Why Evolution is Wrong, post 9 of 10: Confronting the “Straw Man” Arguments.


            One of the biggest obstacles facing young earth creationists like myself in the uphill battle to get people to take us seriously is the common use of “straw man” arguments by the other side that misrepresent what we’re saying.  A “straw man” is “an issue or person of little significance, put forward to be easily defeated.*” Using this type of argument is very tempting in a heated debate despite the fact that it is disingenuous and deceptive because it allows you to side step from your opponent’s strongest arguments.  This is a vice that were are all guilty of using to varying degrees, but we owe it to ourselves and the other side to avoid doing it deliberately as much as we possibly can.  It is much easier, of course, to recognize when someone is using it against you than when you are attempting to do the same to him.

            There are several “straw men” arguments that evolutionists regularly use against creationists.  One of the most common ones is “special creation.”  This is the idea that if God created animals from scratch like the Bible says he did, He would have designed them to be so specifically suited to a certain geographic area that there would be no need for populations to migrate or adapt. Therefore, some evolutionists claim that the very existence of natural selection disproves creation! This is absurd. There is no reason why a wise God would not create animals with a certain amount of inherent adaptability. I believe that God reveals his genius by building many survival mechanisms into the various species.  After all, if we as humans are smart enough to employ this same principle of adaptability into some of our own creations, it would follow that our Creator would possess the ability to do the same thing in His.

            A similar “straw man” that evolutionists use is the line of reasoning that says that homologous structures definitively disprove creation.  Homologous structures are analogous body parts in different species that are used for different functions.  An example of this would be the human tail bone. It consists of basically the same set of bones as the tails on many animals, but the structure is altered somewhat in order to fulfill a different purpose. Evolutionists claim that this disproves creationism because God would not use the same basic plan for two different species; He would come up with something different and completely original every time. Therefore the only reasonable alternative (they claim) is that homologous structures evolved from a common ancestor. But there is no reason why God should be expected to limit his design in this way.  For one thing, Human beings themselves use “homologous” structures when designing similar machines. (For instance all gasoline-powered engines have some similarities, even if they’re used to power different kinds of equipment).  And besides, if God choses to create a physical universe with strict scientific laws and desires for many species to live together in the same limited environment, then it makes sense that He would give them some common characteristics in order to help them survive. It is true that homologous structures are strong evidence for common origins, however, one must not forget that young earth creation preaches the doctrine of common origins just as strongly as evolution does.  We believe that all life originated in the same place: the mind of God.  All that these straw man arguments prove is not that creationism is false, but that evolutionists have an artificially dim view of God’s creative personality. They attempt to put him into a box in order to facilitate their attempts to disprove His existence, and then act incredulous when we point out to them that God himself lives outside their artificial box.  After all, that is why he is classified as being “supernatural.”

            Let me close with one final note on homologous structures.  Much of evolutionary “proof” consists of data after data that illustrates the nearly infinite similarity that exists between the different forms of life that exist on our planet.  Evolutionists seem to think that the more they pile on this evidence, the more conclusively they’ve demonstrated that all life is related through descent.  But none of this proves anything since the evolutionary model itself is completely insufficient to explain how the existing changes between the organisms could occur.  Many of these structures, although definitely homologous, also possess irreducible complexity, which would not have allowed them to change from one into the other by random mutation and natural selection.  I addressed this problem at the beginning of the series because it is so important. The point is that the evolutionists can give example after example of homologous structures until we all fall asleep, but unless they deal with the gigantic hurdles to the mechanics of evolution, we must still assume that these similarities must have come about by some other means.

*Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.


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