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Is Creationism Science?

Jim Bleikamp, host:

I would suspect that a few fireworks may find their way into the skies over us in the next hour - if I might be permitted that prediction. We're going to talk about one of those subjects that keeps coming up again and again and again, no matter how many times some people seem to think it's been put away forever. So it's very hot, very emotional. We have two people who could not disagree more on the subject that we're going to talk about over the upcoming hour. The question before us... "Is creationism science?" - the theory that the biblical account of the creation of the earth has a scientific basis. With us, joining us by phone from Southern California, from the San Diego area actually, the vice president of the Institute for Creation Research, a man who also holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley, Duane Gish.

Duane, good evening.

Duane Gish:

Good evening, Jim.

Jim Bleikamp:

Thank you for joining us tonight.

Duane Gish:

Well we're glad to be here Jim.

Jim Bleikamp:

Okay, and in the studio a man well known to many of you, a local Atheist, Frank Zindler, who is now a science writer, but who is also a former professor of biology and geology at a branch of the State University of New York where, by the way, I first made his acquaintance a few years ago. [He has] a masters in Geology and has pursued doctoral studies in neurophysiology. Did I get that all right Frank?

Frank Zindler:

That's right.

Jim Bleikamp:

Okay. Frank, by the way, has debated the subject not only locally, but on radio stations and in forums throughout the country. But I understand that the two of you, although very critical of one another, have never squared off in a debate before. Is that right Duane?

Duane Gish:

Well, no we have not. I wouldn't say that I'm critical of Frank, but I certainly take exception to his position on the subject of origins. Of course we're quite different. He's an Atheist and on the other hand I'm a Bi... a Christian, [1 ] and so that puts us quite in different camps philosophically, but I feel sure we'll have a good exchange tonight and then we'll part friends.

Jim Bleikamp:

Okay. Well I would certainly hope we'll all part friends. Duane, I'm going to start with you.You say, it's my understanding from what I've read of your writings, that there is apparent evidence for creation. Creation... I assume meaning creation in the biblical sense. Increasingly a lot of people wonder about that. What's the evidence?

Duane Gish:

Well, Jim, we do not pretend to defend the biblical record of creation, say the six day creation [2] and so forth and so on. Scientifically we couldn't do that. [3 ] We wouldn't know scientifically whether god had created one family or thousands or whether he had created in six days, instantaneously, six thousand years or what. Scientifically, what we are doing is presenting the nature of the evidence, the natural laws and processes which now operate in the universe which we are convinced demonstrate the universe could not have created itself naturally, and that life could not have arisen spontaneously on this planet. [4]

Now I want to make very clear, that I do not b'lieve that any theory on origins, whether it be creation or evolution, can properly be called a scientific theory. Now both of these positions have scientific characteristics, of course. We discuss these matters related to the fossil record in thermodynamics and probability laws and all of that. But there obviously were no human witnesses to the origin of life or the origin of any living organisms. These events happened only once. They happened in the unobservable past and you cannot construct scientific theories about events of that kind. Creation and evolution are inferences based upon circumstantial evidence. [5] We are trying to explain what happened in the past, and therefore creation and evolution are explanations, and they are nothing more. I've never seen god create anything, and Frank obviously has never seen a fish evolve into an amphibian [6] or an ape evolve into man.

Jim Bleikamp:

Okay. Duane I want to hear more about your explanation and your defense for what you do defend, but first I want to go to Frank.

Frank Zindler:

Yeah. Well, I'm pleased that Dr. Gish concedes right at the beginning of the debate that creationism is not science. [7 ] I think we need to pursue a little bit more though, for our listeners who expected a full debate tonight, just exactly why Dr. Gish and I agree that creationism is not scientific. Creationism is done backwards from real science. The creationists have to take an oath, or make an affirmation that amounts to an oath, as to what they will find - ahead of time - before they go out and look at the world. For example, when The Institute for Creation Research was still part of Christian Heritage College, Dr. Gish and all the rest of the faculty or staff, what ever you want to call them, had to subscribe to the following statement: "All things in the universe were created by God in the six days of special creation described in Genesis 1: 1-23 ." In other words it's just the first creation myth, not the second. "The creation account is accepted as factual, historical, and perspicuous and is thus foundational to the understanding of every fact and phenomenon in the created universe. Theories of origins and development which involve evolution in any form are thus recognized as false and sterile intellectually." So they have to agree as to what they will find in advance. Now in real science, of course, you may have a good hunch about what you're going to find. You have an hypothesis that you're testing, but you can't be absolutely sure what your studies are going to produce. Sometimes your studies may completely contradict your hypothesis and you have to go backwards on what it was you were looking for. So creationism is not science; it's done backwards from real science.

Jim Bleikamp:

Okay, Duane. How 'bout that notion of Frank's that you've got the cart before the horse in a manner of speaking?

Duane Gish:

Well, of course what Frank would not admit is the evolutionists have done the same thing. Now Frank would tell you, and he'll tell this audience that evolution is a fact, that there's no doubt about it. Now in science, in evolutionary circles, you may challenge any particular phylogenetic tree. You may challenge any particular mechanism, but one thing you dare not challenge is the "fact" of evolution. That is what they accept, and let me say this, I was convinced totally of the truth of creation before I ever signed any statement. That's why I was able to do that. [ 8]

Now I have, in relation to what Frank is saying, [9 ] I have a statement here from Paul Ehrlich and L. C. Birch. They're biologists: one at Stanford University, one up at Sydney. [10] They are both evolutionists and they published an article in Nature [11 ] [in] which they said the following: "Our theory of evolution has become one which cannot be refuted by any possible observation, every conceivable observation can be fitted into it. It is thus outside of empirical science but not necessarily false. No one can think of ways in which to test it." And here's a statement by Green and Goldberg(er). [12 ] In their book on biochemistry they say "the macromolecule to cell transition is a jump of fantastic dimensions which lies beyond the range of testable hypothesis." Now that makes evolution untestable, not scientific.

Frank Zindler:

Yeah, wait a minute, I'm afraid Dr Gish has strayed off into the wrong debate. He always does that. Instead of defending creationism, he tries to attack evolution. Now of course, whether evolution is false or not...

Duane Gish:

Frank, I said neither is...

Frank Zindler:

Well, but I'm saying that...

Duane Gish:

I said neither is a scientific theory Frank, I said that to start with...

Jim Bleikamp:

In a moment, after we hear from Frank, I'm going to go back to Duane, and I hope to hear Duane defend creationism. But let's go to Frank now.

Frank Zindler:

It makes no difference, as far as this particular debate is concerned, whether evolution is true or false. There are hundreds of different competing possible explanations, you see. The question that we are debating tonight is, is this thing called creationism - which masquerades as a science... They even call it 'creation science.' Is it indeed a science? And that's what we're debating. We can concede if we want to, just for the sake of debate, that evolution has no support whatsoever, so that's an irrelevant thing. What we have to now see... is there any science in creationism?

Jim Bleikamp:

Okay, Duane?

Duane Gish:

Well, Frank, he wants to put me in a position heads I win tails you lose. What we are...

Frank Zindler:

No, I want you to put your money where your mouth is.

Duane Gish:

Now Frank, I said right off the bat, no theory on origins can be properly called a scientific theory. That applies to both evolution and creation. Now if one is taught in the science classroom in the schools, then the other should be taught. We do have tremendously powerful, positive evidence for creation. Our students should hear it...

Frank Zindler:

Well give some.

Duane Gish:

... they should have the privilege and then they can make up their own minds what they think is right.

Frank Zindler:

What evidence do you have?

Jim Bleikamp:

I must say as moderator of this program, so far I haven't heard any evidence for the defense of creationism. Let's hear it.

Duane Gish:

All right, let me give you two very powerful facts. There's no way that Frank can deny these facts, they are known to all paleontologists. All of the major invertebrate types, clams, snails, jelly fish, worms, brachiopods, sea urchins, and so forth... a tremendous array of very complicated invertebrates appear in the fossil record abruptly. We have never been able to find ancestors for a single one of these creatures. [13] They are, just as far as the empirical evidence is concerned, they have appeared fully formed right at the start.

Jim Bleikamp:

What's the other one?

Duane Gish:

Now furthermore,

Frank Zindler:

How does that support the biblical account?

Duane Gish:

Furthermore, well the fact, you see, now lets leave the Bible out of this, lets stick to scientific questions. [14 ]

Jim Bleikamp:

Well first of all lets hear this other second point, get that one on the table...

Duane Gish:

Let me make one more point here. Frank and other evolutionists b'lieve that one of these invertebrates evolved into a fish or the vertebrates. They b'lieve it took one hundred million years. During that one hundred million years, billions times billions of the intermediate stages, the intermediate forms, would have lived and died. Our museums should have hundreds of millions of fossils of these transitional forms between an invertebrate and a fish. Not one has ever been found. [15] Every major kind of fish that we know anything about has appeared fully formed without a trace of an ancestor. [16 ] Now that fact is absolutely, totally in agreement with creation and absolutely incompatible with the theory of evolution. [17 ]

Frank Zindler:

Okay, now of course he's gotten back into attacking evolution, and not really defending creation. [18] As a matter of fact those things...

Duane Gish:

Oh, yes, there's positive evidence for creation.

Frank Zindler:

Now wait a minute! Yeah, those things are actually refutation of the biblical account, because according to the biblical account, we should have all the fossils of everything right at the beginning of the fossil record. We should have not only trilobites but snails and puppy dog's tails, and everything from fish to Gish. We should have in the oldest fossil record... and they don't appear there. So actually the fossil record very beautifully wipes out the Bible. There's no better evidence against the biblical creation than the gaps in the fossil record: you don't have any vertebrates in the Precambrian...

Duane Gish:

Frank? Are you aware of the fact that many creation scientists that are convinced Christians that accept the Bible in its entirety and conservative Christian theologians subscribe to what is called a progressive creation, and they do accept the idea of the geological column and all of that. But they are still absolutely convinced of creation and the biblical creation. Now to say that this geological column wipes out the Bible and the biblical account is simply not true. It does, of course... would wipe out a particular view of what took place... [19]

Frank Zindler:

Well... now...

Duane Gish:

... but not all views. To say there's a hundred different views on evolution...

Frank Zindler:

Oh, well sure...

Duane Gish:

... but there are several different views on creation too.

Frank Zindler:

Sure... yeah.

Jim Bleikamp:

Lets go to Frank.

Frank Zindler:

Now, you know, in the catalog for the ICR (I have the 1985-87 catalog). "The administration and faculty of ICR [clears throat] (excuse me), are committed to the...

Jim Bleikamp:

That's, by the way, the Institute for Creation Research which Duane is vice-president of.

Frank Zindler:

... are committed to the tenets of both scientific creationism and biblical creationism, as formulated below," and then they say that "all genuine facts of science support the Bible." Now, the Bible says that birds were created before reptiles. Now certainly the fossil record does not bear that out does it?

Duane Gish:

Ah, that's, well, I b'lieve the way the fossil record could be interpreted, that they could be contemporary. [20 ] If you want to accept the geological column, as is the consensus in geological circles today. There's no doubt about that. And as many Christians and creationists accept that view, that would not support the six day creation. That's correct. Now what I would... this, as I said earlier in the program, I could not scientifically demonstrate that god created in six days. There's just no way possible to do that. What I'm saying is that scientifically, the evidence supports the fact of creation. There has to be a creator external to the natural universe who introduced the complexity, the organization, structure, and information within it. [21 ] It could not be self-generating. That's what we want our school kids to hear. We are not going into the schools, teach them Noah's ark and Adam and Eve, and six day creation and all that. We are not going to do that.

Frank Zindler:

But in your catalogue you have to have Noah's flood. It says that we have the fossil record being laid down in an aqueous cataclysm. You have that both in... the equivalent of that hydraulic cataclysm...

Duane Gish:

But Frank I think what we can say is this, that we can marshall a great deal of evidence to indicate that there was flooding on a world-wide scale...

Frank Zindler:

You have no evidence of that what-so-ever...

Duane Gish:

Oh, come on...

Frank Zindler:

I debated John Morris from your institute and he couldn't come up with any evidence what-so-ever for a world-wide flood.

Duane Gish:

I know...

Jim Bleikamp:

I have to take a break at this point.

Duane Gish:

I know better that that because I know John...

Jim Bleikamp:

I have to take a break Duane. Duane, I have to take a break here. Gotta do that. Commercial commitments must prevail to a certain extent. This is getting to be one of those hours around here. Frank Zindler, the noted local Atheist in the studio; by phone, Duane Gish, vice-president of the Institute for Creation Research in the San Diego area of Southern California. The question before us this hour - that we're trying to adhere to as much as possible... the question, "Is creationism science?" [COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Jim Bleikamp:

We will go to the calls shortly. Duane Gish, I must say twenty-six minutes or so into the program and after repeated invitations to do so, I'm still waiting to hear some kind of a defense of creationism. [22]

Duane Gish:

Well, I presented the evidence from the fossil record, the abrupt appearance, fully formed, of every one of the major invertebrate types. There's absolutely not a shred of a doubt; we have no trace of an ancestor for a single one of those creatures. There's absolutely no doubt, we have not a shred, not a trace of an ancestor for any of the fishes which are supposed to have been the first vertebrate. Now that is powerful, positive evidence for creation. [23 ]

Frank Zindler:

How so?

Duane Gish:

That is what we would have to expect if creation were true. What better evidence could the rocks give, you see, than this sort of evidence for the fact that these things did appear fully formed on this planet. Now, did the god of the Bible do that? Did the Judaeo-Christian god do that? I couldn't know that scientifically. The only thing I could know scientifically about the creator, he was adequate for the job. Now there's much other evidence, if one... for example, Sir Fred Hoyle, a life-long Atheist, a man who'd been an evolutionist all of his life became interested a few years ago in the problem of the origin of life and after Sir Fred had calculated and gone through all the theories on the origin of life, and calculated the probability of life evolving anywhere in the universe, assuming that every star in the universe had a planet like the earth, that the universe was 20 billion years old, he concluded that the probability of evolution [24 ] was equal to the probability that a tornado sweeping through a junk yard would assemble a Boeing 747.

Jim Bleikamp:

Frank.

Frank Zindler:

Yeah...

Duane Gish:

He therefore concluded that life had to be created, therefore, he said "there must be a god."

Frank Zindler:

Yeah, now, keep in mind now...

Jim Bleikamp:

Hold on now, let's go to Frank now,

Frank Zindler:

Keep in mind, what Dr. Gish is saying is that there is no scientific explanation. Only magic is the answer. Now of course, that's evading a scientific answer. Now we... Dr. Gish, conceded at the beginning of the debate that creationism was not science, and I want to list a number...

Duane Gish:

I did not say that Frank. I said it's not a scientific theory.

Frank Zindler:

Oh, I see...

Duane Gish:

I said both creation and evolution have scientific characteristics.

Jim Bleikamp:

What's the difference? If it's not science and it's not a scientific theory, what are we talking about here?

Duane Gish:

We're talking about inferences. We're talking about scientific models of origins, and that's the best we can say for either creation or evolution.

Jim Bleikamp:

Duane Gish, I just want to jump in here, and I want to ask for a clarification on something. I've been promoting this debate for about a week now, and actually we had it scheduled once before, and as you well know, we had to postpone it. And I've been rolling with creationism. That term is not found in my particular dictionary. So I, maybe I took some liberties that I shouldn't have. But nobody has really suggested that I'm inaccurate to define creationism, as I have been doing, as the theory that the biblical account of the creation of the earth has a scientific basis. At the top of the hour it seemed to me that you had some problem with that definition. I would like to know right now how you define creationism?

Duane Gish:

I define... there's two aspects of creation. There's scientific creationism. Now why do we call it scientific creationism? If I'm goin' to go in a debate on, and, and, discuss what we call creation science, I'm not gonna mention the Bible. I'm not gonna mention the book of Genesis. I'm not gonna mention the Humanist Manifesto, or any other religious literature. I'm going to describe the nature of the scientific evidence, which I b'lieve demonstrates that the universe and living organisms could not have created themselves naturally. Therefore, there's only one other alternative as Sir Fred has suggested, and that is that they were supernaturally created. [25] Now that's what we call creation science. Now, if one wants to talk about biblical creation, that's what you talk about in church and Sunday school and in literature which is designed for believing Jews and Christians and others who are interested.

Jim Bleikamp:

So, so, I want to make, I'm trying to keep this as concise as possible. A fair definition of scientific creationism as you put it would be the theory of supernatural creation? Would that be a fair statement?

Duane Gish:

Yes, and it would be supported by even some Eastern religions that I've encountered. They support that, the Navaho Indian might support it, the Judaeo-Christian, the Muslim...

Jim Bleikamp:

Okay...

Duane Gish:

... yeah, even Sir Fred Hoyle, who makes no religious profession what-so-ever... [26]

Frank Zindler:

Yeh...

Duane Gish:

... supports the same thing.

Frank Zindler:

Okay, to put supernatural forces into your so-called science, makes creation science an oxymoron. We might as well be talking about round squares. You can't have supernatural forces and call it science. We better refresh our memory as to what science is. Science is the art of formulating and testing explanatory hypotheses...

Duane Gish:

Absolutely.

Frank Zindler:

... that account for the features and phenomena of the world.

Duane Gish:

I agree.

Frank Zindler:

The hypotheses examined, must in principle be capable of being tested.

Duane Gish:

I agree.

Frank Zindler:

That limits science to natural forces and processes since these are the... the supernatural is outside the realm of testing. If they could be tested they'd automatically be reduced to the status of natural processes. Now Science tries to explain the unknown in terms of the known. A good example was Franklin explaining lightening as a bunch of electricity rather than the wrath of Jehovah. Now this whole thing that's central to science is...

Duane Gish:

I totally agree.

Frank Zindler:

... is explanatory. Now, science explains all kinds of things or at least tries to. Now creationism, I don't see it explains anything. [27] How does creation science, so-called, explain the fact that Dr. Gish has nipples? [28 ] How does it explain the marsupials in Australia? [29 ]

Duane Gish:

Heh, heh, heh.

Frank Zindler:

How is it going to explain that the feather louse Rallicola gadowi is found only on the kiwi in New Zealand, nowhere else in the world. These are kinds of things that creation science is going to have to address.

Duane Gish:

Well, you're confusing two issues here Frank. Now as science, science is dealing with the here-and-now, it's trying to explain the world out there. It's trying to explain how the universe operates, how living organisms operate. Now do we agree on that?

Frank Zindler:

Well, you're artificially restricting...

Duane Gish:

Acceptable...

Frank Zindler:

Now wait a minute...

Duane Gish:

Acceptable scientific theories...

Frank Zindler:

We can test hy... we can test hypotheses about the past and the future...

Duane Gish:

Wait a minute, wait a minute, now hold it, hold it, hold it! You were talking about science a minute ago, how, 'bout things operate. Now you, all of a sudden you're talking about the past.

Frank Zindler:

No, no, I'm saying that science can deal with the past just as well as the present.

Duane Gish:

No it can not... [30]

Frank Zindler:

Oh it certainly can, it...

Duane Gish:

No, it can not!

Frank Zindler:

It's a matter of hypothesis testing...

Duane Gish:

Oh, now wait a minute...

Frank Zindler:

Now Duane you've been away from science too long... you've forgotten what science is all about.

Duane Gish:

Oh, Frank...

Frank Zindler:

I just said it was hypothesis testing...

Duane Gish:

I study this stuff continuously, I read philosophers of science...

Frank Zindler:

Yeah.

Duane Gish:

... people who are in this business, who are evolutionists, and they'll say the same thing that I am saying.

Frank Zindler:

On the contrary!

Duane Gish:

I quoted Birch and Ehrlich, I quoted Green and Goldberger, they said the same thing. These theories of evolution [31 ] are outside of the limits in empirical science... they're not testable...

Frank Zindler:

Well, this is certainly, this is certainly a freakish interpretation of...

Duane Gish:

Science deals Frank... Now just a minute Frank. I let you...

Frank Zindler:

Yeah, well...

Duane Gish:

Frank? science, true... I do my science the way any other scientist does. I don't expect god to come down and do anything miraculous when I'm doing biochemistry. [32] Of course I don't. But, now that's trying to explain how things operate, things that now exist. Now when you go back into the past, thous... what you ble... millions and billions of years ago and suggest that your human brain with its twelve billion brain cells and 120 trillion connections eventually came from nothing but hydrogen gas, [33] I suggest that is not science, that is not a scientific theory, there is no way to test such an idea.

Frank Zindler:

Okay, yes there are, of course there are. You can test hypotheses about the past. Let's test, let's test an hypothesis that can be derived from creationism. Now creationists believe that the world was drowned, was destroyed by a flood, a world-wide flood just a few thousand years ago. Now that's something that supposedly happened in the past, but we certainly can test that today. We can go and look at the continents. We can see where the continents have been eroded. We know that falling water erodes. We can calculate how much water had to fall in the amount of time given to drown the whole world and drown it all the way up to the top of Mount Everest. We realize that wouldn't be rain, that would be hydraulic mining. And we wonder then, why isn't every river valley on the continent of North America the size of the Grand Canyon? Why are not all the sedimentary rocks distributed equally around the margins of every continent? We should have the continents completely denuded. You see, we can test these things. These hypotheses about the past are testable in the present. The only limitation is that the testing be in the present.

Duane Gish:

No, oh no Frank, first of all you're mixed up. No... anybody who b'lieves in the flood does not b'lieve that Mount Everest was here in the time of the flood. It's been uplifted thousands of feet, you don't have your facts correct. [34 ]

Frank Zindler:

Well you're at variance with some of your colleagues...

Duane Gish:

Just a minute now. When you talk about something testable... the rates of erosion would erode all of the continents down to the water line in no more than 16 million years. [35 ]

Frank Zindler:

That's right.

Duane Gish:

And yet we have formations on this continent alone that's [sic] supposed to be several billion years old. Now will you explain that?

Frank Zindler:

Well that's very simple, that's very simple, Dr. Gish. We have continental drift, we have plates colliding with each other...

Duane Gish:

Oh, continental drift did not uplift the Cambrian rocks that we have on the North American continent.

Frank Zindler:

Of course it did!

Duane Gish:

No it did not!

Frank Zindler:

We can measure continental drift. What do you think we went to the moon for? And we're still measuring it...

Duane Gish:

Oh, come on, Frank...

Frank Zindler:

... by means of the reflectors we put on the moon.

Duane Gish:

Well if you don't know better than that, you don't know your geology.

Frank Zindler:

Well Dr. Gish, you better study some geology here. My goodness! You're thirty years behind the times if you don't understand what continental drift is doing.

Duane Gish:

All right continental... I know what you're, what you're... continental drift is supposed to subduct the oceanic plates underneath the continents. It's not subducting continents underneath the oceanic plates... [36]

Frank Zindler:

Well now wait a minute...

Duane Gish:

We have Cambrian rocks right here in North America supposed to be several billion years old. [37] Don't tell me they've been produced...

Frank Zindler:

Well, I hope you didn't say Cambrian rocks.

Duane Gish:

Cambrian rocks is [sic]... many, many outcroppings of Cambrian rocks here in the United States.

Frank Zindler:

That's what I thought I heard you say. Okay, then you really are...

Duane Gish:

Six hundred million, supposedly six...

Frank Zindler:

Well you said several billion a minute ago. That's why I was wondering.

Duane Gish:

Well there are other rocks in Greenland...

Frank Zindler:

Oh yeah, uh-huh...

Duane Gish:

... that's [sic] supposed to be several billion years old.

Frank Zindler:

Yeah, but those are Precambrian, Dr. Gish.

Duane Gish:

Of course they're Precambrian.

Frank Zindler:

Yeah, but you said Cambrian rocks a couple billion years old, so lets get our geological column straight here.

Jim Bleikamp:

I want to ask Duane Gish a question here based on something I read in one of his writings. You made the statement that the brain contains twelve billion brain cells with 120 trillion connections and you go on to say "to believe that the brain could have evolved without any guiding intelligence requires more faith than it does to believe in a master designer." Now you may find some people to agree with you on that Duane Gish, but I can tell you, as someone who makes no pretensions at all about being a scientist or a geologist or any of what's been at issue here, that that is a subjective statement that you can't prove. I think a bright five year old child would know that.

Duane Gish:

Well you total up 120 trillion connections, realizing that in the nine months of development of the human brain, 25,000 brain cells are being reproduced each minute of that time and you total that up and you, you want to tell me that your human brain came eventually from hydrogen gas and more recently from some little microscopic single-celled soft-bodied organism over how many hundreds of millions of years. [38] If you want to b'lieve that, that's okay. But, you calculate the probability of that happening through random chance mutations which had to produce all the variability... [39]

Jim Bleikamp:

There's no way to eh... Frank, would you agree with me?

Frank Zindler:

I will, I'd say...

Jim Bleikamp:

There's no way to deduce the probability there.

Frank Zindler:

You see, the whole problem is he is saying that there is no scientific explanation to these things. He's saying only a magical solution is possible. Now one of the other things that Dr. Gish is required to believe without any contradiction from the evidence that he might someday find, is that humans and the apes were created separately, and that the humans and the apes are totally unrelated to each other. Now one of the problems, of course, that creation science, so-called, has, is to account for the fact that when you analyze the genome of the chimpanzee and that of the human being you find that the genes of chimps and humans are 99% identical. Now I know that Dr. Gish is fond of talking about clouds and watermelons being 99% water, but they aren't related. But, of course, he knows that a cloud is not 99% water, [40 ] and that what we're talking about is... the recipe [sic] for making a chimpanzee and a human being are 99% identical. We're not talking about the recipe to make a cloud or to make a watermelon. How do you account for this near identity of chimps and humans if they are not related?

Duane Gish:

The... it is said and I, I, I simply doubt that it's certainly rigidly true that chimpanzees and humans are 98.4% genetically similar.

Frank Zindler:

That's in the gorilla.

Duane Gish:

Now that has to be in the genes that governs the structural proteins, the enzymes and things like that, which would certainly not be a shocking surprise to a creationist. [41] After all apes and humans eat the same food, we have the same metabolic problem, we have to do all of these things. Why would not our biochemistry in that sense, be similar? [42 ] But now Frank, if you're trying to tell me and this audience that a chimpanzee and man are 98.4% similar, I will b'lieve that when you will allow your daughter to date a chimpanzee and so forth. And you know you wouldn't do that because there's a whale of a difference between a chimpanzee and a human.

Frank Zindler:

Ha, ha, ha. That's, that's a wonderful ad hominem. I've not heard that one before in all my years of debating. Duane, I'll give you the medal for that one.(laughter all around)

Duane Gish:

All right, now here's another thing. I have articles with me where molecular biologists are pointing out that contradictions between evolutionary phylogenetic trees based upon proteins and things like that, they are absolutely contradictory, they do not follow any... any evolutionary pattern at all. [43 ]

Frank Zindler:

Well, the entire, the overall pattern of molecular studies, Dr. Gish, you know perfectly well, shows a very close parallelism between the molecular evidence of homology and the comparative anatomical and fossil phylogenetic trees that have been drawn up. Now, one thing we better get back to the chimpanzee...

Duane Gish:

Now wait a minute Frank...

Frank Zindler:

Wait a minute, wait a minute! [hubbub]

Duane Gish:

I can contradict you... in an article just published in the... 1987... where the scientists, they have a ex... specific example, they studied mammalian phylogenetic trees based either on morphology or protein sequences, and this is what they say. This is published by Wyss, Novacek, and McKenna, [44 ] Molecular Biological Evolution, [sic] and that is 1987, they say this: "To a large extent, the mutual affinities of the mammalian orders continue to puzzle systemists [sic, Gish] even though comparative anatomy and amino acid sequences offer a massive data base from which these relationships could potentially be adduced." They go on to say, "Qualitative comparisons between the morphologically based and molecularly based trees are were [sic, Gish] also made; only moderate congruence between the two was observed."

Jim Bleikamp:

Okay, I want a brief response from Frank and then I'm going to go to some calls here. We're getting off here into some pretty highly technical...

Frank Zindler:

Yeah, I hope all the people out in listening land have memorized that. But I want to ask Dr. Gish, how come not only are the hemoglobins of chimpanzees and humans identical, but we share even pseudogenes. These are genes that are there in our DNA make-up, but the genes are non-functional. They can't do anything. How is it that we got the same useless genes from the creator that the chimpanzee did?

Duane Gish:

What is a pseudogene Frank? [45]

Frank Zindler:

A pseudogene is a stretch of DNA that codes for a protein, but it lacks one of the control regions, and therefore it can't be turned on to actually produce protein.

Duane Gish:

You're saying there's a section of gene that has no function?

Frank Zindler:

That's correct.

Duane Gish:

It's useless?

Frank Zindler:

That's right. It's identical...

Duane Gish:

And you say that these have been carried on in the chimpanzee and the human for millions of years.

Frank Zindler:

Yes...

Jim Bleikamp:

Quickly Duane, cause I want to get to some calls and we're getting...

Duane Gish:

That's nonsense! [46]

Frank Zindler:

It's in the literature!

Jim Bleikamp:

Okay, it's nonsense, but we're going to go to some calls here. Let's talk to Dave in Delaware... You're on WTVN.Dave in Delaware: Yeah, thanks. First I want to say, Dr. Gish I appreciate your steadfast pursuance of evolution being taught as fact in our schools. I think that kids are being duped by teachers that should be there to educate them and not to deceive them, um...

Jim Bleikamp:

I want to get a response to that from Frank Zindler.

Frank Zindler:

Well again, this is a very outrageous claim. Science teachers have to teach what there is evidence for. In the 70's there was a regulation here in Columbus that equal time had to be given for so-called "creation science" and evolution science in the public schools... here in Columbus. The public school teachers had a committee, they tried to put together a syllabus as to what they were going to teach for creationism. They could not come up with one fact that they could put into the syllabus to teach creationism. All they could find when they combed the vast creationist literature was stuff attacking evolution, and it was taken out of context... things made up, like when Dr. Gish said that the anthropologist Boule said that the Sinanthropus skulls were monkey-like... this kind of thing, and so they simply were stymied. They couldn't teach creationism. It was an absolute impossibility.

Jim Bleikamp:

Okay Dave, do you have a question?Dave from Delaware: Well, I just wanted to say that it's interesting with what desperation and great lengths man will go to to deny his responsibility to god, the same desperation that covered our trash here in Delaware... [47]

Jim Bleikamp:

Now, Frank the easy answer to that... Dave: (keeps talking, but unintelligibly)

Jim Bleikamp:

Dave, David!... The easy answer here, I think we can save some time is you're talking religion, Frank is talking science, and I'm going to move on here.

Duane Gish:

Let me, let me make one comment, Jim, on what Frank just said. If those people in Columbus had invited the Institute for Creation Research and our scientists to sit down with them, we could have provided them with a wealth of information.

Frank Zindler:

Well they looked through your literature, but they couldn't find... you've never published any of this, Dr. Gish.

Duane Gish:

No, do you know that's not true.

Frank Zindler:

Well, there is no positive evidence for creationism.

Duane Gish:

Now Frank, now Frank, you said that I had distorted science or quoted out of context when I said the Australopithecine skulls were ape-like... [48]

Frank Zindler:

No, no, no, Sinanthropus...

Duane Gish:

What?

Frank Zindler:

Sinanthropus, not Australopithecus.

Duane Gish:

That was a statement by ah, what's his name? The, ah, ah... the fellow in France. [49]

Frank Zindler:

Yes.

Duane Gish:

A well known ah...

Frank Zindler:

Right.

Duane Gish:

... ah, evolutionary paleontologist.who made that statement.

Frank Zindler:

But it wasn't there in the original French, Dr. Gish.

Duane Gish:

He said if you looked at the skull, for example Java man was the same as Sinanthropus... said if you looked at that skull you would say ape, if you looked at the...

Frank Zindler:

Whoa, whoa.

Duane Gish:

... femur you would say human.

Frank Zindler:

Wait a minute, you're shifting ground again here. What you wrote in The Fossil's Say No was that Boule called these skulls monkey-like. I wrote about this in an American Atheist article. [50] It's interesting, in later editions of your book, you deleted that passage.

Duane Gish:

I deleted because I quoted a secondary source... [51 ]

Frank Zindler:

I know.

Duane Gish:

... I have not been able to locate the French, but I do know, I do know, what Boule said about Java man, which is equivalent, and you know it's equivalent, to Sinanthropus. They're now in the same species.

Frank Zindler:

Sure.

Duane Gish:

He said that skull, if you look at the skull you would say ape. Now that's what he said. [52]

Frank Zindler:

But, he knew that it was a larger brain capacity. [53 ]

Duane Gish:

(unintelligible)

Jim Bleikamp:

I gotta take a break Duane, I'm overdue for a break.[Commercial]

Jim Bleikamp:

At this point time is starting to become a factor so I'm going to plead with everybody - callers, guests alike - to be as brief as possible. And we go to Art in Bexley. You're on WTVN.Art: Yes, I'd like to know how old Dr. Gish feels the world and the universe are?

Duane Gish:

I have an opinion on that. I want to say first of all, that the time question is irrelevant to the how question. [54 ] There are creation scientists and conservative Christian theologians who accept a very old age for the earth. [55 ] There are many who do not accept that. Now personally, I believe there is much evidence to indicate things are much, much younger than the billions of years suggested by... Art: How old do you think they are?

Duane Gish:

The evolutionists... and commonly suggested... based upon the upper limits established in certain processes is around ten thousand years, plus or minus. Now, let me emphasize immediately, I would not base my case for creation on that or any other particular age for the earth. [56] What we are pleading is that all of the evidence related to the question of the age of the earth... the many processes that indicate that things are young, the processes that indicate things could be old, that all this evidence be objectively and carefully evaluated...

Jim Bleikamp:

Okay Duane, caller, caller, Art go ahead.

Duane Gish:

Excuse me.Art: And if... How would you care to objectively evaluate the fact that we can see light from stars that are more than ten thousand light years away from us. Doesn't that kind of blow your...

Duane Gish:

Well if a star is say a million light years away, and we have a pretty good idea that it is, it would obviously, at the rate of 186,000 miles per second, take a million years to get here, there's no question about that. But if the universe, on the other hand, was supernaturally created, you see, that light did not necessarily start from the star. Now in our particular model... Art: How? How can light not start from a star?

Duane Gish:

Because, if god created the earth, and he created the stars, and if he, as he said in the scri... in the Bible, [57 ] that he created stars to be for signs and seasons on the earth, obviously he'd have to make them visible immediately.

Jim Bleikamp:

Okay, okay, I want to give Frank a shot.(Gish keeps blathering on for several seconds in the background, behind Bleikamp, but his words cannot be retrieved from the tape.)

Jim Bleikamp:

Art, I'm gonna give Frank a shot... Duane, I'm calling on Frank. I said Frank, not Duane. Frank, go ahead.

Frank Zindler:

We can see here that Dr. Gish can only make theological statements. He's not saying anything that remotely looks like science. What he is showing is once again, that creationism is a game without rules. What he is just saying is that if anything out there, whether it's the stars or the Green River shale with six million varves that look like they took six million years to form... if you come up with anything like that, it's just because god zapped it that way. The universe is here with a false appearance of age even though he knows by revelation it was zapped here in 4004 B.C. [58]

Duane Gish:

We don't say that at all, no.

Jim Bleikamp:

Art, thanks for the call, I've gotta keep this thing moving. We're short of time... Final short break of the hour and then we'll return for more of your phone calls... and we hit Neil on the campus of OSU, you're on WTVN.Neil: Yes thank you, I had a quick question for Dr. Gish. I have two questions, the first one is...

Jim Bleikamp:

One question, 'cause we're very low on time.Neil: Okay, um... Does Mr. Gish believe in Noah's ark? And if he does, I've heard that there's over 100,000 species of beetles, you know, thousands of birds, and you know, dinosaurs. [59] Were these all on Noah's ark?

Duane Gish:

Well, if you want to bring up the biblical material, which we've not been discussing tonight... What the Bible tells us, that two of every land-dwelling, air-breathing creature had to go on the ark, which was about 20,000 species now existing, another, say 20,000 have become extinct, that'd be about 40,000 species. [60] Which would't be no [sic.] problem at all. So, no you didn't have to... you could not put millions of species on the space... that the Bible describes as available on the ark. But the land-dwelling, air-breathing creatures, there'll be no problem.

Jim Bleikamp:

Okay, Frank Zindler.

Frank Zindler:

Yeah, of course Dr. Gish neatly evades the point that the ark would have to contain aquaria with all the salt-water fishes and all the fresh-water fishes, all the aquatic invertebrate...

Duane Gish:

Oh no! Oh, that's nonsense! [Gish laughs]

Frank Zindler:

Because they could not have possibly... well you need to study a little biology Dr. Gish.

Duane Gish:

Heh, heh, you're making a caricature of it, heh, heh.

Frank Zindler:

Well, no, it's...

Duane Gish:

Heh, heh, you're making a caricature.

Frank Zindler:

No, I'm just accurately describing it...

Duane Gish:

Heh, heh, that's the favorite tactic of Atheists.

Frank Zindler:

Yeah, you have to, you have to have salt-water fish in salt water and fresh-water fish in fresh water. There're only a few species that can do both. You know that perfectly well. [61 ] The ark would have sunk from the water in it.

Jim Bleikamp:

I must say, on that somewhat light hearted note there, and I'm glad we had one...

Frank Zindler:

I still want to find out why he's got nipples!

Jim Bleikamp:

We're closing out here because we are out of time. Duane Gish thanks for joining us.

Duane Gish:

My pleasure

Jim Bleikamp:

From Southern California. It's been a most informative and, I might say, entertaining hour. Duane Gish from the Institute for Creation Research and Frank Zindler the local Atheist.


[1] This was a very revealing slip of the tongue. Gish clearly started to say "Bible-believing Christian," but dropped the Bible-believing part in order to further the illusion that he was on the phone to argue science. He r ealizes how impossible it is to defend the Bible and how easy it is to give the appearance of defending something called "creation science" - provided he carefully avoids defining it. In fact, even when - later on - Jim draws attention to the problem of defining the term 'creation science,' Gish never all ows the term to be pinned down.

[2] This claim is too reasonable to be honest when spoken by Duane Gish. According to the statement of "ICR Educational Philosophy" given on page 12 of the 1985-1987 edition of the ICR Catalog (See Appendix A at the end of this transcript for full text of statement), "... the administration and faculty of ICR are committed to the tenets of both scientific creationism and Biblical creationism... it is the position of the Institute that the two are compatible and that all genuine facts of science support the Bible." Despite Gish's claim during the debate, he was obliged to defend the tenet of biblical creationism that "All things in the universe were created and made by God in the six literal days of the creation week described in Genesis 1:1-2:3, and confirmed in Exodus 20:8-11." (See Append ix A for full text of the tenets of 'scientific' and biblical creationism) Understandably, Gish did not wish to try to defend such preposterosity on the radio!

[3] While absolute proof of this would be theoretically impossible in the trivial sense that all scientific evidence results in less than absolute proof, he certainly could defend the proposition - if in fact there were any evidence at all with which to do so!

[4] Had I had the opportunity, I would have pointed out that this would not prove the ICR's brand of creationism. There are hundreds of other creation myths that would still be left "in the running" if it could by demonstrated t hat "life could not have arisen spontaneously on this planet." Gish would still have to face the daunting task of showing that the Yahweh (Jehovah) hypothesis is more "reasonable" than the Old-Man-Coyote hypothesis, the cosmic-egg hypo thesis, etc. Disproof of evolutionary science does not constitute proof of the ICR mythology.

[5] Gish is correct in this statement, but he is wrong in concluding that this is somehow outside the purview of science. The entirety of atomic theory is based on "inferences based upon circumstantial evidence" - even though th e atoms being studied are presumed to exist in the present!

[6] While Gish is correct on the god part of this sentence, he is not entirely accurate about the evolution part. In a very real sense, we do see evolution from fish to amphibian when we watch the metamorphosis of tadpoles into frogs. Moreover, ingenious experiments have been done in embryology which make possible the replication of various ancestral conditions. For example, we know t hat Archaeopteryx, the connecting link between dinosaurs and birds, had teeth; all modern birds do not. Nevertheless, a now classical experiment performed by E.J. Kollar and C. Fisher ["Tooth induction in chick epithelium: Expression of quiescent genes for enamel synthesis," Science 207:993-995, 1980] showed that modern birds still retain the ability to form teeth. Kollar and Fisher were able to discover the developmental genetic mechanism for the evolutionary change from toothed to toothless birds. Even more dr amatic experiments were performed in 1959 and 1960 by Armand Hampé ["Contribution à l'étude du développement et de la régulation des déficiences et de excédents dans la patte de l'embryon de poulet,&qu ot; Arch. D'Anat. Microscop. Morphol. Exp. Suppl. 48:347-478; and "Le compétition entre les éléments osseux du zeugopode de poulet," J. Embryol. Exp. Morphol. 8:241-245] who showed that the genes that shaped the lower leg and ankle of Archaeopteryx are still present in chickens and that under the right conditions, the living leg of Archaeopteryx can be studied in the present. The science of experimental biology can study the evolutionary past in a non-trivial manner. [For a clear explanation of the work of Hampé and other experimental reconstructors of the developmental course of evolution, readers are urged to consult Embryos, Genes, and Evolution: The Developmental-Genetic Basis of Evolutionary Change , by Rudolf A. Raff and Thomas C. Kaufman, Macmillan, 1983.]

[7] I had anticipated that Gish would begin with his ploy seeking to relegate both evolutionary science and creationism to an infra-scientific status. Since the debate was on the status of creationism and not evolution, and since Gish onl y has one debate strategy that he is capable of carrying out effectively (attacking evolution), I was counting on him to give away his position without realizing it. I was not disappointed in my expectation. He played right into my hands.

[8] This is beside the point. Gish had to promise that he would not change his mind, no matter what evidence should turn up. No real scientist ever does such a thing. Gish's procedure is a reversal of the scientific method.

[9] The statement which follows most certainly is not "in relation to what Frank is saying." It was a bald attempt to turn the debate around, to get Gish off the defense and make me defend evolution. Of course, I refused to let him get away with it.

[10] Although Gish generally rejects relativity theories and relativistic ideas in general, he has a refreshingly relativistic approach to geography here, where he refers to L.C. Birch being "up" at Sydney. At the time the pape r referred to was published, Birch was "up" at Sydney, Australia. This citation was not an attempt to supply facts to support creationism, but rather it was an exercise of the "appeal-to-authority" fallacy of informal logic. Most creationist arguments are extended appeals to authority and are, therefore, falla cious. When real scientists cite other scientists, however, it is not to appeal to their authority, but rather to identify the source of facts that they did not discover themselves but wish to employ in their argument.

[11] "Evolutionary History and Population Biology," by L.C. Birch and P.R. Ehrlich, Nature, 214, April 22, 1967, pp. 349-352. This long-forgotten article deals with a professional quarrel among population ecologists. Birch and Ehrlich were criticizing some of their colleagues for getting the cart before the horse, for using evolutionary hypotheses to explain present-day ecological situations rather than directly investigating present-day situations in order to construct evolutionary hypotheses:

"The data for the contemporary investigation of ecology and taxonomy are the distribution, numbers and variation of existing organisms in their present environments. When this ecology and taxonomy is understood we may, in some cases, be in a position to make reasonable guesses about phylogenetic origins. On the other hand, to reverse the process and attempt to investigate ecology and taxonomy through a series of inferences about the past is to base these sciences on non-falsifiable hypotheses."

Certainly, Birch and Ehrlich were not claiming that there were no testable evolutionary propositions at all! They were merely bemoaning the fact that evolutionary propositions which happened not to be testable were being used by their colleagues. Significantly, Gish did not mention the conclusion of the article, which begins with the statement, "The cure seems to us not to be a discarding of the modern synthesis of evolutionary theory, but more skepticism about many of its tenets. In population biology, more work is needed in elucidating the general properties of populations, both those made up of one species of organism, and those made up of two or more species, without reference to dogmas or guesses about how they may have evolved." Birch and Ehrlich then list seven types of studies which should be done, and end with the statement: "Then we can see how the answers fit into the modern synthesis" [of evolutionary theory].

It is always interesting to determine what creationists leave out of their quotations. The first sentence quoted by Gish - and I'll bet a dollar to a doughnut the full sentence was on the card from which Gish read during the broadcast - actually read, "Our theory of evolution has become, as Popper (19) described, one which cannot be refuted by any possible observations." The reference number refers to a 1963 work by Karl R. Popper, the famous philosopher of science. In several of Popper's early works the claim was indeed made that evolutionary theory was "unfalsifiable" - i.e., untestable. [Although Birch and Ehrlich cite Popper, I am quite certain that they did not "go all the way" with him; he was a useful stick with which to beat their opponents in the dispute.] Up until the early 1980's, Gish and other creationists regularly followed the lead of New York creationist Luther Sunderland, who regularly appealed to the authority of Popper, in their debates with scientists.

In one of my debates with Sunderland in 1981 or 1982, he tried to pull the Popper trick on me also. Fortunately, I was armed with later works of Popper, especially his book Objective Knowledge: An Evolutionary Approach [Oxford, 1972]. In that work, Popper had completely rejected his former, erroneous view of evolutionary theory and had based his entire system of epistemology (theory of knowledge) on evolutionary principles! On page 241 of that book, Popper wrote:

"I offer my general theory with many apologies. It has taken me a long time to think it out fully, and to make it clear to myself... This is partly due to the fact that it is an evolutionary theory... I blush when I have to make this confession; for when I was younger I used to say very contemptuous things about evolutionary philosophies. When twenty-two years ago Canon Charles E. Raven, in his Science, Religion and the Future, described the Darwinian controversy as 'a storm in a Victorian teacup', I agreed, but criticized him for paying too much attention 'to the vapours still emerging from the cup', by which I meant the hot air of the e volutionary philosophies (especially those which told us that there were inexorable laws of evolution). But now I have to confess that this cup of tea has become, after all, my cup of tea; and with it I have to eat humble pie." [Italics in original] My turning the tables on Sunderland was devastating, and word quickly spread among the major performers on the creation-evolution circuit that it might not be a good idea to bring up the name of Popper. Gish was being very careful when he read from his debate card on the evening of January 11, 1990!

[F12] When Gish and other creationists quote authorities and fail to give a date, it is all but certain that the quote is very old and - if not taken out of context or deliberately misrepresented - probably woefully out of date. Scientis ts debating creationists should always ask for dates of citations, so that outrageously out-of-date sources can be immediately seen for what they are. (A creationist I once debated on a radio station in Newburgh, New York, cited the authority of "a famous glacial geologist" as evidence against my thesis. I had never heard of the guy in my life and simply had to go on with other matters. A week of library searching after the debate resulted in the discovery that the famous geologist had published most of his books before Darwin published On The Origin Of Species!)

In the present case, readers can see that I failed to ask for dates again. Several hours of computer searching of the catalogue of The Ohio State University library after the debate yielded the source of Gish's citation: Molecular Insights Into The Living Process, by David E. Green and Robert F. Goldberger, NY, Academic Press, 1967. The debate took place, it will be noted, in 1990 - when twenty-three years' worth of experimental studies of the origin of life had already been piled upon the "insights" of the book cited! Since the publication of the book cited, s cientific knowledge has undergone more than two doublings, and entire journals - such as Origins of Life - have appeared which are devoted almost completely to experimental studies on the origin of life.

As usual, Gish commits the appeal-to-authority fallacy, making no attempt to justify with logical argument his claim that "evolution" (not just origin-of-life studies) is "untestable." At best, Gish's conclusion is a non-sequitur: even if it were a fact that origin-of-life hypotheses were untestable, it would have no bearing on the question of whether or not life, once begun, had evolved. The chemical basis for evolutionary change is well understood (changes in nucleotide sequences of DNA and RNA genomes), and natural selection has been demonstrated experimentally to be a real phenomenon. In addition to this, there is the point (that I note in my reply) that Gish's quote is irrelevant. Once again, he has wandered off into the wrong debate, forgetting that he was supposed to be giving evidence supporting the thesis that creationism was science.

Even though the view of Green and Goldberger concerning the macromolecule-to-cell transition in evolution is now greatly out of date, their view was not as totally hostile as Gish's quote would lead one to suppose. In fact, they very clearly contradict Gish's conclusion that evolution per se is untestable. The quotation used by Gish is taken from a paragraph associated with a schematic diagram on page 406 showing the increasing orders of evolutionary complexity (atoms --> simple molecules --> macromolecules --> cells --> individuals --> populations --> species, communities --> ecosystems). Concerning this diagram, the authors note:

"Although seven steps are shown, leading from atoms to ecosystems, there is one step that far outweighs the others in enormity: the step from macromolecules to cells. All the other steps can be accounted for on theoretical grounds [emphasis added] - if not correctly, at least elegantly. However the macromolecule-to-cell transition is a jump of fantastic dimensions, which lies beyond the range of testable hypothesis. In this area all is conjecture. The available facts do not provide a basis for postulating that cells arose on this planet. This is not to say that some paraphysical forces were at work. We simply wish to point out the fact that there is no scientific evidence. The physicist has learned to avoid trying to spe cify when time began and when matter was created, except within the framework of frank speculation. The origin of the precursor cell appears to fall into the same category of unknowables. It is an area with fascinating conceptual challenges, but at the present time, and perhaps forever, the facts cannot be known."

Thus, even though Gish had to go back to ancient history to find a quote against evolution (instead of one in support of creationism), he could only find a quote which dealt with a different issue and wasn't as negative as he made it appear!

[13] What Gish is referring to here is the so-called "Cambrian explosion" problem. While space does not allow a full discussion of this yet-incompletely resolved problem, we may note that it involves the rapid appearance of all the known phyla of animals (but not plants!) within the space of the Cambrian period, a period which lasted 65 million years. Contrary to Gish's assertion that these fossils have no ancestors in the Precambrian era is the conclusion of S. Conway Morris [ "Burgess Shale Faunas and the Cambrian Explosion," Science, 246: 20 October 1989, pp. 339-346]:

"Soft-bodied marine faunas from the Lower and Middle Cambrian, exemplified by the Burgess Shale of British Columbia, are a key component in understanding the major adaptive radiations at the beginning of the Phanerozoic ("Cambrian explosion" ;). These faunas have a widespread distribution, and many taxa have pronounced longevity. Among the components appear to be survivors of the preceding Ediacaran [ late Precambrian] assemblages and a suite of bizarre forms that give unexpected insights into morphological diversification. Microevolutionary processes, however, seem adequate to account for this radiation, and the macroevolutionary patterns that set the seal on Phanerozoic life are contingent on random extinctions."

A fuller but (to me) slightly less satisfactory account of the Cambrian explosion is given by Stephen Jay Gould in his book Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History, W.W. Norton, NY, 1989.

[14] The scientific question is, "Is the biblical account of origins true?" Once again, Gish tries to fool his listeners into thinking that he has something besides the Bible to defend.

[15] Gish has trimmed his sails a lot here. He used to claim that there were no connecting links between anything! Now he wisely limits his critique to calling for connections between phyla or even kingdoms. Since the connecting links b etween such high-level taxa lived during Precambrian or early Cambrian times, and since almost no fossils of any kind have survived from the Precambrian, Gish is not likely to be surprised by fossils completely filling his bill within the near future. Sin ce the ancestors of the vertebrates were almost certainly soft-bodied creatures such as the cephalochordates, urochordates, and hemichordates, and since soft-bodied animals are rarely fossilized, it has been difficult to document vertebrate origins with fossils, even though subsequent vertebrate evolution, during the last 500 million years, is beautifully documented in the record of the rocks. Nevertheless, there are some fossil deposits, such as the Burgess Shale of Middle Cambrian age, which have preserved the soft parts of ancient ani mals and allow an incredibly detailed view of the fauna of that time. Among the Burgess fossils is a creature which has been given the name Pikaia gracilens; it is now known that Pikaia was a cephalochordate, and thus a reasonable candidate for the position of vertebrate ancestor. It was at the general anatomical level of Amphioxus, a living prevertebrate chordate which numerous studies have indicated must be quite similar to the ancestral form from which the vertebrates sprang. Amphioxus, in turn, is very similar to the ammocoetes larva of the lamprey, the most primitive living vertebrate.

As Gish is pressed to make increasingly unreasonable demands upon the fossil record, we see with ever greater clarity that his god rules only in the regions of the scientifically unknown. As the unknown progressively and inexorably becomes known, the space in which Gish's god can operate becomes ever smaller.

[16] While Gish's claim is only an outrageous distortion of the facts for the earliest stages of fish evolution - the first sixty million years of which are represented only by tantalizing remains of scattered scales and fragments of der mal armor - it is utterly false from the Upper Devonian period on (from about 380 million years ago to the present). The earliest gnathostomes (vertebrates with jaws) were the acanthodians, fishes resembling both the later Chondrichthyes (sharks, skates, rays, and chimaeras) and Osteichthyes (bony fishes) and representing not implausible ancestors for both groups. The earliest known bony fishes were the paleoniscoids, an example of which was Cheirolepis - a reasonable ancestor for the Actinopterygii (the ray-finned fishes). Not only did the paleoniscoids give rise to the rest of the Chondrostei (the most primitive of the ray-finned fishes, having incompletely ossified skeletons) such as the sturgeons, paddlefishes, and the rare Polypterus of Africa, advanced paleoniscoids during the Triassic period (245-208 million years ago) gave rise to the next higher infraclass of bony fishes, the Holostei (of which the gars and bowfins still survive). According to Edwin H. Colbert [Evolution of the Vertebrates: A History of the Backboned Animals Through Time, Third Edition, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1980, p. 55], "These fishes, of which Redfieldia is a typical example, were abundant in Triassic fish faunas, and they can be regarded as intermediate between the chondrosteans and the next higher group of fishes, the holosteans."

With regard to the origin of the Teleostei, the highest infraclass of ray-finned bony fishes, Colbert tells us [page 56] that "The first teleosts are represented by the genus Leptolepis, appearing definitely in Jurassic times. This generalized teleost makes a very good intermediate between the holostean fishes and the teleosts, so nice an intermediate form in fact that it has been variously placed by different authoriti es in both these large categories."

[17] Even if it were true that there were no fossils precisely linking the groups of fishes, the fossil record still demands evolution due to the fact that the sequence with which vertebrates appear in the rock record demands an evolutionary explanation. Although it is compatible with the hypothesis of a large series of special creations, it is absolutely incompatible with the nearly simultaneous creations given in Genesis chapter one. Thus, the fish-like cephalochordates are older than the first jawless fish which, in turn, are older than the first fish with jaws (the placoderms). The modern classes of fishes (the cartilaginous and boney fishes) are later still, and they are followed by amphibians, then reptiles, and (belatedly) mammals and birds. Each of the classes listed between the jawless fishes and the mammals is structurally intermediate between that which came before and that which followed - a beautiful support for the evolutionary hypothesis.

[18] I was determined not to allow Gish to draw me into defending evolution and I wanted to keep the pressure on him to give evidence for creationism. Therefore, I did not give any explanation of the Cambrian explosion, etc. Some have criticized me for not doing so, but I still think the best strategy was the one I followed: holding Gish to the defense of creationism. I should ha ve said something like, "We can debate the evolution of jawless fishes some other time; today we are debating the nature of creationism."

[19] Specifically, it wipes out Gish's view!

[20] Birds do not appear in the fossil record until the later part of the Jurassic period. (The Jurassic lasted from 208 to 144 million years ago.) Reptiles, however, appear in the fossil record at least as far back as the Upper Carbonif erous (Pennsylvanian) period (320-286 million years ago), and probably evolved in the Lower Carboniferous (Mississippian) period (360-320 million years ago). Thus, reptiles had been around for at least 150 million years before the first bird appeared "in the firmament of the heavens." This would seem to make Gish's definition of the term 'contemporary' a bit loose and imprecise.

[21] If the world about us is so complex and wonderful that it had to have a creator, then surely a being capable of creating it would be even more complex and wonderful - and even more in need of its own creator!

[22] Such perspicacity is rare in talk-show hosts. Bleikamp saw through all of Gish's posturings and evasions with ease.

[23] Not at all, given the way in which the fossils actually straggle into the rock record over the course of billions of years!

[24] I have been unable to locate any source for this claim. A reading of Sir Fred's book Lifecloud: The Origin Of Life In The Universe, which he coauthored with Chandra Wickramasinghe [Harper & Row, 1978], uncovers a rather different point of view. According to the dust-jacket of the book,

"Until recently astronomers thought that life evolved from inorganic matter in a primeval soup on the surface of our planet. This picture is now dramatically shattered. Sir Fred Hoyle and Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe introduce a revolutionary new theory that life originated in the space between the stars.

"The basic chemicals of life have long existed on an astronomical scale in distant interstellar dust clouds, even after the early high-temperature phase of the solar nebula. These biochemicals, the very building-blocks of life, were assembled into pr imitive life forms on comet-sized planetesimal bodies that must have existed over the first few hundred million years in the history of the solar system. When these bodies struck our planet some four billion or so years ago, the Earth received all its com paratively volatile materials - the atmosphere and oceans - and was given life itself, which was showered upon the terrestrial surface in the form of living cells."

As for calculations, on page 145 we are told that "Of the two hundred billion or so stars in our galaxy, about eighty per cent fail to meet the conditions discussed above as being necessary for life. The remaining twenty per cent are not in multiple star systems and have masses in the appropriate range, three-quarters to one and a half times the mass of the Sun. The grand total of planetary systems in the galaxy capable of supporting life is therefore close to forty billion. " [Emphasis mine] On page 148 we are told that "With a billion or so galaxies similar to our own in the observable universe, there would still be a staggering billion billion or so habitable planets in the observable universe."

If any one else debating Gish is hit with this argument, he or she should demand the precise source of the information, something I neglected to do. (I have written to Sir Fred about these quotes, but I have received no reply as we go to press.)

[25] This appeal to the supernatural places 'creation science' out of the realm of science, making the term an oxymoron.

[26] A moment ago, Gish had Sir Fred declare "There must be a god." That sounds like a religious profession to me.

[27] I am indebted to science-writer Robert Schadewald for his clear enunciation of this principle. It is a point that should be driven home by all who debate creationists.

[28] As fundamentalist Christians, creationists cannot accept the notion that their god would have created useless organs. It is quite clear that the mammary glands and nipples of male mammals (including male creationists) are quite devo id of nutritive function. Certainly, an omnipotent divinity could have created completely bare-chested men! While it is true that the nipples serve as erogenous zones in a certain percentage of human males, it nevertheless remains a fact that they are utterly (udderly?) devoid of function in the remainder of mammalian males.

While the final scientific answer is not yet in as to why males have nipples, the broad outline of an answer is clear. Mammary glands themselves are modified sweat-glands, glands which served in our mammal-like reptile ancestors or their protomammalian de scendants as adjuncts in maintenance of body temperature and in maintaining the hydration state of tiny young being brooded in dry nests. We do not yet know if male protomammals also gave milk (as do male pigeons, which produce 'pigeon milk' just as do th e females) but lost the ability later in the course of evolution, or whether the gene mutations that led to the development of mammary glands were able to function - from the very beginning - only in a physiological environment rich in female hormones. Fo r what it is worth, the mammary glands of the egg-laying monotremes (the platypuses and echidnas) do not have nipples, the milk being exuded at the base of special hairs, then to be lapped up by the nursing young. For an account of the developmental genet ics involved in the evolution of milk and mammary glands, readers may consult pages 350-355 of Embryos, Genes, and Evolution, by Rudolf Raff and Thomas Kaufman (Macmillan, New York, 1983).

[29] The evidence from biogeography constitutes "powerful evidence" - to use Gish's pet phrase - that the biblical account of Noah's flood is false and that evolution has occurred. How could an entire fauna of marsupials - and only marsupials - get from Mt. Ararat in Turkey to Australia, without remaining anywhere in between? Why are the freshwater fishes of Africa completely different from those of South America? Readers wishing to explore further the problems posed for creati onism by biogeography are invited to request a copy of my article "The Kiwi Question," which appeared in the May, 1988, issue of The American Atheist, and can be obtained by writing to American Atheists, P.O. Box 8457, Columbus, OH 43201.

[30] For a common-sense rebuttal to this absurd claim, see Thomas Henry Huxley's "On The Method Of Zadig," reprinted as Appendix B at the end of this transcript.

[31] As is the case with creationists generally, Gish fails to distinguish between the so-called 'General Theory of Evolution' - the proposition that evolution has in fact occurred - and the various 'Special Theories of Evolution' which posit mechanisms (such as natural selection or genetic drift) for evolutionary change. The authors cited never claimed that the general theory of evolution was untestable; their objections were aimed at particular special theories, some of which had been so badly formulated that they were untestable. Special theories such as natural selection and genetic drift are, however, quite testable and have in fact been tested. [See, for example, the work of H.B.D. Kettlewell on natural selection in the peppered m oth: "The phenomenon of industrial melanism in Lepidoptera," Ann. Rev. Entomol. 6:245-262 (1961)]

[32] This is a moot point, since Gish hasn't done any biochemistry since he joined the ICR! According to the investigating committee sent by the State of California to evaluate ICR's "graduate school,"

"The Institute for Creation Research, by its very name, implies that it is the site of original scientific research, yet not one of the resident faculty members can be said to have an active, ongoing research program. In fact, those faculty who did h ave research programs prior to arrival at ICR seem to have dropped out of research entirely since their arrival." [page 21 of Report of Visitation of the Institute For Creation Research, August 7, 8, 9, 10, 1989, California State Department of Education, Private Postsecondary Education Division, January 12, 1990.] For a more detailed exposé of the ICR, readers may request a copy of my article "Reversing Science," which appeared in the April, 1990, issue of The American Atheist. Reprints can be obtained from American Atheists, P.O. Box 8457, Columbus, OH 43201.

[33] Gish may have misled many listeners here into thinking that evolutionists claim that hydrogen gas came together to form the human brain! (I have actually encountered one of Gish's disciples in Columbus, Ohio, who believed exactly th at.) Of course, he is confusing cosmological evolution with biological evolution. During the cosmological stages of evolution, hydrogen atoms were transmuted, by nuclear physical principles well understood, into all the known naturally occurring elements by the nuclear fires of stars and novae. Given the needed elements, after the formation of suitable planets, life was able to develop. Ultimately, animals with nervous systems - some even with brains - evolved. As for the trillions of connections, these r esult from the operation of rather basic principles of chemistry and electrophysiology. Only a part of the brain's connectivity is genetically (i.e., evolutionarily) determined. A major part results from environmental stimuli acting upon "uncommitted " neurons in the brain. The principles governing the development of connections are testable, and numerous laboratories are actively pursuing their discovery.

[34] Of course Mt. Everest has been uplifted thousands of feet - 29,000 feet, in fact! According to Gish's account, however, Mt. Everest rose after Noah's flood (2348 B.C.E, according to the standard biblical chronology). To hear Gish tell it, the rise of Mt. Everest must have been so sudden and recent that the ancients probably wouldn't have had to climb the mountain, they could have just ridden it!

Of course, so rapid a rise of a five-mile-high mountain would leave unmistakable geological traces, and the facts of science - although quite astonishing - give the lie to Gish's claims. The fastest growing parts of the Himalayas are rising at a rate of a bout one centimeter (less than half an inch) per year. Even if there had been no erosion, it would have taken nearly 900,000 years for Mt. Everest to have come to its current height. Like the rest of the Himalayas, Mt. Everest began to form approximately 45 million years ago, when the Indian continental plate first began to collide with the Eurasian plate. We know that the Himalayas have been very high for a long time (in human, not geological, terms), however, because of the high elevations of the hills which have been formed by deposition of sand and gravel eroded from the mountains over the course of millions of years. Some of these hills, such as the Siwalik Range, rise as much as four-fifths of a mile above the plane of the Ganges. In their strata it is possible to trace much of the evolution of the primates. It is one of the ironies of scientific history that one of these primate fossil-bearing strata long ago was named the Gish Formation - by scientists who, I am sure, had something other than Du ane in mind!

A fine explanation of the evolution of the Himalayas, written by Natalie Angier, appeared in The New York Times on Tuesday, October 9, 1990 [pages B5 and B8].

Getting back to Gish and Noah's flood, even if Mt. Everest were not its present height in diluvian times, there is the problem of "Mt. Ararat." It is 17,000 feet high and would also require one hell of a lot of rain to be submerged (raising the question of where all that water could have gone after the flood, since the earth is a sphere and not a table-top!). It had to have been at least at its current height, since it is a volcano and could not have erupted (or grown) after the flood without destroying the ark which ICR "arkeologists" claim is still up on the mountain.

[35] This is hardly evidence for creationism. Sixteen million years would be considerably more than the few thousand years allowed by the Genesis chronicle. Gish certainly has read of the various factors, such as isostatic rebound and compressional folding, which can counteract erosional leveling. Why Gish continues to use this argument is a puzzle. Is it due to a poor memory? Dishonesty? (Isostatic rebound can be thought of as a sort of iceberg phenomenon. Just as parts of an ice berg previously under water rise to take the place of icy peaks melting in the sun, so too the continental plates, which are made of rock lighter than that comprising the earth's mantle, are buoyed up as erosion removes material from their surfaces.)

[36] Although this sounds sort of scientific, just what it has to do with the uplift of the Cambrian rocks is anybody's guess! Cambrian (and other) rocks can be uplifted when two continental plates collide (as with the Himalayas), when continental plates pass over mantle plumes (as is probably the case at Yellowstone Park), and even when oceanic plates plunge beneath continental plates (as with the Andes).

[37] Gish's befuddlement on the Cambrian-Precambrian distinction was quite delightful. I doubt he ever became conscious of the exact nature of his problem. The Cambrian period extended from 570 to 505 million years ago; the Precambrian e xtended from 570 million years ago back to the beginning of the earth - approximately 4.5 billion years ago.

[38] Gish finds it impossible to believe (rather, "b'lieve") that the physicochemical principles determining the connectivity of the human brain could have come about over hundreds of millions of years from smaller brains, but has no trouble in accepting their derivation from a single cell in nine months!

[39] As usual, Gish misrepresents the role of "chance" in evolution. While it is true that the chances of the human brain coming together all at once, in a single deal of the genetic deck, is infinitesimally small, Gish ignores the fact that th e brain actually resulted from the slow accumulation of useful changes. Just as the chances of being dealt a "perfect hand" at bridge are very slim, achieving a perfect hand is no problem at all if one is allowed to keep all the spades from a gi ven deal, return the rest of the cards to the dealer, take part in a second deal, keep the new spades, etc. The importance of the principle of Natural Selection is that it is able to take random inputs (mutational changes in DNA molecules and chromosomal rearrangements) and convert them into organismal adaptations that look very much like intelligent designs - if one doesn't look too deeply.

[40] After the debate, a friend of mine named Douglas Campbell wrote to me to explain cloud composition: "Dear Frank,

"At 40 degrees Celsius and standard pressure (101.325 kPa), the humidity ratio (by mass) of saturated air is 0.0491. This is, of course, heavily dependent on temperature and pressure. Thus, a stable or building cloud at sea level and 40° C will be <5% water. (Less at lower temperatures, and not applicable at all to t dissipating cloud bearing any variety of liquid or solid water.)

"Half of the atmosphere lies below 6000 meters (18,000 feet), so a cloud at 6000 m (the 50 kPa altitude) and 40° C would be 10% water (same vapor pressure due to the same temperature; half the total pressure; twice the partial pressure ratio). But it isn't likely to be that warm that high. More likely at that altitude would be 4° C and 1% water. [Reference: The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers Handbook of Fundamentals, 1981. Chapter 6, Psychrometric Tables. Published by ASHRAE, 1791 Tullie Circle NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30329]

"P.S. Some clouds temporarily contain a small percentage of aluminum. Does this make them close relatives of toasters?"

[41] If it's not shocking, why did he just claim that he doubted it could be "rigidly true"?

[42] "Similar" is too weak a word. Much of our biochemistry is identical to that of the chimpanzee. Moreover, where should "similarity" end? I once had a dog that ate all the same things that I ate, including black walnuts. Why wasn't his DNA 99% the same as mine?

[43] While it is true that there have been some puzzling inconsistencies in some of the biochemical data - many if not most of which have now been cleared up - it is an execrable lie to claim that there isn't "any evolutionary patte rn at all."

[44] André R. Wyss, Michael J. Novacek, and Malcolm C. McKenna, "Amino Acid Sequence versus Morphological Data and the Interordinal Relationships of Mammals," Molecular Biology and Evolution 4(2):99-116, 1987. Apart from his trouble with the English language, Gish's quotes are, in fact, in the abstract of the article cited. Nevertheless, we may note that Gish cites only negative material from the abstract, ignoring the positive points. For example, the sentence just before the quote beginning with "Qualitative comparisons... " reads:

"Consistency indices were calculated for previously published alpha crystallin A chain and myoglobin amino acid-sequence cladograms and for four original amino acid-sequence cladograms (alpha crystallin A, myoglobin, and alpha and beta hemoglobin); these were found to be comparable to the consistency indices of morphologically based cladograms. " [emphasis mine]

Apart from this, Gish missed (deliberately?) the point of the paper. The authors presented a highly technical critique of the so-called 'consistency index' and 'tandem-alignment analysis' - mathematical procedures often used to construct phylogenetic (ev olutionary) trees. The authors "question how much confidence can be placed in the results of tandem-alignment analyses."

The authors are not seriously suggesting that molecular data are in discord with morphological (anatomical) data. Rather, they suggest that improper mathematical analyses of the data yield discordant phylogenetic trees. A detailed technical analysis of this paper is, of course, beyond the scope of these notes.

[45] At first, I thought Gish was trying to trap me into making some slight error in my definition of 'pseudogene,' so that he could make himself look like a superior authority in molecular genetics as well as in Genesis genetics. It is clear from what follows, however, that Gish is actually completely ignorant on the subject. In actual fact, pseudogenes are very useful to scientists in reconstructing evolutionary histories (phylogenies) of plants and animals. Since the pseudogenes no lo nger code for a protein or enzyme product which might determine the survival of its owner, pseudogenes have broken free from the constraints of natural selection and are free to mutate completely at random over the course of time. Analysis of the differen t changes that have accumulated in the pseudogenes of humans, apes, and other primates make it possible to reconstruct the pathways by which those species have separated from each other in the course of evolution. A good example of a pseudogene that is sh ared by humans, chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans is the yh-globin gene. [See, for example, "A Statistical Test That Supports a Human/Chimpanzee Clade Based on Non-coding DNA Sequence Data," by Stephen A. Williams and Morris Goodman, Molecular Biology and Evolution, 6(4), 1989, pp. 325-330.]

[46] I hope that everyone else who debates Gish begins with the subject of pseudogenes. If Gish continues to deny their existence, he will look very foolish when the evidence is presented.

[47] I don't know of any psychiatric wards in the town of Delaware from which this fellow could have been calling. He must have been an escapee from some place else.

[48] Surely, Gish had just heard me say 'Sinanthropus' and 'monkey-like.' Is it possible that he doesn't realize the Australopithecines were more primitive than Sinanthropus (i.e., Homo erectus)? Is it possible he still doesn't understand that there is a difference between apes and monkeys?

[49] On page 123 of Evolution? The Fossils Say No! (Public School Edition, Creation-Life Publishers, San Diego, 1978), Duane Gish says "In a 1937 publication, Boule referred to the Sinanthropus skulls as 'monkey-like' (36)." The reference to this quote reads "36. M. Boule, L'anthropologie, 1937, p. 21." Following up on the "monkey-like" motif, Gish writes on page 129:

"In an article published in 1937 in L'Anthropologie (p. 21), Boule wrote: 'To this fantastic hypothesis [of Abbe Breuil and Fr. Teilhard de Chardin], that the owners of the monkey-like skulls were the authors of the large-scale industry, I tak e the liberty of preferring an opinion more in conformity with the conclusions from my own studies, which is that the hunter (who battered the skulls) was a real man and that the cut stones, etc., were his handiwork [the nature of this stone industry will be discussed later].'"

Examination of page 21 of the Boule article shows nothing like this quotation. Nothing about monkeys is to be found. Moreover, the complete quotation is not to be found anywhere in the entire article, although on page 20 we do find a portion of the text in question: "To this hypothesis, as fantastic as it is ingenious, I may be permitted to prefer one which seems to me to be just as satisfactory, being simpler and more in conformity with the totality of what we know: the hunter was a true man, whose stone industry has been found and who made Sinanthropus his victim!"

The "monkey-like skulls" business appears to have been invented by Gish to make paleoanthropologists look dumber than the fundamentalists who swallow his line of creationist clap-trap.

[50] My article, "Maculate Deception: The 'Science' of Creationism," appeared in the March, 1985 issue of The American Atheist, and can be obtained from American Atheists, P.O. Box 8457, Columbus, OH 43201.

[51] After my article appeared, Gish re-issued his book under a new title, Evolution: The Challenge of the Fossil Record. [Creation-Life Publishers, Master Books Division, El Cajon, California, 1985] The false quotation from Boule about "monkey-like skulls" is gone, and it becomes clear that Gish got his monkey idea from a Catholic priest named Patrick O'Connell. According to Gish, O'Connell was in China during the period that Peking Man ( Sinanthropus) was being excavated. Although O'Connell had never been to the excavation site, he decided (and Gish readily agrees) that Peking Man was a hoax. According to Gish (page 199), "O'Connell concludes that Sinanthropus consisted of the skulls of either large macaques (large monkeys) or large baboons killed and eaten by workers at an ancient quarry." Gish seems not to realize how incompetent such a claim is. Even a high school biology student can readily distinguish between a baboon skull and the skulls shown in photographs of the Peking remains or the accurate casts (Gish misleadingly refers to the casts as "models") which were made of the remains and sent to various museums around the world. The actual bones excavated during the 1920's and 1930's disappeared when the American marines to whom they were entrusted for safe-keeping were captured by the invading Japanese.

[52] It is unclear whether Gish here is simply confessing that Boule described the skulls as "ape-like" - not monkey-like - or whether he is actually trying to misrepresent Peking Man as having been judged actually to have been an ape.

[53] Homo erectus, of which both Sinanthropus and Pithecanthropus (Java Man) were examples, had a brain capacity approximately intermediate between that of African apes or Australopithecines such as Australopithecus africanus on the one side and Homo sapiens on the other. Homo erectus is as perfect a "connecting link" as one could wish between modern humans and creatures neurologically on par with the apes. (The brain of modern human is approximately three times the size of the ape brain .) Generally speaking, the earliest examples of H. erectus had brains smaller than two-thirds that of modern humans; brains of late examples (such as some at Peking) were larger than two-thirds, some even slightly overlapping in size the smallest known modern brains. It is understandable that cr eationists would want to be able to sweep away so wonderful an evidence of human evolution, by claiming the many examples all to have been hoaxes!

[54] This claim is not only wrong, it is deceitful. Gish knows full well that for the evolutionary processes envisaged by Darwin to have occurred, hundreds of millions of years would be needed. Contrariwise, he knows that if the Genesis account of creation is literally true, the earth cannot be more than six thousand years old, due to the fact that the Bible gives a very definite chronology in the genealogies of the patriarchs and other passages. The position which Gish personally holds is falsified completely if one can show that the earth is more than ten thousand years old!

[55] Here Gish is being disingenuous. Privately, when evolutionists aren't looking, Gish excoriates old-earth creationists for not being true to the Bible. Of course, it helps his image when he mentions the fact that there are creationis ts who don't reject all of human knowledge.

[56] I think Gish is fibbing here. I think the real reason he says this is to avoid having to defend the absurd thesis that the earth is less than ten thousand years old. This is the Achilles' heal of the creationist debater, and it's ex posure is avoided at all cost.

[57] Gish seems to have forgotten his rule that only "scientific" arguments should be employed!

[58] There is a danger in ascribing deception to the deity. If Gish's god has deceived us in the appearances of nature, should we not suppose it has deceived us in the scriptures as well?

[59] According to John Morris, also of the ICR, the dinosaurs were indeed on Noah's ark.

[60] There are at least a million species of insects - half a million of beetles alone - and almost all of them are "air-breathing creatures."

[61] During the early stages of Noah's flood, rising seawater would have killed the fresh-water fishes of rivers and lakes. Then, as the seas became diluted with the five-mile thick shell of rainwater needed to submerge Mt. Everest, the salt-water fishes would have died. Where all the heat of condensation would have gone after the formation of that much rain is anybody's guess.

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