Response by: Christopher Sernaque
Introduction: Hi, nice video. I like the calm and detailed manner of explaining and can tell they put a lot of effort into it. And eventhough I like the manner of presentation, I find the video a bit lacking in content, as it seems to me it contains a fair amount of misinformation and misrepresentation... Please let me explain what I find incorrect about this video.
Introductory Response: Thank you for your words of appreciation about how the video was presented. Keeping a calm demeanor is something that comes from having a true relationship with Christ Jesus. With regards to the video being misinforming, I disagree with you for a variety of reasons, which I will commence to explain below.
Objection- It is always good to define what you are talking about, so in that regard I agree that defining the term evolution is quite essential. Especially since the word evolution is used in different contexts and areas of science, like for instance stellar evolution. But in general when spoken of evolution in science, they usually are referring to the (or Darwin's) theory of evolution.The theory of evolution is not equal science, because science is much more than just evolution. You can be a electro-engineer or a astrophysicist without ever having to deal with evolution, in fact evolution is mostly linked to biology and related scientific fields.But the theory of evolution is indeed scientific, as it is a scientific theory, which means that within the relevant scientific communities, evolution is the best explanation we have so far for the development of life here on Earth.
Response: I agree with two of your points. It is essentially to define the term evolution and the term evolution is not equivalent to the term science. I do not deny that evolution is a theory. A scientific theory, in simplistic terms, is essentially an explanation. Let’s take a step back and look at the bigger picture. A dispute arises when there are multiple competing explanations for the same event or effect. These rival explanations can be tested against one another. To return to the creation and evolution controversy, while I do agree with your statement about evolution being a theory, I disagree with your statement that it is the best explanation we have. There are other competing models that can make testable predictions, like the Intelligent Design Theory. For instance, ID scientists observe that intelligent agents produce what is known as “Complex and Specified Information” (CSI). Based on this observation, ID scientists hypothesize that natural objects should contain high levels of CSI if they were designed. ID scientists can then perform experimental reverse-engineering on biological structures to see that if all of their parts are required to confer a function. This concept, called “irreducible complexity”, is illustrated in Michael Behe’s book, “Darwin’s Black Box.” When ID scientists perform this experiment and demonstrate irreducible complexity, they can fail to reject the null hypothesis that the object was designed. The scientific method is not a “Darwinian” concept. I hope that you can see that the theory of evolution is by no means the only explanation for the origin of life and that the alternatives are by all means viable.
Objection: Evolution does not deal with the origin of life nor does in necessarily trace all life back to a single common ancestor. The best definition i've encountered for evolution is: "the gradual change of herritable traits in biological organisms over succesive generations". So by definition evolution needs reproducing organisms to take place.If you apply evolution you could extrapolate that life began with a single organism, but this is just using evolution to come to certain conclusions. Within science there are several ideas that counter this notion.- As shown by the definition in my previous point, evolution does indeed mean "change over time" (though put very simple). The idea that all life came from a single source is from people who reason back using evolution.
Response: You seem to be stating that you disagree with the idea of “common descent” or “common ancestry” and that you believe that there is scientific evidence against that position. If that is what you were trying to get across, then I have to agree with you on those points. However, you did not carefully listen to the video and you missed the point that I conveyed. The first few points in the video made a clear distinction between the few of the various definitions of evolution that are utilized in scientific literature and discussion between laypeople. Once again, the definition of evolution that I object to, as do many other creation/ID scientists, is the idea that all living organisms are related through common ancestry, with the first organism originating from inorganic precursors, ie the primordial soup. Creation scientists do not dispute evolution, if you define it as “change over time” or “change in allele frequency.” Evolutionists fail to show that the small adaptive changes that are observed are the type of change need to drive “particles to people”, “microbes to microbiologists” etc. common ancestry evolution. What is observed in nature is that, while the environment can ‘select’ for beneficial adaptations, it mainly results in reducing the genetic information in the gene pool.” Thus, the evolutionary mechanism does not work. Please see this article for more information: https://creation.com/the-evolution-trains-a-comin
Furthermore, the claim that Darwinian evolution has nothing to do with the origin of life is false. Even though Darwin was reluctant to tackle the issue head-on he “favored the possibility that life could appear by natural processes from simple inorganic compounds.” (Peretó, Juli, et al. “Charles Darwin and the Origin of Life.” Origins of Life and Evolution of the the Journal of the International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life, Springer Netherlands, Oct. 2009, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2745620/.)
Finally, the idea of natural selection was first described by a creationist by the name of Edward Blyth, who wrote before Darwin and the Bible affirms the reality that selection pressures can produce changes in organisms. (Genesis 30:32, 41-42)
Objection: Evolution isn't essential for science as said previously, even within biology you can manage without evolution. But as evolutionary-biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky said: "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.". (I am aware that me quoting a single scientist is ironic for the points to come)
Response: I agree with your opening points. Evolution is not the foundation of science or biology. In response to the quote from Dobzhansky, the idea of natural selection, which predates Darwin’s “Origin of Species”, is an important concept. However, the idea of common ancestry is not. Here is another quotation that you might be interested in: “Surprisingly, however, the most notable aspect of natural scientists in assembly is how little they focus on evolution. Its day-to-day irrelevance is a great ‘paradox’ in biology, according to a BioEssays special issue on evolution in 2000. ‘While the great majority of biologists would probably agree with Theodosius Dobzhansky’s dictum that “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution”, most can conduct their work quite happily without particular reference to evolutionary ideas”, the editor wrote. “Evolution would appear to be the indispensable unifying idea and, at the same time, a highly superfluous one.” The annual programs of science conventions also tell the story. When the zoologists met in 1995 (and changed their name to the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology), just a few dozen of the 400 academic papers read were on evolution. The North American Paleontological Convention of 1996 featured 430 papers, but only a few included the word ‘evolution’ in their titles. The 1998 AAS meeting organised 150 scientific sessions, but just 5 focused on evolution—as it relates to biotechnology, the classification of species, language, race and primate families.” (Witham, Larry A., Where Darwin Meets the Bible: Creationists and Evolutionists in America (hardcover), p. 43, Oxford University Press, 2002. Witham is an anti-creationist. See review by Jerry Bergman, Journal of Creation 17(3):22–24, 2003.)
Objection: There is no such thing as a "creationary biologist", at least not as a official title. You can have a biologist that is a creationist, but by definition a evolutionary biologist is somebody working in the subfield of evolutionary biology and there is no such field for creation in biology.
Response: The point of my usage of the phrase “creationary biologist” was not to establish some form of an academic title. It was to provide a distinction between biologists with varying viewpoints, in this case, biologists who hold to the evolutionary theory of common ancestry and those who do not.
Objection: It is absolutely fine that Richard Lewontin has the opinion that materialism is absolute within science and that supernatural explanations are being forcefully rejected, but in my opinion that is a very silly position... Because there is no such thing as "supernatural" in science. Supernatural is the term we use of thing we do not have a natural explanation for, basically we don't know how it works. But science is the process of finding our how things work. So by definition is we find something we consider "supernatural" and we find out how it works, it automatically becomes "natural". Basically Lewontin is saying that science does not tolerate having no explanation and presenting as a explanation... It is absolutely fine in science to admit there are (many) things we don't know, but to use that as an explanation is just wrong.
Response: Richard Lewontin is not a creationist. He is not decrying the fact that the “Divine Foot” is having the door closed on it-he is actually calling for the door to be slammed shut. Thus, you completely misunderstood his position. I do not agree with Lewontin. You seem to be saying that I am saying, “I cannot explain this process, therefore, God” which is a “God of the Gaps argument.” I am not proposing a God of the Gaps argument. For example, from our uniform and repeated experience, we know that the information can always be traced back to a mind. Thus, the design inference is a logical one when we observe that the DNA code is digital code. As Bill Gates said, “DNA is like a computer program but far, far more advanced than any software ever created.”
Objection: You are presenting the opinions of people like Lewontin, Ruse, Spetner, etc. as truths or valid points while they are just opinions. Evolution isn't a religion just because one creationist scientist said it is... At least not any more then gravity or heliocentrism.
Response: Once again, Lewontin is not a creationist. Neither is Ruse. I made that very clear the video. Unfortunately, it seems like misunderstood both of their quotations. With regards to the quote from Dr. Spetner, feel free to read his research. He did not simply pull that statement “out of thin air”, rather he has data to back it up. Please see his book, “Not by Chance!”
Objection: We have a process that "increases information". We know that the information within genes can change and we know genes can duplicate themselfs. Both are well documented and understood mechanisms. So yes, genetic information can easely increase.- Mutations are changes in the genome, by definition this is new information. For instance before the mutation, blue eyes didn't exist. So this mutation did indeed add new information. It might not have increased the amount of information, but it did introduce new information.
Response: New information is not generated in any of the examples that you listed. Mutations are, in all simplicity, “spelling errors.” The sequence of letters in the question, “How are you?” can be arranged as “Ohw yer aou?” No new information was added to the sequence; however, it is expressed differently, and the message was degraded to meaningless gibberish. Mutations either shuffle or degrade the information in the genome.
Objection: As you said in the beginning of this video, you should carefully define what you are talking about. Especially if you are talking about elusive terms like "information". Basicly everything is information, colors, shapes, sounds, etc. all add information. And you cannot equate all forms of information. For instance the fact that Mars is red gives us information, so would Gitt say that information had a mind of a sender too? Oxygen can bind to hydrogen to create H2O, this is information too, does that information also has a mind behind it?How do you know that the information in our DNA goes back to God? Do you have anything to supstantiate this claim other hen you believe this to be true?
Response: If it was not made clear by the overall context of what I, and Dr. Gitt, were saying, both of us are talking about biological information. In the video, I specifically said, “The information in the DNA molecule is the specific arrangement of the four nucleotide bases, guanine, adenine, thymine, and cytosine.” Thus, I defined my terms. However, I will humor your point and explore the different definitions of the term “information.” If you define “new information” as gene-duplication than mutations can cause gene-duplication, which more often than not can be harmful. One type of gene-duplication that affects chromosome 21 causes Down Syndrome. When random duplications occur causing parts of the instructions for the complex machinery to be repeated, this will almost always be harmful, or at best neutral. The basic point is that mutations cannot add the kind of useful integrated complexity need to drive particles to people evolution. Please see this article on how DNA points to the existence of God: https://www.christjesusministriesllc.com/post/the-dependency-of-the-universe-and-the-dna-molecule-testify-to-the-existence-of-the-independent
Objection: If you have siblings that are not identical to you, you already have shown the workings of evolution and that it can lead to different genetic information. Change in organisms IS evolution, so yes that does prove it a bit.
Response: The points raised in this objection were already covered throughout this response.
Objection: - The next question I find very interesting. What limit does change in species have? Apparently a wolf has enough genetic information to spawn a Great Dane or a Chihuaha, so what exactly limits it to change any further? The amount of chromosomes of dogs are equal to those of a chicken or a dove, does this mean dogs can turn into those animals?The plant Paris Japonica has close to 150 billion basepairs, 50 times the number of basepairs we humans have, does that mean that plant can become anything?
Response: I am not sure if these questions are rhetorical, sarcastic, or genuine. Either way, the limits to change are set by the amount of information that was originally present in the genome from which to select.
Objection: The simular design is just a guess, it is a claim, not a explanation. Which to me sounds like a bit of a weak attempt to explain the simularities, eventhough evolution has a qmuch more solid explanation for it. If the animals where indeed created to resemble eachother, go proof that it is because of a creator.
Response: The command could easily be posed to you as, “If the animals all indeed come from inorganic precursors and now currently resemble each other, go prove that it is because of evolution.” The evidence for design is found in the complex and specified information that is present in organisms. The inference to design is also inferred from the fine-tuning conditions of the universe. More information is given in Dr. Stephen Meyer’s work, “The Return of the God Hypothesis” and Dr. Jonathan Sarfati’s, “By Design.”
Objection: Could you give me a accurate, consistant and definitive definition of the term "kind", because that does not exist in biological taxomony. Becaue in all my time having converstations with theists about this or simular topics, I have never heard a satisfying answer to this.
Response: Ironically, Carl Linnaeus is known as “the scientists who saw evidence for God in everything in nature.” For an in-depth exploration of the creation model, please see, “Replacing Darwin: The New Origin of Species.” However, many creationists define kinds as a group of creatures that can hybridize with each other, at least to the point that a fertilized egg is formed, even if the offspring is not fertile or even viable. Additionally, if two creatures can hybridize with the same third creature, they are all members of the same kind. Please see this article: https://creation.com/ligers-and-wholphins-what-next
Objection: It is a bit crude to say we are 98% the same as Chimpanzee's geneticly seen. The reality is much more complicated then that. Depending on how you are assessing it this can vary from 70% to 98.77% It is the content of the DNA that makes it much more interesting.DNA is complicated, a few changes can lead to uge differences, while many changes could lead to very little difference... Naming the number of nucleotides seems a bit disingenuous to me, it makes it sound like its a tremendous difference, while it still would be 2%.
Response: I do not make the claim that humans and chimps share 98% of their DNA. That is a claim made by evolutionists. There is absolutely nothing disingenuous about stating a fact. It is more disingenuous to want to deny a fact because you feel that it disrupts your belief in common ancestry.
Objection: Yes there are differences, we are diffent species...These are just some of my thoughts on the content of this video. I apologize for the very long and longwinded comment. Have a nice day!
Response: Indeed, we are different species. I never made the claim that we humans and chimps were the same species. My claim is that the hypothesis that all living things came from a single cell, which in turn came from a primordial soup, should be rejected. My issue is not with the length of your response, but the fact that you misrepresented, intentionally or unintentionally, not only my points, but the points of several evolutionists.
Post Script: Please see the following articles for more information: