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Proposed evolution scenarios are just-so stories (Talk.Origins)

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Response Article
This article (Proposed evolution scenarios are just-so stories (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 CB990:

Evolutionist explanations are just-so stories. They are entirely speculative and do not qualify as evidence.


  • Dembski, William A., 2002. No Free Lunch, Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, chap. 6.

CreationWiki response:

(Talk.Origins quotes in blue)

1. It is indeed wrong to offer a just-so story as evidence that something happened a certain way.

True, but the problem is that sometimes they are presented as evidence, or in a way that implies they could be considered evidence.

However, such stories still serve a purpose as hypotheses. They present a model that can be tested by further research and either rejected or qualified as more probable.

There are major differences between a just-so story and a hypothesis.

  1. A hypothesis starts with a given set of assumptions and / or starting conditions, and follows them to their logical conclusions, These conclusions then serve as prediction of what will or will not be observed in the future.
  2. A just-so story, is intended to provide an explanation of how something went from point A to point B. In this case point B need not be a natural logical consequence of starting at point A and the just-so story need not and seldom does make predictions about future observations.

While it is possible for a just-so story to be developed into a true hypotheses that can be tested that is the exception rather than the rule. More often than not this does not happen.

For example, the just-so story that horns on horned lizards evolved as defense has now been supported with experiments (Young et al. 2004). Science makes little progress without hypotheses to test.

Actually Talk Origins' cited source only shows that, once horned lizards got horns, natural selection tends to favor longer horns, because they serve as a defense mechanism. This says nothing about how or why horned lizards got horns in the first place.

2. Such stories also function to rebut claims that something could not have happened. If a plausible story is presented, the claim of impossibility is shown to be false. This is true whether or not the story is speculative.

This ignores the fact that any good science fiction writer can make a plausible sounding story of a totally impossible event. For example the laws of thermodynamics show that some events are impossible, but yet it is still possible to make up a plausible sounding story about how they could occur. This does not mean that they are possible, but that human beings can imagine impossible things.

3. Creationists have almost nothing but just-so stories to back up their models (such as they are). For example, every detail creationists give about the Flood is a just-so story, due to a lack of basis for anything more than the broad outline given in Genesis. And no research is ever done to test their stories.


Now it is possible and even likely that this is the way the folks at Talk Origins actually see Creationist theories, but they are wrong.

  1. There is plenty of real evidence to back up Creationist models, but in many case Evolutionists can’t seem to think outside the evolution/uniformitarian box enough to see it from a different perspective.
  2. Creationist Flood models are based on more than just “the broad outline given in Genesis.”
    • Other places in the Bible besides Genesis give additional information on the Flood.
    • Known scientific Laws often provide a basis for mechanisms by which a Creationist model can operate.
    • Observed conditions of the Earth and Universe also provide a basis for Creationist models.
  3. Contrary to Talk Origins' baseless claim, creationists do do research to test their models. RATE is a good example of this. Also there are creationist peer review journals loaded with the very type of research that Talk Origins claims never happens. Examples include the Journal of Creation, Creation Research Society Quarterly and others.