What was most instructive about Tuesday night's debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye over the issue of origins was Nye's blanket admission of total, abject ignorance on the most important questions of the evening.
Where did the atoms that made up the Big Bang come from? Nye has no idea. Where did man's consciousness come from? Nye has no idea. How can matter produce life? Nye has absolutely no idea. This surely is all one needs to know to recognize the utter bankruptcy of the theory of evolution.
Now it's helpful for us who believe in creation science not only to be able to point to this abysmal ignorance of evolutionists on the most important questions, but also to have a clear template to use in discussing and defending our convictions, a template that includes the best in science. I offer such a template in this column, as I have done in prior columns as well.
What follows is a straightforward, four-step refutation of the theory of evolution. The steps are easy to remember, and make a nice little cadence when spoken with a little rhythm: First Law, Second Law, Fossils and Genes. Armed with this truth, go forth and conquer.
Before we even start, we ought to notice that, if evolution is true, there would be no way to know it. Because evolution teaches that everything that exists is the product of the random collision of atoms, this logically includes the thoughts I am thinking about evolution. But if my thoughts are the product of the random collision of atoms, there is no reason to think that any of them are true – they just are.
No one "random collision of atoms" can be said to be truer than another, any more than one randomly generated Rorschach inkblot can be said to be more correct than another.
As J.B.S. Haldane famously observed, "If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motion of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true and hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms."
All right, here we go.
First Law of Thermodynamics. This law (note: not a theory but a scientific law) teaches us that matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed. In other words, an honest scientist will tell you that there is nothing in the observable universe that can explain either the origin of energy or matter. By logical extension, then, matter and energy had to come into being by some force outside the universe.
What this means, then, is that science simply has no explanation for the most basic question that could possibly be asked: why is there something rather than nothing?
Creationists and Intelligent Design advocates have an answer to this question; evolutionists do not.
When you see a turtle on a fence post, what's the one thing you know? Somebody put him there. When you see a world hanging in space, what's the one thing you know? Someone hung it there.
It's futile to resort to the big bang theory, as some evolutionists are wont to do. They say they have an explanation for the origin of the universe: it began when a ball of incredibly dense matter exploded and flung the universe into existence. Okay, fine. Now: where did that incredibly dense ball of matter come from?
Even Aristotle saw that behind the existence of the universe had to be what he called a Prime Mover or an Unmoved Mover. If everything is the result of secondary causes, nothing would ever actually happen. Some great power had to be a primary cause of life, motion, energy, and existence.
If you walk into an office and you see one of those toys with the steel balls swinging left to right, right to left, virtually endlessly, the one thing you will know for an absolute certainty is that some force outside that toy had to start the whole thing by lifting the first ball and releasing it to clack against the others. The process you observe could not possibly have started all by itself.
Creation Science and Intelligent Design theory offers a Prime Mover, evolution does not.
Second Law of Thermodynamics. This law (note: not a theory but a law) teaches us that in every chemical or heat reaction, there is a loss of energy that never again is available for another heat reaction. This is why things break down if left to themselves, and why scientists tell us that the universe is headed toward a heat death.
This law teaches us, then, that the universe is headed toward increasing randomness and decay.
But what does the theory of evolution teach us? The exact opposite: that the universe is headed toward increasing complexity and order. You put up a scientific theory against my scientific law, I'm going to settle for the law every time, thank you very much.
Plus, this teaches us that the universe had to have a beginning. If you see a watch winding down, one thing you know with absolute certainty is that somebody wound it up.
Intelligent Design theory offers not only a Watchmaker but a Watch-winder; evolution does not.
Fossils. Realize that the fossil record is the only tangible, physical evidence for the theory of evolution that exists. The fossil record is it. There is absolutely nothing else Darwinians have they can show you.
As Yale University's Carl Dunbar says, "Fossils provide the only historical, documentary evidence that life has evolved from simpler to more and more complex forms."
But if Darwin's theory is correct, that increasingly complex life forms developed in tiny little incremental and transitional steps, then the fossil record should be littered with an enormous number of transitional fossils.
Darwin himself said, "The number of intermediate and transitional links must have been inconceivably great."
But, sadly for Darwinians, after more than 150 years of digging in dirt all around the world, there are still no transitional fossils at all – not one! The most famous paleontologist in the world, Harvard's Stephen Jay Gould, said, "The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology." (Note" "extreme rarity" is Harvard-speak for "nada, zilch, zippo.")
Colin Patterson of the British Museum of Natural History agrees with Gould that "there are no transitional fossils," not even a single one "for which one could make a watertight argument."
In other words, people who study fossils for a living know there are no transitional forms but they don't want you and me to know it, because it might prompt us to stop imbibing the swill of evolution.
Gould developed an absurd theory called "punctuated equilibrium," a theory that evolution happened so fast, in such rapid bursts, that it left no trace in the fossil record. Imagine that: the only evidence he has for his theory is the total absence of any evidence whatsoever! And this guy taught at Harvard!
What the fossil record teaches us, in contrast to the theory of evolution, is that increasingly complex life forms appear fully formed in the fossil record, just as if they were put there by a Creator. This is especially true of what is called the "Pre-Cambrian Explosion," the vast, overwhelming, and quite sudden appearance of complex life forms at the dawn of time. Evolutionists are at a total loss to explain the Pre-Cambrian Explosion.
The biblical record indicates quite clearly that all things, including increasingly complex life forms, came fully formed from the hand of God.
Thus the fossil record is a powerful argument for the existence of a Creator or Intelligent Designer while at the same time being fatal for the theory of evolution.
Creation Science and Intelligent Design theory have an explanation for the fossil record; evolution does not.
Genes. The only mechanism – don't miss this – the only mechanism evolutionists have to explain the development of increasingly complex life forms is genetic mutation. Mutations alter DNA, and these alterations can be passed on to descendants.
The problem: naturally occurring genetic mutations are invariably harmful if not fatal to the organism. Rather than improve an organism's capacity to survive, they invariably weaken it. That's why the phrase we most often use to refer to genetic mutations is "birth defects."
If scientists are some day able to engineer beneficial genetic mutations in the lab, that will simply prove our point: we told you it takes intelligence and design.
Catch these two quotes. First, evolutionary microbiologist James Shapiro of the University of Chicago: "There are no detailed Darwinian accounts for the evolution of any fundamental biochemical or cellular systems, only a variety of wishful speculations."
And this from University of Bristol scientist Alan Linton: "Throughout 150 years of the science of bacteriology, there is no evidence that one species of bacteria has changed into another. None exists in the literature claiming that one species has been shown to evolve into another." (Note: "none" means "none, nada, zilch, zippo.")
And if it's never been observed in the simplest of all organisms, it shouldn't come as a surprise that it's never been observed with more complex forms. Says Linton, "There is no evidence for evolution throughout the whole array of higher multicellular organisms." (Note: "no evidence" means "no evidence, nada, zilch, zippo.")
So honest Darwinians will tell you that evolution – by which we mean the transition of one species into another – has never, not ever, been observed by anyone at any time. In other words, they believe in something that nobody has ever seen. Hmmm... And they accuse us of a blind leap of faith!
It turns out that creationists are the ones who believe in science. In fact, it's clear that creationists believe in science and evolutionists do not. If they did, they wouldn't be evolutionists, now, would they?
Bottom line: the easiest verse in the Bible to believe is the very first one of all: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."
Bryan Fischer is director of issues analysis for the American Family Association. He hosts "Focal Point with Bryan Fischer" every weekday on AFR Talk from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. (Central).
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