Essay: A Refutation of the 15 Questions
Please note that, unlike many other essays on Conservapedia, this is written from a factual, evolutionary perspective.
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Part 1: A Refutation of the 15 Questions
How did life originate?
This is not part of evolution. Even so, there are many explanations. Proto-life, such as nanobacteria, viruses, or prions, exist as transitionary stages. Even a simple salt crystal can replicate itself. And amino acids are widespread, even in outer space.
How did the DNA code originate?
There have been simpler versions of the DNA code, for example one that only uses Adenine and Guanine.
How could mutations create the vast amounts of information in the DNA of living things?
Richard Dawkins once ran a computer model in which a complex insect-like shape evolved from a single pixel. Evolution had billions of years and billions of generations to do this.
Why is natural selection taught as “evolution,” when natural selection selects, but does not create?
Mutations can add to the DNA code. Natural selection is the cumulative effect of mutations, and can create information. Evolution is simply the cumulative effect of natural selection.
How did new biochemical pathways, which involve multiple enzymes working together in sequence, originate?
See bombardier beetle.
Living things look like they were designed, so how do evolutionists know that they were not designed?
Living things are not perfectly designed. Vestigial organs exist. In addition, evolutionists don't know that they were not designed. That is what they think, based on the available evidence.
How did multi-cellular life originate?
The first step was colonies of bacteria. Even today, these colonies blur the line between single- and multi-cellular life. Bacteria have been discovered which use chemical pathways to communicate with other nearby bacteria.
How did sexual reproduction originate?
Sex, by definition, depends on both male and female acting together. As sex evolved, there would have been some incompatibilities causing sterility (just as there are today), but these would affect individuals, not whole populations, and the genes that cause such incompatibility would rapidly be selected against.
Why do the millions of “missing links” remain missing?
Every species is a missing link; all species evolve. In addition, transitional organisms only survive for a short time, since they are evolving towards being a stable species.
How do “living fossils” remain unchanged while so many other life forms are supposed to have changed radically? (The classic examples: coelacanth, lemurs, horseshoe crabs)
Because they are already well adapted to their environments.
How did blind chemistry create mind/intelligence, meaning, altruism and morality?
This is a philosophical question, not a scientific one. However, intelligence confers an evolutionary advantage, and so does altruism/morality (since it benefits the species as a whole). Meaning (to life, presumably) is certainly not a scientific question.
Why do evolutionists tolerate the telling of “just-so” stories in their work?
They don't. The question as originally asked also includes this quote: “Darwinian explanations for such things are often too supple: Natural selection makes humans self-centered and aggressive—except when it makes them altruistic and peaceable. Or natural selection produces virile men who eagerly spread their seed—except when it prefers men who are faithful protectors and providers." However, altruism and protection of offspring confer advantages. Faithful protection ensures that the young have a higher chance of survival.
What scientific breakthroughs resulted from evolutionary theory?
Evolution is a scientific breakthrough. And no theory needs more breakthroughs to be proven correct.
Science involves experimenting to figure out how things work; how they operate. Why is evolution, a theory about history, taught as if it is the same as this operational science?
See Richard Lenski.
Why is a fundamentally religious idea, a dogmatic belief system that fails to explain the evidence, taught in science classes?
Saying evolution is a religion is like saying not collecting stamps is a hobby. Evolution is accepted by the vast majority of biologists precisely because it explains the evidence. Also, there is no better alternative; see Churchill's quote on democracy.
Part 2: 15 Questions for Creationists
The evidence points to living things evolving, so how do creationists know that they were designed?
Why is creationist "just-so" story-telling tolerated?
Where are the scientific breakthroughs due to creationism?
Why should creationism, which cannot be falsified, be taught as science?
Why should a fundamentally religious idea, a dogmatic belief system that fails to explain the evidence, be taught in science classes? If everything in this universe is designed/created, how do ID researchers know what is designed and what isn't? How can they tell the difference?
If over 99% of all species that have ever existed are no longer alive, their design was imperfect. How do ID proponents explain this?
If blind chemistry did not create mind/intelligence, meaning, altruism and morality, are these characteristics not chemical or physical in nature? If so, what distinguishes them, and why hasn't it been detected?
Who designed the designer?
In what way is intelligent design a useful scientific theory, if one cannot predict the actions of the designer?
How does intelligent design pass the criterion of Occam's Razor, if it assumes the existence of a designer?
What is the "signature" of intelligent design that ID proponents often refer to?
What experiments have shown intelligent design to be correct (as opposed to simply proving evolution wrong)?
If intelligent design should be taught in schools, why not other religious beliefs? See Flying Spaghetti Monster
In what way is intelligent design a logical process? How were living beings designed?