Other Emperors

Our primary task is to expose one evolution-promoting local emperor. But some of the other emperors actually try to provide evidence for evolution and their arguments deserve a response.

In this section we will direct you to Christian websites where qualified scientists respond to the proselytizing efforts of "Scientific American" and "National Geographic" magazines. We also offer an article which comments on the biology text which is used in Alberta high schools.

Scientific American

John Rennie, Editor-in-Chief of "Scientific American", joined the battle for truth with an article in the July 2002 issue of the magazine1. He decided to attack real creationists with an article titled, "Fifteen Answers to Creationist Nonsense"2. His noble aim is to "expose ignorance and combat antiscientific thought". But Mr. Rennie goes into battle without ammunition and exposes himself as just another emperor without clothes!

In a classic tactical error, Mr. Rennie underestimates his opponents; they have refuted his arguments but he remains silent. Two creationist scientists give a very thorough point by point response to his article at www.apologeticspress.org3. Their intellectual horsepower and convincing arguments absolutely demolish Mr. Rennie's evolutionist diatribe. We strongly urge every honest truth-seeker to read this long, thorough and beautifully written article.

With his tail tucked tightly between his legs, Mr. Rennie has abandoned the field of intellectual combat.4




Notes:

  1. "15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense" is available at www.sciam.com.
  2. Dr. Lamoureux would have labeled the creationists "anti-evolutionists". We commend Mr.Rennie for not using this little sophist trick.
  3. Bert Thompson PhD and Brad Harrub PhD, "15 Answers to John Rennie and Scientific American's Nonsense".
  4. As far as we know, he has not presented a written response to Drs. Harrub and Thompson.




National Geographic

A feature article in the November 2004 issue of this magazine presents what it claims is "overwhelming evidence" for evolution. The graphic artists employed by the magazine do a beautiful job, but their professionalism is not matched by the content of the article.

Faced with the rather difficult task of proving that which is false, David Quammen, resorts to Lamoureux-type sophistry. Like our bluffing emperor, he claims to have "overwhelming evidence" for evolution. But he trots out old, underwhelming arguments which have been discredited by innumerable creationist articles, books and websites1. He pompously rides these lame ponies while ignoring the tough questions which are currently at the heart of the public discussion of the origins question.

It seems that some emperors are inclined to ignore uncomfortable facts, so glaring omissions are the most obvious feature of the thirty page article. For more on the unanswered questions, we suggest that you read two concise essays which challenge Mr. Quammen and "National Geographic" to at least attempt an honest response to the creationist challenge:

A third, longer essay titled "National Geographic was Wrong and So was Darwin" by Dr. Terry Mortenson is available at www.answersingenesis.org. This essay also highlights the fact that the magazine dodged the tough questions, then it goes on to overwhelm each of the four types of "evidence" presented by the magazine.




Notes:

  1. "Refuting Evolution" by Jonathan Sarfati and "Icons of Evolution" by Jonathan Wells are recent books which deal with purported evidences for evolution.




Alberta's High School Biology Text

In 1996 in a brief letter to the Editor of "The Edmonton Journal", I stated that the authors of our high school biology text use deceit and misinformation to promote evolution. The comment was calculated to provoke debate. A week later, the paper published a letter challenging me to substantiate the comment. The bait had been taken, and since the paper had a policy of publishing one longer editorial letter each week, I wrote commenting in more detail on our text.

Saying that they did not allow debate between individuals on the editorial page, the paper refused to print my letter! Frustrated, I wrote to "The Alberta Report". They published the letter and even asked me to write a series of similar articles! The letter follows, with a title which the magazine's editor chose...

Evolutionists Shouldn't Resort To Lies In Our Children's Textbooks

Throughout their school years, our children are repeatedly informed that our earth is about five billion years old, that simple life first appeared on this planet because of a lucky mix of chemicals, that over hundreds of millions of years single-celled creatures gave rise to fish, which developed into amphibians, reptiles, birds mammals and ultimately man. This evolution story is repeated endlessly without proof, so in this article, I am challenging the emperors of science and education to show us their clothes. The editors of Alberta's new biology 20-30 text claim to supply proof, but in the section titled "Evidence for Evolution," they actually offer what can only be described as deceit and misinformation.

If asked to prove evolution, most people would probably suggest that the fossil record of Earth's history shows animals gradually changing into other animals. People tend to believe this because, for decades, our textbooks have been presenting this notion as fact. The biology 20-30 text, published by Nelson Canada, states on page 97: "Fossils offer direct evidence of the pathways taken by living organisms in their evolutionary history or phylogeny... fossils that are known can be used to construct convincing arguments for the process of evolution."

Such bold statements do not accord with the published comments of many prominent scientists. In On the Origin of Species Charles Darwin described the fossil record as "the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against my theory." The father of modern evolutionary theory was commenting on the problem that the rock strata do not contain intermediate links showing transitions between species.

Since Darwin's time, paleontologists have failed to unearth the missing links. David Raup, curator of Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History, admitted in the January 1979 Museum Bulletin that, "We have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition now, than we did in Darwin's time." Steven Jay Gould, today's best known paleontologist, stated in the May 1977 Natural History, "The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology." Collin Patterson who authored Evolution for the British Museum of Natural History, writes "if I knew of any evolutionary transitions, living or dead, I would certainly have included them in my book."

Nevertheless, our biology text states baldly that by examining fossil evidence, scientists are "able to study patterns of relationship among organisms." But this is precisely what Patterson, Gould, Raup and Darwin say that they cannot do! These men believe in evolution, but they are honest enough to discuss the fossil problem. The authors of public school textbooks should show the same candor. The text also shows a colourful chart of "phylogenetic relationships" which is a family tree of various mammals. It may impress the naïve, but it does not include one single intermediate creature; it is a family tree without ancestors.

The fossil record lacks transitional fossils, but it does contain another major paradox for evolutionists. Six hundred million years ago during the geologic period known as the Cambrian, a multitude of complex life forms supposedly appeared suddenly. According to the November 1992 Scientific American, this sudden appearance of life is the "Big Bang of Animal Evolution." George Gaylord Simpson, described by Scientific American as the "greatest paleontologist" of the twentieth century," reports that two thirds of evolution is already over before we find the first fossils.

Charles Darwin also discusses this question of the sudden appearance of complex life in his Origin of Species. "I can give no satisfactory answer," he writes. "We should not forget that only a small portion of the world is known with accuracy." One hundred fifty years have passed since he penned those words, paleontologists have scoured the planet, but the missing fossils are still missing.

Many other aspects of the Biology 20-30 text are worthy of criticism, but space is limited, so I will give only one more example of deceit and misinformation; one which is probably the most blatant violation of the trust which is placed in those who write and select our textbooks. Under the heading "Indirect Evidence" we read that "German biologist E.H. Haeckel advanced the theory of recapitulation, more commonly expressed as ontology recapitulates (repeats) phylogeny. In other words every organism repeats its evolutionary development in its own embryology. The theory is applicable in a broad sense."

This theory is not applicable in any sense, it is nonsense! The Encyclopedia Americana states that Haeckel's idea is "now discarded," noting that he modified other scientists' drawings to make them fit his theory. "For this practice he is held in disrepute by many scientists, and in fact the idea that ontology recapitulates phylogeny had largely been disproven even before Haeckel tried to popularize it." The Encyclopedia Britannica describes Haeckel as a man who "was somewhat unscrupulous in his treatment of the scientific facts." Yet our text presents a colourful half page display of drawings of embryos as if they somehow prove evolution.

Last week my daughter and her biology 20 classmates were informed by their teacher (who I like, respect, and appreciate) that human embryos go through a fish stage and that they have gill slits at that time. Now, this nonsense may be used by the friendly neighbourhood abortionist to sooth his clients' consciences, but it is part of Haeckel's myth, not good science. Human babies are never fish, and never have gills; they have folds in the skin which are in no way used for respiration. That teachers learn myths and unwittingly pass them on is understandable; however, the authors of our text must know that Haeckel was a charlatan. Yet they present his discredited ideas as evidence. That is dishonest.

The authors know that they could not find fossil evidence of evolution, yet in a devious way, they claim fossils as proof. They know or should know that Haeckel was a fraud yet he and his ideas are presented as substantiating evidence. Why do the authors of the biology 20-30 text do such things? Could it be that they are promoting a philosophy and are a little short on real proof?