I took a few minutes to transcribe the video that I’ve seen posted on Facebook (and YouTube), and wrote out some thoughts and corrections on his statements since a lot of what he says is incorrect.

Dear Mr. Atheist,

First of all, let me correct you, because evolution is not a science, never has, never will be because it does not fit into the parentheses, the parameters, of science for one simple reason: it was never observed.

It seems he is claiming that anything someone wasn’t there to personally watch does not qualify as science, which shows a basic misunderstanding of what science is. It is not a tenet of science that someone had to be there watching for something to be considered true. We can observe the evidence left by something that happened (even if no one was there to observe it) and arrive at logical conclusions based on that evidence. If something later contradicts that conclusion, we change our conclusion based on the new evidence. If more evidence comes in and agrees with our current conclusion, our confidence that our current conclusion is correct increases.

That’s why it’s not science, that’s why it’s called the theory of evolution. One man’s theory.

There’s a couple of problems with this statement. His first sentence shows a misunderstanding of the word “theory” when talking about science. In everyday language, “theory” basically just means a guess. This is closer to the definition of a scientific hypothesis. A scientific theory is “a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method, and repeatedly confirmed through observation and experimentation.” (Wikipedia)

Notice we also use this term to describe the “theory of gravity”, or the “germ theory of disease” (which states that germs make us sick, and is why we wash our hands with soap). A scientific theory is made up of a body of facts. Let me steal a couple of definitions:

The United States National Academy of Sciences defines scientific theories as follows:

The formal scientific definition of theory is quite different from the everyday meaning of the word. It refers to a comprehensive explanation of some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of evidence. Many scientific theories are so well established that no new evidence is likely to alter them substantially. For example, no new evidence will demonstrate that the Earth does not orbit around the sun (heliocentric theory), or that living things are not made of cells (cell theory), that matter is not composed of atoms, or that the surface of the Earth is not divided into solid plates that have moved over geological timescales (the theory of plate tectonics)…One of the most useful properties of scientific theories is that they can be used to make predictions about natural events or phenomena that have not yet been observed.

From the American Association for the Advancement of Science:

A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment. Such fact-supported theories are not “guesses” but reliable accounts of the real world. The theory of biological evolution is more than “just a theory.” It is as factual an explanation of the universe as the atomic theory of matter or the germ theory of disease. Our understanding of gravity is still a work in progress. But the phenomenon of gravity, like evolution, is an accepted fact.

And to his second point, “one man’s theory”:

One 1987 estimate found that “700 scientists … (out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists) … give credence to creation-science”. An expert in the evolution-creationism controversy, professor and author Brian Alters, states that “99.9 percent of scientists accept evolution”. A 1991 Gallup poll found that about 5% of American scientists (including those with training outside biology) identified themselves as creationists.

This is not “one man’s theory”. This is scientific consensus. (More available here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Level_of_support_for_evolution)

Now let me show you how much faith it really takes to believe in evolution.

Interesting that he’s choosing to bash something based on how much faith it takes to believe it.

You want me to believe that in some accidental cosmic bang, that out of that was created one cell, and from that one cell that all life springs, every plant, every animal, every single human being and that somewhere along the way over years and years we mysteriously and magically all developed different wills and we all developed different characteristics and traits all because we willed it in our head?

Ok, he jumps to a few different subjects pretty quickly in this section, so let’s break it up a bit.

The first thing he references is the Big Bang. This is the “prevailing cosmological model for the early development of the universe” and has actually gone through some interesting fluctuations of acceptance in American religious circles. I’ve seen everything from “God said it, and ‘Bang!’ it happened” bumper stickers to headlines that claim “the big bang confirms creation” (http://www.wnd.com/2014/03/physicist-big-bang-breakthrough-confirms-creation/).

A relevant quote:

“Every great scientific truth goes through three phases. First, people deny it. Second, they say it conflicts with the Bible. Third, they say they’ve known it all along.”

– Neil deGrasse Tyson

The big bang is probably too large a topic to cover here, but I can go into the evidence for the big bang sometime if requested.

Next he talks about the first instance of life on earth, something called “abiogenesis”, if you want to learn more about it. This is something we are still early in our understanding of, but scientists are working hard to understand more.

He then expresses his disbelief that “one cell” could turn into all the life we see today. This is actually explained pretty elegantly through the ideas of evolution and natural selection. Again, a large topic, but I’ll be happy to go into it based on my understanding if requested.

He then goes on to say that over the years we “mysteriously and magically all developed different wills”. I’m not entirely sure what he means here, but it sounds like he doesn’t understand how evolution works, and therefore it is ridiculous and couldn’t possibly be true.

You really think that everything came from one single cell? How much faith does that take?

Again, mocking how much faith it takes to believe something he thinks is stupid. Perhaps he thinks believing something on faith is a bad idea, as it leads one to believe untrue things.

However, we didn’t get this idea from faith. In fact it took an overwhelming amount of evidence to convince people to move past their belief in a young earth and accept what the world around them seemed to be showing.

Now, I realize that you say that evolution’s in science. And yet, if we go back to science, the one thing that science demands… maybe you’ve heard of something called the law of thermodynamics, which means that chaos can never produce order.

This is not “the law of thermodynamics”. There are actually three laws of thermodynamics. Just from a quick Wikipedia search:

First law of thermodynamics: The increase in internal energy of a closed system is equal to the difference of the heat supplied to the system and the work done by it.

Second law of thermodynamics: Heat cannot spontaneously flow from a colder location to a hotter location.

Third law of thermodynamics: As a system approaches absolute zero the entropy of the system approaches a minimum value.

The argument he is most likely getting at is based around the second law of thermodynamics, which in short states that disorder in a closed system never decreases. Proponents of this argument often point out that life arose on earth, which is more ordered than a mess of chemicals on the ground. And they’re right, we are more orderly. However, we are not in a closed system, as we are constantly receiving energy from the sun. That’s what’s feeding energy into the system, and that’s why the second law of thermodynamics doesn’t apply in this situation.

Look at the world that we live in. The sun goes up, the moon comes out, we travel around the sun, we have years, we have days, we have seasons, the tide comes in and out, everything works like a clock. It has order. And yet, you can not argue that a world that has order came out of an accident because it defies the very logic and laws of science.

Again, he’s referencing celestial bodies that are all influencing and interacting with each other (rotating, orbiting, tilting, etc.). The universe as a whole is spreading out and cooling down, which complies with the second law of thermodynamics.

You see, you think it takes a lot of faith for me to believe in a god that created this world, a god that created order, and yet what if I were to tell you that somewhere in Oklahoma a tornado rolls through a junkyard full of a bunch of old cars and somewhere on the other side of that tornado, out of that junk pile, it magically produces a perfectly red shiny working Lamborghini. You would tell me I was nuts. You would tell me that I had lost it. You would probably try to admit me into a psychiatric ward. Why? Because that is absolutely stupid. I mean, how much faith would it really take to believe something as idiotic as that? And yet that’s exactly what science believes.

Addressing his scenario: first of all, if you tell me anything was “magically” produced I’m going to be disinclined to believe you. The problem with this analogy is the reason we know the car is designed is because up to this point in our lives, every car we’ve come across has, to the best of our knowledge, been designed by someone. Due to this prior evidence, it would be far more remarkable to come across a car that had not been designed by a person, so we work with the assumption that the car was designed.

He then states that it takes a lot of faith to believe something that idiotic. So far this man seems very anti-faith, or at least to be making the argument that “we both believe stupid things for bad reasons.” And no, I would not try to admit him into a psychiatric ward, I just wouldn’t believe him.

Science believes that in this accident came this perfectly working earth with human life and with people and animals and plants and seasons and days and hours and rotates, the atmosphere… I mean, everything in earth was created perfectly, and I’m telling you that could never happen through an accident. It had to be by intelligent design.

I’m not sure what his metric is for a “perfectly working earth” is. Most of earth is hostile to humans:

It is estimated that only one-eighth of the surface of the Earth is suitable for humans to live on: three-quarters is covered by oceans, while half of the land area is either desert (14%), high mountains (27%), or other unsuitable terrain. (Wikipedia)

Not to mention natural disasters, plagues, diseases, ultraviolet radiation from the sun, and the occasional meteor colliding with us.

By conservative estimates there are most likely over 100 billion galaxies in the universe, and the Milky Way galaxy (which so far appears to be a fairly unremarkable galaxy) contains between 100 and 400 billion stars. That means that even if stars only average 1 planet each (our own being host to 8), it’s no stretch of the imagination to think there might be a few that could support life. Using the low estimates, that’s 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (ten sextillion) planets out there.

This reminds me of a quote by Douglas Adams (a science fiction writer):

Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, ‘This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!’

In fact, it is the puddle that has taken the shape of its surroundings. The earth is not perfectly formed to fit us and our needs, we have evolved to survive on the earth.

I think it’s worthwhile to note that he has now switched to bashing science. And perhaps amusingly, he’s also doing this while riding in a car, taking a video of himself with his cell phone, and uploading it to the internet, none of which would be possible without science.

So dear Mr. Atheist, who really has to have a lot of faith today to believe in their theory? I believe in God because I’ve experienced him, I’ve felt him, but most of all, while driving through Yellowstone and Montana and so many of these natural reserves this week and looking at animals and looking at life… I don’t know I just can’t look at all of that creation and say that it was an accident. I have to say that creation has a creator.

Yes, some things are very beautiful. Natural parks, deer, flowers, and such beautiful things can evoke strong feelings, and that’s great! But when claiming the world is just too beautiful and perfect, you’re only looking at half of things. There are a great number of things we could see and not declare them perfect and beautiful (hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, birth defects, cancer, deadly insects, genocide, war).Would he count these as evidence against a god? I’m guessing not.

He is also begging the question (that is, assuming the conclusion of an argument before making it) by calling the universe “creation”.

And one final thought. Well, the word “universe”… You believe in a big bang, but when I look at the word “universe” it means “uni”, which is “one”, or singular. That’s latin. “Uni”-”verse”. “Verse” means a spoken statement. So “universe” is one single spoken statement. I dare you to read Genesis 1. “And in the beginning God said ‘Let there be.’” All God had to do was speak one single spoken statement and “boom”: the universe.

I’m not sure if he was just making this up, or didn’t care if it was true because it sounds good, but from a quick online search:

The word Universe derives from the Old French word Univers, which in turn derives from the Latin word universum. This Latin word comes from the poetic contraction Unvorsum, which combines the word “uni” (which means “one”) with “vorsum, versum” (a noun made from the perfect passive participle of vertere, meaning “something rotated, rolled, changed”). (Wikipedia)

But perhaps he was just being poetic with this point. Still seems a little dishonest to me.

I didn’t bother to transcribe the part where he tells everyone to like and share his video.


3 thoughts on “

  1. Thanks for this. Some will say it is silly to argue with creationists, but if people hadn’t argued with me, I would still be one. You’ve done a good job answering the arguments from the transcript for the space you used, and I hope it reaches a receptive creationist and helps change his/her mind. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s