Question Evolution! - CMI's Rebuttals to Responses to Questions 9 through 15

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Please keep the snark to a minimum and focus on strong and well-sourced responses.

Creation Ministries International's Rebuttals to Responses to Questions 9 through 15 of its 15 Questions for Evolutionists[edit]

Introduction[edit]

On September 22, 2011, CMI posted rebuttals to various general objections to the "15 Questions for Evolutionists" that form the core of its Question Evolution! Campaign.

Have a look at the original article: Question Evolution! - "15 critically important questions that evolutionists cannot adequately answer" and our responses to CMI's latest attempts to rebut answers to its questions:

Question 9: Why are the (expected) countless millions of transitional fossils missing?[edit]

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Answer 1: They aren’t missing. Every fossil ever found is a link between older and newer forms.

Rebuttal: This is assumed, not demonstrated. It is also patently absurd, as, numerically, the majority of fossils fit neatly into previously-described species (many of them documented in Living Fossils). It also obfuscates the real problem. Even on a species-by-species basis, transitional forms are the exception to the rule. There are only a handful of fossils claimed to be transitional between major groups of life. This was recognized by Darwin himself as a huge problem for his theory. And this handful of disputed fossils is different from the disputed handful of the past. For example, the coelacanth fish was presented by evolutionists as ‘the ancestor’ of tetrapods (four-legged animals) for many years. It is no longer considered as such by evolutionary paleontologists, although it is still in many school textbooks. See: Famous Living Fossil ‘Link’ Idea Fizzles Further.

Darwin's "transitionals" were transitions over seemingly big leaps, such as from fish to tetrapods. However, all creatures are transitions in that you are a transition between your parents and children.

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Answer 2: Only a small fraction of animals are fossilized, the fossil record still remains largely incomplete.

Rebuttal: This begs the question, because the ‘evidence’ that the fossil record is incomplete is the rarity of intermediates! This argument may have been convincing in Darwin’s day, although Darwin’s paleontological opponents like Richard Owen, Louis Agassiz and Adam Sedgwick, didn’t buy it, when there were only a small number of fossils that were known. But today we have fossilized representatives of every living animal phylum and every plant division. There are many phyla that have fossilized representatives of every living group or class. We have pointed out before that 97.7% of living orders of land vertebrates are represented as fossils and 79.1% of living families of land vertebrates—87.8% if birds are excluded, as they are less likely to become fossilized (see The links are missing). With so many forms accounted for, there doesn’t seem to be much room for transitional forms to do their work.

What evolutionists should say instead is that fossilization events are rare in processes occurring today. That should lead them to realize that fossils are mostly the result of an extra-ordinary event—such as a globe-covering flood that buried lots of creatures very fast, and prevented them from decomposing or being scavenged as today. See for example Hundreds of jellyfish fossils!—Darwin claimed, due to his faulty uniformitarian views, “No organism wholly soft can be preserved.”


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Answer 3: They aren’t missing. There are millions of transitional forms.

Rebuttal: First, there is something bizarre when excuses are basically mutually incompatible, like #2 v. #1 and #3. Which is it? Are they commonplace, or rare because of the rarity of fossilization events?

This answer would require practically every fossil to be a transitional form (actually, several transitional forms at once, given that only about 250,000 fossil species are actually known). But many fossils are practically identical to living creatures, in which case the adjective ‘transitional’ becomes meaningless.

This is mining different summary answers from different people and contrasting them to manufacture a controversy. (1) Only a small number of creatures are fossilized, simply because certain conditions must be met (e.g., things don't fossilize well in rocks other than sedimentary, but many things die on rocks that are not sedimentary). (2) Among those creatures that do fossilize, we have found only a small fraction simply because of resources and accessibility. (3) Of those fossils we do have, evolutionary theory with a mechanism of punctuated equilibrium would hypothesize that many fossils will look similar (equilibrium because the species was well-suited to its environment), but that each and every one of them would technically be a transitional form, and we should find evidence of transitional forms between major types of animals, which we do. For example, the evolution of horses, whales, and bats, are well established in the fossil record that we have recovered. This is an entirely self-consistent answer, despite CMI's attempt to split it apart and make it appear to contradict itself.

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Answer 4: Tiktaalik is a good example of a transitional link.

Rebuttal: Tiktaalik is an amazing example of a well-designed fish—see Tiktaalik roseae—a fishy missing link There is no evidence that it is the ancestor of tetrapods, especially since there are footprints in the fossil record dated before Tiktaalik—see Tetrapods from Poland trample the Tiktaalik school of evolution. The descendant can’t be older than its ancestor!

The claim here is footprints, not animal fossils, so we don't know what animal left them. There is no reason that tetrapod animals couldn't have evolved separately with the other lineages simply dying out; we know from the fossil record that the general shape of crocodilians, for example, has evolved several times over the eons in unrelated lineages, all of which but modern crocodilians are now extinct. It's also possible that the first tetrapod is not tiktaalik but the earlier creature that left the Polish footprints. CMI's claims regarding the footprints may be discarded anyway for the simple reason that it denies the validity of the dating methods on which this argument is predicated. Also there are simpler theories such as this: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/12/111213-walking-fish-walk-lungfish-science-lungfish/

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Answer 5: Evolution would stand even if we didn’t have a single fossil.

Rebuttal: Not all evolutionists would agree. The foremost French zoologist Pierre-Paul Grassé (1895–1985), editor of the 35-volume Traité de Zoologie, wrote:

“Naturalists must remember that the process of evolution is revealed only through fossil forms. A knowledge of paleontology is, therefore, a prerequisite; only paleontology can provide them with the evidence of evolution and reveal its course or mechanisms … that is why we constantly have recourse to paleontology, the only true science of evolution. From it we learn how to interpret present occurrences cautiously; it reveals that certain hypotheses considered certainties by their authors are in fact questionable or even illegitimate."[1]

In any case, these critics would have us believe that evolution is sound with fossils or without fossils, it’s by chance and natural selection but it’s not a random accident! If your theory can explain any set of events, then it’s not scientific, according to many philosophers of science, because it’s not falsifiable in your eyes by any conceivable findings (although see also Self-serving SEC definitions of ‘science’).

References

  1. Grassé, P.-P., Evolution of Living Organisms, pp. 3,4. Academic Press, New York, NY, 1977; original French title L’évolution du vivant, 1973.
In his day fossils were the only evidence because evolution is slow in big organisms. But today we can see evolution in action in microscopic organisms. [1] Also, Grassé has been dead for nearly thirty years and molecular genetics (another 'true science' of evolution, contra his inane claim re paleontology) has grown by leaps and bounds since his death. DNA evidence confirms and expands upon every finding for which science was formerly so dependent on the fossil record.

Question 10: How do 'living fossils' remain unchanged over supposed hundreds of millions of years, if evolution has changed worms into humans in the same time frame?[edit]

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Answer 1: When creatures find no need to adapt to changing circumstances, they don’t change.

Rebuttal: So evolution explains if creatures don’t change, and it explains if they do! How convenient. See Question 12 with a quote from one of the world’s leading organic chemists, the late Philip Skell.

But surely mutation would work at the same rate in the populations that had unchanging environments, and if eight mutations per year were being fixed in the population as argued in the above answer, this would mean that most, if not all, species would be subject to radical change over time. How could these species not change in light of the species evolving around them, some of which, including bacteria, would be trying to make a meal out of the species in stasis? Also, evolutionists believe that environments changed drastically over millions of years, while some creatures in these environments didn’t change? See also Evolutionary Stasis: Double—Speak and Propaganda.

People take an animal’s environment to mean things like the temperature, pressure, salinity (for marine and fresh water organisms), O2 concentration, etc. So it’s not inconceivable in their mind for an environment to stay roughly the same for millions of years. But once one stresses that a creature’s predators, and their prey species (if carnivores) or plant food (if herbivores), are very much part of their environment, as are their parasites and other pathogens, suddenly it gets even more ludicrous that the environment would stay constant for eons. There are species of all of these categories not only migrating in and out of the area, but also supposedly undergoing all this evolutionary change themselves.

This is a straw man of what actually happens in nature and what is predicted by evolution and confirmed by the evidence. If a species is well adapted for its environment and the environment doesn't experience major changes, we still expect neutral adaptations to accumulate over time.[1] If a species ceases to experience strong selection pressures in its environment we actually expect greater variation within the species as members of the species, with traits once negatively selected against now are able to be spread as the members of the species exhibiting them survive long enough to breed and pass on the traits. But, as evolution doesn't expect species to "not change", and the evidence doesn't support species "not changing", CMI has merely demonstrated either a lack of understanding of the theory and the supporting evidence or a malicious misleading of the public.

The failure to cite any consensus on what "evolutionists think" should be a clear hint that CMI continues to misrepresent the consensus of the experts on the subject of "living fossils", or even at a minimum give the opinion of an appropriate expert in the field or accepted scientific paper. What might be considered morphological stasis or conservatism, meaning that the species have not changed much in appearances or form, does not imply genetic stasis. While morphological stasis is certainly an area worthy of more study, several mechanisms have been proposed for explaining how and why some species remain in relative morphological stasis, including stabilizing collection, ecological niche conservatism, and genetic and developmental constraints.[2]

CMI specifically references an article discussing "evolutionary stasis" and shrimp, giving a false definition of evolution that requires some "significant" change in form or function, without giving a definition of what constitutes significant or any citation that evolutionary theory predicts every species must look different from ancestral species. Ancient shrimp, which are mentioned, while not "looking" especially different at a simple glance, have diversified into many species, while not having great changes in appearance.[3]

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Answer 2: Worms didn’t change into humans—we still have worms today. Rather, worms and humans have a common ancestor, if you go back far enough.

Rebuttal: Tell that to the evolutionist who wrote the article “We were once worms” (cited here).

The opinion of a single "evolutionist" is never representative of the whole group. One person in the entire group misunderstanding the concept does not invalidate this response.

Question 11: How did blind chemistry create mind/intelligence, meaning, altruism and morality?[edit]

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Answer 1: Morality and the meaning of life is a philosophical question and irrelevant to the theory of evolution.

Rebuttal: Of course it’s a question for evolution. Evolution is all about how we got from the first life to the life we have today. And humans today have (at least the illusion of) mind/intelligence, meaning, altruism and morality.

You assume that evolution only has to answer scientific questions. But evolution is as much about philosophy as science (I would argue that it’s much more about philosophy than science). There are branches of evolutionary ‘science’ called sociobiology, human behavioral ecology and evolutionary psychology, which attempt to explain human society, love, morals, religion, altruism, etc., purely in evolutionary terms.

But if you’re really serious, then you better tell many of your fellow evolutionists who pontificate about religion and morals!

Evolution, like all sciences, describes how the world is. You are absolutely - indeed, surprisingly - correct when you say: "Evolution is all about how we got from the first life to the life we have today."

Furthermore, we can also use evolutionary techniques to ask questions about how or why certain human traits developed or were conserved.

But explaining how certain traits developed or how they may have conferred advantages in the past is not the same a saying what those traits should be. This is to fall into the is/ought fallacy. Evolution has no more to say about what ought to be moral than chemistry or geology.

Obviously atheists and humanists have views about morality - but if they maintain that they obtain them from a study of evolution then they do the science a disservice.

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Answer 2: Everyone creates his or her own meaning for life—it’s not a question science can answer.

Rebuttal: This is presented as if it’s an answer—it’s the biggest non-answer one could give. But this is really our point: if evolution were true, then there is no basis for right and wrong—see Dawkins’ admission, this article on the foundation for ethics, and how an evolutionist justified deceiving students to believe in evolution.

Exactly; there is no basis for right and wrong. It is just an invention so we could work together. Cars would not exist if there were no humans, and neither would morality. Regardless, even if there is a basis for right and wrong, it is not up to evolution, a theory about the origins of the diversity of life, to answer them. Evolution has literally nothing to say about whether there is a basis for right and wrong. Just because it contradicts a literal interpretation of the Bible does not mean it says anything about morality.

Question 12: Why is evolutionary 'just-so' story-telling tolerated?[edit]

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Answer 1: Because evolution’s ‘just-so’ stories are based on facts.

Rebuttal: Does the critic realize that question was based on a review by evolutionist Richard Lewontin who referred to “the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories”. That’s the whole point: if they were based on fact, then they wouldn’t be ‘just-so’ stories, as Lewontin admitted existed!

The problem is when the evolutionary scenarios are full of ‘suppose’ and ‘what if?’ scenarios, which don’t work when a little thought is applied. Here are some examples:

First Lewton wasn't referring to evolution, here is the article in which he said that infamous line

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/1997/jan/09/billions-and-billions-of-demons/

Obviously every one of these things did happen, so why is there any surprise? There are a multitude of different universes where evolution turned out differently; in the one we live in, things turned out this way. [2] Simple.

And at least one of those articles are incorrect: http://scienceblogs.com/tetrapodzoology/2009/10/14/darwinopterus-transitional/

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Answer 2: I don’t understand what this has to do with the theory of evolution being wrong.

Rebuttal: It should be obvious: the whole rationale for teaching evolution and excluding any opposition is that it’s a plausible scientific theory for the origin of living creatures. If the majority of supporting examples are really just-so stories, then this pretense of a proven scientific theory should be dropped.

But this question attacks practically every evolutionary explanation there is. “Oh, you found unfossilized blood vessels with red blood cells in them? Obviously flesh can survive in some cases for millions of years!” “This animal is no different from the fossil? Obviously it was so well-adapted that it didn’t need to evolve and stayed the same over millions of years!” Evolution can explain why men are monogamous, or why they cheat, or why they rape. It can explain how females drive sexual selection, except when it wants to argue that the males do. See: ‘Just-so’ stories of sex and family life.

Evolution worked its way into the classrooms because it meets the scientific standard. Creationism, which has been around much longer than evolution, has nothing but its own lack of scientific worth to blame for its exclusion from the classrooms.

Sarfati is correct in principle: If evolution was based on the foundation of just-so-stories, it would be a fundamentally flawed theory, like Creationism. Evolution is backed by independent lines of evidence, that could easily contradict one another and put the theory in controversy. Here's one example: The Phylogenetic Tree constructed from structural and molecular data points to Dolphins being most closely related to Artiodactyls. This is especially exemplified when one observes that Hippos and Cetaceans share three specific transposons in the exact same place, not found in other animals. Since new transposons are observable and random, the only reasonable explanation for these shared traits is that they are related through common ancestry. This is great evidence for common ancestry but it can easily undermined if another independent source brings contrary data. Here is one example: Dolphins lack a specific Blood Clotting Gene in the form of Factor XII. Artiodactyls on the other hand have it, but, as we saw, the genetic data points to Dolphins being descended from Artiodactlyls. Thereforer evolutionary theory must predict as a rule that Dolphins have Factor XII in the form of a pseudogene, or, in the case of a rare deletion event, evidence from end-sequence profiling. If we don't find either then the evidence for common descent is flawed and unsubstantiated. As it turns out Dolphins do have Factor XII in the form of a pseudogene, verifying the prediction of common decent. Read for more examples in the "29 evidences for Macroevolution" and see that evolution is founded on much more than "just-so-stories".

Finally it must be noted that even in the absence of conclusive data, that doesn't mean scientists shouldn't come up with a passable hypothesis as it could be verified or falsified with future data. Sarfati seems to imply that all scientists do is come up with stories and then move on. That's not the case. The Dino Blood example for one, has been studied extensively and Mary Schweitzer has found a realistic solution through experimental data; see the link below how large quantities of haemoglobin helps iron preserve soft tissue. That's certainly more scientific than just saying "Well millions of years is a long time, we don't know how it could or couldn't have survived, lets just ignore the independent dating methods and conclude it couldn't happen, because we love the argument of ignorance".

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/loom/2009/01/03/ken-millers-guest-post-part-two/#.VT7wGRz3-iw http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131126191433.htm

Question 13: Where are the scientific breakthroughs due to evolution?[edit]

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Answer 1: Evolution is an extraordinary breakthrough in its own right.

Rebuttal: But other things that are extraordinary scientific breakthroughs in their own right lead to other breakthroughs.

Since there's nothing technically wrong with the answer given here, a few notes on objections to this question that CMI does not cover.

First of all, this has nothing to do with the validity of evolutionary theory. Even if nothing came out of evolution other than the discovery of evolution (and all the discovery of all sorts of evidence pointing to evolution), it would still be true, assuming of course that the evidence continued to hold up.

One thing that CMI never addresses in its follow-ups to question 13, is the evolution of viruses, such as influenza, that leads to continual changes to the flu vaccine.[4] Understanding evolution has helped us better protect against viruses, which could be argued to be a significant breakthrough.

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Answer 2: Evolutionary concepts are being applied to electronics to create more efficient circuits.

Rebuttal: No, the concept of iterative algorithms, which long pre-date Darwin, have been hijacked with an “evolutionary” label. If humans were more mathematically adept, we would not need to resort to trying multiple random changes of a system to see where the best potential improvements lie. See Genetic algorithms—do they show that evolution works?

Genetic algorithms are a special case of the iterative method. A genetic algorithm is a pretty good approximation of the actual process of evolution: a pool of organisms that reproduce with mutations, where organisms considered more fit have a higher rate of reproduction; over time the organisms will collectively improve. These algorithms originated in the 1990's; evolutionary computation in general dates back to the fifties and did not predate Darwin's theory by any stretch of the imagination.

If computer scientists could derive a solution through purely analytic means, they'd use that solution! But in many cases that's horribly inefficient or even impossible to do, regardless of how "mathematically adept" humans are. Randomness is invaluable in algorithmic theory, and it's not because programmers are a bunch of incompetent wusses who can't man up and solve an optimization problem with pencil and paper.

A genetic algorithm fan has posted an excellent rebuttal to the linked article titled Creationists Found Out About Genetic Algorithms -- And They Aren't Happy.

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Answer 3: Norman Borlaug’s understanding of evolution and genetics helped him to mass-produce crops to feed millions of people, winning him the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize.

Rebuttal: Yet there is nothing about Darwinian evolution that had any relevance to Borlaug’s work. One of his innovations was developing multiline varieties via crossbreeding so they would have many genes for pesticide resistance, compared to the purelines that were genetically depleted. But this shows that the artificial selection that led to purelines resulted in loss of information, while the multilines recombined some of the original information. In fact, the author of the tract is a Ph.D. plant physiologist with much experience at such things—see What! … no potatoes? We have shown the same problem with purebreds in other creatures such as dogs, compared to the superior fitness of mongrels (see “A Parade of Mutants”—Pedigree Dogs and Artificial Selection).

Another of Borlaug’s projects was breeding dwarf wheat for their shorter, stronger stalks that would support larger seed heads. But this is also an application of artificial selection of largely existing genes and possibly mutants with stunted growth, which would not be so good in the wild because they are worse at competing for sunlight.

Finally, as we have pointed out, many of the advances in agriculture predated Darwin by millennia, including breeding (artificial selection).

Artificial selection is as much related to genetics as natural selection.

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Answer 4: Music, theology, and philosophy don’t lead to scientific breakthroughs either but they’re still taught in schools.

Rebuttal: You’re missing a fundamental distinction—evolution claims to be science. The other subjects don’t claim to be subsets of science. What other subset of science has yielded precisely no useful discoveries, including Nobel science prizes?

In any case, aren’t you aware that there are certain philosophical assumptions one has to make for science to be possible? For example, there has to be the assumption of an orderly universe, where under normal conditions things work consistently. For instance, gravity isn’t suddenly going to change and work differently than it did 5 minutes ago, so we can do tests and replicate results. See also The biblical roots of modern science.

[3] Yes, there are Nobel Prizes for evolution, and it also has practical applications such as antibiotics and superbugs.

Question 14: Science involves experimenting to figure out how things work; how they operate. Why is evolution, a theory about history, taught as if it is the same as this operational science?[edit]

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Answer 1: There have been plenty of experiments that demonstrate evolution, one of the most famous being Lenski’s experiment.

Rebuttal: What experiments demonstrate that a universal common ancestor changed into all the living things on earth? None. This is a belief about history and no experiments can be done on such an imagined history. You are referring to experiments that demonstrate mutations, adaptation, etc., in today’s world. Creationist biologists have no argument with these, except when they are held up as ‘evidence of evolution’, which they are not, because these observable variations in living things cannot be extrapolated to explain the origin of those living things. This is the old equivocation trickery, which we have written about (see It’s not science, for example). As for Lenski’s experiment, this is old news, thoroughly refuted in The Greatest Hoax on Earth? ch. 4. Dr Batten dealt with the most dramatic “evidence” in this experiment: Bacteria ‘evolving in the lab’? ‘A poke in the eye for anti-evolutionists’? We will say it once again: variation in an existing trait does not explain the origin of the trait or the origin of the bacterium.

Au contraire. Universal Common Descent has indeed been tested. Biochemist Douglas Theobald used statistical and computer models to calculate the odds of all life arising from one universal common ancestor vs. multiple independent roots. 1 in 10 to the 2,680th power, in Common Descent's favor. See the link below. He also of course wrote the 29 Evidences for Macroevolution, all of which have confirmation AND falsifiable (still falsifiable) evidences. CMI can deny it all they want but the sad truth is Common Descent really leaves little wiggle room for anything else. If all animals were created in one era, we really should have found many fossils that don't fit molecular evidence (such as mammals in the Cambrian era, instead of the Triassic to which the data points, or a history of elephants and apes living in Australia.) Instead we have a series that clearly points to the twin nested hierarchies.

CMI can accept the lab results in their model if they want, but it completely contradicts their erroneous Second Law of Thermodynamics argument (the concept that things tend to be breaking down.) Second, these mutations, while not by themselves evidence for Common Descent, still demonstrate that organisms can experience large scale change; a very important component for Common Descent and one that CMI opposes. Creationists have been vehement about mutations not being anything but destructive. But, alas, history has shown that mutations, particularity gene duplication, can lead to many novel functions; not just "variations of existing traits". Unless CMI can demonstrate a testable barrier to large scale change; e.g. define what a "Kind" is, then there is absolutely no reason not to count these as testable evidence for evolution.

Evolution is a theory which explains the diversity of life, not its origin. The evolution of an entire new trait (several potentiating mutations had to occur before the ability to metabolize citrate was gained) is not just "variation in an existing trait." Microevolution is still evolution unless a scientific description and explanation of the arbitrary barrier to "macroevolution" is found. Macroevolution is nothing more than speciation.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/05/100513-science-evolution-darwin-single-ancestor/

Question 15: Why is a fundamentally religious idea, a dogmatic belief system that fails to explain the evidence, taught in science classes?[edit]

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Answer 1: Evolution can explain the evidence, creationists such as CMI simply refuse to recognize this.

Rebuttal: Ipse dixit (“he himself said it”—an unproved and dogmatic statement designed to be accepted on faith not substance). One of the previous answers asked what was wrong with just-so stories, which really don’t explain anything. Also, many evolutionists, including our critics, explain certain things by mutations and natural selection, which are also parts of the creation model, so are powerless to choose between them. Likewise, common features are a prediction both from common ancestry and common design; but some of them thwart evolutionary explanations so favour the latter (see Argument: Common design points to common ancestry from Refuting Evolution 2)

Natural Selection and Mutation are strong evidence, as a mechanism for large scale change, but they are far from the only evidence for Common Ancestry. The order of fossil record; including the numerous transitional forms creationists claim don't exist, shared mistakes in EVRs, pseudogenes, and transposons, and the detailed geological history of many animals in the fossil record, migrating to their current geologic locations, such as elephants, horses, and marsupials, as opposed to a history of all land animals radiating from Mount Ararat. Second Common Design has many flaws, in it's use as a predictive power. To start with, it's based on the straw man that Common Descent is based upon mere similarity. This is false. It has been known that other mechanisms, such as convergent evolution, can form similar structures and proteins as well. What we look for is a very specific pattern within the twin-nested hierarchies. For example, when comparing the cytochrome c protein in both Chimps and Humans, we expect or rather need to find a near identical DNA sequence in both proteins, if we are basing the prediction on the assumption that these two are related through Common Descent. As it turns out this prediction holds true. If we find similar proteins in organisms not related by Common Descent, we expect a greatly different sequence. An identical sequence, on the other hand, WOULD be evidence for Common Design. One of Sarfati's arguments for Common Design, ironically, confirms this very prediction and falsifies the prediction of Common Design. He lists the similarities in the antigen receptor protein, shared by both nurse sharks and camels. Unfortunately for him, the proteins have different DNA sequences, as would be expected of convergent evolution, but not with the prediction of Common Design.

Even if creationism were provable, that would not make evolution not provable. That is simply changing the subject.

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB211.html http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section4.html#protein_redundancy

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Answer 2: Evolution has no doctrines or dogma, no rituals, traditions or holidays. It has no leaders or defenders of the faith because it does not allow faith. Evolution is not a religion, and it’s deceptive of creationists to claim that it is.

Rebuttal: Yet this charge of deception would thus need to be applied to the evolutionary philosopher of science, Michael Ruse:

“Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion—a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. I am an ardent evolutionist and an ex-Christian, but I must admit that in this one complaint—and Mr [sic] Gish is but one of many to make it—the literalists are absolutely right. Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today.

“ … Evolution therefore came into being as a kind of secular ideology, an explicit substitute for Christianity.”

Some atheistic humanists are quite open that they are “proselytizers of a new faith”. For more, see Atheism: A religion, Atheism, and Atheism, agnosticism and humanism: godless religions.

In reality, evolution is a deduction from the faith position—which can’t be proven by science—that matter is all there is, so no supernatural is allowed. I.e. creation is streng verboten as a conclusion, regardless of whether the evidence supports it, because of self-serving ‘rules of the game’.

Conversely, biblical faith is never contrasted with reason or evidence, but with sight. See Loving God with all your mind and Using the Bible to prove the Bible? Are biblical creationists guilty of circular reasoning?

That is indeed Ruse's opinion. It is not generally shared. PZ Myers, for one, has taken strong issue with his opinions.

Nevertheless, if one looks long and hard enough one will probably be able to find individual scientists who will support any particular claim you wish to make. A tiny minority may even be young Earth creationists.

But taking a lone individual and suggesting that they represent the general consensus is deceitful. To reverse the issue, it would be absurdly easy to find a particular well-known Christian with minority views and suggest that they represented Christianity as a whole.

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