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Skeptic arguments

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Some creationists have published a list of arguments that they believe creationists should not use.[1] As far as is known, anticreationists have not done similar. Yet such a list is warranted, as there are many arguments used against creationism that no self-respecting anticreationist should be willing to use. In many cases these arguments are used by amateur anticreationists who have no real idea of what creationists believe, and conversely many more-knowledgeable anticreationists will avoid using them. However, even some that should know better will use some of these arguments.

Straw man arguments

Straw-man arguments are where anticreationists criticise creationists for holding to ideas that they in fact don't hold to. What makes this particularly galling is that in most cases the creationists have frequently denied using these arguments, but the anticreationists keep criticising the creationists for using them anyway.

Noah's Flood covered Mount Everest

Whilst Noah's Flood is described in the Bible as covering the highest mountains, it is clearly talking about the mountains that were present at that time. And creationists believe—with the support of Psalm 104:8—that the mountains rose and the valleys sank at the time of the flood, leading to mountains today that are higher than the pre-flood ones.

This is not a new concept, and anticreationists that claim that creationists believe that the existing Mount Everest was covered by Noah's Flood have clearly never actually read what creationists say on the matter.

Out of date arguments

Sometimes creationists used to hold (or not hold) to some idea, but have since rejected (or accepted) that idea. Of course there may always be some creationists that do still hold to them, especially amateur creationists who don't keep up to date with creationary ideas.

The speed of light is slowing down

In an article in Creation Magazine Vol. 4 No. 1 (1981), creationist Barry Setterfield first put forward his idea that the speed of light had slowed down from an initial speed at creation of 1.5 x 1017 km/sec. This therefore solved the distant starlight problem.[2]

The idea was developed and debated in subsequent issues of Ex Nihilo and then in CEN Technical Journal, but in the end most creationary scientists rejected the idea.

Despite anticreationist claims of creationists being unwilling to consider the evidence and to change their ideas, this case provides a classic example of creationists doing just that. The idea has not been an accepted part of the creation model for many years, but many anticreationists still raise it as an example of creationists being wrong.

There never was one super continent that broke up

This might be expressed by saying that creationists don't believe in plate tectonics, but regardless, it is wrong.

Some creationists have rejected the idea, and in the early days of modern creationism it was not widely accepted, but the idea was actually proposed by a creationist (Antonio Snider) in 1859 partly on the basis of the creation account in Genesis. And creationist John Baumgardner is a leading researcher in plate tectonics.

Anticreationists who claim that creationists reject plate tectonics or an original supercontinent are simply not up to date with creationary thinking.

Creationists deny speciation

Creationists do believe in limits to biological change, those limits being the original created kinds, but also believe in variation within those limits. In fact the creation model requires it in order to explain the variety of creatures descended from those that were on Noah's Ark. However, the observed speciation is the result of a "sorting out" or elimination of the original genetic information, not the chance creation of brand-new genetic information.

Denying speciation was done by some creationists of Darwin's time, and some amateur creationist still do today, but speciation is accepted by all the current leading creationary scientists.

Errors of fact

Some arguments are simply wrong, but have gained a sort of "urban myth" status amongst the anti-creationist community. Again, however, creationists have frequently pointed out the error of these arguments, yet they refuse to die.

No scientists are creationists

This has never been true. Most founders of the various scientific disciplines were creationists, and today there are many thousands of scientists who are creationists. See lists (with qualifications and biographies) of selected creationary scientists on CreationWiki and on the web-sites of Creation Ministries International, Answers in Genesis, and the Institute for Creation Research.

It is therefore incorrect to refer to the beliefs of scientists as being distinct from the beliefs of creationists, as the former group includes some of the latter group.

Creationists deny natural selection

Natural Selection is not synonymous with evolution. Natural Selection is an observed process that was described by a creationist (Edward Blyth) in 1835–7, before Darwin. Creationists consider Natural Selection to be a conservative process, not an innovative one.

Creationists don't publish in peer-reviewed journals

It is often difficult to know just what this claim amounts to. It could be any of the following, and sometimes changes from one to another as each one is debunked.

  • Creation scientists do not publish in peer-reviewed journals
  • Creation scientists do not publish in mainstream peer-reviewed journals
  • Creation scientists do not publish creation research in mainstream peer-reviewed journals.

In each case, however, the charge is false, although creation scientists do find it very difficult to publish creation research in mainstream peer-reviewed journals. See Do Creationists Publish in Notable Refereed Journals? for a refutation of this claim.

The Earth is 4,000 years old

You would think that this one would be easy for anticreationists to get right. But no, some of them are so ignorant of the creationist position that they can't even get the age of the Earth right. Young-Earth Creationists believe that the Earth is 6,000 years old,[3] not 4,000 or some other such figure. Some have argued for an Earth 6,000 to 10,000 years old, but most these days go with the 6,000 year age. Of course this means that the Earth was created around 4000 BC, which is probably where they get the "4,000" from, but it is still very sloppy.

The Flood lasted 40 days (and 40 nights)

Like the last one, this shows that the anticreationists are just not familiar with the model that they profess to know is wrong.

The Bible records that it rained for 40 days and 40 nights, but also says that some (much?) of the water was from subterranean sources ("fountains of the deep"), and that the flood waters rose for 150 days, and the total time that Noah and his family were on the ark was one year and twelve days (including the seven days before the flood started).

There is not enough Water to Flood the whole earth to the highest mountain

Recent research of the minerals found in the upper mantle of the earth has revealed that a mineral called wadsleyite holds 3% water by weight. According to the estimate of how much of the mineral exists in the upper mantle, this works out to around 30 oceans worth of water. More than enough water to to flood the earth to the highest moutain. This also presents a problem for the old earth model. What would create enough pressure to get the water into that mineral without boiling off? Over 14 miles of water would raise the boiling point to over 500 degrees F.[Reference needed] There is no other source for such pressure to achieve this.[4]

Kinetic Energy caused by the rain of the Flood, would have broiled the earth

The kinetic energy generated by the rain during the flood would broil the earth. But the clouds for the rain during the flood would have totally blocked the sun for 40 days. So the kinetic energy would have to match the sun's energy, to replace loss of energy, to even maintain the temperature. Then it would have to be multiplied several times to even raise the global temperature 1 degree in 40 days. So this claim is impossible. In fact the kinetic energy produced during the rain of the flood, made enough heat to keep the earth more livable when Noah got off the boat.

Arguments that don't acknowledge the creation model

Some evidence offered by skeptics in support of evolution fails to actually support evolution over creation. This generally indicates that the skeptic has little idea of the creation model.

Similarity (homology) supports evolution

The argument from homology is that evolution predicts that there will be similarity between different living things because they have a common ancestor. Thus observed similarity is used to demonstrate that evolution is correct. However, the creation model also predicts similarity between different living things because they have a common Creator.[5] Thus observed similarity is consistent with both points of view and therefore cannot be used to support one over the other. (However, a more-specific form of the argument may be able to make the required distinction.)

Transitional forms support evolution

Evolution predicts transitional forms between related living things, and these are observed.[6] Therefore, the argument goes, evolution is shown to be correct. But this ignores that the creation model also predicts transitional forms between different varieties of living things of the same created kind, so evidence of transitional forms between living things cannot be used to support one over the other unless it is also demonstrated that they are transitional between different created kinds.

References

  1. Arguments we think creationists should NOT use by Creation Ministries International
  2. The Velocity of light and the age of the universe by Barry Setterfield Creation 4(1):38–48. March 1981
  3. Give or take a few years. If there are gaps in the genealogies, this date might be higher, but not much more. Creationists generally accept that the age of the earth is at least 6,000 years.
  4. If this is true, then it might help to explain the discordant heat values in Dr. Baumgardner's Runaway Subduction model (it predicts two orders of magnitude more energy added to the oceans than would make the water boil). If the high pressure and boiling point led to wadsleyite being created as described above, then it would vindicate Baumgardner's model.
  5. Note also that DNA is directly related to form and function. If something has similar anatomical requirements to another creature, then their DNA would be similar because it is what enables them to fulfill those requirements. Similarity of DNA, then, is directly indicated by physical similarities. Assuming that something is related because it is similar to something else is begging the question.
  6. Read that carefully. Note that a transitional form between a dog and a wolf is nothing more than a variation of the Dog-Wolf kind. This paragraph is not talking about fish-to-amphibians transitional forms.