Misquotations in the Creation Book

Jan Haugland


The Quote Life -- How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation? (1985), p. 15:

4 The scientific magazine Discover put the situation this way: "Evolution ... is not only under attack by fundamentalist Christians, but is also being questioned by reputable scientists. Among paleontologists, scientists who study the fossil record, there is growing dissent from the prevailing view of Darwinism."
The Source James Gorman, "The Tortoise or the Hare?", Discover, October 1980, p. 88:

"Charles Darwin's brilliant theory of evolution, published in 1859, had a stunning impact on scientific and religious thought and forever changed man's perception of himself. Now that hallowed theory is not only under attack by fundamentalist Christians, but is also being questioned by reputable scientists. Among paleontologists, scientists who study the fossil record, there is growing dissent from the prevailing view of Darwinism.... Most of the debate will center on one key question: Does the three-billion-year-old process of evolution creep at a steady pace, or is it marked by long periods of inactivity punctuated by short bursts of rapid change? Is Evolution a tortoise or a hare? Darwin's widely accepted view -- that evolution proceeds steadily, at a crawl -- favors the tortoise. But two paleontologists, Niles Eldredge of the American Museum of Natural History and Stephen Jay Gould of Harvard, are putting their bets on the hare."

The Quote Life -- How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation? (1985), p. 18:

12 Darwin acknowledged this as a problem. For example, he wrote: "To suppose that the eye ... could have been formed by [evolution], seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree."
The Source Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, 1859, p. 133:

"To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree. When it was first said that the sun stood still and the world turned round, the common sense of mankind declared the doctrine false; but the old saying of Vox populi, vox Dei, as every philosopher knows, cannot be trusted in science. Reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a simple and imperfect eye to one complex and perfect can be shown to exist, each grade being useful to its possessor, as is certainly the case; if further, the eye ever varies and the variations be inherited, as is likewise certainly the case; and if such variations should be useful to any animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, should not be considered as subversive of the theory."

The Quote Life -- How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation? (1985), p. 39:

5 At this point a reader may begin to understand Dawkins' comment in the preface to his book: "This book should be read almost as though it were science fiction."
The Source Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene, 1976, p. ix:

"This book should be read almost as though it were science fiction. It is designed to appeal to the imagination. But it is not science fiction: it is science. Cliché or not, "stranger than fiction" expresses exactly how I feel about the truth."

The Quote Life -- How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation? (1985), p. 42:

Richard Dickerson explains: "It is therefore hard to see how polymerization [linking together smaller molecules to form bigger ones] could have proceeded in the aqueous environment of the primitive ocean, since the presence of water favors depolymerization [breaking up big molecules into simpler ones] rather than polymerization."
The Source Scientific American, September 1978, p. 75.

Next sentence following the one above is "We shall have to face up to this difficulty." Then he does, which is the purpose of the rest of the article.

The Quote Life -- How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation? (1985), p. 46:

23 Chemist Dickerson also made this interesting comment: "The evolution of the genetic machinery is the step for which there are no laboratory models; hence one can speculate endlessly, unfettered by inconvenient facts." But is it good scientific procedure to brush aside the avalanches of "inconvenient facts" so easily?
The Source Scientific American, September 1978, p. 75.

The quote is technically correct. The application is very nasty. Examine the text carefully to see that this is just a rhetoric trick (hint: does the "inconvenient facts" Dickerson talk about really exist?)

The Quote Life -- How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation? (1985), p. 70:

38 Clearly, the impartial inquirer would be led to conclude that fossils do not support the theory of evolution. On the other hand, fossil evidence does lend strong weight to the arguments for creation. As zoologist Coffin stated: "To secular scientists, the fossils, evidences of the life of the past, constitute the ultimate and final court of appeal, because the fossil record is the only authentic history of life available to science. If this fossil history does not agree with evolutionary theory -- and we have seen that it does not -- what does it teach? It tells us that plants and animals were created in their basic forms. The basic facts of the fossil record support creation, not evolution."
The Source The "impartian enquirer" might discover that Coffin is really a young-earth creationist, and the quote is from an Adventist paper. No scientific creditentials.

The Quote Life -- How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation? (1985), p. 89:

Fossil hunter Donald Johanson acknowledged: "No one can be sure just what any extinct hominid looked like."
The Source Donald C. Johanson and Maitland A. Edey, Lucy -- the Beginnings of Humankind, New York: Warner Books, Inc, 1981, p. 286.

Picture text to one specific species: "No one can be sure what any extinct hominid looked like with its skin and hair on. Sizes here are to scale, with afarensis about two feet shorter than the average human being."

The Quote Life -- How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation? (1985), p. 96:

38 Before concluding that Bible chronology is in error, consider that radioactive dating methods have come under sharp criticism by some scientists. A scientific journal reported on studies showing that "dates determined by radioactive decay may be off -- not only by a few years, but by orders of magnitude." It said: "Man, instead of having walked the earth for 3.6 million years, may have been around for only a few thousand."
The Source Robert Gannon, "How Old Is It?", Popular Science, November, 1979, p. 81:

"So, today, everything -- human artifacts, animal remains, ancient rocks -- can be dated fairly accurately. The dates may be off a little, but that's mainly a matter of impurities in the sample or need to refine techniques, say the scientists involved. Yet major mysteries and curious anomalies remain -- the odd speculations advanced by Columbia Union College's Robert Gentry, for instance. Physicist Gentry believes that all of the dates determined by radioactive decay may be off -- not only by a few years, but by orders of magnitude. His theory revolves around "halos," tiny, ringlike discolorations found within coalified wood (wood on its way to becoming coal) and mica, often in the proximity of radioactive uranium or thorium. Some halos can be explained in terms of conventional radioactive decay. Others, known as giant halos, cannot. They're simply too big to be caused by alpha particles thrown off by known isotopes, and they don't fit into any accepted theory. If the theory of radioactive decay is weak in one spot, says Gentry, doubt is cast on whatever answers isotopes give you. Further, when Gentry studies halos in coalified wood, he finds that the uranium/lead ratios are often not at all what they should be. "Since the coalified wood was obtained from deposits supposedly at least tens of millions of years old," he says, "the ratio between uranium-238 and lead-206 should be low." They're not. They're so high, in fact, that "presently accepted ages may be too high by a factor of thousands." And man, instead of having walked the earth for 3.6 million years, may have been around for only a few thousand. "The possibility of reducing the 4.5-billion-year history of earth by a factor of a thousand," he says with some ire, "has not yet been seriously considered." Most scientists simply dismiss the idea. As one physicist told me, "You can believe it or not; I don't." "I realize it's difficult to believe," counters Gentry. "It would invalidate the whole underlying principle of radioactive dating: that the rates of decay are forever unvarying -- an untestable assumption."

(Note that the premise for the conclusion of the age of men is that we accept Gentry's idea that the Earth is 6,000 years old!)

The Quote Life -- How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation? (1985), p. 143:

5 Zoologist Richard Lewontin said that organisms "appear to have been carefully and artfully designed." He views them as "the chief evidence of a Supreme Designer." It will be useful to consider some of this evidence.
The Source Richard C. Lewontin, "Adaptation", Scientific American, vol. 239, September 1978, p. 213:

"The manifest fit between organisms and their environment is a major outcome of evolution.... Life forms are more than simply multiple and diverse, however. Organisms fit remarkably well into the external world in which they live. They have morphologies, physiologies and behaviors that appear to have been carefully and artfully designed to enable each organism to appropriate the world around it for its own life. It was the marvelous fit of organisms to the environment, much more than the great diversity of forms, that was the chief evidence of a Supreme Designer. Darwin realized that if a naturalistic theory of evolution was to be successful, it would have to explain the apparent perfection of organisms and not simply their variation."

(In my opinion, this is one of the worst misquotes ever, and one who has given JWs much bad publicity on Usenet. Lewontin himself wasn't very happy about it.)

The Quote Life -- How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation? (1985), p. 15:

Francis Hitching, an evolutionist and author of the book The Neck of the Giraffe, stated: "For all its acceptance in the scientific world as the great unifying principle of biology, Darwinism, after a century and a quarter, is in a surprising amount of trouble."
The Truth Hitching sure is an author. Is he an evolutionist? Not in the meaning evolution scientist. The Bible -- God's Word or Man's? p. 106 even says Hitching is a 'scientist' (the source for this book is obviously the Creation book). In fact Hitching only has "private boys' school in Warwick, England". Further, he's a speculative writer relying heavily on creationst writings (see talk.origins archive in file Hitching). Even worse, he is a paranormalist writing books about pyramid energy, earth magic, dowsing, psychic research, etc, etc. In Neck of the Giraffe he attacks Darwin to make the way for his own theories that some magical forces caused the evolution. Would you read a book by this author? He's the most important source for the Creation book!

The Quote Life -- How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation? (1985), p. 36:

This geologist, Wallace Pratt, also noted that the order of events -- from the origin of the oceans, to the emergence of land, to the appearance of marine life, and then to birds and mammals -- is essentially the sequence of the principal divisions of geologic time.
The Truth Wallace Pratt said this in a lecture in 1928. He was a young-earth creationist who discounted all scientific evidence, and as such he can't be used to support the idea that science agrees with Creation's interpretation of Genesis.

The Quote Life -- How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation? (1985), pp. 36-37:

34 The science of mathematical probability offers striking proof that the Genesis creation account must have come from a source with knowledge of the events. The account lists 10 major stages in this order: [...] Science agrees that these stages occurred in this general order. What are the chances that the writer of Genesis just guessed this order? The same as if you picked at random the numbers 1 to 10 from a box, and drew them in consecutive order. The chances of doing this on your first try are 1 in 3,628,800! So, to say the writer just happened to list the foregoing events in the right order without getting the facts from somewhere is not realistic.
The Truth Science agrees on "a beginning" (even that this beginning was first!) and that man came last. That's it. For all other 8 points science either disagrees strongly (e.g., birds did not come before reptiles) or have no knowledge (as for early atmosphere conditions). See g91 6/8 p.12 for an attempted answer.

The Quote Life -- How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation? (1985), p. 44:

18 The proteins needed for life have very complex molecules. What is the chance of even a simple protein molecule forming at random in an organic soup? Evolutionists acknowledge it to be only one in 10113 (1 followed by 113 zeros). But any event that has one chance in just 1050 is dismissed by mathematicians as never happening.
The Truth Nobody with any knwoledge about mathematics or biology would make such statements. Creation here quotes creationists (Impact, December 1980, no. 90) without any references, and no evolutionist "acknowledge" this. Just ask your friendly neigbourhood mathematician for a (hopefully) free lecture in basic probability theory. :-)

The Quote Life -- How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation? (1985), p. 110:

But actually it was nothing more than another example of variety within a kind, allowed for by a creature's genetic makeup. The finches were still finches. They were not turning into something else, and they never would.
The Truth The finches are new species. They don't interbreed. See Insight under "kind", and then get the talk.origins archive file CB910: New species for other examples of real-life evolution today.1, 2


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