Evolution (Way of the Master)

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{{Comment-box|This is certainly a very simple lesson on evolution and, judging only the intent of Kirk's words, it's fairly accurate. Common ancestry is a foundational principle of the biological evolution of all life on Earth.}}
 
{{Comment-box|This is certainly a very simple lesson on evolution and, judging only the intent of Kirk's words, it's fairly accurate. Common ancestry is a foundational principle of the biological evolution of all life on Earth.}}
  
*Kirk, ''"Now, the big problem evolutionists have is that they're finding a huge gap in the fossil record. In other words, when archeologists dig up the bones of these dead animals, they don't find these transitional forms that helped one animal transform into another animal. And if you don't have those bones, you can't prove evolution ever happened."''
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*Kirk, ''"Now, the big problem evolutionists have is that they're finding a huge gap in the fossil record. In other words, when archaeologists dig up the bones of these dead animals, they don't find these transitional forms that helped one animal transform into another animal. And if you don't have those bones, you can't prove evolution ever happened."''
 
{{Comment-box|Kirk makes two claims here; 'scientists find huge gaps in the fossil record' and 'scientist don't find transitional forms'. The first is true, though 'huge' may make the statement misleading. The second is false and Kirk runs with this false statement...to the extreme.}}
 
{{Comment-box|Kirk makes two claims here; 'scientists find huge gaps in the fossil record' and 'scientist don't find transitional forms'. The first is true, though 'huge' may make the statement misleading. The second is false and Kirk runs with this false statement...to the extreme.}}
  
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{{Comment-box|Essentially, he's claiming that the bulk of the scientific community is delusional and portraying fictional evidence in order to support their theory. This accusation takes all of the fossil evidence, all of the DNA evidence, all observations of genetic change, all observations of speciation, all of the reliable, consistent predictions of the theory which serves as the cornerstone for all of modern biology...and tosses it aside in favor of the idea that scientists are imagining that the evidence fits the theory.
 
{{Comment-box|Essentially, he's claiming that the bulk of the scientific community is delusional and portraying fictional evidence in order to support their theory. This accusation takes all of the fossil evidence, all of the DNA evidence, all observations of genetic change, all observations of speciation, all of the reliable, consistent predictions of the theory which serves as the cornerstone for all of modern biology...and tosses it aside in favor of the idea that scientists are imagining that the evidence fits the theory.
  
Kirk's pseudo-conspiracy theory is supported only by accusations, not evidence. Intelligent Design creationists often attempt to exploit "gaps" in evolutionary theory (the [[Discovery Center]]'s infamous [[wedge document]] is clear evidence of this) and most of their objections center around assertions that 'evolution isn't a sufficient explanation' or direct denial of the validity of evidence supporting evolution. The complete lack of evidenciary support for their own ideas prevents them from offering viable alternate explanations to challenge evoluationary theory and the easiest tactic is to simply misrepresent or deny the evidence which supports the theory of evolution.}}
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Kirk's pseudo-conspiracy theory is supported only by accusations, not evidence. Intelligent Design creationists often attempt to exploit "gaps" in evolutionary theory (the [[Discovery Center]]'s infamous [[wedge document]] is clear evidence of this) and most of their objections center around assertions that 'evolution isn't a sufficient explanation' or direct denial of the validity of evidence supporting evolution. The complete lack of evidenciary support for their own ideas prevents them from offering viable alternate explanations to challenge evolutionary theory and the easiest tactic is to simply misrepresent or deny the evidence which supports the theory of evolution.}}
 
===Ancient hominids and hoaxes===
 
===Ancient hominids and hoaxes===
 
(8:56 - 9:45)
 
(8:56 - 9:45)
  
 
Kirk provides four examples for us to consider...
 
Kirk provides four examples for us to consider...
* '''Lucy''' - (''austrolopithecus afarensis'')
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* '''Lucy''' - (''Australopithecus afarensis'')
 
** Kirk's claim: ''"...nearly all experts agree that Lucy was just the skeleton of a 3-foot-tall chimpanzee"''
 
** Kirk's claim: ''"...nearly all experts agree that Lucy was just the skeleton of a 3-foot-tall chimpanzee"''
 
{{Comment-box|This is simply '''not true'''. This claim has been made be a variety of creationists and makes an appearance in a [[Jack Chick]] tract. [[Australopithecine]]s were the subject of much study and debate (as any scientific discovery should be). While many, like Sir Arthur Keith initially proclaimed that Lucy was possibly a chimpanzee and, at a minimum, more ape-like than man-like, the consensus view by 1950 was that australopithecines were far more similar to humans than chimpanzees. Sir Keith retracted his initial position:
 
{{Comment-box|This is simply '''not true'''. This claim has been made be a variety of creationists and makes an appearance in a [[Jack Chick]] tract. [[Australopithecine]]s were the subject of much study and debate (as any scientific discovery should be). While many, like Sir Arthur Keith initially proclaimed that Lucy was possibly a chimpanzee and, at a minimum, more ape-like than man-like, the consensus view by 1950 was that australopithecines were far more similar to humans than chimpanzees. Sir Keith retracted his initial position:
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{{Comment-box|The talk origins web site has a discussion about [http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/a_nebraska.html Nebraska man]. In short, [[Nebraska man]] was an error, which was quickly corrected. The image to which Kirk is referring appeared in Illustrated London News (Smith 1922) and was drawn by Amedee Forestier. The image was accompanied by the following text, which was repeated in the article:
 
{{Comment-box|The talk origins web site has a discussion about [http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/a_nebraska.html Nebraska man]. In short, [[Nebraska man]] was an error, which was quickly corrected. The image to which Kirk is referring appeared in Illustrated London News (Smith 1922) and was drawn by Amedee Forestier. The image was accompanied by the following text, which was repeated in the article:
  
:''"Mr. Forestier has made a remarkable sketch to convey some idea of the possibilities suggested by this discovery. As we know nothing of the creature's form, his reconstruction is merely the expression of an artist's brilliant imaginative genius. But if, as the peculiarities of the tooth suggest, Hesperopithecus was a primitive forerunner of Pithecanthropus, he may have been a creature such as Mr. Forestier has depicted."'' - (Smith 1922)  
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:''"Mr. Forestier has made a remarkable sketch to convey some idea of the possibilities suggested by this discovery. As we know nothing of the creature's form, his reconstruction is merely the expression of an artist's brilliant imaginative genius. But if, as the peculiarities of the tooth suggest, Hesperopithecus was a primitive forerunner of Pithecanthropus, he may have been a creature such as Mr. Forestier has depicted."'' - (Smith 1922)
  
 
Most scientists were skeptical of the discovery and few, if any, reputable scientists made any bold assertions that this was a confirmed human ancestor. Since the discovery of the error, Nebraska man's only significant mention is in creationist literature that hopes to discredit evolution by exploiting a mistake - a mistake which was discovered and exposed by scientists.}}
 
Most scientists were skeptical of the discovery and few, if any, reputable scientists made any bold assertions that this was a confirmed human ancestor. Since the discovery of the error, Nebraska man's only significant mention is in creationist literature that hopes to discredit evolution by exploiting a mistake - a mistake which was discovered and exposed by scientists.}}
 
* '''Piltdown man'''
 
* '''Piltdown man'''
 
** Kirk's claim: ''"...the jawbone turned out to belong to a modern ape."''
 
** Kirk's claim: ''"...the jawbone turned out to belong to a modern ape."''
{{Comment-box|[[Piltdown man]] was a hoax, which was exposed by science. This is significant not only because it demonstrates the self-correcting methods of science but because the evidence which exposed the hoax supports evolutionary theory. The bulk of evidence regarding ancient hominids formed a clear evolutionary pattern and Pildown man remained an anomaly - it didn't fit the pattern.
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{{Comment-box|[[Piltdown man]] was a hoax, which was exposed by science. This is significant not only because it demonstrates the self-correcting methods of science but because the evidence which exposed the hoax supports evolutionary theory. The bulk of evidence regarding ancient hominids formed a clear evolutionary pattern and Piltdown man remained an anomaly - it didn't fit the pattern.
  
 
A single hoax does not disprove a theory and, in this case, exposing the hoax actually demonstrates the veracity of the theory. Piltdown man, once exposed as a hoax, was no longer used as evidence for evolutionary theory, yet continues to be referenced by creationists as evidence against evolution.
 
A single hoax does not disprove a theory and, in this case, exposing the hoax actually demonstrates the veracity of the theory. Piltdown man, once exposed as a hoax, was no longer used as evidence for evolutionary theory, yet continues to be referenced by creationists as evidence against evolution.
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* '''Neanderthal man''' - (''Homo sapiens neanderthalensis'')
 
* '''Neanderthal man''' - (''Homo sapiens neanderthalensis'')
 
** Kirk's claim: ''" ...who's famous skeleton, found in France over 50 years ago, was that of an old man who suffered from arthritis."''
 
** Kirk's claim: ''" ...who's famous skeleton, found in France over 50 years ago, was that of an old man who suffered from arthritis."''
{{Comment-box|Kirk begins by reducing [[neanderthal man]] to a single skeleton when, in fact, many specimens have been discovered. While some of them have exhibited symptoms of arthritis or other diseases, neither arthritis nor rickets (the other common claim) explain the the distinct features of neanderthals. Additionally, these diseases do not result in similar features in modern humans.}}
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{{Comment-box|Kirk begins by reducing [[Neanderthal man]] to a single skeleton when, in fact, many specimens have been discovered. While some of them have exhibited symptoms of arthritis or other diseases, neither arthritis nor rickets (the other common claim) explain the the distinct features of Neanderthals. Additionally, these diseases do not result in similar features in modern humans.}}
  
 
===Misrepresenting Gould===
 
===Misrepresenting Gould===
 
(9:46 - 10:04)
 
(9:46 - 10:04)
  
Ray invites us to ''"listen to what the famous Harvard evolutionary biologisy, Stephen Jay Gould said about the fossil record..."''
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Ray invites us to ''"listen to what the famous Harvard evolutionary biologist, Stephen Jay Gould said about the fossil record..."''
 
{{Quote-source|The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of '''palientology'''...|Stephen Jay Gould (as it appears in episode 21 of Way of the Master)}}
 
{{Quote-source|The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of '''palientology'''...|Stephen Jay Gould (as it appears in episode 21 of Way of the Master)}}
  
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By way of analogy, Ray's objections about the ape could be made of a human with severe mental retardation. Would Ray be willing to claim that this was reasonable evidence to claim that such an individual is not related to humans?}}
 
By way of analogy, Ray's objections about the ape could be made of a human with severe mental retardation. Would Ray be willing to claim that this was reasonable evidence to claim that such an individual is not related to humans?}}
 
*Ray, ''"You see you don't get orangutans forming themselves into an orchestra. You don't get them forming themselves into a court system to mete out justice to its fellow creatures. This isn't because he's a prehistoric man who's less evolved than us, but it's because he's another species."''
 
*Ray, ''"You see you don't get orangutans forming themselves into an orchestra. You don't get them forming themselves into a court system to mete out justice to its fellow creatures. This isn't because he's a prehistoric man who's less evolved than us, but it's because he's another species."''
{{Comment-box|Ray is absolutely correct and clearly, if he thinks this is a valid argument ''against'' evolution, he has no concept of evolution. Evolutionary theory doesn't claim that modern apes are less evolved than humans (the ladder view), it doesn't claim that they're prehistoric men...evolution claims that modern apes and modern humans (which are scientifically classified as apes) are descendants of a common ancestor.  
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{{Comment-box|Ray is absolutely correct and clearly, if he thinks this is a valid argument ''against'' evolution, he has no concept of evolution. Evolutionary theory doesn't claim that modern apes are less evolved than humans (the ladder view), it doesn't claim that they're prehistoric men...evolution claims that modern apes and modern humans (which are scientifically classified as apes) are descendants of a common ancestor.
  
 
Ray's spent so much time arguing against his straw man version of evolution that he's failed to notice that his final sentence completely negates every single objection he's just raised.}}
 
Ray's spent so much time arguing against his straw man version of evolution that he's failed to notice that his final sentence completely negates every single objection he's just raised.}}
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:* '''Ernst Chain''' (1906-1979), Nobel prize winner in medicine said, in reference to the theory of evolution, ''"I would rather believe in fairies than in such wild speculation."''
 
:* '''Ernst Chain''' (1906-1979), Nobel prize winner in medicine said, in reference to the theory of evolution, ''"I would rather believe in fairies than in such wild speculation."''
{{Comment-box|Chain was not alone. Other knowledgable scientists have objected to evolutionary theory, for a variety of reason. However, the truth of the theory is not dependent on the opinions or preferences of any individual. Chain's primary objection (that the probability of the origin of DNA molecules by sheer chance is too small to be seriously considered) is an outdated objection to abiogenesis, not evolution. Additionally, his objection is an [[argument from ignorance]] - even if we were to discover that the true probability was enormously small, that has no bearing on whether or not it actually occurred because 'unlikely' does not equate to 'impossible'.
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{{Comment-box|Chain was not alone. Other knowledgeable scientists have objected to evolutionary theory, for a variety of reason. However, the truth of the theory is not dependent on the opinions or preferences of any individual. Chain's primary objection (that the probability of the origin of DNA molecules by sheer chance is too small to be seriously considered) is an outdated objection to abiogenesis, not evolution. Additionally, his objection is an [[argument from ignorance]] - even if we were to discover that the true probability was enormously small, that has no bearing on whether or not it actually occurred because 'unlikely' does not equate to 'impossible'.
  
 
Modern theories refute Chain's objection by noting that it's based on fundamentally flawed assumptions. The first 'life' forms need not resemble modern proteins, they could have been single, self-replicating molecules or any number of other simple living things. The formation of these simple polymers is a natural function of chemistry and the element of 'sheer chance' is limited.}}
 
Modern theories refute Chain's objection by noting that it's based on fundamentally flawed assumptions. The first 'life' forms need not resemble modern proteins, they could have been single, self-replicating molecules or any number of other simple living things. The formation of these simple polymers is a natural function of chemistry and the element of 'sheer chance' is limited.}}
  
 
:* '''Sir Arthur Keith''' (1866-1955) Physical anthropologist who ''"wrote the forward to Darwin's Origin of the Species, 100th anniversary edition"'' said, ''"Evolution is unproved and unprovable. We believe it only because the only alternative is special creation, and that is unthinkable."''
 
:* '''Sir Arthur Keith''' (1866-1955) Physical anthropologist who ''"wrote the forward to Darwin's Origin of the Species, 100th anniversary edition"'' said, ''"Evolution is unproved and unprovable. We believe it only because the only alternative is special creation, and that is unthinkable."''
{{Comment-box|This quote, cited by a number of creationists, appears to be completely fraudulent. Firstly, Sir Keith died in 1955 and couldn't have written the forward to the 100th edition of ''Origin of Species'' in 1959. He did write an introduction to an edition of ''Origin of Species'' but in 1928, over 30 years prior to the centennial. The quote attributed to him does not appear in that edition or in any other known work.  
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{{Comment-box|This quote, cited by a number of creationists, appears to be completely fraudulent. Firstly, Sir Keith died in 1955 and couldn't have written the forward to the 100th edition of ''Origin of Species'' in 1959. He did write an introduction to an edition of ''Origin of Species'' but in 1928, over 30 years prior to the centennial. The quote attributed to him does not appear in that edition or in any other known work.
  
 
The quote is designed to make it appear as though Keith's acceptance of evolution was a reaction to his rejection of special creation. Sir Keith's writings make it clear that the opposite is true...he accepted evolution as the best explanation based on evidence and rejected special creation based on a lack of evidence and its inability to explain observations. Writing about Darwin's observations of different species on the Galapagos Islands...
 
The quote is designed to make it appear as though Keith's acceptance of evolution was a reaction to his rejection of special creation. Sir Keith's writings make it clear that the opposite is true...he accepted evolution as the best explanation based on evidence and rejected special creation based on a lack of evidence and its inability to explain observations. Writing about Darwin's observations of different species on the Galapagos Islands...
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Ray's and his crew head back out into the streets to ask lay people (and one PhD biologist) questions about evolution..
 
Ray's and his crew head back out into the streets to ask lay people (and one PhD biologist) questions about evolution..
 
====Transitional Fossils====
 
====Transitional Fossils====
*Question (apparently asked of a lay person): ''"Can you give me any example of a transtional form, going from one kind of animal to another kind?"''
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*Question (apparently asked of a lay person): ''"Can you give me any example of a transitional form, going from one kind of animal to another kind?"''
 
*Response: ''"I can't think of anything right off the moment."''
 
*Response: ''"I can't think of anything right off the moment."''
 
{{Comment-box|We've already addressed the absurdity of asking random people to answer scientific questions. If they don't know the answer or get it wrong, you've proved nothing. The fact that this individual couldn't think of a transitional form is completely irrelevant to the question of whether or not they exist. The following list is a small sample of transitional forms which connect birds and reptiles, reptiles and mammals as well as apes and humans...feel free to investigate:
 
{{Comment-box|We've already addressed the absurdity of asking random people to answer scientific questions. If they don't know the answer or get it wrong, you've proved nothing. The fact that this individual couldn't think of a transitional form is completely irrelevant to the question of whether or not they exist. The following list is a small sample of transitional forms which connect birds and reptiles, reptiles and mammals as well as apes and humans...feel free to investigate:
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*Man with parrot, ''"Science? Nature made it."''
 
*Man with parrot, ''"Science? Nature made it."''
 
*Ray, ''"Nature made itself?"''
 
*Ray, ''"Nature made itself?"''
{{Comment-box|Ray deliberately redirects the mans response by lodging yet another objection to abiogenesis. He's perfectly happy to accept that his God always existed, yet the idea that matter might have always existed is rejected and replaced with this concept of 'making itself'. It's a way to hide the [[special pleading]] behind his own beliefs. The gentlement seems to miss this idea about nature making itself and continues referring to the parrot in his answers.}}
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{{Comment-box|Ray deliberately redirects the mans response by lodging yet another objection to abiogenesis. He's perfectly happy to accept that his God always existed, yet the idea that matter might have always existed is rejected and replaced with this concept of 'making itself'. It's a way to hide the [[special pleading]] behind his own beliefs. The gentleman seems to miss this idea about nature making itself and continues referring to the parrot in his answers.}}
 
*Man with parrot, ''"Yes, absolutely..."''
 
*Man with parrot, ''"Yes, absolutely..."''
 
*Ray, ''"So it made the parrot..."''
 
*Ray, ''"So it made the parrot..."''
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*Ray, ''"So you don't believe God created things?"''
 
*Ray, ''"So you don't believe God created things?"''
 
*Man with parrot, ''"Well, I don't know what you're referring to as God."''
 
*Man with parrot, ''"Well, I don't know what you're referring to as God."''
{{Comment-box|This is a very valid point. Ray presumes, as so many do, that his concept of God is clearly understood by everyone else. God is an esoteric and ill-defined term, even among people who share common beliefs. Well over 1000 denominations of Christians in addition to the multitude of other religions attest to this fact. Asking Ray to define what he means by 'God' is essential to answering this question correctly. In casual convervsation, it may be reasonable to presume a generic concept of God and, in many cases, it may be reasonable to assume a generalized 'Christian' definition - but when confronted in this fashion, asking for specific definitions is critical.}}
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{{Comment-box|This is a very valid point. Ray presumes, as so many do, that his concept of God is clearly understood by everyone else. God is an esoteric and ill-defined term, even among people who share common beliefs. Well over 1000 denominations of Christians in addition to the multitude of other religions attest to this fact. Asking Ray to define what he means by 'God' is essential to answering this question correctly. In casual conversation, it may be reasonable to presume a generic concept of God and, in many cases, it may be reasonable to assume a generalized 'Christian' definition - but when confronted in this fashion, asking for specific definitions is critical.}}
 
*Ray, ''"The Creator."''
 
*Ray, ''"The Creator."''
 
*Man with parrot, ''"To me, evolution, nature, is God"''
 
*Man with parrot, ''"To me, evolution, nature, is God"''
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*Ray, ''"Did he crawl up out of slime?"''
 
*Ray, ''"Did he crawl up out of slime?"''
 
*Young woman, laughing, ''"No."''
 
*Young woman, laughing, ''"No."''
*Ray, ''"So which are you gonna go? Did God create man in his own image and tell him to bring forth after his own kind, or did he begin as some slime from a meteorite from outerspace?"''
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*Ray, ''"So which are you gonna go? Did God create man in his own image and tell him to bring forth after his own kind, or did he begin as some slime from a meteorite from outer space?"''
 
*Young woman laughs, uncomfortably. Her response isn't shown.
 
*Young woman laughs, uncomfortably. Her response isn't shown.
 
====A real expert====
 
====A real expert====
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*Biologist, ''"...it's being done by geological processes. Well here..."'' [acknowledges Ray's interruption] ''"This is the big question, this is where atheists and theists both have a problem, ok? And I'm going to admit to it, ok? The problem we have is at the beginning."''
 
*Biologist, ''"...it's being done by geological processes. Well here..."'' [acknowledges Ray's interruption] ''"This is the big question, this is where atheists and theists both have a problem, ok? And I'm going to admit to it, ok? The problem we have is at the beginning."''
 
The camera freezes and zooms in on the biologists face as his final sentence is echoed. "In the beginning... God created the heavens and the earth" is dramatically displayed.
 
The camera freezes and zooms in on the biologists face as his final sentence is echoed. "In the beginning... God created the heavens and the earth" is dramatically displayed.
{{Comment-box|It's unfortunate, though predictable, that the one potential expert they interviewed was cut off in order to misrepresent his case as an admission of the failure of evolution. As noted previously, this program is supposed to be about evolution, yet many of the objections address abiogenesis. This biologist points out that neither atheists nor theists can know, for certain, what happened at the beginning. What he's not allowed to point out is that the various scientific explanations, despite the fact that they aren't conclusively proved, have a distinct advantage over the theists proposition that God created everything in that they don't rely on unproven supernaturl causes or rely on blind faith in ancient texts.
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{{Comment-box|It's unfortunate, though predictable, that the one potential expert they interviewed was cut off in order to misrepresent his case as an admission of the failure of evolution. As noted previously, this program is supposed to be about evolution, yet many of the objections address abiogenesis. This biologist points out that neither atheists nor theists can know, for certain, what happened at the beginning. What he's not allowed to point out is that the various scientific explanations, despite the fact that they aren't conclusively proved, have a distinct advantage over the theists proposition that God created everything in that they don't rely on unproven supernatural causes or rely on blind faith in ancient texts.
  
Ray, when presented with an explanation (natural selection) that he cannot argue against, falls back on the common practice of pointing to a gap, or unanswered question, and implying that the absence of absolute knowledge about the process somehow negates the knowledge we do possess. As if that wasn't bad enough, he further implies that it's acceptable to plug God into those gaps. This [[god of the gaps]] tactic is popular among Intelligent Design creationists as it sounds very good to those who already believe and may convince the uninformed. However, even if evolutionary theory were proven to be incorrect, this still doesn't stand as sufficient evidence to justify their claim of an intelligent designer.}}
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Ray, when presented with an explanation (natural selection) that he cannot argue against, falls back on the common practice of pointing to a gap, or unanswered question, and implying that the absence of absolute knowledge about the process somehow negates the knowledge we do possess. As if that wasn't bad enough, he further implies that it's acceptable to plug God into those gaps. This [[god of the gaps]] tactic is popular among Intelligent Design creationists as it sounds very good to those who already believe and may convince the uninformed. However, even if evolutionary theory proved to be incorrect, this still doesn't stand as sufficient evidence to justify their claim of an intelligent designer.}}
  
 
===Turn off your brain===
 
===Turn off your brain===
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{{Comment-box|This idea that voluntary ignorance is preferable to critical thought is a common theme in their ministry. They begin with the flawed assumption that their beliefs are true until proven false, they proceed to misrepresent the subject they wish to criticize and then after making a very weak attempt at attacking the intellectual issues by way of attacks on straw men, they conclude with an appeal which amounts to; ''Those pesky scientists with all of their 'facts' are just confused and attempting to confuse you, ignore that stuff and go with what you 'feel'.''}}
 
{{Comment-box|This idea that voluntary ignorance is preferable to critical thought is a common theme in their ministry. They begin with the flawed assumption that their beliefs are true until proven false, they proceed to misrepresent the subject they wish to criticize and then after making a very weak attempt at attacking the intellectual issues by way of attacks on straw men, they conclude with an appeal which amounts to; ''Those pesky scientists with all of their 'facts' are just confused and attempting to confuse you, ignore that stuff and go with what you 'feel'.''}}
 
*Kirk, ''"Now, are we trying to be anti-intellectual or avoid talking about the subject of evolution? Of course not."''
 
*Kirk, ''"Now, are we trying to be anti-intellectual or avoid talking about the subject of evolution? Of course not."''
{{Comment-box|Most definitely. As we've demonstrated throughout this response, they've completely avoided talking about evolution by misrepresenting it, objecting to abiogenesis (which isn't part of evolutionary theory), seeking the opinions of lay people, dangling red herrings, attacking straw men and misrepresenting experts.  
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{{Comment-box|Most definitely. As we've demonstrated throughout this response, they've completely avoided talking about evolution by misrepresenting it, objecting to abiogenesis (which isn't part of evolutionary theory), seeking the opinions of lay people, dangling red herrings, attacking straw men and misrepresenting experts.
  
 
You cannot, say, ''speak to a person's conscience and circumnavigate the intellect" and expect an immediate claim that you're not being anti-intellectual to carry any weight. It's as if, at the end of this response, we were to add, ''Now, are we trying to say that Ray and Kirk are wrong? Of course not.''}}
 
You cannot, say, ''speak to a person's conscience and circumnavigate the intellect" and expect an immediate claim that you're not being anti-intellectual to carry any weight. It's as if, at the end of this response, we were to add, ''Now, are we trying to say that Ray and Kirk are wrong? Of course not.''}}
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Their analogy is just as much a straw man as the 'arguments' they've made against evolution in this episode and it's filled with even more flaws. In their analogy, Boeing is God, the emergency card is the Bible and the parachute is Jesus. A more accurate analogy might go something like...
 
Their analogy is just as much a straw man as the 'arguments' they've made against evolution in this episode and it's filled with even more flaws. In their analogy, Boeing is God, the emergency card is the Bible and the parachute is Jesus. A more accurate analogy might go something like...
  
:''You're on an airplane and you're trying to convince someone to put on a parachute because you know they're going to have to jump out of the plane and fall 25,000 feet. First, you try to convince him that the plane was made by Boeing. Now, this is relevant because you're convinced that Boeing is going to force everyone to jump out of the plane, parachute or not. So you point to the carefully woven fabric on the seat in front of you and claim that it has Boeing's name written all over it. He points out that it doesn't say Boeing anywhere on the seat. You reply that it doesn't 'literally' say Boeing, but only Boeing orders fabric like that. He's unconvinced, as he's seen similar fabric before. You then explain that this plane wasn't manufactured like other planes, it was secretly modified to cause seatbelts to malfunction and the side of the plane is rigged to explode at 25,000 feet. He's convinced this is, most likely, an airplane like any other. You say you have evidence, he asks to see it. You pull out the emergency card, and show him Boeing's name, a description of the eminent calamaty and instructions for putting on the parachute. He points out that there are mistakes on the card and that other people have different emergency cards with names other than Boeing, some of which don't mention parachutes or calamities. You claim that those are fakes and you have the 'real' emergency card. He's skeptical and asks how you know yours is true. You point out that the emergency card says it's true. He looks under the seat for a parachute and doesn't find one. You explain that he has go up to the cockpit and ask for a parachute by saying the secret phrase, 'I've been a bad boy and need a spanking.' He tries this and is met with blank stares and confusion. You tell him that he didn't try hard enough...He asks the flight attendant if he can move to another seat''}}
+
:''You're on an airplane and you're trying to convince someone to put on a parachute because you know they're going to have to jump out of the plane and fall 25,000 feet. First, you try to convince him that the plane was made by Boeing. Now, this is relevant because you're convinced that Boeing is going to force everyone to jump out of the plane, parachute or not. So you point to the carefully woven fabric on the seat in front of you and claim that it has Boeing's name written all over it. He points out that it doesn't say Boeing anywhere on the seat. You reply that it doesn't 'literally' say Boeing, but only Boeing orders fabric like that. He's unconvinced, as he's seen similar fabric before. You then explain that this plane wasn't manufactured like other planes, it was secretly modified to cause seatbelts to malfunction and the side of the plane is rigged to explode at 25,000 feet. He's convinced this is, most likely, an airplane like any other. You say you have evidence, he asks to see it. You pull out the emergency card, and show him Boeing's name, a description of the eminent calamity and instructions for putting on the parachute. He points out that there are mistakes on the card and that other people have different emergency cards with names other than Boeing, some of which don't mention parachutes or calamities. You claim that those are fakes and you have the 'real' emergency card. He's skeptical and asks how you know yours is true. You point out that the emergency card says it's true. He looks under the seat for a parachute and doesn't find one. You explain that he has go up to the cockpit and ask for a parachute by saying the secret phrase, 'I've been a bad boy and need a spanking.' He tries this and is met with blank stares and confusion. You tell him that he didn't try hard enough...He asks the flight attendant if he can move to another seat''}}
*Ray, ''"Now, you and I want to convince sinners to put on the Lord Jesus Christ. We can talk to them about God and his existence, we can talk to them about the age of the earth and how old it is our how young it is and this leads to all sorts of discussions which often end in arguments. Or, we can tell them about the jump - that he has to pass through the door of death, and face a holy God and a holy law, whether he believes in God or not, on the day of judgment. We show him the Ten Commandments, stir the conscience and bring the knowledge of sin. He realizes his danger and see's his need to put on the Lord Jesus Christ."''
+
*Ray, ''"Now, you and I want to convince sinners to put on the Lord Jesus Christ. We can talk to them about God and his existence, we can talk to them about the age of the earth and how old it is our how young it is and this leads to all sorts of discussions which often end in arguments. Or, we can tell them about the jump - that he has to pass through the door of death, and face a holy God and a holy law, whether he believes in God or not, on the day of judgment. We show him the Ten Commandments, stir the conscience and bring the knowledge of sin. He realizes his danger and sees his need to put on the Lord Jesus Christ."''
 
{{Comment-box|Reason bad, guilt-trips good. Got it. Ray is wise to recommend that his viewers avoid arguing about troublesome facts and focus on emotions like guilt and fear by threatening them with [[hell]]. He certainly hasn't equipped them to do anything else, though it's unclear whether anything more is possible.}}
 
{{Comment-box|Reason bad, guilt-trips good. Got it. Ray is wise to recommend that his viewers avoid arguing about troublesome facts and focus on emotions like guilt and fear by threatening them with [[hell]]. He certainly hasn't equipped them to do anything else, though it's unclear whether anything more is possible.}}
  

Revision as of 11:46, 11 August 2006

Evolution is the title of the eighth episode from season two of Way of the Master.

Contents

Episode Synopsis

In the opening scene, shot in black-and-white, Kirk is meant to resemble Rod Serling and delivers a modified version of Serling's traditional Twilight Zone introduction:

"You've traveled to another dimension, a dimension not only of contradiction and speculation but also one that defies logic and is based on blind faith. A journey into a nebulous land who's limits are that of imagination. You've just crossed over into, The Evolution Zone."

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Episode Walkthrough

Introduction

(0:53 - 2:21)

  • Kirk, "What you're about to see, was not planned. There was no script, there were no writers, there were no cameras, no production crew, no lighting, no graphic artists and no editors. The entire program 'just happened' ... there was a big bang in our production studio...and here we are."
  • Ray, "Could you believe that? Of course you couldn't. No one in their right mind could. And yet many evolutionists would have us believe that, in the name of science."

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  • Ray, "There was no creator. No space, no energy, no matter, there was nothing. And then there was this big bang and out came the sea and the land...the birds and flowers and trees and elephants and giraffes and horses and cats and dogs and, of course man and woman...and this took countless millions of years."

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  • Ray, "We're now gonna look closely at some of the believers of the theory of evolution and we want you to listen very closely to the type of language they use. True believers use, what we call, the language of speculation. They'll start off sounding like an expert, but because there's such a lack of factual evidence for the theory, they're forced to use words like, "we surmise", "we believe", "perhaps", "maybe", "could've" and "possibly." And then they'll end up saying things like, well, "I really don't know", "I'm not an expert." So watch for these phrases and these words."

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Street Interviews

(2:22 - 6:52)

  • Ray asks several individuals, "Do you believe man evolved from apes?"

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  • Ray asks a young girl to be more specific about the evidence which supports evolutionary theory. She gives a brief explanation which begins with the formation of the earth and quickly mentions that single-cell organisms eventually developed and, over time, evolved into humans.
  • Ray asks a young man, "How did it begin?. His response is, "I don't know. Probably the big bang theory."

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  • Ray's response is, "What caused the big bang?"

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  • Ray asks a girl about life emerging from the oceans, "When they came out, what came out of the ocean?" She responds, "I don't know, you tell me."

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Other questions asked:

  • "Cause I'm trying to think...here is this sort of animal who's coming out of the ocean without lungs, so he comes out with gills, goes [gasping noises] runs back to water and just keeps coming out until lungs develop?"

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  • "This animal that came out, without lungs, and breathed and went back in, was he male or female?"
  • "He could have been alone? How did he reproduce?"

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The interview segment concludes with the question, "Do you think God had anything to do with this?". The response is, That's an area I've never explored but it's hard not to believe that, sometimes." Template:Comment-box

Episode 21 - Evolution

Missing Evidence

(6:53 - 8:55)

  • Kirk, "Ok, here's a simple lesson on evolution. The theory of evolution basically teaches that every living creature, like you and me, evolved from a single cell, billions of years ago.So that means that every animal supposedly transformed into another kind of animal, over time."

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  • Kirk, "Now, the big problem evolutionists have is that they're finding a huge gap in the fossil record. In other words, when archaeologists dig up the bones of these dead animals, they don't find these transitional forms that helped one animal transform into another animal. And if you don't have those bones, you can't prove evolution ever happened."

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  • Kirk, "That's what they're calling, 'The Missing Link' and there's not just one, there would have to be thousands and thousands of those transitional forms. The truth is, they're not missing at all, they never existed in the first place."

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  • Kirk, "Now, maybe you're asking 'what about the proof?' I mean, what about those science teachers that showed us those drawings of apes, all hunched over and then eventually straightening themselves up and becoming very 'man-like'? Well, remember, those are just drawings, that's not proof."

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  • Kirk, ""The real proof is in what we can find in the fossil record. The bones that we dig up. And that's what's missing, the actual proof."

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  • Kirk, "In reality, this is what scientists actually have: [cut to Kirk and a chimp standing against a wall] Me..and the monkey. Apes and humans. The supposed transitional forms are what are known as the 'missing links'. But the truth is, there is no missing link. There's nothing to link apes to humans. The 'supposed' transitional forms simply don't exist...except in the imagination of evolutionists who want to justify their theory."

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Ancient hominids and hoaxes

(8:56 - 9:45)

Kirk provides four examples for us to consider...

  • Lucy - (Australopithecus afarensis)
    • Kirk's claim: "...nearly all experts agree that Lucy was just the skeleton of a 3-foot-tall chimpanzee"

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  • Nebraska man
    • Kirk's claim: "...they created an entire skeleton with arms, legs, feet, hands, even facial features when all they really had was one tooth which, later, was found to be the tooth of an extinct pig."

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  • Piltdown man
    • Kirk's claim: "...the jawbone turned out to belong to a modern ape."

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  • Neanderthal man - (Homo sapiens neanderthalensis)
    • Kirk's claim: " ...who's famous skeleton, found in France over 50 years ago, was that of an old man who suffered from arthritis."

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Misrepresenting Gould

(9:46 - 10:04)

Ray invites us to "listen to what the famous Harvard evolutionary biologist, Stephen Jay Gould said about the fossil record..."

"The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of palientology..."

— Stephen Jay Gould (as it appears in episode 21 of Way of the Master)

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Common Blueprints

(10:05 - 12:04)

  • Kirk, "Have you ever been mystified as to why human beings and apes have so many similar features? After all, compare our hands to the hands of apes - they're very similar - and our feet are a lot the same. In fact, we can make many of the same facial expressions and other things that apes can do to prove this point we hired an orangutan for the day and had some fun. Check this out..." [cut to a vignette of Kirk and the orangutan making similar facial expressions]

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  • Kirk, "Does this prove that men evolved from apes? No, not at all."

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  • Kirk, "Think of it like this; think of the bi-plane and the 747 jumbo jet. They're both very similar. After all, they both have wings, they both have landing gear, cockpits...does that mean that the jet evolved from the little bi-plane? Not at all...it just means they have a common designer. The designer used a similar blueprint for each one."

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  • Kirk, "It's the same with us. God, the creator of the world and the universe, is our common designer. He simply used a similar blueprint when creating the hands and feet and facial expressions of men and apes."

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Lunch with an orangutan

(12:05 - 17:00)

  • Ray, "Despite the fact that there is no evidence when it comes to the theory of evolution, we're continually told that primates are our relatives. So we decided, we'd have a little fun and call a number of airlines and ask if we could have a 'relative' fly on the plane with us."

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  • Ray, talking to various airlines, "I'm flying with a friend, um, and I'd like to take a relative with us. He works in the movie industry so he'll have two managers with him and the reason for the managers is he's a little slow intellectually and he's also got physical problems with underdeveloped feet. He can't stand upright. Uh, his name is Bam Bam, he's actually an orangutan and what we want to do is take him on the flight, with two managers, is it possible to do that?"
  • Airline representative, '"No sir, we can't transport animals..."

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  • Ray, "Despite the fact that airlines won't allow primates on planes, for obvious reasons, there are some scientists who'd have us believe that primates are just about as intelligent as human beings."

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  • Ray, "So Kirk and I took an orangutan to lunch to see if it [claims of ape intelligence] was true."

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  • Ray, "The incident reinforced the fact that the primate is limited when it comes to the unique ability, the human ability, to reason, to invent, to appreciate the sound of music."

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  • Ray, "You see you don't get orangutans forming themselves into an orchestra. You don't get them forming themselves into a court system to mete out justice to its fellow creatures. This isn't because he's a prehistoric man who's less evolved than us, but it's because he's another species."

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Discrediting Darwin

(17:00 - 18:17)

  • Kirk, "The revered father of evolution, the man who really made the theory popular is Charles Darwin. He wrote Origin of Species and the Descent of Man. Ladies, listen to what he had to say about women.."
"The chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shown by man attaining to a higher eminence in whatever he takes up than woman can attain; whether requiring deep thought, reason or imagination, or merely the use of the senses and hands."
  • Kirk, "Did you hear that?! He's saying that man has evolved to a higher eminence over women in, basically, anything he decides to do. Whether it requires reason, imagination or deep thought. Darwinian evolution, at its core is not only male chauvinistic but it's also very racist. Charles Darwin wants us to believe that black people are less evolved than whites."

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Expert testimony

(18:18 - 19:10) Ray, "If we can't convince you of how unscientific the theory of evolution is, perhaps these following experts can.."

  • Ernst Chain (1906-1979), Nobel prize winner in medicine said, in reference to the theory of evolution, "I would rather believe in fairies than in such wild speculation."

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  • Sir Arthur Keith (1866-1955) Physical anthropologist who "wrote the forward to Darwin's Origin of the Species, 100th anniversary edition" said, "Evolution is unproved and unprovable. We believe it only because the only alternative is special creation, and that is unthinkable."

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  • Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-2003) British journalist and philosopher said, "I myself am convinced that the theory of evolution, especially the extent to which it's been applied, will be on of the great jokes in history books in the future"

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Rejection of the Bible

(19:11 - 19:20)

  • Kirk, "A wise man once said, man will believe anything as long as it's not in the Bible."

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Street Interviews 2

(19:22 - 21:29)

Ray's and his crew head back out into the streets to ask lay people (and one PhD biologist) questions about evolution..

Transitional Fossils

  • Question (apparently asked of a lay person): "Can you give me any example of a transitional form, going from one kind of animal to another kind?"
  • Response: "I can't think of anything right off the moment."

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Creator vs. Nature

  • Ray, "The parrot that's on your arm, God created. How could any, how could science make a parrot?"
  • Man with parrot, "Science? Nature made it."
  • Ray, "Nature made itself?"

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  • Man with parrot, "Yes, absolutely..."
  • Ray, "So it made the parrot..."
  • Man with parrot, "...evolution."
  • Ray, "So, evolution made it?"
  • Man with parrot, "Mm hmm"
  • Ray, "So you don't believe God created things?"
  • Man with parrot, "Well, I don't know what you're referring to as God."

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  • Ray, "The Creator."
  • Man with parrot, "To me, evolution, nature, is God"

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What convinced you evolution was right?

  • Ray, "When it comes to evolution, what was the scientific fact that convinced you that it was right?"
  • Young woman, "Um, I would say, how it all got started, like...explaining how we have elements that were brought to Earth by, you know, like, let's say, meteorites, or whatever. That it all got started in the ocean and um, organisms grew and, you know, people evolved from there.."
  • Ray, "Do you believe in the Bible?"
  • Young woman, "Uh, yes I do."
  • Ray, "Do you believe in Adam and Eve?"
  • Young woman, laughing, "Yes I do."

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  • Ray, '"Did Adam used to be an ape?"

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  • Young woman, "No."
  • Ray, "Did he crawl up out of slime?"
  • Young woman, laughing, "No."
  • Ray, "So which are you gonna go? Did God create man in his own image and tell him to bring forth after his own kind, or did he begin as some slime from a meteorite from outer space?"
  • Young woman laughs, uncomfortably. Her response isn't shown.

A real expert

Ray begins to question a young man as text on the bottom of the screen informs us that he is an evolutionary biologist with a PhD in Biology..

  • Biologist, "Non-random changes come about as a result of selection. Ok?"
  • Ray, "Who's doing the selecting?"
  • Biologist, "Selecting is being done by the ecosystem..."
  • Ray, interrupting, "And where did this come from?"
  • Biologist, "...it's being done by predators..."
  • Ray, interrupting, "Where did it come from?"
  • Biologist, "...it's being done by geological processes. Well here..." [acknowledges Ray's interruption] "This is the big question, this is where atheists and theists both have a problem, ok? And I'm going to admit to it, ok? The problem we have is at the beginning."

The camera freezes and zooms in on the biologists face as his final sentence is echoed. "In the beginning... God created the heavens and the earth" is dramatically displayed. Template:Comment-box

Turn off your brain

(21:30 - 23:04)

  • Kirk, "Here's a very interesting fact; in the last couple of dozen times that I've witnessed to someone, I can honestly say that the subject of evolution has not come up, even once. Why? Because I didn't bring it up. I didn't have to. And it doesn't come up on its own because it's often a non-issue."

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  • Kirk, "When you learn how to speak to a person's conscience, and circumnavigate the intellect, the subject of evolution seems to disappear."

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  • Ray, "Now this is real good news for people like me. It means I don't have to become an expert in the 'fossil record'. And it also means I don't have to learn words like 'Rhinorhondothackasaurus'."

Template:Comment-box

  • Kirk, "Now, are we trying to be anti-intellectual or avoid talking about the subject of evolution? Of course not."

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Buy the book

  • Kirk, "That's why we have The Evidence Bible. And this is packed full of teaching on the subject and includes quotes from teachings from Charles Darwin, Stephen Jay Gould and William Huxley."

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  • Kirk, "And it will show you that the theory of evolution is unscientific, that it's based on blind faith; so that you don't need to panic and upset yourself every time you read in the newspaper or see something on the news that talks about man evolving from apes."

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  • Kirk, "You can have confidence in God's word that we are made in God's image. And true science, even our common sense, supports the Bible and not the theory of evolution."

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The Purpose of the Church

(23:05 - 25:19)

  • Ray, "Let's look at the church and ask, 'what is the purpose of the church on Earth?' Well, we're here primarily to glorify God and to lead lost sinners to the savior. We know, there's gonna be a day of judgment and we have to present every man and every woman perfect before a perfect God and a perfect law they must face on Judgment Day. We want them to 'put on' the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved from the wrath that's to come."

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Put on Your Parachute

  • Kirk, "Let's look at an analogy that's going to make a very important point. Let's say, you're on an airplane and you're trying to convince another passenger to put on a parachute because you know at any moment he's gonna have to jump 25,000 feet out of the plane. You have two lines of reasoning. The first is; you try to convince him that the plane was made by Boeing. Now, this is important because it will give credibility to the emergency card which will tell him about the parachute. So, you point out the fact that the maker's name is written all over the plane. He doesn't buy it, he thinks the plane happened by accident. Then, you tell him that it's a relatively new plane. He thinks it's an old plane. You say you have proof, so does he...and as long as you disagree, he ignores the emergency card and you find yourself in a frustrating and perilous situation."
  • Ray, "The second line of reasoning is much easier. All you do is you tell him about the law of gravity and you say what it will do to him if he jumps. 25,000 feet on his frail body. His eyes widen with fear and he says, 'Hey, would you pass me that emergency card, thing...I want to check it out?'"

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  • Ray, "Now, you and I want to convince sinners to put on the Lord Jesus Christ. We can talk to them about God and his existence, we can talk to them about the age of the earth and how old it is our how young it is and this leads to all sorts of discussions which often end in arguments. Or, we can tell them about the jump - that he has to pass through the door of death, and face a holy God and a holy law, whether he believes in God or not, on the day of judgment. We show him the Ten Commandments, stir the conscience and bring the knowledge of sin. He realizes his danger and sees his need to put on the Lord Jesus Christ."

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The Atheist Test

(25:20 - 27:08)

A short interview is shown, featuring a teenager from a previous episode and demonstrates the 'atheist test', in action.

Closing Comments

(27:09 - ) Kirk encourages those who are looking for more information on evolution and evangelism to visit their website, purchase their 'Evidence Bible', their 'Way of the Master' book, their 'Foundation course' which many churches are using to "train up" their people. Template:Comment-box

External Links

The Way of the Master
Season One Episodes:

1. The Firefighter   2. The Mirror of the Ten Commandments   3. The Motive of the Sinner   4. The Summary of Salvation   5. Practice What You Preach   6. Idolatry—The Darling Sin of Humanity   7. The Beauty of a Broken Spirit—Atheism   8. WDJD?   9. Blasphemy, Sabbath, Parents   10. Murder   11. Adultery   12. Theft   13. Lie and Covet

Season Two Episodes:

1. God's Wonderful Plan   2. Conscience   3. Alcatraz, Al Capone, Alcohol   4. True and False Conversion   5. When Things Go Wrong   6. The Satanic Influence   7. How to Witness to Someone Who's Homosexual/Gay   8. Evolution   9. How to Witness to a Loved One   10. The Fear of God   11. Ice Breakers—Gospel Tracts   12. The Greatest Gamble  13. How to Get on Fire for God

Season Three Episodes:

1. Islam   2. Mormonism   3. Witchcraft   4. Buddhism   5. Roman Catholicism   6. What Hollywood Believes   7. New Age   8. Humanism   9. What America Believes   10. Jehovah's Witness   11. Judaism   12. Spiritual Battle   13. Hinduism

Cast
Ray Comfort — Kirk Cameron
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