It was like something straight out of the National Inquirer: A grunge metal band called “Ghost stories” playing on a stage shrouded with white curtains, shadow dancing. A thrash metal band called “Stop, die, resuscitate”, the local representative for “The Cannibal Flesh Donor Program”, all in an ultra-classy tavern dedicated to the Rolling Stones with various Stone’s paraphenalia plastering the walls, in the downtown core of Toronto. As if that wasn’t interesting and eclectic enough, they threw a creationist into the mix.
It was March 16, 2005, at “Stone’s place”, I was invited to represent the Creationist position to a bunch of skeptical enquirers, evolutionists and atheists. Though not many people showed up, the crowd was demanding, but respectful and fun.
Unfortuantely, I didn’t sleep well the night before, got up at 6:30 in the morning, worked on my presentation till 11:30, loaded up the van and drove 6 1/2 hours to Toronto. I loaded in my museum displays, got up did my first talk at 10 pm-ish (we were late getting started and I was rushed), “Ghost stories” did their awesome act, then we went to Q & A. I was thoroughly exhausted the entire night and this will definitely go down in the books as not one of my better performances. My good ‘ol A.D.D. was kicking in something fierce with the music constantly playing in the background the whole night, and ye olde synopses just weren’t firing on all cylinders.
My biggest frustration from the whole evening was without question my own exhaustion. If I had managed to get some sleep sometime through the day, it would’ve been a much better evening for all; it becomes a very boring argument when your opponent is asleep! It was bittersweet for me that our 45 minute Q&A session got cut to about 15 or 20 minutes, as I was keenly interested in hearing the questions and arguments, as I’m sure they were in grilling me for a response. But let’s face it; I was in no shape for this.
Nevertheless, I did enjoy myself, and enjoyed the company of the group that was there.
This page is devoted to what went on that night, and more importantly to follow up from Q & A.
The opening talk:
Links lead to responses to these points, and to related Q&A.
My talk was cut short due to various factors.
- I first of all did a quick introduction to the very basics of Creation and Evolution, and what they both believe.
- I then addressed the entire scope of the debate first from a philosophical viewpoint First, quoting Sir Francis Bacon’s observation that “People prefer to believe what they prefer to be true” and that one must be wary of their own biases and preferential beliefs. I made the point that both evolution and creation require blind faith.
- As an example of the blind faith required of naturalistic views, I showed the front cover of Discover magazine, April 2002. While there was a question about my sources, no one contested my still valid point: The cover accurately depicts the current thinking on the origin of the universe, and provides an excellent example of the blind faith required to believe in its supposed naturalistic origin.
- I then quoted the former hard-core atheist turned Christian convert, C.S. Lewis; a brilliant scholar who lived on both sides of the fence and had obviously learned a great deal from it.
His main point I was repeating was that if evolution has occurred as the result of randomness in the universe, then the thoughts of the evolutionist and naturalist are also random and not be trusted. Evolution undercuts evolution. There was no response to this argument.
- Abiogenesis: I then covered, in reasonable detail, the impossibility of abiogenesis (life spontaneously arising from dead matter). I cited several unsolvable problems with abiogenesis (i.e., the necessary and impossible removal of oxygen from the environment, and the lack of evidence of that). I moved on to known natural laws which evolution violated if it has occured. (i.e., the law of biogenesis) This places evolution into the realm of the extra-natural, and metaphysical. In other words, a miracle. Something that cannot be explained within the scientific and natural realm, and thus is believed in blind faith. I covered Stanley Miller’s fascinating 1953 experiment which only showed how difficult it really was to produce life “without outside intelligence.” I also briefly mentioned Louis Pasteur’s experiment which demonstrated that abiogenesis does not occur in nature.
All of this solicited a question on the definition of life, which of course would relate to all of these points.
- I moved on to irreducibility and codependent complexity of even the simplest of cells and organisms, citing Michael Denton’s writings on the cell, and Michael Behe’s arguments relating to the irreducible complexity of the bacterial flagellum. My poor flagellum model needs work, but it was breaking down repeatedly, right on cue! While providing an excellent analogy to the talks, it was also a source of entertainment. 🙂 There was no response to these arguments.At this point, I completely blew it in totally forgetting one of the more important arguments for the night: Evidence for creation. This solicited a question to which I will respond here.
- I covered the supposed argument that chimps and humans are “98/6% genetically identical”, demonstrating that the argument is not even close to being an argument; in fact it actually demonstrates the impossibility of life evolving from other lifeforms. I also covered the vast differences between the two that you never hear of. While this solicited no response to the argument, it did solicit a rather unexpected question from one gentleman there.
- We then briefly touched on paleontology and the incredible variation which can occur within a single species – including completely modern humans. This was in introduction to the difficulties surrounding interpretation of the supposed “intermediates” (i.e., supposed half-human, half ape or half-bird, half reptile fossils) in the fossil record. I then proceeded to demolish the interpretations of several of the more famous “intermediate” fossils: Ardipithecus Ramidus Kadaba, “Boxgrove man”, “Lucy”, and Pakicetus. While noone contended with my arguments, this did solicit a question, and a comment on my sources, both from The Distinguished Gentleman (TDG)
- Upon citing an excellently written, albeit long, paragraph from the science against evolution website on the missing links, I challenged the audience to find ANY of the missing links mentioned.
- I briefly covered giantism in the fossil record, citing the many, many examples, and the problem of prediction for evolution. Prediction is one of the strongest arguments for a theory. The subject of giantism solicited a response. I was going places with the giantism arguments, but we ran out of time.
I must take the time to say how much I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, and how much I enjoyed the people there. Special thanks to Maria for organizing this event.
There was some follow-up questions after Q & A, but we were screaming at each other over the band. Needless to say, this was difficult, so I’ll attempt to address these arguments here: (if there’s no active link, it’s because I haven’t written it yet; sorry – check back later)
- You argued against evolution, what are your arguments for creation?
- Evolution of species, as demonstrated in fruit flies
- “Are humans superior to other life on earth?”
- “Where is hope in all of this?”
- “Do you think your passion in this blinds you?”
- The Representative of the Cannibal Flesh Donor Program had a couple of questions which cannot be summed up, nor answered, briefly. I will respond to these later as time permits as I think he brought up several excellent questions I would like to respond to.