Consider an article by Frank Zindler, for instance. The article is titled Creation Science and the Facts of Evolution. It is a rather dated article, being written back in 1987, but is currently posted on the American Atheists official Web site. From the fact that it is posted on the Web site of such a prominent atheistic organization, one can only conclude that the American Atheists organization concurs with the sentiments found in the article.
The article in question is a caustic attack against creation, as well as any person who adheres to this idea. In his attempt to discredit creation, Zindler informs the reader that he believes that most of those who believe in creation are quite devoid of any understanding of logic. When listing one of the reasons why he thinks creation is not a viable idea, he made this statement: On the other hand, those components of creationism which involve certain types of magical events (e.g., the divine creation of a young universe with all of its components bearing the false imprint of great age) make the claims of creationism untestablemaking creationism not a theory at all, because theories must be testable!
Zindler then proceeded to explain that the conclusion that evolution has occurred is drawn from two simple observations: Observation 1: Living things come only from living things. Spontaneous generation is not possible when living things are already in existence. Observation 2: Fossil remains show that living things in the remote past were very different from living things today. Therefore: Conclusion: Life has changed through time (evolved).
Violà! In three simple sentences, Zindler presents his strongest case for evolution. Lets briefly analyze Zindlers logic. Remember that he claimed that most creationists were devoid of any understanding of logic, and that creationism could not qualify as a theory because, he says, it is untestable and theories must be testable!
Using his own criterion (testability) for a theory, apply his thinking to his first observation. He stated that spontaneous generation does not occur when living things are already in existence. The implied statement here is that life can spontaneously generate where there is not already life. In fact, he had an explanatory note beside his first observation. He said: Life cannot originate now for at least two reasons. The two reasons he listed were the fact that oxygen in the atmosphere would quickly destroy compounds necessary for life, and existing microbes would eat the compounds necessary for life. He went on to conclude, however that neither of these roadblocks to spontaneous generation existed before life had formed.
Please remember that his most important criterion for dubbing anything a legitimate theory is testability. Apply that to spontaneous generation. Can we do experiments that would test whether or not spontaneous generation could occur in an environment without oxygen and microbes to destroy the compounds necessary for life? Yes. And every origin of life experiment that has attempted such has failed miserably. Has any scientist anywhere, at any time, under any circumstance, ever been able to perform an experiment that could prove that spontaneous generation can occur? The answer is a resounding, NO! Spontaneous generation has failed in every single circumstance that we humans have ever been able to observe or imagine. In fact, every experiment performed to date has shown that it does not occur. It cannot be proven that our Earths atmosphere was at some time in the distant past devoid of oxygen and microbes. [In fact, scientists now have credible evidence that the early Earths atmosphere did, in fact, contain oxygen; see Thaxton, et al., 1984).] Furthermore, experiments have been performed that imitate an environment devoid of these life inhibitors, and still there has never been a verified case of spontaneous generation. Spontaneous generation has been proven false.
If Zindler discredits the idea of creation based partially on his statement that certain components cannot be tested, then what, pray tell, does he do when his strongest case for evolution is based on an idea that has been tested and found to be false? And who is it that seems to be devoid of any understanding of logic in this particular discussion? Zindlers statements not withstanding, creation by the hand of a Supernatural Creator is the only idea that can adequately account for the world around us.
Thaxton, Charles B., Walter L. Bradley, and Roger L. Olsen (1984), The Mystery of Life's Origin (New York: Philosophical Library).
Zindler, Frank (1987), Creation Science and the Facts of Evolution, [On-line], URL: http://www.atheists.org/bone.pit/creationscience.html.
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