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15 answers to creationist nonsense


Forum: Atheist and Agnostic Parenting

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  #1  
March 2nd, 2007, 06:47 AM
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15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense


Some of my favs that we see around here quite a bit:

Quote:
1. Evolution is only a theory. It is not a fact or a scientific law.

Many people learned in elementary school that a theory falls in the middle of a hierarchy of certainty--above a mere hypothesis but below a law. Scientists do not use the terms that way, however. According to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), a scientific theory is "a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and tested hypotheses." No amount of validation changes a theory into a law, which is a descriptive generalization about nature. So when scientists talk about the theory of evolution--or the atomic theory or the theory of relativity, for that matter--they are not expressing reservations about its truth.[/b]
Quote:
6. If humans descended from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?

This surprisingly common argument reflects several levels of ignorance about evolution. The first mistake is that evolution does not teach that humans descended from monkeys; it states that both have a common ancestor.

The deeper error is that this objection is tantamount to asking, "If children descended from adults, why are there still adults?" New species evolve by splintering off from established ones, when populations of organisms become isolated from the main branch of their family and acquire sufficient differences to remain forever distinct. The parent species may survive indefinitely thereafter, or it may become extinct.[/b]
Quote:
8. Mathematically, it is inconceivable that anything as complex as a protein, let alone a living cell or a human, could spring up by chance.

Chance plays a part in evolution (for example, in the random mutations that can give rise to new traits), but evolution does not depend on chance to create organisms, proteins or other entities. Quite the opposite: natural selection, the principal known mechanism of evolution, harnesses nonrandom change by preserving "desirable" (adaptive) features and eliminating "undesirable" (nonadaptive) ones. As long as the forces of selection stay constant, natural selection can push evolution in one direction and produce sophisticated structures in surprisingly short times.

As an analogy, consider the 13-letter sequence "TOBEORNOTTOBE." Those hypothetical million monkeys, each pecking out one phrase a second, could take as long as 78,800 years to find it among the 2613 sequences of that length. But in the 1980s Richard Hardison of Glendale College wrote a computer program that generated phrases randomly while preserving the positions of individual letters that happened to be correctly placed (in effect, selecting for phrases more like Hamlet's). On average, the program re-created the phrase in just 336 iterations, less than 90 seconds. Even more amazing, it could reconstruct Shakespeare's entire play in just four and a half days.[/b]
Lots of other goodies in there. Happy reading!
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  #2  
March 2nd, 2007, 09:37 AM
mrobinson
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((sending that one home to read!))
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  #3  
March 2nd, 2007, 02:33 PM
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Hop eyou enjoy it! It's very well done; I think it covers most of the arguments they use and even throws a few in that I have only heard about and not run into myself. Lots of good analogies that make it easy to understand as well (which helps in debates).
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  #4  
March 2nd, 2007, 11:18 PM
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thanks
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  #5  
March 3rd, 2007, 12:45 AM
*kyle*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I love it! Richard Dawkins covers these and more in his books, my personal favorite being his newest, The God Delusion. Refuting ignorance is just too easy, isn't it?

However, the conversation always hits that dead end when they say:

"Well, that's why it's called faith."

When intelligence fails you... claim faith.
When you ask too smart a question... remember faith.
When you get too close to reality... fall back on your faith.
When you disagree with the doctrine... redouble your faith.

Faith is religion's secret weapon because it is immune to logic... you just can't argue with it. Believe me, I've tried. It's like driving around and around one of those traffic circles but with no exits.
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