It always seems as if the only times my family gathers is when something bad happens. The news spreads, people come in and then we go away and don't stay in contact. We live our lives and go on until the next event. I've spoken of this to several family members, that it was a shame to only see them when standing at a casket and talking about the fun times we had with someone who was not present. Of course, I am a participant in this dance since I don't call to check up on people.
So my nephew called me just a little while ago. My cousin had an aneurysm burst today, and he is on life support while the doctors gather the organ harvesting teams. The unbearable weight of sadness will visit my loved ones, those who I foolishly expect to always be there when I wish to see them. This despite all the evidence I have that there always seems to be someone no longer there when the family gathers. And I will feel a familiar ache for those who hurt the most. And I will dance a familiar dance.
Okay, so I've been reading about the Burning Man festival's Burning Man being set on fire way too early and them having to build another one. Okay. I get that. If you have some symbolic thing you do at the end of your drug hazed festival, go for it as often as you have to. However, charging the guy who set it on fire with arson is just stupid. Can you really call setting something on fire that is supposed to be set on fire arson? Do we charge kids driving bumper cars with reckless driving?
21. As an embryo develops, it does not repeat an evolutionary sequence. Although it is widely known that Ernst Haeckel, who popularized this belief, deliberately falsified his drawings, they are still used in current biology textbooks.
The "recapitulation" theory of Haeckel isn't used that much. It was never a necessary component of evolutionary theory. However, ask a biologist if embryos develop in stages that match their evolutionary history and they will tell you they do and show you actual pictures of what is meant by that. For instance, the frontal lobe in human embryos does not develop along with everything else. The organs of human embryos generally develop in a fixed progression. And this is seen in the embryos of all organisms that reproduce sexually.
22. No verified form of extraterrestrial life of any kind has ever been observed. If life evolved on Earth, one would expect that at least simple forms of life, such as microbes, would have been found by the elaborate experiments sent to the moon and Mars.
This makes no sense. Why would we expect this? If we never find life outside of our atmosphere, it still doesn't invalidate evolution theory here on Earth. Mainly because that is where we happen to have evolved. If evolution theory required readily accessible life outside of our planet, then this claim would be valid. However, there is no such requirement.
23. Ape-men never existed. It is now acknowledged that "Piltdown man" was a hoax; the only evidence for "Nebraska man" turned out to be a pig's tooth; Eugene Bubois conceded forty years after he discovered "Java man" that it was just a large gibbon; the skulls of "Peking man" are now considered by many to be the remains of apes; the classification Homo erectus is considered by most experts to be a category that should never have been created.
This causes a [headthump] error every time I see it. It isn't "now" acknowledged that Piltdown was a fraud. It's been over 60 years since that was determined. It only took ten years for Nebraska Man to be found to be misidentified (not a fraud), and it wasn't a pig's tooth, it was the tooth of an extinct peccary. Note that science fixed the error, and that evolution never depended on these fossils being any specific thing. Here's what Eugene Bubois said about his fossil:
"Pithecanthropus [Java Man] was not a man, but a gigantic genus allied to the gibbons, however superior to the gibbons on account of its exceedingly large brain volume and distinguished at the same time by its faculty of assuming an erect attitude and gait . It had the double cephalization [ratio of brain size to body size] of the anthropoid apes in general and half that of man."
"It was the surprising volume of the brain - which is very much too large for an anthropoid ape, and which is small compared with the average, though not smaller than the smallest human brain - that led to the now almost general view that the "Ape Man" of Trinil, Java was really a primitive Man. Morphologically, however, the calvaria [skullcap] closely resembles that of anthropoid apes, especially the gibbon."
"... I still believe, now more firmly than ever, that the Pithecanthropus of Trinil is the real 'missing link'."
This seems not to be an admission that it was a large gibbon at all. I guess that the author of this claim sheet did no fact checking. Same goes for his claim about Peking Man. Since the fossils were lost, we've been using casts. They are still considered to be homo erectus, and not an ape. Which brings us to the homo erectus claim. It just isn't true. If most experts thought homo erectus shouldn't be used, it would not be used. However, most experts do use it. The author might be speaking of creationist experts, who might be biased.
24. [A] The earth's sedimentary layers were deposited rapidly, not slowly over millions of years. [B] There is no evidence of erosion between layers. [C] The existence of fossils dictates a sudden deposition of sediments. [D] "Polystrate" fossils (those that span multiple strata) can only be explained by rapid burial in multiple sedimentary layers that were liquefied or soft at the time. [E] The "millions of years" assigned to the geological strata and the evolutionary tree is based entirely on unfounded assumptions.
Ah, the argument from geology. I was wondering when we'd see it. I'd like to see sources for any one of these claims, but the original site I got them from doesn't bother to do that. I guess backing up your claims is best left to the people who aren't making them because it's so much easier than doing any actual work in finding something out about the world and everything around you. Somethign else I'd like to ask is why a theory in biology requires all these other sciences to have doubt cast on it? If it isn't true, then you should be able to show through biological methods that it is not true. A) We know that sedimentary layers form slowly. How? Because we know the dates of certain events and know just how long it took for sedimentary layers to form over the results of those events. We know that some cities were destroyed by armies, around what time it happened, and we knew where to dig. And we had to dig because sedimentary layers formed. This guy would have you believe that the surface of the Earth we see today, is the same as what we'd see four thousand years ago (according to flood chronology) because all sedimentary layers had to form at that time. We know this is not true. B) Wow. And when we point out the layers appearing in one canyon that don't appear in another (or have much less material) due to erosion, that have the same layers above and below, we're told "Oh, we expect that because of the flood". Either the flood deposited the layers or it didn't. Don't ask for evidence that you will not accept or have to fit into the theory rather than modify the theory based on new information. Layers deposited by a world wide flood would be uniform world wide. You wouldn't have some material here and some material there. C) What? The existence of fossils in sedimentary layers shows the existence of fossils in sedimentary layers. It doesn't tell us anything about the rate of deposition. Here's the question they don't consider: Why do we not see a jumble of fossils (human and dinosaur, dog and lion, archeopteryx and chicken, etc.) all in the same layers? Why do we see a rise in complexity as we go upwards in the sedimentary layers? They like to use hydrologic sorting for the explanation for sedimentary layers, but we know that light things will not sink as fast as heavy things. Our fossil record does not support the concept of almost every living thing on Earth being killed in a flood. We should find humans among the dinosaurs. We do not. D) By using the word fossil, they want you to think of organisms in general. Like we have upright T. Rex skeletons cutting through layers. However, polystrate fossils are trees. It is not out of the realm of possibility that an area became flooded, killed off parts of a forest, and had several series of fast sedimentation occur. This would explain things a lot better than to believe that the same event world wide did not cause all forests to become polystrate. E) What are the "unfounded" assumptions? That the sedimentation rate would be uniform? Well, we know that there are periods of fast sedimentation (as happened in the eruptions of several volcanos such as Santorini and Krakatau), and that these events can impact large areas of land. We know that the impact of the meteor that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs placed a layer of sediment world wide within just a short time. These things happen. But outside of catastrophic events, the rate is uniform. You don't get half mile thick layers in a weekend. It takes time.
25. Radioactive dating methods are based on a number of untestable assumptions that produce "old age" results. Past atmospheric conditions, solar activity, volcanic activity, state of the earth's magnetic field, decay rates of radioactive elements, and other factors are simply unknown. Most dating techniques actually indicate that the earth is "young", not "old".
Which method is the author worried about? There are several used, depending on what is being tested and the apparent age of the item. If it was organic, and was thought to be from 60K years or earlier, then we used radiocarbon testing. If it was outside of that date, or was non-organic, then other radiometric dating methods had to be used. Again, the author doesn't tell us why these things would be problems. Solar activity, magnetism, volcanos? The Sun doesn't have much to do with radioactive decay rates. Maybe that's the reason he doesn't explain any of these objections. He knows that they are red herrings. In fact, the only thing that does impact radioactive decay rates would be if the rates could somehow be different in the past than they are now. However, if they are different, it can only be in two ways. Either the rate is faster, or it is slower. Slower doesn't work for a young Earth, which is what this guy is selling. Unfortunately for him, if he wishes to accept that the rate might not be uniform over time then he has to accept that both possibilities. Now, what do we do with these possibilities? Well, we use common sense. I will dispense with the actual calculations because they are not interesting, and I'll only worry about a fast decay rate (because an Earth even older than current estimates is not under discussion). Decay rates are measurable. This is how we determine the half life of radioactive material. We know how much of it there is, and use the decay rate to say that half of it will be left at a certain time. Now, it would seem that a flexible decay rate would help the creationist, but it has a downside. This downside is that you cannot escape the fact that radioactive materials also shed heat (which is how nuclear plants operate, they immerse the rods in water to generate steam and run turbines to produce energy). If the rate goes up, then the heat output also rises. In order to have a young Earth, and have our current radioactive decay rate, the heat output would have to be thousands of degrees more than the surface of the Earth could handle. There'd be no water, and the surface would be molten. Here is a page that goes into the details (and from which I drew this section). You'll also find some refutations to some of these arguments there that are better than I can offer.
16. It is impossible to conceive of an evolutionary process that results in sexual reproduction. Complementary male and female systems must have completely and independently evolved at each stage at the exact same time and place. The millions of mechanical and chemical processes, as well as behavioral patterns and physical characteristics, would all need to be compatible. Even leading evolutionists admit they cannot explain this.
Agreed that the change in asexual reproduction to sexual in some organisms is not easy to explain. There is no consensus as to the actual origin of sexual reproduction, though there are several proposed methods. However, lack of an adequate scientific explanation doesn't implicitly require that their answer is the correct one.
17. Human speech and languages did not evolve - in fact the best evidence is that languages "devolve". Speech is uniquely human. Furthermore, studies of 36 documented cases of children raised without human contact show that speech appears to be learned only from other humans. Apparently, humans do not automatically speak. If so, the first humans must have been endowed with a speaking ability (intelligent input). There is no evidence that speech has evolved.
The author of the list must not read up on the latest discoveries. Here is an article from Science (from 2004) that discusses this very topic.
18. Codes and programs (DNA and the genetic code) are produced only by intelligence. No natural process has ever been observed to produce a program.
Well, this is interesting. The author once again is trying to make evolution responsible for explaining the origin of life. Since there is a viable explanation for how natural processes can be responsible for changing the "program", it really isn't a great leap to think that a natural process might be responsible for the program to begin with.
19. The existence of similarities between different forms of life implies a common designer, not a common ancestor. One would not, for example, assume that a submarine evolved into an "amphibious" seaplane, which in turn evolved into a passenger airliner. All might have common features such as propellers, internal combustion engines, and metal frameworks - but this is simply an indication of a common intelligent designer (man), not a common ancestor (the submarine).
What, exactly, invalidates the concept of common descent when you see similar features in ancestor species? Wishful thinking?
20. Many single-celled forms of life exist, but there are no known forms of animal life with 2, 3, 4 or 5 cells, and the forms of life with 6 to 20 cells are parasites. If evolution occurred, one should find many forms of life with 2 to 20 cells as transitional forms between one-celled and many-celled organisms.
Another claim of what they think we should expect, without an explanation of why we should. I see no reason to think that 2 celled organisms are necessary for evolution to be true, or that evolution even predicts that any would exist.