Dismantling a Claim: Evolution is Like Gravity
Updated: Jun 27, 2020
Have you ever heard the statement “Evolution is a theory, but so is gravity”? I engaged in a Facebook debate recently on evangelist Ray Comfort’s Facebook page where one apparent atheist made this claim. Ray Comfort’s Facebook page is often a hotbed for passionate debate between Christians and (mostly) atheists. Ray shared an article about major expansions at the Ark Encounter and said “And atheists said it would be a flop.” One apparent atheist commented and claimed that the Ark exhibits were “wrong.” I responded to that comment which initiated a debate.
I usually share my debates in a series of blog posts for the purpose of brevity, but I believe this one is worth sharing all in one piece. All names are purposely abbreviated. I assume MH and FP are atheists, and that KS is a Christian. Below is the transcript of the comment thread, minus a brief exchange that did not involve me (deleted for brevity):
MH: I went to it but all the [exhibits] were wrong and said dinosaurs lived a few thousand years ago
Kevin: MH, by what observable and testable evidence do you base your claim that these exhibits are “wrong”?
KS: Why do you think it's wrong. It is explained clearly, the young earth, dinosaurs, etc. What are you going by for information?
FP: KS, probably all the other evidence that does not point towards the 6000 yr old earth.
Kevin: FP, what observable, testable evidence is that?
FP: KH, probably any that you would find on accredited websites like Smithsonian.com and not at answersingenesis
Kevin: FP, how does the Smithsonian have observable evidence that the Earth is billions of years old? Who existed for millions and billions of years to directly observe the supposed evolution of dinosaurs and supposed formation of the Earth via natural processes? There’s a huge difference between observational science and historical science: https://answersingenesis.org/media/video/science/nature-of-science/ Also, who does the “accrediting” of websites/organizations? I’m sure evolutionists have no problem “accrediting” organizations that agree with their worldview. That makes “accreditation” an arbitrary self-licking ice cream cone. Have a good night; I probably won’t get to see your response until tomorrow night.
[Note: the debate continued into the next day]
FP: KH, let me guess.......yahweh was there and he told somebody to write the creation story in genesis? You don't know who even wrote the book let alone that it was actually a supernatural being that delivered this message to him/her.
FP: At least I have plenty of evidence outside of one bronze age book.
MH: You don't actually need to observe something in real time to draw conclusions. Evolution is a theory.. but so is gravity. You can't prove gravity. For all we know there are tons of tiny, invisible, untouchable bugs pushing us down. It's just that the theory of gravity makes more sense. Similarly, the theory of evolution is significantly more reliable than the theory of creationism as it lines up in several branches of biology. For example, people have goosebumps. Goosebumps serve an absolutely useless purpose. People get goosebumps when they are cold, scared, or sexually aroused. If you scare a cat its fur puffs up to make it look bigger to predators. It has goosebumps under its fur to do this. If a cat is cold the goosebumps flex its hairs to create heat pockets. It makes sense that humans were once completely covered in fur otherwise goosebumps make no sense. It's not observable but it's the leading theory. Otherwise under a creationist theory, god created people with a useless function and he screwed up. People have wisdoms teeth which supports a theory that they used to have elongated jaws. Under a creationist theory god once again created people with an absolutely useless function. Appendix: serves no current purpose other than to get inflamed. Either god screwed up or this is a residual organ from when people consumed a larger plant based diet. These are only a few examples of a person. There are thousands upon thousands of examples of humans, animals, and plants having useless functions today that make no sense unless they were needed in an earlier stage of evolution. If you supported a creationist theory then god screws up big and makes thousands of lifeforms with useless functions. It's not observable but highly regarded as the accepted theory among people of all religious backgrounds.
Kevin: FP, it’s not really worth it for me to directly respond to your comment until you respond to my original question. Again, what observable evidence are you referring to? MH, I will respond to your comment in segments. [Point 1: Comparison of Evolution to Gravity] There’s a huge difference between biological evolution and gravity. Even if we don’t fully understand the “how,” we can directly observe gravity. We can conduct experiments with gravity and draw conclusions “real time.” The same can’t be said for “molecules-to-man” biological evolution. We may observe small changes within a created “kind,” (e.g. Darwin’s finches are still finches) but we do not observe organisms gaining new genetic information and functionality. Please try to prove me wrong: can you provide an observable example of an organism gaining new genetic information and complexity, such as an originally-blind organism evolving eyesight? Or can you provide an observable example of an originally-flightless creature evolving the ability to fly? [Point 2: Goosebumps] You admit that the evolutionary theory for goosebumps is unobservable, so thank you for your honesty there. With that being said, I completely disagree with the premise that goosebumps serve a useless purpose. Goosebumps serve several purposes including (1) heat regulation and (2) transfer of protective skin oils. https://answersingenesis.org/human-body/vestigial-organs/vestigial-organs-evidence-for-evolution/ [Point 3: Wisdom teeth] Just because something is not essential does not mean that it is useless. As dentist Dr. James Trexel states, “wisdom teeth are advantageous not only for chewing and grinding food, but also for being used as a tool (e.g., tearing, grasping, cutting) by many humans in times past and still today.” https://answersingenesis.org/human-body/vestigial-organs/are-wisdom-teeth-evidence-evolution/ [Point 4: the Appendix] I’m surprised you used this example, because even some evolutionists are abandoning this argument. Research has found the appendix to serve an immunological role, especially as a “safe house” for mutually beneficial bacteria in the large intestine. By the way, in your evolutionary worldview, how do you explain the evolution of organs, given the concept of irreducible complexity? For example, how would an organism evolve the circulatory system without the respiratory system, or vice versa? Or better yet, consider the molecular level: every living thing needs DNA, RNA, and proteins. Each depends on the other two to function. How would all three of these things evolve simultaneously in order to function together? [Point 5: supposed thousands of examples] Based on the examples you shared regarding humans, I don’t see how you can back up this claim. Even if an animal has a characteristic that is not necessary for survival, God may have created that characteristic purely to show off His creative glory. [Point 6: highly regarded as accepted theory] If you admit that evolution is not observable, then do you also admit that you accept biological evolution by faith? Also, just because a theory is widely accepted does not make it true; that is the appeal to majority logical fallacy.
There are two interesting things to note about this debate. First, the original topic of the debate focused on the supposed old age of the dinosaurs and origin of the Earth. MH did not attempt to provide evidence for old age, but instead, tried to provide evidence for biological evolution. I could have called him out on this abrupt change of topic, but I actually forgot to do so, because I was eager to directly respond to the content of his comment. Secondly, a day after I posted my last comment, I checked the thread for more responses, but could no longer locate the thread. Yet, my wife was able to find the thread through her Facebook page. Since MH essentially "owns" the thread since it started with his original comment, it seems as though MH actually blocked me after my last post! If evolution is as verifiable as the effects of gravity, then why would MH block me instead of responding to my comment? I suspect it’s because MH is suppressing the truth in wickedness (Romans 1:18).
I believe many atheists are knowledgeable enough to realize that if biblical Creation is true, then the whole Bible is true, including the fact that they are accountable to a holy God, and that the person and work of Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation (John 14:6). This is why I love to defend God's Word against the claims of so-called "science," because the evolutionary worldview provides a convenient "reason" to distrust the validity of God's Word, including the Gospel.