The logical fallacies all creationists make.


Q: Can you prove that there is a God who created the universe?
A: You can’t prove there isn’t a God.

This first one is not strictly creationist.  Here is the fallacy of demanding a negative proof, to which I always respond with the unicorn analogy.  Scientists cannot prove the non-existence of unicorns.  Unicornists must however provide proof that unicorns exist.

Q: How do you know there is a God?
A: Every painting needs a painter therefore there has to be a creator.

Firstly, this argument invokes a metaphor which cannot possibly account for the latter claim.  PZ Myers calls it an “over-extended metaphor”, and he asks whether a thunder needs to have a thunderer.  Secondly, it is a form of circular reasoning because it assumes that the universe is a creation, based upon opinion but not evidence.

Evolution claims that something as complex as an eye could have evolved by chance and that life could come from non-life. Clearly, evolution is absurd!

Straw man.  First, the creationist creates a straw man, ie. a misrepresentation, of evolution, and then strikes it down.  It is also an argument from ignorance because evolution does not claim that the eye evolved by chance.  Neither does evolution concern itself with how life could have come from non-life.

Even Charles Darwin was skeptical about the evolution of the eye.  “To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree. (Darwin 1872)”

Creationists always quote-mine.  The following quote misrepresents Darwin’s position, because Darwin wrote exactly after that paragraph how an eye could have evolved.  Of course, the creationist omits the second part.  The above is also an argument from incredulity.  Because the creationist is unable to imagine or understand how an eye could have evolved, the eye could never have evolved.

Charles Darwin didn’t even know much about cells.  He thought of them as simple blobs of protoplasm.  He was clearly wrong.  Oh, did I tell you he was racist?  Atheists are immoral because they don’t have set rules to live by.

Creationists like to think that if Darwin is proven wrong, then the evolutionary science would collapse upon itself.  Because of that, they are especially fond of attacking Darwin.  An ad hominem attack is an argument aimeed towards a person, rather than the argument at hand, such as calling Darwin a racist (which he wasn’t), or claiming that he doesn’t know anything about cells.  It is also a downright lie because Darwin did know about cells and drew and published pictures of them.  I have deliberately written the above example to show a red herring, which is basically a sad attempt to change the topic, ie. from Darwin to atheism is immoral; to be fair, not all creationists do this but an awful lot of them do.

Over the century the scientific community has expressed doubts concerning Darwinism.  More than a hundred PhD scientists have signed a petition to show their skepticism about whether natural selection can explain the diversity of life on earth.  Recent polls show that up to 40% of Americans do not believe in evolution and a lot more think Intelligent Design should be thought as an alternative theory.

This shows a hasty generalisation that because a hundred PhD scientists have signed a petition, it means that the whole scientific community is expressing doubts concerning Darwinism (I suppose, another example of generalisation is the title to this very post; at least I admit it).  It is also an appeal to authority, a couple of scientists which PhD’s saying evolution is wrong doesn’t make evolution wrong.  Creationist polls and petitions are also sometimes worded very carefully, like “do you think natural selection in itself can explain the diversity of life on earth”, of course there will even be evolutionary biologists who disagree with this statement.  The latter part to this argument is an argumentum ad populum, or appeal to the masses.  Because creationism is accepted by many people doesn’t make it true.  The same applies to evolution.

There has never been found a monkey giving birth to a human, or a fossil of a crocoduck, therefore macroevolution has never been proven true.  As the Bible says, animals reproduce after their own kind.  No giraffe has ever given birth to a zebra!  How could life possibly come about from slime?  This blows evolution out of the water, literally.

This is a misrepresentation of scientific theory and another straw man.  I call it an argument from utter stupidity, but that’s just me.  Evolution does not claim that given time monkeys would give birth to humans, or that a crocoduck would be found.  More importantly, evolution is not abiogenesis.  This is also a fallacy of slanting, basically ignoring all of the evidence for macroevolution.

Argument from Utter Stupidity

Evolution cannot account for complex things such as the bacterial flagellum.  The flagellum is like a mousetrap.  All the parts of the mousetrap need to be functional in order for the whole thing to work, otherwise it would be useless.  Therefore the flagellum is designed.

Simply another argument from incredulity.

All of this doesn’t matter anyway because evolution is only a theory, not a fact!  If evolution is proven wrong then Intelligent Design is true.

This is an example of an equivocation, a misuse of a term with more than one definition.  A scientific theory is not the same as theory in the everyday sense.  The latter part is a false dilemma fallacy.  If evolution is wrong, Intelligent Design is not the immediate alternative. 

Other than that, I choose to believe in God because the Bible is the word of God.  Christianity has done a lot for humanity, and has withstood the test of time, therefore I am convinced that God is real.  End of debate.

“Because the Bible is the word of God” is a splendid case of begging the question, in which a conclusion is made from another questionable statement.  The whole thing is actually an amazing piece of circular logic: “I believe in the Bible because the Bible is the word of God because the Bible said so.”  Finally, non sequitur: it simply does not follow that because Christianity has done a lot of good, it means that Yahweh exists.

There are a lot more fallacies that creationists make but I think I’ll stop here.  I probably make some of these fallacies myself at times, but at least now that I know them, I’ll try very hard not to.  Anyway, it’s very hard to argue with creationists when they just pull one fallacy after another, right?

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