Creationist Wisdom #461: Evolution’s Big Problem

No news? That’s okay. We’ve found another letter-to-the-editor. This one appears in the Dallas Morning News and it’s titled Theories of God and evolution; how and why. Theories of god? That’s linguistically sloppy, and it signals that this letter is a good one for our collection.

We don’t like to provide internet visibility for creationists, nor do we like to embarrass people (unless they’re politicians, preachers, or other public figures), so we usually omit the writer’s full name and city. We have no idea who today’s letter-writer is, so we shall use only his first name, which is Chris. We’ll give you a few excerpts from his letter, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

Rich Grant’s comparison of what he labels as the “theory of evolution” and the “theory of God” is the equivalent of comparing apples and oranges.

He’s referring to this earlier letter, Born into beliefs, which says:

[I]sn’t it ironic that so many more people seem to accept the theory of God, without any evidence, than accept the theory of evolution, which is supported by evidence?

Let’s return to Chris’ letter:

The theory of evolution is attempting to determine how everything works, and the theory of God is attempting to determine why everything works.

We’ve seen variations on that, usually distinguishing between science and religion, but it’s good enough. Chris continues:

Science can only determine how things work, not why they work. The reason is because, absent of knowing why mass, energy and space exist and behave as they do, no comprehensive rationales can be given for any consequent phenomena.

That’s clumsy. The laws of nature and scientific theories do explain “consequent phenomena.” But only religion attempts to explain why the laws of nature are the way they are. Anyway, there’s no need to quibble at this point. The good stuff is coming, starting now:

Additionally, evolution is incomplete in many ways. To place complete faith in evolution requires as much faith as that required to believe in intelligent design.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Moving along:

In fact, it requires faith in millions of improbable events, not just one.

Good grief! Yes, each mutation may be considered “improbable,” but they’re all comprehensible, explainable events consistent with our understanding of physics and chemistry. Further, natural selection is an understandable and demonstrable mechanism for filtering out useful mutations from those that are harmful. Yes, the results may seem “improbable,” but unlike miracles, they’re natural events. Another excerpt:

For example, modern-day science has never been able to create life out of a non-life derivative substance.

True. But no creationist has ever demonstrated that it’s impossible. Therefore, however improbable one might consider it, it’s not a miracle. Okay, that was Chris’ first example. The next is where his letter gets really good:

Nor to explain how two completely complementary genders have, time and time again, conveniently showed up at the same locations and at the same times in either eggs or existing physical forms.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! The only other time we’ve seen that argument was at Jack Chick’s website — see Jack Chick: Sex Is Evolution’s Nightmare. There really are creationists who imagine that unless a female for each species were miraculously created, the males would all die out. Just imagine the sudden appearance of the first woman in a population of males. Wow — would she be popular!

Oh wait — the same argument was advanced at ol’ Hambo’s website — see Answers in Genesis: Sex Didn’t Evolve. It seems that sex is a big problem for creationists, in more ways than one.

We’ve arrived the end of Chris’ letter, where he presents the greatest difficulty facing the theory of evolution:

It’s not as simple as: Which came first the chicken or the egg? Rather: Which came first, the two chickens or the two eggs?

So there you are. But we can’t leave you mystified. Here’s a repeat of the simplified explanation of the great mystery that we gave in the post about the Jack Chick article:

The two sexes exist in hermaphrodites. Some hermaphrodites cycle back and forth from one sex to the other. All that needed to happen is that one individual was mutated so that it was stuck in one sex or the other. This wasn’t a reproductive disaster, as that individual could always find a mate (but probably not a permanent one). If the “sticky” mutation perseveres, in future generations there will be some individuals that are always one gender or the other. That’s how it begins.

If you don’t like our explanation, dear reader, you’re free to provide your own. Or you can join Chris, Jack Chick, and ol’ Hambo. It’s up to you.

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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17 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #461: Evolution’s Big Problem

  1. It’s a sign of the gulf between creationists and evolutionists that the two groups resolve the chicken-and-egg question in opposite ways.

    For creationists the chicken comes first, on the fifth day of Creation, and lays eggs later. For evolutionists, the egg comes first: the first chicken emerged from an egg laid by a creature which was not yet quite a chicken though it would have been close).

  2. It’s beginning to get to me. But I’ll try to hold on. Isn’t about time that people stop presenting arguments against creationism/design and calling them arguments against evolution?

    So, we are told, that there is no evidence for design being used in the production of a living thing. (Of course, it is not observed that living things are produced without design being used, but let’s not worry about that.)
    Fine. Maybe someday someone will learn the trick. But let’s just go with what we have today. Design is not enough.

    Therefore, design is enough.??????!!!!!!

    As far as the “chicken or egg” problem, it ought to suffice to point out that this is a long-standing problem with creationism, and the simple solution is that chickens or eggs did not appear suddenly, without precursors. Life, as it first appeared, did not contain either chickens or eggs. To say otherwise is almost Omphalism.

    But really, how can someone actually bring up an argument against crationism/design and think that it an argument against evolution?

    I’d better quit right now.

  3. As a sane person (at least that’s what I tell myself) I am obviously a believer of the science of evolution, However isn’t picking on the creationism folks a little unfair? These mentally deficient folk need our pity and help. At a minimum, sterilization so as to prevent further compromising of the evolutionary process!

  4. It’s obvious the dimwit writing this letter has NO IDEA what theory means or he would not say theory of gawd, but then he’s delusional so that explains a lot.
    And in evilution neither chicken nor egg came 1st. There was gradual changes thru time until someone pointed and said…”chicken!!!” So what was 1st? The dude with the label.

  5. Charles Deetz ;)

    evolution is incomplete in many ways

    Okay, maybe it is, and maybe your examples are even worth discussing, laughable as they are, Chris. But evolution is not incorrect in any way.

  6. @L.Long: Actually, the egg came first, because it had to have had the same DNA as the chicken that hatched therefrom. The egg’s DNA was a blending of DNA from two birds, neither of which was exactly a chicken — close, but not quite a chicken yet.

  7. Curmy observes—

    “But only religion attempts to explain *why* the laws of nature are the way they are.”

    Yes indeed, and what an abysmal attempt it is, too. Blatant question-begging aside, saying “Because Ol’ Grandy made it so and He has a Grand Ol’ Plan and He works in Mysterious Ol’ Ways!” answers exactly nothing, least of all the why of anything.

  8. Re: chicken:
    Is there any resolution not involving either “life changes over time” or Omphalism?

  9. TomS asks about chicken: “Is there any resolution not involving either “life changes over time” or Omphalism?”

    I don’t think there’s a panspermia explanation out there. The basic creationist position would be that the chicken, like everything else, was poofed into existence during creation week, and icky things like eggs and such didn’t happen until later.

  10. SC: “The basic creationist position…”

    That’s only basic position of YEC and some OEC (gap and maybe day-age). One of the most raved-about creationists of the last 20 years (Behe) has plainly stated that he thinks that chickens, humans, dinosaurs, broccoli, etc., are all descended from a designed ancestral cell that lived ~4 billion years ago. Of course, like the YECs and flat-eathers, he never bothered to test his intriguing hypothesis.

    Come to thing about it, what you describe may not even apply to YECs and OECs, otherwise they would not ask which came first, but confidently assert that it was the chicken. As with everything else, it makes much more sense when viewing creationism as a strategy instead of a belief. Whether the chicken/egg meme was thought of by a clueless person who did not notice that it questioned Genesis, or a slick activist hoping to stump his clueless audience, the meme has spread like wildfire, and fulfills Barnum’s observation perfectly.

  11. Frank J observes

    Whether the chicken/egg meme was thought of by a clueless person who did not notice that it questioned Genesis, or a slick activist hoping to stump his clueless audience, the meme has spread like wildfire, and fulfills Barnum’s observation perfectly.

    Actually, it’s a venerable old conundrum: versions of it appear in Aristotle, Plutarch, and others.

  12. Jim Thomerson
    Here are pictures of Spirogyra algae congugating (having sex) The filaments are haploid, (as are sperm and eggs) and congugation forms a diploid zygospore. If we think of the contributing filament as male and the receiving filament as female, I wonder what determines which is which.

  13. A third resolution of the “chicken” problem:
    Neither the chicken nor the egg had a beginning: they have been around forever. Either the world of life is infinite in time, or it has cycles.

  14. “To place complete faith in evolution requires as much faith as that required to believe in intelligent design.”

    Oops, someone needs to tell this clown that evolution takes MORE faith, not just “as much.” Evolution takes more faith than what?

  15. I thought it was the God of the Bible, Who Created one gender first, and then discovered that He had goofed, and created Eve as an afterthought ?

  16. Retired Prof

    _Arthur, Eve was not an afterthought. She was a refinement.

    At least that’s what was implied by the words on a T-shirt worn by one of my feminist colleagues: ADAM WAS A ROUGH DRAFT.

  17. There is this variation on “which came first?” for Bible literalist-inerrantists.

    Which came first, the caterpillar (a land animal, on day 6) or the butterfly (a flying animal, on day 5); the tadpole (a water animal, on day 5) or the frog (a land animal, on day 6); the mosquito larva (a water animal, on day 5), or the adult mosquito (a flying animal, on day 5); the plant-like form of the
    euglena (day 3) or the motive, animal-like form of the euglena (day 6)?