10 popular fallacies and misconceptions about evolution

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posted on Aug, 18 2014 @ 12:10 PM
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I'm creating this thread to list 10 popular fallacies and misconceptions that evolution deniers (usually YECers) use to try to disprove evolution with as well as the truth about those misconceptions. The list is in no particular order. The reason for the thread is because I'm tired of repeating this to people who insist these statements are true or call the theory of evolution into suspect. They don't.

By the way, if there are more that you'd like to add, please feel free. Please post the refutation to the misconception as well as a source that confirms the refutation in addition to the misconception you are adding to my thread. I'm not trying to make this thread to laugh at the ignorant, I want to educate them so that they stop making these mistakes.

1. There is no evidence for evolution

Ok we are going to start out with the big goto misconception here. Ok folks, if you ever find yourself repeating this phrase, stop speaking, then slap yourself because you just forgot how to use google.

evidence for evolution (google search)

Evidence for evolution CLEARLY exists, what problem you as an evolution denier have is that you don't ACCEPT the evidence and the conclusion it presents. But to say that it doesn't exist is just pure lunacy.

2. C-14 dating is unreliable and therefore cannot be trusted

Actually it is very reliable, but as can be seen here, it is only reliable up to about 60,000 years ago. 100,000 if you use accelerator techniques. If you'll notice both of these year markers are WELL below the required millions of years timescale that evolution works on. Here is a list of modern radiometric dating methods that go back MUCH further than carbon-14. Radiometric dating - modern dating methods. If you have a problem with Carbon-14 dating, who cares? It certainly doesn't matter when talking about evolution.

3. Evolution violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics (Entropy)

First off, here is the Second Law of Thermodynamics written out:


The entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems always evolve toward thermodynamic equilibrium, a state with maximum entropy.


There is a key word in this definition that should be taken note of. That word is "isolated", in other words "closed". This means that a system without any new energy being added to the system will eventually settle in a state of equilibrium through entropy. The reason I bring this up is because Earth, is NOT an isolated or closed system. The Earth receives most of its energy from the sun, so if you want to discuss the Second Law of Thermodynamics in relation to the earth, you need to include the sun to close it, and frankly that wouldn't even completely close it since the Earth also gets energy from distant stars and galactic events as well.

4. Evolution doesn't adequately describe the origin of life

Evolution starts with the premise that life already exists. The scientific process used to describe how life began is called Abiogenesis and that is still only a hypothesis. Evolution could be the answer to how and god could very well be the answer to why since evolution doesn't address god in the slightest.

Abiogenesis & Evolution


The important thing to remember is that evolutionary theory is a scientific theory about how life has developed — this means that it begins with the premise that life already exists. It makes no claims as to how that life got here. It could have developed naturally through abiogenesis. It could have been started by a divine power. It could have been started by aliens. Whatever the explanation, evolutionary explanations begin to apply once life appears and begins to reproduce.


5. Mutations are only harmful

Mutations are actually either beneficial, harmful, or benign.


Mutation can result in several different types of change in sequences. Mutations in genes can either have no effect, alter the product of a gene, or prevent the gene from functioning properly or completely. Mutations can also occur in nongenic regions.




posted on Aug, 18 2014 @ 12:10 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

cont.

6. Evolution has never been observed

Perhaps you are familiar with this study?
E. coli long-term evolution experiment


Since the experiment's inception, Lenski and his colleagues have reported a wide array of genetic changes; some evolutionary adaptations have occurred in all 12 populations, while others have only appeared in one or a few populations. One particularly striking adaption was the evolution of a strain of E. coli that was able to use citric acid as a carbon source in an aerobic environment.[3]


As can be seen, the E. coli populations have evolved different characteristics, one of which evolved a new way to survive in its environment making it unable to survive outside that environment.

There is also the untold number of bacteria that are evolving to be resistant to our antibiotics. Antibiotic Resistance Questions & Answers

7. Evolution doesn't answer such and such question about the universe and life

No scientific theory answers 100% of the questions in science. Sorry I don't have a link for this one, but it is just so absurd that it doesn't really need one. If you find a theory or idea that claims to answer every question imaginable (religion) then it is HIGHLY suspect. The idea of science is that it works to answer a question, but then when that question is answered many new questions appear that the scientists then work to answer. It is an infinite process, but it certainly doesn't discredit the information gained and answers to questions that it does answer.

8. Evolution is just a theory

The Theory of Evolution is a theory, but it is a SCIENTIFIC theory. There is a BIG difference between a layman's definition of theory and science's definition of a theory.

What is a Scientific Theory?


When used in non-scientific context, the word “theory” implies that something is unproven or speculative. As used in science, however, a theory is an explanation or model based on observation, experimentation, and reasoning, especially one that has been tested and confirmed as a general principle helping to explain and predict natural phenomena.


9. Evolution doesn't explain the diversity of life on the planet.

99% of all life on the planet is extinct. There have been 5 mass extinctions in the history of our planet. Thanks to punctuated equillibrium evolution tends to speed up after these events to fill all the missing niches again. Evolution is literally the ONLY explanation that can explain all of this.

You should also understand the process of recursion to get a better idea of how evolution works since it is a highly recursive process. One thing about recursion is that the branches go up exponentially as more and more branches are added.

10. Any number of hoaxes about evolution (ex: piltdown man)

Ok, unfortunately this one won't have any links either because it is rather obvious. Thanks to the peer review process once a hoax is identified, it is removed from the scientific knowledge base and is no longer regarded as evidence for anything. HOWEVER, because a hoax exists is NOT proof that the prevailing theory that is for is also untrue. In order for that to be the case, ALL the evidence for that theory would have to be exposed as fradulent, and this is simply not the case for evolution. In fact new evidence surfaces all the time that proves evolution is true, while literally zero evidence surfaces that completely contradicts it.

Every now and then there is some evidence that shows that evolution doesn't work EXACTLY how we originally thought, but in this case we just modify the theory to account for the new information. An example of this would be the punctuated equilibrium idea that I posted in the last point. Originally evolution was thought to happen at the same rate across the species, but evidence kept surfacing that contradicted this account. So now, the theory was updated to include this and show that not all species evolve at the same rate. What DIDN'T happen however is that evolution was completely discredited by this new evidence.



posted on Aug, 18 2014 @ 01:38 PM
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Great post!

And thank you for refraining from any specific attacks on "creationists."

As we start to raise our consciousness in this new age, we also have to learn to see science & spirituality as two sides of the same coin.

We have to stop turning a blind eye to the universe' awesome wonder, and start appreciating its versatility!



posted on Aug, 18 2014 @ 02:14 PM
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a reply to: knightsofcydonia

That is a great point. Too many times do religious people see science as an attack against their beliefs. I understand why when science starts to show a picture that makes their beliefs incorrect, but instead of denying science, maybe just MAYBE your religion is wrong.

I don't know about spirituality and science being two sides to the same coin though. As an agnostic I don't believe anything 100% and I certainly don't like making assumptions about things without evidence and pretty much all spiritual beliefs require assumptions without evidence. Maybe one day science will have methods to test it, but until then I just remain doubtful.
edit on 18-8-2014 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 18 2014 @ 06:25 PM
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3. Evolution violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics (Entropy)

That is always one that makes me think a bit. I agree the Earth is by no means a closed system. Neither is our solar system, nor our galaxy.

The question is where does this system stop? If we specify the universe to be the entire system than is there no energy being added to it?

I suppose we assume there are micro systems within the whole system that gain organization while the whole thing increases its entropy. I don't know, I didn't study into physics that far.



posted on Aug, 18 2014 @ 07:25 PM
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WRONG - Behold the Atheist's Nightmare



Just Kidding



posted on Aug, 18 2014 @ 07:48 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

I would take issue with your 6th point, that evolution has been observed. MICRO-evolution has indeed been observed, and this e-coli study is certainly an example of that. Also, what exactly is "long term"? No study observable by humans could ever be considered long term in relation to the supposed age of the Earth, and even more so when the supposed age of the universe is taken into account. There are 6 types of evolution that make up the Theory of Evolution, and they are as follows: Micro-evolution which is defined as the variation within kinds of species, Macro-evolution which is defined as the changing from one kind of species to another kind of species, Stellar and Planetary evolution which is defined as the origin of stars and planets, Organic evolution which is defined as the origin of life, Chemical evolution which is defined as the origin of higher elements from hydrogen, and Cosmic evolution which is defined as the origin of time, space, and matter by the Big Bang.

The ONLY one of these 6 types of evolution that has EVER been observed is Micro-evolution, and we have already covered that. The other 5 types HAVE NEVER been observed, and although they are widely accepted as "scientific", the Scientific Method has not been applied, nor can it be, therefore it is not science... it is pseudo-science.



posted on Aug, 18 2014 @ 08:01 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

Good thread. S&F'd..



posted on Aug, 18 2014 @ 08:39 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t
How do you deal with the time period and mutation that has to occure to produce a human?



posted on Aug, 18 2014 @ 10:08 PM
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originally posted by: OptimusSubprime
a reply to: Krazysh0t

I would take issue with your 6th point, that evolution has been observed. MICRO-evolution has indeed been observed, and this e-coli study is certainly an example of that. Also, what exactly is "long term"? No study observable by humans could ever be considered long term in relation to the supposed age of the Earth, and even more so when the supposed age of the universe is taken into account. There are 6 types of evolution that make up the Theory of Evolution, and they are as follows: Micro-evolution which is defined as the variation within kinds of species, Macro-evolution which is defined as the changing from one kind of species to another kind of species, Stellar and Planetary evolution which is defined as the origin of stars and planets, Organic evolution which is defined as the origin of life, Chemical evolution which is defined as the origin of higher elements from hydrogen, and Cosmic evolution which is defined as the origin of time, space, and matter by the Big Bang.

The ONLY one of these 6 types of evolution that has EVER been observed is Micro-evolution, and we have already covered that. The other 5 types HAVE NEVER been observed, and although they are widely accepted as "scientific", the Scientific Method has not been applied, nor can it be, therefore it is not science... it is pseudo-science.



First off micro and macro evolution are the same thing. It's a strawman argument.

Secondly, once again you are making a strawman argument because there are not 6 definitions of evolution that make up the theory of evolution. That is simply untrue.
edit on 18-8-2014 by Cypress because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 18 2014 @ 10:32 PM
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originally posted by: guitarplayer
a reply to: Krazysh0t
How do you deal with the time period and mutation that has to occure to produce a human?



it would have happened eventually, given an infinite amount of time.



posted on Aug, 18 2014 @ 10:59 PM
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Couple of points. First, for the most part I tip my cap to the OP for a well put together set of talking points with clear and supported arguments. One thing though, although it may be a bit nit picky, but nonetheless very important. In your 10th argument, you state "In fact new evidence surfaces all the time that proves evolution is true.." I suggest you refrain from using this type of language when discussing scientific theories. Science does not "prove" things, aside from mathematics and logic. Science suggests certain conclusions and correlations to be made based on the available evidence. Just wanted to point that out.

Second, to "Guitarplayer," I'm not entirely certain what it is exactly that you're asking. Could you be more clear?

Third, in response to Cypress and OptimusSubprime, there may be indeed multiple different "types" of evolution, however for the sake of this discussion, the conversation should remain on discussion biological evolution, which mainly deals with micro and macro evolution.



posted on Aug, 18 2014 @ 11:14 PM
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I love this whole subject despite the constant vitriol displayed by some from both sides of it. Why does it all have to be so mutually exclusive? Why can't science be correct in saying that evolution is fact? Why can't religion be correct in saying we were created? Can evolution not be a mode of creation? Be open minded, but not so open minded that your brain slips out. The undeniable truth from both sides of the argument is that, we don't really know. Science doesn't know, religion doesn't know either. Why the two cannot work together and move forward with it all is beyond me. S&F OP, these counter points are overused and misunderstood quite often. I myself am guilty of parroting nonsense from time to time. I truly believe though that one day science and spirit will clash and become two sides of the same coin as someone said earlier. The field to watch is quantum physics imho. Amazing stuff.



posted on Aug, 18 2014 @ 11:22 PM
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originally posted by: tsingtao

originally posted by: guitarplayer
a reply to: Krazysh0t
How do you deal with the time period and mutation that has to occure to produce a human?



it would have happened eventually, given an infinite amount of time.


How do you figure that? The earth is only 4 billion years old. If on the first day of existance a single cell would have to mutate 34 times aday to reach the 50,000,000,000,000 trillion cells in the human body. That means that just in the womb the human body would need to mutate 9,996 times before it was even born. So how does it happen eventually?



posted on Aug, 18 2014 @ 11:44 PM
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a reply to: OptimusSubprime

Caught what I picked up as well....



posted on Aug, 18 2014 @ 11:46 PM
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a reply to: Cypress

No they are not the same....Berkeley

"Microevolution happens on a small scale (within a single population), while macroevolution happens on a scale that transcends the boundaries of a single species. Despite their differences, evolution at both of these levels relies on the same, established mechanisms of evolutionary change:"

They require the same methods but are not the same process, and macroevolution has never been observed.
edit on 18-8-2014 by ParanoidAmerican because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 18 2014 @ 11:57 PM
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a reply to: kayej1188

The mutation rate to form a human body with 50 trillion cells would take more time than the earth has been here. To reach the mutation rate it would take 34 mutations per day of a single cell to mutate into a human over a 4 billion year time span. And we have not even discussed where the DNA information came from to have the very first cell.



posted on Aug, 19 2014 @ 12:05 AM
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originally posted by: ParanoidAmerican
a reply to: Cypress

No they are not the same....Berkeley

"Microevolution happens on a small scale (within a single population), while macroevolution happens on a scale that transcends the boundaries of a single species. Despite their differences, evolution at both of these levels relies on the same, established mechanisms of evolutionary change:"

They require the same methods but are not the same process, and macroevolution has never been observed.


Where does this new information come from to make a macro evolution jump?



posted on Aug, 19 2014 @ 12:41 AM
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originally posted by: Dingo80
WRONG - Behold the Atheist's Nightmare



Just Kidding


He looks like he also found a great storage place for bananas too that also must also be god inspired...

Edit: on a side note...

The reason why we have opposable thumbs is because if we didn't we would never have survived evolution... Outside of that we are basically the most easiest food source for carnivores and we tastes like bacon...another big disadvantage.
edit on 19-8-2014 by Xtrozero because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 19 2014 @ 12:55 AM
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originally posted by: ParanoidAmerican
a reply to: Cypress

No they are not the same....Berkeley

"Microevolution happens on a small scale (within a single population), while macroevolution happens on a scale that transcends the boundaries of a single species. Despite their differences, evolution at both of these levels relies on the same, established mechanisms of evolutionary change:"

They require the same methods but are not the same process, and macroevolution has never been observed.


No, in regards to this debate, they are the same. Micro and Macro, as you describe, are used generically to denote scale; however, they are the same process. In simple terms Micro is a single change and Macro is a combination of changes or potentially a single major mutation that effects genetic reproduction (Which is the case in bacteria). That is why using Micro vs Macro is a strawman argument. The terms are purposely being misrepresented.

Single celled bacteria, reproduce a-sexually; therefore, they do not mate and reproduce. Also, aside from a very few traits, single celled organisms do not have much variance between morphological features, unlike in multi-cellular life.
Since the term macro is typically used for taxonomic purposes or to denote multi-cellular life that reproduce in the wild ("species"), its not going to be used; however, the bacteria has evolved into a new organism that would have to compete to survive with the original strain if reintroduced to the original environment.

Another example of why they are the same. We have cross bred species that would not mate under normal circumstances. Liger's are cross bred from tiger's and lions. Both are separate species yet are close enough genetically that the created offspring can survive, though it is extremely likely to be sterile. Once again, this shows how micro and macro are the same. There is not this black and white divide between the two species that would have to be present if Micro and Macro evolution were not the same process.





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