May 20, 2011
by David Buckna
“In China we can criticize Darwin but not the government. In America you can criticize the government but not Darwin.”–Chinese palaeontologist (Wall Street Journal, “The Church of Darwin,” Phillip Johnson, August 16, 1999.)
In 1999 Phillip Johnson [“Darwin on Trial”] said on CNN: “I think we should teach a lot about evolution. In fact, I think we should teach more
than the evolutionary science teachers want the students to know. The problem is what we’re getting is a philosophy that’s claimed to be
scientific fact, a lot of distortion in the textbooks, and all the difficult problems left out, because they don’t want people to ask tough
But in the ensuing dozen years, how much has really changed in science classrooms?
What follows is a partial list of questions that could be used to critically examine and evaluate evolution. They would make good classroom
discussions, initiated by either teacher or student, or research assignments.
1. Dr. Danny Faulkner, professor of astronomy and physics at the University of South Carolina (Lancaster) commented: “The Ptolemaic model
(of the solar system) stood for 15 centuries, but ultimately was rejected in the 17th century because of the huge complexity it had. The real
problem with that model was you couldn’t falsify it. No matter what new data, new observations came along, you could always patch it up with a fix of new epicycles or other effects.”
“Over the past three decades the Big Bang model has been changed tremendously. They changed the expansion rate, hence the age of the
universe. They’ve thrown in dark matter, dark energy…inflation, …string theory… and it’s starting to look more and more like the
Ptolemaic model….So at what point does the Big Bang model become as unwieldy as the Ptolemaic model, that caused people to reject it?” (May
2. Does the retrograde motion of Venus, Uranus, and Pluto support or contradict the theory of solar system formation?
3. Most geologists believe diamonds formed deep below the earth’s surface, 1 to 3 billion years ago. How do these geologists explain the presence of carbon-14 in a number of diamond samples?
4. All radiometric dating methods assume that a) no decay product was present initially or that initial quantities can be accurately estimated
b) the decay system was closed through the years and c) the decay rate was constant over time. What conditions could invalidate these assumptions?
5. Why do textbooks claim the 1953 Miller-Urey experiment shows how the cell’s building blocks may have formed on the early Earth, when repeated experimentation has never demonstrated this claim?
Efforts to replicate the supposed origin-of-life events have produced embarrassingly small amounts of cell building blocks (eg. trace amounts of
amino acids, sugars) with the majority of the mixture being a toxic tar And unless the researcher is present to immediately remove these brief
compounds and put them on ice to preserve them, then those pesky water-based side reactions will make a biochemical hash of the entire thing.
To make matters worse, our current understanding supports an early Earth with an oxidizing (not reducing) atmosphere, making the synthesis of these cellular compounds even more unlikely.
And as ICR’s Frank Sherwin writes in his 2009 article: “If and when Venter’s team [J. Craig Venter Institute, Maryland] creates artificial
life, it will only have been a product of purpose and applied power and intelligence. And its life-likeness will have been almost entirely copied
from pre-existing life in bacterial cells.”
6. Edward Blyth, English chemist/zoologist (and creationist), wrote his first of three major articles on natural selection in The Magazine of
Natural History, 24 years before Darwin’s “Origin of Species” was published. Why then, do evolutionists think of natural selection as
Blyth didn’t attribute God-like qualities to natural selection, as some evolutionists do today. At least some evolutionary biologists are willing
to admit: “Natural selection can only act on those biologic properties that already exist; it cannot create properties in order to meet
adaptation needs.” Noble, et al., Parasitology, 6th ed. (Lea & Febiger, 1989), p. 516.
7. On page one of Richard Dawkins’ 1986 book, “The Blind Watchmaker” he writes: “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the
appearance of having been designed for a purpose”.
a) If living things look designed–if the empirical evidence suggests purpose–then how do evolutionists know they weren’t designed?
b) What is the criteria for “apparent” design?
8. Regarding vertical evolution (information-enhancing evolution), can you give an example of a genetic mutation or an evolutionary process which can be seen to increase the information in the genome?
9. How does evolution explain the Cambrian explosion of new life? Stephen Jay Gould noted that the Burgess Shale fossils turn the cone of increasing species diversity predicted by neo-Darwinian theory virtually upside down. Do you agree with Gould’s assessment: that the disparity of the phyla precedes the diversity of species? Isn’t this, in fact, backwards from Darwinian predictions? http://www.darwinsdilemma.org
10. Describe one insect that was transitional between a non-flying insect and a flying insect.
11. Is it possible to document from the fossil record the series of transitional forms that led up to any dinosaur species?
12. How does geology explain dinosaur bones with soft tissue, supposedly dated at “80 million years”? (Schweitzer et al, Science 324:626).
Lesley Stahl: But as Mary showed us, she’s been able to replicate her findings. These are pieces of an even older dinosaur–a well-preserved
80-million-year-old duckbill. When she dissolved it away in acid…
Mary Schweitzer: Let’s put this under the scope here.
Lesley Stahl: Well, look… (to Schweitzer) Is that a blood vessel?
Mary Schweitzer: This is a blood vessel. You see the branches right there? And look at all of them. And it’s so consistent, over and over and over
again. We do this bone and it comes out and I get excited every time. I can’t help it. I mean, 80 million years old.
13. How does evolution explain pterosaurs gradually developing fully functional wings, with their long bony fourth finger? Is there any fossil
evidence for their transitional forms? The same goes for bats from a supposed non-winged ancestor.
14. Evolution teaches that mammals evolved from reptiles. All mammals have three bones in the ear (and the Organ of Corti) and a single bone on each side of the lower jaw. All reptiles have a single bone in the ear and on average six bones on each side of the lower jaw. Speculate how
intermediate forms could have managed to hear and chew, while the necessary restructuring was taking place and the Organ of Corti was being
15. Stern and Susman write in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology 60:279-313 (1983) that the hands and feet of Australopithecus
afarensis are not at all like human hands and feet; rather, they have long, curved fingers and toes typical of arboreal primates. Why, then, do
evolutionists insist that the footprints Mary Leakey uncovered in strata (dated at 3.5 million years old) in Laetoli were made by Australopithecus afarensis, though these prints are indistinguishable from modern man?
(Tuttle, Natural History, 64) http://www.gennet.org/facts/metro19.html
Still, I wonder how many students in schools, colleges and universities would say they have the academic freedom to critique evolution in their
science classes? There should be school district and state/province polls of high-school and college/university students studying evolution, asking two questions:
In this class: a) Is evolution taught as fact, theory, or both fact and theory? b) Do you have the academic freedom to critique evolution?
[Students should answer anonymously.] The same two questions should be asked of their instructors.
The article, “Valley of the Whales,” in the August 2010 issue of National Geographic, is a good example of an evolutionary article. It’s typical of
readings given to students studying evolution.
Teachers should be encouraged to distribute such articles and three different colored markers to each student, then ask them to mark the
verified facts with one color, the opinions with another, and the suppositions with another. Students should be taught to weigh the factual
evidence, evaluate statements, and recognize the writer’s purpose and point of view.
Evolutionists say, “We continually revise our theories and welcome critical examination and evaluation.” They may revise aspects of their
theories, but because evolution is so incredibly malleable, no amount of contrary evidence will convince them otherwise. But how much contrary evidence must accumulate before a theory is discarded?
Today evolution survives, not so much as a theory of science, but as a philosophical necessity. Good science is always tentative and
self-correcting, but this never really happens in the case of evolution. Regardless of the scientific data, the idea of evolution as a valid
concept is not open to debate. Students are allowed to ask “HOW did evolution occur?”, but never “DID evolution occur?”.
Which is a more objective question: “What were the ape-like creatures that led to man?” or ” Did man evolve from ape-like creatures?”
Jonathan Sarfati’s newest book is The Greatest Hoax on Earth? Refuting Dawkins on Evolution (2010)
Cornell University professor Dr. John Sanford, pioneer of plant genetic engineering and inventor of the gene gun has commented: “In my opinion Sarfati’s book beats Dawkins’ book [The Greatest Show on Earth] point by point, on all issues.”
If Sarfati’s book has been totally ignored by the mainstream media, why is that unusual? Interviews with evolutionists such as Richard Dawkins appear regularly on television and radio, and in newspapers. How often have you heard or read an interview with a creation scientist, such as D. Russell Humphreys, Kurt Wise, Sigrid Hartwig-Scherer, Werner Gitt, or John Baumgardner? If you never have, is this because creation scientists don’t conduct scientific research, or is it because of other reasons? On the PBS documentary In the Beginning: The Creationist Controversy, Phillip Johnson commented: “Darwinian theory is the creation myth of our culture. It’s the officially sponsored, government financed creation myth that the public is supposed to believe in, and that creates the evolutionary scientists as the priesthood…So we have the priesthood of naturalism, which has great cultural authority, and of course has to protect its mystery that gives it that authority. That’s why they’re so vicious towards critics.”
The following suggested Origins of Life policy is a realistic, practical and legal way for local and state school boards to achieve a win-win with
regard to evolution teaching. Even the ACLU, the NCSE, and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State should find the policy
“As no theory in science is immune from critical examination and evaluation, and recognizing that evolutionary theory is the only approved
theory of origins that can be taught in the [school district/state] science curriculum: whenever evolutionary theory is taught, students and
teachers are encouraged to discuss the scientific information that supports and questions evolution and its underlying assumptions, in
order to promote the development of critical thinking skills. This discussion would include only the scientific evidence/information for
and against evolutionary theory, as it seeks to explain the origin of the universe and the diversity of life on our planet.”
Never discussing scientific information that questions evolution is to teach evolution as dogma. http://www.arn.org/docs/johnson/pjdogma1.htm
Francis Crick and James Watson are the co-discoverers of the thread-like DNA molecule. Crick described himself as agnostic, with a “strong
inclination towards atheism”. In 2003, Watson spoke at Youngstown State University and was asked by one student, “So you don’t believe in God?” The scientist answered, “Oh no, absolutely not. The biggest advantage to believing in God is you don’t have to understand anything, no physics, no biology. I wanted to understand.”
Yet thousands of years ago the psalmist wrote: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb…your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139: 13; 16). The phrase “you knit me together” anticipates that we are literally knitted or woven together at the molecular level.
For further reference:
Scientists Urge Censorship of Terms Implying Design and Purpose when Describing Life
by Jerry Bergman
Teaching Evolution – Is There a Better Way?
by Ian Taylor
Teaching Origins in Public Schools
by David N. Menton
The Biggest Problems for Evolution
by John Morris
by Jonathan Sarfati
Refuting Evolution 2
by Jonathan Sarfati, with Michael Matthews
The Scientific Case against Evolution
by Henry Morris
The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel (www.leestrobel.com)
Chapter 1 of 10
Chapter 2 of 10
Chapter 3 of 10
Chapter 4 of 10
Chapter 5 of 10
Chapter 6 of 10
Chapter 7 of 10
Chapter 8 of 10
Chapter 9 of 10
Chapter 10 of 10
How Biology 101 is typically taught: “Kids, welcome to Biology 101. We’re gonna learn lots of fun things in this class. We’re gonna learn
how…we’re gonna cut up frogs, and we’re gonna pick flowers, and we’re gonna learn about pistils and stamens and all kinds of fun things, but the
first thing you need to know, boys and girls, above all else, is that ‘You are an accident!’. You have absolutely no reason for being here! There is
no meaning, no purpose to your life! You’re nothing but a meaningless conglomeration of molecules that came together purely by chance billions
and billions of years ago! All the dust and the gas and the galaxy floated around for who knows how long, and they bumped into each other and they
said, ‘I know. Let’s be organic!’ So they became organic. And they became little, little gooey, slimey things, you know, swimming around in the
primordial soup, and they finally grew little feet, and they crawled up on the land, and they grew fur and feathers and became higher forms of life,
and finally became, you know, a monkey, then the monkey developed into an ape, then the ape decided to shave, so he shaved, and became what you are today! It’s, you know, from goo to you by way of the zoo! As such we really don’t have any reason for being here. Your existence is pointless.
The universe won’t mind a bit when you die. And when you die, you just become so much compost [Riiiiiing!] Oh, okay, class dismissed. Head on
down the hall now, kids, down to that new class we’re starting this week on self-esteem!” –an excerpt from “What We Believe”, a presentation Frank
Peretti gave at the Steeling the Mind of America conference (Vale, Colorado, 1997.)
“Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.”
–Theodosius Dobzhansky, in The American Biology Teacher, March 1973
“A true scientist would say that nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evidence.”
–Jonathan Wells, in “Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth?” (2000)