I need a quick list of common YEC strawman arguments against evolutionary theory

Hi all. It has been a while since I have been on this board. I am helping a friend with a class and I need a quick list of some of the more common argument lines used by YEC organizations that are strawman representations of evolutionary theory.

For example, if man came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys.

So far, I can think of the following…

Punctuated equilibria disproving Darwin
Evolutionary theory rests on “missing link”
Implying that natural selection is based on circular reasoning… fossils date rocks, rocks date fossils (not taking into consideration how strata were dated originally)

I know that I probably have many of these somewhere in my brain, but I need a quick turnaround on this, lol.

Anyone have suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

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There probably is thread or article somewhere with a more comprehensive list of these … but also just joining in with your “off the top of the head contributions”… here are a few more.

  • evolution being like a tornado blowing through a junkyard assembling a 747

  • 2nd law of thermodynamics (entropy) being violated by evolution

  • hopeful monster hypothesis (an animal giving birth to something of an entirely different species)

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Here’s a good one.

And another.

And

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Thanks! Ahhh, the croco-duck. I can’t believe I forgot that one! That type of thinking is a difficult one. I am not laughing at anyone (I remember seeing that for the first time years ago and thinking how much sense it made, so I look at that humbly:)

I was not a scientist, had little scientific background, and definitely possessed ZERO real understanding of evolutionary theory.

That is an excellent example of misrepresenting the position and then taking it down simplistically.

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I have been searching, but many of the threads aren’t that explicit with the actual strawman nature of the argument or they go off on tangents, lol. Thanks for the off the cuff. That is exactly what I am looking for:)

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These (so far) are ‘classic’ enough that details on their straw man nature can be found even on aging sites such as talkorigins.org. But I’m sure you would get plenty of response here if there are any specific ones you want to see discussed more freshly now.

Here is Talkorogins index to creationist claims.
http://talkorigins.org/indexcc/

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The most often quoted straw man is really more an age of the earth argument rather than evolution but as they are intimately intertwined, it is the radioactive dating subject. YEC folk often misrepresent the methodology and argue against it based on outliers and ignoring error bars.

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Very helpful, thanks!

This article @jstump put together a while back addressed the misconceptions that get thrown around most in Christian circles:

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I agree with the stance so many of you here take that the case can’t be made in any reliably transferable way. Instead one can speak to what it is which inclines them to believe or even simply choose to embrace such belief on faith.

As someone who doesn’t embrace the entire Christian package I do agree that there is no reliably transferable way to demonstrate either the existence or non-existence of God. I also find there are stances I must hold on faith for the same reason. So I find Christianity held in this way entirely justifiable and, if one grows up in an intact community which embraces similar beliefs I think I would do the same. Why not? I do appreciate that at least some here see the similarity of our positions. Of course, choosing my path doesn’t come with a lot of community. I suppose most of you must feel like the ‘container’ in relation to many ‘contained’ with less nuanced faith stances that seemingly most Christians hold. I personally don’t take much comfort in that sort of relationship. But then again, I do think that any culture which has the effect of putting people in touch with something beyond what sets us all apart can’t be a bad thing.

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Here’s an older (2008) list of misconceptions about evolution from NewScientist: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13620-evolution-24-myths-and-misconceptions.html

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Thanks. It is also a good list. The problem with some rebuttals is that while true, they are maybe not geared to convince the fundamentalist…for example, a fundamentalist would likely accept the argument that Genesis 1 was poetic more easily than that the Bible is filled with errors. https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13695-evolution-myths-the-theory-is-wrong-because-the-bible-is-inerrant/

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There is the “You weren’t there to see evolution!” response. Consider the perspectives on how to “do” science. In evolution, “doing” science has integrity. On the other hand with YEC “scientific” claims, changing radioactive decay rates, animals becoming carnivores within the past several thousand years, a worldwide geologic violence within the past several thousand years, etc. don’t have integrity with the evidence in the natural world and neither was anyone there to see it.

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There’s also a pattern of arguments that resembles the blind mice and the elephant. Take one issue at a time, come up with an alternative, do that to each, and you have argued into the top position. However, if you look at all these patterns and put them together, there is sufficient evidence to determine that there is an elephant, there is a picture of an ancient cosmos. This is mainly keeping the “check your worldview and your bias, and you must consider my evidence” on both sides of the argument. The mice win if they can get away with not honestly considering other perspectives.

A good resource is Tactics by Gregory Koukl.
Tactics Study Guide: A Guide to Effectively Discussing Your Christian Convictions https://www.amazon.com/dp/0310529190/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_fabc_d8xQFb0ZCVAQP

The benefit of this book is that it teaches how to question other people , challenges you to understand your own beliefs, and how to lead a discussion so your interlocutor considers your view. However, it doesn’t encourage the reader to consider counter points, or primarily to trust that no evidence should be able to disprove God, so you can have a mutual conversation and be genuinely interested in the other person, so they experience that care and are more likely to listen to your view.

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Summarized brilliantly in this cartoon:

image

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