Thursday, March 6, 2014

7 Things Creationists are Right About

Creationists are often criticized for getting things wrong. In my experience, it's what they get right that actually gets in the way. Creationists harp on the same (valid) points over and over, thinking the rest of the world just isn't listening. But the points they bring up are never anything new to the scientific community. These points are only thought to be relevant because they refute the straw-man version of evolution. So here are a few valid creationist talking points and why they don't threaten evolution.

1. Fossils form rapidly. They have to. If they didn't, the body would rot away before the minerals could do their work. Just because something is millions of years old, doesn't mean it took millions of years to form. As any creationist will tell you, fossilized hats, boots, and other items have been found in old mine shafts, and certain kinds of stalagmites can grow rapidly around bottles.

2. Layers can form rapidly. "Polystrate trees" are fossilized trees that appear to be growing up through several layers of strata. In actuality, the layers formed rapidly around the tree while it was still alive. Rapidly forming layers have even been directly observed, such as in the case of Mount St. Helens. Every geologist knows that certain kinds of strata can form very rapidly, especially sedimentary. This would be a problem for evolutionists if they were trying to date the layers by counting them like tree rings. Instead, they use radiometric dating techniques.

3. Carbon dating doesn't work on fossils. Most fossils have had all their carbon-based biological material replaced by minerals. This is why scientists don't use carbon dating on fossils. They use other types of radiometric dating, depending on what minerals make up the sample. The only people who try to carbon date fossils are creationists.

4. We didn't come from monkeys. Evolutionary scientists contend that we came from apes, and that monkeys are our distant cousins.

5. Life couldn't have arisen by pure accident. No one believes this. A tornado in a junk yard will never produce a functioning 747. Nor could a fully formed animal crawl out of the primordial ooze. Nor could a fish suddenly sprout legs. Nor can a dog give birth to a cat. If any of these things did happen, it wouldn't be evolution; it would be a miracle.

6. Genesis contradicts theistic evolution. This one is less fact, more opinion. But it is quite arguable that evolution and the Bible can't both be true. As creationists astutely point out, the Genesis account cannot be a metaphor of evolution. For one thing, Genesis has birds appearing before land animals, while the evolutionary model has birds evolving from land animals.

7. Nature is awesome. Whether you believe that God or natural phenomena are responsible, anyone can appreciate a sunset or be awestruck by the incredible complexity and diversity of life on Earth.

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