Sun Tzu, Scroll III (Offensive Strategy):(Sun Tzu The Art of War, translation by Samuel B. Griffith, Oxford University Press, 1963)
- Therefore I say: "Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril.
- When you are ignorant of the enemy but know yourself, your chances of winning or losing are equal.
- If ignorant both of your enemy and of yourself, you are certain in every battle to be in peril."
Back in the day on CompuServe, before the Rise of the Web, I had written some essays and uploaded them to the library for the Science & Religion Section of the Religion Forum, which is where creation/evolution discussions were held. I had put together my first web site in order to re-post those essays:
- How I got started and why I oppose "creation science". I wrote this essay over 25 years ago (c. 1990) in order to explain in an on-line discussion on CompuServe how I had formed my opinion of "creation science" (CS).
- The Bullfrog Affair, the sordid tale of Dr. Duane Gish's unsubstantiated claim on national TV of a protein that showed humans to be more closely related to bullfrogs than to chimpanzees.
- Dr. Henry Morris's Human Population Model, AKA, the The Bunny Blunder.
- Responses to a creationist's 23 Points Against Evolution.
- Geological evidence of an ancient earth.
- The Omphalos Argument, ("omphalos", Greek for "belly-button").
- (Updated 2015 Oct 08) -- MONKEY, my experiment with and analysis of Richard Dawkins' WEASEL program, which he had presented in Chapter Three of The Blind Watchmaker.
Also, Monkey Probabilities (MPROBS), a HTML'ized version of the MPROBS.DOC file distributed in MONKEY.ZIP. This document is a discussion of the probabilities involved in MONKEY and a description of how MPROBS works. It is basically an analysis of the mathematics of why cumulative selection works so incredibly well.
The following links are to pages that I have written after CompuServe:
- My Quotes Page. Mainly from creationists that demonstrate their position and from former creationists that demonstrate the detrimental effects that "creation science" had on them.
- The Two-Model Approach.
- The "Creation Model" as presented in the newsletter of the Institute for Creation Research. Demonstrates that it is indeed based on their interpretation of the Bible and not on science as they falsely claim.
- "The Astronomical Improbability of Proteins Forming by Chance" and what is seriously wrong with this common creationist claim.
- "Moon Dust", the story of my research into a specific creationist claim, that a 1976 NASA document, written "well into the space age," shows that a 4.5 billion-year-old moon would have the layer of meteoric dust hundreds of feet thicker than what we found.
- Pascal's Wager. The story of how a creationist's only response to my criticism of creation science was to try to convert me by presenting Pascal's Wager dressed up as a car-insurance analogy, a form of "after-life insurance".
- UPDATED! (2019 April 24) -- added a reconstructed web page by Dov Wisebrod of Religion Detox (link broken). "Pascal's Casinos Under Fire" is a parody article in which Pascal's Wager is treated as a rigged casino game that lures players in with a "sure bet" but instead takes them to the cleaners.
- UPDATED! (2017 March 27) -- added a section on a response to Pascal's Wager, the Atheist's Wager, which proves that leading a good life has positive outcomes regardless of belief in any gods or even whether any gods exist.
- The handout for a presentation I gave at church.
- An example of a typical "hit and run" email that I get from creationists. Please read it for my response, which is a fairly comprehensive summation of my position and so would serve as a good introduction to my site.
Please note that this is the same page linked to by this section's index page.
- My explanation for how our encounters with creationists typically go.
- A case study from a real-world incident in which a public school teacher taught a "balanced treatment" creationism using creationist "public school" materials.
- NEW! (2015 Sep 25) -- The highly popular creationist "leap second" claim that at the rate the earth's rotation is slowing down, the earth couldn't possibly be millions of years old, let alone billions. It debuted in 1979, was decisively refuted in 1982, and more than three decades later is still with us.
- NEW! (2016 August 03) -- Kent Hovind's Solar Mass Loss Claim in which he claims that at the incredible rate the sun is losing its mass ("5 million tons every second") then 5 billion years ago the sun would have been so incredibly massive that it would have "suck[ed] the earth in and destroy[ed] everything." However, if we actually do the math, which "math and science expert" Kent Hovind obviously had never done, we find the effects to be negligible.
- NEW! (2016 August 26) -- Creation / Evolution Debates. An examination of creationist debates featuring links to several articles and web pages on the subject. Also uses a local debate, Bill Morgan versus Phil Summerfeld, 07 March 2009, Garden Grove, California, to illustrate some of the points.
More to come.
The following are links to other sites that contain useful information:
I will expand on this list as time permits. I do fully intend to include links to creation science sites as well.
- The National Center for Science Education (NCSE)
- The NCSE is an excellent source for information about "creation science" and creationist activity, including local attempts to inject creationism into the classroom or remove evolution. Having grown out of the communications network of the various US states' and Canadian provinces' "Committees of Correspondence" in the early 1980's, the NCSE is widely recognized as the leading organization of its kind.
- The Talk.Origins Archive
- This web-site is an excellent source of information of specific "creation science" claims and why they are wrong. It is somehow connected -- I don't know precisely how -- with the talk.origins newsgroup. Just about everything that there is on the subject can be found there, including a list of messages. Includes a search engine.
This site is an invaluable resource for both sides of the issue -- especially for those who want to use creation science claims, eg for proselytizing or for winning arguments. Pro-creation-science resources are notorious for recycling old dead claims and notoriously remiss in informing you of the history of a claim, of what objections and criticisms and refutations have been raised against it, or even whether the claim had been retracted by its originator. Instead of charging in over-confidently with "brand-new evidence" that you think will blow your opponent away, you'd be better off knowing what your opponents know, that that "brand-new evidence" is actually several years old and was found to be utterly bogus. I have seen it happen and it is not a pretty sight 1. Knowing what your weaknesses are is part of Sun Tzu's advice to "know yourself."
Here are a few of the articles there that might be of interest:
- A Critique of ICR's Grand Canyon Dating Project
- Isochron Dating -- If the subject of radiometric dating is of interest to you, you must also read this FAQ, which describes how radio-dating is really done, as opposed to the overly simplistic strawman description you get from creation science. The "insurmountable problems" that creation science posits are handled by the isochron method.
- Creationist Whoppers
- Radiometric Dating and the Geological Time Scale
- Transitional Vertebrate Fossils FAQ
- Horse Evolution
- On the Heels of Dinosaurs
- Evolution's Tiny Violences The Po-Halo Mystery
- What is Creationism
- The Recession of the Moon and the Age of the Earth-Moon System
- Paleoanthropology Links
- Fossil Hominids the evidence for human evolution
- Comparison of all skulls (survey of 10 creationists who disagree which fossil hominids are "100% ape" or "100% humans"; some even changed their minds)
- Introduction to Evolutionary Biology
- Five Major Misconceptions about Evolution
- Former Creationists (Post of the Month: November 2002)
- Morton's Demon (Post of the Month: February 2002)1 Here is a true story to illustrate that point. Circa 1990 at The City mall (razed and completely rebuilt in 1996 as an up-scale "The Block", then downgraded in 2011 as "The Outlets") in Orange, California, creationist Scott Alexander was hosting a series of amateur-night creation/evolution debates in which the members of the audience were invited to get up and make presentations. One young creationist (I would judge him to have been about 18 to 21 years old) got up and announced that he had some new hard science that would blow the evolutionists away: the speed of light has been slowing down! The pro-evolution half of the audience immediately burst into uncontrollable laughter. That claim of Setterfield's had already been known to them for a decade, it had been refuted many times, and they started to explain to the poor hapless creationist exactly why that claim was false. The poor kid didn't know what had hit him. He was blown away by the truth.
- How Creationism Taught Me Real Science, a YouTube video series by Tony Reed
- The general format of this series of more than 40 videos is that he starts out "encountering" a creationist claim, which he presents as a creationist would, whereupon he declares that it sounds so convincing that he just has to investigate it. Of course, the claim falls apart upon inspection.
What first attracted me to this series was the title, since it reflects my own experience. I have always liked science and knew more about science than most people. But I have found that in researching and refuting creationist claims I have also learned so much more about real science. Also, his videos are well researched and presented clearly.
- The Word of God by filk poet & song-writer Catherine Faber -- who also has a Ph.D. Biology
- Inspirational and moving view of Creation, regardless of your views of "God". Though some bible-worshippers might not like it.
She writes:This song was inspired when a friend of mine complained to me about a run-in with some Creationists, and asked "what can you say to such people?" The first words that popped out of my mouth were "humans wrote the bible. God wrote the rocks.""The profoundest act of worship is to try to understand."
- Dr. Allan H. Harvey's Essays.
- Dr. Allan H. Harvey is a Christian and a scientist (Ph.D. Chemical Engineering) who had written essays about science and religion. I found them to be of interest mainly because he also recognizes the detrimental effects that "creation science" has on faith and on anyone being able to even consider converting. He also deals with "God of the Gaps" theology and with an infamously bogus creationist claim that in the mid-1960's a NASA computer calculating the positions of the moon ended up finding Joshua's Long Day. That was one of the first creationist claims I had encountered and even in 1970 when computers were mysterious and out of anybody's reach, I immediately realized that it was blatantly bogus. I quote from a couple of his essays on my quotes page.
He lists all his essays at http://steamdoc.itgo.com/writings.htm, but I found these essays to be of particular interest:
His nickname, "SteamDoc", is because most of his research is oriented around thermophysical properties of systems containing water.
- Ed, formerly "firstname.lastname@example.org" and then later "email@example.com".
- Ed started out as a self-described "creation science addict" who one day realized how false it is (while watching a video tape of some Hovind debates) and became instead a "Christian of evangelical persuasion who seeks the truth of both science and the Bible". One position he voiced is that if Christians were taught the truth from the beginning, instead of creation science's contrary-to-fact claims, then their faith would not be shattered when the facts of nature become inescapable.
We had exchanged links after I had archived his pages in December 1998. Then when he took his site down in 2003, I reposted it for a few months until he contacted me with his new URL. Now (August 2016) after having searched for his site in vain, I'm reposting it yet again:Creation, Evolution and Adam
Of particular interest was his "My Story", which I quote from on my quotes page. In it, he tells of how he nearly became a living example of how creation science can destroy faith. Nor was his pastor any help; he advised Ed to flee the truth rather than to face it. Rather than fleeing the truth, Ed suggests that if Christians were taught the truth from the beginning, instead of creation science's contrary-to-fact claims, then their faith would not be shattered when the facts of nature become inescapable.
- Carl Drews: http://www.theistic-evolution.com/.
- Carl Drews is a fundamentalist Christian who has never seen any conflict between his faith and science. However, he has very definite problems with creation science and the extent to which it leads other Christians to abandon truthfulness. His research into creation science claims has repeatedly shown him that those claims are false and that creationists routinely misquote and misrepresent their sources. This issue of truthfulness and other Christians' abandonment of truthfulness ended up driving him from his church because they were bearing false witness.
Carl's web site is at http://www.theistic-evolution.com/ and his personal story is at http://www.theistic-evolution.com/mystory.html.
- Glenn R. Morton
- It was Glenn R. Morton's story that first made me aware of the deliterious effects of "creation science" on its followers' faith and how it can literally destroy their faith. Glenn R. Morton used to be a young-earth creationist and had originally learned geology through creationist sources. Then when he started working as a petroleum geologist he had to deal daily with rock-hard geological facts that directly contradicted what creation science had taught him and that he had been taught could not exist if Scripture were to have any meaning. This drove him to the brink of becoming an atheist and he would have gone over that brink if he hadn't arrived at an approach to attempt a scientifically accurate harmonization.
Morton had created a fairly extensive web site which contained many articles about geological evidence and how it relates to what "creation science" claims (ie, the evidence disproves those claims) as well as testimonials from people whose faith was either lost or nearly lost because of creation science and some reports from "intelligent design" conferences. That site was an excellent resource, but then he took it down when he became upset that some atheists were using it to attack Christianity.
Fortunately, a number of his pages were archived by other sites and reposted, though finding a specific one can be something of a scavanger hunt. For example:
- Glenn R. Morton
- Old Earth Ministries archived a number of Morton's pages. That link takes you to their author profile page for him, which includes links to the about 20 articles of his that they have. It includes his two personal testimonials detailing his deconversion from young-earth creationism:
- Young-Earth Arguments: A Second Look
- This one's a two-fer! Courtesy of the WayBackMachine web archive, it's a good article from 1998 which counters a number of claims despite being short. Second, it starts with a list of about 50 links to his other articles, almost all of them dealing with the Flood and the actual geological evidence.
- The WayBackMachine web archive's copy of Morton's site from 2010 August 11
- Looks promising, but not all the links work (eg, his reporting of the "intelligent design" Nature of Nature conference in Waco, TX). Fortunately, the index page for testimonials, Personal Stories of the Creation/Evolution Struggle is there. I quote from Steve Smith's testimony on my quotes page, but now you can read it in its entirety.
- Talk Origins Archive
- Glenn Morton had written several articles for talk.orgins. Follow the link above and do a search on his name.
- Or whatever your favorite search engine happens to be. Look up Glenn R. Morton. Or better yet, "G.R. Morton", since that's what he would write in his copyright line.
- Creationist Geologic Time Scale: an attack strategy for the sciences. by Donald U. Wise, Professor Emeritus, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Research Associate at Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA.
- This is an expanded version of an original manuscript that was published in American Scientist, March/April, 1998, vol. 86, n. 2, p. 160-173. The stated purpose is to propose a new approach, in which the geological time-scale proposed by creation science should be examined and creationists should be challenged to defend their "scientific" view of earth history as represented by this time scale. This page contains a lot of interesting and useful information relating to geology and to the history of the creationism movement.
- Greene's Creationism Truth Filter
- Todd Greene was a young-earth creationist in the Church of Christ until he came to value truth much more highly. His site included creation/evolution discussions he has had with Church of Christ YECs. He also had a very good links page.
Unfortunately, his site is no longer up. However, one set of his pages has been archived:Young Earth Advocates Argue Against An Ancient Universe ó What Does Reason Indicate?:A "live" discussion with young earth advocates regarding the fact that the universe is ancient. See specifically how they offer nothing more than their merely human speculation. (A few blatantly misrepresent everything in sight!)
- Glen Kuban's Paluxy Site
- Glen Kuban is a former YEC who visited the Paluxy River to study the "manprints" found there next to dinosaur prints. He found that those "manprints" were not what creationists like Carl Baugh had claimed. He has studied the prints extensively and published several reports on them, which has prompted many creationists to abandon the Paluxy tracks as evidence. Glen includes his bio.
- What About Carl Baugh?
- On his site, Glen Kuban has re-posted this Answers In Genesis (AiG) article which is critical of several of creationist Carl Baugh's claims and which warns about the detrimental effects those claims can have on Christians, their witness, and their faith.
In order to verify this page's authenticity, I contacted AiG directly and asked them about it. They verified that that page is exactly what it claims to be.
- Josh Zorn's Testimony
- Josh Zorn is a Christian and a scientist whom Glen Kuban describes as "fellow Chrisitan and ASA member Joshua Zorn, who like me once tried to influence others toward strict creationism, and now deeply regrets it." Zorn describes his conversion to YEC and his painful crisis of faith when he realized that YEC is false. He also writes at length about the quality of science in creation science, the relationship between science and Christianity, and the harm that is done by false creation science claims.
- Rationale for this collection
- I recently came across this page by David Ussery. It is his journal from 1988 to about 1992 as he was growing out of his fundamentalist, young-earth-creationist upbringing and learning more about the real world. He currently has a PhD Biology and teaches at Roanoke.
- Christianity and science, are they contradictory?
- Dr. Lorence G. Collins is a PhD Geology of the Department of Geological Sciences at California State University Northridge. He wrote this page as a kind of FAQ to refer creationist respondents to when they would start out by accusing him of being anti-Christian and "a typical Godless scientist ... who is determined to demonstrate that science and religion are conflicting and contradictory". Rather, he has been a practicing Christian all his life, had led Lay Witness missions for 20 years, and continues to seek "to bring people to Christ." He goes on to examine issues of biblical literalism and inerrancy and the role of integrity in Christianity, expressing the concerns:"I wrote these articles because I am concerned that some Christians may be worshiping the Bible rather than worshiping Christ. These Christians may be trying to make the Bible perfect in all respects when it is not and worshiping it when they should not (Ex 20:3; Ex 34:14)."
- Dr. Kenneth Miller
- Dr. Kenneth Miller is a believing, practicing Christian, a self-described creationist (since he believes in a Divine Creator, though not in YEC), and a PhD Biology and Professor of Biology at Brown University. He has also been acknowledged by the Institute for Creation Research as one of the ablest debating opponents that they had encountered2.
If you saw the panel debate about "intelligent design" on PBS' "Firing Line" a couple decades ago, Dr. Miller was the one who said he wanted to be remembered as "the guy with the poster boards." He was also featured briefly in the last episode of PBS' "Evolution" series (2001).
His site includes links to a few articles he has written, including a review of Behe's "Darwin's Black Box."2 Before the 19 Sep 1981 Morris/Miller debate in Tampa Bay, FL, the local school board had already mandated teaching creationism. Miller did such a sterling job of beating Dr. Henry Morris of the ICR that the local school board reversed itself and put the planned creationist curriculum on permanent hold. As an example of how much you can trust the creationist literature, the report on that debate in the ICR's own newsletter, Acts & Facts, said that Dr. Morris had materially strengthened the creationist cause in Tampa.
Six months later, Dr. Duane Gish had a go at Miller in Tampa and fared even worse.
("The Tampa Debates", Creation-Evolution Debates: Who's Winning Them Now?, Creation Evolution Journal, Vol. 3 No. 2, Spring 1982, pp 30-42)
- Radiometric Dating: A Christian Perspective by Dr. Roger C. Wiens
- Dr. Wiens provides some very good information about radioactive decay rates and dating methods, as well as explaining how creation science misrepresents that information. From the preface:"Radiometric dating--the process of determining the age of rocks from the decay of their radioactive elements--has been in widespread use for over half a century. There are over forty such techniques, each using a different radioactive element or a different way of measuring them. It has become increasingly clear that these radiometric dating techniques agree with each other and as a whole, present a coherent picture in which the earth was created a very long time ago. Many Christians are completely unaware of the great number of laboratory measurements that have shown these methods to be consistent, and they are also unaware that Bible-believing Christians are among those actively involved in radiometric dating. This paper describes in relatively simple terms how some dating techniques work, how accurately the half-lives of the radioactive elements and the rock dates themselves are known, and how dates are checked with one another. In the process the paper refutes some misconceptions prevalent among Christians today."This is a well-known and respected site that creationists are frequently refered to. Just having creationists read it before a discussion on radiodating has been known to cause those creationists to either entirely change the subject or suddenly disappear.
- Troy Britain's Creation-Evolution Locus.
- We "met" online in the CompuServe fora that housed creation/evolution discussions in the early 90's. His introduction to creation science was being witnessed-to by a creationist, which made him think that there must really be something to it. Of course, his experience was the same as my own; when he started studying "creation science" he was outraged to discover that it was just a pack of lies.
- QUESTIONING: An Examination of Christian Belief.
- I also "met" Merle Hertzler online on CompuServe in 1993-94. He was a former fundamentalist and ex-Christian, but that was a couple decades ago so I don't know about his current position. In 1993, he argued on CompuServe for young-earth creationism and was one of its better, more coherent advocates. But he found that position indefensible and within a year went over to the side of evolution. On his site, his page, Did We Evolve? described that process -- the link is now broken, but the page is archived at https://www.oocities.org/questioningpage/Evolve2.html.
- Genesis Panthesis by D. Jon Scott
- At this framed site, click on the link to "What is the Inspiration for the Genesis Panthesis Website?".
Scott had been a very active creation science follower and propagator who used to run his own discussion board on the issue. Then one day he was finally confronted with the evidence that he had been taught could not possibly exist, a transitional form. Unable to explain it away and equally unable to ignore it, his faith completely unraveled, just as creation science had taught him must happen. Now he is strongly anti-Christian.
Ironically, that "transitional form", Archaeoraptor turned out to be a hoax. Yet it did the trick just as well as the real thing, triggering the booby trap installed by "creation science" to destroy his faith. The point is that creation science had wired his faith to self-destruct in the face of contradictory evidence, whether real, faked, or imagined.
- Faith & Reason Ministries: Reconciling Christianity with Accepted Science
- "This ministry accepts modern science (including biological evolution and the Big Bang), a valuable, yet non-perfect Bible, and a Jesus of history, divine."
"As far as this ministry is concerned, Jesus comes before the Bible. The Bible does not come before Jesus; although the Bible is a great work and should remain a pillar of strength for the Church which it has always been. However, inerrancy and creation science (young Earth creationism, old Earth creationism, intelligent design theory) are not accepted due to the overwhelming scientific evidence against them."
- Blending Faith with Reality by George H. Birkett
Honorable mention, since the link is broken (another victim of AOL leaving the web server business) and I have not found a new site by him, but I think I did find his obituary.
- George Birkett is a devout Christian grandfather who is putting some of his thoughts about religion and his faith on his web site. He also accepts evolution as a scientific explanation and has concerns about creation science. Part of that concern is that creationists have chosen to worship the Bible instead of worshipping God.
From his "Ignorant adoration?" page (link broken):However, I see too many signs of what I call "ignorant adoration." Thatís when we blindly accept what others tell us what and how to believe. There is no reasoning to it. Itís what someone says the bible says or some kind of denominational tenet or doctrine or dogma that encourages denial of evidence (clues) and interferes with our applying our God given intellect to contemplate what the evidence tells us. I can cite dozens of examples that are obvious to me. If I did, though, I would be telling you what clues to read and how to interpret them and I would be doing for you, or to you, the very thing that I protest. I urge all of us, each of us, first to be aware, then to appreciate, then to dedicate our lives to reading the clues and learning what others have learned before us to help us apply our own intellect and reason towards a personal quest for truth within the framework of reality.
Return to DWise1's Creation/Evolution Home Page
First uploaded on 2001 October 05.
Updated on 2020 May 20.