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Creation/Evolution

“Evolution vs. God” review

evol

Recently Ray Comfort’s new film “Evolution vs. God” was uploaded online prior to its official release.  Since it was not enacted by Comfort’s ministry I will not link to it here, but will admit that I was way too curious to stay away.  The major creationist organizations (AIG, ICR, CMI) are all giving extremely high accolades for this project.  I have to admit, even as a creationist, when I first heard that Ray was making an evolution film I was concerned.  I’ve cringed a little at some of his past endeavors to discredit evolution, although I love many of his other approaches.  After seeing it, I must too agree that it is VERY well done.

The promos bill it as devastating to Richard Dawkins.  Without giving too much away, the central theme is that Ray uses a quote by Dawkins that states that “Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence.”  The film spans 30 minutes interviewing leading science professors, atheists, and students who cannot offer any observable evidence beyond modern adaptations within species – thus confirming that large-scale evolution requires faith.  Dawkins may be more in the same boat with his creationist “enemies” than he realizes!

The main criticism will be that Comfort’s company edited the interviews to bolster their own position.  Those criticisms are fine (comes with every documentary out there) but at the same time please offer your evidence for large-scale evolution while you’re at it.

The film officially releases online for free on August 7th, but is available for legal download here: http://www.answersingenesis.org/store/product/evolution-vs-god/?sku=90-2-158 for $19.99 to support its free release.  See the trailer before…

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About Tim

http://www.gracewithsalt.com

Discussion

9 thoughts on ““Evolution vs. God” review

  1. From the trailer they seem to just be taking people out of context and using deceptive editing just like Expelled did. They talk to academics who don’t understand the pundit-like word games they’re playing or that they’re trolling for a quote that sounds a certain way. They demand a transitional form and imply that the scientists saying “we don’t just have one we have countless ones” means there are none, when ray comfort can’t possibly be so ignorant as to not know they exist. Here are some:

    Horses:

    Whales:
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_U49YqeDV4Es/Sfi9_G8W_xI/AAAAAAAAAM4/UX5xBrv-YRc/s400/4.bmp

    Humans/hominids:

    Here’s a prehistoric dino-bird with separate digits (and claws) that darwin specifically predicted should be in the fossil record 2 years before it was discovered.

    That was a century and a half before Ray Comfort claimed no one has ever found a transitional fossil.

    These people are lying to you.

    Posted by agnophilo | July 11, 2013, 9:27 pm
    • Transitional fossil prove nothing. You can’t prove that fossil had any offspring. You are assuming they did. You cannot prove the order. You are assuming based on your **faith** in radiometric dating and modern geologic principles. Just because things fossilize slowly today and stratify in a certain order and time frame, how does that prove that they always have done that? You have to assume they have – since you can no longer observe. Whenever you cannot directly observe, you have to use faith.

      Posted by Tim | July 11, 2013, 9:36 pm
  2. “Transitional fossil prove nothing.”

    I agree. By themselves they mean nothing. But scientists don’t just dig up fossils then come up with a narrative to explain them. They figure out what must exist in the fossil record if a theory is true and what mustn’t and make very specific predictions about the fossil record before the fossils are discovered. That way every fossil unearthed and every genome sequenced and every evolution experiment performed have the potential to falsify or support the theory.

    “You can’t prove that fossil had any offspring.”

    I can’t prove any specific person who lived ten thousand years ago had offspring, but here we all are. You seem to have an all-or-nothing attitude, any one piece of evidence must conclusively prove every aspect of evolution or the theory is false. But science is complicated, different evidence supports different aspects of it. I can show texts written in the last thousand years that show what the english language looked like, how words were spelled etc. Would any one book prove the english language has changed? Couldn’t you claim that wasn’t english but was some other, extinct language? I could show you ten thousand intermediate texts showing gradual changes from ancient writings to modern english and you could reject every one because I couldn’t prove an unbroken chain of communication from that person to a modern person. Would that be reasonable? That is the standard of evidence you are demanding for evolution.

    “You are assuming they did.”

    Every living thing reproduces, that dead animals or their cousins had babies isn’t exactly crazy. Are you suggesting every intermediate form in the fossil record is a freak version of modern animals rather than being a member of a species that exhibited those traits?

    “You cannot prove the order.”

    18 forms of radiometric dating and everything we know about geology says otherwise.

    “You are assuming based on your **faith** in radiometric dating and modern geologic principles.”

    Faith is belief without evidence, science is belief based on evidence. And it’s funny how carbon dating is useless until it’s used to place a biblical manuscript closer to the lifetime of jesus, then it’s perfectly reliable.

    “Just because things fossilize slowly today and stratify in a certain order and time frame, how does that prove that they always have done that?”

    Do you suppose we lived in a different universe five thousand years ago? The universe works the way it works, and everything in nature is consistent with it having been that way for a very, very, very long time. For instance if I look at the sun I see it as it was 8 minutes ago, because it takes light 8 minutes to get here from there. I am essentially looking 8 minutes back in time. There are stars and galaxies ranging from 8 light-minutes away to about 14 billion light years away, and we can measure the physical properties of all of them from the light they emit. There is no indication that the fundamental nature of reality has been different since the very beginning of the universe, and even that was not the universe necessarily behaving differently, it was just under extreme conditions.

    “You have to assume they have – since you can no longer observe. Whenever you cannot directly observe, you have to use faith.”

    All observation is in a sense indirect, and we can observe the past as mentioned above. Also as I said science is based on observation and tests. If for instance I wanted to know if someone put chlorine in a swimming pool in the past, I could predict that if they did it would smell like chlorine, then test that prediction. I could, if I knew about the chemical properties of chlorine, find some chemical that reacts a certain way with it, like by turning another color, and rig up an experiment. So too if modern birds evolved from four-legged animals, virtually all of which have separate digits in all four limbs, then birds must have originally had separate digits. If they didn’t then common descent is wrong. If they did that supports common descent. And so on, and you go on like this building up evidence or tearing a theory down. Does it ever 100% prove that there is chlorine in the swimming pool? Well we have to allow for the possibility that our tests have all worked out in a way consistent with the chlorine hypothesis for some other reason or that our experiments were contaminated or something, but the more tests are performed by more independent people and support the hypothesis, the less and less likely that becomes, until the likelihood that there is not chlorine in the swimming pool shrinks to virtually none. And so too it is with science. So does a fossil prove evolution? No. But if it confirms a scientific prediction about it then it does support it, and there are sooooo many confirmed predictions in so many fields of study that the possibility that life did not evolve, while we must always consider it, is extremely slim.

    Posted by agnophilo | July 11, 2013, 11:20 pm
    • >They figure out what must exist in the fossil record if a theory is true and what mustn’t and make very specific predictions about the fossil record before the fossils are discovered.

      I think this has been done to an early extent, but not necessarily anymore. I believe now we simply accept evolution and plug in what we find to the existing model. I have a few articles on here that are examples of that. Confirmation bias.

      >Every living thing reproduces

      Not barren creatures.

      >18 forms of radiometric dating

      Radiometric dating takes a rock and looks at a particular isotope’s observed decay rates and extrapolates that rate through all of history to declare a starting date for that rock. There are too many assumptions at play for that date to be accurate. Take this example: you walk into a room with an hourglass pouring sand in the middle of its cycle. You want to determine how long it has been going for. You measure the rate at which the sand is going through. You extrapolate that back to determine the sand has been falling for 4.5 billion years. BUT you don’t really know if all the sand was on the top when it was originally turned over. You also don’t know if the hourglass was ever interrupted. You have assumed it has never was interrupted and that it was full when started.

      >Faith is belief without evidence

      Wait til you see this film then… 🙂

      >Do you suppose we lived in a different universe five thousand years ago?

      Yes. See my main argument here: https://gracesalt.wordpress.com/2012/11/06/the-definitive-argument-creation-catastrophism-vs-evolution-uniformitarianism/

      >science is based on observation and tests

      Great, then large-scale evolution is not science by your own definition. We can neither observe or test the past, we can only observe and test the present conditions and assume what happened in the past.

      Posted by Tim | July 11, 2013, 11:36 pm
  3. By the way will you acknowledge that the central claim of the trailer for the movie is not true, even if you are unimpressed by transitional fossils?

    Posted by agnophilo | July 11, 2013, 11:21 pm
    • What central claim are you referencing?

      Posted by Tim | July 11, 2013, 11:37 pm
      • The claim that transitional fossils don’t exist or that even the best experts in the world cannot give an example of one.

        Posted by agnophilo | July 12, 2013, 12:15 am
        • Oh, I didn’t think the trailer was referencing transitional fossils. I believe that fossils exist, I believe they only exist because they were laid down during the year-long catastophic flood event of Noah’s day. I believe there were very little fossils prior to that event. I believe we have labeled certain fossils as transitional to bolster our belief in evolution. I think I can go out today and line up a bunch of real living humans in a line that would look very similar to the classic monkey to man diagram. We still come in all shapes and sizes. Some of us had protruding jaw lines or protruding foreheads – it still happens. Perhaps the humans of 4000 years ago needed a different physiological makeup to survive so their bodies adapted – but I still think they are human, and will always be.

          Posted by Tim | July 12, 2013, 2:39 am
  4. “Oh, I didn’t think the trailer was referencing transitional fossils. I believe that fossils exist, I believe they only exist because they were laid down during the year-long catastophic flood event of Noah’s day.”

    That the entire world flooded is not accepted by a large portion of the experts in in any field of science or historical studies that I am aware of, even in nations where they are overwhelmingly christian. One of the chief reasons is that recorded history goes back further than the supposed flood and there is no point in that history when every civilization disappeared at once. If the world flooded and everyone was killed there wouldn’t have been any native americans in north america when christopher columbus got there, for instance. I could give a laundry list of other problems, none of which I have ever found an answer to. That these ideas are overwhelmingly rejected by even christian experts is no small detail, and that rejection is not an atheist bias or conspiracy or suppression of evidence.

    “I believe there were very little fossils prior to that event.”

    Is there a way to test that hypothesis?

    “I believe we have labeled certain fossils as transitional to bolster our belief in evolution.”

    The evolutionary tree of life model comes from taxonomy, which is the only way to objectively classify living organisms. Basically it’s just grouping animals by what characteristics they have in common, this is where we get terms like mammal, reptile, amphibian etc. When you do this you get a ton of overlapping groups, groups within groups within groups. For instance humans are one species but most of our anatomy (and DNA) is the same as other animals, so we’re considered primates. Primates, canids, felines and so on are considered a sub-group of mammals because they all share most of the same characteristics as well. This model was arrived at by creationists long before darwin. Transitional forms are species which have the characteristics of more than one group and are therefore represent a possible ancestor of both groups. That we can find transitional forms between so many groups and in the right chronological order in the fossil record and show the gradual development of basically every anatomical feature that survives fossilization is no small thing.

    “I think I can go out today and line up a bunch of real living humans in a line that would look very similar to the classic monkey to man diagram. We still come in all shapes and sizes. Some of us had protruding jaw lines or protruding foreheads – it still happens. Perhaps the humans of 4000 years ago needed a different physiological makeup to survive so their bodies adapted – but I still think they are human, and will always be.”

    Some of the hominids in the fossil record look closer to a cat than a human, but that species can vary a great deal while still being able to interbreed is absolutely true, and that is a perfectly valid objection. But that in isolation those variations can make interbreeding impossible, splitting two groups of organisms into two permanently separate species is also true, and well observed in nature. And that there are many similar species like zebras and horses that can interbreed but only produce sterile hybrids is also true, suggesting a past speciation event. Google “observed instances of speciation” sometime. This isn’t observed in humans but logically it shouldn’t be, since it necessarily happens over many generations and we can only observe a few generations in one lifetime. Similarly there are planets that take so long to orbit the sun that we’ve never witnessed a complete orbit – but you wouldn’t claim they therefore have never orbited the sun. That they do is a reasonable extrapolation once we know planets orbit and why. Similarly that other species which operate on the same genetic mechanisms as we do speciate (split off into multiple species) is to me, in conjunction with the fossil evidence, a reasonable basis for concluding that humans and our ancestors can too. And of course there is lots more evidence like ERVs and ring species (speciation in action). I can elaborate on those if you want but I think I already talked about ERV’s.

    Posted by agnophilo | July 12, 2013, 6:51 pm

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