GULO and other Irrational Atheist Arguments – Part 1

7 Popular, but Fallacious Arguments used by Atheists


Evolutionists believe glowing eyes evolved multiple times independently.
Arguments that are demonstrably wrong yet still believed demonstrate the irrational nature of atheist and evolutionist belief.


The Biblical book of Acts recounts an event where a demon possessed girl who made a business for her masters from telling fortunes took to following around the Apostle Paul, shouting:

“…These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.”  She kept this up  for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.1

For those wondering why the apostle cast out a demon providing free advertisement for him, the answer is simple: God’s people are forbidden from having anything to do with demons2 – even if what they do is initially helpful. The amazing thing to Christians is that Paul put up so long with it. I mention it because I likewise feel troubled by the recurring contention of Atheists that the pseudo-gene known as GULO or GLO proves common descent. So let me
cast out this demon and be done with this irrational contention once and for all.  And while I’m at at it I’ll address 6 other irrational atheist arguments as well.  (I use irrational in the sense that these arguments are easily demonstrated to be fallacious.) So following are 7 arguments used by evolutionists and atheists alike which are logically fallacious – and thus those who continue to use them – having read this – are showing themselves to be irrational in their anti-Christian beliefs.


To understand the atheists’ and evolutionists’ contention for these first two items that they present as evidence – GULO and LUCA – one must first understand one of the core theories of evolution – common descent. I say one component because according to the well respected late evolutionist Ernst Mayr, there are 5 basic components that make up the theory of evolution.3 The theory of Common Descent states that all creatures – from the worm in the ground to your cat and dog to you and your family are all descendant from a single common ancestor. That’s why they talk of the evolutionary “tree of life.” The common ancestor is at the trunk of the tree, and all other species make up the limbs and leaves. This concept is key to the next two items.

1. “GULO proves Evolution”

What is GULO and how does it supposedly prove evolution?


GULO and the implications for evolution

L-gulonolactone oxidase – commonly known as GULO – is a gene designed to synthesize vitamin C from glucose or galactose, but in some groups of animals, the GULO gene does function in that manner, and so it is given the label of “pseudogene.”4

Additionally, the gene is “broken” reportedly in the same place in multiple species resulting in a loss of the ability to synthesize vitamin C.  Humans are not able to synthesize vitamin C. Neither are guinea pigs, chimpanzees and several species of monkeys along with some species of birds, bats and fish. Evolutionists look at these facts and conclude that the only way the gene could have broken in the sample place is if the gene of a common ancestor became broken, and that same broken gene was then inherited by subsequent descendants.  Thus to their way of thinking the only way this broken gene would show up in multiple species is if it started in a common ancestor.

Recent evidence refutes this conclusion, and the attempts by evolutionists to salvage their conclusion makes matters worse – Continue Reading

Denying the Obvious

Boeing 747 Intercontinental

Boeing 747 Intercontinental

Those who can’t see the design behind clearly designed things such as a 747 or a human cell are denying the obvious.

In his critique of Stephen Hawking’s “Grand Design”, John Lennox writes:

“…after disparaging philosophy, he then proceeds to engage in it. For, insofar as he is interpreting and applying science to ultimate questions  like the existence of God, Hawking is doing metaphysics. Now, let us be clear, I do not fault him for doing that; I shall be engaging in metaphysics  all through this book. My concern is that he does not seem to recognize this.”1

Stephen Hawking is not the only atheist who doesn’t realize he’s engaging in metaphysics by dealing with questions of God. And  that is not the only truth atheists fail to recognize. As I demonstrate below, many have a problem acknowledging that they are working not from scientific  fact, but from deeply held belief. Lennox is not the first to point out obvious errors to someone who refuses to acknowledge it.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” (Mat 7:3 NIV)    

With these words Jesus advises careful and close self examination to avoid not only the charge of  hypocrisy, but this current  issue of self denial. After all one can hardly miss a “plank” or “beam” in the eye unless one is  intentionally refusing to acknowledge it. That’s denial. And while some may find it questionable to poke the bear by  appealing to a historical figure that some atheists deny, what is undeniable is the logic and wisdom of the advice.  I mention it because one of the  reasons for this blog is to point out errors, blind spots and logical inconsistencies that atheists tend to be either unaware of, or attempt to avoid by refusing to address. As a creationist attempting to point out such errors and inconsistencies,  I find I keep running into the same kinds of  invalid (and often irrational) arguments from atheists, such as:

  • – Intentionally missing the point, or avoidance of the point being made
  • – Factual errors in their arguments which they refuse to acknowledge or address
  • – Engaging in illicit arguments – based on their beliefs

Often, when you point out these errors, they are not addressed, not because the objection is not understood, but because there  simply is no  reasonable answer to the objection. So instead of acknowledging a problem with their world view, typically the response from atheists or agnostics will be show their inability to address the issue by to changing the subject and/or  launching ad hominem attacks. But in refusing to address a glaring problem in their argument or logic by attempting to side step it, it leads one to an inescapable conclusion:

Many who hold to an atheistic world view and belief system are in denial about the fact that what they consider a “scientific” rational for supporting a “scientific theory” is  actually nothing more than a deeply held, but irrational belief.

By irrational I mean untrue, or in the case of an argument, invalid for any of a number of reasons. By refusing to acknowledge or address such blatant errors what they are actually communicating is – Continue Reading

Can you be A Christian and Believe in Evolution?


Is Evolutions a Fact?
What atheists have noticed that many Happy Thinking Christians have not


Christian Evangelist and defender of the Gospel Ravi Zacharias talks about how to reach the “Happy  Thinking Pagan.” He describes their thought process this way:

“I don’t believe anything but I’m very happy. What does it matter?” And of course, it was also along the time of slogans such as “If it feels good, do it” and “Don’t worry, be happy.”1

I mention it because it is becoming increasing clear to me that when it comes to the creation /  evolution debate, there is a large number of Christians who are walking in the thought process of the happy thinking pagan – namely
“What does it matter?” and “Aren’t they compatible, so why worry about it? Be happy.”  It seems that many Christians are as ignorant of the harm to the faith caused by evolutionary thought as happy thinking pagans are to the reality of God.

Interestingly enough, thoughtful atheists have noticed the incompatibility between evolution and the Christian faith.  Evolutionary evangelist Richard Dawkins has commented:

“I think the evangelical Christians have really sort of got it right in a way, in seeing  evolution as the enemy. Whereas the more, what shall we say, sophisticated theologians are quite happy to live with evolution, I  think they are deluded. I think the evangelicals have got it right, in that there is a deep incompatibility between evolution
and Christianity…”2

In fact, so many atheists have begun proclaiming the incompatibility between Christianity and  Evolution that one blogger Continue Reading

Evolution – A Faith Commitment

Trilobite fossil from Chengjiang, ChinaThough they’ll never admit it, most evolutionists adhere to evolution as followers in any other religion adhere to their faith.

 

In what was intended to be the first article I posted on this site –
What is Rational Faith, Part 1
1 – I
mentioned that those who believe in the godless theory of Evolution (which includes most atheists and materialistic scientists)  – adhere to it as one adheres to and follows a religious faith. In other words it has taken on the significance of religion in their lives. Most evolutionists would deny this, as would atheists who think that because they define their atheism as a lack of faith/belief in God, they therefore think themselves immune to the common banalities (as they might describe it) of being a follower of a faith. Yet when you look at the impact of evolution on their lives, and how it changes their thoughts and behaviors, one can only conclude that for those who thoroughly understand the theory, it has taken the place of God in their lives2. Now you’ll note I’ve qualified the statement by the phrase “those who thoroughly understand the theory.”  I do so to distinguish the true adherents from those who follow it without thinking because it’s the “in” thing to do; it’s the majority belief, and they don’t want to be out of the main stream or worse – appear ignorant, or as John C. Lennox puts it, they

“…don’t wish to appear scientifically illiterate…”3

Those who know little about evolution apart from the fact that it supposedly tells us where we came from and it’s what scientists believe, should read articles like Reclaiming The Intellectual and Moral High Ground – which will inform them both on claims made regarding evolution – and why they’re incorrect. If they  still believe in evolution, then they appear to have a faith commitment as do other adherents to the Evolutionary faith.

So now that we understand about whom I’m speaking the question becomes how can I defend such a claim? Simply – by the fact that those believe in evolution exhibit the same signs and behaviors as those who follow any other religious faith. As the saying goes, if it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck, a quacks like a duck – it’s probably a duck.  There are a number of such tell tale signs, let me just give you a few off the top of my head: Continue Reading

Science by Fiat & failed Judo throws – Cosmos’ failed attempts to defend evolution

"...is there question anywhere in our future?" - A few Good Men
In a failed attempted to defend evolutionary theory, Cosmos Episode 2 resorts to science without evidence, and evidently expects to be  believed “because I said so
.”

 

 

 

…is there a question evidence anywhere in our future?

In the classic 1980’s Wendy’s ad, Clara Peller, after looking at a hamburger that’s mostly bun and almost no meat famously asks, “Where’s the beef?” After watching the second episode of the reboot of Cosmos – titled Cosmos A Space Time Odyssey episode 2 – Some Of The Things Molecules Do I was reminded of that ad as I wondered “Where’s the science?”

This episode of Cosmos wants to convince you that evolution is true, and it’s
pulling out all the stops to do so – winsomely asking legitimate questions (Where do all the species come from?), their answer being evolutionary theory,  and that answer is  aided by great animations. And they include what was no doubt intended to be the coup de grace to end questions from Intelligent Design theorists: an attempted  judo throw of Intelligent Design arguments – by redirecting Intelligent Design arguments originally directed against evolution against Intelligent design theory.

Yes, Cosmos took a page straight out of a judo manual: Continue Reading

The Poor Marksmanship of Evolutionists

Evolutionists claim to be answering a problem posed to them, but they often avoid the problem or miss the mark.

Captain Kirk to Kahn - "Like a poor marksman you keep missing the target!"Kahn: Kirk  – You’re still alive old friend.

Kirk: Still, – “old friend”. You’ve managed to kill everyone else, but like a poor marksman, you keep missing the target!

And so admiral1 Kirk taunts Kahn, a genetically engineered “super” human who is supposed to be superior to us mere humans in every way – physically, mentally etc. In another classic line, when Kirk is trying to get Kahn to follow the Enterprise into a nebulae where both ships would lose the benefits of key systems such as shields, Kirk taunts Kahn again, saying “I’m laughing at the superior intellect,” a taunt sufficient enough to get Kahn to follow them in.

I don’t mean to taunt the poor misguided evolutionists, but I do hope the air of superiority they tend to express motivates them to try to provide an answer to the questions posed in the post “Windtalkers and DNA” because the responses I’ve had so far don’t address the issues. So like Kirk I say, like poor marksmen, they keep missing the target of the difficulties that DNA poses. So let me spell it out the difficulties for them, – and give them a clear target to hit. But first here is a sample of the poor marksmanship: Continue Reading

Windtalkers and DNA

 DNA - coded information  DNA – a highly complex very efficient information storage and retrieval system

In the 2002 movie “Windtalkers”, Sergeant Joe Enders, played by Nicholas Cage is given this charge: “Protect the code.” It’s World War II and the Marines are using the code for critical tactical communications that they cannot afford to have  intercepted. They’ve developed a unique code that proves to be unbreakable. That’s because it’s double coded.

According to this Wikipedia article,  in a moment of luck mixed with a touch of genius reminiscent of the insight highlighted in “A Beautiful Mind”, Captain Lawrence of the U.S. Army overheard two men speaking in the Choctaw native American language – and had an inspiration for the code. The article gives further details on the “Code Talkers” but the point I want to make is this: The communication employed by the Marines was coded. Coded information always requires someone – an intelligence – to create the code. If that is not obvious, this particular case clarifies things because the communication is double coded – which highlights the intelligence required. It’s quite obvious that there is no process in the universe that can create double coded information without an intelligence behind it.

Consider the complexity of creating and decoding a double coded message. Suppose the word they wanted to communicate was “Plateau”. Plateau may be coded (in English) to the word “horse”. “Horse” would then be translated into the word used in the Choctaw language for horse, which is issuba.1  The process looks something like this:

Plateau > Code word: Horse >Horse re-coded : issuba

Notice the process of mapping meaning to a symbol that takes place. It’s clear to see why this code was unbreakable. Even if they could catch the syllables of the Choctaw words which were spoken (which would have been difficult enough) – the enemy wouldn’t know what those syllables “is-su-ba”  meant. Let’s say the enemy managed to catch the word, they next have to determine the convention used. It’s not English, French, Spanish, etc. They need to figure out the language convention: Choctaw. If they manage to figure that, they  additionally need to  find someone who speaks Choctaw. If you do, you now have the meaning of the word in Choctaw – “horse” but you still haven’t intercepted the message, because the message is still in code. “Horse” isn’t the message, “horse” must be again decoded by an intelligence to retrieve the originally intended message using yet another code. And for that you must have the code. And I’ll say it again because it’s a critical point: Codes are not created by random processes, they are the result of an intelligence. Intelligence is required to create a code, to  encode a message, and to create a process to decode the message.

Clearly coded messages require intelligence. Both to encode and decode. But in fact the need for intelligence goes beyond that. The coder must use a system of pre-defined symbols as the medium by which the coded message is transferred or carried. (And if one does not exist, the communicator must create such a system.) For example on this web page, the system employed is the specially formed black marks  called “letters” used to represent small units of meaning that represent sound. The letters are then formed into a concept by arranging them in the pre-selected units of the code or language, in this case English words. Once the concepts are encoded into words, an intelligence must further arrange the words to communicate something even more complex: a complete message – a phrase conveying meaning. Consider this string of letters and characters:

lb)rah ured(e sy(eir)

It has what appears to be letters arranged into words, but it is meaningless. This is what you get from random processes – Darwinian processes. Now consider the same letters, after being arranged by an intelligence into words – which when strung together with further intelligence,  properly convey meaningful information:

(red hair) (blue eyes)

So an intelligent coder uses the letters of a pre-defined system (or creates one), and superimposes a pre-defined message (in this case hair color, eye color) on those letters by arranging them according to a pre-defined code (or language) such that the component parts (the individual words) communicate the intended message when decoded by the pre-defined code (in this case the code is the English language).  This process of information encoding and decoding is far beyond what random processes alone can achieve. Random processes could not even create a complete set of letters, much less a word or message.

Now consider DNA. DNA is highly complex, very efficient information storage and retrieval system. It contains coded information. There is not a biologist (or any other scientist) in the world that denies these facts. Consider what this means. For DNA to have originated, the following  would have had to have occurred:

1. An intelligent designer had to create a system of symbols to carry the message. In the case of DNA it is a chemical alphabet that scientist represent by the letters ACGT – representing the nucleobases in DNA –  Adenine, Cytosine, Guanine, Thymine. These function as the letters of an alphabet

2. An intelligent designer had to create a “language” that communicates a message when the 4 letters are arranged in a certain way.

3. An intelligent designer had to arrange the letters in an intelligent, specific ways to encode and transmit the instructions necessary to create chemical words that specify the various traits we see in the many creatures that exist – such traits being things like hair color or eye color.

4. An intelligent designer had create a system capable of decoding the coded message.

On this point of the information bearing properties of DNA, Stephen Meyer, philosopher of science and author of the book “Signature in the Cell” which details this process correctly observes:

“NeoDarwinism and its associated theories of chemical evolution and the like will not be able to survive the biology of the information age, the biology of the 21st century.”2

The random processes claimed for evolution are simply incapable of creating such a system because random processes do not create complex, specific, organized information nor the systems that store such information. Since evolution could not have created DNA, those seriously seeking the truth about the origins of life  are left bereft of any plausible naturalistic explanation. Since evolution is eliminated as an explanation for the origins of life (which Darwinism never provided in the first place3), the only source of such a super complex information storage and retrieval system and  the information contained within – is an intelligence capable of creating them both. In the face of such clearly designed, intelligent systems and complexly coded information, Darwinian random processes and undirected mutations don’t stand a chance. For those seriously seeking the truth, I direct you to a testimony  of the Creator:

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Psalm 139.13-14

As this testimony from the psalms of David shows, the works of the Creator are evident even without knowledge of the complexities of DNA. Truly, those with knowledge of DNA and still denying God are “without excuse.”4


Duane Caldwell – posted 2-26-2014, revised 12/29/2015  | Print Format
 


Notes
1 Chahta Anumpa Aiikhvna, School of Choctaw Language, 2013
http://www.choctawschool.com/vocabulary/vocabulary/for-all-chapters.aspx

2 Stephen Meyer in Lee Strobel’s DVD Documentary “The Case for a Creator”, Illustra Media, 2006

3 Darwinian Evolution cannot operate until life already exists. Thus claims that processes like natural selection created DNA are non-starters since natural selection cannot operate until life (include DNA) already exists. So much for Dawkin’s “intellectual fulfillment”. (Richard Dawkins says evolution allows him to be a “intellectually fulfilled” atheist The Blind Watchmaker (1986), page 6)

4 The Apostle Paul, Romans 1.20


Image: DNA – Public Domain, National Institutes of Health