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The Talk.Origins Archive: Exploring the Creation/Evolution Controversy

Feedback for September 1996

Listed below are some of the letters received from readers of the Talk.Origins Archive in the month of September, 1996.

Let me first state that evolution is not science at all. But evolution is nothing but a mere theory. And if you actually brlieve in a theory then something is definately wrong. Let me start with one question Were did Life come from? Were are all the transitional forms? And last of all who keeps it all going? email me with your response to these three simple question then I will share with you the truth.

Is the theory of Evolution falsifiable, and is it predictive? Seems like Evolution (or Natural Selection) is invoked to explain anything we find, even when it's the opposite of what we thought we had found yesterday.

Case in point: Evolution predicts many transitional forms in the fossil record. OR Evolution predicts the systematic gaps in transitional forms (punctuated style). I see that, Stephen Gould notwithstanding, whether the gaps are there or not is not a settled issue. But it doesn't seem to matter, either way Evolution suvives (a theory more adaptable than any known life form - thus proving it correct I presume...)

Case in point: Evolution predicts a lot of "junk" in our DNA code (as a random process would leave, as opposed to an intelligent designer). OR (now that we're finding that "junk DNA" may actually have elaborate purpose, and is not junk) Evolution now predicts a code free of junk, because Natural selection is so efficient.

Case in point: My tonsils were removed when I was 4 yrs (no one asked me!) for no other reason than (in the early 50's) they were considered "vestigial" left overs from our ape-days. Now we know that they have good purposes, along with all the other organs on the useless list from the 50's. (but I still can't get mine back!) SO, Evolution predicts "vestigial" organs. OR (when we find we're wrong about that), Evolution predicts a clean design (praise the name of Natural Selection), little or left-overs.

So which is it? Can anyone tell me some fact we might uncover, or process we might observe that the theory of Evolution could not be stretched around?

And just what DOES Evolution predict? (seems we don't know until we find out what's there, and then conlude that's EXACTLY what the theory predicts!)

Leo D.

Response from the editor:

Evolution and common descent are certainly falsifiable. One way to disprove them would be to show that the Earth is only a few thousand years old. Not surprisingly, many creationists are trying to do just that. One could also falsify evolution by showing that the various forms of life have not changed significantly over time. Finding strong evidence that humans coexisted with dinosaurs or trilobites, organisms that are currently known to have gone extinct millions of years ago, would be one way to do this.

In addition to being falsifiable, evolution makes a large number of verifiable predictions. It predicts that closely related organisms will share a large amount of the same genetic material. It predicts an ordering of the fossil record, in which animals like mammals never appear before the first reptiles. It predicts that isolated regions of the planet will be populated by living organisms that are unique throughout the world. It predicts anatomical similarities between genetically similar organisms. It predicts the existence of atavisms and vestigial structures that were useful to ancestral forms but are much less useful to present forms. And so on.

While it is true that these types of predictions are based on prior observations of the evidence, so are the predictions of any scientific theory. In the scientific endeavor, observations are collected, a theory is built to explain them, and the theory is tested by comparing its predictions with further observations.

I have just read Sylvia Baker's "Bone of Contention" (in Norwegian translation), and found the picture of a trilobite and the "shoe prints". To me, they looks more like a sort of algae, but it proved what they really are? Teh picture - of course - shows nothing of the area around them..

here we go again....In Bones of contention, Sylvia Baker states that modern genetics shows that evolution is impossible. Because I study geology not bology, I'm not qualified to reject it, but are any of you? BTW, she states that 50 000 mammoths have been found buried in glaciers and permafrost, in addition to a lot of other animals. I think I have heard that it is around 10. Is it?

Karsten E.

Response from the editor:

It's too hard to comment on the first claim without further information. As for the burial of large numbers of woolly mammoths in Arctic regions, this is true (although I'm not sure about the 50,000 number). See the archive's Woolly Mammoths: Evidence of Catastrophe? article for more information.

I'm an creationist. I believe in creation the same way other good people believe in evolution ... by faith. Anyone with a dictionary can see that all faith is is a belief without evidence. Evidence that evolution is a faith-based belief is the fact that evolution is still classified as "The Theory Of Evolution". It is called that because, though some people infer proof of evolution from ambiguities, hard-core evolution scientists have yet to prove that evolution happened. In fact, evolution will never be proven SCIENTIFICLY. It is impossible to prove what can not be duplicated or witnessed.

Many intelligent people believe in evolution. They do so by faith. I believe in the Biblical story of creation. I do so by faith.

The difference between myself and some of both evolutionists and creationists is that I make no effort to PROVE what can not be proven. To do so, as you have demonstrated by the Smith "salt water/ fresh water" experiment is an effort in futility.

Any who stick their neck out and state that there is proof for either evolution or creation are demonstrating their ignorance.

I have read of facts which support my belief in creation ... but I do not state that these facts "prove" what I only surmise as being true.

For example, when torrents of water carry debris, it will move exert the greatest force against those objects which have the greatest surface area. The smaller the object, the more likely it is to settle and to be carried the least distance. Scientists who have studied how sediment is laid down in flood and tidal wave areas see how larger objects are most likely to be found toward the top of sedimentary distribution. Smaller items are more likely to be found at deeper areas of sedimentation.

When we examine the Grand Canyon, that's exactly what we find.

We see many layers of sedimentation where there is a evidence of small life forms in the lower layers and larger fossils in higher layers.

This evidence is consistant with what scientists know of how sedimentary layers are layed down by torrents of water and could be construed to be "evidence" of the flood.

Well, my position is that such speculation may be correct ... but we don't have any proof that it is exactly what happened.

True SCIENCE is KNOWLEDGE. We have no confirmed KNOWLEDGE that the grand canyon was indeed created by a deluge such is mentioned in the Bible. All we have is speculation.

And, I might add, in the same way as different theories are taught in our schools today ... including evolution ... I think it makes sense to give "equal time" to the suppositions and speculations of the creationist point of view. We should not be teaching kids WHAT to think but HOW to think. The kids should be given the chance to read the speculative and information from both sides of this issue and be allowed to draw their own conclusions.

It concerns me that people today talk about evolution as though it were fact. Most have never been given all the information that many "leading evolutionary scientists" have recently had at their disposal. They haven't been told the number and names of these scientists who've turned their back in very recent years on evolution and have realised that evolution is scientificly IMPROBABLE. Kids are still being taught evolution as though it were a fore-gone conclusion and as though the scientists just had to put a few finishing touches on it. The fact of the matter is that the premises of evolution are so chalk full of holes that no reasonable scientist, given the statistical probabilities, could ever conclude that evolution could have ever happened.

No scientist, who acknowledge that nothing comes from nothing, can explain where original matter came from. Scientists know that our solar system and all matter there in MUST have had an origin before our relatively local evolution could have taken place. Thinking scientists can only conclude that there must have been, at least, a "creator" for that matter. It is reasonable, therefore, that any creator great enough to create all the elements necessary to "evolve" into the celestial bodies which we know of to date could certainly have been great enough to create every celestial body.

One thing that mathmeticians are certain of today is that evolution is highly improbable. It has been stated recently, by some of the nation's leading mathmeticians, that the probability of the elements necessary for life to form here on earth ever arriving collectively here on earth are something in the vacinity of ten to the minus 40th power. I believe that anything beyond a minus 15 or so are considered such small probabilities that they are not worth considering further.

The following has been stated so often that it approaches cliche status. Evolutionists must have a far greater faith to believe what they believe than creationista must have to believe in the biblical account of creation.

A proponderence of the evidence suggests that living things had an intelligent creator. Mathmeticians affirm that the only other known alternative is so highly improbable that it is not worth considering further.

And the bottom line is still "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen".

Response from the editor:

All of the issues raised by the reader are covered in the archive. See the Five Major Misconceptions about Evolution FAQ and the Problems with a Global Flood FAQ .

re: recent announcement that Lake Victoria is not more than 12,000 years old. Ernst Mayer says "All these species, this whole universe of cichlid fishes could have evolved in 12,000 years, as improbable as it seems the facts force you to accept it."

I note in your abstract referring to Lake Victoria , you claim the lake is around 200,000 to 250,000 years old. I'd say more revision (as usual) to the theory of evolution is in order. It will be fun to watch the spin evolutionists put on this one as they dance around the implications of evolution from (?) to 300 species of fish in 12,000 years. Probably just more fairy tales for gullible adults.

I am a Christian. I am a strong believer in the Creation. I believe that God created everything.

However, I get upset every time I hear some "scientist" who refuses to look at all the facts and claims the earth is under 15,000 years old. Some even claim 6,000. Absurd!

I have BIBLICAL proof that the earth was created long before Adam and Eve were created, not just five days. I have sent that proof to these "scientists" and they say they agree with me, but then turn around and go back to their old ways.

Would you like to have a Christian giving argument that the universe is well over a billion years old? Would you allow Christian beliefs in your web page?

Would you allow me to give information that proves evolution is impossible and that God created it all? YES the universe and the earth are old! But they were still created by God.

Jim G.

Response from the editor:

As the reader correctly notes, most Christians are comfortable with the scientific evidence that shows the Earth and the universe are billions of years old. In fact, the majority of Christians are comfortable with the theory of evolution. Articles by some of these Christian individuals already appear in the archive.

I am Jewish and am now retired from 30 years with Army Research. My speciality is high power electronics and engineering science. I became interested in creation vs. evolution through a Baptist minister who befriended me when I first arrived in Tennessee. We meet every Wednesday for lunch to discuss why his beliefs are the right ones and to save me from purgitory. I have been interested in understanding whether there is a God. One point that leads me to believe there is. It has to do with the Israeli nation crossing the Dead Sea after leaving Egypt. We all have read about the earthquake that happened about the right time and postulations about the sea parting or retreating due to the effects of the earthquake. That is wonderous, however, that is not the key point. Assuming that you believe the story of the Exodus. The point that is hard to explain is not the sea parting, but the timing.

Response from the editor:

I think you predicted my response when you wrote "assuming you believe the [literal] story of the Exodus."

Hello t.o'ers!

Just a suggestion - keep an archive of old "posts of the month". They make very interesting reading.

In any case, i find your web site to be a valuable resource, and I don't know what i would do without it!

Keith W.

Response from the editor:

The reason there are no other posts of the month is that it is a new feature that only began last month. Don't worry; all posts of the month will be kept around.

As a freshman who has just started her first biology class I find it fascinating to read some of the very intelligent questions coming from many different people around the country and world. I have a biology teacher at home who will be intrigued by all the information in these letters and this site. I would just like to say thankyou to all those who participated in developing this site and I look forward to many more enlighting letters, stories, questions.

Amber B.

As a new member of New Mexicans for Science and Reason and in light of the actions of the New Mexico Board of Education I just want to thank you for maintaining this excellent resource.

Richard T.

I heard that there have been footprints of men found deep within beds of coal. Not only that but U.S.civil war buttons, rifle parts have been found. How can I explain this to my friend who keeps bring up this kind of thing. He also says there was a scientist from Cal. that was studying caves in the Grand Canyon and he found carvings of dinosaurs that where proportioned correctly with the humans drawn next to them. When I asked about the age of the universe, I'm always told how scientists say that the universe is 12 billion and yet there are stars that are 18 billion. Is there something wrong with the way we measure the age of the universe. And he also says that the big bang can't be true because there are galaxies, including our own that are moving in directions other than those around us instead of in a uniform manner.

Response from the editor:

Many of these claims sound like tall tales. Tell your friend that if he wants to convince you, he should provide you with a reference so that you can check out his claims for yourself.

With regard to the big bang, , author of the Creation Science and the Earth's Magnetic Field FAQ and the Meteorite Dust and the Age of the Earth FAQ, writes:

The velocity of a galaxy as seen by us is the sum of two component velocities; a local 'turbulent' velocity is one component, and the other is the large-scale cosmic motion [the 'Hubble flow']. Just think of an exploding bomb. All of the pieces of the bomb share in a common large-scale motion away from the explosion. But, any individual fragment will also have a peculiar, 'local' velocity of its own added onto that, depending on whether or not the peculiarities of the explosion pushed it a little bit this-way or that-way; they do not all move along a line strictly radial from the explosion.

The motion of individual galaxies in the big bang works the same way. If we look at a galaxy that is close by, like the well known Andromeda Galaxy (M31), the relative velocity we see is dominated by the local component. M31 has a blue-shifted spectrum, it moves towards our Milky Way galaxy, not away from it. However, all of the several million galaxies known to exist outside of our own local group have red-shifted spectra, they all move away from us. There is not even one single solitary exception to the rule in the millions of galaxies known. Furthermore, the observed red-shift is strictly correlated with apparent brightness, which in turn strongly depends on distance. Therefore, the red-shift is well correlated with distance, as Hubble himself pointed out about 70 or so years ago.

This shows that the argument given above is not sufficient, it does not 'disprove' big bang cosmology.

I am researching an article on the current state of creation science in Canada. I would appreciate hearing from anyone with suggestions of sources or information concerning the debate in their region. I am also interested in people's experience with other types of creation stories in the classroom -- notably First Nations peoples' feelings about the Berring Strait migration theory.

Anthropology and Sociology
University of British Columbia

To read these pro-evolution websites and feedbacks justifies the existence of the internet, so that others may find the necessary scientific info which until now has been difficult to gather. It is important that we refute creationists within their own belief framework. One can refute the scientific credibility of the bible with page 1 of the King James Version; first that 2 great lights were put in the firmament, the firmament being (in the words and models of Dr Bauer/K.Copeland, creationists, a thin crystaline covering around the earth) in genesis 1, a relatively thin layer above the earth that seperated the waters below and above it, into which the stars and the 2 lights were placed. Even two thousand years ago, a light was considered as a light source not a reflector, which is what the moon is. Also we are well aware of the distance the sun is now and should be away from us to ensure survival and including the current spread of stellar distances between us and the stars shows that this cosmology is the work of a priori human thinkers and not an omniscient entity. It is the above points that have best stumped the creationists I have encountered. There are other inconsistencies in the bible between books and within books as well.

Keep up the good work, may the search for causality and knowledge be your only god.


Dear Sirs!

One argument of the creationist side is that there are changes of the velocity of light and other natural constants with time. I have read a paper published in Galilean Electrodynamics, Vol. 4, no. 5, Sept/Oct 1993.

Via Is the Velocity of Light Constant in Time? this paper is accessible. The authors are: Alan Montgomery, Mathematician; Lambert Dolphin, Physicist.

The authors selected 193 measurements of c very carefully. It seems to me that scientific standards are fulfilled. This are of course new arguments for the change of the velocity of light. Changes of natural constants like c, h, G etc would violate energy conservation. But this does not mean that this is totally impossible at all. Are there experiments which show that natural constants are really constant? Is there anything wrong in Montgomery's and Dolphin's paper? Thank you very much in advance!

Yours sincerely, S. Schleif

Response from the editor:

The following papers provide evidence that the fundamental constants of nature have changed little over time:

McCrea, W.H. et. al., "The Constants of Physics," in Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. London, Series A, Vol. 310, pp. 209-363 (1983).


P. Sisterna and H. Vucetich, "Time variation of fundamental constants: Bounds from geophysical and astronomical data," Physical Review D: Particles and Fields, Vol. 41, No. 4, pp. 1034-1046 (Feb. 1990).

Also see the archive's FAQ on c Decay.

I find your criticism of "The Mysterious Origins Of Man" well merited. I share your fascination with the producers failure to better make their case. With so few legitimate scientific questions answered, one must deduce that the only reason for airing this stuff was to entertain and produce ratings. Also note the strategic production of this show at a time when other shows like "The X-Files" captivates huge audiences, and "Unsolved Mysteries" continues to get produced.

I am currently taking a class of evolution and like millions of people before me, I am struck by the idea of natural selection now that I 'really' trying to understand it. My question is this: why is that we humans have the right to choose "not to reproduce" more offsprings? I know from biology that homo sapiens are living organisms, and one of the characteristics of living organisms is reproduction (I assume that most of us are not sterile). Who gave us the power to decide for our future? When and how did we lose our instinct to make more offsprings?

Response from the editor:

I don't think it's a question of losing instincts, but of gaining control over those instincts. As humans, we have not lost our instinctual sexual urges, but what we have gained through culture and technology is the ability to regulate our reproduction in spite of our instincts.

I'm new to these archives, so perhaps my comment has been said before. All your calculations assume that Mt. Everest existed before the Flood but I thought a reading of Gensis 6-9 would suggest that the worlds before and after the Flood were different. Perhaps mountains were lower, unfornaturely we don't have enough information to know?

Tim K.

Definition of the word "fact" according to Webster's Dictionary: Something put out as objectively real-Something objectively realized-Something with real, demonstrable existence. Definition of the word "theory" according to Webster's Dictionary: Systematically organized knowledge applicable in a relatively wide variety of circumstances, esp. a system of assumptions, accepted principles, and the rules of procedure devised to analyze, predict or otherwise explain the nature or behavior of a specified set of phenomena. In neither defense of creationism, or opposition to evolution, I think you had better re-think your claiming of evolution as a fact. Unless you can demonstrate evolution for us (including creating matter, life, a perfect environment to sustain it...). Your doing a lot of explaining and theorizing, but no demonstrations.

Mark W.

Response from the editor:

The reader fails to make the necessary distinctions between the fact of evolution and the theories of evolution. These distinctions are covered in the Evolution is a Fact and a Theory FAQ .

A quick complaint. I just found your page and it looks very well thought out and interesting. The first thing I read, however, was a bit irritating. You ask in your intro page for "scientific" theories of creation, but don't ask for "scientific" theories of evolution. Aren't you making a bit of a biased assumption here? Or are you not realy trying to be objective?

Dan H.

Response from the editor:

The scientific theory of evolution is explained in the Introduction to Evolutionary Biology FAQ, and references are given to more detailed works. The scientific theory of creation, to my knowledge, is nonexistent.

How may evolution be disproved? Your liturature discuses the need for falsification of creationism, but doesn't address falsification of evolutionism. It seems that no matter what bones are dug up out of the earth or what biological experiments are done, the evolutionary theory can be changed (or should I say evolved) to match the current data. What is a test that could falsify evolution?

Dan H.

Response from the editor:

[The following response is repeated from above.]

Evolution and common descent are certainly falsifiable. One way to disprove them would be to show that the Earth is only a few thousand years old. Not surprisingly, many creationists are trying to do just that. One could also falsify evolution by showing that the various forms of life have not changed significantly over time. Finding strong evidence that humans coexisted with dinosaurs or trilobites, organisms that are currently known to have gone extinct millions of years ago, would be one way to do this.

HELP: A Creationist associate has argued that only a LAW defines a proven scientific fact, and that a "THEORY" remains an unproven supp- osition. Would someone out there describe to me the difference(s), ASAP. The debate continues.

Don C.

Response from the editor:

Your creationist associate is playing word games with you. In colloquial English language, the word theory is often used to describe a loosely evidenced position based on little more than speculation. In science, however, a theory is more rigorous; it is a thoroughly tested explanation supported by voluminous scientific evidence. Examples of scientific theories include general relativity, quantum theory, and yes, evolutionary theory. The word law is usually applied to explanations that are trivially true or mathematically basic.

According to the Bible, Noah was required to bring with him 7 pair of each "clean" kind of animal and 2 of the "unclean". "Unclean" was typically denoted to animals the a.) chew their cud or b.) have split hoofs, although I don't remember reading that in the OT.

My on-line bible tells me you can find my claim in Gen. 7:2. Note, that my bible (KJV) indicates 2 pair should have come along. This obiviates some of the questions regarding animals which require a society, but heightens concerns about the Ark's capacity.

Tim S.

I've been browsing creation science material. I've seen a lot of stuff on what they don't believe. But if it's a "science" it should have something to say about the fossils and geological features I've seen while hiking in the mountains. What does "creation science" say?

Response from the editor:

It is true that creationists spend a vast majority of their time attacking evolution and very little of it providing evidence for creation. Walk into any Christian bookstore and count the number of books that attack mainstream biology or geology. Compare this with the number of books that claim to provide scientific evidence for creation.

An excellent web site. I have a question rather than a comment. Recently, I attended a debate between a creationist and an evolutionist. A long list of problems for evolution science was presented for the evolutionist to solve or answer. One of the problems was the alleged presence of angiosperm and gymnosperm pollen in Cambrian strata. Their presence (alleged) in these ancient rocks disproves the theory of evolution.

Being something of a botanist I know that angiosperm pollen is distinctive from other spores but within the angiosperms is a wide range of variation such that there is no such thing as "angiosperm pollen." The same is true among extant members of the gymnosperms. Does anyone know what Brown is refering to? Is he talking about some spores with sulca that LOOK LIKE but are not angiosperm pollen. Naturally, Brown gave no reference.

Gary W.

Response from the editor:

I assume you are referring to Walter Brown. I have no idea what he is talking about, but he should back up his claim by providing a reference. Since Brown has made a number of other outrageous claims -- for instance, he has falsely claimed that scientists assembled a single primitive hominid skeleton from bones found in isolated areas -- one should not trust anything he says without first receiving documentation.

I have just finished reading Rob Day's " An Account of a Debate with a Creationist ." As a Christian I would like to apologize to Mr. Day for the way he was treated. I would also like to ask him not to feel ill toward Christians because there are many of us who believe that our Creator is also an evolutionist.

It is against God's Law to lie. But Mr. Day points out the many lies he had to suffer with at the hands of so-called Christians. Beware: lies only come from one place and they are the work of Satan. I cannot help but wonder, what does it profit Satan to keep evolution a secret? There must be far more here than meets the eye.

John L.

This is nothing particularly offical. It's just a rambling of inchoate praises. I am a converted atheist to Christianity. While I belong to an "Evangelical" church and most of the members are against any faith systems that include evolution, I myself am a believer in it. It is unfortunate that there are so many who are mentally hamstrung by the "Well-intentioned" but mistaken writings of the Creation Research Institute. As a converted atheist I teach many biblical apologetics classes. Lately, I have taken to approaching the subject of science. I have vowed not to compromise my beliefs in evolution and the big bang theory as God's methods. In fact its quite fundamentalist of me!! Anyways... You guys do a great job and service to the online community. Keep up the great work!!! I continue to be a student!!!

As long as evolution (time) vs creation (god created) hold to these views the debate will go on for ever. Hasn't anyone heard about genices apes, are 99% human, with a little gentic enginering and what might you have? Arn't we doing this all thime? Maybe read "the dragons of eden"

with regards to your stumper questions about creationism , If you were to take those same questions and ask them of evolution you would find in many situations the burden of proof would just as hard to support the theory and the key word here is theory of evolution

Response from the editor:

If the stumper questions were rephrased and redirected at evolutionists, most if not all of the answers (or references to answers) would be found in the Evolution FAQs .

I've done much reserch in the area of evolution. I have concluded that evolution is a false theory. Absolutly no hard evidence has ever been produced to support the theory. If you don't mind answering, how does one explain the evolution of the Bombardier Beetle? This little creature would have died in survival of the fittest. It seems to me that evolutionist try make everything so complicated in order to "bend" facts to fit their theory. In actuality no fossile record ever proved evoltuion, neither has anything ever seen or recorded. If evolution is true then should we have at least some hardcore evidence? Shouldn't we somehow, with modern technology, be able to show it?

Response from the editor:

What is it about creationists and the bombardier beetle? Creationists raise this question over and over again, even though it's based on a completely false premise. This archive has already responded to the bombardier beetle silliness in the July and August 1996 feedbacks, but here is the response again, just so the next batch of creationists to pass through the archive doesn't miss it.

Richard Dawkins writes the following in his book, The Blind Watchmaker (Norton, New York, 1987, pp. 86-87):

Anti-evolution propaganda is full of alleged examples of complex systems that 'could not possibly' have passed through a gradual series of intermediates. This is often just another case of the rather pathetic 'Argument from Personal Incredulity' that we met in Chapter 2. Immediately after the section on the eye, for example, The Neck of the Giraffe goes on to discuss the bombardier beetle, which

"squirts a lethal mixture of hydroquinone and hydrogen peroxide into the face of its enemy. These two chemicals, when mixed together, literally explode. So in order to store them inside its body, the Bombardier Beetle has evolved a chemical inhibitor to make them harmless. At the moment the beetle squirts the liquid out of its tail, an anti-inhibitor is added to make the mixture explosive once again. The chain of events that could have led to the evolution of such a complex, coordinated and subtle process is beyond biological explanation on a simple step-by-step basis. The slightest alteration in the chemical balance would result immediately in a race of exploded beetles."

A biochemist colleague has kindly provided me with a bottle of hydrogen peroxide, and enough hydroquinone for 50 bombardier beetles. I am now about to mix the two together. According to the above, they will explode in my face. Here goes...

Well, I'm still here. I poured the hydrogen peroxide into the hydroquinone, and absolutely nothing happened. It didn't even get warm. Of course I knew it wouldn't: I'm not that foolhardy! The statement that 'these two chemicals, when mixed together, literally explode', is, quite simply, false, although it is regularly repeated throughout creationist literature. If you are curious about the bombardier beetle, by the way, what actually happens is as follows. It is true that it squirts a scaldingly hot mixture of hydrogen peroxide and hydroquinone at enemies. But hydrogen peroxide and hydroquinone don't react violently together unless a catalyst is added. This is what the bombardier beetle does. As for the evolutionary precursors of the system, both hydrogen peroxide and various kinds of quinones are used for other purposes in body chemistry. The bombardier beetle's ancestors simply pressed into different service chemicals that already happened to be around. That's often how evolution works.

This is one of the greatest pages on the Web. I have just read a letter to the editor in the local (east Tennessee) that contains the following statements of "fact" (that's what the letter-writer says):

"Darwin was a Stalinist and J. Edgar Hoover knew about it."
"TRex was on the ark."
"Dinosaurs are an invention of Hollywood."
"The earth is not a sphere."

By the way, does anyone know of a Web page that does to Rush Limbaugh, Bob Dole, Newt, and other certifiable fools what this page does to creationsists?

I was referred to this site by my biology teacher here at The University of the South. I have been an avid biology student for about 8 years. Some people may claim that my views are purile or unjunstified, but I have done a great amount of thinking the past few months on creationism. And I used to believe in the theory of evolution, but after much deliberation, I have come to the conclusion that evolution is not entirely correct. As I recall, humans have been on this earth for about 5 million years. Such evolutionary processes that are claimed to have taken place seem very illogical. I am a christian, and I do believe in the theory of creationism. And I do not find this page to be completely open-minded. I scanned through the creationism portion of this so-called archive to find that there was not one article even considering the possibility of the theory of creationism. So, some scientists say that it is scientifically impossible for creationism to be the beginning of man. In rebuttle of that arguement, science has also shown that a bumble-bee cannot and should not be able to fly. The lack of positive articles on creationism on this page continues to add to the "scientific" bashing of a theory that happens to be a part of one of the world's largest religions. I do not see any kind of open-mindedness on this page, and I see it as extremely biased. If this will continue to be the case, why not just name this page "The EVOLUTION page: WE HATE THE IDEA OF HAVING ANY KIND OF OPEN-MINDEDNESS."

Peter T.

Response from the editor:

Science is not democratic. It is inherently biased toward ideas and theories that can be supported by observable evidence. This is why science discards notions like geocentrism, a flat earth, cold fusion, extraterrestrial visitations, and creationism. To view the brand of creationism practiced by the ICR as valid science, one has to be so open-minded that his mind falls out.

Frequently there is a clash between the theory of evoloution and religion. I personally fall on the side of the evoloutionists but in conversations with very interlectual and often well read evangelists I find my theorys coming under close scrutiny and looking in some cases less feasable than so called 'God'.

Response from the editor:

Perhaps that is because you are laboring under the misconception that God and evolution cannot coexist.


(I asked this question because we all know that man is the animal which frequently falls down than any other animal. Our fore fathers i.e., apes walked on four legs which was a stable postion. But in the course of evolution why man changed from a stable four legged structure to an unstable two leg structure.)

Sailesh R.

Response from Jim Foley , author of the Fossil Hominids FAQ :

The simple answer is: no one knows. There are many suggestions for why we became bipedal: so we could carry stuff, make tools, see farther, withstand heat stress, etc., etc. It could be any combination of those reasons or others that no-one has yet thought of.

God exists. The only true God is the one who reveals himself in the Bible. While we're at it, the Bible you should be using if you speak English, is the preserved Word of God, the Authorized Bible of 1611 (The King James Bible Page: Information on Bible versions). Everyone has a final authority, whether they will admit it or not. God is THE final authority. I would like to start a talk on where you think your final authority is.

Points: (1) The bible is the inerrant Word of God. If you are going to use any of it you must accept all of it. No leaving out or denying the parts of the Bible that conflict with your preferred "lifestyle". (2) If God is not your final authority, explain what is. (3) If you claim not to have one then explain how you know anything.

Glory to God.

Scott R.

Just a quick observation about one of your pages. I clicked on the creationists page, and the title read, "What the Creations have to say", or something similiar to that. However, every article that I saw was not what the creationists would say, but what the 'all knowing' scientific community has to say about the Christian community. Now, if you want to have a page that refutes creationism, then go right ahead. But when you put only these negative articles under a false title, then you are just wasting the readers time, and I would say your political motives show through.

The primary danger from the creationist movement is not from their unsuccessful efforts to inject creationsim into science classrooms but from their very successful efforts to censor the science taught in public school classrooms. Many school districts, especially in the south, use textbooks that make little or no mention of evolution for fear of controversy. In my home state of Kentucky, one school district recently confiscated the science textbooks of fifth and sixth graders and glued together the pages which discussed the "big bang" theory for fear of upsetting fundamentalist parents! Fundamentalists have also engaged in campaigns to take over school boards so they can control what is taught. This dumbing down of science courses is obviously part of the crisis in the nation's public school system. Those who care about the science being taught our children must fight for better textbooks in our classrooms and against the takeover of school boards by fundamentalists for whom "science" is a dirty word.


I am sorry to take up space with so trivial a question, but it is a topic that I have been perplexed about for a long time.

As a high school student in a small, conservative town, I am constantly surrounded by biblical fundamentalists. Recently, I have noticed a proliferation of some anti-evolution stickers. Some of them are extremely ridiculous, such as a big fish eating a smaller "Darwin" fish, saying "survival of the fittest" I would like to get some pro-evolution ornaments. For example, does anyone know how to get those neat bumper stickers that say "reunite godwanaland" or something close to that?

Michael K.

Response from the editor:

If any readers of this letter has some information on where Michael might pick these things up, please send them. I'll forward the answers in next month's feedback page.

Some years ago I saw a cast of the Berlin Archaeopteryx in a small shop in France. I have always been fasinated by dinosaurs, so I decided to buy it. It is beautifully painted to match the orginal (I think). Up till now I have only seen color photo's that do not show much detail. Are there many of these casts (of different Archae's) about and if so, were can I obtain one.

I read the article with much interest an I think it makes a clear case.


Response from , author of the Archaeopteryx FAQs:

Wards (PO Box 92912, 5100 West Henrietta Rd., Rochester NY 14692-9012) sells a cast of the Eichstatt specimen for around US$50. The Natural History Museum, London, sells casts of the London specimen, either main slab only/main slab and counterpart/skull, painted or unpainted. But these are quite expensive, e.g. fifteen hundred pounds for a painted main slab with the skull still in place (they are, however, quite excellent). However, some of the larger fossil, rock & mineral suppliers should have specimens at less expensive prices.

I ran across a reference of Marsh's discovery and description of a "toothed bird" named Hesperornis regalis. Has this been authenticated since the early 1800s? I really enjoy your page and the excellent articles. Thank You, Richard Mead

Richard M.

Response from :

Yes, Hesperornis has been authenticated and is still a valid species. It, together with the related genus Baptornis, are classified toegther as Hesperornithiformes. They are found in the Late Cretaceous Niobrara Chalk Formation in Kansas, USA.

Just wanted to let you know I found Walter Brown's book on the net at: Center for Scientific Creation. I had written to you earlier asking if you could help me find it. I had wandered across it and then lost it when my computer froze (apparently it could not handle the illogic). Anyway, I have found it and printed it off. I thought it interesting that Brown's endorsers are for the most part Christian ministers and tele-evangelists. Also interesting is his inability or unwillingness to look at the evidence without reference to the Bible. If he is trying to present a case for a created universe using the analogy from design(although it becomes apparent early on that he is using the argument from ignorance)then why does he slip in his version of the Christian god? Must the alleged intelligent designer be that particular god? And why just one god? Why not a huge number of gods, one for each of the many different parts of the creation? Using the analogy of the airplane we see that it could not have come into existence on its own through random (a conviently undefined term) processes. It must have an intelligent cause! Correct- aluminum miners, metal workers, electricians, welders, drafters, payrole supervisors, and so on. Even a blueprint is not neccessarily the work of one person.

Another point: Many objects designed by humans are often trial runs or rough drafts. Assuming this universe is created by a god or gods could we not also assume that it is a rough draft?

Finally, if creation science is a genuine science then there must be some condition underwhich it could be falsified. Frequently the creation scientists say that this universe is just so complex that they cannot conceive of it having come into existence all by itself, therefore, a creator. OK. Now, imagine a universe that is not complex, but simple. Is there no creator behind that one? I doubt the creationists will accept this thought experiment. They will probably retort by saying that anything which exists (excluding you know who) is complex and therefore must be created.

Gary W.

I would like to point out that about 2 miles south of the Turkish town of Dogubayzit is the remains of Noah's Ark. This was confirmed in the late-1980's by David Fasold, a marine ship-salvage engineer who used ground radar systems to identify the object. Also, you have asked very many questions as to the events in Genesis itself. Each one can be answered. Are you able to sit still long enough to check out the answer?

Brian M.

Response from :

Dave Fasold has since concluded that the structure is not Noah's Ark.

Lorence G. Collins & David F. Fasold (1996) Bogus "Noah's Ark" from Turkey exposed as a common geologic structure. Journal of Geoscience Education, 44: 439-444.


"A natural rock structure near Dogubayazit, Turkey, has been misidentified as Noah's Ark. Microscopic studies of a supposed iron bracket show that it is derived from weathered volcanic minerals. Supposed metal-braced walls are natural concentrations of limonite and magnetite in steeply inclined sedimentary layers in the limbs of a doubly plunging syncline. Supposed fossilized gopherwood bark is crinkled metamorphosed peridtite. Fossiliferous limestone, interpreted as cross cutting the syncline, preclude the structure from being Noah's Ark because these supposed "Flood" deposits are younger than the "Ark". Anchor stones at Kazan (Arzip) are derived from local andersite and not from Mesopotamia."

August 1996
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