Creationists' Dismantled Film

This film from various creation science orgs is available until Sunday. I was curious what the reaction from forum users is if you want to take your time to watch it.

Since I’m still learning about these topics and don’t know much:

  1. How would you answer their claim that, even if possible, adding beneficial genetic information takes too much time on evolutionary timescales?
  2. Yes, it’s biased toward a creationist worldview and the data is going to be represented in a certain way. They’re going to pick their best arguments. But were there any claims you thought were completely disproved by science?
  3. What made you hopping mad? :upside_down_face: I know some will have that reaction and I’m curious what especially it would be.

Trailer here:

The evolutionary model is getting more Biblical.

Better hurry, it’s only free for this weekend! :slight_smile:

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They’re not marketing dummies. :rofl:

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The question, itself, is based on a misunderstanding of evolution.

Are there any claims? Thus far it all looks like fuzzy thinking, attempting to cast doubt on science.

That this film is 93 minutes long. That’s about 90 minutes too long.

Sorry, but it is all the “historical versus observational” nonsense.

Was I there? No. Were you there when the events in Genesis happened? No.

It argues that a fossil doesn’t tell us anything about history. A fossil exists in the present. I can agree with that. But, if we are going to use that style of thinking, then Genesis doesn’t tell us anything about history. Genesis is just something that exists in the present.

In short, this historical vs observational argument throws doubt on science. But it completely refutes Christianity.

I’m at around the 25 minute mark. And I’m giving up at this point.

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Go to the 1:00 hour mark. That’s probably the best point for the claim. It starts the section on Genetics.

They’re saying both exist in the present and both give an explanation of history.

Watching that now, but I’ll stop shortly.

The argument being used is based on a misunderstanding of evolution.

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I’d say that the existence of an evolutionary tree of descent shows that it doesn’t.

Sorry, I’m too hopping mad to actually watch it. Let’s just take as given that everything they say is nonsense. If there’s something you think isn’t nonsense, tell me exactly where it happens and I’ll look.

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The genetics section from 1:00 hour to 1:19.

First false statement only 20 seconds in, where the presenter says that humans and chimps are not 98-99% genetically similar. They do manage to find that claim in a real scientific paper, but it you actually look its only in the abstract, unreferenced, and irrelevant to the paper itself. The important point is that it’s false. Not a good start.

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lol. Don’t ask me about that. I’m not a scientist. I had watched an interview with @swamidass a month ago and I think it was he said it was 94 - 95% and that maybe you could argue 88 percent at least. He can correct me since I didn’t watch it recently. So I assumed that point would only be mildly controversial because they go to 85%

Jeanson starts off fine but he goes off the rails at about 1:03. It’s true that the 98.7% figure represents the percentage of point differences in aligned sequences, and that there are lots of indels, sequences that one species or the other doesn’t have and that therefore can’t be aligned. If you count each base in each indel as a separate difference, the similarity goes down to around 85-90%. But that would be a really stupid way to count it. An indel of 1000 bases is a single mutation, not 1000 mutations. There are 35 million single-base differences and around 5 million indel differences; that is, the indels are a fraction of the single-base differences, not most of the total difference. Incidentally, the 98.7% figure comes from mostly junk sequences, not protein-coding sequences, which in fact average 99.5% similar. The point here is that Jeanson picks a silly measure of distance — base by base mismatch, including gaps — and then proceeds to consider it as if it measured something else entirely — numbers of mutational differences. Pathetic.

Then the British-accented (and therefore presumably authoritative?) narrator goes on to further confuse the number of differences with the number of mutations and further confuse the supposed hundreds of millions of mutations (really only about 40 million) with beneficial mutations, when the great bulk of them are in junk DNA and do nothing. This is hopeless.

Around 1:05 it gets even worse, as the supposed beneficial mutations change to a set of specific beneficial mutations, in a particular sequence. This is known as the Texas sharpshooter fallacy. At this point we are four steps removed from reality, and they’re all really big steps.

OK, that’s about as much as I can take. I’m stopping there.

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He was wrong.

No it’s not controversial at all. It’s just wrong.

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I’d ask them to first define what they mean by genetic information and give examples of how to measure it’s quantity in practice. Only if they first define how they use the term, and give practical examples of how to measure how much genetic information there is in before-and-after cases of evolution, can we test whether their claim is true.

So I guess what I’d say is they haven’t given any reason to think their claim is true. Assertions such as that aren’t just automatically true until proven false.

I could offer a definition of information myself to show how trivial it is for beneficial genetic information to evolve, but then they (I’m speaking from experience) just invent some bs reason for why that’s not what they mean by information.

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I would then ask them how much “new” information would be needed to account for the biosphere. A lot of significant evolutionary change can happen with breaking genes (i.e. whales). So I would want to know how many instances in the history of the life new genetic information was actually needed.

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A friend had asked me about the film and so I wrote these notes while watching (which I emailed and used as an outline for a phone discussion):

Nothing new so far—lots of classic PRATTs—but kind of fascinating nonetheless.

As one would expect with CMI, the first few minutes address the
Big Bang Theory and abiogenesis as if they are part of the Theory of Evolution.

Yes, Jason Lisle explains why “observational science” in the present is great but claims there is no such thing as observing the past—so we all know what that means when someone foolishly thinks that fossils allow us to observe evolution!

You know the script: Evolution is outside the bounds of observational science. Nobody was there to observe it. Chemistry and physics are observational science. Evolution is just speculative history. It is constantly changed as scientists change their beliefs about the past! (Face-palm.)

I’m just 12 minutes in, and the production values are good but the arguments are just as weak as they were fifty years ago.

I hadn’t heard of the Evidence Scale Fallacy before—and I don’t recall seeing it in any logic textbook—but Lisle tells us that “everybody has the same evidence” but they reach different conclusions based upon their worldview. Face-palm. Projection on steroids.

Great cinematography takes us to a large boulder on the top of a mountain. How did it get there? Nobody saw it get placed there. Which interpretation is better? It is the one which most fits “observational science.” I couldn’t follow the logic at all (because it wasn’t soundly logical) but one of the narrators concluded that we know that the Biblical interpretation best fits observational science.

Yep, I saw it coming: micro-evolution and macro-evolution are not the same thing! Nevertheless, the claim sounds impressive when the narrator has a very sophisticated sounding British accent.

Dogs breeds are supposed to illustrate evolution but it is all degenerative. No new genes or information are found. It is all about information loss. “You can’t breed Chihuahuas and produce wolves.” It doesn’t work in the other direction.

Oh my! Georgia Purdom from Answers in Genesis makes an appearance to explain that minor gene mutations that change coat color in dogs are never going to produce wings! [Yes, that’s a newsflash. Film at 11.]

Antibiotic resistance in bacteria is not macro-evolution! Purdom also tells us that Horizontal Gene Transfer “is not what evolution needs.” “It doesn’t change the essence of bacteria.” [What is the “essence” of bacteria???]

Now the British narrator is saying that “lower” life-forms cannot evolve into “higher” life-forms. That no doubt explains why I’ll never live in the more upscale suburbs.

Dr. John Sanford admits that some mutations are beneficial—but then he explains that even those involve information loss and things like deformation. He characterizes sickle cell trait as a terrible example of evolution because it is a deadly trade-off between some malaria advantage for many people and death for a few. [Evolution is so cruel!] Sanford claims that evolutionists like to cite sickle cell trait because beneficial mutations are so hard to find! [Yeah, it couldn’t be that sickle cell is something most people have heard of, so it makes a less obscure example.]

Sanford really hammers home that beneficial mutations being rare is a bedrock fact of biology. [I didn’t know it was such a big deal as a foundation of biology.]

Natural selection fails because mutations are largely invisible to selection.

Genetic deterioration is inevitable. So evolution can’t be true.

“Missing links” and museum reconstructions are panned.

Experts disagree about various hominines. Too much is extrapolated from isolated bones and collections of “jumbled bones” scattered across the countryside. They had to screen 20 tons of sediment to find Lucy’s bones. Only 20% of her skeleton were found. [Face-palm. This section of the film should be accompanied by trigger warning.]

Australopithecus afarensis is just a jumble of human and ape bones. This section of the film is absolutely awful. How many times have critics exposed YEC propaganda in these claims.

Potassium-Argon radiometrics is flawed, says Andrew Snelling, because modern day volcanic lava formations test ancient even though they are just a few years old–for example Mt. St. Helens eruption tested over one million years old for its recent eruption. Another PRATT.

Only one complete Homo erectus skeleton has been found. “It is unquestionably human.”

Neanderthals in modern dress would go unnoticed on a New York street. [So what?] He had fire, stone tools, art, instruments, cosmetics, and ceremonial burials. [So what?]

DNA mapping proves that Neanderthals were modern humans. And the fact that they can be mapped shows that they are very recent (because DNA degrades.)

Neanderthals weren’t sub-human! The scientists misled us. (Sounds like somebody is confusing popular media and Hollywood with modern science.)

The hominin family tree is now a messy family tree—not a simple route from ape to man. So there! Evolution is debunked again! [Apparently good science must be neat and simple.]

Humans have always lived around a diversity of apes. [That probably because humans are evolved simians.]

Human versus chimp DNA comparisons are flawed. “They used only snippets to arrive at 98% similar claim.” Nathaniel Jeanson shows up to drive this point home. (All of the big YEC stars are in this film.) “Massive number of single-letter differences” between human and chimp DNA.

John Sanford says that there’s not been enough time for evolution to make the millions of changes in DNA from chimp-like ancestor to humans. And in the meantime, too much damage occurs from bad mutations. [Let’s see his math and why it differs from everybody else’s.]

It takes two millions years for two specific beneficial mutations to spread to entire population. And genetic drift multiplies these delays by a huge factor. Even many billions of years would not be enough for humans to evolve from apes.

Mitochondrial Eve and Y-DNA Adam point to Adam and Eve of the Bible.

Molecular clocks are flawed.

Adam and Eve were packed with all of the genetic diversity needed to produce the variety of humans we observe today. Jeanson draws from multi-ethnic pairs today. Then the narrator describes two-toned twin girls from “mid-tone” parents. Just one generation of variation: one twin is light-skinned blonde and the other twin is dark! Apparently the cute photo is supposed to decide the issue for those who don’t understand evolutionary biology. This is the sort of thing one would only pull on a non-scientist audience.

A designer can build in variance. You don’t have to wait on mutations. The four alleles of two parents are sufficient to explain all resulting diversity.

The Out of Africa Theory sounds like the Tower of Babel. It was a severe population bottleneck, around 10,000 people. The Noahic Flood was another bottleneck.

“The evolutionary model is getting more biblical over time.” “The tide is changing.” Yes, the Bible is winning over the scientists. [You can believe it because the narrator said so! Yes, this is the old, “Evolution is collapsing as a theory any day now!” which has been around for my entire lifetime and probably far longer.]

At around 1:30 (90 minutes) there is a nice summary of the key points of the film, the individual arguments. As an instructional film, that was a very nice touch. The points are weak but replayed in quick sequence, they will impress non-scientists who already hate evolution.

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This is why and how evolutionists discredit themselves and their so-called science. It is obvious to the most naive among us that chimps and humans are so vastly different in every way, that when you claim such high percentages of similarity in one small part of their makeup - the genome - and then rest on the laurels of your science thinking that you have proved your pre-assumption of common descent, and that we should all swallow it down like you, you basically are taking us for fools.

But to your surprise, we are the ones standing aloof saying, Something is wrong with your science! because the human-chimp difference is big enough to drive a truck through. So either 1) get busy and find out what makes us so very different or 2) at least consider saving face and integrity by ceasing to tout your incomplete, faulty science.

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Different breeds of dogs seem more dissimilar to me than humans and chimps, and yet nobody is under any illusions about whether they are related.

And dogs are even more genetically similar than humans and chimps.

Ahh, the “pre” assumption. Is that where you assume the assumption before making it, or does that come later?

What is this, a Chick tract?

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I’ve got to love that quip. It is better than anything I saw in the film.

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I would have said that you discredited your own position in that post, but for the fact that you had no credit to begin with. I presume you didn’t watch the video, as the whole segment was about the genome.

Chick tracts are more coherent.

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Well, you know better than that. Cognizance, speech, higher reasoning powers, critical thinking, abstract reasoning, art, music, belief systems, ideologies, philosophy. Dogs are all the same level of dumb-smart.

You well know that the “dumb-smart” gap between chimps and humans is big enough to fly a jumbo jet through.

And you really gave me that reply? I thought you were a molecular biologist?