking if they distort one thing then the entire theory fall apart. However, that is not and never has been the case in science. While this reference addresses the Pre-Cambrian, it does not discredit ERVs, atavisms, ontology, genetics, phylogeny, or the thousands of transitional fossils we have discovered.

Outdated Source

A lot has happened over the decades as new research has revealed a lot about the Pre-Cambrian explosion.

Distortion of Science

The Pre-Cambrian is no longer an issue with the theory of evolution.[3] While it might have in the 60's, that was decades ago and science has greatly progressed since then. We now have a better understanding of the evolutionary history of the first life forms. We have discovered many Pre-Cambrian fossils, thus refuting this reference by T. Neville the “absence of any record of a single member of any phyla in the Pre-Cambrian.”


[edit] Question 23

Starts off with a statement that despite the currently calculated age of the universe. The universe is not old enough to allow life to arise by random chance. Comfort presents a separate theory that states there are an infinite number of universes existing in parallel dimensions, and we are lucky to live in one that supports life. Comfort asks what is this theory called? Comfort answers "The Strong Anthropic Principle" while using Fred Herren, Show Me God as his source (no chapter or page provided). Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

The universe is indeed old enough, but more important is that the earth is old enough to allow evolution to take affect, but not by random chance. Evolutionary theory and natural selection is the exact opposite of chance.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“There is for me powerful evidence that there is something going on behind it all...It seems as though somebody has fine-tuned nature's numbers to make the Universe...The impression of design is overwhelming.” (Source: British astrophysicist Paul Davies, Superforce: The Search for a Grand Unified Theory of Nature (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1984), p. 243) Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

We are discussing evolution, the diversification of life, not the universe.


“The laws [of physics]...seem to be the product of exceedingly ingenious design...The universe must have had a purpose.” (Source: Paul Davies The Cosmic Blueprint: New Discoveries in Nature's Creative Ability to Order the Universe (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988), p. 203) Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

We are discussing evolution, the diversification of life, not the universe.


“Don't let the cosmologists try to kid you on this one. They have not got a clue either – despite the fact that they are doing a pretty good job of convincing themselves and others that this is really not a problem. 'In the beginning,' they will say, 'there was nothing—no time, space, matter or energy. Then there was a quantum fluctuation from which...' Whoa! Stop right there. You see what I mean? First there is nothing, then there is something. And the cosmologists try to bridge the two with a quantum flutter, a tremor of uncertainty that sparks it all off. Then they are off and away and before you know it, they have pulled a hundred billion galaxies out of their quantum hats.” (Source: Astronomer Dr. David Darling, “On creating something from nothing,” New Scientist, Vol. 151, No. 2047, 14 September 1996, p. 49) Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

Of course Ray interpretation of the scientific consensus is far from what they actually say. Dr. Sten Odenwald (Raytheon STX) for NASA, Education and Public Outreach program, 2001 spelled out what scientists mean when they say "nothing:"

How can 'nothing' do anything at all, let alone create an entire universe? When physicists say 'nothing' they are being playful with the English language, because we often think of the vacuum as being 'empty' or 'nothing' when in fact physicists know full well that the vacuum is far from empty. The primordial 'state' at the Big Bang was far from being the kind of 'nothingness' you might have in mind. We don't have a full mathematical theory for describing this 'state' yet, but it was probably 'multi- dimensional', it was probably a superposition of many different 'fields', and these fields, or whatever they were, were undergoing 'quantum fluctuations'. Space and time were not the things we know them to be today because our world is a lot colder than the way it started out. Nothingness was not nothing, but it was not anything like the kinds of 'somethings' we know about today. We have no words to describe it, and the ones we borrow (that are listed in the Oxford English Dictionary) are based on the wrong physical insight.

The irony is that the ones who claim that the universe was created from nothing is exactly what Ray and his fellow creationists argue for. According to the book of Genesis, God spoke things into being and they were good. Basically an incantation (i.e. MAGIC) brought everything into being. Ray says we have never seen matter create itself. You know what we have never seen? We’ve never seen anything “created”. No one has ever seen a complex life-form (or anything else) magically pop out of thin air. But that’s what creationists are arguing for!


[edit] Question 24

A group of world famous physicists calculated the odds that all the functional proteins necessary for life might originate by chance. They came up with a figure of one chance in 10^40,000 (that's a 1 with 40,000 zeros after it). Since this is an outrageously small probability, they have adopted the theory that sees for life must have come from other planets. This belief is called? Comfort answers “panspermia” (“seeds everywhere”). Comfort then adds, “The fact that any respected scientist would resort to such wild speculation is a good indication of how difficult it is to explain the existence of life without a Creator” (Fred Heeren, Show Me God.) Not a qualified biologist and/or scientist

Heeren is not a biologist, he is an old earth creationist and a science journalist.

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

Regardless how life originated, evolution would still be a fact. Evolution explains how life diversifies, not how it began, because evolution is limited by definition to variation of allele frequencies inherited over generations of living organisms, therefore evolution obviously can’t operate where no genomes yet exist.

The study of how life naturally originated is a field of study called abiogenesis. While Fred Heeren says physicists calculated the odds of life originating, we should be asking the scientists who study biochemistry. According to Francis Crick, one of the co-discoverers of DNA, said "We cannot decide whether the origins of life on Earth was an extremely unlikely event or almost a certainty..."[29]

Explaining the origin of life without a “Creator” is not that difficult. Many models have been proposed, some better then others. The leading model is likely a protometabolism-transfer RNA model followed by the co-evolution of polymers of RNA and protein.

While the hypothesis panspermia where the elements of life came from other planets is not widely accepted by the scientific community, what is accepted is that building blocks of life have been found on meteorites and comets. Comets, meteorite and interplanetary dust are loaded with a wide range of organic compounds, including amino acids, hydrogen cyanide, formaldehyde, adenine, and many others. The amount of organic material currently deposited on the Earth by kilograms, or 300 metric tons per year. During the early period of heavy bombardment this rate may have reached 50,000 tons per year. This rate would have produced the current biomass in approximately ten million years.[30] Comets are the richest source of organic compounds. This organic material makes its way to Earth in the form of micrometeorites, which are formed when the comets pass close to the sun. These micrometeorites are 50 to 500 um in size and currently reach the Earth in huge amounts of 20,000 tons per year.[31] They contain tiny grains that contain clays, oxides, and sulfides of metals, which can act as catalysts in chemical reactions. As such they would function as chemical factories for the production of organic compounds.

In addition to provide a rich source of organic compounds in prebiotic earth, it has also been proposed that cosmic debris bearing iron and carbon could contribute to a reducing atmosphere and lead to the production of hydrogen, methane, and ammonia in prebiotic earth, producing the conditions predicted in the Miller-Urey experiments.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

Dr. Allen Sandage (winner of the Crawford prize in astronomy), stated: “I find it quite improbable that such order came from chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is a mystery but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing.” (Source: John Noble Wilford, “Sizing Up the Cosmos. An Astronomy Quest,” New York Times, March 12, 1991, p. B9). Appeal to authority

Not a qualified biologist

As Comfort already stated, Sandage is a astronomer, not a biologist. His claims regarding the universe have no bearing on the theory of evolution.

Non-Academic Source

The New York Times is not a academic or scholarly source where almost anyone can publish whatever they wish that is not subjected to peer review.


“Because post-Darwinian biology has been dominated by materialist dogma, the biologists have had to pretend that organisms are a lot simpler than they are. Life itself must be merely chemistry. Assemble the right chemicals, and life emerges. DNA must likewise be a product of chemistry alone. As an exhibit in the New Mexico Museum of Natural History puts it, 'volcanic gases plus lightning equal DNA equals LIFE!' When queried about this fable, the museum spokesman acknowledged that it was simplified but said it was basically true.” (Source: Phillip Johnson, Weekly Wedge Update, April 30, 2001, p. 1). Does not damage evolutionary theory

Not a qualified biologist

Phillip Johnson is the father of the current intelligent design movement. He is not a biologist or a scientist, rather he is a lawyer. Lawyers are only concerned with winning a case, whether they are right or not.

Johnson is only arguing against the very simplistic overlook of abiogenesis, not the theory of evolution. The museum spokesperson was correct that it was very simplified but remains true. What the exhibit left out was biochemical reactions, the role of enzymes, the development of RNA, and much more.


“It is clear that the belief that a molecule of iso-1-cytochrome c or any other protein could appear by chance is based on faith. And so we see that even if we believe that the 'building blocks' are available, they do not spontaneously make proteins, at least not by chance. The origin of life by chance in a primeval soup is impossible in probability in the same way that a perpetual motion machine is impossible in probability...A practical person must conclude that life didn't happen by chance.” (Source: Hubert Yockey, Ph. D., Information Theory and Molecular Biology (Cambridge University Press, 1992), p. 257). Not a qualified biologist

Hubert Yockey is a physicist and information theorist.

Does not damage evolutionary theory

We are discussing evolution, not the origin of life. They are two different fields of science.

Distortion of Science

Take note of the piece “at least not by chance.” Biochemistry is not chance. It inevitably produces complex products. Amino acids and other complex molecules are even known to form in space.


[edit] Question 25

Since life originating by chance is statistically impossible, astronomer John Barrow and mathematical physicist Frank Tipler were forced to conclude that there must be an intelligence that created life. Unwilling to accept the biblical Creator, they hypothesize that life may evolve to such an advance degree that it will become an all-knowing, all-powerful, omnipresent god that then may be able to create life in the past. They called this concept? Comfort answers “The Final Anthropic Principle” (John D. Barrow and Frank J. Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, 1986). Not a qualified biologist and/or scientist

Comfort said in the Introduction of this book he would be quoting “evolutionary experts” and right here, Comfort provides a quote from two non-biologists.

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

The origin of life has no bearing to the theory of evolution. The theory of evolution is only meant to explain the diversification of life, not how it originated. The science examining the origins of life is called abiogenesis.

Does not damage evolutionary theory

Even if life did not form naturally and was specially created, that would not disprove evolution. Evolution explains how life diversifies, and evolution is a fact.

Outdated Source


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that all the superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to push this conclusion almost beyond question.” (Source: British astrophysicist Fred Hoyle, “The Universe: Past and Present Reflections,” Engineering and Science, November 1981, p. 12). Not a qualified biologist and/or scientist

Comfort said in the Introduction of this book he would be quoting “evolutionary experts,” but as Comfort already shared, Hoyle is a astrophysicist, not a biologist.

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

Astrophysics is not the same as biology.

Does not damage evolutionary theory

Even if life did not form naturally and was specially created, that would not disprove evolution. Evolution explains how life diversifies, and evolution is a fact.

Outdated Source


“The more one studies paleontology, the more certain one becomes that evolution is based on faith alone; exactly the same sort of faith which it is necessary to have when one encounters the great mysteries of religion.” (Source: Louis T. More, The Dogma of Evolution (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1925), p. 160). Not a qualified biologist

L. T. More is a professor of physics at the University of Cincinnati, but still accepts the theory of evolution.

Outdated Source

1925? Do we have to say more?

Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Here is the last paragraph on page 184: “Owing to the reverence for Darwin and the blind submission to his views which prevailed for so many years, it was a difficult task to live down Darwin's contempt. Only after facts had multiplied, showing the inadequacy of natural selection, did biologists begin timidly to take Lamarck's doctrine seriously. If one can read the signs aright, we may expect to have an increasing attempt to explain the cause of evolution by the inheritance of aquired traits. The reluctance of the biologists to accept this doctrine does not rest so much on the lack of experimental verification as it does on the fact that Lamarck's cause of variation is fundamentally vitalistic in so far as it acknowledges the influence of the will or desire. To admit such a cause is contrary to scientific and mechanistic monism.” Dr. More seems to have a poor grasp of relevant history. He writes on page 182 that "It is well know that Lyell had a high estimation of Lamarck's work and theory, and that it had a great influence on him when he wrote his Principles of Geology, . . ." Of course Lyell, in volume II of that work, strongly argued against Lamarck.


[edit] Question 26

In The Wonderful Egg, a book written for children, a mother dinosaur lays an egg that hatches into the very first bird. After growing up into a beautiful specimen replete with wings and feathers, it flies up into a small tree and sings a happy song. (The little bird's song may soon become a funeral dirge when it realizes that it has no one with whom to reproduce). Since there are no transitional forms, evolutionists have reduced to this nonsensical idea which they call...? Comfort answers “punctuated equilibrium” (Source: The FACE That Demonstrates the Farce of Evolution, Hank Hanegraaff). Not a qualified biologist

Hank Hanegraaff is not a scientist of any type, he is the host of a Bible answer radio show.

Does not damage evolutionary theory

Is Ray Comfort seriously trying to argue against the theory of evolution by referencing to a child’s book?


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“I agree...that ancestor-descendant relationships cannot be objectively recognized in the fossil record.” (Source: R. M. Schoch, “Evolution Debate,” Science, April 22, 1983, p. 360). Outdated Source

Not a qualified biologist

Schoch is not a biologist, he is a parapsychologist (the study of ostensible paranormal phenomena, including telepathy, precognition, clairvoyance, psychokinesis, near-death experiences, reincarnation and apparitional experiences.) However, the practice of parapsychology has slowly died since the 1970's due to criticisms of not being scientific (no controlled tests, no conclusive results, frauds, flawed studies, and much more). In 1988, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences published a report on the subject that concluded that “no scientific justification from research conducted over a period of 130 years for the existence of parapsychological phenomena.”[32]


“The gaps in the record are real, however. The absence of a record of any important branching is quite phenomenal.” (Robert Wesson, Beyond Natural Selection (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1991), p. 45). Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Who is Robert Wesson? According to information gleaned from two web pages, From Bradford Books: Beyond Natural Selection and Robert G. Wesson, Political Science: Santa Barbara, he was a political scientist who died in 1991, the year this book was published. [Fuller quote follows:]

"The impression that many groups arise suddenly at about the same time may be exaggerated by the system of classification. As one traces different orders, such as carnivores or ungulates, back to their earliest appearance, one naturally finds that the ancestral forms differ less than do their modern descendants. Similarly, it was possible for the principal animal types, the phyla, to diverge very rapidly, leaving no traces of intermediates, because they were much simpler and less deeply separated than their distant descendants. The differences, although basic, were not yet deeply embedded. The gaps in the record are real, however. The absence of any record of any important branching is quite phenomenal. Species are usually static, or nearly so, for long periods, species seldom and genera never show evolution into new species or genera but replacement of one by another, and change is more or less abrupt. This contradicts the Darwinian approach. Natural selection -- and Lamarckian evolution by use and disuse -- would imply gradual, progressive change, with randomly diverging lines of descent. This would make a great irregular bush, not the branching ideal tree of life, much less the record that we have, with big and little branches suspended without junctions. Those who study the fossil record, dealing not with equations of population genetics but with hard facts of the past, have been most inclined to be skeptical of Darwin's insistence on slow, more or less steady change. Such paleontologists as Stephen J. Gould, Niles Eldredge, and Steven M. Stanley have recently been in the vanguard of the critics."

The original quote is accurate, forms a complete paragraph, and seems to be discussing Punctuated Equilibria, but at the end a reference is also given, to page 307 of "The eukaryote genome in development and evolution" (John, B., & Miklos, G. L. G. 1988. London: Allen & Unwin).

In this latter book the section referred to discusses the Cambrian explosion and the Burgess Shale!

Wesson seems to be confused about what he is talking about in the paragraph quoted, and I'm not sure why I should take the musings of a political scientist as representative of current palaeontological thought.


“No wonder paleontologists shied away from evolution for so long. It never seemed to happen. Assiduous collecting up cliff faces yields zigzags, minor oscillations, and the very occasional slight accumulation of change—over millions of years, at a rate too slow to account for all the prodigious change that has occurred in evolutionary history. When we do see the introduction of evolutionary novelty, it usually shows up with a bang, and often with no firm evidence that the fossils did not evolve elsewhere! Evolution cannot forever be going on somewhere else. Yet that's how the fossil record has struck many a forlorn paleontologist looking to learn something about evolution.” (Source: Niles Eldredge, Reinventing Darwin: The Great Debate at the High table of Evolutionary Theory (New York Wiley, 1995), p. 95). Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

This is another example of creationist quote mining.[33]


[edit] Question 27

Who said it? "The remarkable fact that the values of these numbers seem to have been finely adjusted to make possible development of life... Nevertheless, it seems clear that there are relatively few ranges of values for the numbers that would allow the development of any form of intelligent life." Ray answers Stephen Hawking, (A Brief History of Time p. 129-130). Ray argues that Hawking agrees that the universe seems finely adjusted that could only be the work of an intelligent Creator. Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

The fine-tuning argument does not refute evolution. Comfort is wrong with thinking Hawking believes in a fine-tuned universe. Hawking has made it clear that he does not believe in a fine-tuned universe, nor does he believe in a Creator or an afterlife.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

Comfort uses a quote from British astrophysicist Professor George F. Ellis: "Amazing fine tuning occurs in the laws that make this [complexity] possible. Realization of the complexity of what is accomplished makes it very difficult not to use the word 'miraculous' without taking a stand as to the ontological status of the word." (Source: British astrophysicist George F. Ellis, “The Anthropic Principle: Laws and Environments,” The Anthropic Principle, F. Bertola and U. Curi, eds. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993), p. 30). Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

The Anthropic principle deals with cosmology, not biology.

Does not damage evolutionary theory

Even if the Anthropic Principle were correct, which it is not, it does not change the fact life still evolved via natural selection. Despite however life first formed on whatever type of planet Earth could have turned out to be, it is a fact that after life forms natural selection kicks in.

Appeal to authority

The fine-tuning argument, otherwise known as the Anthropic principle is flawed. It is weakened by the fact it is a tautology, but also refuted by quantum mechanics, the M-theory and the multiverse. The fine-tuning argues that the universe is perfectly "designed" to sustain human life. However, the argument is refuted by the mere fact that it argues for life only as we know it. Simpler other forms of life may also exist. The Copernican Principle is more supported than the fine-tuned argument.


“ 'Somebody has to tune [the universe] very precisely,' concludes Darek Demianski, a Polish cosmologist (quoted in Science News, September 3, 1983, p. 152). Stephen Hawking, the Einstein of our time, agrees: 'The odds against a universe like ours coming out of something like the Big Bang are enormous. I think there are clearly religious implications' (John Boslogh, Stephen Hawking's Universe, p. 121). How the various physical processes are 'fine-tuned to such a stunning accuracy is surely one of the great mysteries of cosmology,' remarks P. C. W. Davies, a physicist. 'Had this exceeding;y delicate tuning of values been even a slightly upset, the subsequent structure of the universe would have been totally different.' 'Extraordinary physical coincidences and apparently accidental cooperation...offer compelling evidence that something is “going on.”...A hidden principle seems to be at work' (The Accidental Universe, p. 90, p. 110).” (Source: Holmes Rolston III, “Shaken Atheism: A Look at the Fine-Tuned Universe” <www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=66>.). Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

Does not damage evolutionary theory

Even if the Anthropic principle were correct, which it is not, it does not change the fact life still evolved via natural selection. Despite however life first formed on whatever type of planet Earth could have turned out to be, it is a fact that after life forms natural selection kicks in.


“The original 'phase-space volume' [of the universe] requires such...fine tuning that the Creator's aim must have been [precise] to an accuracy of one part in 10^10123. One could not possibly even write the number down in full...[since] it would be a '1' followed by 10^123 successive '0's—more zeros than the number of elementary particles in the entire universe. Such is the precision needed to set the universe on its course.” (Source: Oxford Physicist Roger Penrose, The Emperor's New Mind (New York: Oxford, 1989), p. 344). Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

Does not damage evolutionary theory

Even if the Anthropic principle were correct, which it is not, it does not change the fact life still evolved via natural selection. Despite however life first formed on whatever type of planet Earth could have turned out to be, it is a fact that after life forms natural selection kicks in.


[edit] Question 28

Who said it question: “Darwin's theory of natural selection has never had any proof, yet it has been universally accepted.” Comfort answers “Dr. R. Goldschmidt, Professor of Zoology, University of California.” (Source: Material Basis of Evolution, 1940). Outdated Source

Distortion of Science

Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Why is Comfort's quote leave out the page number?

Here is what we find on pages 211 – 212. The words left out my Comfort are in bold.

The current attitude of the Mendelians towards questions of evolution is one of an aggressive agnosticism. Since investigations upon Mendelian lines have not as yet been one time expected, they seem to think no other line of attack upon the question will be any more likely to find a way that may possibly lead to something in the nature of a solution of the problem at some future date. They seem inclined to think that because they have not themselves seen a ‘large’ mutation, such a thing cannot be possible. But such a mutation need only by an event of the most extraordinary rarity to provide the world with all the species that it has never contained. As I have pointed out (Age and Area, p. 212), one large and viable mutation upon any area of a few square yards of the surface of the earth, and once in perhaps fifty years, would probably suffice. The chance of seeing such a mutation occur is practically nil, whilst if the result were subsequently found it would probably be called a relic. Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection has never had any proof except from a prior consideration, yet has been universally accepted, and has led to great advances in biology; and until the Mendelians show us how to control mutation (a thing that will evidently be some day possible), the proposition now put forward will presumably go without actual demonstration by verified fact.

[edit] In-Depth Comments

“An increasing number of scientists, most particularly a growing number of evolutionists...argue that Darwinian evolutionary theory is no genuine theory at all...Many of the critics have the highest intellectual credentials.” (Source: Michael Ruse, “Darwin's Theory: An Exercise in Science,” New Scientist, June 25, 1981, p. 828). Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Another classic quote-mine example. Its been three decades since this claim was made, so most of those alleged doubting scientists would be dead by now. And yes its “that” Michael Ruse, the philosopher who has been labeled “clueless” by some rather prominent evolutionary biologists (Click here to see that writeup), so while the Ruse quote might have been quote mined, even the original (which does support evolution) can be taken with a large grain of salt due to the lack of credibility that Ruse has in this domain.


“There has been no scientific observation of any permanent change in species. There are plenty of proven cases of adaptation, which involves non-genetic changes. There are examples of natural selection changing the balance of populations within a species. Yet there are no known instances of a natural population experiencing a permanent, meaningful change. Observed genetic mutations are, in the natural world, crippling and usually fatal. While there is no doubt about the short-term function of natural selection, its long-term effects are not fully understood. While scientists prefer to point to the examples of birds and moths as proof of the theory of natural selection, they often refuse to see the same examples as contradictory to evolution itself.” (Source: “Theory of Natural Selection,” All About Science <www.allaboutscience.org/theory-of-natural-selection-faq.htm>). Non-Academic Source

Distortion of Science

We have indeed seen the changes described by this reference, in the form of speciation. We can also observe this in action with specie rings and biogeography.

Another note: are mutations harmful? Creationists insist that mutations are very rare and are usually, if not always harmful. But the fact is that the vast majority of mutations are completely neutral. They’d have to be because, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, there is an overall average of 128 mutations per human zygote! So apparently, in creationist terms, “very rare” means “more than a hundred per person right from the point of conception”. Because those are just the mutations we start out with. Our cells will mutate again 30 more times over the course of our lives, and some of these subsequent mutations can be passed on to our children too –usually with no more effect than those we recognize as family traits.

Its hard to find one rigid set of numbers from any laboratory for a constant rate of how many mutations are beneficial versus those that are detrimental, because these are determined by variable environmental conditions. But there is a general consensus that they’re nearly equal with deleterious mutations being slightly more common. They’re also more profound too. But there are plenty of cases where a definite advantage has been identified and positively linked to a specific mutation.


[edit] Question 29

True or False question: A proposed “missing link” named Java man was based on nothing more than part of a skull, five teeth, and a leg bone. Comfort answers “False. It was only three teeth.” Comfort includes the following quote, “All that was found of this claimed originator of humans was a skullcap, three teeth, and a femur. The femur was found 50 feet away from the original skullcap a full year later” (Source: Hank Hanegraaf, The FACE That Demonstrates the Farce of Evolution, 1998, pp. 50-52). Not a qualified biologist

Hank Hanegraaff is not a scientist of any type, he is the host of a Bible answer radio show.

Does not damage evolutionary theory

Homo erectus is indeed a legit transitional fossil.


[edit] In-Depth Comment

“Late last century a Dutch physician, Eugene Dubois, set sail to the Dutch East Indies (now called Indonesia). Completely enamored by the theory of evolution, he had come to believe for some reason that he would find the elusive 'missing link' between humans and apes in that part of the world.

In 1982 on the island of Java, he found a thigh-bone, which to all intents and purposes was like that of modern humans. About a year earlier in the same location he had found a large skull-cap, and later three teeth. These were not necessarily from the same individual: the skullcap and the leg bone were about 15 meters (50 feet) apart.

The creature from which the skullcap came appeared to have a brain size of 900 cc (about two-thirds that of the average modern man—one must of course allow for the difficulty of estimating brain size from only a part of the skull). There is no reason to insist that the skullcap and the leg bone came from the same individual. But Dubois had found his 'missing link' and it eventually became widely accepted as such, in spite of the fact that a leading authority had identified two of the teeth as those of an orangutan, and the other as human.

'Java man' was trumpeted around the world as indisputable proof of human evolution. Textbooks and magazines were filled with fanciful reconstructing of 'Java man,' who had been given the impressive-sounding scientific name of Pithecanthropus erectus ('erect ape-man').

Naturally, the bones did not show whether there owner (or owners) had much body hair or not. Yet drawings of 'Java man' all showed the required amount of hair, the usual club in the hand, and so on. Although no face bones had been found, suitably 'half-ape, half man' features were reconstructed in artists' drawings.” (Source: “Who is Java man?” Creation Vol. 13, No. 3, June 1991, pp. 22-23 <www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v13/i3/javaman.asp>.).

Non-Academic Source

Creation magazine is not an academic source in the slightest. As its name hints, it is a creationist magazine. Creationists do not submit their papers (if they even make any) to peer-review.

Distortion of Science

Despite the many lies repeated by creationists, Java man was just one out of hundreds of Homo erectus individuals documented thus far.


[edit] Question 30

True or False question: “Orce man” (found in the southern Spanish town of Orce in 1982) was hailed as the oldest fossilized human remains ever found in Europe. One year later officials admitted the skull fragment was not human, but probably came from a four-month-old monkey. Comfort answers “False. They admitted that it probably came from a six-month-old donkey.” (Source: “Skull Fragment May Not be Human,” Knoxville News-Sentinel, 1983). Outdated Source

We have found many transitional fossils in the human lineage before and after 1983.

Does not damage evolutionary theory

The mistake of a single fossil does not automatically discredit or erase the hundreds of thousands of proven transitional fossils.


[edit] In-Depth Comment

“In 1982, a team of three Catalan archaeologists, headed by professor Jose Gibert, were digging near the village of Orce in Spain. During their dig, they uncovered an unusual bone fragment. A year later, they announced that the fragment belonged to a human child—causing an uproar in the evolutionary community. This discovery placed humans in Europe much earlier than evolutionists had ever predicted. Based on this find, some over-eager scientists reconstructed an entire human. Orce Man, as the find came to be known, was said to represent the oldest human fossil ever discovered in Europe. Later, to the embarrassment of many, the bone was identified as the skull cap of a 6-month-old donkey! No missing link here.” (Source: Brad Harrub, Ph. D. and Bert Thompson, Ph. D., “No Missing Links Here...,” May 2002 <www.apologeticpress.org/articles/2509>.). Non-Academic Source

Apologeticpress is not a academic or scientific source.

Does not damage evolutionary theory

The mistake of a single fossil does not automatically discredit or erase the hundreds of thousands of proven transitional fossils. There is not enough of the fossil to make its identity clear. It is still uncertain whether the fragment is hominid or equine. It is a misrepresentation to call it misidentified when there was never a consensus on its identification in the first place. If not for its importance as possibly the oldest European human, the fragment would receive little attention.


[edit] Question 31

Who said it question: “Fossil evidence of human evolutionary history is fragmentary and open to various interpretations. Fossil evidence of chimpanzee evolution is absent altogether.” Comfort answers “Henry Gee.” (Source: “Paleontology: Return to the planet of the apes,” Nature, Vol. 412, 12 July 2001, p. 131). Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Here is what it actually reads;

“Moreover, it remains the case that although hominid fossils are famously rare, the chimpanzee lineage has no fossil record whatsoever.”

The quote-miner included a whole made-up sentence to slide into the quote.

Throughout the paper, Henry Gee includes a list of hominid fossils found over the years, names the places they were found and who found them.

Gee’s actual message, that the fossil evidence for the chimpanzee (note JUST the chimpanzee, not gorilla’s or humans) is missing. However, the lack of fossils for the ancestry of one species does not invalidate the thousands of transitional fossils we have discovered for thousands of other species. Henry Gee, right after pointing out the lack of chimpanzee lineage, he goes on to provide an explanation why this may be the case. It could be that the chimpanzee lived in a different environment, such as woodlands.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“The simple fact that is that no proof whatever has been found indicating that one species evolves into another. The fossil record is simply a series of still pictures of species that existed at one time. They do not show how one species evolves into another. Transitional fossils have not been found. The fossil record shows new species appearing suddenly without any ancestry. What scientific investigation indicates is that the species are immutable and that when mutations occur they do not become new species. For example, evolutionists have been experimenting with fruit flies for years in the hope of demonstrating evolution at work. But the fruit flies have stubbornly refused to develop into anything buy more fruit flies, despite all kinds of stimuli, including radiation. Some mutations have occurred, but nothing to suggest the beginnings of a new species.

Even Dr. Stephen Jay Gould, a passionate defender of evolution, has written, 'The fossil record with is abrupt transitions offers no support for gradual change.' As Darwin wrote in The Origin of Species, the geological record is extremely imperfect...and (this fact) will to a large extent explain why we do not find interminable varieties, connecting together all the extinct and existing forms of life by the finest graduated steps.” (Source: Dr. Samuel L. Blumenfeld, “Theory of Evolution: Fact or Fairy Tale?” July 10, 2000 <www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=16377>.).

Non-Academic Source

WorldNetDaily is not a academic or scholarly source. It is a extremist conservative website.

Not a qualified biologist

Samuel L. Blumenfeld is not a scientist, he is an educator and author.


“The fossil record pertaining to man is still so sparsely known that those who insist on positive declarations can do nothing more than jump from one hazardous surmise to another and hope that the next dramatic discovery does not make them utter fools...As we have seen, there are numerous scientists and popularizers today who have the temerity to tell us that there is 'no doubt' how man originated. If only they had evidence.” (Source: William R. Fix, The Bone Peddlers (New York: Macmillan, 1984), p. 150). Not a qualified biologist

William Fix is an independent author, not a scientist.

Distortion of Science

Scientists DO have evidence.


[edit] Question 32

True or False question: Albert Einstein said, “A little science estranges men from God, but much science leads them back to Him.” Comfort answers “False. It was French chemist Louis Pasteur, one of the three main founders of microbiology, to whom we owe the process of pasteurization.” (No source provided). Does not damage evolutionary theory

Regardless of whether a god exists or not, evolution would still be a fact of life, just as gravity would still remain a fact of life if a god exists.

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

One man's personal views about theology and it's ties to science is irrelevant. When discussing the validity of the theory of evolution, only the evidences and facts should be addressed.

Appeal to authority


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“In science there is no 'knowledge,' in the sense in which Plato and Aristotle understood the word, in the sense which implies finality; in science, we never have sufficient reason for the belief that we have attained the truth...This view means, furthermore, that we have no proofs in science (excepting, of course, pure mathematics and logic). In the empirical sciences, which alone can furnish us with information about the world we live in, proofs do not occur, if we mean by 'proof' an argument which establishes once and for ever the truth of a theory.” (Source: Sir Karl Popper, The Problem of Induction, 1953). Does not damage evolutionary theory

This reference does not discredit evolutionary theory in anyway, all it does it explain the methods of science. Since research is constantly ongoing to discover the unknown, new knowledge is always escalating as new data is being uncovered. Since new information can reveal previously accepted scientific models can be incorrect or incomplete, scientific models must remain falsifiable.


“Science, fundamentally, is a game. It is a game with one overriding and defining rule. Rule No. 1: Let us see how far and to what extent we can explain the behavior of the physical and material universe in terms of purely physical and material causes, without invoking the supernatural.” (Source: Richard E. Dickerson (authority on chemical evolution), “The Game of Science,” Perspectives on Science and Faith, Vol. 44, June 1992), p. 137). Does not damage evolutionary theory

Religion is a bias by definition. That’s why it relies on propaganda. But science dispels propaganda because it eliminates bias by design; it has to because it’s an investigation, not a predetermined conclusion like religion is. So every proposition must be requisitely evidential and potentially falsifiable, and must be subjected to a perpetual battery of independent and unrestricted tests wherein anyone and everyone who thinks they can is welcome to try and find and expose from flaw in it –to correct it. Creationists won’t subject their beliefs to any of that because they’re not interested in finding out what is really true. They want to defend their preferred beliefs whether they’re true or not.

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.


[edit] Question 33

Fill in the blank question: Since at least the time of Aristotle (4th century B.C.E.), people believed that non-living objects could give rise to living organisms. It was common “knowledge” that food left out quickly “swarmed” with life. With a simple experiment in the mind 1800s, Louis Pasteur disproved the theory of ___________? Comfort answers “spontaneous generation” and goes on to say the following, “Nearly 200 years ago science proved that life cannot originate from lifeless matter. How ironic that evolution is supposedly scientific and yet claims that life originated from lifeless matter.” Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

The theory of evolution only addresses how life diversified, not how life originated. Even if Comfort's quote made a valid point, it would still not affect Darwin's theory of evolution.

Distortion of Science

First of all, Louis Pasteur's experiment was to see if fully formed maggots were formed in two controlled environments. Two pieces of meat, one in a closed system while the other in a container with a hole, and Pasteur waited to see which one maggots would appear. The answer was that maggots appeared on the meat in the opened container. His experiment did not prove that life cannot come from non-life, rather Pasteur was experimenting to see if fully-formed maggots would appear from the meat. He discovered that when flies landed on the meat, they plant eggs.

So Pasteur did disprove biogenesis, otherwise known as spontaneous generation, but he did not disprove abiogenesis. Abiogenesis outlines possible physical mechanisms for the production of the first self-replicating polymers, their assembly and sequestration within membrane bound compartments and the development of the chemical interfaces between different biopolymeric systems. Claiming abiogenesis is the same as spontaneous generation is brazen lie.

In conclusion, Pasteur did not disprove abiogenesis or evolution, rather he disproved a form of creationism—that fully formed life could just appear out of dead matter (the same type of creationism found in the book of Genesis). Abiogenesis does not state that life formed fully, rather it argues that the materials necessary for life gathered in a right environment could start chemically bonding to form very simple self-replicating materials that would develop into cells. It is only after then does evolution via natural selection kick in. Evolution is 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. Comfort's remark about irony is both baseless and misguided.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“By asking the question, what is spontaneous generation, we are asking: can life generate itself from non-living matter? For centuries, at least back to the 4th century B.C. Until the late nineteenth century, people (including scientists) believed that simple living organisms could come into being by 'spontaneous generation.' It was 'common knowledge' that simple organisms like worms, frogs, and salamanders could come from mud, dust, and unpreserved food. Today we know that all apparent spontaneous generation of life has an explanation. We also know that what was thought to be simple life was extremely complicated life. What we have learned is that life comes from life!” (Source: “What is spontaneous generation?” All About Science <www.allaboutscience.org/what-is-spontaneous-generation-faq.htm>). Non-Academic Source

All About Science is not a academic or scholarly source, rather it is a Christian apologetic website.

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

Creationists habitually misdefine their terms, and commonly insist that evolution means “life from non-life.” But of course that’s not right either. 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.

Distortion of Science

What this reference is talking about “life coming from life” is known as biogenesis. Luis Pasteur proved that spontaneous generation was impossible – that is, he proved that fully formed mice, rats, and flies could appear out of blue. In a sense, Luis Pasteur disproved creationism in general.

Here, All About Science is trying to pass the implication that life is only possible coming from other life. However, this has no bearing on a biochemical process called abiogenesis – which is a intricate multi-stage sequence of chemicals producing simple self-replicating polymers, or the earliest stage of reproductive life.


“It is a characteristic of the true believer in religion, philosophy and ideology that he must have a set of beliefs, come what may (Hoffer, 1951). Belief in a primeval soup on the grounds that no other paradigm is available is an example of the logical fallacy of the false alternative. In science it is a virtue to acknowledge ignorance. This has been universally the case in the history of science as Kun (1970) has discussed in detail. There is no reason that this should be different in the research on the origin of life.” (Source: Hubert P. Yockey, Information Theory and Molecular Biology (Cambridge university Press, UK: 1992), p. 336). Does not damage evolutionary theory

This reference indicates that people of religion, philosophy or ideology must have a set of beliefs – but beliefs are not mandatory to be based on evidence or reality. Creationists love to pride themselves of men who place “beliefs” over fact; for instance, despite the clear evidence to the contrary, many creationists will believe one/some/all of the following: the Earth is young, the Sun is younger than the Earth, geocentrism, and/or the Earth does not move and is flat.

This reference seems to be implying that these people should have a more open mind towards alternatives – especially to how they view the origin of life. Science does admit when and where it is ignorant, and total understanding of the origin of life is not complete (but abiogenesis does have a lot of evidence behind it), therefore we should be more open-minded. We do not know everything regarding the origin of life, but that ignorance does not lend any credibility to any religious doctrine. Truth is only concerned where the evidence supports it – and to this date, there has been zero evidence for creationism.


[edit] Question 34

True or False question: there is plenty of scientific evidence in the fossil record to substantiate that there are transitional forms between species? Comfort answers “false” and adds a quote by S. M. Stanley, “The known fossil record in not, and has never been, in accord with gradualism. What is remarkable is that, through a variety of historical circumstances, even the history of opposition has been obscured that in the past century, as the biological historian William Coleman has recently written, 'The majority of paleontologists felt their evidence simply contradicted Darwin's stress on minute, slow, and cumulative changes leading to species transformation'...Their story has been suppressed.” (Source: S. M. Stanley, The New Evolutionary Timetable: Fossils, Genes, and the Origin of Species (New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1981), p. 71). Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Here is the full quote (words omitted in bold)

The Modern Sythesis was perhaps not so much a true synthesis as ti was a victory for gradualistic genetics. The evolutionary discipline least happily accommodated was the one about which I have said least but in the following chapter will say most: paleontology or, as it commonly called today, paleobiology. The known fossil record in not, and has never been, in accord with gradualism. What is remarkable is that, through a variety of historical circumstances, even the history of opposition has been obscured. Few modern paleontologists seem to have recognized that in the past century, as the biological historian William Coleman has recently written, "The majority of paleontologists felt their evidence simply contradicted Darwin's stress on minute, slow, and cumulative changes leading to species transformation." In the next chapter I will describe not only what the fossils have to say, but why their story has been suppressed.

Stanley is critiquing gradualism, not the theory of evolution as a whole. Gradualism is often confused with the concept of phyletic gradualism. It is a term coined by Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge to contrast with their model of punctuated equilibrium, which is gradualist itself, but argues that most evolution is marked by long periods of evolutionary stability (called stasis), which is punctuated by rare instances of branching evolution


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“There is another and allied difficulty, which is much more serious, I allude to the manner in which species belonging to several of the main divisions of the animal kingdom suddenly appear in the lowest fossilifierous rocks.” (Source: Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, p. 348). Does not damage evolutionary theory

Darwin was a product of his time. He knew nothing about HOX genes, homeotic genes, lysyloxidase, hemoglobin, and several other factors that 'ALL point out that the Cambrian period had enough time to allow life to drastically form rapidly all in accordance to the theory of evolution.


“The abrupt manner in which whole groups of species suddenly appear in certain formation, has been urged by several paleontologists—for instance, by Agassiz, Pictect, and Sedgwick—as a fatal objection to the belief in the transmutation of species. If numerous species, belonging to the same genera or families, have really started into life at once, the fact would be fatal to the theory of evolution through natural selection.” (Source: Ibid., p. 344) Does not damage evolutionary theory

Darwin, Agassiz, Pictect and Sedwick could not have known about important factors that contributed to the evolution of life in the Cambrian period. Now that we know about HOX genes, homeotic genes, lysyloxidase, hemoglobin, and several other factors, we now know that life in the Cambiran and Pre-Cambrian period is not “fatal” to the theory of evolution, rather it is a great example of it.


“The most famous such burst, the Cambrian explosion, marks the inception of modern multicellular life. Within just a [supposed] few million years, nearly every major kind of animal anatomy appears in the fossil record for the first time...The Precambrian record is now sufficiently good that the old rationale about undiscovered sequences of smoothly transitional forms will no longer wash.” (Source: Stephen J. Gould, “An Asteroid to Die For,” Discover, October 1989, p. 65) Does not damage evolutionary theory

The Cambrian explosion does not contradict or refute the theory of evolution.


[edit] Question 35

Which magazine reported, “We are finding that humans have very, very shallow genetic roots which go back very recently to one ancestor”? Comfort answers “U.S. News & World Report” (Source: “The Genetic Eve Gets a Genetic Adam,” December 4, 1995). Distortion of Science

Does not damage evolutionary theory

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).


[edit] In-Depth Comment

“Much evidence can be advanced in favor of the theory of evolution—from biology, biogeography, and paleontology, but I still think that to the unprejudiced, the fossil record of plants is in favor of special creation. If, however, another explanation could be found for this hierarchy of classification, it would be the knell of the theory of evolution. Can you imagine how an orchid, a duckweed, and a palm have come from the same ancestry, and have we any evidence for this assumption? The evolutionist must be prepared with an answer, but I think that most would break down before an inquisition.” (Source: E. J. H. Corner (Professor of Botany, Cambridge University, England), “Evolution,” in A. M. MacLeod and L. S. Cobley, eds., Contemporary Botanical Thought (Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1961), p. 97). Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Corner was a botanist who specialized in tropical plants and died in 1996. His entire career was dedicated to the study of tropical plants and ecology. Evolutionary theory was to him as obvious and as natural as breathing. Consider his remark as to the origin of seaweed:

Living seaweeds are the modern actors of the old drama. Two or three thousand million years ago, crowded plankton cells were pushed against bedrock and forced to change or die. They changed and became seaweeds." - Corner, E. J. H. 1964. The Life of Plants.

Here is the full text (words in bold are words Comfort omitts),

"The theory of evolution is not merely the theory of the origin of species, but the only explanation of the fact that organisms can be classified into this hierarchy of natural affinity. Much evidence can be adduced in favour of the theory of evolution - from biology, bio-geography and palaeontology, but I still think that, to the unprejudiced, the fossil record of plants is in favour of special creation. If, however, another explanation could be found for this hierarchy of classification, it would be the knell of the theory of evolution. Can you imagine how an orchid, a duckweed, and a palm have come from the same ancestry, and have we any evidence for this assumption? The evolutionist must be prepared with an answer, but I think that most would break down before an inquisition. Textbooks hoodwink. A series of more and more complicated plants is introduced - the alga, the fungus, the bryophyte, and so on, and examples are added eclectically in support of one or another theory - and that is held to be a presentation of evolution. If the world of plants consisted only of these few textbook types of standard botany, the idea of evolution might never have dawned, and the backgrounds of these textbooks are the temperate countries which, at best, are poor places to study world vegetation. The point, of course, is that there are thousands and thousands of living plants, predominantly tropical, which have never entered general botany, yet they are the bricks with which the taxonomist has built his temple of evolution, and where else have we to worship?" - Prof. E. J. H. Corner (Professor of Tropical Botany, Cambridge University, UK), 'Evolution' in Contemporary Botanical Thought", Anna M. Macleod and L. S. Cobley (editors), Oliver and Boyd, for the Botanical Society of Edinburgh, 1961, p. 97.

The first sentence, and the first part of the typically chopped up second sentence clearly focuses us on the truth of evolution. The second half of the second sentence (the part most often quoted by creationists) is obviously a criticism of the plant fossil record. And from what we know about Corner's career, and from his next paragraph, we know that his criticism is particularly directed at the fossil tropical record. This is not the understanding that professional creationists try to force on us. The second paragraph completes Corner's criticism and makes his meaning crystal clear: the Botanical establishment's focus on European plants and paleontology can not provide the answers to the (then) important issues in plant evolution. Corner's answer is that the tropical ecologies, and paleontology where the answers were and that textbooks and field work should be revised accordingly.

There are two really irritating things about this abuse of Corner's work. First, the professional creationists waited until near Corner's death before they started to misuse his then 35 year old book chapter, which denied him the opportunity to defend his work. Just think about it, in 1961 not even one gene had been sequenced. Second is the way that the professional creationists habitually misrepresent the facts in their effort to bail out their sinking literalist ship.


[edit] Question 36

Which famous evolutionist wrote, “It would be very difficult to explain why the universe should have begun just this way, except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us”? Comfort answers “Stephen hawking” (Source: A Brief History of Time: From the Big bang to Black Holes [New York: Bantam Books, 1988], p. 127). Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

Does not damage evolutionary theory

How the universe began is irrelevant to biology or the theory of evolution. Regardless how the planet and life started, the theory of evolution is only concerned with how life diversifies, not how it originates. Arguing that evolution must be false because it does not explain the origin of life would be just as ridiculous as arguing cell theory (which holds that living things are only made of self-replicating cells) must be wrong because does not attempt or try to answer the question of how the first cell originated. Cell Theory largely goes ignored by ALL creationists. The answer is simply creationists are not concerned at all, they only want to reject, hide, and slander the scientific theory that explains how humans came to be that happens to contradict their personal religious beliefs.

Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Hawking says this in the framework of having a universe with a specific initial configuration. He then - right in the next paragraph, no less!! - continues to discuss alternatives to specific initial universe configurations. The alternatives boil down to various models of inflationary growth of the universe. Hawking starts with describing Alan Guth's inflationary model and discusses Linde, Steinhardt, and Albrecht's "new inflationary model." (aBHoT p.67-69). Hawking then talks about how the "present state of the universe could have arisen from quite a large number of different initial configurations" (aBHoT p.70). Hawking mentions later that we'd need a better understanding of quantum laws to figure out how the universe should have started off.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“In the hot big bang model described above, there was not enough time in the early universe for heat to have flowed from one region to another. This means that the initial state of the universe would have had exactly the same temperature everywhere in order to account for the fact that the microwave back-ground has the same temperature in every direction we look. The initial rate of expansion also would have had to be chosen very precisely for the rate of expansion still to be close to the critical rate needed to avoid recollapse. This means that the initial state of the universe must have been very carefully chosen indeed if the hot big bang model was correct right back to the beginning of time. It would be very difficult to explain why the universe should have begun in just this way, except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us.” (Source: Stepehen hawking, A Brief History of Time, p. 127). Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

The Big Bang has no meaning or connection to the theory of evolution. The theory of evolution is only concerned with the diversification of life, not the origin of the universe.

Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Hawking says this in the framework of having a universe with a specific initial configuration. He then - right in the next paragraph, no less!! - continues to discuss alternatives to specific initial universe configurations. The alternatives boil down to various models of inflationary growth of the universe. Hawking starts with describing Alan Guth's inflationary model and discusses Linde, Steinhardt, and Albrecht's "new inflationary model." (aBHoT p.67-69). Hawking then talks about how the "present state of the universe could have arisen from quite a large number of different initial configurations" (aBHoT p.70). Hawking mentions later that we'd need a better understanding of quantum laws to figure out how the universe should have started off.


NASA astronomer John O'Keefe stated in an interview: “We are, by astronomical standards, a pampered, cosseted, cherished group of creatures...If the Universe had not been made with the most exacting precision we could never have come into existence. It is my view that these circumstances indicate the universe was created for man to live in.” (Quoted in Fred Heeren, Show Me God (Wheeling, IL, Searchlight Publications, 1995), p. 200). Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

Cosmology has no meaning or connection to the theory of evolution. The theory of evolution is only concerned with the diversification of life, not the origin of the universe.

Not a qualified biologist

Heeren is not a biologist, he is a old earth creationist and a scientific journalist.


“Upon receiving the first data about the edges of the universe from the COBE space probe in 1992, project leader George Smoot remarked, 'It's like looking at God.'

“Astonomer Geoffrey Burdibge, an atheist, was so dismayed by the 1992 findings of the COBE spacecraft and confirming experiments, he complained that 'his peers were rushing off to join the 'First Church of the Big bang.' Other atheists, recognizing the theological implications, started coming to the fore. In early 1993, the Council for Democratic and Secular Humanism ran an article in the magazine Free Inquiry entitled, 'Does the Big Bang Prove the Existence of God?' Even the prestigious British journal Nature enlisted its physics editor, John Maddox, to write an editorial entitled 'Down with the Big Bang.' There was no doubt in the minds of all those people about the theistic implications of general relativity and the big bang.” (Source: Ralph O. Muncaster, “A Finely-Tuned Universe: What Are the Odds?” <www.beliefnet.com/story/127/story_12717_1.html>).

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

Cosmology has no meaning or connection to the theory of evolution. The theory of evolution is only concerned with the diversification of life, not the origin of the universe.


“There may be some deep questions about the cosmos that are forever beyond science. The mistake is to think that they are therefore not beyond religion too. I once asked a distinguished astronomer...to explain the Big Bang to me. He did so to the best of his (and my) ability, and I then asked what it was about the fundamental laws of physics that made the spontaneous origin of space and time possible. 'Ah,' he smiled, 'now we move beyond the realm of science. This is where I have to hand over to our good friend, the chaplain.' But why the chaplain? Why not the gardener or the chef? Of course chaplains, unlike chefs and gardeners, claim to have some insight into ultimate questions. But what reason have we ever been given for taking their claims seriously? Once again, I suspect that my friend, the professor of astronomy, was using the Einstien/Hawking trick of letting 'God' stand for 'That which we don't understand.”* (Source: Richard Dawkins, “Snake Oil and Holy Water,” Forbes ASAP, October 4, 1999). *Comfort makes a note: “Dawkins is referring to Einstein's quote “God does not play dice with the universe,” and Hawking's description of his science as an attempt to “understand the mind of God.” Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

Cosmology has no meaning or connection to the theory of evolution. The theory of evolution is only concerned with the diversification of life, not the origin of the universe.


[edit] Question 37

True or False question Science magazine reported in 1984 that shells from living snails were carbon dated as being 7,000 years old. Comfort answers false, the magazine reported that that carbon dating suggested the snails, where were alive, were 27,000 years old. (Source: A. C. Rigs, "Major carbon-14 deficiency in modern snail shells from southern Nevada springs," Science, Vol. 224,6 April 1984, pp. 58-61) Outdated Source

Does not damage evolutionary theory

This reference only attacks carbon dating, not the theory of evolution. If it was correct that carbon dating is completely unreliable, it ignores the dozens of other dating methods available to scientists – especially dating methods that, unlike carbon dating, accurately calculate the age of objects beyond 100,000 years.

Distortion of Science

The 27,000 year old date comes from Riggs (1984, 224), who wrote:

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.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“Today our duty is to destroy the myth of evolution, considered as a simple, understood, and explained phenomenon which keeps rapidly unfolding before us. The deceit is sometimes unconscious, but not always, since some people, owing to their sectarianism, purposely overlook reality and refuse to acknowledge the inadequacies and falsity of their beliefs.” (Source: Pierre-Paul Grasse (Former President, French Acadamie des Science), Evolution of Living Organisms (New York: Academic Press, 1977), p. 8). Outdated Source

Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Even until the 1970s there was at least one famous French scientist of the "old school," Pierre P. Grasse, who continued to voice strong reservations concerning Darwin's particular explanation (and the Neo-Darwinian explanation) of "how" evolution occurred. Not surprisingly, Grasse is quoted FIVE TIMES in The Revised Quote Book, because he wrote of the "myth of evolution, considered as a simple, understood, and explained phenomenon."

However, the editors of The Revised Quote Book neglect to tell their readers that in the same book by Grasse from which they have quoted, Grasse also stated in the most unequivocal terms: "Zoologists and botanists are nearly unanimous in considering evolution as a fact and not a hypothesis. I agree with this position and base it primarily on documents provided by paleontology, i.e., the history of the living world ... [Also,] Embryogenesis provides valuable data [concerning evolutionary relationships] ... Chemistry, through its analytical data, directs biologists and provides guidance in their search for affinities between groups of animals or plants, and ... plays an important part in the approach to genuine evolution." (Pierre P. Grasse, Evolution of Living Organisms, Academic Press, New York, 1977, pp. 3,4,5,7)

Of course, Grasse also tipped his hat to the French "father of evolution," Lamarck, stating: "Lamarckism, which is no less logical than Darwinism ... is a tempting theory ... and we would not be surprised to learn from molecular biology that some of its [Lamarckism's] intuitions are partly true...it should be considered today a way of thinking, of understanding nature, rather than a strict doctrine entirely oriented toward the explaining of evolution." (Pierre P. Grasse, p. 8)

The authors of The Revised Quote Book lifted Grasse's phrase, "the myth of evolution," out of context, trying to deceive others into believing that Grasse was doubtful of evolution even though he stated he "agreed" with the "nearly unanimous" scientific consensus that "evolution" was an historical scientific "fact." Grasse simply disagreed with explanations of exactly "how" evolution occurred. He felt the "how" part was not a "simple, understood, and explained phenomenon."


“There are no detailed Darwinian accounts for the evolution of any fundamental biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculation. It is remarkable that Darwinism is accepted as a satisfactory explanation for such a vast subject—evolution—with so little rigorous examination of how well its basic theses work in illuminating specific instances of biological adaptation or diversity.” (Source: Molecular biologist James Shapiro, “In the Details...What?” Natural Review, 19 September 1996, pp. 62-65.) Does not damage evolutionary theory

James Shapiro’s statement was a bit hyperbolic. Evolution of the Krebs cycle for example was already fairly well understood.[34]


[edit] Question 38

True or false question: The fossil record gives an abundance of scientific proof for Darwin's theory of evolution? Comfort answers “False” and adds the following quote, “Scientists concede that their most cherished theories are based on embarrassingly few fossil fragments and that huge gaps exist in the fossil record.” (Source: “Puzzling Out Man's Ascent,” Time magazine, November 7, 1977). Outdated Source

Distortion of Science

This quote is highly outdated from the 70's. About 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.

Does not damage evolutionary theory

Even if we did not have a single fossil (which we have thousands upon thousands), we can still prove the theory of evolution via common descent through genetics, phylogeny, morphology, embryology, and such.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“Any physical theory is always provisional, in the sense that it is only a hypothesis: you can never prove it...Each time new experiments are observed to agree with the predictions the theory survives, and our confidence in it is increased; but...no matter how many times the results of experiments agree with some theory, you can never be sure that the next time the result will not contradict the theory. On the other hand, you can disprove a theory by finding even a single observation that disagrees with the predictions of the theory.” (Source: Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time: From the Big Band to Black Holes (New York: Bantam Books, 1988), p. 107). Does not damage evolutionary theory

Here, Hawking is only explaining how science works and operates, which does not contradict or discredit the theory of evolution at all. We can’t prove a theory only because that’s against the rules imposed by the game of science. But we can prove that evolution exists, and that it works, just like we can prove that gravity works, even though it too is ‘just’ a theory and has never been proved.

Atomic theory has never been proven either –not even in Hiroshima. But just as evolution is the foundation of modern biology, modern chemistry is completely dependent on atomic theory. And there are huge holes in that theory! Just look at our classic model of atomic structure; it’s wrong, and we know it’s wrong, but we still teach it in school anyway, because despite their virtual invisibility and being understood only in theory, atoms are still a matter of undeniable fact. So we have to use that in a series of imperfect models because we’re still trying to figure out one that works in all instances.

A theory is made of facts. It’s is an analysis of how reality works, but every theory has holes in it and no theory is complete. That’s why science must remain objective. For example, expanding planet theory addresses some compelling points which plate tectonics doesn’t adequately account for. But it also calls for assumptions that can’t be justified, it’s refuted by definite observations that are only supportive of plate tectonics, and it can’t explain everything that tectonics does. But remember also that the man who first proposed the theory of plate tectonics was ridiculed for it to the day he died, though his theory has since gained universal acceptance.

Other theories never had any competition at all. For example, Louis Pasteur, –who disproved the creationist hypothesis of spontaneous generation– also rejected the notion long promoted by religious leaders, that ailments of the body were of supernatural origin. Science can only examine natural explanations, and Pasteur provided that with his proposition that diseases weren’t caused by demons, but by germs. Like evolution, germ theory can never be proven, even though we know and can show that it is definitely correct beyond any doubt, and that’s why there’s no competing theory.


“Gaps in the fossil record—particularly those parts of it that are most needed for interpreting the courts of evolution—are not surprising.” (Source: G. L. Stebbins, Darwin to DNA, Molecules to Humanity (San Fransisco: W. H. Freeman & co., 1982), p. 107). Does not damage evolutionary theory

Indeed they are not surprising, it is rather to be expected. When something dies, it is usually disassembled, digested, and decomposed. Only rarely is anything ever fossilized, and even fewer things are very well-preserved. Because the conditions required for that process are so particular, the fossil record can only represent a tiny fraction of everything that has ever lived. Darwin provided many environmental dynamics explaining why no single quarry could ever provide a continuous record of biological events, and why it would be impossible to find all the fossilized ancestors of every lineage. But despite this, he predicted that future generations, -having the benefit of better understanding- would discover a substantial number of fossil species which he called “intermediate” or “transitional” between what we see alive today and their taxonomic ancestors at successive levels in paleontological history.

In fact, in the century-and-a-half since then, we’ve found millions of evolutionary intermediaries in the fossil record, much more than Darwin said he could reasonably hope for. There are three different types of transitional forms and we have ample examples of each.


“The fossil record itself provided no documentation of continuity—of gradual transition from one animal or plant to another of quite different form.” (Source: S. M. Stanley, The New Evolutionary Timetable: Fossils, Genes and the Origin of Species (New York: Basic Books, 1981), p. 40). Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Here is the full quote (words omitted in bold)

Unfortunately, Darwin found the record a great disappointment. Only bits and pieces of branches had come to light. One could postulate continuity between fossils that seemed to represent ancestral and descendant forms, but the record itself provided to documentation of continuity—of gradual transitions from one kind of animal or plant to another of quite different form. In the Origin, Darwin acknowledged the severity of this failing. His recourse was to launch a large-scale attack on the quality of the fossil record. He argued that the record was woefully incomplete and could never be expected to support his scheme of gradual and continuous change.

It can be clearly seen here that Stanley is not implying that the fossil record is completely absent. He giving a brief history of Darwin's time and investigation into the fossil record. Stanley admits that "bits and pieces" of fossil evidence were found, but not is such large quantities as Darwin hoped for. Therefore, Darwin had to explain why we do not find massive amounts of fossils. When something dies, it is usually disassembled, digested, and decomposed. Only rarely is anything ever fossilized, and even fewer things are very well-preserved. Because the conditions required for that process are so particular, the fossil record can only represent a tiny fraction of everything that has ever lived. Darwin provided many environmental dynamics explaining why no single quarry could ever provide a continuous record of biological events, and why it would be impossible to find all the fossilized ancestors of every lineage. But despite this, he predicted that future generations, -having the benefit of better understanding- would discover a substantial number of fossil species which he called “intermediate” or “transitional” between what we see alive today and their taxonomic ancestors at successive levels in paleontological history. In fact, in the century-and-a-half since then, we’ve found millions of evolutionary intermediaries in the fossil record, much more than Darwin said he could reasonably hope for. There are three different types of transitional forms and we have ample examples of each.

Gould and his colleagues are widely cited by creationists in their effort to establish that the fossil record documents "no transitions." To creationists this is taken to mean that there are no evolutionary links between "created kinds." But Gould, Eldredge and Stanley are talking about the failure of the fossil record to document fine-scale transitions between pairs of species, and its dramatic documentation of rapid evolutionary bursts involving multiple speciation events -- so-called adaptive radiations. They are not talking about any failure of the fossil record to document the existence of intermediate forms (to the contrary, there are so many intermediates for many well-preserved taxa that it is notoriously difficult to identify true ancestors even when the fossil record is very complete). Nor are Gould, Eldredge, and Stanley talking about any failure of the fossil record to document large-scale trends, which do exist, however jerky they may be. Furthermore, fine-scale transitions are not absent from the fossil record but are merely underrepresented. Eldredge, Gould. and Stanley reason that this is the unsurprising consequence of known mechanisms of speciation. Additionally, certain ecological conditions may favor speciation and rapid evolution, so new taxa may appear abruptly in the fossil record in association with adaptive radiation. Since creationists acknowledge that fine-scale transitions (including those resulting in reproductive isolation) exist and since the fossil record clearly documents large-scale "transitions," it would seem that the creationists have no case. Indeed. they do not. Their case is an artifact of misrepresentation to the lay public of exactly what the fossil record fails to document.


“The lack of ancestral or intermediate forms between fossil species is not a bizarre peculiarity of early metazoan history. Gaps are general and prevalent throughout the fossil record...Gaps between higher taxonomic levels are general and large.” (Source: R. A. Raff and T. C. Kaufman, Embryos, Genes, and Evolution: The Developmental-Genetic Basis of Evolutionary Change (Indiana University Press, 1991), pp. 34-35). Does not damage evolutionary theory

As already explained, gaps in the fossil record is to be expected and does not discredit the theory of evolution. Even if we did not have a single fossil, we can still prove common descent entirely on genetics, taxonomy, phylogeny, ontology, embryology, and much more.


[edit] Question 39

True or false question: Albert Einstein was an atheist? Comfort answers “False” and adds “he called himself an agnostic.” Comfort then adds the following quote, “My position concerning God is that of an agnostic. I am convinced that a vivid consciousness of the primary importance of moral principles for the betterment and ennoblement of life does not need the idea of a law-giver, especially a law-giver who works on the basis of reward and punishment.” (Source: The Expanded Quotable Einstein (Princeton university Press), pp. 216-217). Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

Einstein's personal views is irrelevant, they do nothing to add or subtract from the mountain of evidence of evolution.

Does not damage evolutionary theory

One scientists personal spiritual beliefs do not hold any weight regarding the theory of evolution any more than the theory of gravity, heliocentric theory, or any other scientific theory.

Appeal to authority

Einsteins faith or lack thereof has nothing whatsoever to do with the theory of evolution. It would not matter if Einstein was a Muslim or believed in Santa Claus. A theory rests on facts and tests, not a single scientists spiritual views. Comfort should know better.


[edit] In-Depth Comment

“Einstein did, however, retain his childhood religious phase a profound faith in, and reverence for, the harmony and beauty of what he called the mind of God as it was expressed in the creation of the universe and its laws. Around the time he turned 50, he began to articulate more clearly in various essays, interviews and letters his deepening appreciation of his belief in God, although a rather impersonal version of one. One particular evening in 1929, the year he turned 50, captures Einstein's middle-age deistic faith. He and his wife were at a dinner party in Berlin when a guest expressed a belief in astrology. Einstein ridiculed the notion as pure superstition. Another guest stepped in and similarly disparaged religion. Belief in God, he insisted, was likewise a superstition.

At this point the host tried to silence him by invoking the fact that even Einstein harbored religious beliefs. "It isn't possible!" the skeptical guest said, turning to Einstein to ask if he was, in fact, religious. "Yes, you can call it that," Einstein replied calmly. "Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the discernible laws and connections, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion. To that extent I am, in fact, religious." (Source: Walter Isaacson, “Einstein & Faith,” Time, April 05, 2007 <www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1607298,0.html>).

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

Again, this whole piece is rather pointless regarding the theory of evolution.

Does not damage evolutionary theory

Einstein's personal views is irrelevant, they do nothing to add or subtract from the mountain of evidence of evolution.

Non-Academic Source

Time magazine is not a scientific or academic source.


[edit] Question 40

Is there any undeniable empirical evidence that human fossils are genetically linked to primates? Comfort answers “No” and adds the following quote, “Amid the bewildering array of early fossil hominoids, is there one whose morphology marks it as man's hominid ancestor? If the factor of genetic variability is taken into account, the answer appears to be no.” (Source: Robert Eckhardt, Scientific American, Vol. 226, January 1972, p. 94). Outdated Source

A lot has happened since 1972. In fact, in 1974 scientists found exactly what Eckhardt was looking for: Australopithecus afarensis.

Evolutionary theory required that another extinct hominid be found in strata chronologically between the Miocene Dryopithecus fontana and the earliest known human species, which from 1891 to 1961, was Homo erectus. We’ve found lots of candidates, as many as fifty species of apes which are now all extinct. But more than that, the theory also demanded that we find one “half-way” between humans and other apes in terms of morphology. We found exactly that too way back in 1974. Australopithecus afarensis proved to be a fully bi-pedal ape who’s hands, feet, teeth, pelvis, skull, and other physical details were exactly what creationists challenged us to find, yet they’re still pretending we never found it.

But worse than that, we didn’t just find that one. More than 30 years since then, there has been a paleontological boon such that we now have way more transitional species in many more lineages than we ever needed or hoped for.

Distortion of Science

In 1989, ERVS were discovered and revealed the genetic connection between humans and chimpanzees. If evolution were to be true, we should be able to find ERV sequences matches between humans and chimpanzees. Within the last decade, this has been extensively tested and verified as true.

In 1975, scientists extensively used different methods to compare the chromosomes of humans and chimpanzees. Humans had 46 chromosomes while chimpanzees have 48. In 1982, studies revealed that the human Y Chromosome 2 in humans fused. These chromosome were were present in the common ancestor of humans and other apes. Turns out, in 1991 it was proven that the chromosomes did fuse, and in 2002 we were able to map out the exact spot where they did fuse. In 2005, researchers published an extensive study that revealed that the genetic fusion did prove that humans and chimpanzees did indeed share a common ancestor.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“Homo erectus has been found throughout the world. He is smaller than the average human of today, with a proportionally smaller head and brain cavity. However, the brain size is within the range of people today and studies of the middle ear have shown that he was kist like current Homo sapiens. Remains are found throughout the world in the same proximity to remains of ordinary humans, suggesting coexistence. Australopithecus africanus and Peking man were presented as ape-men missing links for years, but are not both considered Homoe erectus.” (Source: “Human Evolution: Frauds & Mistakes,” All About Creation <www.allaboutcreation.org/human-evolution.htm>). Non-Academic Source

All About Creation is not a academic or scholarly source, rather it is a Christian apologetic website.

Does not damage evolutionary theory

There is nothing in this reference that discredits Homo erectus as a fraudulent fossil. Rather, it just provides a general description of its figure. That is not an argument against the theory of evolution.

Even if this article or any other article would prove all the remains of Homo erectus we have discovered as fraudulent or that they do not belong in our ancestral family, that would 1) not discredit the theory of evolution 2) automatically make the mass amounts of evidences such as ERVS and genetics 3) and would certainly not disprove the fact that we are apes right now.


“As I have implied, students of fossil primates have not been distinguished for caution when working within the logical constraints of their subject. The record is so astonishing that it is legitimate to ask whether much science is yet to be found in this field at all.” (Source: Lord Solly Zuckerman, M.A., M.D., D.Sc., Beyond the Ivory Tower (New York: Taplinger Pub. Co., 1970), p. 64). Outdated Source

Again, this quote comes before 1974 when scientists discovered australopithecus afarensis


[edit] Question 41

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.” Does not damage evolutionary theory

Apparently Ray Comfort did not carefully read the whole chapter of Darwin's book, nor has he been carefully and honestly up to date about the vast richness of the fossil record. 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.

Distortion of Science

Darwin later on in his book went on to 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.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“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.hym>). Not a qualified biologist

Niles is not a scientist of any type. He is an attorney and educator who served as co-founder and director of operations at www.AllAboutGOD.com, where he's written and published hundreds of articles on comparative worldviews and Christian apologetics. When he's not writing or speaking, Randall teaches courses at Colorado Christian University in the areas of business, law, ethics, and philosophy.

Non-Academic Source

As already stated, www.AllAboutGod.com is not an academic or scholarly site, it is a Christian apologetic site (which in fact publishes many works that have been proven false by science and history.)


“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.) Does not damage evolutionary theory

Darwin cannot be blamed for the little he knew regarding the Cambrian explosion. However, as later evidence has proven, the Cambrian explosion does not refute Darwin's theory in the slightest. For instance, the Precambrian fossils that have been found are consistent with a branching pattern and inconsistent with a sudden Cambrian origin.


“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). Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Gould says the following in the next paragraph: "His opponents interpreted this event as the moment of creation, for not a single trace of Precambrian life had been discovered when Darwin wrote the Origin of Species. (We now have an extensive record of monerans from these early rocks, see essay 21)"


[edit] Question 42

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>). Non-Academic Source

Worldnetdaily is not a academic or scientific source.

Does not damage evolutionary theory

While this may be true regarding a proposed “link” between Neanderthals and modern humans, it would not and does not disprove the theory of evolution via common descent. We have dozens of hominidea candidates that fit all the gaps of our ancestry.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“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>.). Non-Academic Source

Fox News is not a academic or scholarly source.

Does not damage evolutionary theory

The question about human relation to the Neanderthal man may remain a mystery, but that unsolved mystery does not discredit the entire theory of evolution. Nor does it automatically discredit the facts of human common descent or the mountains of facts of the theory of evolution.


“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). Does not damage evolutionary theory

Even if this was the case (which it isn't), we still have genetic evidence that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that we share a common ancestry with other primates.


[edit] Question 43

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). Does not damage evolutionary theory

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.


[edit] In-Depth Comment

"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>).

Does not damage evolutionary theory

Given the difficulty to find the moths on trees during the day, since they hide under leaves not on tree trunks, it is not surprising that the pictures were staged. Despite this, the conclusion that bird predation and other factors cause differences in natural selection are still valid. The whole point of this was to illustrate how natural selection works, and the staged 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.

All readers should read "Selective bird predation on the peppered moth: the last experiment of Michael Majerus" by L.M. Cook, B.S. Grant, I.J. Saccheri, and J. Mallet in Biology Letters published online 8 February 2012. It points out that peppered moths DO rest on tree trunks during the day, and even includes details on where on the tree or which side of the tree they rested on.

Non-Academic Source

Apologeticpress is not a academic or scientific source.


[edit] Question 44

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.”” Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

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.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“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>) Does not damage evolutionary theory

This piece does nothing but describe the functions of blood. It does not argue anything against the theory of evolution.


“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

Does not damage evolutionary theory

William Harvey, in about 1620, that biological ‘life’ really is maintained by the blood"... so creationist Ray Comfort is using a creationist “discovery” in 1620 and thinks this discovery is that biological life is maintained by blood? If that is so, then how are “living” things like Jellyfish and sponges biologically alive without blood?

Not a qualified biologist

Henry Morris was not a biologist, geologist or scientist. He was an engineer.


[edit] Question 45

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). Does not damage evolutionary theory

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.


[edit] In-Depth Comment

“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>.)

Non-Academic Source

Not a qualified biologist

Turkish creationist Harun Yahya (whose real name is Adnan Oktar) is not a biologist, he is a Holocaust denier and old Earth creationist.

Does not damage evolutionary theory

As already explained, this does not refute or invalidate Darwin's theory of evolution.


[edit] Question 46

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.” Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

The text immediately following reads "I believe it was 'created' in the sense that Elsasser defines creativity in his recent book, Reflections on a Theory of Organisms. This is not a literal interpretation of the Bible story, in other words, it occurred perhaps billions of years ago. Applied here, creation in Elsasser's sense means the appearance of hereditary novelty that is not mechanistically traceable. It accepts evolution but not the Darwinian mechanisms such as natural selection or gradual accumulations of changes in DNA."


[edit] In-Depth Comment

“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). Outdated Source

Does not damage evolutionary theory

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. That is a seperate field of study called abiogenesis.


[edit] Question 47

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). Outdated Source

Not a qualified biologist

As Comfort already made clear, Lipson is a physicist, not a biologist.

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

How a single physicist decides to label evolution (even if he/she was not being serious) does not make it so. Even if a biologist calls “String Theory” or “Atomic Theory” a religion, it does not make it so.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“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). Outdated Source

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

We are discussing the theory of evolution, not who is ahead of the race on knowing everything.


“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). Outdated Source

Not a qualified 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.

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

We are discussing the theory of evolution, not theology. Charles Darwin’s theory was never meant to “drive every last trace” of ANY God from anything anymore then the field of meteorology was meant to remove every trace of thunder gods like Thor or Zeus.


“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.) Outdated Source

Not a qualified biologist

As this source already demonstrated, Wickramasinghe is not a biologist, he is a mathematician and a astronomer. Norman Geisler is much less qualified.

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

The theory of evolution is not at all concerned with the origin of life. This dead horse is taking a serious beating.

Distortion of Science

The statement that the scientific notion that life forming naturally relies on the supernatural is a outright lie. Also, abiogenesis is not equivalent to spontaneous generation. The two are very separate explanations.


[edit] Question 48

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.”
Outdated Source

Distortion of Science

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.[35] 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.”


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“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). Does not damage evolutionary theory

Even if we did not have a single fossil, the theory of evolution and common descent can still be proven with genetics.


“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). Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

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.[36]

“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. Carrol, “Towards a new evolutionary synthesis,” Trends in Evolution and Ecology, Vol. 15, No. 1, January 2000, p. 27) Distortion of Science

There are many discovered intermediate fossils as hypothesized by Darwin.


[edit] Question 49

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). Does not damage evolutionary theory

Science is based on methological naturalism, which does not assume that nature is all there is; it merely notes that nature is the only objective standard we have. Science makes no comment on the supernatural.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“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). Outdated Source

This quote comes from the early 1960’s. Scientists have made many discoveries since then, pointing to the fact that life originated naturally.

Non-Academic Source

Christian Science Monitor is not a academic source.

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

This quote is addressing the origin of life. This is a complete different field of study than biological evolution.


“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>).

Does not damage evolutionary theory

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). Does not damage evolutionary theory

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.


[edit] Question 50

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 Miner neglects to mention, or even hint at. By this point there should be no doubt that George advocates evolution.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“It is interesting that all the cases of gradual evolution that we know about from the fossil record seem to involve smooth changes without the appearance of novel structures and functions.” (Source: C. Wills, Genetic Variability, 1989, pp. 94-96).

“We seem to have no choice but to invoke the rapid divergence of populations too small to leave legible fossil records.” (Source: S. M. Stanley, The New Evolutionary Timetable: Fossils, Genes, and the Origin of Species (New York: Basic Books, 1981), p. 99). Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Here is the full quote;

In the midst of all this sluggish change within established Pleistocene lineages there cropped up strikingly distinctive new genera. The polar bear, for example, has entered a new kind of ecological niche for the bear family, living a semiaquatic existence and feeding almost exclusively on seals. Its teeth are modified for pure carnivory. It is not to be taken lightly that, despite living in an aquatic habitat where preservation of bones is favored, the polar bear has almost no fossil record. Possible remains are few and are known only from sediments dated at forty thousand years or less. To explain the appearance of the polar bear and most other new genera of the Pleisocene, we seem to have no choice but to invoke the rapid divergence of populations too small to leave legible fossil records. Some genera may have formed by two or more rapid speciation events of this kind. A single step of rapid branching is, however, probable for some, such as the polar bear, which clearly formed from the brown bear (the species Ursus arctos, which contains several varieties, including the European brown bear, the grizzly, and the Kodiak).

Stanley is talking about Polar bears, not the animal kingdom in general. In the case of the Polar bears, a species who do not live in a habitat suitable for leaving behind fossil remains, it would be expected that the fossil evidence for them would be lacking.


“For over a hundred years paleontologists have recognized the large number of gaps in the fossil record. Creationists make it seem like gaps are a deep, dark secret of paleontology, when just the opposite is the case.” (Source: Joel Cracraft, in Frank Awbrey & William Thwaites, eds., Evolutionists Confront Creationists (San Francisco: American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1984). Does not damage evolutionary theory

This reference does not damage the theory of evolution as Ray Comfort wishes it did. In fact, it seems to work against Comfort and all creationists. This reference admits there are gaps, but not as great as creationist exaggerate them to be.


[edit] Question 51

Who said it question: "A long-enduring and regrettable effect of the success of the Origin [of Species] was the addition of biologists to unverifiable speculation...This situation, where scientific men rally to the defense of a doctrine they are unable to define scientifically, much less demonstrate with scientific rigour, attempting to maintain its credit with the public by the suppression of criticism and the elimination of difficulties, is abnormal and undesirable in science." Comfort answers "Evolutionist W. R. Thompson." (Source: Introduction to The Origin of Species [New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1956]). Outdated Source

Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

A careful observation of the full text from Thompson will reveal that Thompson's comments were not directed at Darwin's theory as a whole, but at a specific example (not even one of Darwin's examples) presented in the evolution argument.

Distortion of Science

Unfortunately for Thompson, speciation is an observed fact.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“This general tendency to eliminate, by means of unverifiable speculations, the limits of the categories Nature presents to us, is the inheritance of biology from The Origin of Species. To establish the continuity required by theory, historical arguments are invoked, even though historical evidence is lacking. Thus are engendered those fragile towers of hypothesis based on hypothesis, where fact and fiction intermingle in an inextricable confusion." (Source: W. R. Thompson, "Introduction," to Everyman's Library issue of Charles Darwin's Origin of Species (1956 edition).). Outdated Source

Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Click here to read why, and realize that Thompson’s comments were not directed to Darwin’s theory as a whole, only one example (which turns out wasn’t really one of Darwin’s examples.


"I have always been slightly suspicious of the theory of evolution because of its ability to account for any property of living beings (the long neck of the giraffe, for example). I have therefore tried to see whether biological discoveries over the last thirty years or so fit in with Darwin's theory. I do not think that they do. To my mind, the theory does not stand up at all." (Source: H. S. Lipson, "A Physicist Looks at Evolution," Physics Bulletin, Vol. 31, May 1980, p. 138). Outdated Source

Appeal to authority

Not a qualified biologist

As this quote explains, this is all based on Lipson's personal opinion on the theory of evolution. Lipson is not an "evolutionary expert" at all, he is a physicist.


"Paleontologists are traditionally famous (or infamous) for reconstructing whole animals from the debris of death. Mostly they cheat. ...If any event in life's history resembles man's creation myths, it is this sudden diversification of marine life when multicellular organisms took over as the dominant actors in ecology and evolution. Baffling (and embarrassing) to Darwin, this event still dazzles us and stands as a major biological revolution on a par with the invention of self-replication and the origin of the eukaryotic cell. The animal phyla emerged out of the Precambrian mists with most of the attributes of their modern descendants." (Source: Bengtson, Stefan, "The Solution to a Jigsaw Puzzle," Nature, vol. 345 (June 28, 1990), pp. 765-766). Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

This is from an article that summarizes the finding of a peer-reviewed paper elsewhere in the issue, which reports on the discovery of complete specimens of halkieriids, a now extinct taxon from the Early Cambrian period (tests that were omitted are in bold:

Palaeontologists are traditionally famous (or infamous) for reconstructing whole animals from the debris of death. Mostly they cheat. Even extinct beasts such as dinosaur have scores of living relatives (birds, mammals, reptiles) that make reconstructions 'simply' a matter of competent comparative anatomy. But how do you go about the job when there seem to be no close living relatives on which to base the model? This is a problem particularly when dealing with organisms that derive from the 'Cambrian explosion'. If any event in life's history resembles man's creation myths, it is this sudden diversification of marine life when multi-cellular organisms took over as the dominant actors in ecology and evolution. Baffling (and embarrassing) to Darwin, this event still dazzles us and stands as a major biological revolution on a par with the invention of self-replication and the origin of the eukaryotic cell. The animal phyla emerged out of the Precambrian mists with most of the attributes of their modern descendants. But nature is wasteful. Most species never give rise to anything, and present-day phyla derive from a lucky minority. Many of the not-so-lucky fossil species may also be comfortably classified in these same living phyla, but it is a feature of many Cambrian assemblages that they contain a large proportion of forms that cannot be so treated.

We can see from the context that "cheating" is just a case of making use of comparative anatomy. Since in most cases soft tissue isn't preserved, it's not unreasonable to make informed assumptions about the placement and size muscles and such. But how does one reconstruct a creature that has no living relatives?

It should also be emphasized that the writer states that "If any event in life's history resembles man's creation myths" (emphasis added). And obviously it's not that much of a resemblance. These new "organisms took over as the dominant actors in ecology and evolution" (emphasis added). This wasn't creation from nothing, otherwise there would be no organisms to take over from.


[edit] Question 52

Which well known magazine published an article about carbon dating (the method used to test the age of material) subtitled, “Geologists show that carbon dating can be way off”? Comfort answers “Time.” (Source: “Mistaken by Millenniums,” June 11, 1990). Non-Academic Source

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

This reference only attacks carbon dating, not the theory of evolution. If it was correct that carbon dating is completely unreliable, it ignores the dozens of other dating methods available to scientists – especially dating methods that, unlike carbon dating, accurately calculate the age of objects beyond 100,000 years. Any tool will give bad results when misused. Radiocarbon dating has some known limitations. Any measurement that exceeds these limitations will probably be invalid. In particular, radiocarbon dating works to find ages as old as 50,000 years but not much older. Using it to date older items will give bad results. Samples can be contaminated with younger or older carbon, again invalidating the results. Because of excess 12C released into the atmosphere from the Industrial Revolution and excess 14C produced by atmospheric nuclear testing during the 1950s, materials less than 150 years old cannot be dated with radiocarbon.[37]

Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

This Time article was talking about how scientists did have trouble with Carbon-14 dating, however, it's misleading to say that dating methods won't work, because there are other dating methods scientists can use, such as uranium-thorium, as talked about in the article.

In the article, the scientists themselves rejected the Carbon-14 date and used a different, more reliable method. It's not that Carbon-14 isn't useful, as even the same article said that it was a "vital tool for historians and paleontologists", it's just that some dating methods are more useful for certain periods of time and certain substances, and scientists know this, and can adjust their methods as they go, just as this article demonstrated.

So, here is yet another example of creationist deception.


[edit] In-Depth Comment

“Carbon dating in many cases seriously embarrasses evolutionists by giving ages that are much younger than those expected from their model of early history. A specimen older than 50,000 years should have too little 14C to measure.

Laboratories that measure 14C would like a source of organic material with zero 14C to use as a blank to check that their lab procedures do not add 14C. Coal is an obvious candidate because the youngest coal is supposed to be millions of years old, and most of it is supposed to be tens or hundreds of millions of years old. Such old coal should be devoid of 14C. It isn't. No source of coal has been found that completely lacks 14C.

Fossil wood found in 'Upper Permian' rock that is supposedly 250 Ma old still contained 14C (A. A. Snelling, 'Stumpting Old-age Dogma,' Creation, 1998, 20(4):48-50). Recently, a sample of wood found in rock classified as 'middle Triassic,' supposedly some 230 million years old, gave a 14 C date of 33,720 years, plus or minus 430 years (A. A. Snelling, 'Dating Dilemma,' Creation, 1999, 21(3):39-41). The accompanying checks showed that the 14C date was not due to contamination and that the 'date' was valid, within the standard (long ages) understanding of this dating system.

It is an unsolved mystery to evolutionists as to why coal has 14C in it (D. C. Lowe, 'Problems Associated with the Use of Coal as a Source of 14C Free Background Material,' Radiocarbon, 1989, 31:117-120), or wood supposedly millions of years old still has 14C present, but it makes perfect sense in a creationist world view.” (Source: “How accurate are Carbon 14 and other radioactive dating methods?” <www.christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-c007.html>).

Non-Academic Source

Christiananswers.net is not an academic source, and this particular web article was authored by Ken Ham, Jonathan Sarfati, and Carl Wieland -- none of which are scientists.

Distortion of Science

The wood mentioned found in 'Upper Permian' rock was found fossilized in the Hawkesbury Sandstone, Australia. It is doubtful that the sample was even wood. Snelling was not even sure what the sample was. Nor could the staff at Geochron tell what the sample was.[38] It may not even have retained any of its original carbon. Using carbon dating was pointless from the start since it would inevitably give meaningless results.

The sample was porous, making it likely that it would have absorbed organic carbon from the groundwater. It was probably this contaminating carbon that produced the date. Another possibility is that some 14C was created in situ by natural radioactivity in the surrounding rocks.[39]

"It is an unsolved mystery to evolutionists as to why coal has 14C in it." This is not true. New 14C is formed from background radiation, such as radioactivity in the surrounding rocks. In some cases, 14C from the atmosphere can contaminate a sample. A few processes that can add "modern" 14C to coal are:

  • Sulfur bacteria, which commonly grow in coal.
  • Secondary carbonates from groundwater that form on fracture surfaces.
  • Whewellite, a carbon-containing mineral, that often forms as coal weathers.

Minute amounts of contamination from these sources can cause apparent ages around 50,000 years, which is near the limit of the maximum age that carbon dating can measure.

Does not damage evolutionary theory

This reference only attacks carbon dating, not the theory of evolution. If it was correct that carbon dating is completely unreliable, it ignores the dozens of other dating methods available to scientists – especially dating methods that, unlike carbon dating, accurately calculate the age of objects beyond 100,000 years.


[edit] Question 53

True or False question: the human “tailbone” is an evolutionary leftover and proof that man once had a tail. Comfort answers “False” and adds, “the 'tailbone' has nothing to do with a tail. It is the base of the spine, and is called the coccyx vertebrae. Among other things, it serves as a shock absorber when the person sits down.” Does not damage evolutionary theory

Our current tailbone may have nothing to do with a tail, the whole point it that it once did.

Our tailbone may function as a shock absorber, but we can and have proven that we once had actual tails which we lost. Atavisms are great examples, were many babies are born with long tails (most have them surgically removed shortly after birth).


[edit] In-Depth Comment

“The 'human tail' is just one example of what evolutionists call 'vestigial organ.' As the name suggests, these organs are supposed to represent useless remnants of what were once functional and useful organs in our primitive ancestors. As recently as 1971, the Encyclopedia Britannica claimed that there were more than 100 vestigial organs in man. Even critically important organs such as they thymus and parathyroid glands were once considered to be vestigial simply because their functions were not understood. As biomedical science has progressed, there are fewer and fewer claims of functionless organs. Despite their diminishing numbers, vestigial organs are still mentioned in textbooks as one of the strongest evidences for evolution and against intelligent design by a Creator. The most frequently cited examples of vestigial organs in man are the coccyx and the appendix.

The human coccyx, or 'tail bone,' is a group of four or five small vertebrae fused into one bone at the lower end of our vertebral column. Most of is never really think about our 'tail bone' until we fall on it. Evolutionists are dead certain that the coccyx is a vestige of a tail left over from our monkey-like ancestors. The coccyx does occupy the same relative position at the end of our vertebral column as does the tail in tailed primates, but then, where else would it be? The vertebral column is a linear row of bones the supports the head at its beginning and it must end somewhere. Wherever it ends, evolutionists will be sure to call it a vestigial tail.

Most modern biology textbooks give the erroneous impression that the modern coccyx has no real function other than to remind us of the 'inescapable fact' of evolution. In fact, the coccyx has some very important functions. Several muscles converge from the ring-like arrangement of the pelvic (hip) bones to anchor on the coccyx, forming a bowl-shaped muscular floor of the pelvis called the pelvic diaphragm. The incurved coccyx with its attached pelvic diaphragm keeps the many organs in our abdominal cavity from literally falling through between our legs. Some of the pelvic diaphragm muscles are also important in controlling the elimination of waste from our body through the rectum.” (Source: David N. Menton, Ph. D., “The Human Tail, and Other Tales of Evolution” <www.gennet.org/facts/metro07.html>).

Does not damage evolutionary theory

The coccyx was already addressed, and yet creationist still think that scientists claim that vestigial means “useless” — this is incorrect. “Vestigial” does not mean an organ is useless, a vestige is a “trace or visible sign left by something lost or vanished.”

Even if creationists can still rule out the human coccyx (which they haven’t) they still turn a blind eye to other vestigial organs in other animals, such as leg bones in snakes, eye remnants in blind cave fish, extra toe bones in horses, wing stubs on flightless birds and insects, and molars in vampire bats.


[edit] Question 54

A true or false question. Comfort asks" Evolutionists try to claim that the fossils Protarchaeopteryx robusta and Caudipteryx zoui are "the immediate ancestors of the first birds." (no source given). Ray answers True, but adds a comment from Science magazine: "however, these two fossils of flightless birds (similar to ostriches) have bird-like teeth and lack the long tail seen in the theropod dinosaurs they are supposedly descended from. Additionally, avain evolution researcher A. Feduccia said, "It i biochemically impossible to evolve flight from such large bipeds with foreshortened forelimbs and heavy, balanced tails," exactly the wrong anatomy for flight." (Source: Science, Vol. 274, 1996, pp. 720-721) Does not damage evolutionary theory

Protoarchaeopteryx robusta and Caudipteryx zoui are two examples of dinosaurs developing feathers. They show regiges, rectrices and plumulaceous feather impressions, but they are not birds.

Cannot verify the contents of the Science article, which can be located here, but requires a membership to view.

As for Feduccia, notice Comfort is citing Feduccia's conclusion, and not his evidence. There is no mention that that his opinion is a minority opinion. Feduccia's peers in the field of bird evolution are "authorities" too. In short this creationist is saying that Feduccia is an authority and that he says that birds are not descended from dinosaurs, therefore birds are not descended from dinosaurs. It is a classic "argument from authority." It is also very inconsistent. Feduccia also says that evolution occurs, so if this argument is to be followed to its logical conclusion, this creationist must accept the evolution of birds from non-birds! One could also cite many more authorities that say birds are descended from theropod dinosaurs. This is why one should not pick and choose authorities. If Feduccia does turn out to be correct and his views become established within the scientific community, then the evolution deniers will probably become fond of quoting what Kevin Padian and other proponents of birds being descended from dinosaurs had to say about Feduccia's views.


[edit] In-Depth Comment

“Evolutionary ornithologists Larry Martin and Allan Feduccia, strong critics of the dino-to-bird dogma, believe that the fossils are more likely to be flightless birds similar to ostriches. Caudipteryx even used gizzard stones like modern plant-eating birds, but unlike theropods.” (Source: Ji Qiang, P. J. Currie, et al., “Two feathered dinosaurs from north-eastern China,” Nature, Vol. 393, 25 June 1998, pp. 753-761). Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Here is a pdf of the article.

The quote used by Ray Comfort cannot be found anywhere in this article, and nowhere in this source do the authors imply that the evolution of dinosaurs to birds is impossible or wrong. And for that, this is being categorized under "Quote mining."

Throughout the paper, the authors review numerous differences between the two specimens and Archaeopteryx. Near the conclusion of the article, the authors make a key examination of Protarchaeopteryx and Caudipteryx have symmetrical veins, whereas even those of Archaeopteryx are asymmetrical. While the authors say it is unlikely that Caudipteryx was capable of flight, they note that birds with asymmetrical feathers are generally considered to be capable of flight.


[edit] Question 55

Bible question: Which book in the Bible spoke of the earth's free float in space, thousands of years before modern science discovered the fact? Ray answers Job 26:7 "He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing." Comfort states his was written around the time science thought that the earth rested on "the back of a gigantic animal." Comfort then states that he earth does indeed hang on nothing, and says the skeptic may just right this off as luck. Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

Even if the Bible was correct about the Earth and planetary motions, would not refute any part of the theory of evolution. The Bible is not a scientific text, nor was it written by scientists. Even Ray Comfort tried to defend the Bible by claiming it contains scientific knowledge in his book Scientific Facts in the Bible, but he failed to provide a single instance where this was true.

The contents of religious texts having nothing to do with scientific theories and facts. One could find any sacred text and find a single or several passages that speak vaguely and poetically of a naturally occurring phenomenon without fully understanding its mechanisms or purpose. Whether the Bible, Qu'ran, Vedas, Bhagitavita, or any other “sacred” text was correct about the weather, none of it would matter in the slightest against the theory of evolution. All Ray Comfort is doing is trying to pass his favorite fables (the bible) as a credible source, thinking that somehow proving his position right somehow disproves the theory of evolution. It does not in the slightest anymore than it would disprove the theory of germs or theory of relativity.

Distortion of Science

Does the Earth hang upon nothing? No. The definition of nothing means "non-existent." Unfortunately, beneath and all around the Earth we find more than empty space (which is not nothing) such as stars, meteorites, gamma rays, magnetic fields, cosmic dust, electromagnetic waves,and much more. That is not nothing. The earth does not "hang" - it is caught in a gravitational pull and moves due to angular momentum. So is the Earth "free floating in space" as Ray Comfort says? Absolutely not. If the Earth or any planet was in "free float," the planet 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.

Creation on the Web, a creationist website, specifically singles out the book of Job as not having scientific insight.[40] Instead, they say that Job is poetic, and should be read as the author intended its readers to read it.

This passage also seems to contradict Job 38:4-6, which refers to the 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. Also, the statement that scientists once thought hat the earth rested on the back o a huge animal is false.


[edit] In-Depth Comment

“The Bible talked about the 'circle of earth' long before Galileo did, when men thought the earth was flat. And before man understood astronomy, the Bible said that God had fixed the stars in the sky, keeping them in their place. Today we would say that it's gravity that does that, but again, God beat us to the punch. God is the one who put the forces in place, who gave order to the universe. As we, by His timing, have come to observe that order and understand the forces. It was this assumption (a God-ordered universe) that was the scientific starting point for many great scientists (Sir Isaac Newton, for example).

He forces and the order are observable, but what has brought them about? Today scientists are looking for a grand unified theory—glue that brings quantum theory and astrophysics under one force/theory. Consider that God Himself is the unified field they're looking for. It is God Himself who decides that things will work differently on an astronomical level than on a microscopic level. Size is relative and irrelevant. Things should work the same on both the astronomic and the microscopic levels, but they don't. Hence there are baffled scientist trying to make sense of things, because God is not their starting point. Even if a force is discovered that explains things (like gravity), you're still left with the question how the force got there.” (Source: “Doesn’t modern science invalidate the Bible?” <www.everystudent.com/forum/scienc.html>.).

Non-Academic Source

First of all, this is not coming from a academic or scientific source. It is basically a apologetic website for young students with questions about the Christian God.

It seems this page no longer exists, and we cannot verify who the author of this page is – therefore we cannot identify their credentials and see if they are even a scientist, historian, philosopher, etc. Keeping that in mind, lets go through it. This page seems to be written by someone with an immature understanding of science, scripture and especially history.

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

Even if the Bible got the Earth's motions correct, the theory of evolution would still remain a fact.

Distortion of Science

The Bible states that it talked about the 'circle of the earth,' but circles are flat and two-dimensional, not spherical. Other passages in the Bible describe the earth as being flat (Isaiah 11:12 and 40:28, Psalms 135:7, Mark 13:26-27, and much more) as well as unmovable and fixed (Psalms 104:5 and 1 Chronicles 16:30 ) and resting on pillars (Psalms 75:3 ).

Stars do not remain fixed either. With our universe expanding, everything remains in motion. Even out own sun does not remain fixed in one place in our galaxy.[41]

To assume God as the answer who created order in the universe is no better than claiming that universal timeless sky pixies created an ordered universe. Using the old and feeble argument “God dun it” gets us nowhere.


[edit] Question 56

Bible question: Which two books of the Bible said that the ocean floor contains deep valleys and mountains, thousands of years before science discovered the fact? Ray answers: 2 Samuel and Jonah. 2 Samuel 22:16 says "Then the channels of the sea were seen, the foundations of the world were uncovered, at the rebuke of the Lord, at the blast of the breath of His nostrils." Jonah 2:6 says, "I went don to the moorings of the mountains; the earth with its bars closed behind me forever; yet You have brought up my life from the pit, O Lord, my God." Non-Academic Source

The Bible is not a scientific text, nor was it written by scientists. In fact, it is full of claims and stories that are unscientific and have been disproven by science.

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

The contents of religious texts having nothing to do with scientific theories and facts. One could find any sacred text and find a single or several passages that speak vaguely and poetically of a naturally occurring phenomenon without fully understanding its mechanisms or purpose. Whether the Bible, Qu'ran, Vedas, Bhagitavita, or any other “sacred” text was correct about the weather, none of it would matter in the slightest against the theory of evolution. All Ray Comfort is doing is trying to pass his favorite fables (the bible) as a credible source, thinking that somehow proving his position right somehow disproves the theory of evolution. It does not in the slightest anymore than it would disprove the theory of germs or theory of relativity.

Does not damage evolutionary theory

Even if the Bible was accurate on all of it's geographical statements, that would not be a critical objection to the theory of evolution. A flat smooth or rough sea bottom does absolutely nothing to counter the theory of evolution or the process of varying genetic frequencies among reproductive populations; leading to (usually subtle) changes in their morphological or physiological composition.

Distortion of Science

How difficult is it to discover first hand that the land beneath the waters is not flat. A simple observation of an area of islands or shallow/clear waters can reveal that the land goes into and out of the waters. If a ship's hull hits a reef, one can instantly tell that the ocean floor is 1) not flat and 2) you need to turn the boat.

Nowhere in the passage of Jonah does it say that the mountains themselves are underwater. It merely implies that their base is beneath the water. There's also very little scientific evidence for the whole Jonah event even occurring in the first place.


[edit] In-Depth Comment

Comfort provides an in depth comment from "Science & technology Focus, Office of Naval Research" explaining that if all of the water of the oceans disappeared, the ocean floor is not flat but contains mountains and valleys, volcanoes, ridge and other land features. Does not damage evolutionary theory

A flat smooth or rough sea bottom does absolutely nothing to counter the theory of evolution or the process of varying genetic frequencies among reproductive populations; leading to (usually subtle) changes in their morphological or physiological composition.

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

Basically explaining the features of the ocean floor, but the Bible passages does not include anything even remotely similar at all.


[edit] Question 57

Who said it question: who said "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down." Comfort answers Charles Darwin. Comfort then notes the very next line is "But I can find out no such case." Comfort provides a commend by Geoff Chapman: Darwin probably would have if he had seen the simple sea slug eating a sea anemone, which "reveals that millions of years would make no difference. If the slugs protective mechanisms were not complete and perfectly operating in its first attack, it would have died." (Source: Geoff Chapman, "Sea slugs leave Darwin's theory slipping," Creation, Vol. 15 Issue 1, December 1992, pp. 24-25) Does not damage evolutionary theory

Thus far, Darwin is right that not a single organism has been found that is too complex to have evolved via natural selection.

Non-Academic Source

Creation magazine is not an academic or scholarly source.

Not a qualified biologist

Comfort, in the Introduction, said he would provide quotes from "evolutionary experts," but Geoff Chapman is not a scientist at all. Rather, he is assistant pastor at Turners Hill Free Church in West Sussex.

Chapman's example is rather poor, because it leaves out the entire theory of natural selection, mutations, geographic isolation, and much more. Evolutionary theory explains that organisms adapt to their surroundings, therefore sea slugs adapted to a particular place may not have any predators and no need of a strong defense mechanism. However, the introduction of predators contributing to loss of genetic diversity is what fuels natural selection to develop stronger defenses mechanisms. Therefore, there is nothing about the sea slugs that refutes Darwin's prediction.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“One of the reasons I started taking this anti-evolutionary view, well, let’s call it non-evolutionary, was last year I had a sudden realization for over twenty years I had thought I was working on evolution in some way. One morning I woke up and something had happened in the night and it struck me that I had been working on this stuff for twenty years, and there was not one thing I knew about it. That's quite a shock to learn that that one cane be so misled so long. Either there was something wrong with me or there was something wrong with evolutionary theory...For the last few weeks I've tried putting a simple question to various people and groups of people.

Question is: Can you tell me anything you know about evolution, any one thing that you think is true? I tried that question on the geology staff in the Field Museum of Natural History, and the only answer I got was silence. I tried it on the members of the Evolutionary Morphology Seminar in the University of Chicago … and all I got there was silence for a long time, and then eventually one person said: “Yes, I do know one thing. It ought not to be taught in high school.” (Source: Dr. Colin Patterson, address at the American Museum of Natural History, New York City, November 5, 1981)

Outdated Source

"It is now approximately half a century since the neo-Darwinian synthesis was formulated. A great deal of research has been carried on within the paradigm it defines. Yet the successes of the theory are limited to the interpretation of the minutiae of evolution, such as the adaptive change in coloration of moths; while it has remarkably little to say on the questions which interest us most, such as how there came to be moths in the first place." (Source: Ho, Mae-Wan & Saunders, P.T., "Beyond neo-Darwinism - An Epigenetic Approach to Evolution," Journal of Theoretical Biology, Vol. 78, 1979, p. 589) Outdated Source

[edit] Question 58

Bible question: Which two books of the Bible spoke of the hydrologic cycle, thousands of years before science discovered the fact? Comfort answers “Ecclesiastes and Amos.” Ecclisiastes 1:7 says "All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again" and "If the clouds are full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth" (11:3). Amos 9:6 says "It is he that buildeth his stories in the heaven, and hath founded his troop in the earth; he that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name." Non-Academic Source

The Bible is not a scientific text, nor was it written by scientists. In fact, it is full of claims and stories that are unscientific and have been disproven by science.

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

The contents of religious texts having nothing to do with scientific theories and facts. One could find any sacred text and find a single or several passages that speak vaguely and poetically of a naturally occurring phenomenon without fully understanding its mechanisms or purpose. Whether the Bible, Qu'ran, Vedas, Bhagitavita, or any other “sacred” text was correct about the weather, none of it would matter in the slightest against the theory of evolution. All Ray Comfort is doing is trying to pass his favorite fables (the bible) as a credible source, thinking that somehow proving his position right somehow disproves the theory of evolution. It does not in the slightest anymore than it would disprove the theory of germs or theory of relativity.

Distortion of Science

For how "clear" these passages are, no one ever made predictions of evaporation based off the Bible. Also, two of the steps, atmospheric transportation and distillation, are not even close to being "mentioned" in these passages. The evaporation of puddles is easily observable, so it's not too unlikely that the writers of the Bible could have extrapolated from puddles to oceans.


[edit] In-Depth Comment

In-depth comment is from NASA's Observatorium, "Hydrologic Cycle" (http://observe.arc.nasa.gov/nasa/earth/hydrocycle/hydro1.html) explaining the cycle process. Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

The study of the Hydrolic Cycle is under the branch of Ecohydrology, not biology.

Unlike the Bible, this piece offers a far more astonishing explanation to how the hydrologic system works. It includes the following: condensation,precipitation, infiltration, runoff, and evaporation. One of these five methods are explained in the book of Ecclesiastes or Amos. All they provide are single poetic lines of water travel. It really is such a shame that Comfort's omnipotent god couldn’t be just a little better at grammar because it leaves his burblings open to interpretation by any passing geezer with an agenda. Science on the other hand uses very precise language in order to avoid such confusion, something which the God of the Bible apparently thought unnecessary when passing on his pearls of wisdom.

Does not damage evolutionary theory

The Hydrologic Cycle is a proven fact, but its validity has nothing to do with the theory of evolution, speciation, changing of alleles per generation, and such.


[edit] Question 59

Who said it question: "Scientists who go about teaching that evolution is a fact of life are great con-men, and the story they are telling may be the greatest hoax ever. In explaining evolution, we do not have one iota of fact." Comfort answers Dr. T. N. Tahmisian of the Atomic Energy Commission (Source; The Fresno Bee, August 20, 1959, p. 1-B). Outdated Source

This quote is from the 1950's. Scientists have made many discoveries and breakthroughs since then that have proven evolution over and over.

Not a qualified biologist

Non-Academic Source

Comfort said in the Introduction of this book he would be quoting "evolutionary experts" and but is this guy an expert? His name was Theodore Newton Tahmisian. He died almost 30 years ago, was not a major science player (and, contrary to what some Bible/evangelical sites state, he was not a nuclear physicist). He had degrees from Fresno and Iowa State, and his so-called Atomic Energy Commission credential consisted of holding an "associate biologist" post at Argonne.

He was noteworthy primarily in religious circles, as a longtime member of the American Scientific Affiliation[42] -- whose credo includes acceptance of "the divine inspiration, trustworthiness and authority of the Bible in matters of faith and conduct" and confessing "the Triune God affirmed in the Nicene and Apostles' creeds ..."[43]

Plus, this quote cannot be found anywhere in The Fresno Bee, rather it can only be found on creationist websites, but no primary source is available.


[edit] In-Depth Comment

“Considering its historic significance and the social and moral transformation it cause in western thought, one might have hoped that Darwinian theory...a theory of such cardinal importance, a theory that literally changed the world, would have been something more than metaphysics, something more than a myth.” (Source: Molecular biologist Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (Bethesda, MD: Adler & Adler, 1986), p. 358). Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

Michael Denton, while arguing against neo-Darwinism and gradualism in the fossil record, has come out after the publication of this book with contradicting views to what he wrote. Even with that said, the scientific community have rejected the claims of Denton yet he has had many positive reviews from creationists and intelligent design advocates.


[edit] Question 60

True or False question: The Journal of Science reported that scientists may have been a million years off in their belief as to when life appeared on earth. Comfort answers “False. They actually reported that they may have been a billion years off.” (NBC News, August 1999). Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

This difference of a billion of years does not change the fact of evolution and common descent amongst organisms.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“It is unknown when life first appeared on Earth, which is approximately 4.5 billion years old.

The residue of ancient life that the scientists believe they have found existed prior to the end of the "late heavy bombardment" of the Moon by large objects, a period which ended approximately 3.8 billion years ago, Harrison noted. "Life is tenacious, and it completely permeates the surface layer of the planet," Mojzsis said. "We find life beneath the deepest ocean, on the highest mountain, in the driest desert and the coldest glacier, and deep down in the crustal rocks and sediments." An unanswered question is how life originally could have arisen from lifeless molecules and evolved into the already sophisticated isotope fractioning life forms recorded in the Akilia rocks.” (Source: “Scientists Strengthen Case for Life on Earth More Than 3.8 Billion Years Ago,” Science Daily, July 21, 2006 <http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060721090947.htm>.).

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

This reference does not damage or criticize the theory of evolution as Ray comfort wishes it does.


“We are faced more with a great leap of faith—that gradual progressive adaptive change underlies the general pattern of evolutionary change we see in the rocks—than any hard evidence.” (Source: N. Eldredge and I. Tattersall, The Myths of Human Evolution (New York, Columbia University Press, 1982), p. 57).

[edit] Question 61

True or False question: Human embryos have gill slits, which shows that we have evolved from fish? Comfort answers “False” and includes the following quote, “There are markings on a human embryo which superficially look like they might be “gill slits.” But these “pharyngeal clefts” never have any breathing function, and they are never “slits” or openings. They develop into the thymus gland, parathyroid glands, and middle ear canals—none of which has anything to do with breathing, under water or above water.” (Source: Don Batten, ed., The Answers Book [Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2000], p. 119). Not a qualified biologist

Don Batten is a plant physiologist, not an embryologist. He is attacking something that is out of his field of expertise.

Does not damage evolutionary theory

The pharyngeal pouches that appear in embryos technically are not gill slits, but that is irrelevant. The reason they are evidence for evolution is that the same structure, whatever you call it, appears in all vertebrate embryos.


[edit] In-Depth Comment

“Almost from the beginning, evolutionists have attempted to equate the process of evolution with the progressive development of the embryo. During the famous Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925, for example, lawyers and expert witnesses defending teaching Darwinism in public schools, repeatedly confused evolution with embryology. The lawyers even insisted that evolution must be taught if physicians are to understand the development of babies in the womb! The very word 'evolution' (which means 'unfolding'), was taken from the name of an early theory of embryonic development which proposed that humans are completely preformed in miniature in the fertilized egg, simply 'unfolding' during the development of the baby.

Obviously, the blind-chance process of Darwinian 'evolution' has nothing whatever to do with the exquisitely-controlled process of embryological development. Still, evolutionists have long attempted to relate embryology to evolution, presumably in an effort to extrapolate the readily-observable process of embryonic development into the unobservable process of macroevolution. Embryology continues to play a role in current evolutionary dogma. Generations of students have been told, for example, that the human embryo developing in the womb passes through stages of its evolutionary ancestry—even at one point having gills like a fish!” (Source: David N. Menton, Ph. D., “Is the Human Embryo Essentially a Fish with Gills?” 1997 <www.gennet.org/facts/metro06.html>).

Non-Academic Source

www.gennet.org is the website for Missouri Association for Creation Inc.


[edit] Question 62

What encyclopedia spoke of evolution as being “impossible”? Comfort answers “Encyclopedia Francaise” and adds, “The theories of evolution, with which our studious youth have been deceived, constitute actually a dogma that all the world continues to teach; but each, in his specialty, the zoologist or the botanist, ascertains that none of the explanations furnished is adequate...It results from this summary, that the theory of evolution is impossible.” (Source: P. Lemoine (Director of the Natural History Museum in Paris), “Introduction: De L' Evolution?” Encyclopedia Francaise, Vol. 5, 1937, p. 6) Outdated Source

This is from the 1930's.

Non-Academic Source


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“Finally, there is only one attitude which is possible as I have just shown: It consists in affirming that intelligence comes before life. Many people will say that this is not science, it is philosophy. The only thing I am interested in is in fact, and this conclusion comes out of an analysis and observation of the facts.” (Source: G. Salet, Hasard et Certitude: Le Transformisme devant la Biologie Actuelle (1973), p. 331). Outdated Source

This is from the 1970's. Discoveries in biochemistry and genetics have come a long way since then.

Does not damage evolutionary theory

Even if "intelligence" comes before life (which there is no apparent evidence that it does), that would not damage the theory of evolution. Evolution explains how life diversifies, not how life began.


“It is futile to pretend to the public that we understand how amoeba evolved into a man, when we cannot tell our students how a human egg produces a skin cell or a brain cell.” (Source: Dr. Jerome J. Lejeune, Discoverer of the cause of Down's syndrome, Institute de Progenese (Paris), former Professor of Fundamental Cyogenetics). (No other source material provided) Outdated Source

Jerome J. Lejeune (June 13, 1926 – April 3, 1994)

Does not damage evolutionary theory

While it may have been unknown to Lejeune at the time, we certainly now know how a human embryo develops a skin and brain cells.


“Nobody I know in my profession believes it [genetic code] evolved. It was engineered by genius beyond genius,and such information could not have been written any other way...Creation design is like an elephant in the living room. It moves around, takes up an enormous amount of space, loudly trumpets, bumps into us, knocks thing over, eats a ton of hay, and smells like an elephant. And yet we have to swear it isn't there!” (Source: A molecular biologist (speaking on condition of anonymity) who identifies genetic controls over diseases, interviewed by George Caylor, The Ledger Lynchburg,VA), February 17, 2000). In all honesty, this piece should be dismissed out of hand for the simple fact that there is no verification of this source at all. For all that can be known, this is a complete invention of Caylor, and as history has demonstrated countless times, creationists are well known to create fake quotes quite often. This is not the only time this has happened in this book (See Questions 2 and 85)

Distortion of Science

There is no scientific support for creationism, nor is it “an elephant in the room” regarding molecular scientists.


[edit] Question 63

Who said it question: “I think that if it had been a religion that first maintained the notion that all the matter in the entire universe had once been contained in an area smaller than the point of a pin, scientists probably would laugh at the idea.” Comfort answers “Marilyn vos Savant” (listed in Guinness Book of World Records for highest IQ, at 230), when asked to comment on the 'big bang' theory (Source: Parade, February 4, 1996, p. 7). Not a qualified biologist

Vos Savant may have had a high IQ, but that does not guarantee that a person is smart in all fields. Vos Savant was not a scientist, he was a magazine columnist and author.

Non-Academic Source

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

Cosmology and the Big Bang have nothing to do with evolution, so including this piece was pointless.


[edit] In-Depth Comment

“The big bang today relies on a growing number of hypothetical entities, things that we have never observed—inflation, dark matter and dark energy are the most prominent examples. Without them, there would be a fatal contradiction between the observations made by astronomers and the predictions of the big bang theory. In no other field of physics would this continual recourse to new hypothetical objects be accepted as a way of bridging the gap between theory and observation. It would, at least, raise serious questions about the validity of the underlying theory. But the big bang theory can't survive without these fudge factors.” (Source: “Open Letter to the Scientific Community,” signed by 405 secular astronomers, scientists, engineers, and researchers, New Scientist, May 22, 2004 <www.cosmologystatement.org>). Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

This was a letter written by Eric J. Lerner presented evidence that the Big Bang theory was contradicted by observations and that another approach, plasma cosmology, which hypothesized a universe without beginning or end. Lerner and his supporters who constructed and signed this letter contend that Plasma Cosmology (which was developed by an atheist) provides a superior basis for understanding the Universe. They protest that decisions on research funding are taken in the interests of supporting the status quo over their alternative theory.


[edit] Question 64

Which respected scientists, in a joint statement, said it's obvious that it is “almost inevitable that our measure of intelligence must reflect in a valid way the higher intelligence”? Comfort answers “Sir Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe.” Comfort then adds the following, “Once we see, however, that the probability of life originating at random is so utterly minuscule as to make it absurd, it becomes sensible to think that the favorable properties of physics on which life depends are in every respect deliberate...It is therefore almost inevitable that our own measure of intelligence must reflect in a valid way the higher intelligence...even to the extreme idealized limit of God...Such a theory is so obvious that one wonders why it is not widely accepted as being self-evident. The reasons are psychological rather than scientific.” (Source: Sir Fredrick Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe,Evolution from Space (London: J. M. Dent & Sons, 1981), pp. 130-144). Outdated Source

Not a qualified biologist

Neither Hoyle or Wickramasinghe are biologists.

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

Abiogenesis is a different field of study then evolution.


[edit] In-Depth Comment

“Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe that was created out of nothing and delicately balanced to provide exactly the conditions required to support life. In the absence of an absurdly improbable accident, the observations of modern science seem to suggest an underlying, one might say, supernatural plan.” (Source: Arno Penzias (Physicist and Nobel laureate), quoted by D. L. Brock in Our Universe: Accident or Design (Wits, S. Africa: Star Watch, 1992), p. 42). Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

Regardless how the universe started, that would not invalidate biology or the mountain of evidence supporting evolution.

Appeal to authority


[edit] Question 65

Which magazine reported the following: “The vast majority of artist's conceptions are based more on imagination than on evidence...Artists must create something between an ape and a human being; the older the specimen is said to be, the more ape-like they make it.” Comfort answers “Science Digest” (Source: B. Rensberger, “Ancestors: A Family Album,” April 1981, p. 41) Outdated Source

Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

However, immediately after the first sentence from the quote the original article states:

But, a handful of expert natural history artists begin with the fossil bones of a hominid and work from there. Such a procedure calls for a detailed understanding of anatomy. Most bones have tiny ridges and grooves called muscle scars, each corresponding to a particular muscle. From these scars good artists can estimate the size of muscles that have long since vanished.

The article then goes on to explain how artists determine how to add muscle fibers, fat pads, and skin. The reconstruction of prehistoric hominids then, according to the article, is based partly on expert analysis of bones, although this is not mentioned by Life.

Distortion of Science

Does not damage evolutionary theory

Also note that paleontologists do not base evolutionary relationships on artists' conceptions of hominids, and the quote does not in fact provide evidence against evolution.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“Echoing the criticism made of his father's Homo habilis skulls, he added that Lucy's skull was so incomplete that most of it was 'imagination, made of plaster of Paris,' this making it impossible to draw any firm conclusion about what species she belonged to.” (Source: Interview with Richard Leakey (Director of National Museums of Kenya, son of Louis Leakey) in The Weekend Australian, May 7-8, 1983, Magazine section, p. 3) Outdated Source

Does not damage evolutionary theory

This my be a problem IF those were the only skulls we found. One incomplete skull is one thin, but over the years paleontologists have discovered hundreds of skulls that belong to the same family (some more complete than others). These collections help us understand how the species looked and behaved.


“I believe that one day the Darwinian myth will be ranked the greatest deceit in the history of science. When this happens, many people will pose the question: 'How did this ever happen?'” (Source: Dr. Soren Lovtrup, Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth (Beckingham, Kent: Croom Helm, 1987), p. 422). Does not damage evolutionary theory

Despite his melodramatic book title, Lövtrup accepts evolution, but disagrees with the mechanisms of it and the historicity of Darwin's role in proposing it.[44][45][46] Lövtrup's ideas would likely be considered "out of the mainstream" by most scientists.


[edit] Question 66

True or False question: In 2004, legendary British philosopher and proponent of atheism Professor Anthony Flew renounced his atheism because “the argument to intelligent design is enormously stronger than it was when I first met it.” Comfort answers “True.” Comfort adds: He said, “It now seems to me that the findings of more than fifty years of DNA research have provided materials for a new and enormously powerful argument to design.” He admitted he “had to go where the evidence leads.” (Source: Quotes by Rich Deem, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest?” <www.godandscience.org/apologetics/flew.html>.). Not a qualified biologist

Flew is not a scientist, he is a philosopher.

Non-Academic Source

God and Science is a Christian apologetic site, not a science or academic site.

Distortion of Science

Ray Comfort is using this quote as a argument from design. However, nowhere in this reference, book, or any creationist material provides a compelling argument for “design.” In fact, there is no debate: there is no design.

The argument from design is not only fallacious, it is pseudoscientific that even the courts spell out that it is not scientific. In the Kitzmiller v. Dover case, the argument of design was dismissed for it is untestable and violates the rules of science by invoking the supernatural.[47]


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“The DNA Double Helix is one of the greatest scientific discoveries of all time. First described by James Watson and Francis Crick in 1953, DNA is the famous molecule of genetics that establishes each organism's physical characteristics. It wasn't until mid-2001, that the Human Genome Project and Celera Genomics jointly presented the true nature and complexity of the digital code inherent in DNA. We now understand that each human DNA molecule is comprised of chemical bases arranged in approximately 3 billion precise sequences. Even the DNA molecule for the single-celled bacterium, E. coli, contains enough information to fill all the books in any of the world's largest libraries.” (Source: “DNA Double Helix: Information Code,” All About Science <www.allaboutscience.org/dNA-double-helix.htm>.). Not a qualified biologist

Non-Academic Source

All About Science is a Christian apologetic site, not a science or academic site.

Does not damage evolutionary theory

Describing the structure of DNA is not a argument against the theory of evolution. Nowhere in this reference does it indicate that the DNA molecule cannot be the product of natural biochemistry.


“Many investigators now consider nucleic acids to be much more plausible candidates for the first self-replicating molecules. The work of Watson and Crick and others have shown that proteins are formed according to the instructions in DNA. But there is a hitch. DNA cannot do its work, including forming more DNA, without the help of catalytic proteins, or enzymes. In short, proteins cannot form without DNA, but neither can DNA form without proteins. To those pondering the origin of life, it is a classic chicken-and-egg problem: which came first, proteins or DNA?” (Source: John Horgan, Science writer, “In the Beginning...,” Scientific American, Vol. 264, No. 2, February 1991, p. 103). Does not damage evolutionary theory

This “chicken and egg” dilemma is no longer a dilemma. As Dr. David E. Commings, M. D. explained in his book Did man Create God? the answer is that they evolved together (p. 198). Commings points out that the first nucleic acids must have been RNA, which can function as enzymes (known as ribozymes). This is what solved the “Which came first?” problem: the RNA world.[48] De Duve thought that this answers was not enough, to he developed the “protometabolism” model, explaining the chemical steps that developed the formation of RNA structures. After this, the steps for the development of life became very clear, such as adenine from ammonium cyanide[49] to polymerization of amino acids.

Studies answering these questions were already published by the time Horgan wrote this in this paper. He was wither unaware of their publications or did not understand them.


[edit] Question 67

Which national magazine reported this statement about evolution? “So heated is the debate that one Darwinian says there are times when he thinks about going into a field with more intellectual honesty: the used-car business.” Comfort answers “Newsweek” (Source: Evolutionist Sharon Begley, “Science Contra Darwin,” April 8, 1985, p. 80). Non-Academic Source

Outdated Source

Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

It seems that this is taken out of context. Begley seems to be replied to several anti-evolutionists rants. This one in particular with the “used-car” part, the rant attacks the theory of evolution as “slippery” and makes no predictions, as well as just as useful as creationism. It does not even name that one “Darwinian.” In the previous sentence, he was more than capable of naming and quoting ichthyologist Donn Rosen.

Then Begley includes the following reply:

“Selection: The critics have taken on a formidable target, for Darwin changed the face of science forever. Without his theory, very little in biology makes sense. Evolution can explain why human embryos look like gilled fishes, why hummingbirds and gorillas both have backbones, why disease-causing bacteria have become immune to penicillin. To Darwinians, the key is natural selection. Random changes in the genes of an organism produce diversity within the species to which it belongs, something Darwin realized when he saw 13 different species of inches on the Galapagos Islands. Each had evolved a different beak shape, adapted to exploit a different flower, insect or other food. For any of a number of possible reasons — adaptation to climate, sexual attractiveness or, like the finches, superiority in food gathering — some members of a species are more likely to reproduce than others. Thus natural selection, once described as “survival of the fittest,” is now more acceptably stated as “differential reproduction”: different combinations of genes produce different degrees of reproductive success. Some creatures leave more offspring than others, passing on their genes to the next generations until the new traits become dominant.”

So, case and point, the theory of evolution DOES provide predictions and it does explain certain things that creationism does not. Evolution is the only explanation of biodiversity with either evidential support or scientific validity and no would be alternative notion has ever met even one of the criteria of being a theory.


[edit] In-Depth Comment

“When I began my career as a cosmologist some twenty years ago, I was a convinced atheist. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that one day I would be writing a book purporting to show that the central claims of Judeo-Christian theology are in fact true, that these claims are straightforward deductions of the laws of physics as we now understand them. I have been forced into these conclusions by the inexorable logic of my own special branch of physics.” (Source: Frank Tipler (Professor of Mathematical Physics), The Physics of Immortality (New York: Doubleday, 1994), Preface.) Does not damage evolutionary theory

This source addresses cosmology and physics, but none at all that addresses biology or specifically the theory of evolution.

Appeal to authority

Tipler is a mathematical physicist and cosmologist, holding a joint appointment in the Departments of Mathematics and Physics at Tulane University. Tipler has authored books and papers on the Omega Point, which he claims is a mechanism for the resurrection of the dead. It has been labeled as pseudoscience. Tipler is a fellow of the International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design, a society advocating intelligent design.

Critics of the final anthropic principle say its arguments violate the Copernican principle, that it incorrectly applies the laws of probability, and that it is really a theology or metaphysics principle made to sound plausible to laypeople by using the esoteric language of physics. Martin Gardner dubbed FAP the "completely ridiculous anthropic principle" (CRAP). Oxford-based philosopher Nick Bostrom writes that the final anthropic principle has no claim on any special methodological status, it is "pure speculation", despite attempts to elevate it by calling it a "principle". Philosopher Rem B. Edwards called it "futuristic, pseudoscientific eschatology" that is "highly conjectural, unverified, and improbable". Researcher Anders Sandberg pointed out that he believes the Omega Point Theory has many flaws, including missing proofs. Tipler's Omega Point theories have received criticism by physicists and skeptics. George Ellis, writing in the journal Nature, described Tipler's book on the Omega Point as "a masterpiece of pseudoscience ... the product of a fertile and creative imagination unhampered by the normal constraints of scientific and philosophical discipline", and Michael Shermer devoted a chapter of Why People Believe Weird Things to enumerating what he thought to be flaws in Tipler's thesis. Physicist Sean M. Carroll thought Tipler's early work was constructive but that now he has become a "crackpot"


[edit] Question 68

Who said the following: “I find it difficult to understand a scientist who does not acknowledge the presence of a superior rationality behind the existence of the universe as it is to comprehend a theologian who would deny the advances of science.” Comfort answers “Wernher von Braun, the world's most famous rocket scientist, and former head of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center” (Source: “My Faith,” American Weekly, February 10, 1963). Appeal to authority

Boasting that a great scientist believed or once believed in theology or the like does not make it true. For instance, if someone tried to argue alchemy was really genuine by quoting Sir Isaac Newton, that would not make alchemy true.

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

One man's faith or lack thereof has no bearing on the theory of evolution whatsoever, no more than it does on the theory of gravity or atomic theory.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“What gambler would be crazy enough to play roulette with random evolution? The probability of dust carried by the wind reproducing Durer's 'Melancholia' is less infinitesimal than the probability of copy errors in the DNA molecule leading to the formation of the eye; besides, these errors had no relationship whatsoever with the function of the eye would have to perform or was starting to perform. There is no law against daydreaming, but science must not indulge in it.” (Source: Pierre-Paul Grasse (French zoologist), Evolution of Living Organisms (New York: Academic Press, 1977), p. 104). Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Pierre-Paul did accept evolution as a fact. This is confirmed by examining page 3 of the same source 'Evolution of Living Organisms' (New York: Academic Press, 1977).

"Zoologists and botanists are nearly unanimous in considering evolution as a fact and not a hypothesis. I agree with this position and base it primarily on documents provided by paleontonlogy, i.e., the history of the living world."

Note: His views on the mechanisms of evolution are indeed not Darwinian.


“If living matter is not, then, caused by the interplay of atoms, natural forces and radiation, how has it come into being? There is another theory, now quite out of favor, which is based upon the ideas of Lamarck: that if an organism needs an improvement it will develop it, and transmit it to its progeny. I think, however, that we must go further than this and admit that they only acceptable explanation is creation. I know this is an anathema to physicists, as indeed it is to me, but we must not reject a theory that we do not like if the experimental evidence supports it.” (Source: Dr. H. S. Lipson, F.R.S. (Professor of Physics, University of Manchester, UK), “A Physicist Looks at Evolution,” Physics Bulletin, Vol. 31, May 1980, p. 138). Outdated Source

Not a qualified biologist

As the source provided states, Lipson is not a biologist, he is a physicist.

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

Lipson is concerned here with the origin of life, which has no bearing with the theory of evolution.


[edit] Question 69

Who said this regarding the Bible: “Let men of science and learning expound their knowledge and prize and probe with their researchers every detail of the records which have been preserved to us from those dim ages. All they will do is to fortify the grand simplicity and essential accuracy of the recorded truths which have lightened so far the pilgrimage of man.” Comfort answers “Winston Churchill” (Source: Thoughts and Adventures [Freeport, NY: Books for Libraries Press, 1972], pp. 293-294.). Not a qualified biologist

Churchill was not a scientist.

Non-Academic Source

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“We must not build on the sands of an uncertain and ever-changing science...but upon the rock of inspired scriptures.” (Source: Sir Ambrose Flemming, British electrical engineer and inventor.) Appeal to authority

Not a qualified biologist

Flemming was an engineer, not a biologist.


“I believe that the Bible is to be understood and received in the plain and obvious meaning of its passages; for I cannot persuade myself that a book intended for the instruction and conversion of the whole world should cover its true meaning in any such mystery and doubt that none but critics and philosophers can discover it...Education is useless without the Bible.” (Source: Daniel Webster, American politician and noted orator.) Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

Not a qualified biologist

Webster, as Comfort’s reference notes, was a politician, not a scientist – or any “evolutionary expert” in the slightest.

Appeal to authority

Comfort does not provide anything else in his source to validate where and when Daniel Webster said such a thing.


[edit] Question 70

Who said it question: "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.” Comfort answers Charles Spurgeon (Source: The Sword and the Trowel, 1877, p. 197). Outdated Source

Non-Academic Source

Not a qualified biologist

Spurgeon is not a scientist, he was an Evangelical preacher and minister.

Here is the full quote by Spurgeon;

“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;

  1. 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.
  2. 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, science 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.
  3. 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.

[edit] In-Depth Comments

“We have all heard of The Origin of Species, although few of us had the time to read it...A casual perusal of the classic made me understand the rage of Paul Feyerabend...I agree with him that Darwinism contains 'wicked lies'; it is not a 'natural law' formulated on the basis of factual evidence, but a dogma, reflecting the dominating social philosophy of the last century.” (Source: Kenneth J. Hsu, “Sedimentary Petrology and Biological Evolution,” Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, Vol. 56, September 1986, p. 730.). Outdated Source

Not a qualified biologist

Hsu is a scientist (geologist, paleoclimatologist and oceanographer) but his is not appropriate person to reference in the field of biology regarding the theory of evolution.

Distortion of Science

Hsu's remarks about evolutionary biology are simply wrong. Evolution, and science in general, is not dogmatic. Scientists are rewarded more for finding new things, not for supporting established principles. Thus, they tend to look more for novelties and for results that would overturn common beliefs. If a scientist found evidence that falsified evolution, he or she would be guaranteed world prestige and fame.

Does not damage evolutionary theory

Since nothing in this quote addresses any specific evidence, or exposes any flaws in the theory of evolution, it therefore does nothing to damage it.


“As I said, we shall all be embarrassed, in the fullness of time, by the naivete of our present evolutionary arguments. But some will be vastly more embarrassed than others.” (Source: Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini, Principal Research Associate of the Center for Cognitive Science at MIT, Inevitable Illusions: How Mistakes of Reason Rule Our Minds (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1994), p. 195). Not a qualified biologist

Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini is a cognitive scientist, not a biologist or evolutionary "expert."

Distortion of Science

Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini's work against Darwin's theory of evolution has been highly criticized and refuted.[50][51][52][53]

Does not damage evolutionary theory

Since nothing in this quote addresses any specific evidence, or exposes any flaws in the theory of evolution, it therefore does nothing to damage it.


[edit] Question 71

Fill in the blank question: Malcom Muggeridge, British philosopher, wrote, “I myself am convinced that the theory of evolution, especially the extent to which it has been applied, will be one of the _________.” Comfort answers “the great jokes in the history books of the future.” (Source: Pascal Lectures, University of Waterloo Research, The Advocate, March 8, 1984, p. 17). Appeal to authority

Not a qualified biologist

Muggeridge was a philosopher, not a scientist.


[edit] In-Depth Comment

“When it comes to the Origin of Life there are only two possibilities: creation or spontaneous generation. There is no third way. Spontaneous generation was disproved one hundred years ago, but that leads us to only one other conclusion, that of supernatural creation. We cannot accept that on philosophical grounds; therefore, we choose to believe the impossible: that life arose spontaneously by chance!” (Source: Prominent evolutionist George Wald (Harvard University biochemist and Nobel Laureate), “The Origin of Life,” Scientific American, May 1954). Outdated Source

This quote is from the mid 1950’s. It seems there is little surprise that George Wald would not be aware to include abiogenesis into his list of options.

Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

It should be noted that, while Wald uses the term "spontaneous generation" throughout the article, he is not really concerned with the historic notion "that life arises regularly from the nonliving: worms from mud, maggots from decaying meat, mice from refuse of various kinds" that was shown to be untenable by Francesco Redi, Lazzaro Spallanzani and Louis Pasteur. Although he gives an account of Redi's, Spallanzani's and Pasteur's work, his real concern is "how organisms may have arisen spontaneously under different conditions [than exist in the present] in some former period, granted that they do so no longer." In short, he is speaking about what we would now call "abiogenesis."

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

And since Wald is speaking about abiogenesis, he therefore is not addressing the theory of evolution. Evolution explains how life diversifies, not how life originated.

Distortion of Science

George Wald did not know the depth of research we have uncovered regarding the study of abiogenesis. This quote of Wald is from the 1950's. Wald has a very good excuse for not knowing what all the scientific breakthroughs we know now, Ray Comfort on the other hand (who has access to this proof and data at his fingertips) has no excuse. Rather, Comfort pretends that all the evidence for abiogenesis is nonexistent and refuses to learn about any of it.


[edit] Question 72

True or False question: the Second law of Thermodynamics says that the amount of usable energy in the universe is becoming less and less. Comfort answers “True” and goes on to say “essentially this means that things will eventually 'wear out.' Th universe is not eternal; it had a beginning, and will wear out. Twenty-five hundred years before the birth of modern science, when the brightest thinkers were confident that the universe was eternal, the Bible said that the universe would 'wear out': “...the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain; they will all wear out like an old garment” (Psalm 102:25,26, NIV). Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

This piece is aimed to combat the position that the universe is eternal. Whether it is or is not is irrelevant to the science of how life diversified (i.e. evolution).

Distortion of Science

The Second Law of Thermodynamics does not hint that the universe had a beginning. The First Law of Thermodynamics claims that matter cannot be created or destroyed. This was brought up to Ray Comfort at the live debate with the Rational Response Squad, including Occam's Razor pointing to the universe not having a creator, to which all Ray Comfort and his partner Kirk Cameron had to say was silence. When the moderator pressured them to provide a response, all Kirk Cameron had to give was a low mumble, "I think the people can figure it out." No response, Kirk and Ray were stumped.


[edit] In-Depth Comment

“The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that 'in all energy exchanges, if no energy enters or leaves the system, the potential energy of the state will always be less than that of the initial state.' This is also commonly referred to as entropy. A watchspring-driven watch will run until the potential energy in the spring is converted, and not again until energy is reapplied to the spring to rewind it. A car that has run out of gas will not run again until you walk 10 miles to a gas station and refuel the car. Once the potential energy locked in carbohydrates is converted into kinetic energy (energy in use or motion), the organism will get no more until energy is input again. In the process of energy transfer, some energy will dissipate as heat. Entropy is a measure of disorder: cells are not disordered and so have low entropy. The flow of energy maintains order and life. Entropy wins when organisms cease to take in energy and die.” (Source: Michael J. Farabee, Ph.D., Online Biology Book, 2007 <www.emc.maricopa.edu/faculty/farabee/BIOBK/BioBookEner1.html>). Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

Distortion of Science

Nowhere in here does it mention that energy is running out in the universe. Scientists have determined the total energy in the universe is zero when the negative mass of the energy stored within gravity is summed with the positive mass of the universe. In this sense, universes can spring in and out of the vacuum almost effortlessly.


[edit] Question 73

True or False question: the biblical description of creation and the Darwinian theory of evolution are compatible. Comfort answers “False” and goes on to say the following: “the Bible says that man was made in the image of God, that every animal brought forth “according to their kinds” (Genesis 1:21) and that “men have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another” (1 Corinthians 15:39). Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

Even if the two are not compatible (and many theists would insist that the two are compatible), this does not refute the theory of evolution. The theory of evolution is an established fact, and mere belief in a separate myth does not change reality.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“A variation of he theme of evolution is theistic evolution. It states that God initiated life on earth and allowed evolutionary principles to bring man to where he is--maybe with a little help from God here and there. At least this theory includes God. But this theory was developed in part by Bible believing people who thought that evolution had some merit. In addition, it is an attempt to answer the many problems existing not only in the fossil record but also with how life could somehow randomly form out of nothing. Because of problems like this, some believe they can be explained by simply adding God to the picture: God directed evolution.

For those who hold to the Bible as the word of God, theistic evolution should not be a viable option. The Bible says, "Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us..." (Psalm 100:3). The Scriptures state that God created. God said, "Let there be..." and there was. The Scriptures speak of the creative word of God. When God speaks, it occurs. He said "Let there be" and it was so. It does not say, "Let there be a slow development through an evolutionary process." God said in Genesis 1:26, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." The Hebrew word for "make" in this verse, and in verse 25 where God makes the beasts, is "asah." It means to do, work, make, produce. This is not simply the limited Hebrew understanding of evolutionary principles. The land animals were made differently than man. The animals were made from the ground, but man was made directly by God: "the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being" (Gen. 2:7). Evolution states that man evolved from life forms that developed in the ocean. Here, God made man from the dust of the ground--not the water of the ocean. If evolution is true and the Bible is true, then how is the formation of Eve explained? She was created out of one of Adam's ribs (Gen. 2:22). There is no way to explain this if theistic evolution is true; that is, unless you want to say that Eve wasn't made from Adam's side. Then, if you do that, you are doubting the very word of God. Also, Jesus said in Mark 10:6 "But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.'" The beginning was not evolutionary slime; in the beginning of creation there was Adam and Eve. Though this information is brief and far from complete, it should be obvious that theistic evolution and the Scriptures cannot be harmonized.” (Source: Matthew Slick, “Theistic Evolution” <www.carm.org/evolution/evtheistic.htm>).

Not a qualified biologist

Non-Academic Source

Matthew Slick is not an "evolutionary expert," he is not even a scientist. Slick earned his Bachelors in Social Science from Concordia University, Irvine, CA in 1988. He earned his Masters of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary, in Escondido, CA, in 1991. Nothing in any field relevant to biological evolution.


“The creation account in Genesis and the theory of evolution could not be reconciled. One must be right and the other wrong. The story of the fossils agreed with the account of Genesis. In the oldest rocks we did not find a series of fossils covering the gradual changes from the most primitive creatures to developed forms; but rather, in the oldest rocks, developed species suddenly appeared. Between every species there was a complete absence of intermediate fossils.” (Source: D. B. Gower (biochemist), “Scientists Rejects Evolution,” Kentish Times, England, December 11, 1975, p. 4). Distortion of Science

Gower is a British chemist, whose belief in god is centered around “I don’t understand how life formed naturally on Earth, so it must be god!” Here Gower is speaking about the fossil record, a field (geology and paleontology) he is not trained in.


[edit] Question 74

True or False question: If people and dinosaurs were created at the same time, the word “dinosaur” would appear in the Bible. Comfort answers “false” and adds the following, “The King James bible was translated in 1611, and it wasn't until 1841 what the word “dinosaur” (from Greek words meaning “terrible lizard”) was invented. Is there another word for “dinosaur”? The Hebrew word translated “dragon” in the KJV Bible appears in the Old Testament some 30 times (e.g. Jer. 51:34; Mal. 1:3). In many contexts these could refer to what we now call dinosaurs. Even Strong's Concordance lists “dinosaur” as one the meanings of that Hebrew word (Don Batten, ed., The Answers Book [Green Forrest, AR: Master Books, 2000], p. 243)). Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

Translating the literal words of a sacred text of any type holds no weight regarding the theory of evolution or any other scientific field.

In China, fossil bones (of all kinds of creatures, not just dinosaurs) have long been called dragon bones.

Distortion of Science

There is absolutely no evidence that humans and dinosaurs ever lived on earth simultaneously. To argue otherwise would not only be false, it would be arguing for the impossible. To imply that the Bible claims that man did live alongside dinosaurs would only further discredit the Bible further.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“There is a growing body of evidence that dinosaurs and humans were contemporary. In 1970 newspapers reported the discovery of cave paintings in Zimbabwe. The paintings were made by bushmen who ruled that area from about 1500 B.C., until a couple of hundred years ago. Along with accurate representations of the elephant and the giraffe, is a painting of an Apatosaurus (brontosaurus). These art works have greatly puzzled scientists since bushmen are known to have pained from real life. (Source: Bible-Science Newsletter 1970, 2).

About seventy years ago, Dr. Samuel Hubbard, curator of archaeology in the Oakland (California) Museum, discovered dinosaur carvings on the cliff walls of the Hava Supai Canyon in Arizona. One remarkable carving resembles a Tyrannosaurus. Nearby, dinosaur tracks were preserved in the rock surface. (For a picture of this carving, see our book, The Mythology of Modern Geology 1990, 31.)

When the discovery of what appeared to be human footprints, along with dinosaur tracks (in the Paluxy River bed near Glen Rose, Texas), was reported in the May 1939 issue of Natural History, it created a furor that has not subsided to this very day. For decades it seemed obvious to careful observers that this was clear evidence of human/dinosaur co-habitation.” (Source: Wayne Jackson, “Dinosaurs and the Bible,” August 5, 1999 <www.christiancourier.com/articles/read/dinosaurs_and_the_bible>).

Not a qualified biologist

Wayne Jackson is not a biologist. Jackson is not a scientists of any type. He is a writer and served as a Sunday school teacher in his church for over 30 years.

Non-Academic Source

Christiancourier is not a academic source.

Distortion of Science

The alleged human footprints involve a number of misidentified and spurious phenomena.

  • Most supposed "man tracks" in the riverbed are forms of elongate, metatarsal dinosaur tracks-- made by dinosaurs that at times impressed their metatarsi (soles and heels) as they walked. When the digit impressions of such tracks are subdued by mud-collapse, erosion, infilling, or a combination of factors, the remaining metatarsal portions often superficially resemble human footprints. However, when well cleaned such tracks show definite indications of tridactyl, dinosaurian digit patterns (Kuban, 1986a, 1986b; Hastings, 1987).
  • Some of the reputed human prints are erosional features or other natural irregularities. They do not show clear human features without selective highlighting, nor occur in natural striding sequences (Cole et al, 1985).
  • A smaller number of alleged "giant man tracks" are carvings on loose blocks of rock (Godfrey, 1985; Kuban and Wilkerson, 1989).

[edit] Question 75

True or False question: Ramapithecus, once widely regarded as an ancestor of humans, has now been recognized as merely an extinct type of orangutan. Comfort answers “True” and adds a bit from the Columbia Encyclopedia: “Ramapithecus: an extinct group of primates that lived from about 12 to 14 million years ago, for a time regarded as a possible ancestor of Australopithecus and, therefore, of modern humans.” (Source: The Columbia Encyclopedia). Does not damage evolutionary theory

One fossil does not out rule the dozens of other intermediate fossils discovered in the human lineage, nor does this one fossil falsify genetics (which proves common descent with other primates).


[edit] In-Depth Comment

“Although it was generally an apelike creature, Ramapithecus was considered a possible human ancestor on the basis of the reconstructed jaw and dental characteristics of fragmentary fossils. A complete jaw discovered in 1976 was clearly nonhominid, however, and Ramapithecus is now regarded by many as a member of Sivapthecus, a genus considered to be an ancestor of the orangutan.” (Source: The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, 2007 <www.bartleby.com/65/e-/E-Ramapith.html>). Does not damage evolutionary theory

This does not discredit the theory of evolution, all it is is an excellent example of science in progress. We now know the proper identification of Ramapithecus, and once we did we no longer stated that it was our common ancestor.


[edit] Question 76

Who said it question: "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 possible." Comfort answers Charles Darwin (Source: Origin of Species). Comfort then says "Darwin later on in his book, explained how he believed it evolved anyway and that the "absurdity" was just an illusion. Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

This is a favorite quote mine of creationists. Here is the very next line,

"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.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“The human eye is enormously complicated—a perfect and interrelated system of about 40 individual subsystems, including the retina, pupil, iris, cornea, lens and optic nerve. For instance, he retina has approximately 137 million special cell that respond to light and send messages to the brain. About 130 million of these cell look like rods and handle he black and white vision. The other seven million are cone shaped and allow us to see in color. The retina cells receive light impressions, which are translated to electric pulses and sen to the brain via the optic nerve.

A special section of the brain called the visual cortex interprets the pulses of color, contrast, depth, etc., which allows us to see 'pictures' of our world. Incredibly, the eye, optic nerve and visual cortex are totally separated and interpret up to 1.5 million pulse messages a millisecond! It would take dozens of Cray supercomputers programmed perfectly and operating together flawlessly to even get close to performing this task.” (Source: Lawrence O. Richards, It Couldn't Just Happen (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1989), pp. 139-140).

Does not damage evolutionary theory

This reference does not support Comfort's case as he wishes to believe. All this reference does is describe the mechanisms of the eye in detail, it does not say anything regarding that the eye could not evolve via natural selection.


“The exquisite order displayed by our scientific understanding of the physical world calls for the divine.” (Source: Vera Kistiakowsky, MIT physicist, quoted in Henry Magenau and Roy Verghese, eds., Cosmos, Bios, Theos (La Salle, IL: Open Court, 1992), p. 52) Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

Divine of what? Krishna? Allah? Odin? The Great Unga Bunga? This has no bearing on the theory of evolution.

Does not damage evolutionary theory

Whether or not there is a god or not, the fact of evolution remains. Just as whether a deity exists or not, gravity remains.


[edit] Question 77

Who said it question: "This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. Comfort answers "Sir Isaac Newton ("the father of science"). (Source: The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, Book III, Andrew Motte, trans. (London: H. D. Symonds, 1803), pp. 310-314 <www.thenagain.info/Classes/Sources/Newton.html>.). Appeal to authority

First of all, Sir Isaac Newton is not the “father” of science. Science goes way back to the ancient Greeks and all throughout antiquity. Second of all, quoting one brilliant scientist does not give your position any credulity. Sir Isaac Newton also fully accepted alchemy, but we do not use his brilliance or huge contribution to science as evidence that alchemy is true.

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology


[edit] In-Depth Comments

"Professor H.E. Huntley in The Divine Proportion - A Study In Mathematical Beauty, poses the evolutionary puzzle of our aesthetic sense thus: ‘we might begin by asking whether the universal human thirst for beauty serves a useful purpose. Physical hunger and thirst ensure our bodily survival. The sex drive takes care of the survival of the race. Fear has survival value. But - to put the question crudely - what is beauty for? What personal or evolutionary end is met by the appreciation of a rainbow, a flower or a symphony? At first sight, none.’ Huntley suggests that: ‘a part of the answer is that [beauty] serves as a lure to induce the mind to embark on creative activity. Beauty is a bait. [However] This view seems to require the existence of ‘absolute’ beauty, to demand that specimens of beauty antedate the human perception of them, although beauty in its subjective sense is called into existence only at the moment of its appreciation.’ And this conclusion is fodder for the objective ontological aesthetic design argument. Of course, if our appreciation of beauty does have an evolutionary (efficient) explanation, this does not exclude the possibility that our appreciation is also the result of (teleological) intelligent design." (Source: Peter S. Williams, "Intelligent Design, Aesthetics and Design Arguments: <http://www.arn.org/docs/williams/pw_idaestheticsanddesignarguments.htm). Not a qualified biologist

Peter S. Williams is not a biologist or even a scientist. He is a English philosopher and apologist. Peter S. Williams works with the UK based Damaris Trust (www.damaris.org), a Christian charity "dedicated to relating Christianity and contemporary culture." Williams is also Assistant Professor in Communication and Worldviews at Gimlekollen School of Journalism and Communication in Norway.

Does not damage evolutionary theory

The bottom line for this quote is to push the argument from design, which is rejected by scientists and the courts. In the Kitzmiller v. Dover case, proponents of intelligent design argued that organisms must be specially designed because they look complex. The judge ruled, "(1) ID violates the centuries-old ground rules of science by invoking and permitting supernatural causation; (2) the argument of irreducible complexity, central to ID, employs the same flawed and illogical contrived dualism that doomed creation science in the 1980's; and (3) ID's negative attacks on evolution have been refuted by the scientific community."[54]


"Big bang cosmology as widely believed as has been any theory of the universe in history of Western civilization. It rests, however, on many untested, and in some cases untestable, assumptions. Indeed, the big bang cosmology has become a bandwagon of thought that reflects faith as much as objective truth." (Source: Geoffrey Burbidge, "Why Only One Big Bang?" Scientific American, Vol. 266, February 1992, p. 120). Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

We are discussing the theory of evolution. The Big Bang Theory is a subject for cosmology, not biology.


[edit] Question 78

True or False question: Darwin stated the following, “Why, if species have descended from other species by insensibly fine gradation, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms? Why is not all nature in confusion instead of the species being, as we see them, well defined?” Comfort answers “True” (Source: The Origin of Species (London: John Murray, 1872), pp. 133-134). Does not damage evolutionary theory

While Darwin did say this, he also provided possible hypothesis to explain it.

When Charles Darwin published his landmark observations in 1859, he lamented that the fossil record was still quite poor at that time. It was only in the last century or so earlier that anyone had even proposed the possibility that a single species could completely die out, and the first dinosaur wasn’t discovered until Darwin was a boy. Fossils were known by previous generations of course, but extinct and therefore unfamiliar varieties were often mistaken for the fanciful monsters of mythology –if they were recognized at all –which usually requires a well-trained perception of both geology and animal morphology. That’s especially rare when you’re talking about an organism no one has ever seen alive.

When something dies, it is usually disassembled, digested, and decomposed. Only rarely is anything ever fossilized, and even fewer things are very well-preserved. Because the conditions required for that process are so particular, the fossil record can only represent a tiny fraction of everything that has ever lived. Darwin provided many environmental dynamics explaining why no single quarry could ever provide a continuous record of biological events, and why it would be impossible to find all the fossilized ancestors of every lineage. But despite this, he predicted that future generations, -having the benefit of better understanding- would discover a substantial number of fossil species which he called “intermediate” or “transitional” between what we see alive today and their taxonomic ancestors at successive levels in paleontological history.

In fact, in the century-and-a-half since then, we’ve found millions of evolutionary intermediaries in the fossil record, much more than Darwin said he could reasonably hope for. There are three different types of transitional forms and we have ample examples of each.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“We do not have any available fossil group which can categorically be claimed to be the ancestor of any other group. We do not have in the fossil record any specific point of divergence of one form for another, and generally each of the major life groups has restrained its fundamental structural and physiological characteristics throughout its life history and has been conservative in habitat.” (Source: G. S. Carter (Professor, Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, England), Structure and Habit in Vertebrate Evolution (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1967). Outdated Source

Distortion of Science


“Paleontologists had long been aware of a seeming contradiction between Darwin's postulate of gradualism...and the actual findings of paleontology. Following phyletic lines through time seemed to reveal only minimal gradual changes but no clear evidence for any change of a species into a different genus or for the gradual origin oh an evolutionary novelty. Anything truly novel always seemed to appear quite abruptly in the fossil record.” (Source: E. Mayr, One Long Argument: Charles Darwin and the Genesis of Modern Evolutionary Thought (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1991), p. 138). Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Following this piece, Mayr goes on to say the following, "During the synthesis it became clear that since new evolutionary departures seem to take place almost invariably in localized isolated populations, it is not surprising that the fossil record does not reflect these sequences."


[edit] Question 79

Which famous newspaper reported the following: “Piltdown Man Hoax Exposed.” Comfort answers “The New York Times” (November 21, 1953). Comfort goes on to say the article stated, “Part of the skull of the Piltdown man, one of the most famous fossil skulls in the world, has been declared a hoax by authorities at the British Natural History Museum” <www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/databank/entries/do53pi.html> Does not damage evolutionary theory

Piltdown man was exposed by scientists. The fact that it took forty years is certainly no shining example of science in action, but it does show that science corrects errors. One hoax cannot indicate the inferiority of conventional archeology.


[edit] In-Depth Comment

“Piltdown Man (Eoanthropus Dawsoni) was once thought to be a 'missing link' between man and ape. The first Piltdown fragments were discovered in 1912. Thereafter, over 500 scientific essays were written on the Piltdown Man in a 40-year period. The discovery was proven to be a deliberate hoax in 1953.

Piltdown Mann consisted of two human skulls, an orangutan jaw, an elephant molar, hippopotamus tooth, and a canine tooth from a chimpanzee. Sir Kenneth Oakley has determined the human skulls to be approximately 620 years old. They may have belonged to Ona Indians from Patagonia, as the skulls were unusually thick. Thick skulls are a common trait among Ona Indians. The oragnutan jaw is around 500 years old, perhaps from Sarawek. The elephant molaar is thought to have come from Malta or perhaps Sicily. The canine tooth belonged to a Pleistoncene Chimpanzee.

The Piltdown remains were purposefully scattered around a quarry in Piltdown, England, so that they could be 'discovered' later as evidence for evolution and the development of man from ape. The skulls had been treated with acid. All of the fossil remains were stained with an iron sulfate solution. The canine tooth was painted brown and patched with bubble gum. The molars were filed down. The portion of the orangutan jaw that connected the jaw to its skull was carefully broken so as not to show evidence that this jaw did not belong to a human skull.” (Source: “Piltdown Man: Test All Data,” All About Creation <www.allaboutcreation.org/piltdown-man.htm>).

Non-Academic Source

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.

Does not damage evolutionary theory

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.


[edit] Question 80

Before Piltdown man was discovered to be a hoax, how old was it estimated too be? Comfort answers “500,000 to one million years old.” Comfort goes to to say according to PBS, “At the time, the skullcap was still believed to be about 500,000 years old. In 1959, however, the recently discovered carbon-14 dating technique was used to show that it was between 520 to 720 years old, the jawbone slightly younger!” (“Piltdown man is revealed as a fake” <www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/databank/entries/do53pi.hyml>). Does not damage evolutionary theory

One hoax cannot indicate the inferiority of conventional archeology, because creationists have several of their own, including Paluxy footprints, the Calaveras skull, Moab and Malachite Man, and others. More telling is how people deal with these hoaxes. When Piltdown was exposed, it stopped being used as evidence. The creationist hoaxes, however, can still be found cited as if they were real. Piltdown has been over and done with for decades, but the dishonesty of creationist hoaxes continues.


[edit] In-Depth Comment

“When the blood of a seal, freshly killed at McMurdo Sound in the Antarctic was tested by carbon-14, it showed the seal died 1,300 years ago.” (Source: W. Dort Jr. Ph.D. (Geology Professor, University of Kansas), Antarctic Journal of the United States, 1971). Does not damage evolutionary theory

This is the well-known reservoir effect that occurs with mollusks and other animals that live in the water. It happens when “old” carbon is introduced into the water. In the case of the seal, old carbon dioxide is present within deep ocean bottom water that has been circulating through the ocean for thousands of years before upwelling along the Antarctic coast. The seals feed off of the animals that live in a nutrient-rich upwelling zone. The water that is upwelling has been traveling along the bottom for a few thousand years before surfacing.


[edit] Question 81

What is the name of the amateur geologist who discovered what was thought to be “the evolutionary find of the century” in a gravel pit near the town of Piltdown, England? Comfort answers “Charles Dawson.” (Source: NOVA, “The Boldest Hoax,” <www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/hoax>). Does not damage evolutionary theory

One hoax cannot indicate the inferiority of conventional archeology.


[edit] In-Depth Comment

“For decades, a fossil skull discovered in Piltdown, England, was hailed as the missing link between apes and humans. Entire careers were built on its authenticity. Then in 1953, the awful truth came out: 'Piltdown Man' was a fake!...

It all started in the early 1900's, when a laborer digging near the village of Piltdown in southern England reportedly found a strange piece of skull that he passed on to Charles Dawson, a local amateur archeologist...

'Piltdown Man was a really big deal in 1912, because it was a time when very little was known of human fossil remains,' says historian Richard Milner. 'It was perceived to be the missing link, the fossil that connected humans with apes.' Notably, Piltdown Man was even more spectacular than the celebrated human fossils already discovered on the European continent, such as Neanderthal Man in Germany.

More remains turned up in Piltdown through 1915, the year before Dawson's death. These included a second partial skull and a strange bone artifact resembling a cricket bat—a fishy find that looked suspiciously like a hoax, but was accepted by Woodward as an ancient implement. Forty years later, new scientific tests showed that Piltdown Man was a forgery, concocted in part from what was probably an orangutan's jaw. Suspicion immediately fell on Dawson, but there were other candidates.” (Source: NOVA, “The Boldest Hoax” <www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/hoax>).

Does not damage evolutionary theory

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.

No one knows who did it either. And more importantly, why? Errors were already known and previously reported, but few ever suspected fraud because, what would be the motive? Nearly everyone who stood accused was a man of high reputation and credentials. Maybe that was the motive. Maybe Piltdown man was just a joke that had gone too far. But no one was laughing, and they weren’t going to let it happen again.


[edit] Question 82

Which well-known expert in human evolution admitted “If you brought in a smart scientist from another disciple and showed him the meager evidence we've got he'd surely say, 'Forget it: there isn't enough to go on'.” Comfort answers “David Pilbeam” (quoted in Richard E. Leakey, The making of Mankind [London: Michael Joseph Limited, 1981], p. 43). Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Here is the quote in context:

“Of the primates, the chimpanzee is man’s closest relative, while the two other great apes, the gorilla and orangutan, are slightly more distant evolutionary cousins. The apes and hominids are collectively known as the ‘hominoids’. Biologists would dearly like to know how modern apes, modern humans and the various ancestral hominids have evolved from a common ancestor. Unfortunately, the fossil record is somewhat incomplete as far as the hominids are concerned, and it is all but blank for the apes. The best we can hope for is that more fossils will be found over the next few years which will fill the present gaps in the evidence. The major gap, often referred to as ‘the fossil void’, is between eight and four million years ago.

David Pilbeam comments wryly, ‘If you brought in a smart scientist from another discipline and showed him the meagre evidence we’ve got he’d surely say, “forget it; there isn’t enough to go on”.’ Neither David nor others involved in the search for mankind can take this advice, of course, but we remain fully aware of the dangers of drawing conclusions from the evidence that is so incomplete.

Fortunately, there is quite good evidence regarding the ape-like creatures that lived over fourteen million years ago.”

A discussion follows of the extensive fossil evidence of dryopithecinces and ramapithecines, biochemical estimates of the date of divergence of humans and chimps, a discussion of the rise of bidpedalism, and David Pilbeam’s estimates of the branching times for the various groups of hominoids. That’s just chapter three (“Ape-Like Ancestors”). Chapter four (“The Early Hominids”) picks up on the near side of the fossil gap referred to in the quote.

Notice the matter of fact assertion of the relatedness of the apes and humans, compared with the qualified warning about making inferences about the precise paths involved in the origin of hominoid sub-groups – the first point is well-confirmed, whereas the second topic had plenty of room for dispute in 1981 (and there remains plenty of room for debate still, of course). Does this passage really question the relatedness of apes and humans? Of course not. Does it call for caution in pin-pointing the timing of the branch off points for the various groups, and in identifying the particular evolutionary paths, Yes.

Does not damage evolutionary theory


[edit] In-Depth Comment

“Biologists would dearly like to know how modern apes, modern humans and the various ancestral hominids have evolved from a common ancestor. Unfortunately, the fossil record is somewhat incomplete as far as the hominids are concerned, and it is all but blank for the apes. The best we can hope for is that more fossils will be found over the next few years which will fill the present gaps in the evidence.” (Source: Richard E. Leakey, The Making of Mankind (London: Michael Joseph Limited, 1981), p. 43). Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

A discussion follows of the extensive fossil evidence of dryopithecinces and ramapithecines, biochemical estimates of the date of divergence of humans and chimps, a discussion of the rise of bidpedalism, and David Pilbeam’s estimates of the branching times for the various groups of hominoids. That’s just chapter three (“Ape-Like Ancestors”). Chapter four (“The Early Hominids”) picks up on the near side of the fossil gap referred to in the quote.

Notice the matter of fact assertion of the relatedness of the apes and humans, compared with the qualified warning about making inferences about the precise paths involved in the origin of hominoid sub-groups – the first point is well-confirmed, whereas the second topic had plenty of room for dispute in 1981 (and there remains plenty of room for debate still, of course). Does this passage really question the relatedness of apes and humans? Of course not. Does it call for caution in pin-pointing the timing of the branch off points for the various groups, and in identifying the particular evolutionary paths, Yes.

Does not damage evolutionary theory


[edit] Question 83

Who said that with no objective truth to stand on, when it comes to man's fossil history, “to the faithful anything is possible”? Comfort answers “Lord Solly Zuckerman” and adds, “We then move right off the register of objective truth into those fields of presumed biological science, like extrasensory perception or the interpretation of man's fossil history, where to the faithful anything is possible—and where the ardent believer is sometimes able to believe several contradictory things at the same time.” (Source: Lord Solly Zuckerman, Professor of Anatomy at Birmingham University in England, Beyond the Ivory Tower (New York: Toplinger Publications, 1970), p. 19) Outdated Source

Distortion of Science

There were many decades of investigations to find hominid fossils since 1970!


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“If you thought that science was certain—well, that is just an error on your part.” (Source: Richard Feynman, The Character of Physical Law (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1967), p. 77) Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

This reference does not damage or harm the theory of evolution as Comfort wishes it does. Science does not claim absolute certainty like religion does. Science is constantly changing with new information and data being discovered. And yet, religious creeds remain the same despite the evidence or being shown to be false. For instance, the Bible still teaches many things that fly in the face of science (the earth being older than the stars, the earth always remains motionless, pi equals 3, diseases are caused by demons, etc.)


“A religious creed differs from a scientific theory in claiming to embody eternal and absolutely certain truth, where as science is always tentative, expecting that modification in its present theories will sooner or later be found necessary, and aware that its method is one which is logically incapable of arriving at a complete and final demonstration.” (Source: Bertrand Russel, Religion and Science (New York: Oxford University Press, 1953). Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

This reference does not damage or harm the theory of evolution whatsoever. Russel is correct however, in which science does not claim to be absolutely certain. In fact, that is the beauty of science. Learning is a never ending process, and new information is always being gathered that may improve or refute previous accepted models and theories, that is why in science everything must be falsifiable.

The main difference between scientific evolution and Ray Comfort's position of creationism is that one is a faith based religion. Religion is a bias by definition. That’s why it relies on propaganda. But science dispels propaganda because it eliminates bias by design; it has to because it’s an investigation, not a predetermined conclusion like religion is. So every proposition must be requisitely evidential and potentially falsifiable, and must be subjected to a perpetual battery of independent and unrestricted tests wherein anyone and everyone who thinks they can is welcome to try and find and expose from flaw in it –to correct it. Creationists won’t subject their beliefs to any of that because they’re not interested in finding out what is really true. They want to defend their preferred beliefs whether they’re true or not.

Outdated Source

While this is an outdated source, its words remain the same throughout scientific history: science does not claim to know the answers. Religions assert that they do, despite the fact that they have nothing to provide or prove. Science is a method to discover and investigate and follow where the evidence leads, whereas religions assert the answers and do not allow to check for any verification (except when they cherry-pick scientific discoveries that seem to promote their views).


[edit] Question 84

Fill in the blank question: “If pressed about man's ancestry, I would have no unequivocally say that all we have is _________.” Comfort answers “a huge question mark.” (Source: Richard Leakey, one of the world;s foremost paleontologists, PBS documentary, 1990). Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Turns out that this quote was never spoken by Leakey. This quote from an unidentified PBS documentary was entire made up and is the deceptive invention of dishonest creationists.


[edit] In-Depth Comment

“A major problem in proving the theory (of evolution) has been the fossil record; the imprints of vanished species preserved in the Earth's geological formations. This record has never revealed traces of Darwin's hypothetical intermediate variants. Instead, species appear and disappear abruptly, and this anomaly has fueled the creationist argument that each species was created by God as described in the Bible.” (Source: Mark Czarnecki, “The Revival of the Creationist Crusade,” MacLeon's, 19 January 1981, p. 56). Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Once again, this seems to be a glossing over of the controversy surrounding Punctuated Equilibrium. Given that many in the news media seem to have a superficial understanding of science, I'm not inclined to take the technical aspects of a news article about the evolution-creation controversy seriously, especially when I see a gem like this:

Essentially, Darwin stated that a species evolved by the random mutation of genes, which then produced variants of the original species.

The claim that Darwin knew about genes and mutation is newsflash to everyone. Here is the truth: Darwin knew nothing about genes or mutations. About the time Darwin published his work, Grengor Mendel was discovering and explaining genes and traits. Mendel sent hi work to Darwin, but Darwin never read it. But Czarnecki does raise an interesting point. Discussing how some people view the difference between fact and theory, he writes:

Such a pedagogical approach, though initiated with the best of intentions, strips the corpus of scientific knowledge down to certain facts that can be perceived by the five senses with the aid of technology; everything else is factually suspect because it cannot be directly "observed" - so much for paleontology (fossil study) and all of nuclear physics.

And a few sentences later:

What about history? Past events cannot be observed, records of them are just fallible memories, words - just like the Bible, in fact.

[edit] Question 85

Who said it question: “To date, there has been nothing found to truthfully purport as a transitional species to man, including Lucy...If further pressed, I would have to state that there is more evidence to suggest an abrupt arrival of man rather than a gradual process of evolving.” Comfort answers “Richard Leakey” (Source: PBS Documentary, 1990) Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Turns out that this quote was never spoken by Leakey. This quote from an unidentified PBS documentary was entire made up and is the deceptive invention of dishonest creationists.

See Non-human primate to human for details about the large numbers of transitional types between apes and humans.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“Instead of finding the gradual unfolding of life, what geologists of Darwin's time, and geologists of the present day actually find is highly uneven or jerky record; that is, species appear in the sequence very suddenly, show little to not change during their existence in the record, then abruptly go out of the record. And it is not always clear, in fact it's rarely clear, that the descendants were actually better adapted than their predecessors. In other words, biological improvement is hard to find.” (Source: David M. Raup, “Conflicts Between Darwin and Paleontology,” Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin, Vol. 50, January 1979, p. 23) Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

On the previous page Raup writes:

We must distinguish between the fact of evolution -- defined as change in organisms over time -- and the explanation of this change. Darwin's contribution, through his theory of natural selection, was to suggest how the evolutionary change took place. The evidence we find in the geologic record is not nearly as compatible with darwinian natural selection as we would like it to be.

Note that Raup believes that evolution has occurred; he calls evolution a "fact". And on page 25 he writes:

What appeared to be a nice progression when relatively few data were available now appears to be much more complex and much less gradualistic. So Darwin's problem has not been alleviated in the last 120 years and we still have a record which does show change but one which can hardly be look upon as the most reasonable consequence of natural selection. [Emphasis in original]

And later on the same page:

So natural selection as a process is okay. We are also pretty sure that it goes on in nature although good examples are surprisingly rare.

It should be obvious by now that what Raup is arguing against is not evolution, but gradual evolution in all cases.


“There are all sorts of gaps: absence of gradationally intermediate 'transitional' forms between species, but also between larger groups - between, say, families of carnivores, or the orders of mammals. In fact, the higher up the Linnaean hierarchy you look, the fewer transitional forms there seem to be.” (Eldredge, Niles, The Monkey Business: A Scientist Looks at Creationism, 1982, p. 65) Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

The overall context is the "tempo and mode" of evolution and Simpson's pre-punctuated equilibria views of quantum evolution. It is in a section called "The Synthesis and the Fossil Record." The paragraph with the quote reads (bold words of what Comfort omitted):

It is the gaps in the fossil record which, perhaps more than any other facet of the natural world, are dearly beloved by creationists. As we shall see when we take up the creationist position, there are all sorts of gaps: absence of graduationally intermediate "transitional" forms between species, but also between larger groups -- between say, families of carnivores, or the orders of mammals. In fact, the higher up the Linnaean hierarchy you look, the fewer transitional forms there [p. 65, pg 66 ] seem to be. For example, Peripatus a lobe-legged, wormlike creature that haunts rotting logs in the Southern-Hemisphere, appears intermediate in many respects between two of the major phyla on earth today -- the segmented worms and the arthropods. But few other phyla have such intermediates with other phyla, and when we scan the fossil record for them we find some, but basically little, help. Extinction has surely weeded out of the intermediate species, but on the other hand, the fossil record is not exactly teeming with their remains.

Skipping a paragraph:

Simpson thought that most of the fossil record amply supported Darwin's view. There was plenty of evidence, he felt, to show that ninety percent of evolution involved the gradual transition from one species to the [p. 66

Eldredge deals with gaps again in the section "Oh, Those Gaps!" (pp. 120-128) in the chapter "Creationists Attack: II." In it he makes it very clear that there are transitions in the fossil record and gives several examples.


“Transitions between major groups of organisms...are difficult to establish in the fossil record.” (Source: K. Padian, “The Origin of Turtles: One Fewer Problem for Creationists,” National Center for Science Education Reports, Vol. 11, No. 2, Summer 1991, p. 18) Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

This article by Kevin Padian starts off with “Transitions between major groups of organisms – so often misnamed “macroevolution” by “scientific” creationists – are difficult to establish in the fossil record.”

So the omission between “organisms” and “are difficult” is not entirely dishonest, since it really is a parenthetical thought that's omitted. What's dishonest is omitting the following explanation from Padian that comes right after this quote: “But this should hardly be surprising. What are the chancse of finding “the” ideal intermediate between differently adapted groups that have been separated for eons? Of course, creationists depend upon this improbability to deny that evolution has taken place. But the job of paleontologists is not to find the ideal ancestral intermediates but to establish the characteristics that would link major groups in common ancestry and to find other forms that share at least some of those derived characters.”

Padian goes on to discuss the scientific progress being done in turtle evolution.

Distortion of Science

Anyone familiar with Kevin Padian knows this is ridiculous. Kevin Padian was the one who testified in the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial who provided numerous examples of transitional fossils between major organisms. While the quote says that it is “difficult” to establish major transitions, he did not say that it was improbable or impossible.


[edit] Question 86

Who said it? "Well, we are now about 120 years after Darwin and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species but the situation hasn't changed much. The record of evolution is still surprisingly jerky and, ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transitions than we had in Darwin's time" Ray answers David Raup, "Conflicts between Darwin and Paleontology", Vol. 50, January 1979, p. 25 Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Here is the full quote by Raup, (bold words are the words omitted by Ray)

"Well, we are now about 120 years after Darwin and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species but the situation hasn't changed much. The record of evolution is still surprisingly jerky and, ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transitions than we had in Darwin's time. By this I mean that some of the classic cases of darwinian change in the fossil record, such as the evolution of the horse in North America, have had to be discarded or modified as a result of more detailed information -- what appeared to be a nice simple progression when relatively few data were available now appear to be much more complex and much less gradualistic. So Darwin's problem has not been alleviated in the last 120 years and we still have a record which does show change but one that can hardly be looked upon as the most reasonable consequence of natural selection."

Note that while Raup says that some of the examples have been "discarded" he also says that others have only been "modified". For example the classic horse series Raup mentions is one of those that has been modified, but it is far from discarded. Also note that Raup clearly states that the pattern of the fossil record is one of change in living things over geologic time, something that young earth creationists deny.

And yes it has been taken out of context. The paper is about Darwin's mechanism of natural selection and whether this mechanism is reflected in pattern of the fossil record, not whether there is a lack of evidence for common descent.[55]


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“One must acknowledge that there are many, many gaps in the fossil record...There is no reason to think that all or most of these gaps will be bridged.” (Source: Michael Ruse, “Is There a Limit to Our Knowledge of Evolution,” BioScience, Vol. 34, No. 2, February 1984, p. 101.). Outdated Source

Does not damage evolutionary theory

This reference does not help Ray Comfort's argument whatsoever. Gaps in the fossil record are to be expected, but this does not damage or harm the the validity of the the theory of evolution. Even without a single fossil, we have plenty of evidence to prove evolution and common descent. When something dies, it is usually disassembled, digested, and decomposed. Only rarely is anything ever fossilized, and even fewer things are very well-preserved. Because the conditions required for that process are so particular, the fossil record can only represent a tiny fraction of everything that has ever lived. Darwin provided many environmental dynamics explaining why no single quarry could ever provide a continuous record of biological events, and why it would be impossible to find all the fossilized ancestors of every lineage. But despite this, he predicted that future generations, -having the benefit of better understanding- would discover a substantial number of fossil species which he called “intermediate” or “transitional” between what we see alive today and their taxonomic ancestors at successive levels in paleontological history.

In fact, in the century-and-a-half since then, we’ve found millions of evolutionary intermediaries in the fossil record, much more than Darwin said he could reasonably hope for. There are three different types of transitional forms and we have ample examples of each. But creationists still insist that we’ve never found a single one, because what they usually ask us to present are impossible parodies which evolution would neither produce nor permit (like Ray Comfort's Crocoduck).


“The record jumps, and all the evidence shows that the record is real: the gaps we see reflect real events in life's history—not the artifact of a poor fossil record.” (Source: N. Eldredge and I. Tattersall, The Myths of Human Evolution (New York: Columbia University Press, 1982), p. 59). Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

At least they got the page number right. There are several creationist pages who say this quote is on page 57, not page 59.

Anyway, on with the quote. Here it is in full:

One striking aspect of these extinction/rebound episodes in life’s history is the extraordinary rapidity with which they occur. The Cretaceous extinction about 65 million years ago, which took away the last of the dinosaurs, and perhaps as much as 90 percent of all the other forms of Cretaceous life, took place within the span of a million years. Now, a million years is certainly a long period of time by some standards, but it is an eyeblink in geologic history. Events occurring within less than a million years’ time can create patterns of abrupt change in the fossil record: in many places around the world, fossils can be traced up into the highest layers of Cretaceous rocks when, all of a sudden, they just disappear. And the rocks immediately above preserve representatives of the initial repopulation, life’s rebound after the collapse. The record jumps, and all the evidence shows that the record is real: the gaps we see reflect real events in life’s history—not the artifact of a poor fossil record.”

From this more complete quote we can see that Eldredge and Tattersall aren’t discussing the lack of transitional fossils, but extinction events. And after all, there’s no reason to expect transitional creatures that were never born because their “ancestors to be” went extinct.

But what about the final sentence in the initially posted quotation?

“The fossil record flatly fails to substantiate this expectation of finely graded change.”

Where does it come from? It’s on page 163!!!!!!!!

“We have already argued that the fossil record flatly fails to substantiate this expectation of finely graded change. So too, says Teggart, does the historical sequence of human events.”

A gap of over a hundred pages between sentences is inexcusable, and not indicating the gap with ellipses is even worse. Interestingly, two webpages, Large Gaps in the Fossil Record and National Discontinuities and the Fossil Record have both quotes one after another, and cite their proper respective pages. Did a quote miner (possibly Macroevolution) string them together accidentally? Did they do it on purpose?

The level of integrity and scholarship is mind boggling.


“To explain discontinuities, Simpson relied, in part, upon the classical argument of an imperfect fossil record, but concluded that such an outstanding regularity could not be entirely artificial.” (Source: Stephen J. Gould, “The Hardening of the Modern Synthesis,” in M. Grene, ed., Dimensions of Darwinism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), p. 81). Does not damage evolutionary theory

[edit] Question 87

Begins with a statement: Almost all the major body plans for animals appeared suddenly during the Cambrian period, in what's known as the “Cambrian explosion.” Which scientific magazine asked the question about why no “animal body plans” have evolved since then? Comfort answers “Scientific American” and goes on to say, “In “The Big Band of Animal Evolution,” Jeffrey S. Levinton writes: “Evolutionary biology's deepest paradox concerns this strange discontinuity. Why haven't new animal body plans continued to crawl out of the evolutionary cauldron during the past hundreds of millions of years? Why are the ancient plans so stable?” (Source: Scientific American, Vol. 267, November 1992, p. 84). Does not damage evolutionary theory

The Cambrian explosion does not contradict or damage the theory of evolution. In fact, the Cambrian explosion fits the evolutionary model.[56]


[edit] In-Depth Comment

“With few exceptions, radically new kinds of organisms appear for the first time in the fossil record already fully evolved, with most of their characteristic features present...It is not at all what might have been expected.” (Source: T. S. Kemp (Curator of the zoological collections at Oxford University Museum of Natural History, and expert on Cambrian fossils), Fossils and Evolution (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 253). Does not damage evolutionary theory

The Cambrian explosion does not contradict or damage the theory of evolution. In fact, the Cambrian explosion fits the evolutionary model.[57]


[edit] Question 88

Which “intellectual guru” and best-selling author said that scientists had been “fudging and finagling” the record for a century to conform to Darwin's notions? Comfort answers “Jeremy Rifkin.” Comfort says in Algeny Rifkin wrote the following, “what the 'record' shows is nearly a century of fudging and finagling by scientists attempting to force various fossil morsels and fragments to conform to Darwin's notions, all to no avail. Today the millions of fossils stand as a very visible, ever-present reminder of the paltriness of the arguments and the overall shabbiness of the theory that marches under the banner of evolution.” (Source: New Yorker Viking Press, 1983, p. 125). Not a qualified biologist

Comfort said in the Introduction of this book he would be quoting “evolutionary experts” and right here, Comfort provides a quote from a non-biologist.

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

Outdated Source

Distortion of Science


[edit] In-Depth Comment

“...not being a paleontologist, I don't want to pour too much scorn on paleontologists, but if you were to spend your life picking up bones and finding little fragments of head and little fragments of jaw, there's a very strong desire to exaggerate the importance of those fragments.” (Source: Dr. Greg Kirby in an address given at a meeting of the Biology Teachers Association of South Australia in 1976. Dr. Kirby was the Senior lecturer in Population Biology at Flinders University and was giving the case for evolution.) Does not damage evolutionary theory

[edit] Question 89

Which book of the Bible gave the instructions when dealing with disease, we should wash using running water thousands of years before modern science discovered the fact? Comfort answers “Leviticus.” Leviticus 15:13 says, “When he who has a discharge is cleansed of his discharge, then he shall...wash his clothes, and bathe his body in running water; then he shall be clean.” Non-Academic Source

The Bible is not a scientific text.

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

Distortion of Science

The Bible says specifically to wash under "running water." Keep reading down Leviticus 15, it explains how to finish this sterilization process. "...and bathe his flesh in running water,and he shall be clean. On the eighth day, he shall take to turtledoves, or two pigeons, and come before the Lord unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation and give them unto the priest, and the priest shall offer them, one for suffering, one for burnt offering, and the priest shall make atonement for him before the Lord for his issue." Semmelweis did not make his discoveries based on the Bible, because washing your hands prior to chopping up dead burnt pigeons to appease some desert god is more voodoo than medicine.


[edit] In-Depth Comment

“Long before the germ theory was established as fact by the work of Louis Pasteur (1822-1895), Ignaz Semmelweis (1818-1865) of Vienna was able to suggest the contagious nature of infections in women who had just given birth. Semmelweis observed that when his resident physicians and students washed their hands with soap and water before each examination of a new mother there was a dramatic decline in the infection rate on the ward. Today, hand washing is a standard antiseptic technique used by all surgeons in preparation for operations.” (Source: MedicineNet, “Hand Washing for Disease Prevention in Surgery” <www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=182>). Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

First of all, this does not even address the theory of evolution, it is more or less a short history piece.

Second of all, nowhere in this quote does it credit Semmelweis’s discoveries towards the Bible. For years, religious figures proclaimed that diseases were caused by demons. For instance, Martin Luther (the founder of Christian Protestantism) said that diseases were caused by evil spirits and he call physicians (who believed that diseases were caused by natural means) “fools.”

Nowhere in this quote does it credit Semmelweis's discoveries to the Bible. It is self-evident that Semmelweis was not inspired by scripture, so Ray Comfort is completely relying on this knowledge of basic hygiene being unobtainable by the primitive bronze age savages who were nevertheless good enough to be the personal plaything of some schizophrenic magic-man-in-the-sky. As such, this knowledge, Comfort’s content, could only have been provided by the emotionally insecure bearded one himself, perhaps in exchange for a plate of overcooked lamb fat and a bucket of blood.

Isn’t is strange, Ray Comfort, how your precious Psalm makes no mention of bacteria or viruses? No mention of the pathological mechanisms of either? Not even a hint of why washing might be a wise course of action?


[edit] Question 90

Who said it question: “I cannot conceive of a genuine scientist without a profound faith [in God].” Comfort answers “Albert Einstein” and includes the following, “Although he often used the term “God” (as in his famous statement, “God does not play dice”), biographies of his life show that he had no personal faith. According to Einstein the only religion he has was “an unbound admiration for the structure of the world.” It's important to remember that although many scientists use the term “God,” they do not believe in a Person who created the universe.” (Source: Don Batten, “Physicists' God-talk,” Creation, Vol. 17 June 1995, p. 15 <www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v17/i3/god_talk.asp>.). Non-Academic Source

Answers in Genesis is not an academic source or organization. It is a organization promoting pseudoscientific young earth creationism based on their literal interpretation of the Bible.

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

Einstein's personal religious or spiritual views have no relevance to the theory of evolution whatsoever.

Appeal to authority

Einstein's personal views do not change anything. While Einstein was a brilliant scientist, he was not right about everything, especially his views about god. For instance, Einstein was a determinist and believed that God “does not play with dice with the universe.” However, due to developments in quantum mechanics and Heisenburg's Uncertainty Principle, we know that determinism is false, and so were Einstein's personal views on the matter.


[edit] In-Depth Comment

“Einstein himself stated clearly that he did not believe in a personal God: 'It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly.'

So, the quick answer to the question is that Einstein did not believe in a personal God. It is however, interesting how he arrived at that conclusion. In developing the theory of relativity, Einstein realized that the equations led to the conclusion that the universe had a beginning. He didn't like the idea of a beginning, because he thought one would have to conclude that the universe was created by God. So, he added a cosmological constant to the equation to attempt to get rid of the beginning. He said this was one of the worst mistakes of his life. Of course, the results of Edwin Hubble confirmed that the universe was expanding and had a beginning at some point in the past. So, Einstein had become a deist—a believer in an impersonal creator God: 'I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings.'

However, it would also seem that Einstein was not an atheist, since he also complained about being put into that camp: 'In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views.” (Source: Rich Deem, “Did Albert Einstein Believe in a Personal God?” <www.godandscience.org/apologetics/einstein.html>.).

Non-Academic Source

The website “godandscience” is not a academic or scholarly website, it is a Christian apologetic site.

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

Einstein's personal religious or spiritual views have no relevance to the theory of evolution whatsoever.

Appeal to authority

Einstein's personal views do not change anything. While Einstein was a brilliant scientist, he was not right about everything, especially his views about god. For instance, Einstein was a determinist and believed that God “does not play with dice with the universe.” However, due to developments in quantum mechanics and Heisenburg's Uncertainty Principle, we know that determinism is false, and so were Einstein's personal views on the matter.


[edit] Question 91

True or False question: The fact that the DNA in chimps and in humans is 96 percent similar proves that they have a common ancestor? Comfort answers “False.” He then adds a quote “The DNA in bananas is 50 percent similar to human DNA, but no one would speculate that we are 'half-bananas.' Although the field of comparative genetics has revealed some interesting facts about the similarities (and differences) of DNA among different species, it says nothing about the origin of our DNA or the historical relationship between species.” (Source: Michael Matthews, “Apes are our brothers: just ask the Post Office,” April 17, 2003 <www.answersingenesis.org/docs2003/0407apes.asp>.) Non-Academic Source

Answers in Genesis is not an academic source or organization. It is a organization promoting pseudoscientific young earth creationism based on their literal interpretation of the Bible.

Not a qualified biologist

Matthews is not a scientist. He is a writer with degrees in English.

  • B.A. in English (first two years at the University of Chicago, USA) Bob Jones University, Greenville, South Carolina, USA (1984)
  • M.Ed. in English Education, Bob Jones University (1988)

Distortion of Science

DNA does indeed prove that we and chimpanzees share a common ancestor. You share more traits in common with your siblings than you do with your cousins due to the recent ancestors you share with them, your parents. Deeper down, you share more in common with those in your extended family than you do with neighbors and classmates, etc., people you don’t recognize as part of your biological family. But you must realize that on some level you’re still related. Deeper down, one could likely recognize subtle indications of cultural demes which most people will still agree all descend from one common ancestral lineage –despite their current apparent diversity and unfamiliar ways.

Deeper down, we've seen that new breeds of barnyard birds, domestic pets, livestock, corn, even bananas have to some degree been engineered by human intervention via artificial selection, and new sub-species have occurred in the wild via natural selection. In both cases, these stem from common ancestry, be that hundreds of breeds of dogs coming from one strain of wolves, or dozens of commercial bovines being derived from the now-extinct European Aurochs. Likewise, we stem from a common ancestry with chimpanzees.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

For many years, evolutionary scientists—and science museums and zoos—have hailed the chimpanzee as 'our closest living relative' and have pointed to the similarity in DNA sequences between the two as evidence. In most previous studies, they have announced 98-99% identical DNA. However, these were for gene coding regions (such as the sequence of the cytochrome c protein), which constituted only a very small fraction of the roughly 3 billion DNA base pairs that compromise our genetics blueprint. Although the full human genome sequence has been available since 2001, the whole chimpanzee genome has not. Thus, all the previous work has been based on only a portion of the total DNA.

Last week, in a special issue of Nature devoted to chimpanzees, researchers reported the initial sequence of the chimpanzee genome...So what is this great and overwhelming 'proof' of chimp-human common ancestry? Researchers claim that there is little genetic difference between us (only 4%). This is very strange kind of proof because it is actually double the percentage difference that has been claimed for years!...

Further, the use of percentages obscure the magnitude of the differences. For example, 1.23% of the differences are single base pair substitutions. This doesn't sound like much until you realize that it represents ~35% million mutations! But that is only the beginning, because there are ~40-45 million bases present in humans and missing from chimps, as well as about the same number present in chimps that is absent from man. These extra DNA nucleotides are called 'insertions' or 'deletions' because they are thought to have been added in or lost from the sequence. This puts the total number of DNA differences at about 125 million. However, since the insertions can be more than one nucleotide long, there are about 40 million separate mutation events that would separate the two species.

To put this number into perspective, a typical page of text might have 4,000 letters and spaces. It would take 10,000 such full pages of text to equal 40 million letters!” (Source: David A. Dewitt, Ph.D., “Chimp Genome Sequence Very Different from Man,” September 5, 2005 <www.answersingenesis.org/docs2005/0905chimp.asp>).

Non-Academic Source

Answers in Genesis is not an academic source or organization. It is a organization promoting pseudoscientific young earth creationism based on their literal interpretation of the Bible.

Does not damage evolutionary theory


[edit] Question 92

True or False question: Archaeopteryx has been found to be the evolutionary missing link between dinosaurs and birds? Comfort answers “false” and adds “the Field Museum in Chicago displayed what was believed to be an Archaeopteryx fossil on October 4-19, 1997. It was hailed as “Archaeopteryx: The Bird That Rocked the World.” However, Dr. Alan Feduccia (world authority on birds and evolutionary biologist at the University of North Carolina) said, “Paleontologists have tried to turn Archaeopteryx into an earth-bound, feathered dinosaur. But it's not. It is a bird, a perching bird. And no amount of 'paleobabble' is going to change that.” (Source: Archaeopteryx: Early Bird Catches a Can of Worms,” Science, Vol. 259, 5 February 1993, pp. 764-765). Distortion of Science

Archaeopteryx is indeed a transitional fossil. Notice how Ray Comfort (as well as other quote-miners) only quote Feduccia's conclusion, and not his evidence. There is no mention that that his opinion is a minority opinion. Feduccia's peers in the field of bird evolution are "authorities" too. In short this creationist is saying that Feduccia is an authority and that he says that birds are not descended from dinosaurs, therefore birds are not descended from dinosaurs. It is a classic "argument from authority." It is also very inconsistent. Feduccia also says that evolution occurs, so if this argument is to be followed to its logical conclusion, this creationist must accept the evolution of birds from non-birds! One could also cite many more authorities that say birds are descended from theropod dinosaurs. This is why one should not pick and choose authorities. If Feduccia does turn out to be correct and his views become established within the scientific community, then the evolution deniers will probably become fond of quoting what Kevin Padian and other proponents of birds being descended from dinosaurs had to say about Feduccia's views.

Comfort not only did not quote the experts with other views than Feduccia, the creationist did not mention the views of Feduccia that are contrary to his own case. Consider that the antievolutionist article quoted above is called "Is Archaeopteryx a 'missing link'?" and argues that Archaeopteryx is not a transitional form. It uses the Feduccia quote to support this. A reader might be fooled into thinking that Feduccia does not think that it is not a transitional form between reptiles and birds. Here is what Feduccia2 had to say in a chapter he called "Feathered Reptiles":

...The creature thus memorialized was Archaeopteryx lithographica, and, though indisputably birdlike, it could with equal truth be called reptilian.... The Archaeopteryx fossil is, in fact, the most superb example of a specimen perfectly intermediate between two higher groups of living organisms--what has come to be called a "missing link," a Rosetta stone of evolution....

Thus from one quote we see a whole range of problems that resulted from an attempt to "prove" a point with a quotation. The moral is that quoting someone is not a substitute for researching details and providing details to the reader. Without those details, it is simply saying that it is so because so-and-so said so. Without those details it becomes an "argument from authority.

That evolution deniers have to resort to quotes to make their case shows just how little of a case they have.


[edit] In-Depth Comment

“In Eichstatt, Germany, in 1984 there was a major meeting of scientists who specialized in bird evolution, the International Archaeopteryx Conference. They disagreed on just about anything that was covered there on this creature, but there was very broad agreement on the belief that Archaeopteryx was a true bird. Only a tiny minority thought that it was actually one of the small, lightly built coelurosaurian dinosaurs [small lightly framed dinosaurs]...If, of course, it's a true bird, it is not the half-way, half-reptile, half-bird like we've often heard.” (Source: Dr. David Menton, “Bird evolution flies out the window” <www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v16/i4/birds.asp>). Non-Academic Source

Answers in Genesis is not an academic source, it is a biased young-earth creationist organization with a history of purposely distorting science to fit their literal biblical worldview.

Distortion of Science

Contrary to Menton's claims, Archaeopteryx is indeed a transitional fossil.[58]


[edit] Question 93

Comfort makes a statement and asks a question: “The theory of evolution depends on the concept of random mutations accumulate to create new body parts and functions. Does the evidence show that this is possible? Comfort answers “no” and quotes Stephen J. Gould to explain why, “But how do you get from nothing to such an elaborate something if Evolution must proceed through a long sequence of intermediate stages, each favored by natural selection? You can't fly with 2% of a wing...ow, in other words, can natural selection explain these incipient stages of structures that can only be used (as we now observe them) in much more elaborated forms?...One point stands high above the rest the dilemma of incipient stages. Mivart identified this problem as primary and it remains so today.” (Source: “Not Necessarily a Wing,” Natural History, October 1985, pp. 12-13). Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

The quote is taken from an essay by Gould entitled "Not Necessarily a Wing". The full text can be found here. To quote another passage from the essay:

...believe that Darwinism has, and has long had, an adequate and interesting resolution to Mivart's challenge (although we have obviously been mightily unsuccessful in getting it across). Second, a paper recently published in the technical journal Evolution has provided compelling experimental evidence for this resolution applied to its most famous case—the origin of wings.

As you can see, the quote is clearly taken out of context.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“The reasons for rejecting Darwin's proposal were many, but first of all that many innovations cannot possibly come into existence through accumulation of many small steps, and even if they can, natural selection cannot accomplish it, because incipient and intermediate stages are not advantageous.” (Source: Embryologist Soren Lovtrup, Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth (Beckingham, Kent: Croom Helm Ltd., 1987), p. 275) Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Does not damage evolutionary theory

Despite his melodramatic book title, Lövtrup accepts evolution, but disagrees with the mechanisms of it and the historicity of Darwin's role in proposing it.[59][60][61] Lövtrup's ideas would likely be considered "out of the mainstream" by most scientists.


“The evolutionary process faces constraints far more severe than anything impeding human designers. We biologists recognize these constraints, but we don't often rise above our natural chauvinism and make enough noise about them. Every organism must grow from an initially smaller to an ultimate larger size. Nature in effect must transmute a motorcycle into an automobile while providing continuous transportation. The need for growth without loss of function can impose severe geometrical limitations.” (Source: Steven Vogel, Cats' Paws and Catapults (London: Penguin, 1998), p. 23). Does not damage evolutionary theory

[edit] Question 94

Fill in the blank: Prof. Robert H. Peters, when referring to evolutionary theory, said “The essence of the argument is that these 'theories' are actually tautologies [empty statements] and, as such, cannot make empirically testable predictions. They are not ____________.” Comfort answers “scientific theories at all.” (Source: American Naturalist, Vol. 110, 1976, p. 1). Comfort then states “there is nothing 'scientific' of evolution—it is a chosen belief about the historical origin of life.” Outdated Source

Peters full paper can be read here.

Does not damage evolutionary theory

His main argument is that evolution cannot make predictions. However, he bases this on the low amount of geological and fossil data from the 70's. Evolution does indeed make predictions, and they have turned out to be very accurate and/or confirmed.[62]


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“For evolution to be a fact, you must have two things, minimally. First, you've got to have life coming from non-life—abiogenesis. Second, you've got to have a change in that life from simple forms to complex forms over time. You must have the kick-off, and you must have the rest of the game.

Now, here is my question: How did life come from non-life? How did the game get started by evolutionary means? Does anyone know? Guess what? Nobody knows. Oh, there are some ideas and people have suggested some possible ways, but nobody has sketched out any way that really answers the question. There are so many problems and complications. There are competing models that have been suggested, but they're just starting places. They're just ways of saying, 'Let's start here, and we'll see where it leads.' There are possibilities, but no one knows how it happened, or even how it could have happened in enough detail to be compelling.

Now, here's the kicker. If you don't know how it happened by naturalistic, evolutionary processes, how do you know that it happened by naturalistic, evolutionary processes? Evolution is claimed to be a fact, but you cannot have the fact of evolution unless you have the fact of abiogenesis. Yet nobody knows how such a thing could ever take place. And if life can't be shown to have come from non-life, then the game can't even get started.

Then why do we call evolution a fact when evolution can't even get off the ground, based on the information we have right now? The answer you get is always the same: Because we're here. It must have happened. That's called circular reasoning, friends, based on a prior commitment to naturalism that won't be shaken by the facts. Which proves that this is not about science, it's about philosophy.” (Source: Gregory Koukl, “Evolution—Philosophy, Not Science” <www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5494>

Not a qualified biologist

Koukl is a licensed Pentecostal minister and founder of Stand to Reason, a Christian apologetic ministry dedicated to promoting “clear thinking Christianity that can compete in the marketplace of ideas.”

Non-Academic Source

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

Distortion of Science

Creationists habitually misdefine their terms, and commonly insist that evolution means “life from non-life”. But of course that’s not right either. 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'.

but nobody has sketched out any way that really answers the question. Actually, the scientific perspective of the development of life is surprisingly intricate multi-stage sequence. Creationists will use any parody they can to link it to evolution, and make both sound ridiculous, and that isn’t surprising considering how ridiculous their own position is—that a living cells can magically poof into being out of thin air.

Since the validity of evolution does not rest upon abiogeneis, and in fact it never did, Koukl here is simply wrong. How do we know that it came about via naturalistic means? Koukl states we have never seen life come from none life, when in fact we have tested and proven that life can arise naturally given the required materials are provided. The Miller-Urey experiment has revealed that amino acids and many other materials required for life can form naturally – this has been confirmed in nature and also seen on meteorites. Also, no scientist claims it must have happened because we are here, rather they must demonstrate how. As it stands, evolutionary theory gives the best and thorough explanation.

Finally, how do we know evolution is a fact. In order to be a fact, it must be testable and observable, and evolution fits both. It is a fact that evolution happens; that biodiversity and complexity does increase, that both occur naturally only by evolutionary means.

It is a fact that alleles vary with increasing distinction in reproductive populations and that these are accelerated in genetically isolated groups.

It is a fact that natural selection, sexual selection, and genetic drift have all been proven to have predictable effect in guiding this variance.

It is a fact that significant beneficial mutations do occur and are inherited by descendant groups, and that multiple independent sets of biological markers exist to trace these lineages backwards over many generations.

It is a fact that birds are a subset of dinosaurs the same way humans are a subset of apes, primates, eutherian mammals, and vertebrate deuterostome animals.

It is a fact that the collective genome of all animals has been traced to its most basal form, and that those forms are also indicated by comparative morphology, physiology, and embryological development.

It is a fact that everything on earth has definite relatives either living nearby or evident in the fossil record.

It is a fact that the fossil record holds hundreds of definitely transitional species even according to it’s strictest definition, and that both microevolution and macroevolution have been directly-observed.

Evolution is a fact!


[edit] Question 95

Fill in the blank question: “Most modern biologists, having reviewed with satisfaction the downfall of the spontaneous generation hypothesis, yet unwilling to accept the alternative belief in special creation, are left with nothing. I think a scientist has no choice but to approach the origin of life through ________.” Comfort answers “a hypothesis of spontaneous generation” (Source: Dr. G. Wald, “The Origin of Life,” Scientific American, August 1954, p. 45). Comfort adds, “Even though Louis Pasteur (1860's) scientifically proved that life could not spontaneously generate from non-living matter, today's evolutionists are willing to believe that it did.” Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

Distortion of Science

Louis Pasteur only proved that fully formed life (bacteria, maggots, mice, etc.) could not spontaneously generate. Pasteur disproved a form of creationism. There is no biological law that says that very primitive life cannot come from increasingly complex molecules.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“This thing [a scale model of our solar system] is but a puny imitation of a much greater system whose laws you know, and I am not able to convince you that this mere toy is without a designer and maker; yet you, as an atheist, profess to believe that the great original from which the design is taken has come into being either designer or maker! Not tell me by what sort of reasoning do you reach such an incongruous conclusion?” (Source: Sir Isaac Newton (The Minnesota Technolog, October 1957). Appeal to authority

Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

While Newton was an important scientist, he never heard Darwin's theory or its explanatory power, so he cannot be used to attack Darwin.

While Sir Isaac Newton was a brilliant scientist, he was a man of his time. Science has brought forth vast amounts of knowledge since Newton's time, and many things have come to light that Newton never knew about. We now know of things like quantum mechanics, atomic theory, evolutionary theory, and the Big Bang theory. Newton did not know better, we do. And to quote Newton to reinforce a century old ignorance known as “god of the gaps” is foolish on many levels.

Newton explored and searched through the mysteries of the universe and matter. Like all humans, the human brain seeks patterns wherever it looks. No doubt Newton saw patters in the universe that resembled human design. However, we know know that many things in nature appeared design but come about through purely natural processes (such as crystals, clouds, snowflakes, etc.)


“What has closed the doors of the Academy to Mr. Darwin is that the science of his books which have made his chief title to fame—the Origin of Species, and still more the Descent of Man, is not science, but a mass of assertions and absolutely gratuitous hypotheses, often evidently fallacious. This kind of publication and these theories are a bad example, which a body that respects itself cannot encourage.” (Source: A prominent member of the Academy, on why the Zoological Section of the French Institute denied Darwin's membership in 1872; quoted in Life and Letters of Charles Darwin (London: D. Appleton and Co., 1911), 2:400, footnote). Outdated Source

Distortion of Science

We have no idea who wrote this letter or their reasons. We do not even know if this letter was intentionally serious. Regardless, whoever wrote this is simply wrong. Darwin's theories presented in the Origin of Species and Descent of Man are indeed scientific books that do include mass scientific data.


[edit] Question 96

Who said the following: “I have said for years that speculations about the origin of life lead to no useful purpose as even the simplest living system is far too complex to be understood in terms of the extremely primitive chemistry scientists have used in their attempts to explain the unexplainable. God cannot be explained away by such naïve thoughts.” Comfort answers “Sir Ernest Chain.” (Source: Ronald W. Clark, The Life of Ernest Chain [New York: St. Martin's Press, 1985], pp. 147-148.) Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

The theory of evolution is not concerned with the origin of life.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“We don't understand how a single star forms, yet we want to understand how 10 billion stars form.” (Source: Carlos Frenk, as quoted by Robert Irion, “Surveys Scour the Cosmic Deep,” Science, Vol. 303, 19 March 2004, p. 1750) Not relevant to evolutionary theory or biology

This question is in regards to the formation of stars, not the theory of evolution or biodiversity of life. At best, this reference shares our scientific curiosity and desire to learn more about the natural world and how the universe works. Ray Comfort and his worldview offers nothing, just "God did it" -- an answer that answers everything while explaining nothing.

Does not damage evolutionary theory

Unable to understand or know how stars form does not invalidate all the biological and geological evidence proving the theory of evolution.


“[T]he earliest known representative of the major kinds of animals still populating today's seas made a rather abrupt appearance. This rather protracted 'event' shows up graphically in the rock record: all over the world, at roughly the same time, thick sequences of rocks, barren of any easily detected fossils, are overlain by sediments containing a gorgeous array of shelly invertebrates: trilobites, brachiopods, mollusks.

...this sudden development of rich and varied fossil record where, just before, there was none...Indeed, the sudden appearance of a varied, well-preserved array of fossils...does pose a fascinating intellectual challenge.” (Source: Niles Eldredge (Paleontologist, American Museum of Natural History), The Monkey Business: A Scientist Looks at Creationism (New York: Washington Square Press, 1982), p. 44)

Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Here is the full quote;

Creationists have made much of this sudden development of rich and varied fossil record where, just before, there was none. Ignoring its extreme antiquity and accepting, for the moment, the principle that overlying rocks are younger than those lying beneath them (a point creationists deny in other contexts), creationists are fond of asserting that the so-called Cambrian proliferation of life is an instance of grand episode of Creation. where is the slow, steady evolution of one life form to another? they ask. Where are the "intermediate forms"? To creationists, the Cambrian episode falsifies the very notion of evolution and bespeaks, instead, the separate acts of a Creator. Indeed, the sudden appearance of a varied, well-preserved array of fossils, which geologists have used to mark the beginnings of the Cambrian Period (the oldest division of the Paleozoic era), does pose a fascinating intellectual challenge. Early geologists simply documented the pattern. But, in the years following Darwin's convincing argument establishing "descent with modification," the sudden advent of complex life in the fossil record demanded some sort of explanation. The creationists today, as in so many of their pronouncements, are merely echoing a solution to an intellectual problem current in science several generations ago: If life has evolved, as Darwin has said, how can such a proliferation of vastly different life forms appear so suddenly? Doesn't this "Cambrian explosion" flatly falsify the very idea of evolution? The trick, here is in the phrase "as Darwin said." Creationists confound Darwin's assertion that life has evolved with Darwin;s specific ideas on how life evolved, and the sorts of patterns he consequently expected to fin in the fossil record.

Eldredge goes on the next page to explain that the Cambrian explosion was not a sudden event, due to evidence from detailed explorations of thick Siberian deposits, thereby refuting the concept of "sudden" held by scientists and creationists alike. Eldredge even provides a hypothesis to explain the Cambrian proliferation. Eldredge does not once state that Darwin was wrong or there is no evidence for his theory or the fossil record, what he does say that creationists have "exploited" the situations of the pace of Darwin's theory "to the hilt."


[edit] Question 97

Which scientist was happy believing in evolution without evidence? Ray answers Richard Dawkins. He sources Dawkins in a speech at Washington University in St. Louis, saying "We do not need evidence. We know it is to be true." (Washington Magazine, 22 March 1997, p. 10) Could not find the quote by Richard Dawkins, anywhere. Without the whole interview provided, how can we tell that Dawkins may be referring to something besides evolution?

[edit] In-Depth Comments

“Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such a hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic.” (Source: Dr. Scott C. Todd, Immunologist at Kansas State University, Nature, 30 September 1999, p. 423) Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Outdated Source

Regarding the quote from Scott Todd, it comes from what is essentially a "letter to the editor" about the Kansas Board of Education's 1999 decision to eliminate the required teaching of evolution in public schools. It was not from a formal scientific or philosophical paper.[63]

Creationists quote the above but leave out the very next sentence:

"Of course the scientist, as an individual, is free to embrace a reality that transcends naturalism."

In that next sentence, Dr. Todd correctly identifies the basis of the exclusion of the design hypothesis from science as methodological, not philosophical, naturalism. While it might be quibbled that Dr. Todd could have put it better, science, contrary to the fondest wishes of creationists, is still not metaphysics. To suggest that Dr. Todd was expressing a commitment to philosophical Naturalism is the height of disingenuousness.

Also, the text which immediately precedes the quotation is:

"Most important, it should be made clear in the classroom that science, including evolution, has not disproved God's existence because it cannot be allowed to consider it (presumably)."

That is hardly dogmatic anti-theism on Dr. Todd's part.


“Charles Darwin presented On the Origin of Species to a disbelieving world in 1859—three years after Clerk Maxwell [a creationist] had published On Fafaday's Lines of Force. Maxwell's theory has by a process of absorption become part of quantum field theory, and so a part of the great canonical structures created by mathematical physicists. By contrast, the final triumph of Darwinian theory, although vividly imagined by biologists, remains, along with world peace and Esperanto, on the eschatological horizon of contemporary thought.” (Source: David Berlinksi, “The Deniable Darwin,” Darwinism, Design, and Public Education (Mich. State, 2003), p. 157) Not a qualified biologist

David Berlinski is a senior member of the Discovery Institute. He is a philosopher, not a biologist.

Distortion of Science

Evolution does not rest on the "vivid imagination" of biologists.


[edit] Question 98

Fill in the blank. Evolutionists Paul Ehrlich and L. C. Birch wrote, “Out theory of evolution has become...one which cannot be refuted by any possible observations. Every conceivable observation can be fitted into it. It is thus ___________ but not necessarily false. No one can think of ways in which to test it.” Comfort answers “outside empirical science.” (Source: “Evolutionary History and Population Biology,” Nature, Vol. 214, 22 April 1967, pp. 349-352). Comfort goes on to say, “Evolutionists admit that the theory is not scientific, but is actually an explanation of origins. This shows that evolution is not a science, but a religious belief about the origin of life.” Outdated Source

Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

This is another quote-mine.

Distortion of Science

Evolution is not a religious belief any more than gravity or atomic theory. As already explained, evolution does not explain the origin of life. Likewise, cell theory states that all living things are made of cells, but no creationist argues against cell theory for not explaining how cells developed naturally. The only reason why creationists focus on the theory of evolution is for one sole reason; it contradicts their literal narrow interpretation of the Book of Genesis.


[edit] In-Depth Comment

“[Evolution] must, they feel, explain everything...A theory that explains everything might just as well be discarded since it has no real explanatory value. Of course, the other thing about evolution is that anything can be said because very little can be disproved. Experimental evidence is minimal.” (Source: Bryan Appleyard, “You Asked for It,” New Scientist, Vol. 166, 22 April 2000, p. 45). Not a qualified biologist

Appleyard is not a scientist or biologist, he is a freelance journalist.

Distortion of Science

This quote is full of falsehoods. Evolution does not and is not meant to explain everything. Evolution is only limited to the study of biology, where in fact natural selection ties everything together. Evolution can be disproven in many ways. Everything in science must be falsifiable. One example: find a fossilized rabbit in the Cambrian layer.


[edit] Question 99

Who said it: “The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the tradde secrete of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils.” Comfort answers “Stephen Gould.” (Source: “The Episodic Nature of Evolutionary Change” in The Panda's Thumb [New york: W. W. Norton & Co., 1980], pp. 179-185). Comfort goes to say, “Since there is no evidence in the fossil record that one species changed into another, Gould came up with a theory called Punctuated Equilibrium. In essence, his theory states that a dinosaur must have laid an egg, and when it hatched, out came a bird.” Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Classic quote mine. This is a favorite amongst creationists. Here is the full quote;

The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils. Yet Darwin was so wedded to gradualism that he wagered his entire theory on a denial of this literal record:

The geological record is extremely imperfect and this fact will to a large extent explain why we do not find interminable varieties, connecting together all the extinct and existing forms of life by the finest graduated steps. He who rejects these views on the nature of the geological record, will rightly reject my whole theory.

Darwin's argument still persists as the favored escape of most paleontologists from the embarrassment of a record that seems to show so little of evolution [directly]. In exposing its cultural and methodological roots, I wish in no way to impugn the potential validity of gradualism (for all general views have similar roots). I only wish to point out that it is never "seen" in the rocks.

Paleontologists have paid an exorbitant price for Darwin's argument. We fancy ourselves as the only true students of life's history, yet to preserve our favored account of evolution by natural selection we view our data as so bad that we never see the very process we profess to study.

For several years, Niles Eldredge of the American Museum of Natural History and I have been advocating a resolution to this uncomfortable paradox. We believe that Huxley was right in his warning [1]. The modern theory of evolution does not require gradual change. In fact, the operation of Darwinian processes should yield exactly what we see in the fossil record. [It is gradualism we should reject, not Darwinism.]

So it would seem that Gould has no problems with the fossil record. But did he believe that transitional forms are lacking? Note that in the quote originally presented, the claim is made that they are rare, not absent. Also, as anyone who is familiar with Gould's writings will know, the text quoted reflects his recognition that, while there is a scarcity of transitional fossils between species, there is no such lack of transitional fossils between major groups.


[edit] In-Depth Comments

“It has through the device of presenting such diagrams [evolutionary trees] with the presumed connections drawn in firm solid lines that the general scientific world has been bamboozled into believing that evolution has been proved. Nothing could be further from the truth.” (Source: Sir Fredrick Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe, Evolution from Space (London: J. M. Dent & Sons, 1981), p. 87) Outdated Source

Distortion of Science


“What one actually found was nothing but discontinuities: All species are separated from each other by bridgeless gaps; intermediates between species are not observed...The problem was even more serious at the level of the higher categories.” (Source: Ernst Mayr, The Growth of Biological Thought: Diversity, Evolution, and Inheritance (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1982), p. 524). Outdated Source

Does not damage evolutionary theory


“The fossil record flatly fails to substantiate this expectation of finely graded change.” (Source: N. Eldredge and I. Tattersal, The Myths of Human Evolution (New York: Columbia University Press, 1982), p. 163) Outdated Source

Quote Mine/Distorted message of author

Some creationists include an additional piece to this quote mine. The extra quote comes from page 59, but since Comfort did not include it we will not discuss it, but you can read more about it here. Here is what Eldredge actually said;

We have already argued that that the fossil record flatly fails to substantiate this expectation of finely graded change. So too, says Teggart, does the historical sequence of human events.

[edit] Question 100

True or False question: Darwin's finches demonstrate evolution because the birds have evolved different beaks, which means they are diverging into separate species. Comfort answers “false” and adds the following, “No genetic information has been added to produce the beaks' change, which is what Darwinian evolution requires. Darwin's finches instead demonstrate variety within the strict limits of a single species. This variety within species is what allows for different breeds of dogs, for instance. But since the dogs always remain dogs, and finches always remain finches, no matter how many breeding generation, Darwinian evolution is just not taking place.” (Source: Carl Wieland, “Darwin's Finches,” June 1992 <www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v14/i3/finches.asp>). Not a qualified biologist

Wieland is not a biologist, taxonomist or genetic scientist, his expertise rests in medicine and surgery.

Non-Academic Source

Answers in Genesis is not a scholarly or academic source.

Distortion of Science

We do know that new species do arise in a form called speciation. While Wieland argues that different breeds of dogs will always remain dogs, this is not always so. According to evolution theory, when a population is separated and after generations of genetic change, the two species when brought back together can no longer breed, they have become two new distinct species. In the case of dogs, who are descendants of wolves, there are cases when new species arise. For instance, the African dog is not a real dog at all. The aardwolf may look like a fox, but it is genetically more related to cats.


[edit] In-Depth Comment

“The finch beak variation is merely the result of selection of existing genetic information, while the general theory of evolution requires new information...However, another problem with using these finches is that the variation seems to be cyclic—while a drought resulted in a slight increase in beak size, the change was reversed when the rains returned. So it looks more like built-in adaptability to various climatic conditions than anything to do with the general theory of evolution.

This episode also discusses the change in beak length of hummingbirds, to adapt to changes in the length of flowers where they obtain nectar. But the same points apply—no evidence was produced that any new information is required for these changes, as opposed to selection of already-existing information.” (Source: Jonathan Sarfati, response to PBS-TV series Evolution, Episode 1 <www.answersingenesis.org/pbs_nova/0924ep1.asp>).

Not a qualified biologist

Sarfati is not a paleontologist, biologist or skilled in taxonomy.

Non-Academic Source

Here is a site that reveals Sarfati's fallacious works.[64] Sarfati's work has been known as "crude piece of propaganda" by the National Center for Science Education.[65] Reed A. Cartwright and Dr Douglas L. Theobald, have criticized Sarfati's claims such as one that accuses scientists of continually changing the definition of vestigial to match the evidence.[66]


[edit] Question 101

True or False question: the geological column presents clear evidence of a sequence of different ages. Comfort answers “false” followed by “the geological column does not exist as it is depicted in text book.” Comfort adds a quote, “The global 'stack' of index fossils exist nowhere on earth.” (Source: John Woodmorappe, “The Geological Column: Does It Exist?” Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal, 1999, pp. 77-82.) Not a qualified biologist

Non-Academic Source

Distortion of Science


[edit] In-Depth Comment

“The intelligent layman has long suspected circular reasoning in the use of rocks to date fossils and fossils to date rocks. The geologist has never bothered to think of a good reply, feeling the explanations are not worth the trouble as long as the work brings results. This is supposed to be hard-headed pragmatism. It cannot be denied that from a strictly philosophical standpoint, geologists are here arguing in a circle. The succession of organisms has been determined by the study of their remains imbedded in the rocks, and the relative ages of the rocks are determined by the remains of organisms they contain.” (Source: J. E. O'Rourke (Evolutionist researcher), “Pragmatism Versus Materialism in Stratigraphy,” American Journal of Science, January 1976, p. 47-55). Distortion of Science

The intelligent layman has long suspected circular reasoning in the use of rocks to date fossils and fossils to date rocks. The geologist has never bothered to think of a good reply, feeling that explanations are not worth the trouble as long as the work brings results. This is supposed to be hard-headed pragmatism. (Emphasis added)

Notice that O'Rourke certainly has methods used by geologists as working. That something works is certainly a justification for using it. O'Rourke continued, but the article goes down hill from there. It was rambling, confused, extremely poorly written, more about bad philosophy than about geology, and filled with extreme left-wing vocabulary. Andrew MacRae, in his "Radiometric Dating and the Geological Time Scale: Circular Reasoning or Reliable Tools?", which shows why the geologic column is not circular reasoning.


[edit] A Vestigial Chapter: Evolution and Morality

Evolution: A Fairy Tale For Grownups RationalWiki Responses
Comfort begins by sharing that the magazine Time attempted to explain the mystery of evil. The article is "What Makes Us Moral?" by Jeffrey Kluger, November 20, 2007[67]. Comfort quotes several paragraphs, but wants us to pay attention to the bit where the author (Jeffrey Kluger) mentions "the rules we know." Kluger quotes Marc Hauser that our moral judgment is very similar from person to person, but our moral behavior is scattered. Kluger asks "where do those intuitions come from? And why are we so inconsistent about following where they lead us? Scientists can't yet answer those questions, but that hasn't stopped them from looking." Comfort cuts it there, and repeats Kluger's latest questions and statement. Comfort asks why would evolution put conscience in a human mind? Comfort wonders how evolution could have led man to develop rules such as "Thou shall not murder, lie, and commit adultery" for survival reasons, and wonders why we do not follow them. Why does Comfort cut it there? There are three more whole pages left, providing explanations to these questions. This is basic writing people learn in school; you begin addressing your topic and you ask certain questions before providing the reader with your material, and then you provide a conclusion based on your work. What Comfort has done here is read the end of the thesis and then dropped all interest.

Answers to questions like why we developed rules against murder and lying is explained in the next section of the article. Kluger explains the evolutionary benefits of empathy, altruism and then close to the end of the article, Kluger provides an explanation for why people do bad things like murder. It is very curious why Comfort does not mention any of this? Why bring up an article and only share the thesis of the paper and not include the core context?


Comfort says evolution brings for a moral dilemma: if society makes the rules then there are no moral absolutes. Comfort goes on about how society can therefore pass laws to justify pedophilia and genocide, but does not offer another part to the "moral dilemma." It seems that Comfort has no other piece of the dilemma. All Comfort says is that if man makes the rules, then there are no moral absolutes and we can justify anything. This is not an argument against the theory of evolution. Rather it is more of an argument against relativism. However, it is a rather poor argument. Comfort believes that God is the ultimate moral authority, and Comfort's presumption that God is perfect and infallible allows him to believe that God is righteous. However, if Comfort follows the moral dictates of an unverifiable entity, then almost anything is permissible. Example, what if tomorrow, God suddenly deemed killing infants as perfectly moral. By Comfort's reasoning, we cannot question God and we must obey. This is otherwise known as the divine command theory, in which the believer is forced to obey the moral dictates of a deity, regardless if it is right or not. Comfort may object that God would never do or allow such a thing, but all one has to do is read the Old testament and see numerous examples of God commanding the Israelites to slay neighboring tribes without mercy.

Also, if Comfort argues that morality must come from a objective figure, then how can we verify the reliability of said objective figure. Comfort's infallible God may say that it is absolutely immoral to kill children. On the other hand, religious people like Dan Lafferty who sincerely believe that God told them to kill a baby girl.


Comfort goes on to quote the Times article, where Kluger implies we are not perfect creatures, and there will be a lot of killing before we achieve full civilization.

Comfort says believers in the theory of evolution hold to it because "it offers a naturalistic explanation for this world." Comfort them quotes Dr. Steven Pinker, who filmed PBS's Evolution: "the Mind's Big Bang."

Biologists often say that nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution, and most importantly, Darwin's theory of natural selection explains the appearance of design in living things. You look at living things, and it looks as if they've been engineered. We've got a heart that pumps blood. We've got eyes that have a transparent lens, irises that open and close in response to the light level, and muscles that move them in and out. We've got ears that record vibrations of sound, and lubricated joints in our knees and elbows.

Who put them all together? Until Darwin, it would have been completely reasonable to say "there has to have been a cosmic engineer." For the same reason that if we see a watch we know that there has to have been a watchmaker, when we seen eyeball or a heart or an elbow, there was to have been something that designed that. Darwin showed why that is not right, that you can get the appearance of engineering in the natural world without invoking a real engineer.

Darwin's theory of natural selection explains how we find signs of engineering or design in the living world; why, whenever we look at a plant or animal, we see fantastically complicated machinery.

Ray Comfort calls Pinker a "simpleton." Comfort points out that Pinker notices the design in creation, and Comfort insists the logical conclusion of finding design in creation must be there has to be a creator. Pinkers response that Darwin revealed that incorrect, Comfort says that is "crazy-talk." Comfort challenges Pinker and anyone to point to a building that did not have a builder, a painting that did not have a painter, or "anything on this entire earth that has been 'made' that didn't have a maker."

History reveals that man has battled constantly over territory and instituted a new orders and governments, and we will surely continue to do so.

Where Comfort gets the nerve to call Pinker a simpleton is puzzling, especially from someone who announced the the Introduction of this book was not an evolutionary expert.


[edit] The Price of Evolution

Comfort recalls the tragedy of Robert A. Hawkins, a 19-year-old man who shot eight people at an Omaha shopping mall and then killed himself in 2008. Hawkins left a note, and Comfort points out that Hawkins was not lonely person who lacked friends, because the note said that the people he shot was the best of friends he could ever have, he just "snapped" and could not "take this meaningless existence anymore..."

Comfort argues that if evolutionary theory is true and we are the products of "chance" who came from mud for no reason, then we have no real idea where we came from, what we are doing here, or where we are going after death. Comfort points out millions of people live happily without purpose, but Comfort argues those who deny God find themselves hopeless regarding life and death.

How can Comfort claim that evolution says "we came from mud" and then say in the next sentence "we have no real idea where we came from"? Just because a theory cannot explain everything, that does not discredit it. For example, the theory of gravity does not tell us where we came from, what we are doing here, or where we are going (if at all) after death. According to Comfort's reasoning, we should dismiss gravity altogether.

[edit] The Genius

Comfort asks who said of God, "I want to know His thoughts, the rest of the detail"? Comfort answers Albert Einstein. Comfort says Einsteins name is synonymous with the word genius. Comfort says throughout Einsteins life, all he wanted to do was sin, but as he aged he became more philosophical about life. Comfort quotes Isaiah 55:8,9 for those who seek to know the "thoughts of God."

Comfort states that since God is omniscient, God never thinks of anything, there is never a "new" thought that comes to his mind. Comfort says that if a new thought did come to God's mind, then he would not be omniscient.

Einstein was a brilliant scientist, and was a respectable genius, but he was wrong on several things, such as determinism. Also, if Comfort wishes to name people whose name is synonymous with genius, he might as well name Stephen Hawking (a non-believer).

Does God really know everything? If so, then how can there be free will? Example: you come to a forked road and can only make a right or left turn. If God knows you are going to turn left, and you do, God also knows every little detail about you and your choices eons before you were conceived all the way to your death (and thus already knowing where you would spend eternity) how can you possibly have free will? However, if you make a right turn, and God did not know you would make that choice, then God is therefore not omniscient.


[edit] Look to the Ant

Comfort shares the story of the ant: it is hardworking and has a will to live. Then Comfort goes on to talk about insects, fish, birds, and then human beings —— all of them working and trying to survive.

Comfort asks the question: if god did not create creation, then who did? Comfort says that if there was no Creator, the only other alternative is that it all "happened by chance." Comfort asks if it is all chance, where did the material come from to bring everything in its present state of order? Comfort then brings up the Big Bang Theory, asking 1) what caused the explosion 2) questions about what the material was that exploded and 3) where did that material come from? Comfort says science has no answers, and we are only left with more questions.

Comfort says the only response given by proponents of the Big Bang theory is the question who created God? Comfort answers that God does not dwell in the dimension of time, therefore he is eternal and has no beginning nor end.

Asking who created everything is the wrong question. First of all, it is begging the question. We know that we were not "created" but for the sake of argument, if there is a creator, asking "who" it is is not the right question. Because we first have to establish what is the creator first. Hypothetically, if we ere created, for all we know, the creator could be time-travelers, universal pixies, aliens, and so on and so on.

How can god "dwell" in a timeless dimension? Comfort, and most theists, believe God is the creator of all things, including time. But if God has a mind and can perform actions, then the process of creating something requires a thought turned into an action. Such a process requires time from indifference to action. So basically, for God to create time, it requires time to process a thought to an action.


[edit] The Identity of Evolution

Comfort says that those who still believe evolution is responsible for all this, believers in the theory of evolution believe that evolution is the Creator, and therefore evolution is God. Comfort says "Darwinian believers wouldn't put it in those words, but that's what they believe. There can be no argument that whoever or whatever created all things is the Creator (God)."

Comfort then states that those who accept evolution have committed idolatry - the creation of a false god. Comfort says people who believe in evolution love evolution with all their mind, soul, and strength because it "gave him life and all of life's pleasures. Attack his beliefs and he will come back at you with zeal of a religious fanatic." Comfort says they love their god for one more reason: evolution has no moral dictates, it does not tell them how to live morally. Comfort compares this to the golden calf story in Exodus. Comfort claims evolution is the "ultimate delusion."

The theory of evolution does not explain everything as Comfort is implying. As previously noted, Ray Comfort falsely attributes the origins of the universe and the origins of life with the theory of evolution, when in fact evolutionary theory does not comment on either of those. All evolution does it explain the diversification of life. Evolution is not a "creator" it is merely an explanation. To call evolution a creator is fallacious and ludicrous. Similarly, Cell Theory explains that all life is made of cells, but Comfort does not attempt to label Cell theory as a "Creator/God."

Just because a theory does not explain how to properly live, that does not discredit it. Gravity, cell theory, atomic theory does not explain how to live morally.


Comfort argues that creation tells us there is a Creator, and he exists whether we believe him or not. Next, Comfort begins to preach of Judgment Day and then walks the reader down his old favorite tactic "Are you a good person?" in which he sets up a problem for everyone that only his God can fix by using the Ten Commandments. In conclusion, Comfort says the reader is guilt of breaking at least one of the Commandments. In response, Comfort then says that Jesus Christ came to earth and paid your fine, so all you have to do is repent and you can enter Heaven.

Comfort ends this chapter with a note to the reader to visit his ministries website and click on the booklet "Save Yourself Some Pain." It is a booklet written by Ray Comfort providing 10 principles for those who are becoming Christians. The principles are as follows;

  1. Read the Bible daily.
  2. Have faith in God.
  3. Evangelize.
  4. Pray.
  5. Join the Christian war against the world, the flesh and the Devil.
  6. Create a fellowship with believers.
  7. Expect trials as a Christian, but remember God is on your side.
  8. Get baptized.
  9. Give your money to the church.
  10. Beware of cults, atheists and skeptics. Read Comfort's book God Doesn't Believe in Atheists: Proof That the Atheist Doesn't Exist.
Once again, Ray Comfort has not proven or established that we live in a creation, he is merely assuming and labeling it a creation. On top of that, he is asserting that the creator is his particular creator (Comfort mentioned that his "previous" concept of God was just a "figment of my imagination," so how can we tell if Comfort's present concept of God is also imaginary?).

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] Footnotes

  1. http://www.biblicalevangelism.com/pdf/Lesson013.pdf "School of Biblical Evangelism" Lesson 13: The Ninth Commandment page 91
  2. www.indiana.edu/~ensiweb/lessons/c.bkgrnd.html Larry Flammer, "Class Cladogram of Vertebrate/Human Evolution."
  3. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/
  4. http://www.usatoday.com/news/science/2001-03-21-skull.htm
  5. www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/wt40000.html
  6. http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1994961/recovered_fossil_reveals_lucy_walked_upright/index.html
  7. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/mine/part1-3.html
  8. New Scientist Hominid collarbone exposed as dolphin
  9. http://douglapointe.com/?page_id=7
  10. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/
  11. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/mine/part3.html
  12. http://www.noanswersingenesis.org.au/dr_jonathan_sarfati.htm
  13. http://www.bioone.org/doi/full/10.1641/0006-3568%282003%29053%5B0282%3AACAC%5D2.0.CO%3B2
  14. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/scadding.html
  15. http://www.emc.maricopa.edu/faculty/farabee/biobk/biobookener1.html
  16. http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC214.html
  17. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/patterson.html
  18. www.ucg.org/booklets/EV.fossilrecord.html
  19. Wang, D. Y.-C., S. Kumar and S. B. Hedges, 1999. Divergence time estimates for the early history of animal phyla and the origin of plants, animals and fungi. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, Biological Sciences 266: 163-71
  20. http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/phyla/metazoafr.html
  21. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section2.html#morphological_vestiges
  22. http://www.pnas.org/content/97/15/8392.abstract
  23. http://www.pnas.org/content/100/17/9658.abstract
  24. Daubin, V., N. A. Moran and H. Ochman. 2003. Phylogenetics and the cohesion of bacterial genomes. Science 301: 829-832. See also: Pennisi, E., 2003. Passages found through labyrinth of bacterial evolution. Science 301: 745-746.
  25. Kim, Junhyong and Benjamin A. Salisbury. 2001. A tree obscured by vines: Horizontal gene transfer and the median tree method of estimating species phylogeny. Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing 6: 571-582.
  26. http://www.noanswersingenesis.org.au/dr_jonathan_sarfati.htm
  27. http://www.bioone.org/doi/full/10.1641/0006-3568%282003%29053%5B0282%3AACAC%5D2.0.CO%3B2
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  29. Life Itself. Simon and Schuster, New York, 1981
  30. Fry, I. The Emergence of Life on Earth, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ, 2000
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  32. Druckman, D. and Swets, J. A. eds. (1988). Enhancing Human Performance: Issues, Theories and Techniques. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.. p. 22. ISBN 0-309-07465-7.
  33. talkorigins Quote #3.13
  34. Meléndez-Hevia, Enrique, Thomas G. Waddell and Marta Cascante. 1996. The puzzle of the Krebs citric acid cycle: Assembling the pieces of chemically feasible reactions, and opportunism in the design of metabolic pathways during evolution. Journal of Molecular Evolution 43(3): 293-303
  35. Lubenow, Marvin, 1992. Bones of Contention: A Creationist Assessment of the Human Fossils. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, chap. 3
  36. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/mine/part1-3.html
  37. Faure, Gunter, 1998. Principles and Applications of Geochemistry, 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
  38. Walker, Tas, 2000. Dating dilemma deepens: Moore on ancient radiocarbon. http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/feedback/negative6-26-2000.asp
  39. Hunt, Kathleen, 2002. Carbon-14 in coal deposits. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/c14.html
  40. http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/2996/84/#bible-science
  41. http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/questions/question18.html
  42. http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/1957/JASA3-57Tahmisian.htmll.htm
  43. http://network.asa3.org/?ASAbeliefs
  44. http://home.planet.nl/~gkorthof/kortho28.htm
  45. http://www.amazon.com/review/product/0709941536/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?%5Fencoding=UTF8&showViewpoints=1
  46. http://www.intelligentdesign.net/literature.htm
  47. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dover/kitzmiller_v_dover_decision2.html#p121
  48. Gilbert, W. The RNA World. Nature. 310: 618. 1986
  49. Oro, J. Mechanisms of synthesis of adenine from hydrogen cyanide under possible earth conditions. Nature. 191: 1193-1194, 1961
  50. http://chronicle.com/article/What-Darwins-Doubters-Get/64457/
  51. http://bostonreview.net/BR35.2/block_kitcher.php
  52. https://philosophynow.org/issues/81/What_Darwin_Got_Wrong_by_Jerry_Fodor_and_Massimo_Piattelli-Palmarini
  53. https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2010/03/19/worst-science-journalism-of-the-year-darwin-completely-wrong-again/
  54. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dover/kitzmiller_v_dover_decision2.html#p121
  55. http://commondescent.net/articles/Raup_quote.htm
  56. http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC300.html
  57. http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC300.html
  58. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/archaeopteryx/info.html
  59. http://home.planet.nl/~gkorthof/kortho28.htm
  60. http://www.amazon.com/review/product/0709941536/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?%5Fencoding=UTF8&showViewpoints=1
  61. http://www.intelligentdesign.net/literature.htm
  62. http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA210.html
  63. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/mine/part4.html Quote 4.9
  64. http://www.noanswersingenesis.org.au/dr_jonathan_sarfati.htm
  65. http://www.bioone.org/doi/full/10.1641/0006-3568%282003%29053%5B0282%3AACAC%5D2.0.CO%3B2
  66. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/scadding.html
  67. http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,1685055_1685076_1686619,00.html
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