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Question Evolution!

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Question Evolution! is a campaign to encourage people to question the claims of evolutionists, being promoted by Biblical creation group Creation Ministries International (CMI) and The Traditional Values Coalition, an American church lobby group[1] which represents over 43,000 churches.[2]

Contents

The Campaign

The campaign received an "official" launch on Wed. 4th May, 2011Wed. May 4th, 2011[3] with the publication of the article Question evolution! A grass-roots movement to challenge the anti-Christian dogma of evolution on Creation.com.[1] However, the campaign had already begun in a low-key way the previous year.

The campaign centres around a list of "15 questions for evolutionists", which CMI describes as "critically important questions that evolutionists cannot adequately answer". The questions were written by CMI staff biologist Dr. Don Batten, and vetted by two other biologists.[4]

The campaign includes T-shirts, caps, mugs, stickers, and other items with "Question Evolution!" or "Evolution—The greatest hoax on Earth?". In addition, CMI has produced a tract with the 15 questions. The tract is available as a printed tract and also as a pdf file for people to download and print.

Support

The campaign has been welcomed and promoted by other creationists, including Duane Gish, The Associates for Biblical Research[5], WorldNetDaily[6], and Examiner.com.[7]

Various other individuals have supported the campaign with their own contributions.

  • YouTube videos about or supporting the campaign have been produced by a number of people
    • PPSimmons, a biblical apologetics YouTube channel with 16 million views
    • ShockOfGod, who has a YouTube channel with nearly four million views, has challenged Texan YouTube atheists Matt Dillahunty and Aron Ra to answer the questions, and aims to particularly target Texas, given their influence on textbooks in the United States.[8]
    • NephilimFree has produced a series of lectures on the questions.[9]
    • Onceforgivennowfree has produced rebuttals to atheist responses to a few questions, often citing evolutionists. For example he rebuts the claim that DNA is not actually a code by including a clip of Richard Dawkins saying that it is a code.[10]
  • A group of Question Evolution bloggers also promote the campaign on the Internet.[11]
  • A Peruvian volunteer is translating the questions into Spanish.[12]
  • A 20-chapter booklet is being prepared about the questions.[13]
  • A book for "middle school" students is being prepared by a Canadian teacher.[14]

The 15 questions

The questions, in summary, are:[15]

  1. How did life originate? How did life with hundreds of proteins originate just by chemistry without intelligent design?
  2. How did the DNA code originate? The code is a sophisticated language system with letters and words where the meaning of the words is unrelated to the chemical properties of the letters—just as the information on this page is not a product of the chemical properties of the ink (or pixels on a screen). What other coding system has existed without intelligent design?
  3. How could such errors (mutations) create 3 billion letters of DNA information to change a microbe into a microbiologist? How can scrambling existing DNA information create a new biochemical pathway or nano-machines?
  4. Why is natural selection taught as ‘evolution’ as if it explains the origin of the diversity of life?
  5. How did new biochemical pathways, which involve multiple enzymes working together in sequence, originate?
  6. Living things look like they were designed, so how do evolutionists know that they were not designed? Why should science be restricted to naturalistic causes rather than logical causes?
  7. How did multi-cellular life originate?
  8. How did sex originate?
  9. Why are the (expected) countless millions of transitional fossils missing?
  10. How do ‘living fossils’ remain unchanged over supposed hundreds of millions of years?
  11. How did blind chemistry create mind/intelligence, meaning, altruism and morality?
  12. Why is evolutionary ‘just-so’ story-telling tolerated?
  13. Where are the scientific breakthroughs due to evolution? Why do schools and universities teach evolution so dogmatically, stealing time from experimental biology that so benefits humankind?
  14. Why is evolution, a theory about history, taught as if it is the same as this operational science?
  15. Why is a fundamentally religious idea, a dogmatic belief system that fails to explain the evidence, taught in science classes? If “you can’t teach religion in science classes”, why is evolution taught?

The tract with the expanded questions includes brief arguments or quotes in support of the creationist view, as well as links to articles on CMI's web-site providing supporting evidence.

Evolutionary responses

As far as can be ascertained, the only attempts that have so far been made to directly answer these questions are on Internet discussion boards, personal blogs, YouTube, and RationalWiki. In a number of cases, the claim is made that the questions have all been answered before.[16]

Question 1: Origin of life

Answers to the first question about the origin of life usually involve denying that the question has anything to do with evolution. However, evolution is more than just the latest versions of Darwin's idea, but includes the origin of the universe, the solar system, and life, among other things (an alternative name for abiogenesis is Chemical Evolution). As one evolutionary respondent said, "This is an especially frustrating one for me to watch my fellow evolutionists react to, because the standard answer [that abiogenesis isn't evolution] is really just an avoidance."[17]

A few have admitted that the answer is unknown, offered competing hypotheses, or, in one case, claimed that vacuoles—storage compartments in cells—can form naturally and qualify as life.[17]

Question 13: Scientific breakthroughs

Answers[18] to the question about scientific breakthroughs due to evolution range from the question-beggingly flippant ("Working Dogs, milking Cows and that's before science even started!!"[19]) to evolution itself (e.g. "Evolution is an extraordinary breakthrough in its own right. It explains how, through a series of simple steps, every living thing on the planet came into existence."[20]) to sweeping assertions (e.g. "Pesticides, antibiotics, thousands of other drugs and medicines, comparative anatomy...the list is long."[21]). None provide any specific examples, and the claims that evolution has aided the development of medicines, antibiotics, etc. fail to address CMI's arguments that these have nothing to do with evolution.[22]

CMI responses

Creation Ministries International has responded to common attempts to answer the questions in a series of articles[23][24][25] and videos.[26]

For question 1, they mention that a very common response has been that abiogenesis has nothing to do with evolution, but counter by saying

No one claimed that abiogenesis was irrelevant to the evolution debate until evolutionists realized they were losing the debate on it. Indeed, abiogenesis is also often called ‘chemical evolution’ ... It doesn’t matter how well one can or can’t explain how the first life could evolve, if you can’t explain how it got there in the first place, the theory is literally dead in the water (or the (non-existent) primordial soup, as the case may be).

For each question, CMI addresses several responses and finds them to be without merit.

See also

External links

Responses to the questions

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Batten, Don, Question evolution! A grass-roots movement to challenge the anti-Christian dogma of evolution, Wed. 4th May, 2011Wed. May 4th, 2011.
  2. Traditional Values Coalition "About" page.
  3. Feature Archive of Creation Ministries International.
  4. Don Batten, 2011, in replies to comments Thu. 8th December, 2011Thu. December 8th, 2011 and Wed. 1st February, 2012Wed. February 1st, 2012.
  5. Henry B. Smith Jnr., Join the 'Question Evolution' Campaign!, Wed. 31st August, 2011Wed. August 31st, 2011.
  6. Bob Unruh, Scientists' creed: We don't know, Fri. 26th August, 2011Fri. August 26th, 2011.
  7. Mariano Grinbank, Do you question evolution?, Wed. 24th August, 2011Wed. August 24th, 2011.
  8. "ShockOfGod", My challenge to evolutionists and atheists, Tue. 7th June, 2011Tue. June 7th, 2011, ShockOfGod.
  9. "NephilimFree", Lecture on 15 Questions for Evolutionists pt 1 of 10, Sun. 26th June, 2011Sun. June 26th, 2011.
  10. "onceforgivennowfree", 15 Questions Evolutionists STILL can't answer! Part 1, Sat. 9th July, 2011Sat. July 9th, 2011.
  11. Question Evolution Campaign.
  12. 15 questions for evolutionists, Peruvian Christian is performing additional Spanish translating for Question Evolution! Campaign, Question Evolution Campaign blog, Tue. 22nd May, 2012Tue. May 22nd, 2012.
  13. 75 to 100 page Question Evolution! booklet. Question Evolution! Campaign runaway train is going to be released, Question Evolution! Campaign.
  14. 15 questions for evolutionists, Question Evolution! Campaign is coming to middle schoolers, Question Evolution Campaign blog, Tue. 1st May, 2012Tue. May 1st, 2012.
  15. Question Evolution! 15 Questions for Evolutionists.
  16. See research page, section for question 1.
  17. 17.0 17.1 "Delvo", Re: 15 questions that "can't" be answered, RationalSkepticism.org, 31 May 2011.
  18. See research page, section for question 13.
  19. "The Mind of Clive Jones", 15 Questions About Evolution:?, Yahoo! Answers, June 2011.
  20. Question Evolution on RationalWiki.
  21. "WellTravelledProg", Atheists, 15 Questions About Evolution:?, Yahoo! Answers, June 2011.
  22. See Articles listed under Is evolution relevant or helpful to real science?, linked from the original question.
  23. Responses to our 15 Questions: part 1—General objections and attempted answers to questions 1–3 Wed. 7th September, 2011Wed. September 7th, 2011.
  24. Responses to our 15 Questions: part 2—Questions 4–8 Wed. 14th September, 2011Wed. September 14th, 2011.
  25. Responses to our 15 Questions: part 3—Questions 9–15 Thu. 22nd September, 2011Thu. September 22nd, 2011.
  26. 15 Questions for Evolutionists -- General objections, Sun. 8th December, 2019Sun. December 8th, 2019.
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