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Evolution can't be replicated (Talk.Origins)

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Response Article
This article (Evolution can't be replicated (Talk.Origins)) is a response to a rebuttal of a creationist claim published by Talk.Origins Archive under the title Index to Creationist Claims.


Claim CA220:

Science requires experiments that can be replicated. Evolution can not be replicated, so it is not science.

Source: Morris, Henry M. 1985. Scientific Creationism. Green Forest, AR: Master Books, p. 4.


CreationWiki response:

We always need to make sure we understand the argument correctly in order to deal with its rebuttals. What is meant when someone says that evolution is not replicable? Now think about the grand theory of evolution and what it teaches. It teaches us that all living creatures descended from a common ancestor or a few of them by purely natural means. It teaches us that nature, on its own, can create new genetic information in order to build more complex living creatures from simpler ones. It says that over a long period some bacteria-like creature in a population of such creatures changed into fish, a certain number of which changed into amphibians, a certain number of which changed into reptiles, a certain number of which changed into birds or mammals, a few of which changed into us. They believe that this was done primarily via natural selection and mutation. When did this all happen? According to evolutionists, it happened for millions and millions of years before humans even evolved from their ape ancestors. Now how can such a theory be repeated? It cannot be repeated, i.e., the theory is not replicable. According to evolutionists, the processes are so slow that we cannot observe the major tenets of the theory, i.e. massive genetic and morphological change and increase in genetic information happening today, because they are either so slow (gradualism) or too fast to show up in the fossil record (punctuated equilibrium). Since the major tenets of the hypothesis cannot be observed, they are not scientific. And such a grand theory cannot be replicated, adding veracity to the claim that evolution is primarily unscientific.

Let's see how Talk Origins deals with the claim.

(Talk.Origins quotes in blue)


Science requires that observations can be replicated. The observations on which evolution is based, including comparative anatomy, genetics, and fossils, are replicable. In many cases, you can repeat the observations yourself.

The fact is that the observations on which evolution is based are too minor to verify evolution alone and exclude no other model of origins and development.

  • Comparative genetics, on a purely scientific level, can only tell us that certain animals have similarities. Both evolutionists and creationists have explanations for these similarities, so repeating such observations proves nothing.
  • Fossils and their supposed order in the hypothetical geologic column has been observed by both creationists and evolutionists, both having explanations for the majority of them with catastrophe playing a major role in their formation. The order of their deposition has explanations from both sides of the debate, and the fact that catastrophe appears to have played a role in their formation is actually evidence for the Genesis flood. What exactly would you replicate when looking at a fossil? You can't replicate the actual conditions that caused their burial and formation. I guess you can only look at the same fossils again and again.
  • Genetics again doesn't prove anything with the exclusion of other scientific models. Looking at similarities in the genetic code of different animals alongside the differences in the genetic code cannot tell you how the code formed in the first place and there are explanations from both sides about the similarities and differences. You cannot replicate the increase in genetic information, and its development within each group of animals. If a person wishes to try to construct some sort of genetic family tree, it is not based on replicability, but on a belief that one family of animal must have developed from another family.

The observations that are done in the present cannot tell you what happened in the ultimately unknown past of millions and millions of years since, because there is no witness to observe the conditions of the world and universe in that hypothetical time-frame.


Repeatable experiments, including experiments about mutations and natural selection in the laboratory and in the field, also support evolution.

Firstly, this statement has no evidence behind it. The writer could have given some evidence for his point of view rather than stating this empty statement.

Secondly, observations concerning mutation and natural selection in field experiments like the Peppered Moth experiment (which is questionable), and laboratory experiments, such as the experiment that involved exposing a species of fly with radiation and chemicals, show extremely minor changes within a family of animal compared to the grand claims the theory of evolution makes, saying that one kind of animal can change into another. Such minor changes do not support evolution and is easily incorporated and understood in creation science.

So the points are

  • On a whole, the theory of evolution is not replicable.
  • The evidences that are said to support it do not do so strongly, if at all, neither do they exclude the creation model.