There is a huge amount of anti-evolution propaganda circulating today. It would take nearly a full-time commitment just to read and evaluate all of it, so I must restrict myself to a representative sample. From all indications, the books and their authors that I critique below are representative of the genre. I will highlight some of the profound flaws and problems, as well as authors' deep ignorance of the science, in Unshakable Foundations by Norman Geisler and Peter Bocchino; 10 Things You Should Know About the Creation-Evolution Debate by Ron Rhodes, Dismantling Evolution by Ralph Muncaster, Shattering the Myths of Darwinism by Richard Milton, and Not By Chance! by Lee Spetner.
It is notable that many of the supposed criticisms of evolutionary biology that appear in the above books, and others like them, appear to be parroted, sometimes almost verbatim, from one source to another. Perhaps as explanation, it should be pointed out that these authors in many ways clearly do not understand the science that they attempt to criticize. None of the above authors has any formal training in science. None have done any scientific research, and none have ever published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Nevertheless, they attempt to criticize mainstream evolutionary biology from a position that reveals limited understanding of the topic.
Below, you can get a brief synopsis of each of the authors here. A starting point for discussion of the writings of these authors might be Dr. Norman Geisler's concept of "origins science" and "operations science", a false and misleading dichotomy, but one that pervades the Unshakable Foundations book; discussion of this issue is here. Almost universally within the anti-evolution literature is the manifestly false claim that the fossil record does not support the claims of evolutionary biology. This assertion is profoundly incorrect, and the details of the claims made by the various authors are dealt with here.
The false, misleading or exaggerated statements made by the anti-evolution writers about Neanderthal fossils is examined here.
Geisler & Bocchino's incorrect and misleading summary of the "age of humanity" is evaluated here.
Lee Spetner & Richard Milton exhibit a glaring lack of knowledge about the natural history of organisms, which apparently leads them to wildly incorrect claims; these are refuted here.
|Dr. Norman Geisler is a prominent theologian and apologist, who has authored many books and is a widely-saught speaker. Some of his well-known works include When Skeptics Ask. His education includes a Ph.D. degree in philosophy from Loyola University. He is currently President of Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, NC, and is one of the most prominent voices in the conservative Christian academic community.|
|Peter Bocchino leads Legacy of Truth Ministries, based in Atlanta. He previously was Director of Leadership for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. He has a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.|
|Ralph O. Muncaster leads Evidence of God ministries, and has authored numerous books, including the 'Examine the Evidence' series. He holds a B.S. in engineering, and an MBA from University of Colorado. He founded the Strong Basis to Believe ministry in 1991, and is currently founder and director of the Institute for Contemporary Christian Faith.|
|Dr. Ron Rhodes is President of Reasoning from the Scriptures Ministries. In addition to The 10 Things You Should Know book, he has authored several others, including The Complete Book of Bible Answers. Rhodes earned both Th.M. and Th.D. degrees from Dallas Theological Seminary. He teaches periodically at Southern Evangelical Seminar and Talbot Theological Seminary, and at Biola University.|
In a number of publications, Dr. Normal Geisler has advocated that scientific research be divided into two categories, on the basis of the phenomena studied, their repeatability, and when the phenomena occur. According to Geisler, "origins science" studies phenomena that occurred in the distant past, are not repeatable (singularities), and therefore not open to experimental confirmation and disconfirmation. On the other hand, Geisler says, is "operations science", which studies phenomena that occur today, are repeatable, and can be examined with experiments. Geisler considers evolutionary research to fall in the category of "origins science", and that it therefore is a "soft science" or "pseudoscience" whose conclusions and inferences are much weakened by the lack of experimental rigor and repeatability. The formation of the universe, the appearance of life on Earth, and appearance of new species, are all singularities and not open to experimental study, according to Geisler, so we therefore must regard any conclusions about these phenomena with great skepticism.
Almost without exception, the anti-evolution writers attempt to claim that the fossil record does not support evolution. In doing so, they repeatedly grossly misrepresent what is known, and severely mislead the audience about what sort of evidence supports or does not support patterns expected under evolutionary theory. I personally find this topic to be the most upsetting, because of the gross ignorance shown by these authors, and their apparent willingness to discard honesty and accuracy in their discussion of the topic.
The most egregious and oft-repeated claim, and one that is profoundly incorrect, is the assertion that the fossil record does not reveal any intermediate or transitional species. Of course, transitions might be lacking for speices-to-species changes (fine-scale transitions), or for more dramatic changes such as those between fish and land animals, or between reptiles and mammals (coarse-scale transitions). In both categories, there are abundant examples that fit the bill as valid transitionals. I will document a few of them below, but first we need to address a clear example of the misinformation spread by the anti-evolution authors: their apparent inability to grasp what sort of organism is expected as a transitional.