22 Answers from a Scientist to People Who Believe in Creationism

Hello, I’m The Star-Splitter, a frequenter on the Believers vs Non Believers Paltalk chatroom and offered to construct an article for their WordPress blog- which you’re on right now! I’m a third-year Astronomy and Astrophysics major at university and fervently strive to be a science educator, teaching those in the public realm on science. It is therefore excruciating for me to witness the pseudoscience, and at times anti-science, of creationism. Recently, Bill Nye debated Ken Ham and after the conclusion, BuzzFeed employee Matt Stopera pictured twenty-two creationists that attended, referenced in “22 Messages From Creationists To People Who Believe In Evolution”. On such a devastatingly ignorant slew of questions, most of which were even answered in the debate by Bill Nye, I could find no better genesis for writing than this. I tried to conserve the grammatical errors and atrocious language.

1. Bill Nye, are you influencing the minds of children in a positive way?
Undoubtedly. There is nothing more positive in terms of influencing youth than arming them with the tools, methods, and ideologies of science. The very public education system aims to do the same: teaching students to be able to fend for themselves logically. A scientific mind is one which questions and stays on its feet with every team. It’s one that is not scared of change or being wrong. It’s one that bases itself in reality. This is referenced throughout history as those countries which specialized in science tended to be world powers: Great Britain/England, France, Germany, Russia/USSR, China, and America, to name a few. America is an odd exception, however. In a Huffington Post article from 31 December 2013, a reported thirty-six percent of Americans reported having a lot of trust in scientists (the other two categories being “only a litte” and “don’t trust it at all”). That means that sixty-four percent of people (although, they report fifty-seven in the other two categories, representing a discrepancy in this article) do not believe that scientists are “accurate and reliable”. Americans have shown up in many other polls as being extremely high compared to other Western countries in being more religious and not accepting the Big Bang theory and natural selection. Not only does that show that Bill Nye in his scientific pursuit is influencing the minds of the children in a positive way but that teaching the opposite is actually influencing children in a negative way.
I will admit, however, that this latter conclusion is only hypothesis. A Science Daily article referencing a post from the New York Times says that there has been “an increase from around 10 percent in the late 1980s and early 1990s”.

2. Are you scared of a Divine Creator?
This has nothing to do with the debate question “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?” and is framed as solely emotional pleading.

3. Is it completely illogical that the earth was created mature? I.e. trees created with rings… Adam created as an adult…
It would be completely logical if we ever found any animal without reason giving birth to an adult.
It would be completely logical if we ever found a mechanism for which trees could be born with seasonal tree rings.
It would be completely logical if we ever found stars which didn’t evolve from disorganized nebulae but poofed into existence.
But we haven’t found any of that. So actually, yes. It is completely illogical.

4. Does not the second law of thermodynamics disprove Evolution?
This question was actually brought up in the debate. The second law of thermodynamics states that in an irreversibly, closed system, the entropy of a system never increases.
Meaning a system which might… let’s say… not have an 875,000 mile diameter nuclear fusion factory blasting photons at a planet which is geothermally active.

5. How do you explain a sunset if there is no God?
Wow… The funny thing about this is that actually, the explanation for a sunset is the same whether or not if you believe in a deity. It’s called heliocentrism and a rotation planet.
6. If the Big Bang Theory is true and taught as science along with evolution, why do the laws of thermodynamics debunk said theories?
They don’t. For evolution, that was just described. In terms of the Big Bang, when the singularity expanded, it was evenly distributed with heat, having the highest entropy possible. But as time progresses, the heat of the system is dispersed more and more unevenly, until eventually, it will die of heat death, where the distribution of heat is completely, or close to it, chaotic and unorganized.

7. What about noetics?
How is that even a question? I don’t even know how to respond, noetics is a branch of philosophy dealing with the study of a mind, it’s not an argument.

8. Where do you derive objective meaning in life?
Why do you assume there has to be? It’s a loaded question, presupposing that there is a kind of objective meaning to have.

9. If God did not create everything, how did the first single-celled organism originate? By chance?
Keep in mind that I am not a biologist and that the highest education I have received in biology was an Honors course in Biology 2 in university.
The abiogenesis model predicts that yes, it was through chance. Proteins form bilayers in water, acting as membranes. RNA has been hypothesized to be the information storage molecule of this antiquity and the molecules for that have been found even on meteorites. Experiments after Miller-Urey show that in an old Earth atmosphere, amino acids and other biotic molecules can form.

10. I believe in the Big Bang Theory… God said it and BANG it happened!
Well that’s nice to know but there’s no evidence or reason to believe that.

11. Why do evolutionists/secularists/huminists/non-God believing people reject the idea of their being a creator God but embrace the concept of intelligent design from aliens or other extra-terestrial sources?
There is no hypothesis of Panspermia that has been widely accepted by the scientific community.

12. There is no inbetween… the only one found has been Lucy and there are only a few pieces of the hundreds necessary for an “official proof”
Actually, everything is an in-between. But let’s discuss that later. Lucy, or AL 288-1, is an example (or was) of Australopithecus afarensis. Other examples include LH 4, AL 444-2, AL 129-1, AL 200-1, DIK-1 or Selam. The reason there aren’t “that many”, and I’m not sure how you’d define how much is “that many” but, is because fossilization is very rare. It requires specific conditions in either (mostly) being encased in sedimentary rock or by being essentially mummified in either sand or ice. So we actually shouldn’t find that many “transitional species”. However, that is not to say we don’t. We do. I cited six from only Australopithecus afarensis.
The hundred other necessary fossils needed for an “official proof”, whatever that is, included Sahelanthropus tchadensis (TM 266 or Toumai), Orrorin tugenensis (BAR 1000’00), Ardipithecus ramidus (Ardi), Australopithecus anamensis KNM-LT 329, 13150, and KNM-KP 271), Kenyanthropus platyops (Flat Faced Man), Australopithecus africanus (Taung 1, STS 14, 71, 52, and 5 or Mrs. Ples), Australopithecus sediba (MH1), Paranthropus boisei (OH 5 or Zinj, KNM ER 406, 732, KNM ER 23000, and KNM WT 17400), Homo gautengensis (StW 53), Homo habilis (KNM ER 1813, OH 24 or Twiggy, OH 8, 7, and KNM ER 1805), Homo floresiensis (LB 1 or Hobbit), Homo erectus (D2700, KNM ER 3733, Yuanmou Man, OH 9 or Chellean Man, KNM ER 992, 3883, Daka, Sangiran 4 and 2, Trinil 2 Pithecanthropus-1 or Java Man, and Ternifine 2-3), Cro-Magnon, and we mated with those of Homo neanderthalis. Is that enough fossils for you?
Even without that, natural selection explains how ever life form is a “transitional form”. Each offspring is slightly different from its parents, evolving from the older and evolving into the newer. It’s like a gradient with black on one side and white on the other: each spot within is neither black nor white, only somewhat more to one side, all grey.

13. Does metamorphosis help support evolution?

14. If Evolution is a Theory (like creationism or the Bible) why then is Evolution taught as fact.
Because Creationism is not a theory and the Bible is a book. Also, evolution is not a theory, it’s a fact. Evolution is the observation that the species of the Earth have changed over time. Darwinian natural selection was the first to reasonably explain how that happened and scientists have critiqued that theory to make it better. I will admit, however, that this perspective is not described in many biology textbooks and it was originated with Stephen Jay Gould widely.

15. Because science by definition is a “theory” – not testable, observable, nor repeatable” Why do you object to creationism or intelligent design being taught in school?
Science is not a theory. Theories within science, however, must be testable, observable, and repeatable, which creationism and intelligent design are not/cannot. But this stance, overall, of theories and science is very rudimentary. There are many things we cannot observe, but we can observe their effects. We cannot repeat the Big Bang but we can repeat tests done on it. We can test, and have tested, the Big Bang with instruments like COBE to find the temperature of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation.

16. What mechanism has science discovered that evidences an increase of genetic information or evolutionary process?
The mechanism is natural selection through mutation. An increase of genetic information can come from a point mutation where a nucleotide is inserted, extending the length of the DNA. As well, the genetic information can be changed, if you consider that an “increase”.

17. What purpose do you think you are here for if you do not believe in salvation?
This is not a question to do with the question of the debate as stated before.

18. Why have we found only 1 “Lucy”, when we have found more than 1 of everything else?
This has been addressed before.

19. Can you believe in “the big bang” without “faith”?

20. How can you look at the world and not believe Someone Created/thought of it? It’s Amazing!!!
It is amazing, and it is even more amazing when you realize how it happened, but you do not believe in a deity by being unable to find any evidence of it.

21. Relating to the big bang theory… Where did the exploding star come from?
Wow. Just wow.
It was not a star. It was a singularity. And we do not yet know although we do have hypotheses about it from quantum physics.

22. If we come from monkeys then why are there still monkeys?

The monkeys that exist are adapted to survive to their environment. Imagine the Oregon Trail: on the way to Western America from the Eastern seaboard, many of them continued all the way, but many stayed on the East coast while some people stayed along the way.


About Trite Static

I enjoy coffee with cream and tea with sugar and am only able to knit in squares.
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3 Responses to 22 Answers from a Scientist to People Who Believe in Creationism

  1. Pingback: 22 Answers from a Scientist to People Who Believe in Creationism | aericstanor

  2. tildeb says:

    Thanks for tackling these questions, TS. Good job.

    Naturally, I have a few quibbles that need to be expressed. Sorry to inflict these on you but, hey, that’s why they pay me the Big Bucks!

    Regarding #14, evolution is both. It is a fact that evolution happens. It is also an explanatory theory how that change happens. Natural selection is one mechanism but there are also others… the main ones being mutation (which you sort of mentioned), migration, and genetic drift. It would have been nice to mention what a theory means in scientific parlance to help explain why a scientific theory deserves our highest confidence (evolution being one of, if not the, finest achievements of understanding ever adduced by humanity well deserving of the very highest level of confidence we can grant to any explanation – because reality supports it in every circumstance and every mutually supporting avenue of inquiry (when it doesn’t have to be this way). People who claim to doubt evolution is true still entrust their lives to its explanatory power in a host of ways whether they know this or not. That’s usually a pretty good indication of how much confidence people really have in it. But it’s my experience that creationists rarely have the intellectual integrity to be truthful and honest… when public piety is at stake.

    Regarding #22, I have always been fond of the comeback to those who believe in a literal account offered by Genesis: if we were come from dirt, why is there still dirt? The perplexed look (and profound silence) this causes to those who presume they’ve got an inside track on a devastating question for those of us who understand evolution is priceless.

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