In Debate with Evolutionists
by Rachel D. Ramer
There is more to discussing evolution than debating the age of the earth or the
wing breadth of the archaeopteryx. There is value, for example, in examining how
evolutionists make their defense. Looking beyond the argument to the arguer's
techniques can expose fallacious reasoning which keep many from considering the
God of Creation.
If Christians plan to argue from the Genesis account of creation, they must first
support biblical authenticity. Although the Bible can be supported, that may be the
long way around. When Scripture is introduced, evolutionists launch into one of
their "best" fallacies: false distinction -- the banning of "religion" from scientific
A shortcut is to point out how evolutionists engage in logical fallacies such as the
"straw man," "bias ad hominem," "false distinction," and "non sequitur" fallacies.
The first three are used in attempts to invalidate the creationists' stance; the fourth
endeavors to validate macroevolution (the change from one species into another)
as legitimate science.
The Argument You So Eloquently Refuted Was Not Mine! A strawman fallacy
involves the misrepresentation of an opponent's argument to refute him or her
easily. Stephen Jay Gould, in his article, "Evolution as Fact and Theory" in the May
1981 issue of Discover Magazine, attempted to refute creationism by saying, "We
have abundant, direct, observational evidence of evolution in action, from both the
field and the laboratory." His point: evolution is an irrefutable fact, and creationists
ignore this certainty.
Yet, the evidence he cited supported microevolution, involving changes that take
place within separate species. Creationists have no contention with the concept of
In fact, A. E. Wilder-Smith, in his book The Natural Sciences Know Nothing of
Evolution (T.W.F.T. Publishers), makes a case for both negative and positive
mutations (microevolution) working against macroevolution. Negative mutations
weaken the creature, a tendency that does not support survival of the fittest;
positive mutations make it a stronger creature, helping to preserve its own class. In
the latter case, the variations are the means that allow the species to survive
distinct from other species.
The fact that many evolutionists use microevolution to refute creationism shows the
seriousness of this fallacy. Pointing this out can dispel the misconception that
Christians do not accept scientific fact.
Religious Bias Disqualifies. A bias ad hominem fallacy has to do with disqualifying
someone's argument simply because the arguer has a special bias in the issue. For
example, someone with a religious experience or belief is disqualified from having a
valid opinion about his or her own religion. It is fitting to check the soundness of a
biased person's argument, but it is wrong to reject the argument solely because of
the arguer's bias.
In the 1982 trial of McLean vs. Arkansas, which centered around teaching both
theories of origins in public schools, questions were