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One Quote that Tells You All You Need to Know About Creationist Arguments

Ville Kokko

Posted on July 25, 2018 05:54

1 user

They never quote this paragraph from the "Origin of Species" … and that makes them dishonest.

This is the quote (from Darwin, The Origin of Species, chapter VI) that tells you all you need to know about anti-evolutionist arguments:

"When it was first said that the sun stood still and the world turned round, the common sense of mankind declared the doctrine false; but the old saying of Vox populi, vox Dei, as every philosopher knows, cannot be trusted in science. Reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a simple and imperfect eye to one complex and perfect can be shown to exist, each grade being useful to its possessor, as is certain the case; if further, the eye ever varies and the variations be inherited, as is likewise certainly the case; and if such variations should be useful to any animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, should not be considered as subversive of the theory."

Well, anti-evolutionists ("creationists") probably don't agree with this one, so why should they quote it? Maybe some of you have guessed. It's because they like to quote the sentence right before it:

"To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree."

This earlier sentence sounds very different alone without the following ones. Basically, Darwin wrote "It seems incredible that they eye could have evolved, but things proven by science have seemed incredible before, and my theory can totally explain it."

Yet anti-evolutionists are quoting him as (only) saying "It seems incredible that they eye could have evolved." This exemplifies the level of dishonesty and/or cluelessness that's common in their arguments. It's also an example of, and something of an apt metaphor for, something else: They keep rejecting evolution based on challenges that already have answers.

(As to why they would do this and how it works, there's a really interesting piece here by an ex-anti-evolutionist.)

When I say this tells you everything you need to know about anti-evolutionist arguments, I don't mean it proves they're all like that. That's something that needs to be proven by looking at the rest of them. Try it, and honestly look at scientists' answers too. The thing is, anti-evolutionists are always going on about these supposedly hard questions that evolution can't possibly answer, but if you actually listen to scientists, they have been answered already, and often just understanding evolution properly would automatically give the answer.

So, I have not proven to you that the arguments tend to have this flaw, I have just made the claim that they do and illustrated it with one example. You can find an incredible number of challenges to evolution answered here, for example on the eye here and here.

Ville Kokko

Posted on July 25, 2018 05:54

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