Radio Show Dec 30 2012: Discussion between ex-evolutionist and an ex-Catholic

Radio Show Dec 30 2012: Discussion between ex-evolutionist and an ex-Catholic

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Monday, December 31, 2012

Click here to listen to the show. . On this show I guest hosted for Bob Siegel on KCBQ AM 1170. I had two guests on the show. One was an ex-evolutionist who became a Christian creationist and the other was an ex-Catholic who had become an agnostic.

The ex-Catholic was Sandy Eulitt who is an astronomy professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Saddleback College.

The ex-evolutionist was Carey Waldie. He is a pastor and author of four books. He has a bachelor of science from Western Michigan University and is currently enrolled in the Masters of Religion and Science program at Biola University. Carey used to accept evolution as fact and even after he became a Christian, he believed in what’s called theistic evolution but after examining the assumptions of evolution more closely, he abandoned the theory in favor of an intelligent designer who created everything. It’s a very interesting show.

At the end of the show Sandy laughed at my remark that the Biblical worldview was the most plausible worldview. We didn’t get to discuss why she thought that was so funny but the current materialist evolutionary worldview has tremendous problems if you’re looking for a cohesive perspective that makes sense of our origins, free will, the complexity of life, consciousness, sense of morality, anthropology, geology, experience and many more issues. On the other hand, the Biblical worldview not only has compelling answers to the universal questions that humanity has asked but also tremendous amounts of factual evidences supporting the credibility of the history and explanations reported in the Bible. The classes I offer contain more than sixty hours of content explaining, discussing, and displaying the reasonableness of the Biblical perspective on reality. You can sign up for a class here..

Responding to the “thinking atheist”

Responding to the “thinking atheist”


Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Watch this video and then read my replies to his argument below. Some of these are straw men arguments just trying to make evolutionists look smart, others misstate the creationist position, and others have nothing at all to do with creationism. Lastly I post real creationist arguments.


Check here if an error occurs

#1 “Carbon dating isn’t accurate” – It’s not just carbon dating that has a problem. Every form of radioactive dating has three problems which many evolutionists simply ignore: one) there is no way to determine how much of the parent and daughter isotope a rock or fossil starts with; two) the decay rates of elements are not constant over time; three) parent and daughter isotopes can be added to a rock or fossil during the decay process. No scientist who actually understands radioactive dating would ever claim to be able to tell that the earth is 4.5 billion years old based on radioactive dating methods. That’s just silly.

#2 “You can’t prove evolution” – To me this seems like a deliberate misstatement of the creationist position. It should be, “you can’t prove macro-evolution.”  Macro-evolution is change from one major kind to another, like a lizard evolving into a bird. Micro-evolution is variation within a species, such as different beak sizes in finch populations. Evolutionists make the mistaken assumption that just because micro-evolution (through natural selection) is scientific, so is macro-. But no one has been able to test, repeat, or observe any major kind changing into another…ever. If you want to postulate macro-evolution, that’s fine, but don’t say it’s been verified through scientific observation, testing, or repetition. It’s more like blind faith in evolution… or the “nothing” god.

#3 “If man evolved from monkeys, why do we still have monkeys.” – This is not a creationist argument against evolution, but it is still a somewhat valid question. If Darwinian evolution teaches survival of the fittest and humans are more fit to survive than monkeys, why are there still monkeys? Why does the “thinking atheist” just avoid the question instead of answering it? Sorry, but condescension does not excuse ignorance. It just makes you look like you’re trying to hide your lack of knowledge, and America and England have nothing to do with it.

#4 “The Human Eye is too complex to have evolved” – This is a valid creationist argument which was not answered by the “thinking atheist” and has not been answered by any evolutionist. Bringing the eye of an owl or octopus, or the Euglena antenna, into the argument is a rhetorical trick called a red herring, used to distract the attention from the original question. Give me some hard scientific data that demonstrates how an eye could have evolved. You won’t be able to because there is none. If you want to believe it evolved, that’s fine, just don’t call it scientific, call it “faith.”

#5 “Atheism is actually a religion” This is not an argument creationists use to disprove evolution, but I’ll respond to it anyway. Creationists are only pointing out that it is by faith that atheists believe that nothing created the universe, it is by faith that atheists believe that life popped into existence from nothing, and it is by faith that evolutionists believe that random processes with no mind of their own generated information that formed a human mind and became self aware and conscious. Maybe, atheists would like it better if we just said, “atheism isn’t a religion but it sure takes a lot of faith.”

#6 “Scientist X believes in God” – The “thinking atheist” first slams the creationist for a logical fallacy in which a person appeals to an expert, but the funny thing is, he then goes ahead and does it himself by listing respectable scientific establishments and making the statement that 93% of blah blah blah. That’s like saying it’s wrong to lie, and in the next sentence lying. History has shown the majority can be wrong, and so can experts. It’s best just to stick with the “scientific” facts. By the way, Dean Kenyon, the leading chemical evolutionist in the world, now says chemical evolution is impossible and he believes in God… but he could be wrong. ☺

#7 “You’re saying that everything happened by chance.” – Antony Flew, the famous atheist, recently became a deist because of this one. It’s been “scientifically” proven that statistically, there is zero probability of evolution actually working. Read this article on my blog by Robert Gerow about monkeys randomly punching on typewriters to write Shakespeare. Shakespearean Monkeys? Not in this universe!

#8 “America is a Christian Nation” – Why is this even in here? But briefly, George Washington requested to be sworn in on the Bible, the first session of Congress was opened with a Bible study, Thomas Jefferson ordered church services held in the White House and federal funding for missionaries to evangelize the Indians, and every single charter for American colonization puts the propagation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as a main goal. For more on this one just go to Wallbuilders.org

#9 “The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics” – This is a great argument against evolution. Part of the 2nd law says that all everything breaks down over time. The “thinking atheist” says the earth is an open system which is receiving additional energy from the sun, and therefore the 2nd law doesn’t apply. But adding energy to a system doesn’t automatically make evolution work. Look at what the sun’s energy does to the paint job on your car, or your upholstery or anything else. You’ve got to have something to organize that energy, like chlorophyll (more complex than a city), which didn’t organize itself and doesn’t even have a brain to think about organizing itself. So the atheist position is “just add sun, time, chance, and natural selection and you’ll get the spontaneous generation of amino acids which will organize themselves into DNA and proteins, which will organize themselves into cells, which will organize themselves into dinosaurs.”  Brilliant. Just don’t call it science, call it faith…in nothing.

#10 “Hitler was an atheist.” – Whether Hitler was raised a Catholic or not, the real lesson here is that evolutionary thinking can really mess up your mind.  If evolution is true, it raises the natural question, “which race is more evolved than all the others?”  It wouldn’t be good for the more evolved human races to breed with the less evolved races. This would prevent the human race from evolving further. Evolution is all about the survival of the fittest, right? Hitler isn’t irrelevant, as the “thinking atheist” would have us believe.  He’s just a very extreme example of someone who took evolutionary thought to its logical conclusion.

If you want some real creationist arguments, check these out and get back to me: : 15 Questions for Evolutionists

Shakespearean Monkeys? Not in this universe

Shakespearean Monkeys? Not in this universe


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Why Random Processes Don’t Produce Information
by Robert Gerow

typewriter-monkey-1

“What did you expect?”

SchroederGeralds

† It’s not so much evidence for evolution as it is a key part of the ideology behind it. We’ve all heard the basic idea, which is something along the lines of “Given enough time, a group of monkeys using typewriters would produce the complete works of Shakespeare.” At least that’s the way I used to hear it, but Jewish scientist Gerald Schroeder (who earned his Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate in science at MIT1 —wow) argues that mathematically, this is not even close to being true. In an article on his website, entitled Top Five Myths Popularly Accepted as Fact, he demonstrates that even with a mechanism far superior to typing monkeys (if you can imagine one), and a time period as long as the estimated lifespan of the universe, not one complete Shakespearean sonnet would be generated randomly, let alone Hamlet! Let’s examine his reasoning and see if it holds up.

It struck me when reading his article that Schroeder immediately makes a number of heavy concessions to the side of random chance. First, he says that for the purposes of his argument we will consider a sonnet to be a specified sequence of 488 letters (roughly the length of the average sonnet), and neglect the matter of correct spacing. Obviously, this makes a huge difference; “Iw il lco mpareth eet o asumme r’sd ay” is not the same as “I will compare thee to a summer’s day.” Furthermore, in this argument we will consider the “typewriter” to consist only of the 26 letters of the English alphabet, which eliminates the potential for countless, meaningless interruptions of numbers and punctuation. And finally, we’ll say goodbye to the monkeys (sorry monkeys) and instead enlist computer chips to do the random generating.

combolock

Now let’s take a look at the numbers (fun!). First, we will take the estimated number of grams of matter in the universe, which Schroeder reports to be 1056 g,2 and convert the entire amount into computer chips weighcombolocking one billionth (1/109) of one gram. This gives us 1065 (xn multiplied by xm is equal to xn+m) computer chips total, and we’ll assume that each one is capable of completing one billion sonnet trials (of 488 random letters each) per second. That gives us 1074 sonnets per second; but how long will they be given to try? If time began roughly 1018 seconds ago3 as physicists believe, then from then until now, they could have produced 1092 random combinations of 488 letters. Surely one of them would be exactly what Shakespeare came up with by design! As anyone who has worked with basic probabilities knows, if you have a certain number of spaces that can each be filled by any one of a certain number of options, the odds of getting a given specific combination of options is computed by putting the number of options to the power of the number of spaces (it’s less confusing than it sounds). For example, with a three digit combination lock where each digit can be 0-9, the number of possible combinations is 10x10x10, or 103, which is 1000 (since we’re including 000, along with 001-999). In this case, the number of options is 26 (letters in the alphabet), and the number of spaces is 488 (lettes in one sonnet). Twenty six to the power of 488 is about… well…

quittercalc

True story. I put it into my TI-83 Plus, and it said “ERR:OVERFLOW.” I also put it into the Microsoft calculator gadget on my desktop, and it came up with the answer “infinity.” The truth is, the number is in the whereabouts of 10690.4 The number of sonnet trials that would have been produced by our computer chips from the beginning of time until now is incomprehensibly large; this number completely dwarfs it, by a factor of 10598. I think Schroeder sums it up nicely: “The laws of probability confirm that the universe would have reached its heat death before getting one sonnet.”5 And more importantly, “the most basic molecules of life are far more complex than the most intricate sonnet”!6 Let’s just say that if life had to evolve from primordial chemicals that were waiting for these kinds of odds to pay out, we wouldn’t be here talking about it. Perhaps life, like a sonnet, required an intelligent author. This very argument had an great impact on Antony Flew, who spent the vast majority of his life as an atheist and a good deal of that time as the world’s leading atheist philosopher. In his final book, There is no a God, Flew writes that Schroeder’s argument against the information-producing capabilities of random chance (which is also found in Schroeder’s book The Hidden Face of God) was instrumental in his departure from atheism.

macky

And now, after all this abstract talk of large numbers, I must mention that the original macky
concept of typing monkeys is no longer idle speculation but has been put to the test. Michael Behe describes the experiment briefly in his second book, The Edge of Evolution (a worthy read). A computer was placed in a British zoo cage containing six macaques, and in six weeks they produced 5 pages of text containing “nothing even close to a word of human language. Apparently the 5 pages were published under the title “Notes towards the complete works of Shakespeare.

So can random processes be expected to generate any significant amount of information? As Schroeder aptly put it, “Not in this universe.”10 Not with computer chips, not with monkeys, and certainly not with lifeless, mindless chemicals.

If you have any questions you’d like answered concerning Christian apologetics, feel free to send me an email at [email protected] and I’ll try to get back to you reasonably quickly. If you’d like a lot more information on these sorts of topics, consider the youth apologetics classes we offer periodically, which are described on the main site.

Thanks for reading, and God bless!

1 “About Dr. Gerald Schroeder.” accessed 9/23/11
2 Gerald Schroeder, “Five Common Myths Popularly Accepted as Fact.” accessed 9/23/11
3Ibid.
4Ibid.
5Ibid.
6Ibid.
7Antony Flew, There is no a God, HarperCollins Publishers, New York, NY, 2008, p. 75
8Michael Behe, The Edge of Evolution, Free Press, New York, NY, 2007, p. 104
9Ibid., p. 105
10 Gerald Schroeder, “Five Common Myths Popularly Accepted as Fact.” accessed 9/23/11

Detecting Evolutionary Baloney with Phillip E. Johnson

Detecting Evolutionary Baloney with Phillip E. Johnson


Friday, September 23, 2011

A Brief Look at Logical Fallacies
by Robert Gerow
robert

defeatingdarwin† In Defeating Darwinism By Opening Minds (InterVarsity Press, 1997), an excellent basic-level guide to recognizing the flaws of Neo-Darwinian evolution, author Phillip E. Johnson highlights several critical thinking tips that every person should employ. Johnson is a legal scholar by trade, and since the publishing of his controversial book Darwin on Trial (InterVarsity Press, 1991), he has debated many top evolutionary thinkers in print and before audiences. Thus, he is all too familiar with the fallacious reasoning that Darwin’s apologists regularly engage in, and dedicates chapter three of Defeating Darwinism to the task of exposing said reasoning through what he calls “baloney detecting” (a term borrowed from the late astronomer Carl Sagan).1 The well-tuned baloney detector recognizes a number of invalid argument strategies, and I’d like to describe a few of them to you in summarized form. I highly recommend that you read either of the two books mentioned above (or both!) if you get the chance.

(Note: the following do not by any means apply only to the subject of evolution. People on all sides of all issues commit logical errors from time to time; this guide attempts to show how certain errors tend to manifest in this specific topic.)

1. Selective Use of Evidence:

As Johnson puts it, “There is a whole lot of evidence out there, and even a false theory is likely to be supported by some of it.”2 Don’t be intimidated by the fact that, viewed through Darwin-colored glasses, some scientific findings (such as the few fossils considered to be transitional forms) seem to support the theory; it’s almost impossible that this not be the case! Johnson recommends questions such as, “Does the fossil evidence, considered as a whole and without bias, tend to confirm the predictions of Darwinian theory?”3 I submit that, judging by the small number of fossils found that allegedly support common descent after over 150 years of searching, the answer is no.

2. Appeals to Authority:

As all students of logic recognize, “Nothing is true just because some big shot says it is true.”4 To advance a proposition solely on the basis of its friends in high places is to commit the logical fallacy of “appeal to authority,” or, when in Rome, Argumentum ad Verecundiam5 (remember this phrase and look smart later…). No matter how many leading scientists believe that unguided evolution produced all life, the proposition is only supported by science if it is the best inference from the raw empirical data. The point is not to be overly skeptical of all claims of science, but to recognize that scientists are biased humans too, and it is evidence, not acclaim, that dictates truth.

dawky

3. Ad Hominem Arguments:

Johnson explains that these sorts of arguments “attack the person making the argument instead of the argument itself.”6 This method is constantly employed by abrasive evolutionary thinkers such as Richard Dawkins, who seems to find no end of satisfaction in mocking anyone who rejects his favorite theory (just read anything he’s written that touches on the evolution/ID controversy, and I guarantee he’ll insult someone). Like the last bit of baloney (and all of them, really), this one is another attempt to direct attention away from the actual evidence, which can be a pretty good indicator that the one who tries it is in a tight spot (or at least has no substantive rebuttal to make). Don’t let such distractions get you off track.

strawman

4. Straw Man Arguments

If you don’t feel equipped to take someone’s argument head on, you can always construct a less-imposing model of the argument and go after that instead. This is called the “straw-man” fallacy, and as Johnson notes, “Creationists are particularly vulnerable to this kind of attack.”7 An example might be:
C: I don’t think there’s very solid evidence that random mutation provides complex new genetic information.
D: Oh, so anything scientists don’t fully understand yet automatically must have been done directly by God?
This scenario occurs constantly in various forms, and is very frustrating. Make sure that each party in any debate is addressing the actual points of the other.

5. Begging the Question

This one occurs when a person’s argument “assumes the answer to the point that is in dispute.”8 Another (more common) term for this is “circular reasoning.” It’s like saying “Darwinism is true because it’s true,” but in a more subtle way. For example, consider the statement “Obviously humans evolved from lower hominids by accumulating random mutations, because there’s no other way they could have evolved.” Maybe they didn’t evolve from lower hominids at all! But only the evidence can tell us that, not deck-stacking rhetorical tricks. Make sure the conclusion is supported by the evidence, rather than being inserted into it beforehand.

A few more are covered in the chapter, but I’m going to stop for now. Be sure to check out Johnson’s books, and for a lot more information on topics such as evolution vs. creation, take a look at the youth apologetics classes we offer. If you have any apologetics questions to which you’d like a moderately researched answer of moderate length, email me at [email protected], and I’ll try to get back to you moderately quickly (I might even post about it). Also, feel free to comment!

Thanks for reading, and God bless!

1Phillip E. Johnson, Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL, p. 37, 1997
2Ibid., p. 38
3Ibid., p. 39
4Ibid., p. 39
5Norman L. Geisler and Ronald M. Brooks, Come, Let Us Reason, Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI, p. 98, 1990
6Phillip E. Johnson, Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL, p. 40, 1997
7Ibid., p. 41
8Ibid., p. 42

False missing links again and again and again…

False missing links again and again and again…


Sunday, November 08, 2009

Evolution Missing Links
I recently received a question from one of my previous students who graduated in 2009.”…I had some questions on the evolution thing we did during apologetics. What was the flaw of Lucy? Like what did they find that was incorrect? And have you heard of the newfound hominids, one is called ardipithecus ramidus also ‘ardi’ and another one is called ardipithecus kaddaba? Let me know if you find anything about these two.”

Regarding Lucy or Australopithecus: Lucy is a 3 1/2 foot tall skeleton found by Dr. Donald Johanson in 1974. According to Johanson it was

the oldest most complete skelton of any human ancestor known to anthropoligists. It is supposed to give us a good idea of what our ancestors looked like 3 million years ago. Too bad it looks just like a chimpanzee skeleton.

The main reason Lucy is supposed to be a missing link in the chain demonstrating our evolution from monkey to man is because supposedly her hip bone and knee bone structure indicate she walked upright like a man.

There are two BIG problems with this assumption:

  1. There are monkeys in the world today which walk upright and aren’t considered a missing link. The pygmy chimp for example in the Amazon Jungle.
  2. The knee bone of Lucy was not found with the rest of her skeleton. It was found over a MILE away and 200 FEET DEEPER than the rest of the bones!!! What! I can just imagine this, “Well, we can’t find a knee for her around here, but Bob found one way over there, let’s just put the two together and it will even look like she walked upright.”

The sad fact is that the history of missing link frauds that are put forth by biased evolutionary advocates just gets bigger and bigger. If you had a friend who lied to you over and over again, eventually you just wouldn’t give much credibility to anything they said. The missing links put forth look real scientific and respectable with their big names like ardipithecus ramidus but dig a little deeper and you realize there isn’t any real support for what they are preaching. Here’s some more examples:

Ramapithecus, found in 1976, which was only the fragment of a jaw and several teeth was put forth as a missing link and turned out to be an orangutan.

Javaman or Homo Erectus was a Gibbon monkey skull and a human leg bone found 50 feet away by Eugène Dubois. This was a hoax which Eugène confessed to before he passed away. He had also found two human skulls right nearby which he had hidden in order to make his Homo Erectus fossil seem more plausible.

Piltdown Man was a human skull combined with the jaw of an orangutan collected in 1912 from a gravel pit at Piltdown, a village near Uckfield, East Sussex, in England. The teeth were filed down to make the fossil look more human. This was a fraud that fooled evolutionists for 40 years.

Neanderthal Man was a more than one fossil found that was stooped over and therefore classified as a missing link. But it was later discovered they were stooped over because of a bone disease like rickets. They are now classified as normal humans.

Nebraska Man was made up based off of one tooth found in 1921!! Turned out to be the tooth of an extinct pig.

These frauds are so preposterous it boggles my mind. This is why whenever I hear about a new missing link I don’t get too excited. The truth will always rise to the surface and the theories and lies will fade away in time. It’s just sad that in our country these lies get so much air time in colleges and public schools and with such an air of scientific respectability.

As far as these newer “homonids” are concerned, here are two articles you can check out. These newer homonids are going to face the same fate as the ones I described previously.

Ardi
www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2009/10/02/meet-ardi

ardipithecus kaddaba
http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2006/0417ethiopian.asp