Evolution Encyclopedia Vol. 3
CHAPTER 38 - FALLACIES OF EVOLUTION
"It is inherent in any definition of science that statements that cannot be checked by observation, are not really saying anything—or at least they are not science." —*George G. Simpson, " The Nonprevalence of Humanoids, " in Science 143 (1964) p. 770.
"In accepting evolution as fact, how many biologists pause to reflect that science is built upon theories that have been proved by experiment to be correct, or remember that the theory of animal evolution has never been thus approved." —*L. H. Matthews, "Introduction," Origin of Species, Charles Darwin (1971 edition).
"Evolution is baseless and quite incredible."—*Ambrose Flemming, President British Association for Advancement of Science, in The Unleashing of Evolutionary Thought.
"Present-day ultra-Darwinism, which is so sure of itself, impresses incompletely informed biologists, misleads them, and inspires fallacious interpretations . .
"Through use and abuse of hidden postulates, of bold, often ill-founded extrapolations, a pseudoscience has been created. It is taking root in the very heart of biology and is leading astray many biochemists and biologists, who sincerely believe that the accuracy of fundamental concepts has been demonstrated, which is not the case." —*Pierre P. Grasse, The Evolution of Living Organisms (1977), p. 202.
How does one arrive at truth? How can a person determine whether something is true or false? We want to know this, for we need to know in order to conduct our own lives in the best manner. But we also want to apply this method of learning truth to the claims of evolution.
1 - SEARCHING FOR THE TRUTH
THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD—How does one arrive at truth? That which is called the "scientific method" tries to locate events that can happen again. By repeating an experiment, a measurement, or an observation, a scientist tries to find the cause of an event. At times, the scientist may change one part of the experiment slightly when repeating it again. What happens may tell him even more about the situation. When he publishes a report of his findings, other scientists will try to repeat the experiment and see if the same results occur.
A large number of related facts will at times be organized into a larger conceptual structure. These principles are used to help scientists discover still more facts.
THE METHOD OF UNSELFISH STANDARDS—There is another way to arrive at truth. One begins with high-level principles of conduct. These would be moral principles of right and wrong; the best are to be found in the Bible. By accepting and acting on those principles, the mind is trained to think carefully and more accurately. Instead of determining and acting on the basis of selfish aspirations, emotional impulses, and desires for the supremacy, the individual becomes motivated by a concern to do right because it is right, and to learn truth even though it may be unpleasant. He becomes more objective, more willing to accept right conclusions. Because of this, he is in a better position to recognize them.
Obviously, this second pattern of arriving at truth is keyed to normative standards. Norms should be based on that which will result in the best good for all people in the long run. An outstanding example of such a list of standards is to be found in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3-17).
When a scientist with such standards conducts laboratory and field research, he is more likely to arrive at accurate conclusions. This is especially so, for it is well-known among scientists that it is easy to skew research conclusions towards one's biases.
We are creatures of our belief systems; our thinking and conclusions will be heavily influenced by our way of life, personal aspirations, and personal enjoyments. Those who unselfishly regard the long-term welfare of others as the higher good, will think more objectively and accurately. They will be more perceptive, not of only of a wider variation of possible causes and effects, but they will be quicker to see their more distant effects.
ARRIVING AT TRUTH BY LARGER ANALYSIS—A major flaw of the so-called "scientific method" is its insistence that it can include in its field of studies only that which can be submitted to a rather quick little experiment. How much electrical voltage is needed to make a frog's leg move? The scientists can figure out that one. Which helps people more: Christianity or atheism? Scientists have no way to analyze that in a laboratory, so they throw up their hands in blank ignorance and declare it to be an unanswerable question; there is no way of telling.
But, using a broader base of experimental analysts, it is not at all difficult to ascertain such conclusions. Scientists will tell us there is no way to test such a matter the first time, and no way to repeat the experiment a second time in order to verify it. —But the experiment is being worked out continually all about us on both large and small scale, and it is being repeated constantly.
The method of testing is by observation of the great law of causal relation over a period of time. This is also called cause-and-effect. Another way of expressing it is, "By their fruits ye shall know them." That is an excellent means of scientific analysis.
Who establishes orphanages to help small children who have lost their parents? Christians or atheists? Who goes into the slums to help people?
How many atheist societies have sent missionaries to desolate places to help people learn a better way of life? How many atheist societies have founded universities for the benefit of mankind?
Which side leads out in efforts to continue the killing of innocent unborn children? Christians or atheists? Which group produces the alcoholics, dictators, and suicides more frequently?
The creation-evolution debate has waged for over a century and leaders have arisen on both sides of the conflict. Which side has resorted to hoaxes, fakes, false claims, threats and coercion to achieve its victories? Which side patiently asks that scientific facts be considered?
Thus we find, evidence that points not only to the relative truth of the claims of each side and to the ultimate truth as to which is correct, but we also learn the effect of each set of beliefs on the minds of those adhering to them. Enough time has elapsed in the controversy that we can clearly see that one theory insidiously destroys human morality and men's perception of truth, while the other rests its case on scientific facts.
Yes, there are ways of knowing truth that the "scientific method" refuses to consider.
THE FIVE-POINT METHOD —Scientists make experiments, analyze results, and arrive at conclusions. In doing so, they tend to follow a five-point pattern, which they call "the scientific method:"
- State the problem.
- Form the hypothesis, or tentative conclusion.
- Observe and experiment.
- Interpret the data.
- Draw conclusions.
It is clear that the second approach, which we described above, fits this normal "scientific method" pattern quite well. A flaw in the five-point statement of the scientific method is that it does not state the normative assumptions which the scientist begins with. Yet they are always present, nonetheless, even though unspoken. One cannot arrive at conclusions without normative positions to compare them with. Many scientists begin their research with a prejudicial (pre-judged) assumption that mindless matter can create and organize, but nothing could be made by a powerful, super-intelligent Creator. Only the one willing to candidly consider all the facts will be willing to admit the impossibility of self-creation and self-evolution. Only he will refuse to make twin gods out of chance and time.
INDUCTIVE AND DEDUCTIVE THINKING—There are two general ways to arrive at conclusions. One is inductive thinking or induction. A person takes specific situations, facts, and discoveries and arrives at generalizations. The formal five-point "scientific method," described above is inductive. Yet, as we have observed, the analyst usually brings with him prior generalizations and assumptions. Thus, he tends to base his inductions on prior deductions. The inductive approach requires repeated observations of an experiment or an event. After observing many different examples, the scientist can draw a general conclusion.
Using only deduction, a man would work from generals to particulars. Conclusions are drawn by logical inference from given premises. A scientist reasons from known scientific principles or rules to draw a conclusion relating to a specific case. The accuracy of a conclusion reached by deductive logic depends on the accuracy of the principles and rules used. Scientists would refer to conclusions of deductive reasoning as valid, rather than true, in order to distinguish clearly between that which follows logically from other statements and that which is the case. The later premises should be consistent with each other and with the original premise.
The scientific method uses a combination of induction and deduction. Using only deduction, a man would tend to ignore past experience. Using only induction, a man would tend to ignore general principles, relationships among facts, and in extreme cases, even the facts themselves (as evolutionists do). By combining both methods, scientific analysis unifies both theory and practice.
Evolutionists tend to ignore both deductive factors (principles, natural laws), and inductive discoveries (scientific facts).
"Charles Darwin claimed to have created his theory of evolution by means of natural selection 'according to the true Baconian principles of induction.' In fact, he did no such thing, but it was customary in his day that a true scientists worked by finding patterns or laws by gathering great quantities of 'facts.' " —*R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 236.
The inductive method gathers the facts and then decides on patterns they form, and laws to be formulated from them. But *Darwin devised theories, irregardless of the facts.
Sedgwick, the well-known geologist who was first to teach *Darwin something about the subject, wrote this to the author of Origin of the Species, just after it was published:
"You have deserted the true method of induction and started off in machinery as wild as Bishop Wilkin's locomotive that was to sail with us to the Moon." —Adam Sedgwick, Letter dated January 1860, to Charles Darwin.
RULES FOR THEORIES—There are rules for drawing up hypotheses or theories. A proper theory should be able to explain, unify, and organize known facts. It should be able to explain why those facts exist or occur. It should be able to unify all relevant facts and bring them together into a cohesive whole. In the process, it should be able to marshal those facts into logical categories.
In addition, the theory should be able to predict new events and open new areas of research.
Creationists are able to unify scientific facts into agreement with one another and with physical—and even moral—laws. Evolutionists, in contrast, spend far too much time trying desperately to find scientific evidence to prop up theories that 150 years of searching has failed to prove.
WHICH THEORY IS ACCURATE?—Does evolution explain the facts found in the stars, in rocks, and in biology. No, it does not. We have witnessed that repeatedly in this set of books. In the next chapter we will consider that problem in somewhat more detail.
Does the whole of evolutionary theory unify the known facts? It does a great job of unifying the various sub-set evolutionary theories in astronomy, earth origins, paleontology, stratigraphy, life origins, botany, and zoology. It has everything all packed in a neat box with a ribbon on top. All the theories are nicely unified and organized. But (1) the theories do not fit the facts, and (2) the apparent unity and organization of the theories only applies to their public presentation. Among scientists, however, there are intense disagreements and open arguments over nearly every aspect of evolutionary theory. We have observed much of that in this set of books also. By far, the greatest number of statements quoted in this set of books against various aspects of evolution were written by non-creationists.
2 - EIGHTEEN FALLACIES Of EVOLUTIONFALLACIES—A fallacy is something which is logically unsound. It can either be a false conclusion, or an incorrect method of arriving at an unsound conclusion. Either one can be the result of accident or deceptive intent.
Formal fallacies are arguments in which the premises (the statements used as evidence) fail to justify or support the conclusion. There are also several types of nonformal fallacies. Let us consider eighteen fallacies used to support the claims of evolutionary theory. We will discuss the first few in more detail to help you grasp the fallacious reasoning. False arguments will be stated in italics:
1 - Fallacy of Relevance. The argument from irrelevance occurs when the conclusion depends on evidence that does not apply to the same point. The next paragraph would be a true statement:
"Scientists do not yet understand the function of certain body organs. In the past, there were large numbers of organs whose purpose was not known; today there are but few. Each decade more and more information has been obtained about various body organs. The obvious conclusion from those facts is that if organic functions are not known, it will only be a matter of time before further research discloses those functions."
In contrast, evolutionists irrelevantly contend that all such organs lack functions entirely! They declare that such organs have not had any functions for thousands of years, and are leftovers from our animal ancestors! That conclusion bears no relation to the facts. A hundred years ago the functions of dozens of organs were unknown. Gradually functions were found; today nearly all human organs have known functions. Yet certain evolutionists continue to declare that those organs are inherently functionless. (See chapter 22.)
2 - Begging the Question. This fallacy occurs when a person presents his own assurance that he is telling the truth as the reason why his statement is true.
(1) "I have been a scientist all my life, and I can tell you that evolution is true."
(2) "Evolution has been fully vindicated and proven by science; I have witnessed this over and over again all my life."
(3) "You can take my word for it, evolution is true."
Repeatedly, in this set of books, we have observed instances of this blockade to careful thinking. Over and over again, evolutionists have maintained in articles and speeches that evolution has been fully proven, and is accepted universally by all reputable scientists. We are to believe these statements because the one telling us is supposed to be a renowned scientist. No other evidence is given, for, indeed, no other evidence for such statements dare be given. (See chapter 31 and 37.)
3 - Misuse of Authority. This error is similar to the one just mentioned. "Because we are the authorities on the matter, therefore what we say is correct. "
The public is asked to ‘just let the scientists decide for you" as to the truth about evolution. But what is needed is evidence, not statements of assurance by scientists. After 150 years of searching for evidence in support of evolution, we need assurance from facts, not assurance from the men searching for the facts. (See chapter 31.)
Evolutionists tell us that "mutations are the cause of beneficial changes in species, and, ultimately, changes across species. This is so, "we are told, "because scientists are sure it is so. " But the evidence does not support the claim. Not one mutation in a million is beneficial, so how could mutations produce useful change—since literally billions of beneficial—and closely inter-related mutations would be needed in order to produce a new species. (See chapter 14.)
4 - False Comparisons. When two items are wrongly compared in an argument, this fallacy occurs.
The peppered moth argument is an example of this. The one species of moth comes in two different colors. "Because birds ate the dark ones on light-bark trees before the 1850s, and have tended to eat the light ones on dark-bark trees since then, therefore this is a powerful evidence that one type of creature evolves into a different type." But in the case of the moths, they are both sub-species of the same peppered moth, and both sub-species existed before 1800, and today both sub-species still exist. Changes within species does not constitute evolution, and in regard to peppered moths, no change within species has occurred, much less across species. (See chapter 13.)
5 - Argumentum ad Populum. This is an argument addressed "to the people." This occurs when popular feelings are pandered to, when people are told what they want to hear—and what they are told is declared to be a "scientific fact."
(1) "Science is progressive and is itself evolutionary"
(2) "Evolution is the belief of moderns. "
(3) "Everyone that is educated believes this theory."
An implication of much of the evolutionary teaching is that our race has raised itself by its own bootstraps and we will eventually be gods, knowing and doing every possible thing, including inter-galactic space travel. All this appeals to the public, and they are assured that evolution must be true. At least, they surely hope so.
6 - Fallacy of Dating. Perhaps we could entitle this one the argumentum ad chronicum. The argument from age (dating fallacy) occurs when something is declared to be so simply by giving it an old date!
All through the pages of this set of books we have repeatedly observed examples of the fallacy of proving evolution simply by dating various substances as very ancient.
(1) Radioactive and other dating techniques are used to provide notoriously inaccurate dates, which are then declared to be correct. (Chapter 7.) These dates are then offered as evidence that evolutionary theory must be true. Yet, not only are the dates inaccurate, but the ancientness of such dates can never provide evidence of biological evolution; only trans-species fossil evidence from the past, and natural selection and mutational evidence today, can provide that—and both have signally failed to do so. (Chapters 13, 14, and 17.)
(2) Without any reason for doing so, fossils and sedimentary strata have been arbitrarily assigned special ancient dates in the hope that this will heighten the impression that there is something "scientific" about evolutionary claims. Yet those fallacious dates provide us with no evidence of biological evolution. (Chapter 17.)
(3) Very ancient dates have been arbitrarily assigned to paleomagnetic findings, on the basis of the erroneous dates claimed for fossils and strata. But, here again, the resultant dates are not evidence for biological evolution (Chapter 26.)
7 - Misuse of Analogy. One occurrence is referred to, and then, by analogy, is made an explanation for a different event, in order to provide evidence for a belief.
*Herbert Spencer (1820-1903), an English philosopher, frequently spoke of the struggle between animals, and then said that, therefore, human beings must continually fight together also. That is a fallacy of analogical proof. (Chapter 33.)
8 - Fallacy of Special Pleading. This fallacy occurs when an individual positively or negatively dramatizes evidence in order to make it look very good or very bad.
One example of this was *Haekel's dramatic lectures, complete with skeletons on the platform and large copies of his fraudulently prepared embryo charts. Another would be the dramatically presented "5-bone limb" charts in public presentations, to indicate evolutionary relationships. Yet, although many diverse creatures have the same number of bones in their arms, forearms, and hands, structural similarity does not demand genetic relationship. In contrast, the DNA barrier forbids one animal from descending from another. (Chapter 21.) We should stay with science, not artful words.
9 - Reasoning in a Circle. Circulus in probando, literally, "a circle in a proof," is the fallacy of circular reasoning. The cause is stated as being the proof of the effect, which normally would be all right,—but in this case, the cause IS the effect! Or A is used to prove B, then B is used to prove A!
Circular reasoning is used several times as a proof of evolutionary theory.
(1) "Because nothing was there, therefore that which exploded was nothing. Because stars were there afterward, they came from that explosion of nothing." (Chapter 1.)
(2) "It took long ages to produce evolution, and we know it occurred because there were long ages while it occurred." (Chapters 7, 9.)
(3) "There was only sand, seawater, lightning, and volcanoes to produce evolution, so we know that is what produced it. "Chapter 9.)
(4) "Only a simple organism could have arisen when life first began; there are simple organisms alive today, so this shows that life began with a simple organism." (Chapters 9, 11.)
(5) "Only the fittest have survived, so the things which have survived are the fittest." (Chapter 13.)
10 - Fallacy of Asserting the Consequences. Because an effect occurred, a certain cause must have taken place. The problem with this thinking is that several different causes could have produced that particular effect: "If It rains, I will get wet. I have gotten wet. Therefore it has rained."
(1) "We know the stars must have evolved out of nothing because they are here now, and they had to come from somewhere." (Chapter 2.)
(2) "The earth must be millions of years old, because evolution requires millions of years." (Chapter 17.)
(3) "The earth must be millions of years old, because scientists, using a score of assumptions, have radiodated it that age." (Chapter 7.)
(4) "Life had to evolve out of non-living materials, for there is no other way plants and animals could have gotten here." (Chapter 9.)
(5) "Mutations were the cause of biological evolution because there is no other means by which it could have been accomplished." (Chapter 14.)
(6) "Everything evolves—stars, earth, plants, animals, and Society—because that is the way it has to be." (Chapter 33.)
11-Argumentum ad Ignorantiam. This is the default fallacy. It is also called the "argument addressed to ignorance." Since one position cannot be proven, it must be the other; since no other position has been proven, ours must be the right one.
(1) "Since creationism could not possibly be true, ours wins by default." (Chapters 37, 29.)
(2) "Since no events in the far distant past can be scientifically falsified, then evolution must clearly be the cause of everything." (Chapter 37.)
(3) "Evolution is the only theory which scientists believe to be correct, therefore it must be the right one." (Chapter 30.)
(4) "A supernatural solution to the problem of origins is impossible—by definition!" (Chapters 29, 30.)
12 - Religious Argument. This is a specialized argument used by evolutionists against creationists. But none of the arguments try to disprove the evidence in its favor. In order to clarify issues, we will use similar arguments: "People who wear mustaches believe in evolution, therefore it is not true." "Evolution mentions dinosaurs, therefore it could not be correct." "Evolutionists are often not Christians, therefore it cannot be true." Here are some of the actual arguments used:
(1) "Creationism cannot be correct because it is also found in the Bible." (Chapters 30, 29, 34.)
(2) "Creationism cannot be correct because many religious people believe it." (Chapters 30, 29, 34.)
(3) "Creationism cannot be correct because it assumes a belief in God." (Chapters 30, 29, 34.)
(4) "Creationism cannot be correct because it is moralistic and teaches morals." (Chapters 30, 29, 34.)
13 - Wrong Observations. This argument arises when the observed event does not match the conclusion that is made about it.
The "creation of life" experiments would be an example of this. Because some chemicals were used to produce traces of inert, non-living amino acids, therefore the evolutionists proclaimed in the public press that "life has been created by mankind!" (See chapter 9.)
14 - Argument by General Consent. This is the argument that something is true because "everybody believes it."
(1) "There can be no doubt that evolution is true, for everybody believes it today. " (Chapters 30, 3334).
(2) "Everyone knows that we evolved; what's wrong with you?" (Chapters 30, 33-34).
15 - Fallacy of False Cause. This is the error of attributing one cause to a different effect.
"Only mutations cause change in the genes, therefore evolution occurred." (Chapter 14.)
16 - Argument from Distorted Science. This is a valued argument of the evolutionists: the declaration that science teaches that which it does not teach—and then use that as evidence in favor of evolution.
(1) "The earth is an open system, therefore the second law of thermodynamics does not apply to it." (Chapter 25.)
(2) "Neither stellar nor earthly evolution is governed by laws that we know today, therefore it is outside the realm of empirical science, proofs, predictions, and falsification." (Chapter 25.)
(3) "Evolution has been as fully proven as the atom and all the other laws of nature." (Chapter 31.)
17 -Argumentum ad Baculum. This is the "argument of the club." It is simple and to the point: "Either you agree with me or I will cause you great injury. "
(1) "Either you change your thesis or we will have to drop you from the graduate program." (Chapters 29-30, 33-34.)
(2) "If you do not support the policies of this research center, you will be discharged. " (Chapters 29-30, 33-34.)
(3) "You are to conduct this experiment and find the evidence we discussed and develop the assigned conclusion, or else." (Chapters 29-30, 3334.)
(4) "Either your administration comes into line, or no further grants will be given to your institution." (Chapters 29-30, 33-34.)
18 - Fallacy of False Relationships. This is the error of proving a relationship on the basis of inadequate evidence.
(1) "Hydrogen must have clumped together to form stars, for how else could they have gotten there?" (Chapter 2.)
(2) "It was predicted that if rough background radiation with a temperature of 5K was found, that would prove the Big Bang; perfectly smooth background radiation with a different temperature was later discovered, so that proves that the Big Bang occurred." (Chapter 1.)
(3) "All the planets have six of the 92 elements, so this indicates common origin." (Chapter 23.)
(4) "Because different species have similarities, therefore they must have had a common ancestor. "
(5) "Because mutated fruit flies have produced damaged wings, therefore evolution was caused by mutations." (Chapter 14.)
(6) "All living things have cells, therefore they must have come from a common source. " (Chapter 11.)
(7) "All living things are interdependent, so this shows evolution." (Chapter 23.)
(8) "Rock strata time charts prove long ages. " (Chapter 17.)
(9) "Migration of populations into new areas has occurred, therefore this is an evidence of evolution." (Chapter 27.)
(10) "Aging changes in the lifetime of an individual is a proof of evolution." (Chapter 23.)
(11) "Woodpeckers punch holes in trees, so they must have evolved this ability. " (Chapter 23.)
(12) "Man with careful planning can selectively breed new sub-species of dogs, therefore random mutations can develop new species." (Chapter 23.)
(13) "There are various species of extinct animals, therefore evolution must have occurred." (Chapter 17.)
(14) "Owls eat the white mice first, and this is an evidence of evolution." (Chapter 23).
(15) "Different creatures are found in different places in the world, therefore evolution occurred. " (Chapter 27.)
(16) "Because there are several different creatures that looked like horses (although they had differing numbers of ribs, etc.), therefore horses evolved." (Chapter 23.)
(17) "The earliest organisms were smaller and slower, and the later ones were larger and faster, therefore only evolution could explain why that happened." (Chapter 17.)
(18) "A larger number of species are found in the higher strata than in the lower, therefore evolution must have occurred." (Chapter 17.)
(19) "Charles Darwin proved evolution, therefore we know it occurred." (Chapter 29.)
(20) "Variations exist among people (eye color, height, etc.), therefore evolution occurred. " (Chapter 23.)
(21) "Geographic isolation produces changes within species, therefore evolution across species occurred." (Chapter 27.)
(22) "Predators kill animals, and this is an evidence of evolution." (Chapter 23.)
(23) "Teeth become smaller with age, and this reveals evolutionary change." (Chapter 23.)
(24) "Flowers, insects, etc., mimic one another in shape, color, etc., therefore this is an evidence of evolution." (Chapter 23.)
(25) "A Devonian fish must have climbed out of the water and become an animal, and this would be another evidence of evolution." (Chapter 23.)
(26) "Evolution has been nearly established, for we will soon have found the missing link of man." (Chapter 18.)
(27) "Given enough time evolution will occur, and we know from theories about fossils and strata that long ages have indeed occurred." (Chapter 17.)
(28) "Minks change color in the winter, therefore evolution has occurred among minks." (Chapter 23.)
(29) "We know that man has lived on earth for long ages, for we have found stone arrowheads and other stone artifacts." (Chapter 18.)
(30) "Dinosaurs once lived on the earth and later they became extinct, therefore evolution has occurred." (Chapter 17, 19.)
(31) "At an earlier time some people lived in caves, therefore they must have been very ancient and evolution must have occurred." (Chapter 18.)
(32) "Evolutionary theory is not under natural law, therefore it could easily have occurred." (Chapter 25.)
(33) "Evolutionary theory cannot be proven, therefore it cannot be denied." (Chapter 37.)
(34) "Evolution is non-refutable, and is therefore outside the realm of falsification." (Chapter 37.)
3 - CONCLUSION
IT IS UNSAFE TO TWIST EVIDENCE—It all began with Darwin. *Charles Darwin was very willing to twist evidence to prove concepts, and propound theories with no evidence at all. Perhaps tongue in cheek, *Cannon says that that proves Darwin must have been one of the "great men," simply because he got away with it.
"Here I think we will eventually find the secret of Darwin's greatness, in two traits not always praised in theories of 'how to conduct yourself scientifically’: One is Darwin's notorious habit of jumping to conclusions without adequate evidence. He developed his coral reef theory, we remember, before examining coral reefs. The other is that of stubbornly maintaining his theories regardless of the valid arguments and evidence that could be brought against them . .
"These are procedures to be recommended, of course, only to the great; and I come to the regrettable conclusion that science takes great strides forward not primarily from laborious research, but rather when some biased person maintains his intuitions in public, and when, thereafter, generations of scientists find that some of these intuitions do actually illuminate whatever work they are doing." —*W. Cannon, "The Bases of Darwin's Achievement: A Revaluation, " in Victorian Studies 5, p. 109 (1981).
*Darwin set a pattern that his devotees have adhered to throughout the years that have followed. But they have no other recourse. They may modify it ever so slightly, grumble about it among themselves, curse it in private—but they dare not publicly forsake "the theory." Decade after decade passes, and hope continually lessens that they will ever overcome the growing mountain of evidence against Darwin's gift to them. The situation steadily worsens as the crucially needed evidence in its favor continues to elude them. So they go to the other extreme, declare it to be irrefutable, and therefore above all contradiction. Evolutionists are trying give their decrepit theory an immortality beyond that of logic and reasons, evidence or causes. They are trying to lift it out of the reach of normal scientific investigation and place it on a pedestal where men may bow before it, without danger of laboratory research or field investigation. Pitman and McCann summarize it well:
"Recent doubts about the efficacy of Darwinian methods of evolution (such as natural selection) have led some biologists to uncouple alleged causes from the phenomenon itself. Even if Darwin was wrong, they argue, the phenomenon of evolution has occurred. However, if we have evolution without being able to properly explain its mechanisms, we are back to where we were in pre-Darwinian days. The idea is like a hollow shell, without substance." —Michael Pitman, Adam and Evolution (1984), p. 22
"Darwinists, going back to Darwin himself, perhaps being aware of this attitude of forbearance on the part of most scientists [to reply to sub-set theories outside their own field), are particularly quick at summoning up imaginative answers to any challenging questions. They readily come forth with the quick answer, whether or not there is the least bit of supporting evidence that such an answer is correct. Thus, we frequently see Darwinists using the 'it could be' technique. They seem to feel that if they can fabulize something that 'could be' then that is good enough. Too often, even in science, this tack works.
"On the other hand, if an 'it-could-be' answer draws embarrassing questions and represents a serious challenge, they quickly shift ground and fabricate another 'it could be' answer. Then, if an 'it could be' answer manages to go unchallenged, they tend to take this as acceptance, and gradually the 'it could be' explanation becomes an 'it is' answer. Darwinists generally give little evidence of feeling responsible for proving their points. This somewhat cavalier attitude towards the need for proof would not be tolerated for anyone else in science.
"Then, the Darwinist's bold assumption that they, like the proverbial King, are always right regardless of the facts, plus the confident presumption that if supporting facts are not there, that sooner or later such facts will be forthcoming, serve to stifle doubters.
"LL. Cohen in his recent book says, ' . . I am troubled with the rigid, dogmatic position taken by a number of evolutionists. They imply that they—and they alone—know the "truth." As such, any further questioning is considered superfluous.' " —Lester J. McCann, Blowing the Whistle on Darwinism (1988 pp. 98-99. [quotation from L.L. Cohen, Darwin was Wrong: A Study in Probabilities (1985) pp. 8-7.]
Charles Babbage (1792-1871), the inventor of the first true modern calculator, analyzed deliberate scientific error over a century ago.
"The 19th century scientist, Charles Babbage—a creationist by the way—did an an analytical study of the problem of fraud in science. He found that there are three basic types. Scientists can and do record observations which never took place. A second type of fraud is to ignore those observations which don't fit the average. A third type of fraud is called `cooking'—where only the data which fits the hypothesis is used and the rest is ignored." —P.A. Bartz, Letting God Create Your Day Vol. 1, No. 1 (1989), p. 47.
DARWIN'S METAPHORS—Did you know *Charles Darwin has his own psychiatrist? However, they never met. *Ralph Colp, Jr (1924- ) is a New York City psychiatrist who in 1959, a century after the publication of Darwin's Origin, became interested in Darwin's physical problem. Charles was a robust young man during his 5-year Beagle voyage, but ever afterward was a near-invalid. (This physical problem is discussed near the end of chapter 29 (History of Evolutionary Theory).
In the course of his research, Colp has uncovered and collated large amounts of data on Darwin. In one of his published journal articles on Darwin, Colp discusses the metaphors Darwin used to explain his theories. Metaphors can be used as method of reasoning. Let us briefly consider three of Charles Darwin's metaphors. In the process we will be able to better see the illogic of his position:
1- The evolution of species from a common ancestor is like a tree with a large trunk, over a dozen sizable branches which separate off into smaller ones, and those into still smaller ones, which finally end—out on the tips of the branches in the twigs—in our present species.
That metaphor is false, for it is not based on scientific facts: Both paleontological and present-day research reveals only fixed species, and no ancestral derivatives. There are only twigs, and nothing else—now and earlier. Extinction of species has occurred, but no evolution of species. In addition, each species suddenly appears in the fossil record with no antecedent life forms leading up to it. And each past species is either extinct or identical to species now living.
2 - Nature is like a stock breeder, who carefully selects variations that improve or adapt species, while just as carefully discarding other variations. But there is a difference here: Whereas the human breeder can only select for outward appearance, nature can select for all of the internal organs as well, producing new ones in the process.
That illustration is also false: (1) A stock breeder has intelligence; nature does not. Random accidents never improve. (2) Once the species was created, then it could vary in accordance with its built-in DNA coding. That could indeed occur by random genetic variation, but only within the species barrier imposed by the DNA code. One species could not change into another, and without species change there can be no evolution.
3 - The evolution of the species is like a thousand dry wedges driven into a great tree—that ultimately splits it open. Many small causes and changes effectively transform one species into another, and thus evolution proceeds.
Here we have another error in reasoning: Wedges may split open a tree, but nothing can take one interrelated and complex DNA species code—and transform it into another. We acknowledge that Darwin knew nothing about Mendelian or DNA genetics, but ignorance is no excuse. Simplistic metaphors were used by Darwin as evidence favoring species change, when he had in hand no FACTS of species change, and none existed anywhere in nature or in the strata.
For more on Darwin's imaginative "science" writing, see Gillian Beer, Darwin's Plots: Evolutionary Narrative in Darwin, George Eliot and Nineteenth-Century Fiction, and Stanley Hymen, The Tangled Bank Darwin, Marx; Frazer and Freud as Imaginative Writers.
ERROR OF GESTALTISM—So-called "Gestalt psychology" is more of a recognition of a single human method of perception, than it is a psychological system of analysis. When you see two dots near each other, with a concave line below them, you think you see a happy face—even though all you actually see are three marks on a paper. That is Gestaltism.
Intriguingly, a primary error of evolutionary theory is seeing a few dabs of paint—and imagining an entire picture is there. A few facts are seized upon, and an entire world view is invented.
"Smaller, slower creatures are found in lower portions of the sedimentary strata, and larger, faster ones higher up. Therefore, all the creatures in the world evolved, and the bigger ones evolved out of the smaller ones!"
Yet a variety of evidence clearly indicates that all the sedimentary strata was laid down under flood conditions, then packed, and dried. Overwhelming evidence from genetic and mutations studies powerfully reveal the impossibility of evolving speciation. Yet men persist in Gestalting; transforming a few bits and pieces into an imagined, comprehensive whole.
FACING THE FACTS—Some men are willing to face facts; others prefer that which has no basis in fact.
Thinking that if he says it enough, it might convince someone, *Ruse proclaims to the public:
"Evolution is a fact, fact, FACT!" —*Michael Ruse, Darwinism Defended (1982), p. 58.
But genuine scientists have something far different to say about evolution in relation to "facts." One of them, *Denton, put it this way:
"The overriding supremacy of the myth has created a widespread illusion that the theory of evolution was all but proved one hundred years ago and that all subsequent biological research—paleontological, zoological and in the newer branches of genetics and molecular biology has provided ever-increasing evidence for Darwinian ideas. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is that the evidence was so patchy one hundred years ago that even Darwin himself had increasing doubts as to the validity of his views, and the only aspect of his theory which has received any support over the past century is where it applies to microevolutionary phenomena. His general theory, that all life on earth had originated and evolved by a gradual successive accumulation of fortuitous mutations, is still, as it was in Darwin's time, a highly speculative hypothesis entirely without direct factual support and very far from that self-evident axiom some of its more aggressive advocates would have us believe." —*Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (1985), p. 327.
*Pierre-Paul de Grasse says this:
"Present-day ultra-Darwinism, which is so sure of itself, impresses incompletely informed biologists, misleads them, and inspires fallacious interpretations . .
"Through use and abuse of hidden postulates, of bold, often ill-founded extrapolations, a pseudoscience has been created. It is taking root in the very heart of biology and is leading astray many biochemists and biologists, who sincerely believe that the accuracy of fundamental concepts has been demonstrated, which is not the case. "—*P.P. Grasse, The Evolution of Living Oganisms, (1977), p. 202.
Matthews adds his comments:
"In accepting evolution as fact, how many biologists pause to reflect that science is built upon theories that have been proved by experiment to be correct, or remember that the theory of animal evolution has never been thus approved." —*L. H. Matthews, Introduction, Origin of Species, Charles Darwin, (1971 edition).
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CHAPTER 38 - FALLACIES OF EVOLUTION