HELP!
It is distressing to me when I buy Creationist materials, learn something, post it in a forum, only to be told, what I have been told is not true.
Here is an example of someone "correcting" a statement made by a Creationist in a forum, saying that mutations DO add beneficial information to an organism. He refers to a specific experiment I have no knowledge of.:
“We have observed mutation adding information to a genome. We have observed mutation adding useful information to a genome. A clonal culture of bacteria was grown over 1000 generations, and monitored throughout. It turns out, the bacteria’s DNA mutated, and the variation was then acted upon by natural selection. Even though the bacteria started out as clonal (no variation), it developed variation in its phenotype, and then responded to natural selection.”
My son wrote a paper using information from Mike Riddle, yet his geology teacher said it was full of “inaccuracies.” I was very embarrassed.
Need help refuting.
—D.K., U.S.

The Real Debate

I have just watched some video clips on your Answers in Genesis website entitled The Great Debate. I just want to say that I agree with you on all topics because you speak from Scripture, whereas some of the others were just speaking their own ideas. If the Bible isn't the source for truth, then why even debate anything?

Had I been in on the debate I would have backed you up entirely. Thank you for representing God's word.

—A.B., Canada

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HELP!
It is distressing to me when I buy Creationist materials, learn something, post it in a forum, only to be told, what I have been told is not true.

Thank you for giving us a specific example of what you are referring to, and I have gladly supplied the answer below. I would first like to address the dichotomy concerning the “truth” when posting in these forums. I’m going to assume, for the sake of argument, that the creationist materials you are using were written by individuals credentialed in a particular field (i.e., Ph.D., experience) and that the same is true for the individuals responding to your forum posts. What we have then is at least two well-educated and trained scientists or individuals looking at the same evidence but coming to different conclusions. How is this possible? It’s possible because evidence does not speak for itself; yet a person’s presuppositions (or basic beliefs about the world) play a crucial role in interpreting the evidence.

This is especially true when it comes to the area of historical science. Historical science relates to science that has occurred in the past and is not testable or repeatable. This science deals with the issue of origins—how we and the rest of the universe came into existence. Operational or observational science relates to science that can be performed in the lab today (“here and now science”) and is testable and repeatable. This science gives us planes, MRIs, and vaccines. Both creationists and evolutionists would approach operational science similarly and have similar interpretations and conclusions about their research. Presuppositions are not as crucial with this type of science because it is observable, testable, and repeatable.

On the other hand, historical science is heavily dependent on presuppositions, since what is being examined took place in the unobservable past. Did God create the universe and everything in it in six literal days as written in the book of Genesis, or did the universe start with a big bang followed by billions of years of evolution to bring about living things? The former is based on the Word of God as truth; the latter is based on man’s ideas as truth.

So, then, whose ideas about the past (historical science) are truth? God’s Word/God’s Truth or human reasoning/man’s truth? It appears that you have taken what scientists who do not believe in God or the authority of the Bible believe as truth rather than what scientists who do believe in God and the authority of the Bible see as truth. As we have shown many times on our website, atheism is an irrational worldview and atheists are absolutely dependent (whether they realize it or not) on the truthfulness of the Bible for their ability to use logic and reason and do science! I sincerely hope you will reevaluate your viewpoint regarding what is truth.

Here is an example of someone "correcting" a statement made by a Creationist in a forum, saying that mutations DO add beneficial information to an organism. He refers to a specific experiment I have no knowledge of.:
“We have observed mutation adding information to a genome. We have observed mutation adding useful information to a genome. A clonal culture of bacteria was grown over 1000 generations, and monitored throughout. It turns out, the bacteria’s DNA mutated, and the variation was then acted upon by natural selection. Even though the bacteria started out as clonal (no variation), it developed variation in its phenotype, and then responded to natural selection.”

It is likely that the experiments being referred to in this post were those performed in the lab of Richard Lenski. As of 2007, he had cultures of bacteria that had undergone 40,000 generations over the course of 18 years. Although this might seem to bolster the argument made by the evolutionist in the forum, it actually deflates it even more. It is true that the DNA has mutated (in some cases the bacteria have even lost entire genes) and the variation was acted upon by natural selection. This resulted in bacteria that were well adapted for the lab and the culture conditions that Lenski used.

What it did not result in is the bacteria gaining new information. Mutation and natural selection have never been observed to lead to the gain of new information. Although there can be beneficial outcomes to mutations and those variations can be selected for in a given environment (as observed with these bacteria in the lab), it is the result of altering current genetic information and not adding new genetic information. The addition of new genetic information is required for molecules-to-man evolution. So, Lenski’s experiments show the amazing ability of bacteria to adapt—not to evolve. Thus, what is observed in the lab (operational science) does not support evolution (historical science). (For more information, see Feedback: Are There Beneficial Mutations?)

My son wrote a paper using information from Mike Riddle, yet his geology teacher said it was full of “inaccuracies.” I was very embarrassed.
Need help refuting.

Can you specifically tell me what he stated were “inaccuracies”? Although Mike Riddle is not a biologist or geologist by training (he does hold a M.A. degree in education and worked for many years for Microsoft), he is very knowledgeable on this topic. In addition, Answers in Genesis has a strict peer-review process for its materials. This ensures that several experts in a given field (i.e., those that do have a Ph.D. in biology or geology) review the material before it is published or produced.

I cannot comment specifically on the issues that were thought to be “inaccurate,” as they are not detailed in your correspondence. However, I would surmise that once again this is an issue of presuppositions—God’s Truth or man’s truth? I hope in the future you will not be embarrassed, but rather see this as an opportunity to stand on the Word of God as Truth and to witness to your son’s teacher about Jesus Christ.

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