AN IMPOSSIBLE ENTITY: A Refutation of “The Thinking Atheist’s” Unthinking Attack on Creationism

AN IMPOSSIBLE ENTITY: A Refutation of “The Thinking Atheist’s” Unthinking Attack on Creationism

© 2013, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved.

Introduction

There is a video posted on YouTube called “Top Ten Creationist Arguments”[1] that was produced by someone calling himself “The Thinking Atheist.”  This intrigued me, as I have long sought to find an actual “thinking” atheist[2], but without success.  After viewing the video, I have to report that this has not changed, as the video is notable only for the lack of thinking demonstrated therein.

First, our “thinking” atheist fails even to identify the “Top Ten Favorite Creationist Arguments” correctly, scoring only 40% here.  The only arguments on his list that can be considered “favorite” Creationist arguments are #1, 4, 7, and 9.  Second, #9 is the only one of these that the “Thinking Atheist” (hereinafter referred to as “TA”) presents with even a modicum of adequacy.

Now, before we assess each of TA’s points, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Simple logic shows that if there are two, and only two, possible explanations for a phenomenon then proving one false necessarily proves the other true.  For example, if only Tom or George could have committed the murder, and one of them must have done it, then proving that Tom didn’t do it necessarily proves that George did do it, and vice versa.
  • By simple logic (specifically the Law of the Excluded Middle), we know that there are two, and only two, possible explanations for life on earth: either it was created or it was not created.  And, as the previous point shows, disproving one explanation necessarily proves the other.
  • For the “not created” explanation, the only contender is the theory of evolution.  So there are two, and only two, possible explanations for life on earth: creation and the theory of evolution.  Therefore, proving the theory of evolution false necessarily proves creation to be true.
  • Accordingly, many arguments offered by creationists are via negativa arguments, showing that the theory of evolution is false.  And, as the foregoing shows, this is a completely legitimate way to prove creationism.

With these points in mind, let us proceed to examine TA’s “Top Ten Arguments.”  His statement of the argument and his response will be shown in bold type, and then our response will follow.

#1: “Carbon Dating Isn’t Accurate to Determine the Age of the Earth.”

TA’s Response: “Well, perhaps that’s why carbon dating isn’t the preferred method for dating rocks and fossils.  In fact, there are a great many methods of radiometric dating that accurately measure the decay of radioactive elements in rocks, meteorites, and fossils.  And those methods can confidently measure the age of Planet Earth to be 4.5 billion years.”

All TA does here is offer a bald assertion that there are many radiometric dating methods that “can confidently measure the age of Planet Earth,” showing a list of such putative methods scrolling across the screen.  However, he does nothing to explore why creationists say these methods aren’t accurate, or to respond to those claims.

Here is the problem:  When TA avers that radiometric dating methods “can confidently measure the age of Planet Earth,” he shows his own ignorance.  Radiometric dating methods do not measure age, or time of any sort; all they measure is the amount of a certain radioactive substance currently in a sample.

Radioactive substances decay in accordance with the standard Newtonian growth/decay curve, viz.

where N is the amount of the substance, t is time, and λ is the proportionality constant.

Solving this differential equation and factoring in that at T(time)  = T ½ (half-life), N = ½ of N0 (the initial amount) yields the following:

Now, when radiometric dating is done, the lab measures N, the amount of radioactive substance now in the sample.  The half-life is known, but that leaves one equation in two unknowns: time and initial amount (N0).  The only way to solve one equation in two unknowns is to assume the value of one unknown.  Far, then, from being an objective way to “confidently measure the age of Planet Earth,” it is completely dependent on assuming the initial amount: make one assumption and get a 4.5 billion-year-old earth, make a different assumption and get a 6,000-year-old earth.

It gets worse.  Not only does one have to assume N0, he also has to assume that no radioactive mother or daughter product[3] was added and/or removed during the lifespan of the specimen, though there are processes in nature that can do both, and there is no way to know whether a specimen has undergone one or both of these.

Furthermore, the only way to assess the reliability of such indirect methods of measurement is to apply them to samples of known age and see if they yield accurate values.  In the case of radiometric dating, the answer is a resounding “no”; the scientific literature is replete with examples of radiometric dating yielding wildly wrong results on samples of known ages[4].  (This fact not only shows that radiometric dating methods work, it also demolishes evolutionists’ claim that they have objective ways of determining the initial amounts of radioactive substances in the samples.)  No wonder, then, that evolutionist and geology professor Derek Ager wrote in New Scientist (Nov. 10, 1983):

No paleontologist worthy of the name would ever date his fossils by the [rocks] in which they are found … I can think of no cases of radioactive decay being used to date fossils.

So the creationist argument against radiometric dating methods is certainly valid, and TA’s claim that radiometric dating “can confidently measure the age of Planet Earth to be 4.5 billion years” is completely wrong.  His appeal to the fact that we have “a great many methods of radiometric dating” in addition to carbon dating is useless.  It is akin to a man claiming that he is rich because he has a diamond, only to be shown that what he thought was a diamond is only a piece of cut glass and then, instead of admitting that he is not rich, showing us a large number of other pieces of cut glass to try to convince us he really is rich.

It should be noted that debunking radiometric dating methods does not disprove the theory of evolution.  However, the theory of evolution requires “deep time” (i.e. billions of years) even to be plausible.  The fact that the evolutionists’ primary evidence for deep time is a failure, combined with the fact that there is plenty of good evidence that the earth is young (i.e. only thousands of years old), such as helium diffusion in zircon crystals and C14 in diamonds[5], is significant indeed.

CONCLUSION TO TA’S FIRST POINT:  Did “Thinking” Atheist show any thinking about this point?  Verdict: NO.

#2: “You Can’t Prove Evolution.”

TA’s Response: “As opposed to proving the young earth theory from primitive anonymous documents?  Well, actually man has unlocked the world of genetics to reveal that all living things have and do evolve and that similarities exist between the DNA of plants, animals, and humans alike.  Evolution is observable, provable science.  To quote the famous evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, ‘Creationist critics often charge that evolution cannot be tested, and therefore cannot be viewed as a properly scientific subject at all.  This claim is rhetorical nonsense.’”

Is this another example of TA “thinking”?  Does he seriously believe that a few bald assertions can be considered evidence for anything?  We shall look at each of his points in turn and show how vacuous they are.

First, though, we must mention that “You can’t prove evolution” is not a “Creationist Argument.”  However, it is a valid point in a key respect, as we shall detail later in this response.

TA begins by saying

As opposed to proving the young earth theory from primitive anonymous documents?

Actually, the origin of the earth and the life on it are historical events, i.e. they each happened at one point in time in the past.  Unlike gravity or the laws of motion, they are not something that is amenable to real-time observation, which is the quintessential component of the scientific method.  On the contrary, the best evidence for one-time events in the past, from Alexander the Great’s defeat of the Persians to the assassination of President Lincoln, is eyewitness testimony.

Now, attorney Pamela Binnings Ewen made a detailed study of whether the Gospel books would be admitted as testimony in a court of law under the Federal Rules of Evidence, and showed that, far from being “primitive anonymous documents,” Matthew’s and John’s would be admitted as eyewitness testimony, Mark’s as being written by an agent of an eyewitness, and Luke’s as being a valid historical report[6].  These Gospel books portray Jesus as God the Son, who is certainly in a position to know the facts about the origin of the earth and the life on it, and He clearly endorsed the Genesis account[7].  So these documents do carry weight.

What does TA have to set against this?  First, he asserts the following:

Well, actually man has unlocked the world of genetics to reveal that all living things have and do evolve and that similarities exist between the DNA of plants, animals, and humans alike.

 Really?  How exactly has “the world of genetics … reveal[ed] that all living things have and do evolve”?  TA doesn’t tell us; all he offers is another unsubstantiated assertion.  This is not what is usually considered to be “thinking.”  However, it is not surprising that TA doesn’t tell us, for the “world of genetics” has shown the diametric opposite of what TA asserts: genetics shows that the theory of evolution is impossible.  Follow:

In Darwin’s day, it was thought that the cell was a very simple organism, essentially no more than a bag of jelly, and the idea that such a thing could develop out of a “primordial soup” of simple chemicals seemed superficially plausible.  However, the internal structure of cells was uncovered in the mid-20th century, and we now know that the cell is by no means simple; on the contrary, its complexity is that of an automated factory the size of a major city such as Los Angeles, yet miniaturized to microscopic size[8].

Speaking of genetics, it was discovered that at the heart of the operations of this fantastically complex organism was an information coding system called DNA, which stores information via a “4-letter alphabet” of nucleotides, with three-letter units known as codons for each amino acid in a protein.  The amount of information stored in the genome of a cell is enormous, from a bare minimum of 75,000 bits of information for the smallest possible cell[9] to 3 billion bits in the human genome[10].

Steven Jobs has likened the genetic code to a software program, albeit one much more complex than any that any human programmer has ever written.  Now, this raises two insurmountable difficulties for the evolutionist, which we illustrate by means of computer games.  Consider the following:

On the left, we have Pong, the first video game released to the public, way back in 1972, and on the right, we have a scene from the Nancy Drew videogame, “The Curse of Blackmoor Manor,” released in 2004.  Notice that the graphics in the latter game are significantly better than the graphics in the former.

Now, the evolutionist must explain two things: first, where did the information in the DNA of the first, minimal cell come from, and, second, where did the additional information in “higher” animals come from?  His only explanation is random chance – chance just happening to align the coding letters for DNA from simple chemicals in just the right order in the first place, and then chance mutations in the existing DNA code to create qualitatively new coding.  (Appeals to natural selection do not help, as natural selection can only select among existing traits, and the coding must precede the appearance of the traits.)

Does any thinking person believe that one can randomly throw letters at a page and the coding for the simple graphics of Pong (much simpler than DNA, remember) will somehow come into being?  Or that one can randomly erase letters of code from the Pong program and randomly insert other letters, and somehow get the coding for “The Curse of Blackmoor Manor”?  It seems ridiculous, and it is.

In an attempt to overcome this problem, evolutionists appeal to the “infinite monkey theorem” i.e. that an infinite number of monkeys pounding on an infinite number of typewriters for infinite time will eventually produce the complete works of Shakespeare just by random chance.

The problem with this is that in real life we do not have an infinite number of monkeys or of typewriters or time.  We have what is called the “probabilistic resources of the universe,” and calculations of chance must be based on them.

A number of mathematicians have calculated what they call the “universal probability bound,” which is the smallest chance less than which appeals to probability become unreasonable.  The most generous of these has been calculated by William Dembski[11], as follows:

  • There are estimated to be 1080 elementary particles in the known physical universe
  • The maximum speed of matter transition from one state to another is 1045 per second (the Planck speed, equal to the speed of light)
  • Assume an available time of 1025 seconds (= 3.56×1017 years), which is 26 million times longer than the supposed age of the universe, 13.6 billion years

This means that the maximum number of discrete physical events that could have happened in a universe 26 million times older than ours supposedly is is 1080x1045x 1025 = 10150

Therefore, any event with a probability less than 1 in 10150 (1/10150) is rightly considered to be an event for which chance cannot be accepted as an explanation.

Now, let’s see how this applies to the information in DNA.  The information in DNA is coded, as we have said, via a “4-letter alphabet” of nucleotides, with three-letter units known as codons for each amino acid in a protein:

The amino acids correspond to the letters in a sentence, which must be arranged in the correct order to give meaningful information.  Let us, therefore, illustrate the probabilities involved in genetics in an easy-to-understand fashion, using English letters and sentences.

Each codon is made up of a sequence of three nucleotides, chosen out of four possibilities (A, C, G, and T), which means that there are 64 possible different codons (4 choices for each of the three spots = 43 = 64).  Twenty of these would code for specific amino acids[12], or, for the purpose of our illustration, 26 would code for specific letters of the alphabet.

What are the chances of generating the word “CAT” by random chance?  The chance of getting one specific letter is 1/64, so the chance of getting three specific letters in a row is (1/64)3 = 1 in 262,144.

The chance of generating the sentence “THE CAT CAME BACK” by random chance is (1/64)17 = 5.07×1030, or 5.07 times a billion times a billion times a trillion.

The chance of generating “TO BE OR NOT TO BE; THAT IS THE QUESTION” is (1/64)39 = 2.76×1070

The chance of generating the following simple nursery rhyme – Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water.  Jack fell down and broke his crown, and Jill came tumbling after – is (1/64)118 =1/10213, which is far below the universal probability bound.

In fact, a maximum of only 83 letters could be assembled in order by chance without passing the universal probability bound.  Even if we allow for maximum redundancy in the DNA coding and assume every combination codes for an amino acid, so that there is a 1 in 20 chance of selecting the right “letter,” that allows only for a maximum of 115 letters to be assembled in the correct order by random chance, without violating the universal probability bound.

DNA codes for amino acid sequences to assemble proteins.  While there are some proteins with fewer than 115 amino acids in its sequence, most are much larger: the median length in archaea is 247, in bacteria is 267, and in eukaryotes is 361[13].  Many, of course, are much larger; the largest human protein is made of a sequence of 34,350 amino acids.  So it is absolutely impossible for the DNA in the first cell to have originated by random chance.

The same holds true for the creation of the qualitatively new genetic information that supposedly developed through the eons as the offspring of that first simple cell developed into the myriad more complex life forms in existence today, and for the same reason: the probability is many orders of magnitude too low for it to have happened.

Furthermore, if we return to the analogy between DNA and a computer programming, remember that we asked whether anyone can believe that randomly erasing letters of code from the Pong program and randomly inserting other letters would somehow result in the coding for “The Curse of Blackmoor Manor.”  It is ridiculous, we said.

However, there is more to it than just the fact that it is mathematically impossible.  If you think about what happens when letters of code are randomly changed in a computer program, you will realize that not only does this not make a better program with more functionality, but almost always it causes the program to crash.  It stops working.  It is the same with DNA; major changes do not make for new functionality in an organism, but rather damages what is already there or kills the organism outright.  That is why, despite decades of research on organisms with brief lifespans, such as fruit flies and bacteria, which allows for studies across thousands of generations exposed to every conceivable mutagen, all that has ever been found is damage or death.  Not so much as one new enzyme has ever come into being[14].

In fact, there is only one setting in which random mutation can cause new and amazing traits to come into being: popular fiction.

Unfortunately for TA, neither TMNT nor the X-Men is a documentary.  They are fictional, and things happen in fiction that don’t happen in real life – such as mutations creating new traits.

So at this point, we must ask “Thinking” Atheist this question: Is it an example of thinking to take a process that has been proven repeatedly and over decades by genuine laboratory experimentation according to the scientific method to cause only damage and death and assert that this process is responsible for creating “endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful” from simple lifeless chemicals?  The answer is “No”; this is most certainly notthinking.”  This is the opposite of thinking.

Returning to the issue of chance, it is a trade secret of origin-of-life studies that, regardless of the face presented to the general public, no serious origin-of-life scientist appeals to chance any more as an explanation[15].  They have done the calculations, and they know it is impossible.

But if chance is eliminated as the cause for the creation of qualitatively new genetic data, what is left?  There are only two options: necessity (i.e. a law of nature that dictates it must happen, as gravity dictates that a suspended ball that is released must fall) or design (i.e. an intelligent being – in this case God – did it).  So the atheistic evolutionists, who are unwilling to countenance design, are desperately searching for a heretofore unknown law of science that can account for the nucleotides arranging themselves in the proper sequence to yield information.  But that quest is doomed from the outset; they will never discover such a law, for such a law cannot exist.

Laws by definition describe phenomena that always happen in the same way and are never violated.  (Gravity will always attract – it will never repel – and it will always do so according to an inverse square relationship, not an inverse cube or any other type of relationship.)  In fact, that’s how science works: scientists observe the universe to ferret out those phenomena that always happen and are never violated and codify them as laws.

Now, when it comes to genetics, there is no law that says an adenine (A) must be attracted to any other specific nucleotide.  But if there were – suppose we found a law that A must join to say, guanine (G) – then the result would be a long DNA string of A-G-A-G-A-G-A-G… because laws always do the same thing in the same way: if A and G must join, then it will always be A and G that join, and nothing else.  Thus, laws give rise to this sort of pattern, known as symmetric redundancy.

We see this fact illustrated in, for example, crystals, in which the physicochemical laws determine which atoms will join which and in what fashion.  The result for NaCl (sodium chloride, or salt) is:

This is a simple, repeating pattern (symmetric redundancy), which is what a law always yields.

Information, on the other hand, is characterized by the opposite of symmetric redundancy; it is asymmetric and unpredictable.  Accordingly, it can never be yielded by a law, that is, by “necessity.”

Now, there are only three possible explanations for a phenomenon according to science: chance, necessity, and design.  And, as we have seen, the information in DNA cannot be accounted for by chance or by necessity.  So there is only one viable explanation for it, which is design; creation by God.[16]  A genuinely “thinking” person would acknowledge this.

TA also appeals to similarities in DNA among different living creatures (what he calls “shared DNA”), showing the following:

It should be obvious by now, though, that showing this is pointless.  “Shared” DNA is a necessary condition for the theory of evolution, but it is certainly not a sufficient condition.  Where did the extra 8% going from the weed to yeast come from?  The extra 18% from yeast to fruit fly?  The extra 48% going from fruit fly to mouse?   We’ve already seen that DNA, shared and unshared, cannot be accounted for by naturalistic processes, so the theory of evolution is dead in the water, and “shared DNA” does nothing to resurrect it.

Now, TA should note that DNA codes for proteins and proteins make up cells and all living things are made of cells, so we should expect a certain amount of DNA similarity among all forms of life.  This is completely consistent with, and expected by, the creation model.

Also, the claim that humans and chimpanzees share 98% of their DNA is misleading at best and an outright lie at worst.  The popular claim is quoted below from Science Daily.[17]

This meme has permeated popular culture, to the point where people are wearing T-shirts, hats, and buttons proudly proclaiming that they are “98% chimpanzee”:

And, while we might understand the scientifically illiterate being fooled by this, it is exceedingly difficult to forgive those scientists who are fooled, proclaiming that the human and chimpanzee genomes are more than 98% identical, since this is not even remotely true.

Here are the facts, as outlined by Dr. Richard Buggs, a research geneticist at the University of Florida:

To compare the two genomes, the first thing we must do is to line up the parts of each genome that are similar.  When we do this alignment, we discover that only 2400 million of the human genome’s 3164.7 million ‘letters’ align with the chimpanzee genome – that is, 76% of the human genome … to make an exact alignment, we often have to introduce artificial gaps in either the human or the chimp genome.  These gaps give another 3% difference … In the neatly aligned sequences we now find another form of difference, where a single ‘letter’ is different between the human and chimp genomes.  These provide another 1.23% difference between the two genomes … We also find places where two pieces of human genome align with only one piece of chimp genome, or two pieces of chimp genome align with one piece of human genome.  This ‘copy number variation’ causes another 2.7% difference between the two species.  Therefore the total similarity of the genomes could be below 70%.[18]

New research on the Y-chromosome has further exposed the myth that human and chimp DNA is 98% identical.  A major study[19] comparing the chimpanzee and human y-chromosome found that: (a) fully 50% of the sequence was not “identical” and did not in fact align; (b) the chimpanzee had less than half as many genes in the sequence as the human did; and (c) there were major structural changes between the two chromosomes[20]The claim, then, that humans and chimps are 98% genetically identical is wildly wrong.  At best, one could say that the 76% that is nearly identical may be 98% identical, though even that is probably not correct.

Where did the 98% myth come from?  According to Tomkins and Bergman,

Reported high DNA sequence similarity estimates are primarily based on prescreened biological samples and/or data.  Data too dissimilar to be conveniently aligned was typically omitted, masked and/or not reported.  Furthermore, gap data from final alignments was also often discarded, further inflating final similarity estimates.  It is these highly selective data-omission processes, driven by Darwinian dogma, that produce the commonly touted 98% similarity figure for human–chimp DNA comparisons.[21]

Tomkins and Bergman re-evaluated the studies that provided the data that was omitted from the published analyses, and found that studies that claimed similarities from 95.2% to 98.8% actually showed similarities of less than 65% to 87%, when all of the data was taken into account[22].  The bottom line, then, is that evolutionists are not 98% chimps, after all, though clearly they are 100% chumps.

Next, TA asserts that

Evolution is observable, provable science.

Actually, as we have already pointed out, the origin of the earth and the life on it are historical events, i.e. they each happened at one point in time in the past.  Unlike gravity or the laws of motion, they are not something that is amenable to real-time observation, which is the quintessential component of the scientific method.

However, science can be used to check the sine qua non steps required for the theory of evolution even to be viable, such as whether simple chemicals can spontaneously self-assemble into the complex molecules needed to form a first cell; whether a non-living entity can spontaneously come to life; and whether random natural processes can generate qualitatively new genetic data.  The answer that real science yields to each of these is a resounding “no.”[23]  Contra TA, evolution is not “observable, provable science,” but it is disprovable, and real science has indeed disproved it.

Finally, TA offers a quote from “famous evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould,” as follows:

This proves nothing, however, since Gould merely asserts that the creationist claim is “rhetorical nonsense,” without saying why it’s “rhetorical nonsense” or in any way showing that the creationist claim here is invalid.  Gould’s statement is not even an argument, but mere bluster, akin to the president of Burger King telling us that McDonald’s burgers are bad, with no reason to back it up.  I suppose, however, that it’s not surprising that evolutionists resort to bluster, as that is all they have.  As Cicero famously said:

#3: “If Man Evolved from Monkeys … Why Do We Still Have Monkeys?”

TA’s Response: “This is like asking, ‘If America was colonized by the English, why do we still have England?’  Next question, please.”

Since this is not one of the “Top Ten Creationist Arguments” – indeed, no serious creationist would ask this[24] – we will indeed move on from TA’s straw man to the “next question.

#4: “The Human Eye Is Too Complex to Have Evolved.”  This Argument Is Also Known as “Irreducible Complexity”.

TA’s Response: “This gross oversimplification ignores creatures like the single-celled euglena which have evolved antenna for light.  Molluscs and jellyfish have evolved various grades of vision.  Plus, consider this: The human eye is more poorly constructed and much less acute than the eye of the octopus or the great horned owl.  Did God care more about the design of the horned owl than His own children?”

Here, TA unable even to identify the argument correctly.  The argument is that many biochemical systems and structures in living organisms are irreducibly complex, i.e. made up of interdependent parts all of which are necessary for functionality, and therefore cannot be explained by the neo-Darwinian mechanism of random mutation and natural selection.  The complexity of the human eye is an example of this; it is not itself “also known as ‘irreducible complexity.’”  Nor is it the only example; the bacterial flagellum, blood clotting, and cellular transport are some of the others.[25]

Whence comes this argument from irreducible complexity?  It comes from Darwin himself, who wrote,

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.[26]

So this is valid argument of creationists is, in fact, one of the tests of his theory that Darwin himself proffered.

True, Darwin continued:

But I can find no such cases.  No doubt many organs exist of which we do not know the transitional grades, more especially if we look to much-isolated species, round which, according to my theory, there has been much extinction … in order to discover the early transitional grades through which the organ has passed, we should have to look to very ancient ancestral forms, long since become extinctWe should be extremely cautious in concluding that an organ could not have been formed by transitional gradations of some kind.[27]

So Darwin’s answer to his own challenge was simply to assert that he, personally, knew of no such cases, which doesn’t qualify as a scientific investigation.  And then in the very next sentence he admits that he does know of such cases, but claims that the evidence would be there, but, unfortunately, the relevant forms have “long since become extinct,” so we’ll never be able to examine them – which again is not science, which requires observation.  Darwin’s personal feelings about this matter do not constitute scientific proof.  His concluding statement, then, is backwards; absent actual, observable examples of it happening, we should be extremely cautious in concluding that an organ could have been formed by transitional gradients, and not, as Darwin would have it, vice versa.

It gets still worse.  The eye as an example of irreducible complexity was, in fact, adduced by Darwin himself, who wrote,

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.[28]

Darwin then continued,

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 predecessor 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.[29]

Darwin must be using an idiosyncratic sui generis definition of “reason” here, which apparently means the opposite of what reasonable people understand by it.  Decay and degradation are normal in nature, as described by the law of entropy, so the perfect does become imperfect.  But to suggest that the fact that eyes degrade and break down somehow is analogous to perfect and complex eyes forming out of something less by naturalistic processes is akin to suggesting that because we can reduce a building to a pile of rubble by smashing it with a sledge hammer, then it follows that we can turn a pile of rubble into a building by smashing it with a sledge hammer.  This claim would be described more accurately as an example of “lunacy” than of “reason.

Furthermore, “the eye does vary ever so slightly, and the variations be inherited”; there are brown eyes and blue eyes, there is 20/20 vision and 20/40 vision, and so on, but the variations are all within the limits of being eyes, and not something else.  The difficulty in believing Darwin’s postulate, therefore, is not just “real”; it rises to the level of “insurmountable”.

More risibly still, Darwin says that to find the evidence for his claims (i.e. the gradations that led to the naturalistic coming-into-being of eyes), “we ought to look exclusively to its lineal ancestors,[30] but that is not possible, he says, so we should look “to the collateral descendants from the same original parent-form[31] and at “fossil species,[32] but then he admits that neither of these show the requisite evidence.  Yet he has the chutzpah to instruct any who doubt his claims that “his reason ought to conquer his imagination”![33]

Here’s a newsflash for Mr. Darwin: If there is an idea you describe as seeming “absurd in the highest possible degree”; which requires you to believe that if different finches have beaks of different sizes, then reptiles can grow wings; and for which by your own admission there is no evidence; and you choose to believe that idea, then you have allowed your imagination to conquer your reason, not vice versa.

So even in Darwin’s day, his theory was not reasonable.  To maintain belief in it at all, it was necessary to ignore the question of the source of the inherited variations in living organisms.  Darwin, for example, wrote, “How a nerve comes to be sensitive to light, hardly concerns us more than how life itself first originated”![34]  (Actually, these would seem to be rather crucial questions for one being asked to accept his theory.)

Darwin himself believed in the Lamarckian tenet that acquired traits can be passed on from one generation to the next.  In the sixth edition of The Origin of Species, he postulated that the giraffe developed a long neck because it was advantageous to browse from high branches that could not be reached by other hoofed animals:

The giraffe, by its lofty stature, much elongated neck, fore-legs, head and tongue, has its whole frame beautifully adapted for browsing on the higher branches of trees … Those individuals which had some one part or several parts of their bodies rather more elongated than usual, would generally have survived.  These will have intercrossed and left offspring, either inheriting the same bodily peculiarities, or with a tendency to vary again in the same manner.  By this process long-continued … combined no doubt in a most important manner with the inherited effects of the increased use of parts, it seems to me almost certain that an ordinary hoofed quadruped might be converted into a giraffe.[35]

However, even if one believed that acquired traits could be passed on to offspring, the thinking person would nevertheless have rejected Darwin’s theory.  While it may seem plausible to think that a short neck could become a long neck in this fashion, the thinking person would ask where the short neck came from in the first place.  One can stretch a short neck, which is already there, complete with muscles and controlling nerves, but what on his back does a reptile start stretching in order to begin the process to acquiring wings, for example?

No, Darwin’s theory was never viable.  No wonder that Professor Edward J. Larson of the University of Georgia, Pulitzer Prize winner and a leading expert on the history of the theory of evolution, said this:

During the Enlightenment, during, say, the 1700’s, notions of evolution began creeping back in, that, is, creation by natural law.  If a people are intent in pushing out God, or rejecting divine causation, really the only alternative is where species, well, they could be eternal, as Aristotle said, or they had to come from other species.  Where else could they come from?[36]

So from the very beginning acceptance of Darwinism was never about science.  It was about finding a way to deny the reality of God.

Crucially, any patina of plausibility Darwin’s theory may once have had evaporated with the discovery of the source of variation in living organisms, something that Darwin had not known; specifically, when we learned how genetics works.  Traits are coded in very complex fashion in DNA, and, as we have shown previously, there is no naturalistic way in which the qualitatively new genetic data needed for new traits can be formed.  Pace Darwin, then, “an ordinary hoofed quadruped” can never “be converted into a giraffe” simply by stretching its neck.  What “seems to [him] almost certain” is a fantasy on the order of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  But nobody thinks TMNT is real.

NOW, REGARDING IRREDUCIBLE COMPLEXITY:

Since the spontaneous generation of qualitatively new genetic data by naturalistic means is impossible, there isn’t much point in discussing irreducible complexity.  However, Proverbs 26:5 enjoins us to

Answer a fool according to his folly,

Lest he be wise in his own eyes.

Therefore, let us ignore, for the sake of argument, the impossibility of generating this new data, and let us pretend that new traits can develop by naturalistic means, and see whether irreducible complexity is a second fatal impediment to the theory of evolution.

Now, the operating mechanism of neo-Darwinism is natural selection acting on random genetic mutation.  Genes mutate by random chance, and the very few of these mutations are beneficial, i.e. they alter a trait in a way that enhances the survival ability of the organism.  The offspring of these organisms will be better able to equipped to survive under given conditions than those without the mutation, and so they will be “naturally selected” to survive while their rivals will eventually die out.  (Thus, natural selection is also known as “survival of the fittest.”)  According to TA,

natural selection promotes non-random change of specific desirable traits over time.

If enough changes accrue in a line of descent, the organism will eventually and gradually be transformed into an entirely different organism, from single cell to human being or bat or crocodile.

The sine qua non point for this scenario to work is that the trait must enhance survival for it to be selected for.  Darwin could only see phenotypic variations, such the different sizes and shapes of the beaks of the Galapagos finches:

It seemed obvious to him that each type of beak is best suited to a particular environment and so will be selected for in that environment.  It should be noted, however, that neither Darwin nor anyone else claims that natural selection causes the variations; it can only select among the variations that exist, which raises the question where the variations come from.  Darwin opined that that “hardly concerns us.”  He was spectacularly wrong.

We now know where the variation comes from: mutation of the DNA.  The problem for evolution is that it takes many mutations at the genotype level to lead to a variation at the phenotype level e.g. converting scales into wings.  But mutations are selected for only if they yield a survival advantage.  If many mutations are required to create the new organ or structure or enzyme that enhances survival, then there is no survival advantage until all of the mutations have come to pass.  But if there is no survival advantage before that, then none of the individual mutations will be selected for, as by themselves they do not yield a survival advantage.  And therein lies the problem of irreducible complexity.

We illustrate the concept by means of a mousetrap:

The mousetrap has five functional elements that act in concert to catch mice: the platform, the hammer, the spring, the catch, and the holding bar.  If any one of these is removed, the trap will not function.  In other words, the mousetrap is irreducibly complex; it cannot be simpler and still function.

Could a biological system analogous to this “possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications,” each retained through natural selection?  If an organism has a “platform” and then random mutation produces a “spring,” will natural selection retain it?  No, because even with the “platform” the “spring” provides no survival advantage, as it still cannot “catch mice”.  And even if the “spring” happened to be retained till a “holding bar” came about by random mutation, would it be selected for?  No, as these three components together still will not “catch mice.”  So herein indeed lies another fatal problem for the theory of evolution: when we look not just at the variations but at the process by which the variations come about, it becomes clear that the neo-Darwinian explanation for evolution, natural selection acting on random mutation, does not and cannot work.

Consider now the human eye.  It is an incredibly complex organ, with a vast array of interconnecting parts, all of which are necessary for sight.  The following shows how many parts are necessary even at the gross anatomical level:

These components themselves are extremely complex.  Consider the structure of the retina, and its biochemical operation:

  At an even finer level, the biochemistry is also irreducibly complex:

It should be obvious to any thinking person by now that the eye is irreducibly complex.  Consider the biochemical level, for example.  Even if a simple cell underwent a mutation that formed the opsin protein that links to retinal to form the chromoprotein rhodopsin, which is necessary for sight, what survival benefit would that bestow upon the cell?  None, inasmuch as rhodopsin is useless without the rest of the biochemical components.

At the gross anatomical level, let us ignore irreducible complexity for a moment and suppose all of the parts of the eye could have evolved by gradual steps.  It would still be useless without the visual cortex of the brain to interpret the data collected by the eye.  Why would all of the steps necessary to develop the visual cortex be selected for without the eye, without which the visual cortex is useless?  And even if you did have the visual cortex and the eye, without the optic nerve to transmit the data from the eye to the visual cortex the whole system would remain useless.  Yet none of these could evolve without the others.

In light of this, the suggested pathways to the evolution of the eye, such as the one shown below, that are put forth by evolutionists can only be considered risible:

Notice that these fantasy sequences never go below the gross anatomical level, as evolutionists can’t even begin to posit a scenario for the evolution of biochemistry, as they know perfectly well that the only driving force they have to appeal to, viz. natural selection, does not work before you have actual living organisms.  They are simply hoping you don’t ask questions about that.

Furthermore, even apart from that, the scenarios are bogus.  In the one shown above, the fantasy begins in step a) with photo receptors and linked nerve cells both already there, as they cannot posit how one can arise without the other.  Then in step c), the “‘Pinhole’ eye allows a finer directional sensitivity and limited imaging,” we are told.  Wrong.  Without the visual cortex or some other feedback mechanism, there can be no “directional sensitivity” or “limited imaging,” which, inter alia, means that if a mutation could create this step, it would not be selected for.  It should be clear, then, that these sequences of eye development never took place in real life; they exist only in the wishful thinking of evolutionists.

The bacterial flagellum is another good example of an irreducibly complex biological structure.  This is a little tail-like appendage on the bacterial cell that spins to propel it through water.  It is built of about forty interconnected protein parts exactly analogous to those in a man-made rotary engine:

If even one of the parts is removed, the flagellum will not operate and the bacterium will be rendered immobile.  Therefore, this system, too, cannot have evolved via random mutation and natural selection, as none of first thirty-nine protein parts, useless without the fortieth, would have been selected for.

Now, the response of the evolutionists to this problem is illustrative.  Consider Dan Jones’ attempt to provide a viable solution.[37]  Jones writes:

The best studied flagellum, of the E. coli bacterium, contains around 40 different kinds of proteins.  Only 23 of these proteins, however, are common to all the other bacterial flagella studied so far.  Either a “designer” created thousands of variants on the flagellum or, contrary to creationist claims, it is possible to make considerable changes to the machinery without mucking it up.

On the contrary, a designer could certainly create “thousands [sic] of variants on the flagellum” with no difficulty whatsoever.  Conversely, since random chance cannot create a flagellum even once, how much less possible is it for random chance to create not only one but “thousands of variants” of the flagellum?  Contra Jones, then, the fact that “only 23 of these proteins … are common to all the other bacterial flagella studied so far” poses no problem whatsoever for creationism, but poses yet another insurmountable problem for evolution.

Jones continues:

What’s more, of these 23 proteins, it turns out that just two are unique to flagella.  The others all closely resemble proteins that carry out other functions in the cell.  This means that the vast majority of the components needed to make a flagellum might already have been present in bacteria before this structure appeared.

The problem for evolutionists, however, regarding the origin of the flagellum, is not where the components came from, but how forty different proteins can be assembled into an irreducibly complex system.  So far, Jones is dodging the issue.

Next, Jones avers that:

It has also been shown that some of the components that make up a typical flagellum – the motor, the machinery for extruding the “propeller” and a primitive directional control system – can perform other useful functions in the cell, such as exporting proteins.

This is the heart of the evolutionists’ attempt to dodge this problem.  They assert that the basal body of the bacterial flagellum is similar to a Type III secretion system (TTSS; see the previous diagram), a needle-like structure used by some types of bacteria to secrete proteins used to infect eukaryotes.

The error here should be obvious to any thinking person.  First, and most obvious, the TTSS is itself an irreducibly complex system!  The evolutionists are suggesting that if we start with one irreducibly complex system, then we can develop another, but before you can do that, you have to show an evolutionary mechanism whereby the TTSS itself could arise.  This they don’t – and can’t – do; I suppose they are hoping you don’t notice that.

Second, the TTSS is not a flagellum.  Dozens of additional proteins are needed to make a flagellum, which doesn’t work until they are all there[38].  So, even if one starts with an irreducibly complex TTSS, one still cannot develop that into a flagellum by natural selection.  Again, something it seems they are hoping you don’t notice.

Yet this has become the party line of evolutionists regarding the bacterial flagellum.  One source puts it this way:

The needle’s base has ten elements in common with the flagellum, but it is missing forty of the proteins that make a flagellum work.  Thus, this system negates the claim that taking away any of the flagellum’s parts would render it useless.  On this basis, Kenneth Miller notes that, The parts of this supposedly irreducibly complex system actually have functions of their own.”[39]

It takes a special kind of chutzpah to say that “this system negates the claim that taking away any of the flagellum’s parts would render it useless”; the flagellum is an organ designed to propel the bacterium through water, and removing some of its parts does indeed “render it useless”; it does not propel the bacterium through water.

Furthermore, even if the base of the flagellum were a TTSS (which it isn’t), that wouldn’t come close to justifying Miller’s ludicrous claim that “The parts of this supposedly irreducibly complex system actually have functions of their own”; at most it would mean that one part, constituting at most 25% of the components, is a functional subset.  To get around the problem of irreducible complexity, Miller would have to show that all of the intermediate combinations are functional units (else the components would not be selected for), and neither he nor anyone else even begins to do this.

In sum, the strategy of the evolutionists is clear: when faced with proof that their theory is impossible, simply act very confident and spin “just so” stories and hope the public doesn’t pick up on it.

The bottom line, then, is that irreducible complexity is another fatal problem for the theory of evolution.  Natural selection cannot account for the development of irreducibly complex systems and structures.

Now, let us look at TA’s response to this creationist argument.  Recall that he said:

This gross oversimplification ignores creatures like the single-celled euglena which have evolved antenna for light.  Molluscs and jellyfish have evolved various grades of vision.  Plus, consider this: The human eye is more poorly constructed and much less acute than the eye of the octopus or the great horned owl.  Did God care more about the design of the horned owl than His own children?

 Let’s analyze this.  First, TA characterizes the argument from irreducible complexity as

This gross oversimplification …

Quelle surprise; he leads with an insulting statement that is not substantiated in any way.  How exactly is the argument from irreducible complexity an “oversimplification” at all, let alone a “gross” one?  TA doesn’t tell us.  Does he think that simply levying such an accusation carries any weight at all?  The only “oversimplification” is that we did not delve fully into depths of the complexity of the visual system, which is such that its stepwise evolution is utterly impossible.

Next, he writes,

… ignores creatures like the single-celled euglena which have evolved antenna for light.

Now, pace TA, all we can honestly say is that these creatures haveantenna for light [sic],” not that they have evolvedantenna for light [sic].  TA cannot assume what he is trying to prove; that is a circular argument, the logical fallacy formally called petitio principii.

In other words, the debate is over whether evolution is possible or not, and TA cannot assume that a biological feature came about by evolution to prove that evolution is possible.

Next, it is not even clear what TA means by “antenna for light” (hence my use of [sic] in the quotations); this sounds as if the antenna acts as a source of light.

In reality, the euglena is designed for positive phototaxis (movement towards increasing light intensity, with an upper limit), by means of a photoreceptor flavoprotein, photoactivated adenylyl cyclise (PAC) believed to be located in the paraflagellar body.[40]  (The eyespot is not really an eyespot, but is a pigmented area that periodically shades the actual photoreceptor.[41])  Movement is based on an automatic feedback loop controlled by chemical and/or electrical processes, probably by means of membrane potential[42], and so is quite unlike human vision, in which visual data is interpreted by the brain, which then determines motive reaction, if any.  More importantly, the phototactic system of euglena is itself irreducibly complex:

 A definition of the minimum components of the stimulus transduction system and a systems analytical approach to the study of input-output relationships enables one to construct an electronic analog of the cell’s signal processing system that converts the photoreceptor input to commands which activate or inhibit flagellar reorientation.[43]

Since the phototactic system of the euglena, which TA clumsily describes as an “antenna for light,” is irreducibly complex, it cannot have developed by gradual steps, as the steps would not have been selected for until the whole system was operational.  Nor is there any explanation for all of the other steps leading from this phototactic system to the human eye.

So what we have here is the exact same situation as with the bacterial flagellum: a desperate attempt by evolutionists to get around the insurmountable problem of irreducible complexity by saying, “Hey, look!  Here’s an irreducible system in an organism, so pay no attention to the problem of irreducible complexity and just accept my bluster that this proves that irreducibly systems can evolve, and by the way I hope you don’t think about it too hard.”  It is a farce.

TA then claims that

 Molluscs and jellyfish have evolved various grades of vision.

Again, all that can be said with intellectual honesty is that molluscs and jellyfish have various grades of vision, not that they “evolved” them.

TA then says

Plus, consider this: The human eye is more poorly constructed …

Only the truly ignorant can assert that the human eye is in any sense “poorly constructed.”  It is a marvel of design that is orders of magnitude superior to anything our best engineers have been able to construct.  Here are just two illustrations of this:

  • The eye can detect one photon of light, which is the smallest amount, and can still see well in an intensity of 10 billion photons.  This 10 billion to 1 dynamic range is ten million times better than modern photographic film.[44]

  • The retina itself does signal processing, such as edge extraction, with such speed that it would take a Cray supercomputer at least a century to simulate what happens in the eye in a fraction of a second.[45]

It is sheer lunacy, then, to describe the eye as “poorly constructed.”  But if TA is referring to the evolutionist canard that the eye is supposedly wired “backwards” (with the photoreceptors aligned towards the back of the eye and the nerve fibres between the photoreceptors and the incident light), he is simply again demonstrating his ignorance.  The photoreceptors must be aligned towards the back for contact with the choroid layer, which provides the blood supply for the retinal pigment epithelium and acts as a heat exchanger to regenerate the photoreceptors during sight.[46]  Had the eyes been wired “forwards,” one of the following two situations would obtain:

  1. “The choroid in front of the retina—but the choroid is opaque because of all the red blood cells, so this design would be as useless as an eye with a hemorrhage!
  2. Photoreceptors not in contact with the RPE and choroid at all—but if our eyes lost this ability to absorb heat, then it would probably take months before we could drive after we were photographed with a flashbulb.”[47]

TA:

… and much less acute than the eye of the octopus or the great horned owl.  Did God care more about the design of the horned owl than His own children?

Actually, the cephalopod eye, such as that of the octopus, is less acute than human eyes, not more acute.[48]  Meanwhile, owl eyes see better in some ways than human eyes, but not as well in other ways.  Owls can see much better in the dark than we can, and are much more farsighted.  On the other hand, the human eye sees much better up close; indeed, owls have trouble focusing on things very close to them.  Owl eyes have only a small number of cones and so are thought to have only limited colour vision, if any.  And the owl’s field of vision is 110°, 70° of that being binocular, whereas the human field of vision is 180°, of which 140° is binocular.

However, I have just “answered a fool according to his folly” (Proverbs 26:5), as his line of argument here is absurd.  Here is news for TA:

The elephant is stronger than humans.

Cheetahs are faster runners (across short distances) than humans. 

Sailfish are faster swimmers than humans.  And, oh, yes …

Birds can fly under their own power, and humans can’t.

So, yes, human beings are not superior to every animal in every physical trait; how does that mean we weren’t created?  This is not even a rational argument.  By the way, FYI, our superiority lies in the fact that we alone of all creatures are moral agents made in God’s image and can know Him, commune with Him, be adopted into His family (Romans 8:15-17), and have eternal life with Him.  There is a tremendous dignity in being a human being, as described in Psalm 8:4-9:

What is man that You are mindful of him,

And the son of man that You visit him?

For You have made him a little lower than the angels,

And You have crowned him with glory and honor.

You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands;

You have put all things under his feet,

All sheep and oxen –

Even the beasts of the field,

The birds of the air,

And the fish of the sea

That pass through the paths of the seas.

O LORD, our Lord,

How excellent is Your name in all the earth!

It is truly tragic that this dignity is completely missed by those who think we are random assemblages of chemicals that crawled out of a primordial soup ages ago to a life that is “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing[49] and headed to nothing but oblivion.

#5: “Atheism Is Actually a Religion.”

TA’s Response: “Indeed, much like not collecting stamps might be called a hobby, or not smoking might be called a habit.”

Actually, that depends on the definition of “religion.”  If it requires belief in a god, then atheism is not a religion.  But then neither is Buddhism, at least in its original (Hinayana) form.  However, the third meaning given in the Oxford English Dictionary is

Belief in or sensing of some superhuman controlling power or powers, entitled to obedience, reverence, and worship, or in a system defining a code of living, esp. as a means to achieve spiritual or material improvement …

According to the bolded part of the definition, atheism certainly qualifies.

However, this is irrelevant, as “Atheism is actually a religion” is not an argument for creation, let alone one of the “Top Ten.”  We will waste no further time on it, but simply ask TA to stop playing with straw men and move on.

TA’S FAVOURITE TOY: THE STRAW MAN

#6: “Scientist ‘X’ Believes in God.”

TA’s Response: “That’s nice.  So did icons like Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, who also lived during the time of dirt floors, bleeding sick people to cure them of illness, and burning witches at the stake.  Sir Isaac Newton was a believer and theologian.  He was also an alchemist.  Did Newton’s groundbreaking research on gravity and the laws of motion also prove his beliefs that metals had magical powers and could be combined to make gold?  Cherry-pick all you want, the fact is 93% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences reject the concept of God.  That’s not just a majority; it’s an overwhelming majority.  In fact, this is just a sampling of the reputable scientific organizations that reject intelligent design and support evolution by natural selection. [List of names of scientific organizations shown onscreen.]”

Once again, what TA has adduced is not a creationist argument, let alone one of “The Top Ten.”  Creationists will make the point that scientist ‘X’ is a creationist when evolutionists make the demonstrably false charge that no real scientist believes in creationism.  It takes only one counter example to disprove the evolutionists’ statement, though of course there are many more examples than one[50].

Furthermore, TA wants us to think that the vast majority of scientists “reject the concept of God,” displaying the following claim from The Nation, a popular-level left-wing magazine, and scrolling a list of names of “reputable scientific organizations that reject intelligent design” (which, by the way, is not equivalent to rejecting the concept of God):

The problem with TA’s claim is that it is simply not true.  According to “a survey of scientists who are members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press in May and June 2009,” only “four-in-ten scientists (41%) say they do not believe in God or a higher power,” and 33% explicitly affirmed a belief in God, and another 18% in a “higher power.[51]

These findings are corroborated by another scientific study[52], which showed the following:

So we do not need to “cherry-pick”; if “93% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences reject the concept of God,” then they are certainly not representative of scientists as a whole.  It is not true that an overwhelming majority of scientists reject the concept of God; in fact, not even a simple majority do so.  About 40% do so, and that is a minority.

Finally, it is actually funny that TA would criticize Newton for experimenting with alchemy.  We laugh at the notion of transmuting base metals into gold only because of what we have discovered about atomic structure long after Newton had died.  The fact that base metals cannot be turned into gold was not intuitively obvious in Newton’s day, given the many chemical reactions that do occur all around us and are observable.  It was fully reasonable, therefore, in Newton’s time to experiment with alchemy, which was the chemistry of his day, and it was through such experimentation that we uncovered the fact that base metals cannot be transmuted into gold.  That is how science advances.

The real irony is this, though: Newton, arguably the greatest scientist in history, went where the evidence took him and so today would not believe in the disproven claims of alchemy, nor would he believe in the disproven claims of Darwinism.  TA, on the other hand, mocks Newton for believing in one wrong theory when it was not unreasonable to do so while he himself trusts his eternal destiny to the disproven and unscientific theory of evolution.  This is a perfect example of “the pot calling the kettle black.”

#7: “You’re Saying That Everything Happened by ‘Chance’?”

TA’s Response: “No.  Chance certainly plays a part in the evolutionary cycle, but natural selection promotes non-random change of specific desirable traits over time.  Living organisms didn’t just pop into existence by chance, but they did evolve over millions, sometimes billions, of years.”

TA’s first claim is that

Chance certainly plays a part in the evolutionary cycle, but natural selection promotes non-random change of specific desirable traits over time.

This is a stock-in trade dodge for evolutionists.  Faced with the fact that it is impossible to have genetic data generated by random chance (as shown in detail under point 2 above), evolutionists parachute in “natural selection” as the hero who will save the day, who will work with random chance to make the impossible possible.  Richard Dawkins puts it this way:

I think the classic thing is that creationists think evolution is a theory of random chance.  Any fool can see that if it were random chance it couldn’t work.  You’ve only got to look at the complexity of something like an eye to see it couldn’t come about by luck … [but] natural selection is very much not a theory of chance.  Natural selection is really the opposite of chance, it’s non-random survival.[53]

What is “natural selection”?  The Oxford Dictionary of Science defines it this way:

The process that, according to Darwinism, brings about the evolution of new species of animals and plants.  Darwin noted that the size of any population tends to remain constant despite the fact that more offspring are produced than are needed to maintain it.  He also saw that variations existed between individuals of the population and concluded that disease, competition, and other forces acting on the population eliminated those individuals less well adapted to their environment.  The survivors would pass on any heritable advantageous characteristics (i.e. characteristics with survival value) to their offspring and in time the composition of the population would change in adaptation to a changing environment.  Over a long period of time this process could give rise to organisms so different from the original population that new species are formed.[54]

Natural selection can and does happen, and it can and does even give rise to new species.  However, this does not save the day for the theory of evolution.  As can be seen in the definition, natural selection can only act on “variations” that already “exist in a population; it cannot create variations.  In fact, natural selection forms new species by partitioning the entire gene pool into subsets in isolated populations and then selecting for traits beneficial in each environment by corrupting or losing the genetic data for the alternatives.  Do note this: speciation happens by means of the corruption or loss of genetic data that had already previously been present in the ancestral population.

The problem now becomes obvious.  While Darwin believed that acquired traits can be passed on to offspring (discussed in Point 4, above), we now know that this is not the case.  Each trait requires its own genetic coding, and natural selection cannot bring this about.  The evolutionist must rely on random chance to create new traits before natural selection can act to select or discard a new trait.  And, as we showed clearly in Point 2 (above), it is impossible for complex qualitatively new genetic coding to be produced by random chance.

Now, when we look at TA’s claim again, the problem is clear:

Chance certainly plays a part in the evolutionary cycle, but natural selection promotes non-random change of specific desirable traits over time.

The “part” that “chance certainly plays … in the evolutionary cycle” is the creation of the qualitatively new genetic coding for “specific desirable traits,” but that itself is impossible.  Appealing, therefore, to “non-random” natural selection is useless.  It looks like this:

Therefore, when evolutionists invoke natural selection as if it solves the intractable problem of the role of random chance in their theory, it is nothing but a “red herring” (second definition below):

TA then goes on to assert that

Living organisms didn’t just pop into existence by chance, but they did evolve over millions, sometimes billions, of years.

Really?  If they “didn’t just pop into existence by chance,then where did they come from?  The alternative TA appeals to, that “they did evolve over millions, sometimes billions, of years,” is no alternative at all, because “they” cannot evolve until “they” actually exist.  So the problem of where they came from in the first place remains.

Actually, as we will see in Point 9, what evolutionists believe is exactly that living organisms “popped into existence by chance.  Dawkins puts it this way, in the same interview:

The origin of life, for me, is the origin of the first self-replicating entity.  And a self-replicating entity is a prerequisite for natural selection, so therefore we can’t use natural selection, at least in the ordinary sense, to explain it.  So to that extent the origin of life has to be a chance event.[55]

Which gives us this delightful summation:

Hmm … I can think of at least one fool who can’t seem to see that, since evolution depends at its core on random chance, it can’t work.  Actually, I can think of a lot of such fools.

#8: “America Was Founded as a Christian Nation.”

TA’s Response: “Actually, the US Constitution never mentions God, and the mention of religion in Article 6 and the First Amendment serve to separate religion from government altogether.  The words “in God we trust” weren’t printed on American coins till 1863, after a religious surge during the Civil War.  Paper money didn’t have it until 1957.  The words “under God” weren’t even in the original pledge of allegiance; they were added by Congress in 1954.  And many of our founding fathers were Deists or ambivalent about the Christian God: including Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, John Adams, Thomas Paine, and even George Washington.”

As much fun as a discussion of this topic may be, it is irrelevant, as “America was founded as a Christian nation” is not an argument for creation, let alone one of the “Top Ten.”  We will waste no further time on it, but simply ask TA again to stop playing with straw men and move on.

TA CAUGHT PLAYING WITH HIS FAVOURITE TOY AGAIN

#9: “The Second Law of Thermodynamics”

TA’s Response: “We love this argument because it is thrown out so flippantly and with so little understanding.  In a nutshell, the Second Law of Thermodynamics says that systems must become more disordered over time, so complex living cells and organisms couldn’t have come out of basic, inanimate chemicals.  In other words, more time means more chaos.  What creationists fail to mention is that this law only works in a closed system, where no energy or matter leaves or enters.  The earth is not a closed system.  It receives outside heat and light from our sun’s nuclear fusion, fueling simple organisms so that they can become more complex, by consuming other forms of life and non-living materials.  Here’s an easy way to frustrate this argument: When a Christian brings up the Second Law of Thermodynamics, ask him what the other laws are.  When he shrugs and stares into space, you’ll know how truly informed he is on the subject.”

It is ironic indeed that TA claims to “love this argument because it is thrown out so flippantly and with so little understanding.”  What we will show is that it is the stock-in-trade response that TA gives here that is “thrown out so flippantly” by evolutionists, and it is TA who will demonstrate that he has “so little understanding” in this matter.  So let us proceed.

TA avers that

In a nutshell, the Second Law of Thermodynamics says that systems must become more disordered over time, so complex living cells and organisms couldn’t have come out of basic, inanimate chemicals.  In other words, more time means more chaos.

First, let’s be a little more precise about this important issue.  All chemical reactions in nature are governed by two driving forces, viz. reducing enthalpy (“energy”) and increasing entropy (“disorder”); it is the Second Law of Thermodynamics that describes the latter.  Simple order can be achieved in naturally occurring reactions, such as the combination of hydrogen gas and oxygen gas to form water, if the product has lower energy than the reactants.  But the entropy drive overwhelms the enthalpy drive at higher levels of complexity, so that complex molecules cannot form spontaneously in nature.

The two factors are both accounted for in the Gibbs Free Energy equation:

G = H –TS

where G is the Gibbs free energy, H is the enthalpy, T is temperature (in K), S is the entropy

The change of G (ΔG) for any reaction is then:

     ΔGreaction = (Hproducts – TSproducts) – (Hreactants -TSreactants)

Any reaction for which ΔG is negative (less than 0) will proceed spontaneously, and any reaction for which ΔG is positive (greater than 0) will never proceed spontaneously, even with activation energy.  And the ΔG for the formation of complex organic macromolecules is always a large positive number, which means they will never form spontaneously.

As a simple illustration, understand that the Second Law of Thermodynamics explains why a house, left alone long enough, will spontaneously turn into a pile of rubble, but a pile of rubble will never spontaneously turn into a house, no matter how much time is given it.

Regarding the origin of the first cell, the best-case simulation of the putative formation of the complex organic macromolecules that would be needed to form such a protocell was the Urey-Miller experiment, in which simple compounds (hydrogen gas, methane, ammonia, etc.) were mixed and sparked.

Under these best conditions, the most that was formed was some simple amino acids, which are orders of magnitude simpler than proteins – and even these amino acids would have instantly broken down had it not been for the artificial “cold water trap” in the system.  Far from solving the problem of where the complex macromolecules came from, then, as evolutionists disingenuously claim, the Urey-Miller experiment showed what the Second Law of Thermodynamics had already told us: the complex macromolecules needed for the first protocell never would and, indeed, never could have formed by any naturalistic process.  This leads to the unavoidable conclusion that an Intelligent Designer – God – is necessary to explain the existence of life on earth.

Now, let us return to TA’s attempt to get around this fatal problem for atheistic evolution.  He writes:

What creationists fail to mention is that this law only works in a closed system, where no energy or matter leaves or enters.  The earth is not a closed system.

Wrong.  This is the usual mantra of the evolutionist trying to get around this problem, but it is not true.  The Second Law is defined in terms of a closed system (actually, properly it is in terms of an “isolated” system), but it holds for all natural processes:

The sign of ΔG provides a criterion for spontaneity under conditions of constant temperature and external pressure.  If ΔG is negative, the reaction is a natural process and can proceed.  If ΔG is positive, the reaction is unnatural and cannot proceed spontaneously.[56]

The fact that the Second Law of Thermodynamics holds in open systems should be obvious; if it did not, then we certainly would see piles of rubble occasionally turning into houses by themselves, and ashes turning into firewood.  Yet we do not.  Nor do we ever see the spontaneous formation of the complex organic macromolecules needed for the first protocell, even in the best controlled and most favourable possible laboratory conditions.  The only possible conclusion from real science, then, is that such a thing couldn’t have happened and didn’t happen.

TA then says:

[The earth] receives outside heat and light from our sun’s nuclear fusion, fueling simple organisms so that they can become more complex, by consuming other forms of life and non-living materials.

TA (and John Rennie – Editor-in-Chief, Scientific American) is completely missing the point here.  The problem occasioned by the Second Law of Thermodynamics for the theory of evolution is at the prebiotic stage.  Specifically, as we have said, the law prevents the formation of the complex organic macromolecules needed to form the first cell, and without such a cell, you cannot have “simple organisms” or “other forms of life” or any sort of living thing at all!  In that TA is talking about “fueling simple organisms” here, he shows that he has no understanding of this matter at all.

Nor does the “outside heat and light from our sun’s nuclear fusion” solve the entropy problem that prevents the formation of the needed macromolecules.  The earth is indeed an open system, but the effect of energy transfer on entropy in an open system is fully known.  If free energy is input in into an open system, which is what happens when the “outside heat and light from our sun’s nuclear fusion” bathes the earth, it speeds up the rate of entropy increase (so that the house in our example will actually fall apart more quickly if it is in direct sunlight).  Removing free energy from the system only reduces the rate of entropy increase; it does not reverse it.  So the entropy problem remains intractable for any atheistic theory of evolution.

And yet TA has the chutzpah to then say:

Here’s an easy way to frustrate this argument: When a Christian brings up the Second Law of Thermodynamics, ask him what the other laws are.  When he shrugs and stares into space, you’ll know how truly informed he is on the subject.

Does this really frustrate the argument, or is it simply another dodge?  It is possible, of course, that TA may encounter a Christian who appeals to the Second Law of Thermodynamics but does not know the other laws, but so what?  That does not change the fact that the Second Law makes the theory of evolution impossible.  So this is nothing more than other red herring from TA.

TA FINDS A NEW FAVOURITE TOY!

What is particularly amusing, however, is that, as TA advises us to “ask him what the other laws are.  When he shrugs and stares into space, you’ll know how truly informed he is on the subject,” he shows the following picture:

There are actually three laws of thermodynamics; there is no “Fourth Law.[57]  So TA’s suggestion that one attempt to show that his Christian opponent is ill informed on the subject of thermodynamics has actually served to show that it is TA who is ill informed.  He has been hoist on his own petard.

Let us now turn our attention to another point that TA has glossed over.  He previously wrote (Point #7) that “living organisms didn’t just pop into existence by chance” but did not tell us how then they did come into existence.  Now he speaks of “simple organisms” and “other forms of life” as if they are already there, yet he has not explained where they came from.  Where did they come from, TA?

This raises a second insurmountable problem for any atheistic theory of evolution.  Even if simple chemicals could come together to self-assemble into a cell structure, it would still be a lifeless assemblage of chemicals, albeit one with a complex structure.  How does it come to life?  The answer is: it doesn’t.  It can’t.

In the latter half of the 19th century, science discovered another inviolable law of science, the Law of Biogenesis, which states that life can only come from life; nonliving matter can never come to life.  According to the Oxford Dictionary of Science:

spontaneous generation  The discredited belief that living organisms can somehow be produced by nonliving matter … Controlled experiments using sterilized media by Pasteur and others finally disproved these notions.”[58]

biogenesis  The principle that a living organism can only arise from other living organisms similar to itself (i.e. that like gives rise to like) and can never originate from nonliving material.”[59]

Let’s highlight the salient points for TA, in case he missed them: the “belief that living organisms can somehow be produced by nonliving matter” is a “discredited belief; it has been “disproved.”  A living organism “can never originate from nonliving matter.

Do understand the significance of this: real science proves that atheism is impossible.  Had a cell structure formed by random natural processes (itself an impossibility), real science has proven that it could never have come to life.  And in the absence of that, the only explanation for life on earth is that it was created by an intelligent designer who never Himself came into being but is eternally existent – in other words, God.  Q.E.D.

It is actually a pitiable sight watching atheist evolutionists indulge in cognitive dissonance as they try to figure out exactly nonliving matter first came to life, when the Law of Biogenesis already tells them it couldn’t have happened.  It is not at all surprising that they can put forth no viable mechanism.  The following encapsulates clearly the state of origin-of-life science:

Of course they will never be able to “be more explicit here in step two” because they are trying to find an explanation for a phenomenon that real science has already shown cannot happen.  The fact that atheists continue to hold to their atheism while claiming to be following science – which very thing shows atheism to be impossible – is a pitiable circumstance, indeed.

#10: “Adolf Hitler Was an Atheist.”

TA’s Response: “Well, actually, Adolf Hitler was raised Roman Catholic.  In Mein Kampf, Hitler speaks of the creator of the universe, and says the Aryan race was created by God.  His religious views, or lack of them, remain in dispute.  But using the name of history’s greatest tyrant isn’t an argument; it’s a provocation that has nothing to do with the concept of evolution or creation.  Invoking Hitler is a hot button designed to distract people from the true evidence that God only exists in the imagination of Man.”

TA finishes off with yet another irrelevant point, as “Adolf Hitler was an atheist” is not an argument for creation, let alone one of the “Top Ten.”  It seems that TA has returned to his first favourite toy, the straw man.

Now, it should be noted that the issue of Hitler’s atheism is sometimes raised by Christians, but not in the matter of creation vs. Evolution.  It is raised in reaction the atheists’ oft-stated but bogus claim that religion – and Christianity, specifically – is the root of violence, and if only we dispensed with religion and embraced atheism the world would be a much more peaceful place.

This claim is, of course, nonsense.  Some religions do teach violence, but evangelical Christianity does not.  Unlike atheism, it has done far more good than harm, from the development of modern science to the abolition of slavery.  The historical fact is that it was Great Britain and the United States that created the modern free world with human rights, rule of law, abolition of slavery, democracy, etc., and they did so because they were motivated by Christianity, from the Wesleyan Revival in England to the Great Awakening in the Colonies.  The free world developed precisely because it was built on evangelical Christianity.  On the other hand, the more overtly atheistic a society is, the less free it becomes.  We have seen officially atheistic societies, starting with Revolutionary France, which almost instantly became a bloodbath, and including the Soviet Union, red China, and Pol Pot’s Cambodia.  Atheism killed more people in less than a century than religion has killed throughout all of history.

Is it true that Hitler’s “religious views, or lack of them, remain in dispute”?  Yes, he did sometimes make reference to “God,” but what he meant by this was “the unknown, or Nature, or whatever name one chooses,[60] and not an actual God.  His view of religion and Christianity was abundantly clear:

The religions are all alike, no matter what they call themselves. They have no future – certainly none for the Germans.  Fascism, if it likes, may come to terms with the Church.  So shall I.  Why not?  That will not prevent me from tearing up Christianity root and branch, and annihilating it in Germany.[61]

Hitler, then, certainly seemed to be an atheist.  However, it is not necessary to argue with TA about it, as there a plethora of other examples, such as Lenin, Stalin, and Mao, whose atheist bona fides are not in question.  Again we note, though, that this speaks to the issue of the effects of atheism (and of its creation myth, Darwinism); it is not a “creationist argument” viz. an argument for creationism and against the theory of evolution.

In light of this, it takes a good deal of chutzpah on TA’s part to write

But using the name of history’s greatest tyrant isn’t an argument; it’s a provocation that has nothing to do with the concept of evolution or creation.

Indeed, this “has nothing to do with the concept of evolution or creation,” and creationists do not raise these facts in the creation/evolution debate.  It is TA who raises this non-argument, puts it into the mouth of creationists, and then criticizes them for using it – when they do nothing of the kind.  This is not just a straw man; it is a straw man on steroids.

TA’S NEW BFF: THE STRAW MAN ON STEROIDS

TA then writes:

Invoking Hitler is a hot button designed to distract people from the true evidence that God only exists in the imagination of Man.

Remember that it was TA who invoked Hitler in this matter, not creationists.  Nor does TA’s claim here make the slightest bit of sense: How would pointing out that “Adolf Hitler was an atheist” cause people to believe in God without evidence?  Is TA even listening to himself?

And exactly what “true evidence” has TA adduced to prove that “God only exists in the imagination of Man”?  He has tried (and failed) to counter a few creationist arguments and beat up a few straw men, but that’s it.  Even if evolution were true (and it is not), it would not disprove God nor constitute evidence that “God only exists in the imagination of Man.”  TA really isn’t thinking, is he?

Here ends TA’s fatuous responses to what he styled as the “Top Ten Creationist Arguments.”  Let us now look at his concluding remarks.

TA’S CONCLUDING REMARKS:

The next time you come up against one of these, just remember that your world view is based on evidence; their world view includes an invisible divine daddy, two naked people and a talking snake, contradictory documents written in the bronze age, the wearing of torture devices around one’s neck, and bumper stickers that proudly say, “Seven days without prayer makes one weak”.  For the record, we’re not sure the creationist argument could be much weaker.  We’re just sayin’.

 Let’s look at these various elements:

bumper stickers that proudly say, “Seven days without prayer makes one weak”.

This is what is known as a “pun,” which is “the humorous use of a word in such a way as to suggest two or more meanings, or of words of similar sound with different meanings; an instance of this; a play on words.[62]  In this case the play is on the homonyms “week,” the seven-day unit of time, and “weak,” meaning “lacking in strength.”  To appreciate this pun, one must have a sense of humour.  I suggest TA get one.

the wearing of torture devices around one’s neck

It is Christ’s death on the cross that is the propitiation for our sins, and so some, though by no means all, Christians wear a cross around their necks as a symbol of this.  It is a matter of personal taste, and there is nothing wrong with it.  On the other hand, it is not uncommon for atheists to wear Che Guevara T-shirts, identifying themselves with a sadistic mass-murdering atheist.  Which is preferable?

 

their world view include an invisible divine daddy, two naked people and a talking snake, contradictory documents written in the bronze age

Since it is impossible that there not be a God, as we have shown, it would be self-deception not to believe in Him.  Furthermore, Jesus authenticated His own claim to be the Son of God by fulfilling ancient prophecies, doing miracles, and rising from the dead, and so it would be utter folly not to put our faith in Him.  Those who do this receive adoption as God’s children (John 1:12; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:5; 1 John 3:1).

This Jesus endorsed the entirety of Scripture and so we accept it.  Nor, given the reality of God, is there anything impossible about Satan speaking to Eve through the form of a serpent (Revelation 12:9).  Finally, the Biblical documents (only a few of which were written in the Bronze Age, by the way) are not genuinely contradictory, as can be seen if one is willing to look into the matter fairly.  Our world view, therefore, is internally consistent and accords with the facts.

The next time you come up against one of these, just remember that your world view is based on evidence.

This is naught but empty rhetoric.  We have seen quite clearly that the evidence from thermodynamics, statistical analysis, and the law of biogenesis all make atheism an absolute impossibility.  We are confronted, therefore, with the bizarre spectacle of atheists worshipping at the altar of science, and yet denying its very findings in these areas so that they may hold on to their fantasy of atheism.  It is an inconsistent and incoherent world view that is self refuting.  No wonder the Bible says,

The fool has said in his heart,

“There is no God.” (Psalm 14:1a)

The claim, then, that the atheist’s “world view is based on evidence” is absolute nonsense.  On the contrary, the actual evidence destroys the atheist’s world view.  It has the same effect on them as kryptonite has on Superman.

Now, TA calls himself “‘Thinking’ Atheist.”  However, a “thinking” person would realize that the DNA code cannot have come into existence by random chance, and he would not insist that he is trusting in science or that evolution is scientific while ignoring the very laws discovered by science, such as the Second Law of Thermodynamics and the Law of Biogenesis.  A thinking person would realize that there must indeed be a Creator to explain the origin of life, and therefore he would reject atheism.

The upshot of this is that there can be no such thing as athinking atheist, for if one genuinely thinks, then he cannot be an atheist, whereas if he is an atheist, he cannot truly be thinking.  It is profoundly ironic, then, that TA takes issue with our belief in God, whom we cannot see but who certainly exists, saying risibly that “God only exists in the imagination of Man.”  Yet he himself believes in what now seems to be an imaginary – in fact impossible – creature that “only exists in the imagination of Man”: a “thinking atheist.”  My long quest to find an actual thinking atheist seems doomed to end in failure.


Endnotes

[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSxgnu3Hww8

[2] See, for example, Tors, John. “Still Waiting for an Intelligent Defence of Atheism” at https://truthinmydays.com/still-waiting-for-an-intelligent-defence-of-atheism/.

[3] Mother product is the radioactive substance undergoing decay, and daughter product(s) are the substances that result from the decay.  In the case of radiocarbon dating, the mother product is C14 and the daughter product is N14.

[4] See Matthews, Ralph W. “Radiometric dating and the age of the Earth.” Creation 5(1):41-44 (December 1982). Posted at http://creation.com/radiometric-dating-age-of-earth; and Walker, Tas. “Radioactive dating anomalies.” Creation 32(4):30-31 (October 2010). Posted at http://creation.com/radioactive-dating-anomalies for a number of examples referenced from the scientific literature and a general discussion of the problem.  See also references 73 to 76 in Etinger, Judah. “Foolish Faith – Chapter 3: Two Worldviews in Conflict: What do thousands of scientists believe about creation and evolution?” Posted at http://www.foolishfaith.com/book_chap3_radio.asp#73.

[5] See, for example, Sarfati, Jonathan. “Diamonds: a creationist’s best friend. Radiocarbon in diamonds: enemy of billions of year.” Creation 28(4):26-27 (September 2006). Posted at https://creation.com/diamonds-a-creationists-best-friend; Wieland, Carl. “Radiometric dating breakthroughs” Creation 26(2):42-44 (March 2004). Posted at http://creation.com/radiometric-dating-breakthroughs; and Humphreys, Russ. “Helium evidence for a young world continues to confound critics.” Posted on November 29, 2008, at http://creation.com/helium-evidence-for-a-young-world-continues-to-confound-critics.

[6] Ewen, Pamela Binnings. Faith on Trial: An Attorney Analyzes the Evidence for the Death and Resurrection of Jesus. (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999).

[7] See e.g. Mark 10:6-9.

[8] Missler, Chuck and Dr. Stephen Meyer. In the Beginning There was…Information. Audiocasette.  Koinonia House, 2000.

[9] Dr. Kurt Durston, cited in Coppedge, David F. “Minimal Cell Modeled in Computer.” Posted on April 26, 2004, at https://crev.info/2004/04/minimal_cell_modeled_in_computer/

[10] And that’s just the DNA.  For the cell to function, it also requires RNA polymerase (which is much more complex than DNA), messenger RNA (m-RNA), transfer RNA (t-RNA), and the ribosome’s r-RNA.

[11] Dembski, William A. The Design Inference: Eliminating Chance Through Small Probabilities. (Cambridge University Press, 1998).

[12] There is some redundancy in DNA coding, as some amino acids can be selected by more than one codon.  We will account for that presently.

[13] Bocchieri, Luciano and Samuel Karlin. “Protein length in eukaryotic and prokaryotic proteomes.” Nucleic Acids Res. 33(10) (2005), pp.3390–3400.

[14] The current poster-child for the development of new traits is Lenski’s bacteria, which supposedly evolved the ability to metabolize citrate.  They did no such thing, and what happened was yet another example of damage or loss of genetic data, not the gain of new data.  See Batten, Don. “Bacteria ‘evolving in the lab’? ‘A poke in the eye for anti-evolutionists’?” Posted on June 14, 2008, at http://creation.com/bacteria-evolving-in-the-lab-lenski-citrate-digesting-e-coli for details.

[15] Missler and Meyer, op. cit.

[16] For more details, see Meyer, Stephen. Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design. (New York: HarperOne, 2009)

[17] Science News, “Comparing Chimp, Human DNA.” Posted on October 13, 2006, at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061013104633.htm

[18] Buggs, Dr. Richard. “Chimpanzee?” Posted on October 11, 2008, at https://www.digibron.nl/search/detail/012dbecf3769c65345425d22/chimpanzee/0

[19] Hughes, J.F. et al., “Chimpanzee and human Y chromosomes are remarkably divergent in structure and gene content”, Nature 463 (2010), pp. 536–539.

[20] See Tomkins, Jeffrey and Jerry Bergman. “Genomic monkey business – estimates of nearly identical human-chimp DNA similarity re-evaluated using omitted data.” Journal of Creation 26:1 (2012), pp. 94-100.

[21] ibid.  (Bolding added.)

[22] ibid.

[23] We have already shown that random natural processes cannot generate qualitatively new genetic data, and without that the theory of evolution is DOA.  The other two points will be discussed later in this paper.

[24] This is not to say that TA has not heard this argument or that it is never made.  However, a list of “Top Ten Creationist Arguments” must be made by surveying the writings of creationists and culling the ten most common and/or most powerful from among the many advanced, and this one would certainly not make the list.

[25] Behe, Michael J. Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution. (New York: Free Press, 2006, 1996)

[26] Darwin, Charles. The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. (John Murray, 1859.  [London: Penguin Books, 1985 edition]), p. 219

[27] ibid., pp. 219-220.  (Italics added.)

[28] ibid., p. 217.  (Italics added.)

[29] ibid.

[30] ibid., p. 218

[31] ibid.

[32] ibid.

[33] ibid., p. 219

[34] ibid., p. 217

[35] Darwin, Charles. The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.  6th edition (1872), pp. 177ff. Available at http://darwin-online.org.uk/content/frameset?itemID=F391&viewtype=text&pageseq=1.  (Italics added.)

[36] Larson, Professor Edward J. “Theory of Evolution: A History of Controversy.” Lecture 1: “Before Darwin.” Audio Series, The Teaching Company.  (Transcription mine.)

[37] Jones, Dan. “Engines of Evolution.” New Scientist 2643 (February 16, 2008).  (Bolding added.)

[38] It is asserted that “experiments have shown that many proteins can be deleted from the flagellar apparatus without destroying its function, even though its activity may be reduced in some of these cases.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irreducible_complexity#cite_ref-Raja2007_75-0; citing Rajagopala, S. V.; Titz, B. R.; Goll, J.; Parrish, J. R.; Wohlbold, K.; McKevitt, M. T.; Palzkill, T.; Mori, H. et al. (2007). “The protein network of bacterial motility.” Molecular Systems Biology 3:128. and Inoue, T.; Shingaki, R.; Hirose, S.; Waki, K.; Mori, H.; Fukui, K. (2006). “Genome-Wide Screening of Genes Requires for Swarming Motility in Escherichia coli K-12.” Journal of Bacteriology 189 (3): 950–957.

[39] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irreducible_complexity#cite_ref-Raja2007_75-0; citing Kenneth Miller’s The Collapse of Intelligent Design: Section 5 Bacterial Flagellum (Case Western Reserve University, 2006 January 3); “Unlocking cell secrets bolsters evolutionists” (Chicago Tribune, 2006, February 13); and “Evolution in (Brownian) space: a model for the origin of the bacterial flagellum” (Talk Design, 2006 September)

[40] Donat-Peter, Häder, et al. “Phototaxis Photoreceptor in Euglenia gracilis,” Light Sensing in Plants (Springer Japan, 2005), pp. 223-229

[41] Bound, K.E. and G. Tollin. “Phototactic Response of Euglena gracilis to Polarized Light.” Nature 216 (1967), pp. 1042-1044

[42] Foster, Kenneth W. and Robert D. Smyth. “Light Antennas in Phototactic Algae,” Microbiological Reviews 44:4 (1980), p. 615

[43] Diehn, B. “Phototaxis and sensory transduction in Euglena.” Science 181:4104 (September 14, 1973), p. 1009

[44] Sarfati, Jonathan, with Mike Matthews. Refuting Evolution 2. (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2002) p. 118

[45] Ibid., p. 119

[46] Ibid.

[47] Ibid., p. 120

[48] Ibid.

[49] Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act V Scene V, Lines 26-28

[50] See, for example, the roll of voting members of the Creation Research Society, each of whom has an earned postgraduate degree in a recognized field of science.

[51] “Scientists and Belief,” Poll – Posted on November 5, 2009, at http://www.pewforum.org/Science-and-Bioethics/Scientists-and-Belief.aspx

[52] Ecklund, E. H. and C. P. Scheitle. 2007. “Religion among Academic Scientists: Distinctions, Disciplines, and Demographics.” Social Problems 54 (2007), pp. 289-307.

[53] Osman, Jheni. “Interview: Richard Dawkins.” BBC Knowledge (March/April 2009), p. 60.  (Bolding added.)

[54] “natural selection” A Dictionary of Science. 5th edition. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), pp. 548-549

[55] Osman, op. cit., p. 63.  (Bolding added.)  By the way, there is no other “sense” in which natural selection can be used to explain the origin of “the first self-replicating entity.”

[56] Breck, et al. Chemistry for Science and Engineering. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Ltd. (1981), p. 391.  (Bolding added.)  Changing temperature and pressure affects how much of the reactants are converted to products, but it does not reverse the direction of the reaction.

[57] “thermodynamics” A Dictionary of Science. op. cit., pp. 812-813.  There is something called a “zeroth law,” which is an assumption of the other three, so if TA had written “0) 1) 2) 3)” he would have been all right.

[58] ibid., p. 773

[59] ibid., p. 94

[60] Cameron, N. and R.H. Stevens. Trans. Hitler’s Table Talk, 1941–1944. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988), p. 44.

[61] Rauschning, H. Hitler Speaks. (London: Thornton Butterworth, 1939), p. 57.  (Bolding added.)

[62] The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, Vol. 2 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993), p. 2413