Special Creationism

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Special Creationism

Postby Timothy Chase » Sun Oct 08, 2006 11:13 pm

I thought I might share something from a while back where I had argued with a special creationist. People might find it enjoyable...

fundie wrote:... The total lack of indisputable transitional fossils is a perfect argument for Special Creation. The whole fossil record is perfect evidence for the Great Flood. Every decade or two they dig up something they try and make meet the criteria of a transitional fossil. But there are living critters that fit the bill better. But they can't use them because they know there is NO connection between them and other types! God made a great variety of animals that are all closely related. To try and read evolution into that fact is just dumb. Evos have NO real argument. So they are left with their insults and grips about spelling and grammatical errors!

As I said last night,

"If I find a particular fossil, whether it be some primitive primate or a worm, is there any way that I can trace a direct line of decent from humanity back to the organism who fossil I found? Of course not. Could I even establish that our species originated from members of that same exact species? No. But we can establish, given a fairly solid fossil record, a fairly good approximation of the direct line of descent. We can get to the point at which we can say, 'It may not have been this exact species, but it was clearly something very closely related to it which was the ancestor of a given species existing today.'"

Nevertheless, for any reasonable fellow, things would have been settled long ago.

To quote an article that appeared in the New York Times a while back:

the article's author wrote:One creationist Web site (emporium.turnpike.net/C/cs/evid1.htm) declares that "there are no transitional forms," adding: "For example, not a single fossil with part fins part feet has been found. And this is true between every major plant and animal kind."

Novacek responded in an interview: "We've got Archaeopteryx, an early whale that lived on land and now this animal showing the transition from fish to tetrapod. What more do we need from the fossil record to show that the creationists are flatly wrong?"

Found: An evolutionary link to fish
By John Noble Wilford The New York Times

But of course, the most recent discovery doesn't even phase you and will undoubtedly bring only a yawn from the good majority of other comrads who are hooked on dogmatic denial.

I want others to consider this point for a moment. What exactly would satisfy a creationist? What would prove to him that the process of evolution actually took place? Well, you might try a stop-action film, so that things could be analyzed and scrutinized frame by frame, showing not only each successive generation, but the actual moments of procreation and birth. But then of course there are the eggs. At one time, no land mammals actually gave live birth, and it was eggs all around. So you couldn't just show the eggs getting laid and then show them a few weeks later with the young hatching from those eggs. Afterall, a creationist would argue, someone may have switched the eggs. So you would have to keep your cameras trained on those eggs, from the moment they were laid until the moment they hatched. And even then, this wouldn't satisfy a great many creationists.

In the fossil record, what we see are like the branches of a tree on the other side of a crevass. Fog covers much of the tree, but the wind currents keep on creating breaks in the mist, showing us segments of the branches, but never an entire branch or the whole tree. When a special creationist looks at the segments, he does not see the tree itself. He denies that those segments are connected. But then the scientists in evolutionary biology posit that those segments are connected, predict that they will find additional segments in-between, and the mist breaks, showing segments right where the scientists had predicted. The special creationist still insists that the tree isn't actually a connected thing. He remarks that perhaps if you looked closely enough, choser than the eye can see, there would still be gaps.

The scientists borrow a telescope, have the creationist peer through, and he says, "No, I am still not convinced." Exasperated with the creationist's absolute obstinence, the scientists ask him, "Well, then, what is your explanation? What do you propose is supporting all of those segments?" Being a special creationist, he declares, "Angels! small angels, they are holding those segments up. Each segment has one or more tiny angels holding it up!" The scientists look confused for a moment, then one of them steps forward and asks, "Well, then, what evidence do you have for those angels?" The creationist states, "Evidence? There is no evidence. The angels are very, very small, so you can't catch them. They are very, very quiet, so you can't hear them. And they are invisible, so you will never be able to see them." At this point, the scientists bid him good-bye and wish him the best mental care.

Take care!
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Postby George Jelliss » Mon Oct 09, 2006 11:02 am

What exactly would satisfy a creationist? What would prove to him that the process of evolution actually took place?

The answer, as you impute, is probably nothing. Though the following extract from the talk-origins page on horse evolution has as good a try as I've seen.


A Question for Creationists: Creationists who wish to deny the evidence of horse evolution should careful consider this: how else can you explain the sequence of horse fossils? Even if creationists insist on ignoring the transitional fossils (many of which have been found), again, how can the unmistakable sequence of these fossils be explained? Did God create Hyracotherium, then kill off Hyracotherium and create some Hyracotherium-Orohippus intermediates, then kill off the intermediates and create Orohippus, then kill off Orohippus and create Epihippus, then allow Epihippus to "microevolve" into Duchesnehippus, then kill off Duchesnehippus and create Mesohippus, then create some Mesohippus-Miohippus intermediates, then create Miohippus, then kill off Mesohippus, etc.....each species coincidentally similar to the species that came just before and came just after?

In my experience creationists would now respond to this by saying that this is not "evolution" of species at all, but "development" within one species (or "kind"), and of course they would condense it all to within their few thousand years time-scale. A sort of hyper-evolution!
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Major Transitionals

Postby Timothy Chase » Mon Oct 09, 2006 2:14 pm

Talk Origins also does a good job (textually) from fish to reptiles, and from reptiles to both birds and mammals.

Transitional Vertebrate Fossils FAQ

But there are other resources on the web.

For more with pictures, the following has direct links to separate webpages for hominid transitionals, horses, dinosaurs to birds, lizards to snakes, and whale evolution:

Transitional Fossil Species And Modes of Speciation
Darwinians and Evolution

Edward Babinski's site does a good job with the showing the living relics of whale evolution.

Whale Evolution/Cetacean Evolution (Atavistic Hind Limbs on Modern Whales)
Edward T Babinski

... then there is the most recent find in the transitionals leading from fish to reptile - a fish with wrists:


Tiktaalik Roseae
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Postby Timothy Chase » Mon Oct 09, 2006 2:15 pm

Nevertheless, you will often run into creationists who claim that evolution simply takes too long or that it has never been observed. Then I would recommend some of the following links, but there are others:

Observed Instances of Speciation
The Talk.Origins Archive

New animal species evolved in an instant
18:24 27 July 2005
NewScientist.com news service
Bob Holmes

A Different Kind of Evolution
Fall 1998

Ring Species: Unusual Demonstrations of Speciation
Action Bioscience.Org

Ring Species and Clinal Variation
Nature's Way of Making New Species
Darwinians and Evolution

Observed Instances of Speciation

"Scruffy little weed shows Darwin was right as evolution moves on"
Times Online | 2003-02-20 | Anthony Browne, Environment Editor
Posted on 02/20/2003 2:30:45 PM PST
originally: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0, ... 28,00.html
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