Last updated on February 17th, 2012 at 10:36 am
Creationists utilize numerous logical fallacies to either “disprove” evolution (using rhetoric and religious text) or to “prove” creationism. Usually, however, they stick with trying to showing how evolution is wrong, thereby, implying that creationism is correct. (I’m going to set aside the fallacy that by simply disproving evolution one proves creationism, you still have to provide evidence for creationism itself.)
I could list them all from “it’s only a theory”, which ignores the fact that a scientific theory stands at the top of hierarchy of scientific thought, essentially considered a fact, to Charles Darwin renouncing evolution on his deathbed, which he didn’t. One of my favorites is the wholesale misunderstanding (either intentionally or through complete ignorance of science) of taxonomy. As Rosa Rubicondior states:
Creationists, either disingenuously, or because of genuine ignorance, seem to have missed the whole point of taxonomy, so they continually make idiotic mistakes which, even though they might imagine them to be valid arguments against evolution, are recognised by those who understand the subject as evidence only of their ignorance. And, with so much information readily and freely available, this ignorance can ONLY be either deliberate or feigned. No one remotely interested in the subject has any excuse for their level of ignorance.
If any has ever heard the creationist meme of “if man evolved from apes, then why are there apes still around,” then you would understand the statement above. Simply put, man evolved from a primate common ancestor (which lead to all the great apes, including chimpanzees and gorillas) about 4-8 million years ago. The common ancestor is not around, but human primate relatives do. In biological terms, the divergence into the various great apes (Family Hominidae) is quite recent. The evidence is not based on supposition and guesswork, there are vast amounts of scientific literature supporting this family tree.
I find these types of arguments from creationists show a complete lack of knowledge of biological sciences, except at the most superficial level. If one looks at the tree of life as a bunch of endpoints without understanding how the tree is built. Of course, if they read these posts from Rosa Rubicondior and others, they would understand it. But I guess I’ll have to agree with Rosa:
Even more unforgivable are those who assiduously maintain their own ignorance by refusing to read anything, like this blog, which might cause them to abandon their cherished beliefs, for these are the people who are quite deliberately and consciously fooling themselves into believing what they know to be false. These will be the ones who are constantly asking what they like to think are the ‘killer knock-down’ questions of biologists and who then ignore the answers and ask the same questions again next week. You only need to read their sanctimonious condescension and pretence to have greater knowledge than the scientists who spend years learning and researching the subject, to see what they are getting out of their intellectual dishonesty.
I wish there were creationists who actually had a scientific background (and there are a few), because the debate is just dull with those who are not. Their knowledge of science is so lacking that I wonder if they consider how much evolutionary science is built into the medical care they receive. Of course, I guess that’s why faith healing exists.