Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Debunking Creationist Nonsense. Again.

Our intrepid commenter, noone, left a comment that got stuck in the moderation queue. Since it’s moving way down the page, I’m moving it up here to continue the debunking. Not because I’m going to convince noone, of course; frankly, anyone who credulously cuts and pastes the nonsense he is using probably isn’t capable of thinking logically in the first place. But it’s still useful to debunk that nonsense for the benefit of others who might be reading. All he’s doing is linking to videos, which are pointless. Let’s actually discuss the evidence. Here’s his first claim:



The theory of evolution, which claims that birds evolved from reptiles, is unable to explain the huge differences between these two different living classes. This is a great video but it comes from the creationist viewpoint

This video is actually quite amusing to watch. The utter bullshit begins right up front, where some ignorant git claims that no species has ever evolved through mutation and selection. This is a claim that even the staunchest young earth creationist no longer makes (indeed, their model requires speciation at staggering, mind-boggling rates in order to get, in some cases, hundreds of thousands of distinct species from two of the original “kind” on the ark 4500 years ago).

The problem with this claim about “huge differences” between reptiles and birds is that it compares the modern forms of those animals instead of the ancestral forms. The first examples of a new phyla (in this case, a class) are always virtually identical to the phyla from which it splits off. Over time, as the daughter species spreads and diversifies, the ancestral and daughter phyla become increasingly distinct due to the emergence of new traits.

Thus, looking at modern birds and comparing them to modern reptiles is absolutely meaningless. Of course there are huge differences between them, they’ve evolved independent of one another for more than 100 million years. All of those distinct traits didn’t pop into being all at once; tens of millions of years and the splitting off of hundreds of new species. So let’s compare the first birds to the theropod dinosaurs they evolved from; that is a meaningful comparison.

Not only were the first birds virtually indistinguishable from theropod dinosaurs, they were theropod dinosaurs. We now have so many species of feathered theropods identified in the fossil record that it’s virtually impossible to draw a line between them and say “this is when they became birds.” One need only look at the oldest example we have, Archaeopteryx, which was classified as a reptile until a specimen with preserved feathers was identified. Archy had almost all reptilian traits, such as:

1. No bill (modern birds have them, Archy did not)
2. Teeth (modern birds don’t have them, Archy did; interestingly, in their embryonic stage, modern birds to have tooth buds like their ancestors, but they are reabsorbed)
3. A cerebellum in back of the mid-brain rather than on top of it (reptiles have this; in modern birds it is enlarged and moved forward)
4. The foramen magnum (the hole at the base of the skull) is more horizontal than vertical, common to reptiles but not birds
5. A bony tail with unfused vertebrae
6. A reptilian pelvic girdle
7. Free foot bones

There are many more, but the point is that the earliest birds were so indistinguishable from theropod dinosaurs that it is entirely an academic question where you draw the lines between them. Over time, as new species evolve, they become increasingly diversified, more like modern birds and less like reptiles. All of this is exactly what evolution predicts; indeed, if that was not the case evolution would be falsified. And this pattern repeats itself in every single higher level taxa.

MD Oktar Babuna talks abour fossils. Life emerged on earth suddenly and in complex forms. A fossil is the remains or traces of a plant or animal that have been preserved in the Earth’s crust down to the present day. Fossils collected from all over the world are our most important source of information about the species that have existed on Earth since life began. All these specimens manifest one single truth: Living things did not come into being through the fictitious processes of the theory of evolution, but were created in a single moment.

Pure boilerplate without a single substantive argument. In fact, the fossil record is powerful evidence of evolution. Should our intrepid commenter decide to return, I will give him the same challenge I have given to dozens of creationists without ever getting a response. The only possible way to explain the fossil record is evolution. Here’s the challenge:

If evolution is true, and each of these major animal groups split off from the previous one, then what would we expect? Well, we would expect that since each of these new groups split off from an already existing one, the order of appearance within those groups should be as conspicuous as the order of appearance in general. If the first amphibians split off from fish, then the first amphibians could only be slightly different than fish; if birds evolved from reptiles, then the first birds must have been very similar to reptiles; and so forth. And what does the fossil record show? Precisely that. The first amphibians to appear are the most fish-like, so much so that they retained internal gills and were still primarily aquatic. Over time, amphibians become more and more diversified and less fish-like, with later forms being successively more terrestrial and less aquatic. The first birds to appear are so reptile-like that they would be classified as theropod dinosaurs if not for the feathers. We now have multiple feathered theropod species to bridge the gap, and they all appear very early and share most of their traits with reptiles, not with modern birds. Over time, they diversified and became less reptile-like. The same can be said of the first mammals, which are so identical to the therapsid reptiles that they evolved from that where exactly you draw the line between the two groups is largely academic. And just like the other lineages, they start out with only one or two species that looks just like their presumed ancestor, then over time new branches appear that are successively less like those ancestors and more like modern mammals. This is exactly what evolution would predict. Indeed, if it wasn’t that way, evolution would be falsified. If modern birds appeared all at once in the fossil record, with entirely avian skeletal structure and feathers and fully adapted for powered flight, there would be no way to link them to reptiles, and the same is true of every other major animal group. But they don’t appear that way, and the order in which they do appear is precisely what evolution predicts.

This is called “biostratigraphy”. As you go up the geologic column, from older strata to more recent strata, the types of plants and animals that you find fossilized within them change rather dramatically, but they change in a very specific pattern. In the oldest rocks you find nothing but bacteria and the chemical traces thereof, and that continues for over 2 billion years of the earth’s history. Then you find simple multi-celled organisms in the form of algal stromatolites. Then in the late Precambrian, more complex life forms begin to appear, all marine invertebrates. The pattern continues in this basic order: hemichordates –> chordates –>jawless fishes –> jawed fishes –> amphibians –> reptiles –> birds and mammals. That’s a very rough overview, of course, and there is a lot of detail to be filled in. But the important fact here is that the order of appearance is exactly what one would predict if evolution is true, and within each of those major animal groups we find the same predicted order. How does anything other than evolution explain this order?

noone seems to think that cutting and pasting boilerplate rhetoric from creationist sites actually means something.


  1. #1 noone
    January 28, 2008

    Looking for academics ?

    You may have noticed that evolutionists often attack the scientific credentials
    of any scientist who rejects the theory of evolution.

    There is no question that some of the most famous scientists of all times
    believed in creation. Ann Lamont has written a book entitled 21 Great Scientists
    Who Believed The Bible. She devotes chapters to Kepler, Boyle, Newton, Linnaeus,
    Euler, Faraday, Babbage, Joule, Pasteur, Kelvin, Maxwell, and Werner von Braun.
    These men weren’t dummies, and they believed in creation.
    Here are a few more “academics” to ad to the list.

    Dr Raymond V. Damadian – Inventor of the MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
    Dr. John R. Baumgardner (Geophysicist)
    Dr Ian Macreadie (Molecular Biologist and Microbiologist)
    Dr. Raymond Jones (Agricultural Scientist)
    Dr. A.E. Wilder-Smith (3 Doctorates and a 3-star NATO General)
    Dr. Robert Gentry (nuclear physicist)
    Emeritus Professor Tyndale John Rendle-Short – From (theistic) evolution to creation
    Charlie Lieberts – (Chemist)
    Dr. Gary Parker (Biologist)
    Dr. D. Russell Humphreys (Physicist)
    Dr. Alan Galbraith (Watershed Science)
    Dr. Donald Batten (Agriculturist)
    Dr. David Catchpoole (Plant Physiologist)
    Dr. Robert V. Gentry – (Physicist)
    # Gerald E. Aardsma (physicist and radiocarbon dating)

    # Louis Agassiz (helped develop the study of glacial geology and of ichthyology)

    # Alexander Arndt (analytical chemist, etc.) [more info]

    # Steven A. Austin (geologist and coal formation expert) [more info]

    # Charles Babbage (helped develop science of computers / developed actuarial tables and the
    calculating machine)

    # Francis Bacon (developed the Scientific Method)

    # Thomas G. Barnes (physicist) [more info]

    # Robert Boyle (helped develop sciences of chemistry and gas dynamics)

    # Wernher von Braun (pioneer of rocketry and space exploration)

    # David Brewster (helped develop science of optical mineralogy)

    # Arthur V. Chadwick (geologist) [more info]

    # Melvin Alonzo Cook (physical chemist, Nobel Prize nominee) [more info]

    # Georges Cuvier (helped develop sciences of comparative anatomy and vertebrate

    # Humphry Davy (helped develop science of thermokinetics)

    # Donald B. DeYoung (physicist, specializing in solid-state, nuclear science and
    astronomy) [more info]

    # Henri Fabre (helped develop science of insect entomology)

    # Michael Faraday (helped develop science of electromagnetics / developed the
    Field Theory / invented the electric generator)

    # Danny R. Faulkner (astronomer) [more info]

    # Ambrose Fleming (helped develop science of electronics / invented thermionic

    # Robert V. Gentry (physicist and chemist) [more info]

    # Duane T. Gish (biochemist) [more info]

    # John Grebe (chemist) [more info]

    # Joseph Henry (invented the electric motor and the galvanometer / discovered

    # William Herschel (helped develop science of galactic astronomy / discovered
    double stars / developed the Global Star Catalog)

    # George F. Howe (botanist) [more info]

    # D. Russell Humphreys (award-winning physicist) [more info]

    # James P. Joule (developed reversible thermodynamics)

    # Johann Kepler (helped develop science of physical astronomy / developed the
    Ephemeris Tables)

    # John W. Klotz (geneticist and biologist) [more info]

    # Leonid Korochkin (geneticist) [more info]

    # Lane P. Lester (geneticist and biologist) [more info]

    # Carolus Linnaeus (helped develop sciences of taxonomy and systematic biology /
    developed the Classification System)

    # Joseph Lister (helped develop science of antiseptic surgery)

    # Frank L. Marsh (biologist) [more info]

    # Matthew Maury (helped develop science of oceanography/hydrography)

    # James Clerk Maxwell (helped develop the science of electrodynamics)

    # Gregor Mendel (founded the modern science of genetics)

    # Samuel F. B. Morse (invented the telegraph)

    # Isaac Newton (helped develop science of dynamics and the discipline of
    calculus / father of the Law of Gravity / invented the reflecting telescope)

    # Gary E. Parker (biologist and paleontologist) [more info]

    # Blaise Pascal (helped develop science of hydrostatics / invented the

    # Louis Pasteur (helped develop science of bacteriology / discovered the Law of
    Biogenesis / invented fermentation control / developed vaccinations and

    # William Ramsay (helped develop the science of isotopic chemistry / discovered
    inert gases)

    # John Ray (helped develop science of biology and natural science)

    # Lord Rayleigh (helped develop science of dimensional analysis)

    # Bernhard Riemann (helped develop non-Euclidean geometry)

    # James Simpson (helped develop the field of gynecology / developed the use of

    # Nicholas Steno (helped develop the science of stratigraphy)

    # George Stokes (helped develop science of fluid mechanics)

    # Charles B. Thaxton (chemist) [more info]

    # William Thompson (Lord Kelvin) (helped develop sciences of thermodynamics and
    energetics / invented the Absolute Temperature Scale / developed the
    Trans-Atlantic Cable)

    # Larry Vardiman (astrophysicist and geophysicist) [more info]

    # Leonardo da Vinci (helped develop science of hydraulics)

    # Rudolf Virchow (helped develop science of pathology)

    # A.J. (Monty) White (chemist) [more info]

    # A.E. Wilder-Smith (chemist and pharmacology expert) [more info]

    # John Woodward (helped develop the science of paleontology)

    University of California law professor, Phillip Johnson, who holds an endowed
    chair at Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley.

    Present Creationist Scientists:

    Present Creationist Scientists–Individuals on this list must posess a doctorate in a science-related field
    Please also see: Past Creationist Scientists

    * Dr Paul Ackerman, Psychologist
    * Dr Steve Austin, Geologist
    * Dr S.E. Aw, Biochemist
    * Dr Thomas Barnes, Physicist
    * Dr Don Batten, Plant physiologist, tropical fruit expert
    * Dr John Baumgardner, Geophysicist, expert in supercomputer modeling of plate tectonics
    * Dr Jerry Bergman, Psychologist
    * Dr Kimberly Berrine, Microbiology & Immunology
    * Prof. Vladimir Betina, Microbiology, Biochemistry & Biology
    * Dr Raymond G. Bohlin, Creationist Biologist
    * Dr Andrew Bosanquet, Biology, Microbiology
    * Dr David R. Boylan, Chemical Engineer
    * Prof. Linn E. Carothers, Associate Professor of Statistics
    * Dr David Catchpoole, Creationist Plant Physiologist
    * Prof. Sung-Do Cha, Physics
    * Dr Eugene F. Chaffin, Professor of Physics
    * Dr Choong-Kuk Chang, Genetic Engineering
    * Prof. Jeun-Sik Chang, Aeronautical Engineering
    * Dr Donald Chittick, Physical Chemist
    * Prof. Chung-Il Cho, Biology Education
    * Dr Harold Coffin, Palaeontologist
    * Dr Bob Compton, DVM
    * Dr Ken Cumming, Biologist
    * Dr Jack W. Cuozzo, Dentist
    * Dr Malcolm Cutchins, Aerospace Engineering
    * Dr Lionel Dahmer, Organic Chemistry
    * Dr Raymond V. Damadian, M.D., Pioneer of magnetic resonance imaging
    * Dr Chris Darnbrough, Biochemist
    * Dr Douglas Dean, Biological Chemistry
    * Prof. Stephen W. Deckard, Assistant Professor of Education
    * Dr David A. DeWitt, Biology, Biochemistry, Neuroscience
    * Dr Don DeYoung, Astronomy, atmospheric physics, M.Div
    * Dr Geoff Downes, Creationist Plant Physiologist
    * Dr Ted Driggers
    * Dr André Eggen, Creationist geneticist
    * Prof. Dennis L. Englin, Professor of Geophysics
    * Prof. Danny Faulkner, Astronomy
    * Prof. Carl B. Fliermans, Professor of Biology
    * Prof. Robert H. Franks, Associate Professor of Biology
    * Dr Duane Gish, Biochemist
    * Dr Werner Gitt, Information Scientist
    * Dr Dianne Grocott, Creationist Psychiatrist
    * Dr Stephen Grocott, Creationist Industrial Chemist
    * Dr Donald Hamann, Food Scientist
    * Dr Barry Harker, Philosopher
    * Dr Charles W. Harrison, Applied Physicist, Electromagnetics
    * Dr George Hawke, Creationist Environmental Scientist
    * Dr Margaret Helder, Science Editor, Creationist Botanist
    * Dr Harold R. Henry, Engineer
    * Dr Jonathan Henry, Astronomy
    * Dr Joseph Henson, Entomologist
    * Robert A. Herrmann, Professor of Mathematics, US Naval Academy
    * Dr Kelly Hollowell, Molecular and Cellular Pharmacologist
    * Dr Ed Holroyd, III, Atmospheric Science
    * Dr Russell Humphreys, Physicist
    * Dr Pierre Jerlström, Creationist Molecular Biologist
    * Dr Jonathan W. Jones, Plastic Surgeon
    * Dr Raymond Jones, Creationist Agricultural Scientist
    * Prof. Leonid Korochkin, Molecular Biology
    * Dr Valery Karpounin, Mathematical Sciences, Logics, Formal Logics
    * Dr Dean Kenyon, Biologist
    * Prof. Gi-Tai Kim, Biology
    * Prof. Harriet Kim, Biochemistry
    * Prof. Jong-Bai Kim, Biochemistry
    * Prof. Jung-Han Kim, Biochemistry
    * Prof. Jung-Wook Kim, Environmental Science
    * Prof. Kyoung-Rai Kim, Analytical Chemistry
    * Prof. Kyoung-Tai Kim, Genetic Engineering
    * Prof. Young-Gil Kim, Materials Science
    * Prof. Young In Kim, Engineering
    * Dr John W. Klotz, Biologist
    * Dr Vladimir F. Kondalenko, Cytology/Cell Pathology
    * Dr Leonid Korochkin, M.D., Genetics, Molecular Biology, Neurobiology
    * Prof. Jin-Hyouk Kwon, Physics
    * Prof. Myung-Sang Kwon, Immunology
    * Prof. John Lennox, Mathematics
    * Dr John Leslie, Biochemist
    * Prof. Lane P. Lester, Biologist, Genetics
    * Dr Alan Love, Chemist
    * Dr Ian Macreadie, Creationist molecular biologist and microbiologist:
    * Dr John Mann, Agriculturist
    * Dr John Marcus, Creationist Molecular Biologist
    * Dr George Marshall, Creationist Eye Disease Researcher
    * Dr Ralph Matthews, Radiation Chemist
    * Prof. Andy McIntosh, Combustion theory, aerodynamics
    * Dr David Menton, Creationist Anatomist
    * Dr Angela Meyer: Creationist Plant Physiologist
    * Dr John Meyer , Physiologist
    * Dr John N. Moore, Science Educator
    * Dr Henry M. Morris, Hydrologist
    * Dr John D. Morris , Geologist
    * Dr Len Morris, Physiologist
    * Dr Graeme Mortimer, Geologist
    * Prof. Hee-Choon No, Nuclear Engineering
    * Dr David Oderberg, Philosopher
    * Prof. John Oller, Linguistics
    * Prof. Chris D. Osborne , Assistant Professor of Biology
    * Dr John Osgood, Medical Practitioner
    * Dr Charles Pallaghy, Botanist
    * Dr Gary E. Parker , Biologist, Cognate in Geology (Paleontology)
    * Dr John Rankin, Cosmologist:
    * Dr A.S. Reece, M.D.
    * Prof. J. Rendle-Short, Pediatrics
    * Dr Jung-Goo Roe, Biology
    * Dr David Rosevear, Chemist
    * Dr Jonathan D. Sarfati, Physical chemist / spectroscopist
    * Dr Joachim Scheven Palaeontologist:
    * Dr Ian Scott, Educator
    * Dr Saami Shaibani, Forensic physicist
    * Dr Young-Gi Shim, Chemistry
    * Prof. Hyun-Kil Shin, Food Science
    * Dr Mikhail Shulgin, Physics
    * Dr Emil Silvestru, Creationist geologist/karstologist
    * Dr Roger Simpson, Engineer
    * Dr Harold Slusher, Geophysicist
    * Dr Andrew Snelling , Geologist
    * Prof. Man-Suk Song, Computer Science
    * Prof. James Stark , Assistant Professor of Science Education
    * Prof. Brian Stone, Engineer
    * Dr Charles Taylor, Linguistics
    * Dr Michael Todhunter, Forest Genetics
    * Dr Lyudmila Tonkonog, Chemistry/Biochemistry
    * Dr Royal Truman, Organic Chemist:
    * Dr Larry Vardiman, Atmospheric Science
    * Prof. Walter Veith, Zoologist
    * Dr Joachim Vetter, Biologist
    * Dr Tas Walker, Mechanical Engineer and Geologist
    * Dr Keith Wanser, Physicist
    * Dr Noel Weeks, Ancient Historian (also has B.Sc. in Zoology)
    * Dr A.J. Monty White, Chemistry/Gas Kinetics
    * Dr Carl Wieland, Medical doctor
    * Dr Clifford Wilson, Psycholinguist and archaeologist
    * Dr Kurt Wise, Palaeontologist
    * Dr Bryant Wood, Creationist Archaeologist
    * Prof. Seoung-Hoon Yang, Physics
    * Dr Thomas (Tong Y.) Yi, Ph.D.,
    * Dr Ick-Dong Yoo, Genetics
    * Dr Sung-Hee Yoon, Biology
    * Dr Patrick Young, Creationist Chemist and Materials Scientist
    * Prof. Keun Bae Yu, Geography
    Just After Darwin

    * Richard Owen (1804-1892) Zoology; Paleontology
    * Matthew Maury (1806-1873) Oceanography, Hydrography (probably believed in an old-earth)
    * Louis Agassiz (1807-1873) Glaciology, Ichthyology
    * Henry Rogers (1808-1866) Geology
    * John Murray (1808-1892) Publisher
    * James Glaisher (1809-1903) Meteorology
    * Philip H. Gosse (1810-1888) Ornithologist; Zoology
    * Sir Henry Rawlinson (1810-1895) Archeologist
    * James Simpson (1811-1870) Gynecology, Anesthesiology
    * James Dana (1813-1895) Geology
    * Sir Joseph Henry Gilbert (1817-1901) Agricultural Chemist
    * James Joule (1818-1889) Thermodynamics
    * Thomas Anderson (1819-1874) Chemist
    * Charles Piazzi Smyth (1819-1900) Astronomy
    * George Stokes (1819-1903) Fluid Mechanics
    * John William Dawson (1820-1899) Geology
    * Rudolph Virchow (1821-1902) Pathology
    * Gregor Mendel (1822-1884) (WOH) Genetics
    * Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) (WOH) Bacteriology, Biochemistry; Sterilization; Immunization
    * Henri Fabre (1823-1915) Entomology of living insects
    * William Thompson, Lord Kelvin (1824-1907) Energetics; Absolute temperatures; Atlantic cable
    * William Huggins (1824-1910) Astral spectrometry
    * Bernhard Riemann (1826-1866) Non-Euclidean geometries
    * Joseph Lister (1827-1912) Antiseptic surgery
    * Balfour Stewart (1828-1887) Ionospheric electricity
    * James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879) (WOH) Electrodynamics; Statistical thermodynamics
    * P.G. Tait (1831-1901) Vector analysis
    * John Bell Pettigrew (1834-1908) Anatomist; Physiologist
    * John Strutt, Lord Rayleigh (1842-1919) Similitude; Model Analysis; Inert Gases
    * Sir William Abney (1843-1920) Astronomy
    * Alexander MacAlister (1844-1919) Anatomy
    * A.H. Sayce (1845-1933) Archeologist
    * George Romanes (1848-1894) Biology; Physiology
    * John Ambrose Fleming (1849-1945) Electronics; Electron tube; Thermionic valve

    The Modern Period

    * Dr Clifford Burdick, Geologist
    * George Washington Carver (1864-1943) Inventor
    * L. Merson Davies (1890-1960) Geology; Paleontology
    * Douglas Dewar (1875-1957) Ornithologist
    * Howard A. Kelly (1858-1943) Gynecology
    * Paul Lemoine (1878-1940) Geology
    * Dr Frank Marsh, Biology
    * Edward H. Maunder (1851-1928) Astronomy
    * William Mitchell Ramsay (1851-1939) Archeologist
    * William Ramsay (1852-1916) Isotopic chemistry, Element transmutation
    * Charles Stine (1882-1954) Organic Chemist
    * A. Rendle-Short (1885-1955) Surgeon
    * Sir Cecil P. G. Wakeley (1892-1979) Surgeon
    * Dr Larry Butler, Biochemist
    * Prof. Verna Wright, Rheumatologist (deceased 1997)