Many creationists excel at one thing: calling specific facts into question in an attempt to get you asking questions about a whole theory. And while we all know that a good theory cannot be debunked by asking a few questions, sometimes it feels really good to have a snappy answer.
Here are five common creationist sound bites, and why they are nonsense.
Creationist: “There are unexplained gaps in the fossil record.”
Evolutionist: Yes, there are gaps in the fossil record, but they are in no way “unexplained.” In order to become a fossil you need to die in the right place, at the right time. Some paleontologists have pegged your chance of becoming a fossil at about one in a million. And that’s if you have bones or a shell. If you’re a soft-bodied invertebrate — like many creatures speculated to have come out of the Cambrian explosion — your chances are significantly worse.
Creationist: “The world is only 6,000 years old and unchanging.”
Evolutionist: According to Jim Hare, of the department of biological sciences, “anyone who believes the world is only 6,000 years old is crazy.” There are mountains of evidence, which points to an earth, which is somewhere around 4.5 billion years old. One great example is the well-established theory plate tectonics and continental drift, which outlines how the continents have moved and changed over the millennia.
Creationist: “The human eye is too complex to have evolved from nothing.”
Evolutionist: You’re right, the human eye didn’t evolve from nothing, in fact there are many species, such as flat worms, which have very simple “eyespots” which consist of photo-sensitive cells that help the worm find prey and avoid the light. It is perfectly conceivable that over billions of years of evolution these eyespots could have gradually increased in complexity and sensitivity to form the mammalian eye.
Creationist: “Evolution violates the second law of thermodynamics.”
Evolutionist: The second law of thermodynamics, which states that things, such as molecules, want to return to a state of disorganization, applies to closed systems; the Earth is not a closed system. Furthermore, one of the mechanisms of evolution, mutation, is a result of the degradation of DNA, so according to the second law of thermodynamics, as interpreted by the creationists, evolution is partially helped by the second law of thermodynamics!
Creationist: “When the first fish grew lungs and crawled out of the ocean, who did it mate with?”
Evolutionist: Evolution can be a tediously slow and gradual process, taking thousands of years to make even simple changes. A fish didn’t just grow lungs one day and jump onto land. Over millennia some fish developed an ability to breathe both in the water and on land. Eventually some of these animals — called amphibians — lost the ability to breathe in the water. Need proof? Some salamanders still have gills.