Monday, February 11, 2013

Adventures at CARM - What about dinosaurs and evolution?

Chipmunk hands
I've been digging through for curiosity's sake. So far, these are the episodes of my adventures:

Today, I'm tackling the question "What about dinosaurs and evolution?"So, WHAT ABOUT dinosaurs and evolution?

Even if evolution were true (it isn't - but just for the sake of argument, let's assume it is) ... 
It is true, but for the sake of argument, let's assume you're right about it not being true.

... does that mean there is no God? How do you know God didn't use it to get us here? (I am not teaching that evolution is true, nor that God used it, which is called theistic evolution; I am simply reasoning with them.)
My God! Remember that top-ten list of reasons why evolution is false, and how half of them were attempting to make the case by trying to prove that a god exists, as though the two concepts were mutually exclusive? Slick and that author seriously need to have a chat. I don't think the other guy is going to listen to me, but maybe he'll listen to a "true Christian" like Matt.

If you believe in evolution, does that mean you aren't a sinner? God won't accept the excuse that you believed in evolution and not Him.
Allah won't accept the excuse that you were born in the wrong geographical region on the planet to be raised Muslim. See how easy it is to just speak about things as though they were true?

Have you examined evolution to see if it is true? Evolution is not all that you are led to believe. There are all kinds of problems in the fossil record and there are lots of books that show this.
I don't suppose you could give some top examples? The author gave a list of books to read. I'm probably not going to, mostly out of laziness. I would have preferred some examples here.

Are there any peer-reviewed publications that could be read, that aren't just books that any literate quack on the surface of the planet could cobble together?

It's strange they focus so much on fossils, since that's only a fragment of the confirming evidence. It was enough for us to infer that something was going on, as well as to start to build a historical tree of life. Of course it's riddled with gaps. Fossilization isn't an everyday occurrence.

New theories are being raised all the time to account for why there aren't any undisputed transitional forms found between any species of any kind, anywhere, anytime in all the fossil record.
First, what do you mean by theory? Are they well supported by evidence, that account for the most data with the fewest assumptions - that are supported by peer-reviewed demonstrable empirical evidence?

A theory isn't just some idea that some guy comes up with. This is why evolution has no competing "theories". It's the only theory that qualifies as a theory, within this topic.

Second, do you know what else is "disputed"?

  • The moon landing
  • Heliocentrism
  • Round-earth model
"Disputed" doesn't mean that established scientific fact is now null and void. We have people "disputing" that the Earth isn't flat merely because the Bible says so. That's not scientific grounds for dismissal of the fact that Earth is an oblate spheroid.

If we had to discard anything that was "disputed" we wouldn't have anything.

The fact is, we have plenty of scientifically established transitional fossils, whether some deranged quacks "dispute" it or not.

This argument is weak. Incredibly weak.

I'm sorry, but you don't get to merely, with a wave of the hand, dismiss all the empirical evidence that you don't like, for a reason that is essentially an ad hominem.

 But you wouldn't know these things if you haven't studied the other side of the issue.

That may be true. I don't know how much time I want to waste on potentially pseudoscientific gobbledygook. Books are such a tedious form.

You need to know the facts about evolution, and you need to know the facts about Jesus.
I do know at least most of the facts about evolution (unlike some people), and I reject the idea that I need to know the "facts" about Jesus.

Get back to me on that when you've met your obligation to know the facts about the other million gods humanity has invented over its history.

You first have to meet your burden to demonstrate that there's even a need to waste time on it.

So, have you read any anti-evolution books so you can see both sides?
Evolution - The Fossils Say No! by Duane T. Gish (Creation Life Publishers, San Diego).
A book from the esteemed inventor of the "Gish gallop" - a dishonest debate tactic where one inundates the other side with so many incorrect factoids in a few minutes that the opposition cannot possibly refute them all - creating an air of success/authority, even if the person is dead wrong.

I've decided that I'll pick one of the books. There's no way I have time for all of them. This particular book I've seen referred to as "the most devastating case against evolution" (or something to that effect), so I guess I'll go with this one.

I'll review it in chunks, and make a series of posts about it, since apparently I like doing that.

I ordered the book on Amazon, and that'll show up maybe in a week or so.

Challenge accepted.

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