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Creationism Vs Evolution

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A debate of evolution and Creationism

A debate of evolution and Creationism

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  • 1. Creation versus Evolution Jason Donev vs. Disclaimer: This talk will show Scientific Creationism is incompatible with observed facts, but does not address mainstream Christianity.
  • 2. Definitions of Creationism
    • Creationism is the belief that God created the universe (a question science doesn’t address).
    • “ Scientific Creationism” is a subset of creationism where the Bible is taken to be literally true. This talk will refer to scientific creationism by simply the word creationism.
  • 3. Public Opinion
    • 83% of Americans polled want Evolution taught in public schools.
    • 70% believe that evolution is compatible with a belief in God
    • From: People for the American Way poll (2000)
  • 4. BUT:~1/3 of the surveyed people believe that scientific creationism should be taught
    • 16% believe that schools should teach scientific creationism only
    • 13% believe both should be taught as “scientific theories”
    • 4% believe both should be taught, but aren’t sure how.
  • 5. The poll also asked about the definition of evolution
    • Correct definition of evolution chosen by 48% of the population:
      • Humans and apes have a common ancestor
    • Incorrect definition chosen by 32% of the population:
      • Humans evolved from apes
  • 6.
    • Americans with an incorrect definition of
    • Evolution (32% of public)
    • Eliminate evolution from textbooks 33%
    • Keep evolution in textbooks 55%
    • Not sure 12%
    • Americans who chose the correct definition of Evolution (48% of public)
    • Eliminate evolution from textbooks 21%
    • Keep evolution in textbooks 70%
    • Not sure 9%
    • A less complete understanding of Evolution leads to supporting its elimination from science classes.
  • 7. History
    • Most of medieval Christian church probably didn’t believe the Bible was literally true, and age of Earth was unknown.
    • Bishop Ussher in 1650 calculated 4004BC
    • Hutton / Lyell Uniformitarianism (early 1800’s):
      • “ The present is the key to the past.”
      • Probably makes for a very old Earth
    • Darwin wrote “Origin of the Species” (1859)
    • 20 th century Earth was determined to be 4.6 billion years old
  • 8. Creationist history
    • Modern Creation Science started with 7 th day Adventists, Ellen G. White claims to have seen
      • The creation of the Earth in a week
      • Noah’s flood shaped the surface of Earth
    • George McCready Price (1870-1963) started to get some following even in the 1910s, but not popular until 1970s.
    • 1963 Morris and Whitcomb started the Creation Research Society (CRS) which required an advanced degree in science to join.
  • 9. Intelligent Design
    • Started by Phillip E. Johnson a law professor put out book Darwin on Trial .
    • This movement is slightly different from creationism, but is still attacks evolution.
    • The Discovery Institute in Seattle “supports research by scientists and other scholars challenging various aspects of neo-Darwinian theory”
  • 10. Some creationist beliefs
    • Science is only true if it agrees with the Bible.
    • The Earth is between 6,000-10,000 years old
    • C-14 dating is invalid; all radioisotope dating is wrong
    • Kinds are invariant (don’t evolve into other kinds)
    • There was literally a flood that covered the planet
    • Sedimentary rocks were all made during the flood
    • 2 nd law of thermodynamics prevents evolution
    • Humans aren’t biologically animals
    • Evolution leads to an immoral worldview
  • 11. Looking into the past
    • When we look at distant stars, we look into the past. The further away the star, the further in the past we look.
    • If it takes more than 10,000 years for the light to get here, the universe obviously appears more than 10,000 years old.
    • Light coming from stars millions of light years away takes millions of years to get here.
    • In order to explain this creationists have two theories:
      • The speed of light changed
      • Light was created on its way here
  • 12. The speed of light is 300,000,000m/s
    • The speed of light in a vacuum has been shown to tremendous precision to be invariant locally.
    • If it is different someplace else, there would be total internal reflection
    • If it varies with time, there would be a change in    and   , this would change spectra of stars; no such change is observed.
  • 13. Far away
    • If God created the light on its way here, he created a history for us to look at as well. If God created an apparent age, why not just call it age?
  • 14. Radioactive isotopes
    • they decay into other isotopes
    • Half lives give how much time it takes for half of a given sample to decay, or the time it takes for 1 atom to have a 50% chance of decaying.
    • Isotopes have half lives range from nanosec - billions of years.
    • Age of a sample can be determined if:
      • the amounts of isotopes are known
      • no atoms enter or leave the system
      • the rate of change is known.
  • 15. If the half life is greater than ~10 8 years then it is found in nature, less than 10 7 years it isn’t. Missing from nature Nuclide Half-Life 50 V 6.0 x 10 15 144 Nd 2.4 x 10 15 192 Pt 1.0 x 10 15 115 In 6.0 x 10 14 152 Gd 1.1 x 10 14 123 Te 1.2 x 10 13 190 Pt 6.9 x 10 11 138 La 1.12 x 10 11 147 Sm 1.06 x 10 11 87 Rb 4.88 x 10 10 187 Re 4.3 x 10 10 176 Lu 3.5 x 10 10 232 Th 1.40 x 10 10 238 U 4.47 x 10 9 40 K 1.25 x 10 9 235 U 7.04 x 10 8 Nuclide Half-Life 146 Sm 7.0 x 10 7 205 Pb 3.0 x 10 7 247 Cm 1.6 x 10 7 182 Hf 9 x 10 6 107 Pd 7 x 10 6 135 Cs 3.0 x 10 6 97 Tc 2.6 x 10 6 150 Gd 2.1 x 10 6 93 Zr 1.5 x 10 6 98 Tc 1.5 x 10 6 154 Dy 1.0 x 10 6
  • 16. Creationists claim:
    • Creationists claim that the radioactive decay rate can’t be known.
      • Candle analogy
    • Creationists claim that the initial amount can’t be known, and it can’t be proven if additional elements came into a sample.
    • They point to C 14 dating as being fallible therefore all radiometric dating must be wrong.
  • 17. Mainstream science claims:
    • Radioactive decay rates can be calculated from nuclear physics using fundamental physical constants.
      • They’ve been the same for millions of years.
    • Looking at the decay of uranium into lead, we know that rocks are at least 3.9 billion years old.
    • Over 200 different radioisotopes agree that the Earth is more than 6000 years old.
  • 18. Carbon 14 dating
    • Useful for dating formerly living things.
    • C 14 is one of the few radioactive isotopes that appears in living things with enough abundance to measure the decay rate.
    • There are some difficulties with C 14 that don’t happen with other radioisotopes, but these difficulties are well understood.
  • 19. How C 14 dating works
    • There is a ratio of C 12 to C 14 in the atmosphere
    • Plant take in CO 2 , and gets C 12 and C 14
    • Animal eats plant and gets C 12 and C 14
    • Animal dies, and stops getting more C 14
    • After 5730 yr ½ the C 14 will decay but C 12 won’t.
    • The ratio of C 12 to remaining C 14 shows how long ago the animal stopped taking in C
  • 20. Assumptions with C 14 dating
    • We must assume that we know the initial ratio of C 12 to C 14 . If that’s off, then the measurement is off.
    • Scientists use their intelligence guided by their experience to tell if data is good or not. This isn’t scientific dishonesty. When the equipment doesn’t work right, it’s recorded. This is different from getting conflicting results!
  • 21. Creationists ignore this
    • Creationists often cite cases with incorrect C 14 results.
    • For example:
      • A freshly killed seal dated by C 14 showed it had died 1300 years ago. (Antarctic Journal, vol. 6, [September-October 1971])
    • Which demonstrates a legitimate problem for C 14 dating called the reservoir effect:
      • The seal’s C 14 came from the Antarctic ocean which has a different C 12 to C 14 ratio
      • Much of the C 14 decayed before it was eaten
    • When reading the actual journal article, this is exactly what the article is talking about.
  • 22. C 14 dating of dinosaur bones
    • After 6-8 half lives a radiometric dating technique becomes inaccurate because there’s an insufficient amount of radioactive material left. This puts an upper limit on C 14 dating of 50,000 years.
    • Dinosaurs are >65 million years old, therefore, C 14 dating results are meaningless.
    • Some creationists actually complain that C 14 hasn’t been used on dinosaur bones, or when it is, it shows that the dinosaur bones are only a few thousand years old.
  • 23. Side note: King Clone creosote bush
    • A creosote shoot can live ~100yrs, but it produces "clones" of itself through a system whereby the inner stems die and new stems appear on the periphery. This produces a circular pattern of genetically-identical plants, with the rings expanding outward about a meter every 500 years. This "clone-family" can live a remarkably long time: the "King Clone“ is estimated at 11,700 years old. If you consider the cloned shoots as part of the original plant, that makes it the oldest living thing on earth.
  • 24. Geologic column
    • Sedimentation
      • The process of suspended solid particles settling out in water.
      • Yields different strata (the layers or beds found in sedimentary rock.)
    • Get correlating strata all over the world
    • Fossils can be found that correspond to specific strata
  • 25. Creationists claim
    • The entire geologic column was deposited in 1 year by the flood.
    • Species were sorted by where they lived, less complex species lived at lower elevations
    • “ Kinds” are invariant, and can not change.
  • 26. Mainstream science claims:
    • Sedimentation
      • Old stuff is on the bottom, new on top
      • Yields geologic column with an age associated with it.
    • No evidence for a worldwide flood
    • Different strata are deposited throughout time.
    • Radioisotope dating date different strata.
      • Can then date fossils by looking at the different strata.
      • Age of strata from radioisotope data agree throughout the world.
  • 27. Faunal succession is a Fact
    • Fossils found in age-equivalent geologic strata look like each other, but commonly differ from modern animals.
    • Faunal succession: observation that over time species change
    • Evolution: a theory of what causes Faunal succession
  • 28. Horses through the ages Horse Evolution Over 55 Million Years Excerpted from the Florida Museum of Natural History Fossil Horse Cybermuseum. http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/natsci/vertpaleo/fhc/firstCM.htm                   See detailed discussion of horse evolution at:  http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/horses.html How can you explain the sequence of horse fossils? Even if you insist on ignoring the transitional fossils (many of which have been found), again, how can the unmistakable sequence of these fossils be explained? Did God create Hyracotherium, then kill off Hyracotherium and create some Hyracotherium-Orohippus intermediates, then kill off the intermediates and create Orohippus, then kill off Orohippus and create Epihippus, then allow Epihippus to "microevolve" into Duchesnehippus, then kill off Duchesnehippus and create Mesohippus, then create some Mesohippus-Miohippus intermediates, then create Miohippus, then kill off Mesohippus, etc.....each species coincidentally similar to the species that came just before and came just after?  Creationism utterly fails to explain the sequence of known horse fossils from the last 50 million years. That is, without invoking the "God Created Everything To Look Just Like Evolution Happened" Theory.  [And there is other evidence for evolution that is totally independent of the fossil record -- developmental biology, comparative DNA & protein studies, morphological analyses, biogeography, etc. The fossil record, horses included, is only a small part of the story.]  Creationists are thus forced into illogical, unjustified attacks of fossil dating methods, or irrelevant and usually flat-out wrong proclamations about a supposed "lack" of "transitional forms". The Evolution of the Horse's Foot Don Lindsay - http://www.cs.colorado.edu/~lindsay/creation/fossil_groups.html The question here is not "can we find a change from one species to another ". This page takes the discussion up one level, and looks for fossil connections between dozens or hundreds of species. Obviously, the time spans are longer. We might be talking about 10 million years instead of one million: or perhaps 30 million instead of 3 million. The talk.origins Transitional Fossils FAQ lists a bunch of groupings - the bears, for instance. But there is a horse FAQ because we have such a huge collection of horse fossils, and because the pieces of the puzzle fit together so well. Fifty five million years ago, there was an animal the size of a small dog, called Hyracotherium (sometimes incorrectly called Eohippus ). Its front feet had four toes, and its back feet had three. Modern horse feet have a single hoof. So, are there transitional fossils that connect the two?                                         T he Horse Series That suggests that the ancestors of the modern horse didn't have a hoof. So, do modern horses suggest any such ancestry?                                            H orse Growth That seems pretty clear. So, why have so many scientists been quoted as saying that something was wrong with the horse series? They were actually complaining that the simple pictures are far too simple. It has in the past been shown as a "ladder of progress", a uniform and sure path from a starting point to an ending point. But in fact the horse family tree is enormous, and no one path through the tree is representative of all that went on. For example, "Increase in size, for instance, did not occur at all during the first third of the whole history of the family. Then it occurred quite irregularly, at different rates and to different degrees in a number of different lines of descent. Even after a trend toward larger size had started it was reversed in several groups of horses which became smaller instead of larger." Life of the Past , G.G. Simpson, Yale U. Press 1953. Page 125. In fact, horse history was quite eventful, with four major migrations, and some mass extinctions. Also, the rate of evolution (measured in new species per million years) varied considerably. I don't have pictures of the transitional fossils - not because we don't have any, but because they are so numerous, and no one transition is the important one. "All the morphological changes in the history of the Equidae can be accounted for by the neo-Darwinian theory of microevolution : genetic variation, natural selection, genetic drift, and speciation." Evolutionary Biology , D. J. Futuyma, Sinauer Associates 1986, p.409 Last modified: 19 October 2000 The Horse Family Tree Don Lindsay - http://www.cs.colorado.edu/~lindsay/creation/horse_tree.html This diagram (from the horse FAQ ) just shows genus names. In 1940, this diagram would have showed only 15 genera , representing only 200 species. But we just keep finding horse fossils. There are entire books about them. The numbers down the left hand side are the dates. The present is at the top, and 55 million years ago is at the bottom. 2My Old & New World Equus | / | / 4My Hippidion Equus Stylohipparion | | Neohipparion Hipparion Cormohipparion | | Astrohippus | | | | | Pliohippus --------------------------- 12My Dinohippus Calippus | / | | Pseudhipparion | / | | | | ------------------------------------------- Sinohippus 15My | / | | / Megahippus | 17My Merychippus | | | Anchitherium Hypohippus | | | 23My Parahippus Anchitherium Archeohippus | | | (Kalobatippus?)----------------------------------------- 25My | / | / | 35My | Miohippus Mesohippus | | 40My Mesohippus | | | 45My Paleotherium | | Epihippus | | Propalaeotherium | Haplohippus | | | 50My Pachynolophus | Orohippus | | | | | | ------------------------------ | / | / 55My Hyracotherium Last modified: 10 January 1998                                                                 This small dog-sized animal is the oldest found horse ancestor that lived about 55 million years ago.  It had a primitive short face, with eye sockets in the middle and a short diastema (the space between the front teeth and the cheek teeth). Although it has low-crowned teeth, we see the beginnings of the characteristic horse-like ridges on the molars.                                                                                           The earliest evidence of this “little horse” is found in the middle Eocene of Wyoming, about 2 million years after the first appearance of Hyracotherium.  The two genera coexisted during the Eocene, although Orohippus fossils are not as numerous or as geographically widespread as those of Hyracotherium. Fossils of Orohippus have been found in Eocene sediments in Wyoming and Oregon, dating from about 52-45 million years ago.                                                                                           The "middle horse" earned its name.  Mesohippus is intermediate between the eohippus-like horses of the Eocene, (which don't look much like our familiar "horse") and more "modern" horses. Fossils of Mesohippus are found at many Oligocene localities in Colorado and the Great Plains of the US (like Nebraska and the Dakotas) and Canada.  This genus lived about 37-32 million years ago.                                                                                           Species of Miohippus gave rise to the first burst of diversity in the horse family.  Until Miohippus, there were few side branches, but the descendants of Miohippus were numerous and distinct.  During the Miocene, over a dozen genera existed. Fossils of Miohippus are found at many Oligocene localities in the Great Plains, the western US and a few places in Florida. Species in this genus lived from about 32-25 million years ago.                                                                              Parahippus appears to be the evolutionary “ link ” between the old forest-dwelling horses and the modern plains-dwelling grazers.   It has 3 toes, like primitive horses, but the side toes are smaller.   They are "horse-faced," or long-headed with the eye socket well back from the middle of the skull. Fossils of Parahippus are found at many early Miocene localities in the Great Plains and Florida.   Species in this genus lived from 24-17 million years ago.                                                                   Merychippus represents a milestone in the evolution of horses.   Though it retained the primitive character of 3 toes, it looked like a modern horse.   Merychippus had a long face.   Its long legs allowed it to escape from predators and migrate long distances to feed.   It had high-crowned cheek teeth, making it the first known grazing horse and the ancestor of all later horse lineages. Fossils of Merychippus are found at many late Miocene localities throughout the United States.   Species in this genus lived from 17-11 million years ago.                                                                                            "Grandfather" to the modern horse, Pliohippus appears to be the source of the latest radiation in the horse family.  It is believed to have given rise to Hippidion and Onohippidion, genera that thrived for a time in South American, and to Dinohippus which in turn led to Equus. Fossils of Pliohippus are found at many late Miocene localities in Colorado, the Great Plains of the US (Nebraska and the Dakotas) and Canada.  Species in this genus lived from 12-6 million years ago.                                                                                       Dinohippus is believed to be the closest relative to Equus, the genus that includes the living horses, asses and zebras. Dinohippus fossils are found in the Upper Miocene of North America and date from 13 - 5 million years ago.                                                                           Equus is the only surviving genus in the once diverse family of horses.   Domesticated about 3,000 years ago, the horse had a profound impact on human history in areas such as migration, farming, warfare, sport, communication, and travel. Species of Equus lived from 5 million years ago until the present.   Living species include horses, asses, and zebras.   Fossils of Equus are found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica.
  • 29. Creationists claim
    • They don’t believe the bones can be dated
    • Modern horses vary, the variation seen in the fossil record is just that variation.
  • 30. Mainstream science claims
    • Horse fossils are found in different layers.
      • These horse skeletons are different with depth
      • But the same within age-equivalent geologic strata.
    • Skeletons of horses as they exist today haven’t been found from rocks that existed 35 million years ago, and horses which have been found from 35 million years ago don’t exist today, therefore evolution must have occurred.
    • This has been observed for other species as well, but horses have shown dozens of distinct species with remarkably well documented transitional forms between them.
  • 31. 2 nd law of thermodynamics
    • Without adding energy systems tend to become disordered.
    • The total disorder of the universe must increase with time, although the disorder in a given system may decrease.
  • 32. Creationists claim
    • Evolution can’t happen because it violates the second law of thermodynamics.
    • Even if the Earth is a closed system some sort of ‘intelligent design’ is needed to make the energy useful
  • 33. 2 nd law of thermo
    • We are not a closed system
      • Sunlight shines allowing work to be done with its energy
      • So there can be a net increase in useful energy on the Earth while still having a net increase in disorder in the universe
    • The work that sunlight does can be useful to organisms, they can grow and change, and evolve!
    • Crystals can form with no more ‘intelligence’ than their atomic structure.
  • 34. Creationists claim that science is a religion
    • Science is a set of beliefs, however:
    • Science is based on observation
    • Science is falsifiable and predictive.
      • A theory is proven wrong if it is not supported by the evidence.
      • When theories are proven incorrect, they can be modified or new theories can come forward.
  • 35. Creation Science is not Science
    • They begin by assuming that material in Genesis is factual, and develop their theories based on this assumption.
    • They do not investigate their theories in light of evidence, they construct the evidence to fit their assumptions.
    • Even when these theories have been proven wrong they continue to believe them.
  • 36. Many religions claim
    • God created the Earth, the universe, and everything in it, including humans.
  • 37. Mainstream science claims
    • The Earth, the universe, and everything in it, including humans exist and change over time in an observable way.
  • 38. Religions claim
    • We should all try to be good people living a moral life.
  • 39. Mainstream science claims
    • Absolutely nothing.
    • Although many scientists agree we should live a moral life, it’s not a scientific statement.
  • 40. Creationists Claim
    • Teaching that humans are biological animals leads to an immoral worldview.
    • Crime rates have gone up since the teaching of evolution started in schools because people believe that they are animals.
  • 41. Mainstream Science claims:
    • Humans are biologically animals
      • Same chemical and physical structure as other animals.
    • Crime rates go up and down, causal relationships are difficult to determine.
  • 42. http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm The stock market has gone up since the 1950s as well! Correlation does not imply a causal relationship!
  • 43. The Scientific Creationist movement is damaging
    • The make specious and outlandish religious claims that damage Christianity.
    • They add fuel to the fire of disagreement between the religious and scientific community, adding to a conflict that should be dying and discrediting both institutions.
  • 44. Claims I addressed
    • The speed of light is constant
    • Radioactive dating, including C 14 , is a valid and accurate way to date samples
    • Faunal succession, species do change over time, evolution is a viable “theory”
    • Geologic column really does show that the older stuff is on the bottom, and can be used to date fossils
    • 2 nd law of thermodynamics doesn’t contradict evolution
    • The “Creationist Science” movement is hazardous to both religion and science and should be combatted by open and honest discussion and education.
  • 45. In conclusion
    • Creationist arguments and theories don’t fit the facts
    • Science answers questions within its purview quite successfully.
    • Scientific creationism should not be taught
  • 46. Thanks and citations
    • National Center for Science Education, specifically Glenn Branch and Nick Matze
    • The Talk Origins archive, if they don’t address it, creationists probably haven’t claimed it: http://www.talkorigins.org/
    • The Age of the Earth , Dalrymple
    • Paleontological Society Papers October 1999 V 5
    • Crime statistics:
    • http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm

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