Darwinism Evolution Intelligent Design Naturalism

How to explain why you don’t believe in “evolution”

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Math prof Granville Sewell suggests how to respond when you don’t have time to offer a 30-minute answer on all the meanings of the term and, chance are, the yob who is asking is just trying to get you anyway:

Like automobiles, life evolved step-by-step, but not really gradually. The video points out how similar the fossil record is to the history of human technology, with obvious similarities between each new invention and previous designs but with large gaps where major new features appeared. That is for the same reasons: gradual development of the new organs that gave rise to new orders, classes, and phyla would require the development of new but not yet useful features. “Gaps among known orders, classes, and phyla are systematic and almost always large,” wrote Harvard paleontologist George Gaylord Simpson. So Darwinism could not explain the development of these new features even if they did occur gradually — and they don’t.

The video highlights further similarities between the evolution of life and the evolution of human technology. With automobiles, if you try to to sketch an evolutionary “tree” showing which models evolved from which, you may be able to produce a tree that is generally reasonable. But closer inspection shows that car species do not really fit so nicely into a tree structure: often even the designers might have a hard time identifying the “ancestor” of a particular model because it inherited ideas from several different automobile lineages. Contrary to Darwinian expectations, the evolutionary “tree” of life is equally confused. There are many indications that humans might have evolved from earlier primates, or that birds might have evolved from reptiles (though this “evolution” was not gradual). But here convergence also confuses things greatly. Similar new features (e.g., the echolocation abilities of bats and dolphins) and similar new genes often appear independently in distant branches of the supposed tree of life, suggesting common design rather than common descent. In fact, Winston Ewert has shown in a 2018 BIO-Complexity article that instead of a tree, the history of life is much better modeled by a dependency graph like we see in the evolution of software development!

Granville Sewell, “Do you believe in evolution? ” at Evolution News and Science Today (September 3, 2021)

Here’s the vid:

Be warned: For the yob, “evolution” explains why he has the right to beat up on people. That’s all he thinks he needs to know. Best to note the quick escape routes before you get accused of violating his rights.


You may also wish to read: More on the Tree of Life and why there seem to be gaps where there should be branches — which is the whole point of a tree.

21 Replies to “How to explain why you don’t believe in “evolution”

  1. 1
    Peter says:

    Two refutations of evolution

    One, the easy one:
    The fossil record. Every fossil anyone has ever seen is of what was a fully functioning living creature. Just take a walk through any museum. Does that look like the output of a random process? No. Evolution explains nothing.

    Two, the mathematical argument

    Where’s the evolutionary statistics? If life evolved by random chance then what is the probability of each new creature (the answer is zero). There is no statistics in most evolution textbooks because the statistics show evolution explains nothing.

    On a side note, I’m very fond of the equation: the number of trials necessary to get an expected result = 1/p, where p is the probability of an event. This beautifully elegant formula seems to be rather obscure even in statistical textbooks. But if we apply the math as any good scientist should do we discover that for the probability of say the random formation of the DNA system we find that it would take 1/0, or infinite time. Once again, evolution explains nothing.

  2. 2
    ET says:

    It all depends on how one defines “evolution”. That is the first thing I bring up in any discussion on the topic. Even YECs accept the change in allele frequency, over time, within a population, ie evolution. They even accept descent with modification, ie evolution. YECs claim that extant species evolved via descent with modification from the originally Created Kinds.

    And even Darwin understood that if one tried to include all alleged transitional forms required by his concepts that you couldn’t form a coherent tree.

  3. 3
    Latemarch says:

    Peter,
    Be careful with that 1/0 = infinite. I was taught that 1/0 was undefined. Perhaps I was miseducated. I otherwise like the argument. p is probably never really zero but as p approaches zero you soon run out of the probabilistic resources of the universe.

    ET,
    As a YEC I will note that “species” is a slippery term much like “evolution.” Species (whatever that means) are nothing more than adaption within the original created Kind. No adaption escapes a Kind to result in a different Kind. Biology as well as the fossil record supports this.

  4. 4
    polistra says:

    There’s no point in debating ANY issue. All we can do is make sure the facts are available in an attractive and ‘digestible’ form. Discovery Institute does a wonderful job in this direction.

  5. 5
    Nonlin.org says:

    “Descent with modification” is nonsense. Open up a biology book and see what actually happens. Hint: “modification” is not it.

    Conversely, you can ponder the equally nonsensical concept of “descent Without modification”.

    Changes in alleles frequency is Not “evolution”. Think! Are you just a monkey with different alleles? Of course not.

  6. 6
    martin_r says:

    what about viruses ?

    Viruses, the most abundant organism on Earth, and Darwinians have no idea where viruses come from. … in other words, THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION CAN’T EXPLAIN THE EXISTENCE OF VIRUSES …. isn’t it absurd, you have a theory how species came to exist, but the MOST ABUNDANT species (viruses) are excluded because it does not fit the theory :))))))))))))

    Common descent idea does not work with viruses, because viruses are not made of cells, it is a completely different system, can’t be included in the tree of life.

    Look at what Darwinian/mainstream website says about viruses:

    Virology.ws:

    In a phylogenetic tree, the characteristics of members of taxa are inherited from previous ancestors. Viruses cannot be included in the tree of life because they do not share characteristics with cells, and no single gene is shared by all viruses or viral lineages. While cellular life has a single, common origin, viruses are polyphyletic – they have many evolutionary origins.

    let me repeat the following:

    While cellular life has a single, common origin, viruses are polyphyletic – they have many evolutionary origins.

    in other words, each virus species is unique and evolved independently … that is what ‘polyphyletic’ means …

    To explain the origin of thousands of species of viruses, it is like explain the origin of life over and over again (like thousands of times)

    https://www.virology.ws/2009/03/19/viruses-and-the-tree-of-life/

  7. 7
    Silver Asiatic says:

    It’s a good attempt by Prof. Sewell, but I think there’s a better way.
    He gives the answer that evolution is ok, but only with intelligent design, and ID is required because:

    I don’t believe that the four fundamental, unintelligent forces of physics alone could have rearranged the fundamental particles of physics on Earth into computers, science libraries, and cell phones, for the same reasons I don’t believe tornadoes will ever run backward and turn rubble into houses and cars.

    To me, that’s not a knock-down argument. I would take the same amount of time and run through the top ten reasons. Evolution is too messy to just target it with one problem. For me, convergent evolution is the most obvious and ridiculous of all, but you have to add the impossibility of evolving a string of language by random mutations (and how mutations are destructive) and the limits of change from Lenski’s experiment and artificial selection (dog breeding) and Cambrian explosion, 800 million years of stasis, and what kind of mutations are required to evolve 92 billion neurons in the human brain starting from brainless bacteria (or non-life itself).

  8. 8
    jerry says:

    How To Explain Why You Don’t Believe In “Evolution

    But we all believe in evolution.

    You have to be willfully blind not to. The question is which of the hundreds of types of evolution is one talking about.

    Turn the question on the other person and have them define evolution and it will quickly generate absurdities.

    If one wants to win the evolution debate, then let the other person define it. They will quickly fail as in the fallacy they often use illustrated in the video, begging the question or assuming the truth of their beliefs without demonstrating it.

    One obvious fallacy which most commentators here pursue in debate is assuming DNA is the essence of life when it’s a small but very important side show. The Modern Synthesis revolves about changes in DNA as the essence of the mystery of evolution. It is a mistake to assume it is the essential part or even an essential part.

    Aside: Darwinism is modern day genetics. I have been enjoying presentations by a gifted geneticist name Giles Yeo on body weight and what causes obesity. Nothing to do with evolution other than different alleles are suspect.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88tWJ1p5d4o

  9. 9
    Querius says:

    Good point, Jerry. When I once told a person that I didn’t believe in the Theory of Evolution, they had a brilliant response:

    Don’t you believe in change over time?

    A “Yes” answer means I do believe in evolution (and all the unstated science fiction that comes with it, and a “No” answer is demonstratably false.

    So, what’s a good answer?

    a. “The Theory of Evolution is racist.”

    b. “Just because things change over time doesn’t mean everything came from nothing.”

    c. “Don’t you think everything looks intelligently designed?”

    d. Other ______________

    -Q

  10. 10
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Evolution is too messy to just target it with one problem.

    To kill darwinian evolution it’s enough the information problem . That information of life that is in the same time: blueprint, builder, quality control, error detection , repair , check again, supply food, clean and remove waste, not to mention reproduction ,but at this point there is no darwinian evolutionist left , all have disappeared.

  11. 11
    Seversky says:

    I don’t believe that the four fundamental, unintelligent forces of physics alone could have rearranged the fundamental particles of physics on Earth into computers, science libraries, and cell phones, for the same reasons I don’t believe tornadoes will ever run backward and turn rubble into houses and cars.

    The fundamental forces of physics determine the nature of chemicals and their interactions. If chemistry can lead to biochemistry, in other words, abiogenesis, then the natural processes of evolution, given enough time, could lead to intelligent beings capable of designing and building computers, science libraries and cell phones. That is one possible way the fundamental forces of physics could lead to computers.

    The reality is that Professor Sewell is as entitled to his disbeliefs as much as anyone else but, as stated, they amount to an argument from incredulity, nothing more. That Sewell or anyone else does not believe something does not make it the case.

    I don’t believe in the existence of the Christian God but I also acknowledge that I could be wrong. My disbelief proves nothing. If we restrict this to knowledge claims then I have to say I simply don’t know.

    I believe the theory of evolution is the best framework explanation we have at this time for what we observe of life on Earth. It doesn’t preclude the possibility of a Creator but there are also a lot of questions about how to square the available candidates with what we have learnt so far.

    Maybe we’re all wrong, Time will tell. We’ll just have to wait and see.

  12. 12
    Querius says:

    Rereading the responses so far, it seems like a great answer to the question, “Don’t you believe in change over time?” would be a simple version of what Silver Asiatic pointed out regarding entropy.

    “Yes, I believe things change over time, but things have been degrading, not improving.”

    Everywhere and for a long time, plants and animals have been going extinct faster than new ones have been appearing. We breed dogs and they have many more genetic defects. There are so many new defects in human DNA that we will be going extinct as well.

    “Or do you believe some races are evolving into a new species?”

    -Q

  13. 13
    Querius says:

    Seversky wrote:

    The fundamental forces of physics determine the nature of chemicals and their interactions. If chemistry can lead to biochemistry, in other words, abiogenesis, then the natural processes of evolution, given enough time, could lead to intelligent beings capable of designing and building computers, science libraries and cell phones. That is one possible way the fundamental forces of physics could lead to computers.

    But computers, science libraries, and cell phones are many orders of magnitude simpler than a single cell, let alone a human being. That argument doesn’t help your case.

    I don’t believe in the existence of the Christian God but I also acknowledge that I could be wrong. My disbelief proves nothing. If we restrict this to knowledge claims then I have to say I simply don’t know.

    Good for you! Now if a Supreme Being, a Creator of Everything that you cannot reasonably exclude from existence actually does exist, what questions would emerge?

    -Q

  14. 14
    jerry says:

    So, what’s a good answer?

    Yes,

    It’s obvious that things have changed.

    This answer does not entail anything else but that things have changed over time.

    So none of your answers are relevant.

  15. 15
    jerry says:

    I believe the theory of evolution is the best framework explanation we have at this time for what we observe of life on Earth.

    But you cannot justify what you believe.

  16. 16
    ET says:

    seversky:

    The fundamental forces of physics determine the nature of chemicals and their interactions.

    Those fundamental forces that are evidence for ID? Those?

    If chemistry can lead to biochemistry, in other words, abiogenesis, then the natural processes of evolution, given enough time, could lead to intelligent beings capable of designing and building computers, science libraries and cell phones. That is one possible way the fundamental forces of physics could lead to computers.


    The fundamental forces of physics are incapable of producing codes as codes are arbitrary arrangements. You lose.

    I believe the theory of evolution is the best framework explanation we have at this time for what we observe of life on Earth.

    And yet there isn’t any scientific theory of evolution. So you just believe in a fairy tale!

  17. 17
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Querius

    Everywhere and for a long time, plants and animals have been going extinct faster than new ones have been appearing. We breed dogs and they have many more genetic defects. There are so many new defects in human DNA that we will be going extinct as well.

    Excellent point. All of that seems undeniable and a huge problem for evolution. We simply do not see that organisms are so malleable that they could respond to environmental changes. Instead they simply go extinct. Even with artificially selected dogs we run into problems with multiple hybrids and they get weaker not better.

  18. 18
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Seversky

    It doesn’t preclude the possibility of a Creator but there are also a lot of questions about how to square the available candidates with what we have learnt so far.

    The simplest starting point probably is a Deist entity – somewhat of Aristotle’s view where at least we would posit the necessary attributes for the universe. Power, knowledge, designing-capability.
    As you mention, there are a lot of questions that come from this, and eventually deism does not work because the creative-decision cannot come from intellect alone, but has to have some kind of trigger. Since that first cause cannot be contingent, it has to have the causal powers within itself – not dependent on outside forces to trigger a creative act.
    That leaves us only with a will, desire, or inner-reason for the creation – thus, a personal Being and not a Deist force.
    That definitely does not answer all of the questions you suggest, but it’s a good starting point anyway. That lines up with what we have learned about the cosmos as well – there is a rational order, the fundamental forces had to be created by something (cannot be the product of physics), and all the chemical properties and bonds had to be built in – again, all of that points to intelligence at the beginning.

  19. 19
    es58 says:

    scientist claims to debunk anti evo arguments
    https://youtu.be/-81iiPGYjms

  20. 20
    Silver Asiatic says:

    I gave him 4 minutes. First minute and a half was just blabbering — but kids like that sort of thing, so whatever. Then he picks the first creationist site he googles — clearly he has not engaged with any serious critiques of Darwinism. That’s all I could handle.

  21. 21
    ET says:

    There isn’t any scientific theory of evolution. So the video starts with the big lie. The DNA model is total nonsense as DNA isn’t the magical controlling macromolecule evos claim.

    This is just another video full of evo-lies

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