Question Evolution Campaign

Apparently this is being promoted in UK, USA, South Africa and a few other places… anyone encountered it?

There’s a post from a Brandon who I seriously hope is taking the piss!

Now everyone will get to see the articles whether they want to or not!
(From Brandon's post) Is he seriously complaining about 'evolutionary indoctrination' and then making a statement like this? hahahaha

He’s a physics lecturer at a South African university? Scary.

Probably gives lectures on the UNISA syllabus at the local Boston college on a part time basis. One can hope its not at one of the more “esteemed” institutions.

I personally know a physics professor at one of our “esteemed” institutions that is a major fundy and is also into every type of alternative medicine and diet woo that you can think of, so I wouldn’t be too sure (not the same person).

reminds me of going to the Mensa meeting to see Steve’s lecture. And the members there being majority xtian, and being offended at his atheist talk. i mean, if the smartest of the smart are still hanging onto woo-bullshit, god helps us all.

VERY scary. My boss recently got his PhD. He is one of the foremost geo-hydrologists in the country (apparently). A very well-qualified scientist with several BSc degrees, and yet he is of the very outspoken opinion that evolution is bull and goddidit left and right. Very frustrating. But there’s no talking sense to people like that… :frowning:
Am I the only one finding the entire website extremely funny due to the fact that every second sentence wants to sell you shit? Why not just spread the message if its that important to them? Nobody sees that the ‘campaign’ preaches against ‘evolution indoctrination’ but at the same time attempts to indoctrinate people with the notion of creationism?

Let’s take the questions seriously and answer them. I’m no scientist or expert in evolution but if we just laugh off what the cretionists are trying to do, we may be missing an opportunity for serious debate. I’m sure that several of the questions have been answered but have all? If not, the scientific method plus the on-going research to address them is arguably sufficient argument. Is it worth while? I don’t think they’ve punched any holes in evolution and the questions reflect some serious misunderstanding/misconception or just plain misinformation in the manner they’ve formulated them.
Of course the other side of the coin is to “Question Religion/Christianity” as an alternative attack but this will lead nowhere due to the intransigent nature of these people. Just some thoughts around this! ???

Sorry Brian, I have to disagree.

Any gaps in our current knowledge are seized upon as evidence for the creationist position (quite the obvious non sequitur, of course), and most of those questions exploit such gaps, besides betraying a deep ignorance of evolution.

But by far the biggest problem with all of this is that these people are deeply deluded. Specifically, they are deluded in their belief that hundreds of thousands, even millions of scientists the world over are mistaken, primarily scientists in assorted biological disciplines but also those in several other relevant ones. These are scientists who are intimately familiar with the evidentiary lines and the arguments pro and contra evolution, and of these specialists, fewer than one in five hundred rejects Darwinian evolution. Creationists are so deeply deluded on this issue that they presume to tell you that their five minutes’ Googling to creationist literature can set aside all this combined knowledge and expertise at a stroke, and that they know better than all those scientists and experts based on no more than an argument from incredulity. The barefaced impudence of that is simply mindboggling, and it means that they will never concede that those experts know hugely more than they do on the subject.

Therefore, debate with them is fruitless. You can’t ignore them, which leaves only ridicule.


This is why I was hoping he was taking the piss!! One of the physics teachers at my school though is a 43 yr old messianic virgin who believes in the vengeful Yahweh. I really wish I was taking the piss but sadly not.

I am always totally confused by religious scientists.

Totally agree - that’s the problem with delusion - an unshakable belief. Whatever evidence you give no matter how concrete makes no difference - it is like mental illness. I am having such a hard time teaching science to kids whose parents tell them that “God paints rainbows in the sky” and then trying to teach a lesson on light refraction!!! So frustrating and ultimately damaging.

The understanding of evolution in school kids is paramount to changing things in the future. Me thinks anyway.

I try the analogy of a murder:

Suspect 1 has a history of violence and a criminal record for attempted murder they know the suspect but there is nothing linking them to the crime.

suspect 2 has no criminal record or history but traces of their DNA were found at the scene and there is a knife with the victimes blood on it in the boot of their car

I ask- Who do you think murdered the victim??

They always answer - Suspect 2 - all the evidence is there

I say - O ok so evidence IS important then??!!!

Then they usually come out with the bullshit answer of the Bible being evidence.

I continue to turn grey prematurely…

Unless of course you see the following as an example of debate, which I agree with Mefiante, is futile:
“goddidit, and you can’t prove that he didn’t”. “But you can’t prove that he did, or even that he exists as more than a figment of your imagination, and I have scientific evidence which suggests…[insert countless clever-people’s research here]”
"but then
How did life with specifications for hundreds of proteins originate just by chemistry without intelligent design? [do I look like Darwin to you?]
How did the DNA code originate? [maybe it was there all along, like your god]
How could copying errors (mutations) create 3 billion letters of DNA instructions to change a microbe into a microbiologist? [I don’t know, why don’t you ask them?]
Why is natural selection taught as ‘evolution’ as if it explains the origin of the diversity of life? [uhm… because it at least attempts to do just that, albeit imperfectly with our current knowledge]
How did new biochemical pathways, which involve multiple enzymes working together in sequence, originate? [[uhm… I suppose god was responsible for that - makes perfect sense :stuck_out_tongue: ]
Living things look like they were designed, [really? who the fuck designed the giraffe then?] so how do evolutionists know that they were not designed? [because there is no compelling argument or good reason to believe that things had to be designed]
How did multi-cellular life originate? [through evolutionary processes too complicated for me to understand, but probably a lot more logical that 'they were made by the cool dude]
How did sex originate? [really, this is their question? Instinctual Procreation and survival of a species mean nothing? Sex originated as a gift from god to be shared between husband and wife and not to ensure survival of the species? And if their argument about the ‘success’ of asexual reproduction holds so much water, then why didn’t god think of that?
Why are the (expected) countless millions of transitional fossils missing? [because we haven’t found them yet. or maybe they were destroyed in Noah’s flood]
How do ‘living fossils’ remain unchanged over supposed hundreds of millions of years? [I don’t understand the question]
How did blind chemistry create mind/intelligence, meaning, altruism and morality? [chemistry doesn’t create morality. But neither does the threat of burning in hell]
Why is evolutionary ‘just-so’ story-telling tolerated as ‘science’? [maybe because it has some basis in science and is supported by the vast majority of the scientific community]
Where are the scientific breakthroughs due to evolution? [what else are breakthroughs due to? eating from that tree in the magical garden?]
Why is evolution, a theory about history, taught as if it is the same as the operational science? [why is Newton’s laws taught? Because they still apply]
Why is a fundamentally religious idea, a dogmatic belief system that fails to explain the evidence, taught in science classes? [OK I’m not even going to comment on the fact that evolution is described as a 'fundamentally religious idea. (wtf!!) Again, because the theory of evolution is based on scientific principles where the theory of creationism is based on bullshit blind faith, without any evidence or argument, but just a simple ‘because it says so in the bible’.

I just can’t wrap my head around this question. How deep seated must this person’s misunderstanding be?

Another thing that bothers me about the questioning is:

How did new biochemical pathways, which involve multiple enzymes working together in sequence, originate?

Well if you stop and think about it for just a second, the very theory you’re trying to disprove is actually the anwser. You just don’t understand the answer.

How did sex originate?

God wasn’t powerful enough to make more humans.

Why are the (expected) countless millions of transitional fossils missing?

Nobody was there to freeze and preserve the remains. If god made dinosaurs, and he wanted us to know about dinosaurs, why did he destroy 99% of the evidence? I’d expect perfect evidence IF god ruled the universe. The evidence we get now is exactly consistent with no creator.

How do ‘living fossils’ remain unchanged over supposed hundreds of millions of years? [I don't understand the question]

He’s probably talking about things like crocodiles and sharks, etc. Who have remained relatively unchanged. The answer is obvious: They don’t have to adapt because they’re already successful. But to be clear, crocodiles today are not exactly what you got 100m years ago, there has been continued evolution.

Why is evolutionary ‘just-so’ story-telling tolerated as ‘science’?

Replace evolutionary with “creationist” please.

Where are the scientific breakthroughs due to evolution?

Isn’t this a bit of missing the case in the point?

Why is evolution, a theory about history, taught as if it is the same as the operational science?


"Operational science" is a term coined by creationists for any science that "deals with testing and verifying ideas in the present and leads to the production of useful products like computers, cars, and satellites."[1] It is used to designate those sciences which creationists have little, if any, complaints about, in opposition of what are designated as historical sciences.

Why would THE BIBLE be taught if it does not fit the criteria for being an operational science?

Moreover: Evolution has implications for research into DNA. DNA research has implications for worldwide health for millenia to come. This stuff is going to change the entire structure of our world.

My emphasis:

Why is a fundamentally religious idea, a dogmatic belief system that [b]fails to explain the evidence[/b], taught in science classes?

Actually evolution is the only current origin theory that was arrived at AFTER looking at the evidence.

My point of departure is similar to Mefiante’s but my approach (maybe naively so) is to say…“OK let’s debate… been there done that” but looking at the response from Hadley

I looked at the 15 questions. Most are good questions. But will your readers be prepared to listen to the answers?
There is a big difference between firstly a genuine question from a person who will honestly consider the answer, however long it turns out to be and whereever it takes them AND secondly a rhetorical distraction thrown into a debate or interview which cannot be answered in the time.
It will be very good for CMI supporters to ask these questions with an honest heart and mind. I see nothing new in these questions.

and then at responses and rebuttals quoted from (to my layman’s eye) religious scientists, e.g.

If there’s no way for the DNA code to come about via natural processes, evolution is impossible. A huge problem is this: the DNA information requires complex decoding machines, including the ribosome, so it can be decoded into the specifications to build the proteins required for life, including enzymes. But the information required to build ribosomes is itself encoded on the DNA. So DNA information can’t be decoded without products of its translation, forming a ‘vicious circle’. And decoding machinery requires energy from ATP, built by ATP-synthase motors, built from instructions in the DNA decoded by ribosomes … ‘vicious circles’ for any materialistic origin theory.
or here
Answer 1: Sexual reproduction allows for evolution at a much faster pace than asexual reproduction. Organisms that exchanged DNA were thus able to evolve out of situations that might have killed their asexual counterparts.

Rebuttal: Another answer which tells why but not how. Creationists can explain the origin of fully functioning sexual reproduction, from the start, in an optimal and genetically diverse population, at the hand of an intelligent Creator. Once the mechanisms are already in place, they have these advantages. But simply having advantages doesn’t remotely explain how they could be built from scratch. The hypothetical transitional forms would be highly disadvantageous, so natural selection would work against them. Sexual reproduction involves fine tuning on both the molecular level (so DNA from two individuals can combine into a new one) and the macroscopic level: in many cases, the male and female genitalia are precisely tuned so one could fit the other, meaning that they could not have evolved independently.

It’s also only partially right: yes, because of recombination, sexual reproduction allows much variability. But it also allows a successful organism to pass on only half the genes to any given offspring (and in a stable population by definition, there is only one offspring per parent). This acts as a conservative force. This is a good thing, because most mutations are harmful, and it’s a good thing they are not passed on. But for evolution, it’s a problem since any putatively beneficial mutation has a 50% chance of not being passed on. Also, sexual reproduction allows these harmful genes, if recessive, to be shielded by a backup copy.

…is it worth taking up the argument or not? Most of you seem to think not. I disagree. To me it seems defeatist but I do not have the ammunition/patience to argue with these guys. The more these issues are debated the better, regardless of whether anybody is winning…it helps us to focus and use logic to refute creationist argument and who knows we may turn some around…don’t hold your breath though!

Have luckily not seen brandon on the PUK. :smiley:

The last 4 questions are bull shit because they are from the point of view that evolution is wrong. Most of the other question get answered in some of Richard Dawkins books think most of them is in the selfish gene(can’t remember), Only one I’ll answer is 11

How did blind chemistry create mind/intelligence, meaning, altruism and morality?
Because chemistry works in mysterious ways much like god. 0:)

I think if someone actually asks any of these question just ask some really crazy shit back about some other subject your good in like in my case, why is donnan effect in nano filtration not explain the transport of neutral species over the membrane. If they can’t answer membrane separation can’t exist. That is the flaw in their whole scheme just because I(who is not an expert in evolution) can;t answer a question on evolution does not make is false.

The questions they ask are of course largely legitimate and are being debated in scientific circles. My point was simply that it’s pointless debating those questions with creationists because they are unable to accept that “We’re not at all sure how X came about exactly, but while work continues on this problem, here’s our best guess based on scant available evidence: …” is a perfectly legitimate answer. They invariably take such an answer to mean that it is an insoluble riddle that is fully and satisfactorily solved by a belief in a supreme supernatural manipulator (which of course is not at all the case). They cannot abide such uncertainty — which is probably why they are so full of faith in the first place, craving the comforting illusion of absolute certainty. If they were truly interested in and respectful of what science has to say on the matters they raise, they would read more about it with appropriate humility instead of concocting what amounts in effect to little more than a bunch of confrontational and divisive ploys.

So, for example, we can recognise that the development of sexual reproduction may have arisen from a form of symbiosis between very similar organisms that increasingly and to their mutual benefit interfered with one another’s reproduction until it was no longer possible for them to reproduce in isolation of one another. Or that DNA encoding its own required decoding machinery is likely a result of increasingly complex self-organising chemical systems operating in conjunction with opportune co-option and accumulation of incremental steps towards more successful replication of simple chemical forms. Us not having much in the way of evidence or proper knowledge in these matters doesn’t mean we can’t conjecture solutions and test their credibility.

However, creationists simply reject such suggestions because they are speculative and lacking in convincing evidence, not because they are scientifically implausible. It’s why I wrote, “Any gaps in our current knowledge are seized upon as evidence for the creationist position (quite the obvious non sequitur, of course)…” They exploit such speculation and uncertainty by offering cocksure confidence about their own “answers” in its place, which demonstrates both their intellectual fraud and unwillingness to explore properly and impartially the range of possible answers.

Those questions are well worth debating in scientific circles but not with creationists because they have already wholly exempted themselves from scientific rigours by insisting on an “explanation” that is as unscientific as it possibly could be. It’s a sham and a masquerade they’re putting on, not genuine inquiry.


So he claims. But I have conversed with creationists online for many years, and it is pretty much standard practice among them to claim to have reams of degrees.

Of course, here and there you do get kooks who genuinely have those degrees and believe all manner of weird things.

As for the debate, there isn’t one. The scientific debate about evolution ended 150 years ago. Modern creationism has, since its inception, been a political movement, with its aim to circumvent America’s strict separation of church and state laws, so as to be able to preach to a literally captive audience, and with the long term goal of turning America into a theocracy, with the creationists as “theo.”

Their strategy failed comprehensively, and now they are trying to export it to the rest of the world, fortunately with little success.

Their list of questions consists mostly of questions that either have been answered, or are not relevant to establishing the fact of evolution, or even do not have anything to do with evolution in the first place. It’s just standard rhetoric.

I’d rather have them answer one single, simple question: what exactly is the scientific theory of creation, and how can it be tested using the scientific method? I have yet to meet a fundie who can answer that question, and until they can there is literally nothing to debate. Public debates with them achieve nothing more than to give their nuttery a veneer of respectability, and to give them opportunities for fundraising.