Debunking Evolution Taught in Public Schools video series for students

I would have no objection to the “Debunking Evolution Series” as long as it is taught side by side with a “Debunking Christianity series,” there is plenty of material to be found in places like this.

That may be shocking to some here. But while I am Christian because I think it is possible for Christianity to be better than atheism, I have also made in clear that I think atheism is substantially better than a lot of the Christianity you find in the world. I certainly defend atheism as a perfectly rational alternative. I suspect that a debunking Christianity series could do a great deal of improvement on the sort of Christianity which is practiced in many places if not all places.

Tomato, Tomahto. Churchill was using the general term which includes republics like the US.

To put it succinctly, I think we can all respect people who are trying their best to be moral citizens who are make positive contributions to society. In the end, I think we judge people by where their heart is because we also know how fallible humans are. Unfortunately, AiG is all too often on the wrong side of this fence. Their heart isn’t in the right place, IMHO.

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I agree…and yet…coming from.the other side at one time…it is amazing how much we can be indoctrinated. The fear of losing ones salvation by misleading others (though the Genesis story itself is not salvation, it is implied evolution is a slippery slope) is terrifying.

Honestly, one of the benefits of coming out on the other side includes realizing there are so many well intentioned people who royally mess up, that God can’t be nearly as picky and judgmental as we are, if He knows our hearts.

Thanks.

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I am fairly knowledgeable about fossil mollusks, which are quite often a problem for young-earth claims (particularly ones pertaining to deposition or sticking things in order arbitrarily to fit with evolution). Due to their obscurity, none of the young-earth promoters I have encountered has bothered addressing them. I can take a quick look at them, however, I have plenty of other things I need to be working on.

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I removed some off-topic political posts. Please take discussions of democracy and political parties to PM if you would like to continue them.

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The latest video by Genesis Apologetics is “Did Adam and Noah Really Live Over 900 Years?” It makes the claim that the Genesis genealogy after the flood (combined with some later numbers) shows a “biological decay curve,” something the authors couldn’t fabricate, so the ages must be accurate and Genesis must contain accurate history from eyewitnesses.

We’ve discussed this quite a bit on the forum. Here are some problems, with links to posts that go into more depth. (I’m sorry that most of these posts are mine, but they are the ones I know where to find.)

  • The “decay curve” uses cherry-picked values values to make it seem far more impressive than it is. It generally uses biblical figures, but throws in the average Roman lifespan to give the curve a good tail. It ignores average lifespans given in Scripture, such as the 70–80 years Moses mentions, or how it only took 40 years for almost every Israelite over 20 to die in the wilderness.

  • It’s easy to make a set of numbers that plot a curve without fancy math. Start with a big number and halve it or take a tithe away from it – each will give you a pretty curve. Nothing about such a curve means it is caused by “decay” or necessarily connected to recording actual history. The Sumerian King List also shows a curve in ages, though using much higher numbers. One can even find a “decay curve” in Paul’s material in the New Testament! Curves are natural when dealing with numbers that span a large range. It’s intuitive to see a drop from 1000 to 900 as about the same as a drop from 100 to 90 (a curve), not 100 to 0 (linear).

  • Different manuscript lines of Genesis preserve different numbers. For instance, the Masoretic Text, Samaritan Penteteuch and Septuagint massage different numbers in the genealogies to achieve a similar goal: making sure almost everyone’s dead by the year of the flood. This shows the plasticity in these numbers before they solidified into accurately copied texts. (It also suggests the genealogy existed on its own before it was connected to the flood.)

  • There appears to be meaning in some of the specific numbers given. If the numbers simply recorded history, we would expect extra precision for the important people for whom there were more records, and rounded numbers for less well-known individuals. Instead, Genesis shows the opposite. Significant people are given special numbers – multiples of hundred or ten, 777, 365, or a series of squares. The numbers that look precise and not artificial tend to be for minor characters.

  • There are also patterns in the Genesis 11 genealogy as a whole. Rather than a decay curve, there are stairstep declines that spotlight the importance of both the flood and the division in Peleg’s day. The two shorter lives in Genesis 5 also correspond to the two big gaps in the Genesis 11 ages.

  • Taking the long lifespans literally leads to absurdities nobody would expect based on a plain reading of the surrounding narratives. Natural death seems to be flowing through the generations, not starting just before Noah is born. Although his father lived past 200, the Bible views Abraham at 100 as being “as good as dead.” Nobody would expect Noah to be one of those building the tower of Babel, or Abram’s departure from his father’s house to include saying goodbye to Shem, or Eber to outlive his great-great-great-great-grandson Abraham, or Shem to be sending baby gifts when Jacob’s kids are born. The narratives assume the generations don’t overlap this much.

  • Overall, the long ages seem to underscore how we are peering deep into a foggy past. Legendary figures are made to look larger than life, not only by their ages but by how their paragraphs are weightier and take longer to read than the shortened form used for later figures. To make sense of the ages, it helps to dig into how ancient cultures understood genealogies rather than assuming it is the same as our first impression.

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I watched three of the videos, and took notes on them:

2a: Radiometric Dating:

Time is all-important to evolution.

Age of earth entirely dependent on radiometric dating.

Scientists have thought it had to be at least a few million years old since the late 1700s.

“It sure seems they are putting a lot of faith in something [radiometric dating] they can’t actually test through direct observation.”

Radiometric dating is easily tested by direct observation. How do you think we can determine half-lives?

Plenty of assumptions go into these measurements.

Yes, but they are well-grounded assumptions.

Age of earth is based on dating meteorites, and they are assumed to be the same age as Earth.

Yes, but we have dates on terrestrial-origin zircons back to 4.05 billion.

Rocks contain radioactive parent isotopes that decay into stable daughter isotopes.

Many isotopes have decay chains that run through many radioactive isotopes

Age is an interpretation, not an observation.

“What if the rock already had a daughter isotope from the beginning? Or what if the rock gets contaminated? Or what if the rate of decay was rattled at some point in the past? What was the original ratio of parent to daughter isotope? One must assume that no parent or daughter material was added or removed from the rock; and that the rate of decay has always been constant over millions and millions of years.”

Those are taken into account. If the decay rate isn’t constant then a good chunk of physics is wrong, and GPS cannot possibly work.

Different mineral components give highly varying radiometric dates.

Yes, because the grains in sedimentary rocks are older than the rock by definition.

Known age igneous rocks give noticeably older dates.

That is because of contamination.

Ono formation supposedly ~112 MYA. Fossils give dates of 36,000 in C-14.

That is because of contamination.

C-14 is found in diamonds.

That is because of contamination.

6a Fossils.

Claims:

Evolution predicts that we should find the simplest fossils in the lowest rock layers.

We do.

“Some of the lowest rock layers with fossils, called “Cambrian”, reveal incredibly complicated creatures right at the start.”

There are lots of layers below the Cambrian.

“If evolution were true, we would expect to see single-celled organisms down there, then basic-looking multi-celled… Instead we see incredibly complex sea creatures with no clear ancestors in the lower rocks.”

Primarily what we have are things where we just don’t know what they really are (e.g. Kimberella )

“The Cambrian presents a dramatic explosion in animal variety, including an example from every one of today’s major groups, plus more besides.”

All the ones which have any chance to fossilize first appear somewhere in the ~200-million year stretch from where we find the first animal fossils to the end of the Cambrian.

“There are no simpler creatures leading up to them.”

Only if you ignore the ones that do.

“The expected transitional fossils are missing.”

Not any more than all the other fossils.

Quotes On the Origin of Species: “Why, if species have descended from other species by insensibly fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms.”

We have much better material now.

“If evolution were true, we should have millions that show us the evolution between all these animals.”

And if the fossil record perfectly preserved things.

Archaeopteryx: quotes Alan Feduccia “Paleontologists have tried to turn Archaeopteryx into an earth-bound, feathered dinosaur. But it’s not. It is a bird, a perching bird. And no amount of ‘paleobabble’ is going to change that.”

Archaeopteryx was even further disqualified as an evolutionary ancestor for birds when scientists found what appears to be a crow-sized bird, and extinct four-winged birds in rock layers designated to be below those containing Archaeopteryx .”

Transitional forms usually stick around after the initial transition: I am alive, therefore my parents cannot be is very bad logic.

Tiktaalik is no good as a transitional organism, due to “footprints of a four-legged land creatures in rocks that are supposedly ten million years older than Tiktaalik.”

Transitional forms usually stick around after the initial transition: I am alive, therefore my parents cannot be is very bad logic.

“We see that there are many more kinds of animals than we have today.” “And many of those went extinct.” “Opposite of evolution.”

That is exactly what we would expect from an old earth, not a young one.

“Fossil graveyards contain animals from land, sea, and air all jumbled together; and, in many cases, the destruction was so powerful that fossilized creatures were ripped apart and buried quickly in mud. And 95 % of the entire record is marine fossils buried in land rocks, not ocean bottom sediments. Many layers that contain fossil are so large that they stretch over many states, sometimes across continents.”

What does “Marine fossils buried in land rocks” mean? Why are Pteropods, or Spisula , or Raeta , or Eulimids ever preserved, if everything is getting smashed? Why are deposits not highly sorted, as they would be with any sort of fast current? The fact that they are buried in mud discredits the massive destruction being invoked, as the mud would not settle out.

6c

Extinction: Noah’s Flood & Ice Ages

Five different mass extinctions

More like 10.

“Some scientists dated the dinosaur extinction 300,000 years after [Chixulub]”

The proposed causes for mass extinctions, other than Chixulub, are exactly the set of events that would be happening with the flood.

How does massive desertification fit with a flood?

All dinosaur graveyards are deposited in “watery mud or sand”

“Many dinosaur fossils are found in a classic death pose with their necks arced back, possibly from choking.”

It’s called “rigor mortis”.

“[the flood] does better explain what we see.”

“There’s a lot of volcanic material mixed into these layers. Vast amounts of volcanic material entered the oceans. That’s what makes up seafloors around the world. And that relates to the Ice Age. Storm-tracking models show that warm oceans would cause severe storms, and lead to massive snowfall.”

There is NO volcanic material found in any Carolinian marine deposits, except for one locality of Eocene limestone. Drastically higher water temperature would NOT lower sea level.

“Hotter oceans make colder continents”

In a completely different pattern from the observations.

“Volcanic dust and debris would have blocked out the sun during the summer, so the falling snow would not have melted.”

The “fountains of the deep” refers to massive volcanic eruptions releasing lots of water.

“Evolutionists don’t have a satisfactory explanation for one Ice age, let alone four or five. But, the flood gives enough calamity in a short amount of time to actually make an Ice Age, if there was only one, that happened only a few hundred years after the flood.”

How are there dozens of completely distinct marine layers in the Cenozoic, with practically zero mixing, each requiring several hundred years at an absolute minimum?

“Which would explain many of the Ice-age fossils we find near the surface of the earth, not deep down in the flood layers.”

Why are there dropstones and glacial erratics embedded in meta-sedimentary rocks in the local mountains, which are older than all of the coastal marine faunas?

“The book of Job was written just about that time, and mentions snow, ice, and cold more than any other book in the bible.”

“So, when scientists try to stretch five extinctions and five different Ice ages over the evolutionary view of the geologic column, they’re not sure how they happened. But, when you compress the geologic column down into a biblical timeframe, it’s all explained by a worldwide flood followed by an Ice age.”

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This is great, thanks. :slight_smile:

And here are notes on one of the other videos:

6b

Whale Evolution

“[Whales] would need to evolve a brand new respiratory system.”

They still have lungs.

“Their teeth would have to evolve into baleen.”

[Some of the other things listed that whales would have to evolve]:

Ball vertebrae, Tail flukes, Blubber, Ability to drink sea water, Forelimbs into flippers, Blowhole, Ability to see properly underwater, Reorganized skull bones and muscles, Modified ear bones, growing several hundred times bigger.

Blubber is found in practically all mammals. Changing substantially in size is not particularly difficult: Palaeoloxodon includes species ranging from 90 cm at the shoulder and 200 kg to 6 m at the shoulder and 20,000 kg.

Quotes textbook “Mesonychids are one hypothesized link between modern whales and certain hoofed mammals.”

Currently, no. Mesonychids are considered to be a separate stem ungulate group.

“The entire evolutionary ancestry of whales is based on an imaginary creature.” [last common ancestor of the horrendously polyphyletic pairing of artiodactyls and wolves]

Said imaginary creature is one which nobody sane thinks existed. A common ancestor of artiodactyls is another matter.

Pakicetus was shown to be “nothing more than a land animal.”

An amphibious animal with cetacean dentition.

There were only two fossils ever found of [ Ambulocetus ].

That makes no difference, if they were good specimens.

“[ Ambulocetus ] appears to be nothing more than a land animal. In other words, it was defined as a walking whale; not because it had a whale’s tail or flippers, or a blowhole, but simply because they believed it to be. In fact, they didn’t even find the part of the skull that would have a blowhole; but they still add a blowhole in museum drawings.”

Ambulocetus was distinctly built for swimming.

“[ Rodhocetus ] is often depicted…with a tail fluke, however, they never found the fossil bones for their tail.”

It doesn’t have a fluke in any of the illustration you show.

“[ Basilosaurus ] seems to be nothing more than an extinct sea creature, with what appears to be leftover legs from evolution.”

It is an “extinct sea creature” by definition , so is Carinorbis lyra , which is very distinctly not a whale.

“[ Dorudon ] appears to be nothing more than an extinct whale.”

With teeth that look quite a lot like those Basilosaurus , and not like any modern whale.

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Thanks, Timothy!

Notes on three more of them:

2b

Uniformitarianism

Lots of scientists believe continents move at irregular speeds.

Yes. Over very short time scales.

[John Baumgardener] showed that continents can move very quickly.

“[Uniformitarianism] refuses to take into account the major catastrophic events of the past.

Only Lyell and Darwin were that obstinate.

“During the 1980’s eruptions at Mt. St. Helens, 200 layers of rock were deposited in three hours. Entire river systems were carved in a matter of months right through 700 feet of hard rock.”

Volcanic ash. Not sedimentary rocks. And those 700 feet could hardly be terms solid.

“If [the layers in the Grand Canyon] took millions of years to form, then the bottom rock layers would be hard and brittle by the time the ones at the top would be deposited. But, near the Grand Canyon, all the layers are bent together. If they were bent together while they were hard [they would break]. The rocks didn’t shatter like they should have, they must have been together while they were soft and pliable.”

They did break. And those bends are pretty large. Even rocks are flexible, if the distance and time are long enough.

“If the river slowly carved the canyon, then we should see all the material piled up in the river delta, but it’s completely missing. In fact, about 1000 cubic miles has been eroded to form the Grand Canyon. Where did it all go? If the canyon was slowly eroded by the Colorado River, an enormous delta should be found at the mouth of the river where it empties into the Gulf of California; but, the delta includes only about 1% of the material we would expect if the evolutionary explanation were true.” “Unless it was carved by a massive catastrophe which carried all the material away.”

The only true statement in this paragraph is the volume of the canyon.

“What happens to a clam when it dies? They open up, and their two shells separate. But this clam was fossilized before it had a chance to fall open, or be pulled open by a scavenger.”

Not if they are already buried, WHICH THEY ALMOST ALWAYS ARE.

The well-known fossil of the Ichthyosaur giving birth had to be buried quite quickly.

Yes. But how many small pieces of ichthyosaurs do we have compared to near-perfect ones?

“And they’ve found many dinosaur fossils with red blood cells, soft tissue and even DNA.”

Impressions of red blood cells. Collagen is not bone, but it is still quite tough. Tiny fragments of extremely degraded DNA. If they were only a few thousand years old, we should have hundreds of complete dinosaur genomes.

“But all of these could have been fossilized during the worldwide flood.”

No, they would all be smashed in tiny pieces.

“It doesn’t take millions of years to form a fossil. It can happen rapidly under the right conditions.”

Which are extraordinarily rare.

3a

Did humans evolve?

All of the old ape-men ideas were fakes.

Yes.

“In our book it says that Australopithecus afarensis evolved 3-2.8 MYA. In this book it says that Australopithecus evolved 4-5 MYA.”

How are those contradictory?

A 1951 Life article says that Australopithecus lived ~700 kYA.

That article was wrong.

It was claimed that Homo erectus had a human body, but a different skull. But, in 2013 there was a study showing that many of the differences used to distinguish H. sapiens from H. erectus blur together.

There are still characteristics that distinguish them.

Many specimens of H. habilis are of debated identity, and the genus assignment is uncertain.

Same is true for most pleurocerids, which says nothing about whether they belong in Elimia or Pleurocera (both, sensu latu , probably constitute about five different genera, which are highly cryptic).

The remains of Lucy are quite fragmentary.

So are most dinosaurs. So are my fossil pholadids. All three are distinctive

Lucy was actually a Bonobo-like creature, based on the skull.

The body is rather different from a Bonobo.

Quote to the effect of “True Australopithecus is not a direct ancestor of Homo.

Cladisticly, it cannot be, because if it were, then Australopithecus would be a grade.

Neanderthals and Humans can interbreed, therefore they are identical by definition.

Nobody thinks that all species of Larus are identical, yet they can interbreed freely.

“So either these fossils are completely human, or completely ape, with nothing in between.”

That is a horrendous a-priori false dichotomy.

All of the specimens of the ape-human transitional forms that have been found could fit in the back of a small pickup truck.

I could fit every specimen ever found of Ersilia stancyki into a hollowed-out US penny. That says nothing about how reliable any conclusions about it are.

4a

Does Adaptation Prove Evolution?

Darwin’s finches [which are thraupids, not estrildids or fringillids, as the name suggests] arrived on the Galapagos and underwent speciation. “But is that really evolution?”

Yes.

“[Speciation] isn’t evolution by natural forces if these animals were programmed to adapt like that.”

What caused them to adapt?

Not all changes are caused by random mutations.

No, no one thinks that.

Mutations are always bad.

Sinistrality is a mutation which makes zero difference to the gastropod surviving. It does make it harder to find a mate, however, if one does, and sinistrality is a rare enough mutation in your species (varies between different types of gastropod), then a new population can be established (e.g. Busycon carica & contarium/perversum )

Resistance to pesticides in mosquitoes is from a loss of information in the genome.

Yes, but there are plenty of adaptations that are just changing information, rather than deleting it.

“People count on that loss of information from mutations to create the genetic blueprints for every living creature on earth.”

Nobody sane does. There are plenty of ways to increase the amount of DNA in an organism: polyploidy, grabbing pieces from the environment, etc.

“One basic kind of animal can never change into another.”

You never define “kind”, however, given your examples, it seems to be “things that look pretty similar to me”. Under that definition, Eulimella is much more like Melanella than Bartschella , however the anatomy shows that Eulimella and Bartschella are both members of Turbonilinae, whereas Melanella is a eulimid, which is in a different subclass than Eulimella .

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@Kathryn_Applegate

(I just wanted you to see some people had watched the videos and responded.)

I would argue that these aren’t slick! :wink:

LOL. Maybe not the best choice of words.

I read through Tactics by Koukl last year and couldn’t help but to mentally respond to the incomplete arguments. It seems that all of the Genesis apologetics ministries depend on science teachers not understanding science, or for example, not realizing that there’s far more evidence than homologous features that supports common ancestry. A damaging part is when a student interacts with a teacher who knows their stuff, and the argument turns to character malignant- I.e. “they just don’t want to believe in God” etc. Exhibit A is the movie Genesis Impact. @Christy I look forward to reading through this resource :slight_smile:

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That’s well summarized. It’s particularly ironic when it’s quite apparently projection–the student just wants to believe in God, and avoid the evidence (that they think, erroneously, denies God) .It takes wisdom and empathy to clearly bridge that gap of fear and misunderstanding.

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I’d also include empathy for whales, millions of years and individuals that God created are being “cancelled” :laughing:

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Well that is true. I had meant it takes empathy on the part of the educator who gets that sort of response. I actually benefited greatly from an empathetic prof (several, in fact). They helped me with understanding evolution (though I never thought they were intellectually dishonest)

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I understand, @Randy! There is only one teacher that I can think of who was empathetic and who I might have been able to talk to, but I was too discombobulated at the time. Being the empathetic teacher is something to aspire to :slight_smile: That’s wonderful that you had people you could talk to! Since I had a lack in that area, I hope to be that role for others with questions.

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Just from the first video, between the Evolution and Creation shirts, we have some questions. What are they trying to represent? Evidence? Ideologies? Entire worldviews? Us vs Them? Darwin and Jesus? Satan and God? Many of the “points” these characters bring up are rather conflated and it’s difficult to tell what their framework for apologetics is. To me, if evolution could actually say something with words, it would be “look, I’ve been happening”.

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