Ten Falsehoods and Misconceptions Peddled by "Answers in Genesis"
1. Harvard Paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould thought that transitional fossils were very rare
Here is the quote so often cited on AiG:
The thing that creationists fail to understand is that Stephen J. Gould was referring to the absence of species-to-species transitional forms (which he explained via Punctuated Equilibrium, an explanation of which may be found here). Here are Gould's own words concerning this misunderstanding:
2. Archaeopteryx was "Just a Bird"
A favorite tactic when AiG discusses this issue is to cite Evolutionary Biologist Alan Feduccia saying:
I emailed Feduccia concerning this, and he responded via email as follows:
(To learn more about Archaeopteryx, please visit All About Archaeopteryx.)
3. Mutations cannot produce "New" Information
This is false. Mutations can and do produce new information. Of course, AiG never really defines what they mean by "information," but the standard definition of "information" is "a code which represents data" (the code being DNA, the data being the proteins and traits it codes for). Following are some examples of mutations which have produced new traits and proteins:
4. Red Blood cells were found in fossil T. Rex bones
Furthermore, the fact that astronomy, nuclear physics, evolutionary biology, and geology all point to an old earth means that we must be prepared to acknowledge that some biological material may last longer than was previously thought, not that it is evidence of a young earth (as Dr. Schweitzer says later on in the FAQ). Dr. Schweitzer has proposed a mechanism for this.
Finally, other scientists have proposed that what was found had nothing to do with dinosaur material, but was simply the remains of a "bacterial biofilm."
5. There are no true transitional fossils, only creatures with characteristics of different groups ('Chimeras'), and these can be explained by creationism
While it is true that no one can precisely identify any fossil as being the ancestor of any creatures today, Evolutionary theory predicts we should find fossils which look as if they are a transition between one group of animals and another. Creationism predicts precisely the opposite: According to Genesis 1:2, God created animals in distinct "kinds." We would therefore not expect to find anything with characteristics of both mammals and reptiles, or of reptiles as well as birds.
6. Homology is evidence of common design
If so, why did God design whales to swim by moving their tails vertically (a less efficient design) while designing fish to swim by moving their tails horizontally? As one will notice from watching sea otters swim, most mammals can swim only by fluctuating their bodies up and down. The fact that whales are mammals and that they swim this way—in spite of the fact that it is less efficient—is explained by whales having evolved from land mammals.
Arctic fish are yet another example of inconsistent design. North Arctic and South Arctic fish use quite different proteins to avoid freezing to death. This is precisely what we would expect from Evolution, because:
7. "Were you there?"
No one has to witness an event to be able to make a reasonable inference about what happened. No creationist would vote a murderer innocent in the face of extensive forensic evidence and failure of a polygraph test just because no one else saw the murder committed.
8. Evolutionists assume stagnant conditions ("Uniformitarianism")
Geologists are aware that catastrophes happen, and they look for evidence of them. A recent study found that Britain became an island because of a megaflood some 200,000 years ago. You would not find something like that if you assumed only slow, steady processes for shaping geological and geographical features.
There is another paper that discusses the evidence of megafloods during the Holocene Epoch. (See this for a definition and information on the Holocene Epoch).
9. Evolution has ties to racism and Social Darwinism
Yes it does, in the same way that Quantum Physics has ties with the claims of the Mystic Deepak Chopra. The fact is, however, that there is no way to justify killing other human beings because of natural selection. Natural Selection occurs by the best adapted leaving behind more offspring, not by brutal murder. In fact, as I have elsewhere argued, we should obey our instinct to be compassionate to others simply because it was favored by natural selection and obviously does have great benefits for those who practice it.
10. Creationists and Evolutionists have the same sets of evidence. We're just interpreting them differently
Interpretations of evidence can be proven wrong. For instance, when creationists assert that radiometric decay was once much faster, we can know this is not true simply because if it were the earth would have been fried to a crisp long ago!
To give another example, we can know that the geologic column was not created by a great flood because it shows signs of having been created over millions of years. (Varves are a great example of this.)
Finally, "Answers in Genesis" is being inconsistent by saying that there are many ways to interpret the physical evidence of the past but that there is only one plain meaning of the Bible. An evolutionist could likewise claim that the plainest, best, and only way to interpret such things as the hominid fossil sequence is through Common Descent.
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