Thursday, 25 January 2018

Evolution is not crocodiles evolving into ducks. Debunking a common special creationist error

In my experience, it's a rare special creationist who knows anything about evolutionary biology, which of course makes their criticisms immaterial. After all, if you want your criticisms of something to be taken seriously, you first need to demonstrate that you know that subject intimately. Otherwise, no one will take anything you say seriously.

One of the most common special creationist errors is to assert that they will only accept evolution if they see one animal evolving into another. This error betrays a profound lack of understanding of the rudiments of evolutionary biology which states that it is populations that evolve, rather than individuals. Pokémon evolution is not the same thing as biological evolution.

Monday, 15 January 2018

The Faith of an Evolutionary Creationist - 2

Arguably the main reason behind Christian opposition to evolution is that the doctrine of Original Sin as traditionally formulated requires universal human descent from two people in order for the guilt and/or consequences of Adam’s sin to be genetically inherited by the entire human race. The fossil and genetic evidence for human evolution of course makes this doctrine untenable as the human population has never been smaller than a few thousand people. For many, a theological resolution to this problem would be more emotionally satisfying. If one could show that Original Sin owes nothing substantive to the Bible and everything to post-apostolic speculation, that would take away a significant theological imperative to deny evolution. When you research the history of Original Sin, it quickly becomes apparent that it was absent for the first few centuries of the Christian era. Given this, one of the major theological barriers to accepting the fact of evolution vanishes.

Friday, 12 January 2018

More creationist dishonesty - Facebook page "Here is the evolution" highlights deliberate creationist misrepresentation

Special creationist dishonesty is so common that it scarcely rates a mention anymore, but sometimes you see an example which warrants attention if only to remind people of why special creationist organisations, both amateur and professional are held in contempt. Last year, I mentioned Where is the evolution?, a Facebook page that resorts to highly misleading comparisons of extinct and extant animals to justify its assertion that evolution has never happened, and a counter-page Here is the evolution which systematically dismantles misleading memes with evidence. Late last year, Where is the evolution? (WITE hereafter) resorted to doctoring a meme from Here is the evolution (likewise, HITE hereafter). In terms of blatant dishonesty, it is the pictorial analog of quote mining.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

The Faith of an Evolutionary Creationist - 1

"What does an evolutionary creationist believe?" This is a wonderfully succinct description:
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the grave.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy universal church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
Irrespective of whether one is a young earth creationist, old earth creationist, or evolutionary creationist, this ancient profession of Christian faith unites all believers, with the mechanism by which God created heaven and earth a secondary issue.