I recently found this list on AiG, and felt instantly compelled to shoot down some more of their stupidity. The irony in all of this is that AiG is itself one of the worst propagaters of myths about evolution on the internet.
Myth #10 : Computer Simulations Prove Evolution
And we’re already off to a bad start! According to the person who wrote this (hang our head in shame, whoever you are), various computer simulations are used to ‘prove’ that the theory of evolution is correct. This is, as usual, a perversion of the truth. Computer models are used to recreate how processes like natural selection might work over long periods of time, not to prove that evolution has happened in the first place.
Myth #9: Homologous (Similar) Structures Show Past Evolution
Of course, this one was going to rear its head eventually. According to AiG, the similarity of certain structures in living organisms actually points to a creator god, not to evolution. Well sure, it could…except that saying ‘God did it’ isn’t scientific in the slightest, nor is it an explanation for which any scientific evidence exists. Evolution, on the other hand, is supported by many diverse strands of evidence, of which homoologous structures are just one.
Myth #8: There Are Clear Transitional Fossils
According to AiG, there are very few transitional fossils and those that we do have are ‘contentious’. This is a blatant lie.
What? You want more? Okay, okay…
Apparently, it’s only an evil evolutionary bias that makes scientists think that the likes of Tiktaalik is a ‘missing link’ (a note to Creationists: stop using that term if you want to be taken seriously). ‘Creationi scientists’, however, are paragons of objectivity. They also attempt to criticise the scientific method:
We must remember, however, that fossils do not come with tags telling us when and how the animal was buried, its lifestyle, and if or how it was related to another species. Scientists must make reasonable assumptions based on what they believe about the past and extrapolations from the data.
Well, yes. I love it when Creationists say things like this as if they’re uncovering some shocking secret.
Myth #7: Ape-Human DNA Similarities
Let’s ignore the continued refusal by AiG to accept that humans should be classified as a kind of ape and move straight to the juicy propaganda: supposedly, our genetic similarities with other apes, including the chromosomal fusing, is not substantial evidence for evolution. There isn’t really any evidence given for this claim, except to say that our DNA isn’t exactly the same as that of other apes and a vague reference to ‘epigenetic differences’.
Myth #6: Apemen and Artistic License
This one is so bizarre that I’ll just let you experience it for yourself (follow the link at the top of the page). Get back to me if you can work out what the author is actually trying to say here.
Myth #5: Bad Design
Scientists: There are lots of examples in nature of what would suggest shoddy workmanship if we really were designed by a God. The same examples make perfect sense if we were ‘designed’ by evolution, though.
AiG: No, The Fall explains this, because sin-
Scientists: You know what? Never mind.
Myth #4: Vestigial Organs
Jesus, there’s another appeal to the Bible. AiG’s writers aren’t leaving much for me to do.
The main mistake in this one is defining ‘vestigial’ as ‘an organ that has lost its function’. The truth is a lot more complicated than that – for an in-depth examination of vestigiality, see here.
Myth #3: Antiobiotic Resistance
According to AiG, antiobiotic-resistant bacteria do not support evolution. Their explanation for this odd claim is that the bacteria gain antiobiotic resistance at a cost and that the mutations involved do not ‘add information to the genome’ (groan). Evolution is not ‘a species gets better and better’ – the bacteria evolved antibiotic resistance, and the fact that they ‘sacrificed’ other advantages for it is beside the point. They still survived where their non antibiotic-resistant cousins did not.
Incidentally, there’s a link on the bottom of that page to this, which carries one of the most astonishingly idiotic statements I’ve seen made on AiG:
Evolution requires a gain of functional systems for bacteria to evolve into man—functioning arms, eyeballs, and a brain, to name a few.
Keep in mind that the above was supposedly written by someone with a PhD biology. Yikes.
Myth #2: Natural Selection Is Evolution In Action
Natural selection is the driving force behind evolution. This mantra has been repeated so often that people often conflate the two ideas. But are evolution and natural selection the same thing?
This one is a rehash of the information ‘problem’, along with some more vagueness about ‘created kinds’. It also has a little diagram of post-Ark ‘change’ in species that looks awfully similar to evolution but, we are assured, is not. AiG is surprisingly upfront here, in that the author admits that natural selection can differentiate these mysterious ‘kinds’ enough that they can no longer interbreed with each other.
Myth #1: All Scientists Agree
I’d have phrased this as ‘all scientists who don’t write crappy articles for this website agree’, but I guess they were working with limited space or something.
While it is of course true that science is not determined via a majority vote, it is equally true that the theory of evolution has managed to become almost universally accepted in a way that few other ideas in science have. Creationists have so far shown themselves to be woefully bad at changing that.