This is my response to a comment left by Kitty Foth Regner, author of the book Heaven Without Her.
Original comment is here.
You mentioned several different topics in your comment to me, which you probably realize have already been addressed and answered hundreds of times by more qualified people than me, and that the responses are available for you to see on the internet and have been for a long time.
Clearly if the answers were enough to change your mind, you would have, just as if your arguments were enough to change my mind I would have already done so. Your arguments and mine are not original thoughts, but things that have already been thoroughly discussed by many qualified people.
So these answers are not really for you, because I know you are aware of the responses to your arguments and that they will do nothing to change your mind coming from me. But I have decided to try to provide responses to your arguments point by point mainly because I want those responses to be available to anyone who happens to see your comment.
Now, I am the first person to admit that I am no scientist, and I believe that you are not either. But I spent a lot of time researching the arguments you referenced against evolution and I will try to either answer them or refer you to existing responses:
Why do so many people oppose evolution? Is it because they do not like its implications? Regardless of whether we like the conclusions, the evidence overwhelmingly points to this. Just because it makes many people uncomfortable, does not make it any less true.
…children are not learning “differing viewpoints.”… They are learning only evolutionary fairy tales.
Intelligent design does not deserve equal standing in a science classroom with evolution because it is not a science. Science is a system of acquiring knowledge and intelligent design is based on personal religious belief.
Equal time would mean teaching every other creation story that mankind has believed in (Muslim, Hindu, Native American, and countless others). But they obviously do not want fair and equal time, because that would be ridiculous. What they really want is for the intelligent design to get preferential treatment simply because the Christian faith is dominant throughout the western world. But that does not give it any more validity.
The main argument for intelligent design is that the world seems like it was created. If that is the case, then why, necessarily, was it created by your creator? You have no specific proof that it was created by the God of the Bible.
Intelligent design is creationism disguised as a science in an effort to get it taught in schools, after the Edwards v. Aguillard made it unconstitutional. It is promoted by Christian groups because its main purpose is to promote the idea of the Biblical God as designer.
For more information on why intelligent design is creationism visit Talk Origins.
Another reason intelligent design does not deserve equal footing with evolution is that it has no evidence. On the other hand, evolution has mountains of evidence, and many other fields of science support the fact of evolution. Evolution is one of the most heavily criticized theories of science, and yet it has stood up to all of this intense criticism. If the evidence for evolution were not extremely strong, people would have succeeded long ago to refute it. But they cannot because the evidence is there.
Instead its proponents merely try to poke holes in the theory of evolution. But just because you think you can disprove Theory A, does not necessarily prove Theory B. You have to provide evidence for the “theory” of intelligent design, not just try to poke holes in evolution.
No taxpayer-funded teacher or professor ever mentions, for instance, that before he died, the late great evolutionist Stephen J. Gould of Harvard resorted to resurrecting the “hopeful monster” theory of our origins – “punctuated equilibrium,” he called it to give it more dignity – because, as he admitted, the transitional fossils that evolution theory requires simply do not exist.
This is an example of quote-mining and a misrepresentation of what Gould actually said in his essay “Return of Hopeful Monsters”.
Please visit Answers in Genesis Busted for more info on the misuse of this quote.
"Since we proposed punctuated equilibria to explain trends, it is infuriating to be quoted again and again by creationists--whether through design or stupidity, I do not know--as admitting that the fossil record includes no transitional forms. Transitional forms are generally lacking at the species level, but they are abundant between larger groups. Yet a pamphlet entitled 'Harvard Scientists Agree Evolution Is a Hoax' states: 'The facts of punctuated equilibrium which Gould and Eldredge...are forcing Darwinists to swallow fit the picture that Bryan insisted on, and which God has revealed to us in the Bible.'"
That was a quote from Gould’s essay “Evolution as Fact and Theory”
And you can visit Talk Origins for more discussions of misquotations commonly used by antievolutionists.
No taxpayer-funded teacher dares to look at the irreducible complexity or at the fact that positive, additive genetic mutations do not occur.
Irreducible complexity implies that a system cannot function if one of its parts is missing, therefore it couldn’t have evolved by the addition of single parts without a loss or change of function. But there are still other evolutionary mechanisms that have been observed in genetic mutations:
• deletion of parts
• addition of multiple parts
• change of function
• addition of a second function to a part
• gradual modification of parts
Even if irreducible complexity did provide difficulty for the theory of evolution, intelligent design does not necessarily follow. This is an argument from incredulity or “god of the gaps”.
For more information on irreducible complexity: Talk Origins.
Here are Responses to Michael Behe
And here is more about the argument from incredulity, or “god of the gaps”.
No taxpayer-funded teacher dares to even wonder aloud how the laws of thermodynamics or biogenesis fit into evolutionary thought.
Intelligent design supporters believe that the second law of thermodynamics does not permit order to arise from disorder, therefore showing that macroevolution is not possible. But the second law of thermodynamics says no such thing.
“It says that heat will not spontaneously flow from a colder body to a warmer one or, equivalently, that total entropy (a measure of useful energy) in a closed system will not decrease. This does not prevent increasing order because: the earth is not a closed system and entropy is not the same as disorder.”
“The only processes necessary for evolution to occur are reproduction, heritable variation, and selection. All of these are seen to happen all the time, so, obviously, no physical laws are preventing them. In fact, connections between evolution and entropy have been studied in depth and never to the detriment of evolution”
For more information on the second law of thermodynamics and entropy check out Talk Origins: here and here.
The law of biogenesis states that modern organisms do not spontaneously arise in nature from non-life.
“The spontaneous generation that Pasteur and others disproved was the idea that life forms such as mice, maggots, and bacteria can appear fully formed. They disproved a form of creationism. There is no law of biogenesis saying that very primitive life cannot form from increasingly complex molecules.”
For more information check out Talk Origins Abiogenesis FAQs
Essentially, “no taxpayer-funded teacher dares to even wonder aloud” about these things, because they have already been addressed many times over by scientists. It is not as if these points are being hidden, they are discussed in the open and not viewed as a threat to evolution. These issues require a lot of background in biology to even understand, and that is why they are not taught to beginning students.
Also, attempting to expose weaknesses in the theory of evolution does not in any way make intelligent design more viable. This assumes that evolution and intelligent design are the only two possible models, which is false. Problems with one model do not imply that the remaining model is true. Another unknown explanation could be correct.
… why are evolutionists afraid of having the arguments for intelligent design and creation science presented alongside their proofs for evolution?
Scientists are not afraid of intelligent design. Intelligent design does not even qualify as a scientific theory because all of its claims of evidence have been shown to be invalid.
The threat is not to science, the threat is to education and the separation of church and state in this nation.
I am afraid of having the arguments for intelligent design presented alongside evolution in science class because I am concerned with children learning about the actual scientific method and learning critical thought. Intelligent design is simply a wedge used to get religion into schools. They only attack evolution because they see it as a threat to their Biblical explanations of the world. When intelligent design is given equal standing in science classes with the theory of evolution, it will mean that the nation’s children are not learning what actual science is, and they are not being taught to use their critical faculties.
Intelligent design relies on supernatural explanations. But science is about finding natural, reproducible, testable explanations. Teaching our students otherwise is harmful to their development of critical thinking. It is also harmful to our nation’s scientific and technological development.
The truth is, real science confirms Genesis, not Darwin. But real science does not get a hearing in our schools these days. That was my point: For nearly 50 years, our schools have been teaching that evolution accounts for the universe, that anti-Christian worldviews are intellectually sound, and that tolerance is the highest virtue. Our courts have in fact outlawed any mention of Christianity in our schools. So who’s closed-minded?
Please explain to me what your notion of “real science” is?
Distinguishing science from pseudoscience requires a definition of its methodology:
Science is a method of acquiring knowledge that uses observation and experimentation to describe and explain natural phenomena. It must be testable and reproducible.
Intelligent design is not based on any of these things, but simply on the desire for the Biblical explanation to be true. But wanting does not make it so.
…Our schools have been teaching…anti-Christian worldviews…
This may come as a surprise, but there are many different worldviews that differ from your own. A person who can’t see the value in learning to view the world from a different perspective is being closed-minded and ignorant. The Christian worldview has as much validity as any other worldview out there, and to claim that it is superior merely because it is dominant in the western world, would be arrogant.
In science, worldview is irrelevant. Worldview should not be taught in science class because science is fact regardless of one’s worldview. The vast majority of scientists from all over the world with many different worldviews all come together in agreement on the fact of evolution, as well as on many other scientific facts.
As I mentioned before, just because science does not fit your worldview or because you don’t like its implications is not enough reason to disqualify it. You must provide other valid alternatives that are based on more than religious beliefs and emotions.
…our schools have been teaching that…tolerance is the highest virtue…
Are you advocating the teaching of intolerance to our children in schools? Would it be better to teach our children to hate and disregard those that are different? We have seen the kind of hatred and violence that results from intolerance too often during our recent history and I honestly cannot believe that you would suggest that the teaching of tolerance is a bad thing.
Do you consider it a good thing that some Muslim children are being taught religious intolerance? Is racial intolerance a good thing? I honestly don’t understand where you are coming from on this one. Is it your idea that Jesus promoted intolerance?
Our courts have in fact outlawed any mention of Christianity in our schools.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
That was the First Amendment to the United States Constitution which prohibits the government from establishing a religion, from showing preference to one religion over another, or from showing preference to religion over non-religion.
Any mention of Christianity is not outlawed in our schools, but the promotion of Christianity above other beliefs is. This is the right that our founding fathers fought for, and this is a right that also protects Christians, so I honestly cannot understand why they would want to get rid of it. If ever in the future Christianity is not the majority religion in the United States, Christians would surely lament the loss of this freedom in the event that someone else’s religious beliefs were being imposed on them.
These rights were set out from the beginning, so to imply that they are something that has been imposed on you and other Christians or that religion has been “taken out” of schools or the public sphere, is blatantly false. These are rights that protect us all and rights that we should try very hard to preserve for future generations.
For more information about the First Amendment and the freedoms it provides us, look here.
In conclusion, I would like to remind the reader that I am not an expert, but I was able to find all of these answers online and you can do the same yourself. All of the typical arguments of antievolutionists have been refuted. Unfortunately this fact does not prevent them from being continually used.
The best source by far, and which I relied heavily upon for this response, is Talk Origins where you can find a long index to creationist claims and responses and tons of other helpful information about evolution.