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Ken Saladin Saladin Gish2 Gish2

First Rebuttal for the Negative

(Gish, 15 minutes)

Moderator: We will now have a 15-minute rebuttal by Dr. Gish.

Gish: You know, Dr. Saladin has resorted to something that is quite common among evolutionists. He began to attack me personally. He tried to claim certain things, dishonesty and quoting of context and things like that. Listen, ladies and gentlemen, when a fellow does that in a debate, he’s simply admitting that his case is weak. He did not want to refute the scientific evidence, so he tried to challenge the integrity of his opponent {1}. I would never do that {2}. I have never done that publicly, I would never do it, but that’s what we’ve seen here tonight.

Let’s take a look at some of these suggestions. Quick though I wanna, before we get into that, I wanna discuss these things that he said the Bible teaches. I’m not— I’d just as soon leave the Bible out of this, just look at the scientific evidence, but he says that the Bible teaches that the earth does not move, the sun revolves around the earth, Earth is disk-shaped, Earth has four corner, Earth floats in a sea, but then it’s on pillars, the sky’s a solid dome, and so forth and so on. Not one of those things is correct, the Bible does not teach those things. Maybe some people believe it, and then want to say that the Bible teaches it, but it’s not teaching that. The Bible says for example the earth is suspended on nothing, that’s what the Bible says, doesn’t say it floats in a sea or on a pillar or anything like that. It does not teach the geocentric notion of the universe, that all the planets go around the earth, it does not teach that. None of these things {3}.

Now. Let’s take a look at some of these other things that’ve been suggested here. The mammal-like reptiles. Dr. Saladin showed a slide of the so-called mammal-like reptiles, where there are no gaps. Ladies and gentlemen it’s the third time I saw that slide. First time I got caught off guard. These two times I didn’t, ’cause I have the article, the illustration right here with me. Alright now the idea is to illustrate that there are no gaps in this mammal-like reptiles. Ladies and gentlemen, this article says, two of those creatures are totally hypothetical ! Of course there’s no gaps in there, because they put in hypothetical organisms. The article says some of the structures on those creatures, other creatures, are hypothetical, merely drawn in. The article says they are not arranged in a true time sequence. If you have A, B, C, D, they did not occur in that order. They’re maybe put there, to make it look as if they did, and none of them are drawn to scale. Ladies and gentlemen that’s using fraudulent data. I know where he got that slide, he got it from Dr. Kenneth Miller, from Brown University, because I know where it came from in the first place. Ladies and gentlemen that’s fabricated data. Unless they tell you that these things are true that is simply not right to do such a thing. If I had done that on the basis of any of these things I would be crucified by evolutionists. That’s, that’s the sort of data that they use {4}.

The same Kenneth Miller accused me of deliberately misquoting Dr. Corner, a botanist who said that he believes, this doctor said he believes, even though he’s an evolutionist, he believes that the fossil record of plants is in favor of creation. I quoted this. Dr. Kenneth Miller accused me of deliberately misquoting Corner. He said what Dr. Corner really did say was that the fossil record of higher plants was in favor of creation, and I had deliberately left out the word "higher." I don’t know what difference it would make anyway. Ladies and gentlemen, I did not leave out that word it is not in that paper by Dr. Corner. Now if a scientist makes a charge like that against another scientist accusing him of being dishonest, wouldn’t he have both statements in front of him? How would he dare make a serious charge like that against another scientist unless he had my statement in front of him, and the statement by Corner. If he did, he would know that I quoted Corner correctly. I did not leave out that word, it is not there. Now Dr. Miller proceeded to be inexcusably careless for he was dishonest himself about it. I was not dishonest, I quoted him correctly {5}. That happens all the time. If anybody accuses me of quoting out of context in one of my publications I want to see the documentation, because I do not do that {6}.

Now he says that I have no [inaudible]. A lot of these things have been very difficult for me to hear tonight. Basically when those tapes were played I couldn’t hear a word that was on the tapes. I understood he said that I have no training in paleontology. This is true. But I have certainly studied a lot about paleontology. And I am quoting the paleontologists to what the facts are. May I remind you ladies and gentlemen, the only earned degree that Darwin had was in theology. Richard Leakey, who Dr. Saladin would think one of the greatest paleontologists, one of the greatest paleontologists in the world, he has never been to college {7}. All he has is a high school degree. [Inaudible] and at the Institute for Creation Research we have eight scientists, some of them have doctors, including one from Harvard University, Penn State University, U.C. Berkeley, University of Minnesota, and University of Toronto and places like that, we’re going to add two more scientists with doctors soon {8}. We are scientists, and we are convinced creationists because we are scientists.

And he said about the Ark project, that I have deceived people about the sponsorship of the Ark project. He quoted a statement and he cut it off, he didn’t finish the statement. Why didn’t he finish the statement? That statement said that no funds from our institute supports that project. All funds used by that project by Dr. John Morris and anyone else is raised independent of the institute, not from our operating fund, we do not sponsor that. If you don’t pay the bills you don’t sponsor it. That’s certainly true, what I said {9}.

Now, he mentioned the Grand Canyon {10}. I love to talk about the Grand Canyon ladies and gentlemen. You know the evolutionists have a tremendous problem with the Grand Canyon. The Kaibab Plateau, which is the upper level of the Grand Canyon, evolutionists believe it was uplifted 65 million years ago. But they now believe the Colorado River did not even begin until four million years ago, more than 60 million years after that plateau was uplifted. Now if a river came along 60 million years later you mean to tell me it’s going to climb up that 10,000 feet and go over the top and come down the other side and cut the Grand Canyon? That’s ridiculous {11}. They have no explanation for the formation of the Grand Canyon. The bottom of the Grand Canyon you have no fossils. All of a sudden, here’s the Cambrian just loaded with fossils. You can’t go to the floor of the Grand Canyon and pick out any transitional forms, there’s not a single transitional form anywhere in the wall of the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon is certainly not evidence for evolution, there’s certainly not evidence that Dr. Saladin expects. There’s tremendous evidence for catastrophism on a vast scale, certainly {12}.

He says creation is a non-falsifiable, it’s not, can’t be science ’cause it’s non-falsifiable. Would you please explain to me how we could falsify the theory of evolution? {13} No way could you do that! Because the theory of evolution has become so plastic, it doesn’t make any difference what the data is, you can explain it somehow, you just change the theory. And evolutionists have said that, they have criticized evolutionary theory, as being non-falsifiable, because it explains anything and everything no matter what the data is {14}.

Now I want to show a transparency, we talk about transitional forms. Really ladies and gentlemen it’s immaterial, because the sudden appearance of all those invertebrates, with no explanation— Notice, at least as far as I could hear, Dr. Saladin did not even attempt to explain how all those invertebrates could appear suddenly, fully formed. He did not explain how an invertebrate could change into a vertebrate during a hundred million years and not leave one single transitional form. Never even made any attempt to do that {15}.

Now, here on this transparency— I took this from a book by evolutionists, published by Australian evolutionists. Now Dr. Saladin mentioned the elephants. Alright, here’s the evolution of the elephants, taken from this book. It’s from a book by Archer and Clayton published in 1984. Here is, according to the evolutionists, the family tree of elephants. Alright, the solid lines indicate where fossils are found. The dotted lines are imaginary; there are no transitional forms. Notice ladies and gentlemen they have all of these elephants, different kinds, and most of them appearing simultaneously. Look at the transitional forms. Every place has dotted lines! There are no transitional forms ladies and gentlemen. And Dr. Saladin used the elephants as an example of evolution! Why the, ev— evolutionists only wish that they do not have any transitional forms [sic]. Every one of those connections are by dotted lines, which means they have found no fossils {16}. That’s an example of evolution. Dr. Saladin’s example of evolution {17}.

And he says that I have somehow misinterpreted Gavin De Beer, on homology. Homology, the existence in different animals of similar structures, is supposed to be the evidence for evolution. Ladies and gentlemen what Dr. De Beer, Sir Gavin De Beer, demonstrates in this little book—- Look at the title of the booklet: "Homology: An Unsolved Problem." Ladies and gentlemen, if the scientific evidence fit the evolutionary interpretation of these homologous structures, similar structures in different animals, if the scientific data supported the evolutionary interpretation, the title of this booklet would be "Homology: A Solved Problem." But everything in this booklet that Dr. Gavin De Beer explains, or describes, related to homologous structures is contradictory to evolution. And finally [1-2 inaudible words] the genetic evidence totally, totally contradictory that these things exist because they have evolved from a common ancestor. Ladies and gentlemen the reason they exist because they evolved from a common ancestor. Ladies and gentlemen the reason they exist is because there was a Master Engineer who used similar solutions to similar problems, and absolutely the evidence is contrary to evolution {18}.

Now Dr. Saladin quoted from my book, Evolution? The Fossils Say No!, about the Creation, that we don’t have any idea how God created. I don’t. I don’t have the foggiest notion about how God created the universe or created man. If I did it wouldn’t be Creation. But you see he quoted me out of context. Right there on the same page or the previous page I explained why evolution is not a scientific theory {19}. I state explicitly that neither creation nor evolution is a scientific theory, that you cannot have scientific theories about unique events that happened in the unobservable past {20}. Creation and evolution are inferences based upon circumstantial evidence. They have exactly the same status scientifically. Evolution is not more scientific than creation, and it certainly is just as religious.

I find it incredible that Dr. Saladin used the example of a snowflake to show how evolution gets around the second law of thermodynamics. What in the world does crystallization, or the formation of a snowflake, have to do with evolution? Is that going to explain how molecules organize themselves up into a living cell? Absolutely not. Crystallization is going downhill. When water crystallizes it gives up energy, it goes to a lower level of energy, to a lower level. It is going precisely in the opposite direction, those molecules are locked in rigidly to this crystal structure {21}. When you have evolution of life nothing can be locked in rigidly, you’ve got to have complete freedom to evolve upward. And even Prigogine the Nobel prize winner in physics said that crystallization is absolutely no solution to the problem of the evolution of life {22}.

Now, I didn’t quite understand everything he said about the australopithecines and Dr. Oxnard. I know that evolutionists try to say that Dr. Oxnard did not say that these creatures were not intermediate. He did say that. Dr. Oxnard and Lord Zuckerman both said the australopithecines are not intermediate between ape and man. He explicitly says that. And in a book that he published in eighteen—-, 1984 he says it very explicitly {23}. And he also refers to Lucy. He says these creatures are not intermediate between ape and man, they are not ancestors. Anything can walk erect for a very limited time; so can chimpanzees and gorillas and orangutans and yetis {24} and so forth but they don’t do it habitually. They’re not made to do that. That is what Oxnard is saying about the australopithecines, that’s what he did say.

Now Wickramasinghe doesn’t believe in a young earth, and he doesn’t believe in a Flood or anything like that, that’s true. But he does believe in creation, he does believe that life had to be created, and he strongly supports the creationist side. Of course people try to, evolutionists try to run down Fred Hoyle. Fred Hoyle’s mind is just as sharp as a tack, it’s just as sharp as it’s ever been, and he certainly does not believe in evolution, he’s strongly, he’s come out strongly for creation.

Gould supposedly said there’s plenty of transitions at the higher level, it’s only at the species level where we don’t have transitional forms. In other publications he says exactly the opposite {23}. He says it is at the higher level of basic morphological designs that gradualism has always been in trouble. That’s what he said in another publication. And ladies and gentlemen when we take the broadest classification, the phylum, all evolutionists admit we have no transitional forms between any of the phyla. And if we don’t have transitional forms there, we don’t have transitional forms, period {25}. Thank you very much. [Applause]


1. Gish charges me with using personal attack because I "did not want to refute the scientific evidence." I beg his pardon. A quick page count of my opening statement and first rebuttal, totaling 60 minutes of speaking time, shows that I spent 45 minutes of that time giving evidence in favor of evolution from the fields of philosophy, astronomy, physics, biochemistry, paleontology, embryology, comparative anatomy, mathematics, and anthropology. I spent 15 minutes of that time questioning the credibility of Gish and other creationists based on the absurdities, distortions, and deceptions of their published works and recorded debates. Perhaps Gish’s mind wandered during those 45 minutes and he woke up only when he heard himself being criticized.

2. He may say he would never challenge the integrity of his opponents, but the only true instance of ad hominem attack that occurred in this debate was on page 85 ["Closing Statement for the Negative"], and the reader should check to see who was speaking at the time.

3. Gish shows a poor knowledge not only of the Bible (see "Opening Statement for the Negative," note 2) but also of the history of Christianity. If the Bible does not teach these things, then what does he think the Galileo affair was all about, or the murder of Giordano Bruno by the Church? And lest Gish think these stemmed simply from Catholic heresy about what the Bible teaches, we may note that Ulrich Zwingli, leader of the Protestant Reformation in Switzerland, staunchly argued on biblical grounds that a solid floor separated the earth from the heavens, that water and angels existed above this floor and earth and humans below it. Both Luther and Calvin resisted the idea of earth’s sphericity, which they thought to be contradicted by the letter of the Scriptures. Luther was a fanatical geocentrist, so incensed with Copernicus’ idea of the earth’s movement around the sun he wouldn’t even deign to acknowledge Copernicus as an astronomer but said, "People gave ear to an upstart astrologer who strove to show that the earth revolves, not the heavens or the firmament, the sun and the moon. …This fool wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy; but sacred Scripture tells us that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth." In Commentary on Genesis, Calvin condemned all who denied that the earth is the center of the universe and invoked Psalm 93:1 in his support: "Yea, the world is established; it shall never be moved." (See the A.D. White reference, "Opening Statement for the Negative," note 40.) Dr. Gish might be well advised to take a break from the debating circuit in order to do some homework in Christian history and biblical scholarship, not to mention get a little background in science. A recent book that may be of interest is: Conrad Hyers. 1985?. The Meaning of Creation: Genesis and Modern Science. Atlanta: John Knox Press.

4. Gish wrongly asserts that my slide came from Kenneth Miller. Although I have gotten slides from Miller and used one or two in this debate, I photographed this one from the original source. Of the 16 drawings on this slide, there are two hypothetical intermediates. There is nothing wrong with postulating what intermediates forms should look life. Such hypotheses are often the foundations of discovery, as in the Gegenbauer case. Nothing was fabricated or concealed here. In this particular debate, I included only one sentence about the reptile-mammal transitional series and showed this slide in passing. In our 1984 debate I discussed this transition more extensively and did point out that two of the figures were hypothetical.

5. I find it peculiar Gish would use so much of his time in this debate to rail against Kenneth Miller. Miller did incorrectly accuse Gish of leaving out the word "higher" in citing E.J.H. Corner’s paper; I have read the Corner paper and that word does not appear. This slip occurred in Evolution VII:1-13). As Gish is well aware, though, and failed to tell this audience, the error was caught and Miller published an apology and correction in the same journal (Letter in Creation/Evolution IX:41-43). Miller explained how the error originated, and gave the entire, corrected quote from Corner. It would have been more honest of Gish to mention Miller’s public apology and retraction rather than to harp on it now, six years later, as if it were an ongoing debate. And aside from all this, I fail to see how his vendetta against Miller has anything to do with the content of this debate. (Regarding Corner, see also "First Rebuttal for the Affirmative," note 13.)

6. Gish says, "If anybody accuses me of quoting out of context in one of my publications I want to see the documentation, because I do not do that." Gish does do that, and instances of it were even read into the court record (with Gish present in the courtroom) in the trial of McLean v. Arkansas (1981-82(. In this debate, several Gish partisans came to me at the end to see examples of this, and I showed them. I had with me all the original literature. (A veritable library was set up at my debate table!). The following two examples of Gish’s deception were particularly interesting to those who viewed the sources:

In the ICR’s monthly polemic, Impact, Gish once wrote, "Evolutionists assume, of course, that bats must have evolved from a non-flying mammal. There is not one shred of evidence, however, to support such speculations, for, as Romer says, ‘Bats appear full fledged in both hemispheres in the Middle Eocene….’" (Gish. 1980. The origin of mammals. Impact No. 87; ellipsis Gish’s) Next to this I had Romer’s textbook (Vertebrate Paleontology), and while it is true Romer said this in a summary chapter (p. 338), it is a mere half-sentence in the context of a general discussion of the Eocene record. There is nothing false about this statement. But note that it does not say this is the first appearance of bats in the fossil record. Romer has a whole chapter on insectivores and bats, and discusses the early Eocene bats (10-15 million years earlier), on pp. 212-213. Here he discusses the difficulty distinguishing them from their insectivore forebears as I discussed in the debate ("Opening Statement for the Negative," note 29).

The other example that provoked the most interest and commentary was that in Evolution? The Fossils Say No! (P. 122) Gish writes, "From his results Oxnard concluded that Australopithecus did not walk upright in human manner but probably had a mode of locomotion similar to that of the orang." Next to this I displayed the paper by C.E. Oxnard, 1975, The place of the australopithecines in human evolution: grounds for doubt? Nature 258:385-395. At p. 394, column 1, Oxnard wrote, "And because similarities [of the australopithecines] with the orang-utan are only in some anatomical regions and not in others, because the overall comparison is mosaic in nature, it is clear that the actual overall mode of locomotion of the orang-utan today is not the model for these creatures."

7. Gish commits two errors here. First he misconstrues what I said. I did not fault him for not having a degree in paleoanthropology, I faulted him for pretending him to be such an authority on human evolution and yet not doing an iota of original research or contributing anything to the professional literature on the subject. The test of one’s expertise is whether one’s work can pass the peer review process as a prerequisite to publication. Gish is not an authority on fossil hominids, but an unrecognized, armchair speculator of no scholarly merit.

Gish’s second error here is an invalid analogy. While Darwin and Leakey did not obtain college degrees in evolutionary sciences, both pursued their field and laboratory studies with such vigor, drive, and discipline they acquired a far better education than four years in the classroom would have provided. Gish has never pursued any research in evolutionary science or acquired any expertise in the subject.

8. It is true that a few Ph.D. scientists go to work for the ICR. Very seldom, however, do they obtain or employ trained biologists (99.999… percent of whom know better than to swallow their polemics); and on occasion the ICR and some other creationist institutions employ "scientists" and others with fraudulent degrees from mail-order diploma mills or nonexistent colleges. For example Richard Bliss of the ICR claimed a doctorate from the "University of Sarasota," a non-accredited Florida diploma mill. One of my colleagues recently visited Sarasota and found the "university" in the telephone book. She drove to the "campus" and described it as a building that looked :like a run-down Tastee Freeze." The ICR will hire people like Bliss, but it is doubtful anyone else would on the strength of such a degree. It says little for the creationist institutions that they are able to hire the dregs of academe.

9. I find it amazing that Gish would continue to assert that the ICR does not sponsor these expeditions when I showed a photograph of the ICR’s monthly tract, Acts & Facts, explicitly claiming that they do sponsor them. Is Gish trying to distance the ICR from these embarrassing expeditions? In any event, my point, as I said, was not to argue about the merit of the expeditions, but to show Gish was wrong in 1986 when he accused me of lying about this point. This time I had the documentation to disprove his accusation.

10. Try as I might, I cannot find anyplace in this debate where I mentioned the Grand Canyon! Perhaps Gish dozed off while I was speaking and dreamed he was at some other debate.

11. That’s right, it is ridiculous! But this ridiculous scenario was invented by Gish, not by a historical geologist. What geologist would even speculate that the Colorado River has to "climb up that 10,000 feet [from some mysterious place] and go over the top [of what?] and come down from the other side and cut the Grand Canyon"? In other words, this is another straw man: Gish once again attacking a bizarre idea of his own invention.

Gish has his facts on the Grand Canyon wrong. The Colorado Plateau began its uplift about 9 million years ago, not the 60 million he says, and the Colorado River already existed at the inception of this uplift, contrary to his claim that it did not exist until four million years ago. It was the uplifting that caused the river to begin carving down through the sediments, and it cut downward at about the same rate as the plateau was being uplifted. (At present, the Colorado River carries over a half million tons of sediment past any given point per day, and is cutting the canyon about 6-1/2 inches deeper per year.) See: Ann G. Harris and Esther Tuttle. 1977. Geology of National Parks. 3rd ed. Dubuque: Kendall/Hunt, p.6. Of related interest, see: Thomas McIver. 1987. A creationist walk through the Grand Canyon. Creation/Evolution XX:1-13. Without revealing his identity as an anticreationist, McIver enrolled in the ICR’s Grand Canyon Field Study Course and participated in a 1985 excursion conducted and taught by ICR staffers John Morris, Steven Austin, and David McQueen.

12. There is no evidence for large scale catastrophism in the Grand Canyon. Creationists perpetually try to attribute geological formations to Noah’s Flood, but there is no way the layers and layers of evenly deposited sediments of the Colorado Plateau could have been produced by the Noachian deluge. Much less is there any tenable creationist explanation for the orderly succession of fossils in the Grand Canyon. Of related interest, with several references to Grand Canyon geology, see: (1) Christopher Gregory Weber. 1980. The fatal flaws of flood geology. Creation/Evolution 1:24-37. (2) Weber. 1980. Common creationist attacks on geology. Creation/Evolution 11:10-25.

13. As I explained in note 10, "Opening Statement for the Affirmative," if Gish asserts "no way could you [falsify evolution]," then he has made a mockery of his literature and his debates, which consist of nothing but efforts to falsify it. He challenges me to show how evolution could be falsified. Again, he may have dozed off somewhere, because I addressed its falsifiability in my opening statement.

14. When scientists have criticized evolutionary theory as being non-falsifiable, it has not been an attack on the fact that evolution has occurred but rather on the Darwinian model of how it occurred, i.e., on natural selection. Darwin unwisely adopted Herbert Spencer’s phrase, "survival of the fittest," as equivalent to the basic idea of natural selection. But if we ask what we mean by the "fittest," we mean the individuals that survive, and the expression reduces to the meaningless tautology, "survival of the survivors." Popper, on such grounds, once said natural selection is unfalsifiable (see the "Question Period:). But if one looks beyond the catch phrase "survival of the fittest," the core idea of natural selection [some individuals reproduce more successfully than others because of traits they have inherited, and pass these traits to their offspring] is not tautological and is falsifiable.

15. No, I did not make an attempt to do this in the debate, but only because so many things come up in the debate there is not enough time (without keeping the audience there until breakfast!) to address many of them. I do address this question in "Opening Statement for the Negative," note 25.

16. It is a common and prudent practice in drawing phylogenies to represent the connections with dotted lines, but it does not signify that no transitions have been found. It distinguishes empirical from inferential information, and it bespeaks the tentativeness of science. One can never be sure that between ancestor A and descendent D there might not later be found additional transitions B and C; or that reinterpretation of fossil evidence and new discoveries might not cause a re-assessment of the phylogenetic connections and relationships. If I found a "missing link" between bivalve molluscs and gastropods, I would still connect it to those groups by a dotted line just to denote the tentative nature of any scientific conclusion. Gish is mistaken when he says the use of dotted lines "means they have found no fossils."

17. By misconstruing the question Gish has dodged the question — a very common tactic of his, used even when ostensibly answering questions from the audience in this debate. I still would like to see him come up with any plausible creationist explanation of why elephant fetuses develop and resorb mandibular tusks.

18. Creationists often try to dismiss homologous organs on this "similar designs for similar functions" argument. However, a closer examination of comparative anatomy belies the argument. For example, one can read in Romer’s Vertebrate Paleontology about the considerable differences in the design of the wings of pterosaurs, birds, and bats, and why one design is superior to another. If there were an all-wise Master Engineer designing "similar solutions to similar problems," one would think he could do much better than he did (and pterosaurs might still be with us!). But if such solutions come about by a trial-and-error process of evolution, starting with different raw materials (ancestral anatomical plans), we would expect to see a variety of solutions, many of them imperfect, to the same problem. And that is what paleontology and comparative anatomy do show.

19. Quoting out of context means selectively omitting some of an author’s words in order to give the impression the author said or implied something he didn’t. It was not quoting out of context to omit that Gish denied that evolution is scientific. It would have been beside the point I was making to go off on that tangent. I was making the point that Gish and Morris cannot agree on whether creationism is a scientific theory or not. I used one of ICR’s own slides to show that they sometimes argue neither evolution nor creationism is scientific.

20. A little reflection easily shows why Gish is wrong that "You cannot have scientific theories about unique events that happened in the unobservable past." Much of astronomy, anthropology, and other historical sciences are based on past events which had no eyewitnesses or left no written records. The point is that such past events do leave observable evidence of what happened and that evidence is amenable to scientific study and logically valid inferences. I have an example in "Opening Statement for the Negative," note 7.

21. The fact that water gives up energy when it crystallizes is immaterial. The Second Law is often misconstrued as implying that energy must be received from another source. An open system can go to a state of lower entropy (and an ice crystal has lower entropy than water vapor), either by receiving or giving up energy from or to a coupled system. But the relevance of crystallization can be seen in a simpler way: If water molecules inherently have the electrochemical properties that make crystallization possible, which it seems even a creationist will grant, then why is it so unbelievable that amino acids inherently have the electrochemical properties that make polymerization possible? Even if we take a theistic stance, what is the difference between believing God made water with this potential, and God made amino acids with this potential? The coiling of DNA into a double helix when cooled below its melting point is analogous to the crystallization of water when cooled below its freezing point.

This paradigm is laden with a number of statements that are devoid of technical meaning in thermodynamics and evolution and serve to confuse the issue, such as "going downhill," "locked in rigidly," and "complete freedom to evolve upward." It would help if Gish would stick to the technical definitions when he constructs his argument instead of throwing these red herrings all over the trail.

22. It is surprising that Gish mentions Prigogine. Prigogine received the 1977 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on the "irreversible thermodynamics" of open systems. One of the implications of his work for biology is that the self-assembly of primordial organic molecules into the first living systems, seemingly an increase in complexity contradicting the Second Law, is not contrary to the Second Law because of the behavior of open systems. Thus Prigogine feels his work resolves a seeming conflict between physics and biology and serves as a bridge between them, whereby protobiogenesis may be better understood in light of thermodynamics. His work is a resounding refutation of Gish’s naive idea that thermodynamics contradicts evolution. See: (1) I. Procaccia and J. Ross. 1977. The 1977 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Science 198:716-717. (2) Ilya Prigogine. 1978. Time, structure, and fluctuations. Science 201:777-785. [Nobel Prize acceptance speech].

23. Gish does not provide a reference for either of these claims, so skepticism is in order until he substantiates them.

24. I would love to see Gish’s scientific evidence on the matter of the bipedalism of yetis! But I am not surprised at this statement. The Institute for Creation Research devotes considerable serious attention to human encounters with UFO pilots, believing UFO’s to be satanic manifestations. Their witness for the defense in the McLean trial, Norman Geisler, stunned the courtroom as he testified to this belief. The ICR’s publishing arm, Creation-Life Publishers, sells books on this subject. If they believe in human encounters with UFO pilots, then I suppose they could harbor notions about the bipedalism of Yetis or almost anything else one might read about in the National Enquirer.

25. Gish commits a nonsequitur when he says if we can document no transitions between one phylum and another, then there are no transitions anywhere. In addition, he ignores the transitions between phyla that do occur. For example the Pentastomida have wormlike adults and crustaceanlike larvae, leading to considerable disagreement whether they should be classified in the phylum Arthropoda or a phylum of their own. The Onychophora show several features in common with annelids and others in common with arthropods, and likewise have an uncertain status somewhere between the two. The phylum Acanthocephala shares several features with Platyhelminthes and other features with Nematoda, and the phylum Tardigrada has both nematode and arthropod characters. The sponges (Porifera) are scarcely more than a colony of Sarcomastigophora (Kingdom Protista). Four phyla, the Mollusca, Annelida, Sipuncula, and Echiura, are linked by a primitive primitive genus, Neopilina (Class Monoplacophora), which has traces of the metamerism characteristics of Annelida. The affinity of annelids and arthropods to each other is strongly indicated by comparison of the locomotory parapodia of the polychaete annelids and the appendages of the locomotory parapodia of the polychaete annelids and the appendages of primitive arthropods such as trilobites and crustaceans. And while the animal kingdom at the eucoelomate level is subdivided into two major divisions, the protostomes and deuterostomes, based on embryological characters, near the bifurcation are several minor phyla with mixtures of protostome and deuterostome traits. Most good college general zoology or invertebrate zoology textbooks will reveal how Gish overstates this case.