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

" 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: use your opponent’s strengths against him by re-directing his own attacks against him. And so Cosmos actually tried to take the strongest arguments Intelligent Design theorists use against Darwinian evolution – and attempted to use them in support of evolution. Unfortunately the attempt fails miserably, because in so doing they leave the firm foundations of evidence based science, and firmly esconce themselves in the unscientific approach of – “it’s true because I said so – so believe it.”

In other words they’ve moved from science by scientific method and evidence to science by pictures and fiat – I’ll tell you want to believe – and don’t ask questions. Obviously Cosmos is hoping you won’t notice this whole approach is not a scientific one, but is rather a really obvious ipse dixit fallacy – where they want you to believe ‘that’s just the way it is’ based on the collective fiats of naturalistic scientists who are supposed to know. (And evolutionists accuse creationists of relying on blind faith – amazing.)

The entire episode is devoted to promoting the various doctrines of evolution, and they hit all the major themes: Natural selection, Survival of the fittest (which in the segment on dog species is morphed to “Survival of the friendliest”), descent from a common ancestor, the tree of life, variation via mutations and homologies (the belief that since things look alike, they must be related).  Since 1) most of these have been addressed in previous posts, and 2) I don’t intend this single post to address the numerous problems with evolutionary doctrine, let me focus in on this latest clever but ultimately futile defense of evolution-the attempted Judo throw of intelligent design objections.

Some of the most powerful arguments used by Creationists and Intelligent Design theorists alike are the following:

 1. Molecular Machines:

Kinesin are literally machines built at the molecular level. They take Paley’s argument for the existence of God from the obvious design inherent in machines like a watch to a whole new level. Following is a description from Creation magazine1:

Just as there’s no mistaking that a working watch has a purpose, and contrived devices in it to achieve that purpose, and works because of the intelligent design put into it to make it work;  likewise there’s no mistaking that these filament walking, protein bundle bearing, payload-releasing-at-the-proper-time machines are designed.

2. DNA

As noted in the previous posts Windtalkers and DNA and  The Poor Marksmanship of Athiests – the challenges posed by the information
bearing properties of DNA are insurmountable.  I don’t have room to discuss them here, but I will note that Cosmos host Tyson affirms the  properties of language, letters, coding and decoding that’s discussed in Windtalkers – but of course never answers the questions  explicitly stated in Poor Marksmanship. (That’s because evolutionary theory has no answer.)

3. The Complexity of the eye

Taking a page out of Dawkin’s book The Blind Watchmaker (which appears to take a page out of Darwin’s book)2 Cosmos purports to show a possible progression of how an eye could develop through a serious of steps. What they neglect to show (or even mention casually in passing) is how natural processes could create each step, or where the additional new information needed to make such changes is acquired. (It’s a mistake to believe natural selection can do it – natural selection only removes information; it never adds it.) But apparently this is the new approach in defending evolution – story telling. As an ICR article puts it:

Recently, Australian neuroscientist Trevor Lamb wrote a Scientific American article titled “Evolution of the Eye.” He included a narrated history, as if he had witnessed an actual eyeball evolve. But instead of providing scientific evidence, his presentation relied on logical fallacies.3

As I noted above, this article also notes that the difficulties in creating an eye are neither highlighted or explained by evolutionists:

The article made eye evolution easier to imagine by excluding the complicated design details of eye anatomy. How, step by step, would “selection” have precisely positioned the 12 muscles that adroitly move the eyeball in its socket, including the one that uses a pulley to properly swivel the eyes?4

It is not just the eye they want you to believe evolved. They take the time to show the complex molecular machine called Kinesin, and in the context of the ongoing discussion of evolution,  imply this is another product of it as this clip shows: 

Kinesin as depicted on Cosmos

The animations do a great job of showing us what happens, but as to any evidence to back their story of how what happens came about – all we get are the evolutionary stories, no facts or evidence. How is this any different from the “no evidence fairy tales” atheists and scientists accuse creationists of believing? Interestingly enough speaking of the Kinesin linear motor molecules, he notes:

“How alien they seem”

An interesting comment at this point. Is he trying to point us to the Francis Crick (co-discoverer of DNA) theory of directed panspermia – the theory that life, and the DNA that allows it – was seeded throughout the galaxy by extra-terrestrials? (Crick came up with this theory upon the realization of the extreme complexity of DNA – he considered it much too complex to have evolved; though he has since recanted such beliefs.) Who knows? It leaves me to wonder – like prosecuting attorney Capt. Jack Ross (Kevin bacon) in the climatic court room scene in “A few Good men” who while waiting for defense attorney Lt. Jack Kaffee (Tom Cruise) to get to the point, impatiently exclaims “If it please the court is there a question anywhere in our future?” – Likewise I wonder  “Is there any evidence coming out of evolutionists anywhere in our future?” The extended storytelling about events not witnessed and about which they have no evidence of origins is not science and we’re not buying.

Duane Caldwell  | posted 3-31-2014 | print format


1. Kinesin Linear Molecular Motor; Creation Ministries ( video


2.  While Darwin notes the difficulty in explaining the eye, in the end he concludes evolutionary theory can explain it. Darwin’s acknowledgement of the difficulties is
often quoted:

“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.” (Darwi 1872)

Less quoted is his final conclusion:

“…then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, can hardly be considered real.”

In other words, if you can show multiple tiny steps, such difficulty in believing should not be considered a real difficulty.

ref: Talk Origins Claim CA113.1


3. Eye Evolution: Assumption, Not Science;  Brian Thomas, M.S.


4. Thomas, Eye Evolution;  Thomas is evidently speaking of both eyes (6 muscles each).


Top picture: Capt. Jack Ross (Kevin bacon) in A few Good men: “If it please the court is there a question anywhere in our future?”

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

[…] in cells (featured in Windtalkers and DNA) and molecular machines in cells (featured in Science by Fiat) he either thinks us ignorant of these facts or else apparently thinks a sleight of hand trick […]

9 years ago

Wonderful website. A lot of useful information here.
I’m sending it to several pals ans additionally sharing in delicious.
And certainly, thank you in your sweat!

9 years ago

Hi there! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone 3gs!
Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts!
Keep up the superb work!

addie Up
9 years ago

I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your site.
It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to
come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a developer to create your theme?
Excellent work!

Tatiana Yoel
Tatiana Yoel
9 years ago

Great post but I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this topic?
I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further.
Appreciate it!

Junior H
Junior H
9 years ago

I love reading through an article that can make people think.
Also, many thanks for allowing me to comment!

Monte B
Monte B
9 years ago

Awesome article.

Cary Cose
7 years ago

I dugg some of you post as I thought they were very very beneficial