The Creation Wiki is made available by the NW Creation Network
Watch monthly live webcast - Like us on Facebook - Subscribe on YouTube

Talk:Evolution myths

From CreationWiki, the encyclopedia of creation science
Jump to: navigation, search
Please observe discussion policy and use talk pages only for reviewing articles.

Why was my edit removing the false claim that nebraska man was used as evidence in the scopes trial removed? This isn't an opinion but a fact, and is easily verifiable, as the scopes trial transcripts are available online. We don't bring any converts to the creation cause by posting incorrect information which can be verified as incorrect.

" 1. The images used to demonstrate the moths were fraudulent, with the moths stuck to the tree. The moths don't rest on trees during the day, they only fly at night. 2. This doesn't demonstrate evolution, but instead shows natural selection which is also present in the creation model. This demonstrates already existing traits being selected for or against"

This is false in every respect. (i) Staged photographs of moths are not fraudulence, but merely photographic convenience in an age lacking modern equipment. Particularly since the original papers never claim that the pictures are unstaged. (ii) Unstaged photographs similar to the staged ones have been taken, as described at http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/wells/iconob.html#mothphoto and http://www.asa3.org/archive/evolution/199904/0103.html demonstrating that moths _do_ rest on trees during the day. And if the moths _do_ rest on tree trunks during the day, then any comments about the photographs being staged are completely pointless. (iii) The example has never to my knowledge been used as an example of evolution, only as an example of natural selection - which it is. Stating that is 'doesn't demonstrate evolution' is misleading. However, anyone claiming that the example uses 'already existing traits' should also explain why the earliest records of peppered moths only describe the light coloured version. (iv) If moths only fly at night then they have to be at rest during the day - the last sentence is meaningless.

Incidentally, there's a picture of a live peppered moth resting on tree bark after being released from a trap at http://www.wimbish.org.uk/school/moths/moths.htm

This shouldn't be listed under 'myths' at all.


Msaward: Regarding these claims, the issue while involving many things, boils down to two things: 1. Whether the moths do land on trees during the day or not 2. Whether this is important to the evolutionary theory as a whole. It is not. Creationists have absolutely no reason to deny the peppered moths, because it is an example of natural selection which is a part of the creation model as much as the darwinist one. Our reason for posting it here in myths is simply because it is a widely taught deception.

I will need to verify that these photos are legitimate proofs of peppered moths lighting upon trees during the day or not. As you noted, the moths were released from a trap just before resting on tree bark. This is noted as artificial circumstances in another article I read - and that peppered moths, in the wild, in natural circumstances, do not rest visibly on trees during the day. They fly only at night and are not seen at day. They prefer to rest on the underside of upper branches, iirc. So far you have demonstrated that the moths when woken in the day (unnatural) and released into the wild land on trees. This seems to run counter to the observations of scientists who studied them in the wild.

As I said though, will require more research to verify your claims.



One point: the natural selection does not depend on the moths resting on tree trunks - it works equally well for moths resting on the underside of upper branches since the branches are normally the same colour as the trunk. If black moths are better camouflaged on a blackened trunk, they'll also be better camouflaged on the underside of blackened branches.

The crux is that black moths became commoner (or evolved) following the blackening of trees by industrial pollution. Agruments about whether photographs are staged, or about which part of the trees the moths rest on, are just attempts to create controversy over irrelevancies.


Msaward: Yes, if that's the sole difference between the facts and what is claimed then it is controversy over nothing. As I've stated before, whether the moth story is true or not is irrelevant to the whole debate. I'm beginning to wonder if it's even worth pointing out here, since Creationism involves natural selection - of which the moth story, if true, is a wonderful example. Nevertheless, the crux of the issue is not whether the photographs are staged but whether the moths are found resting on branches in the wild during the day. I haven't had time to research this yet, sorry.

Msaward: Hi, if you have any more articles you think are relevant to this controversy then I'd appreciate you providing links. Thanks.


RT: sorry for delay, haven't had a chance to do anything non-trivial and I wouldn't want to add any links without thoroughly checking them. Majerus' latest book has been recommended as the best resource, but I haven't had an opportunity to scan it yet.


What is your definition of myth? I understand a myth (at least in one common usage) to be a common belief that happens not to be true. We are told, and I never questioned it, that if you put a frog into a pot and slowly heat the water, the frog will not jump out, but will remain in the water until it is boiled. Recently I heard that this is false, which would make it a myth.

But in what sense are Piltdown Man and Nebraska Man myths? Does anyone belief them? I only see them mentioned in historical contexts, or in Creationist lists of evolution myths. Perhaps the only myth here is the Creationist myth that evolutionists still talk about them, or have for more than half a century. Drlindberg 10:41, 22 July 2006 (CDT)


Notwithstanding the title of the page, the first line reads "This is a collection of myths, hoaxes, and lies...". Piltdown man was a hoax. Oelphick 07:02, 3 September 2006 (CDT)


Thank you for your reply. But the articles says "they can still occasionally be found in debates and in school textbooks." This is what I was asking about. I never heard of the Nebraska Man, except in anti-evolution material, and I understand it was a silly error, rather than a hoax, and corrected by the one who made it. Same thing with the Piltdown man, since the hoax was finally officially admitted in the early 50s. (The newspaper article reporting on this admission was the first time I'd heard of Piltdown man or the idea humans were related to apes.) Anyway, thanks again for your help.--Drlindberg 17:31, 15 September 2006 (EDT)


But you haven't answered my questions.

None of us are as intelligent or indeed as honest as we would like to be, or as we think we are. In any human endeavour, mistakes and cheating occur. It seems to me very implausible that, in 150 years of studies and work by hundreds if not thousands of people, these were the only mistakes or misrepresentations that were made. I'm sure that if you do your homework you will find far more (although I question the importance you attach to the above examples). I don't know if it falls within your idea of what is relevant here, but I heard a few months ago of a Japanese archeologist who was found to have grossly exaggerated the age of the sites he was working on. Surely there are more cases.

But the point is that these problems were discovered and reported by scientists working in that particular field, not by creationists. In fact, as was pointed out in something I read recently, the methods used to prove that the Piltdown man was a hoax, radioactive dating and the geologic column, are rejected by creationists, so there is no way that they could have discovered it.

And you noticed that there were consequences. People (if they were still alive) have had to resign, or at least suffered great loss of reputation when their misdeeds were discovered.

But what happens with hoaxes and myths promoted by creationists? Has any creationist lost his job or resigned over hoaxes such as the human and dinosaur footprints, or the misrepresentations about unpetrified dinosaur bones, or the myths that Darwin was directly responsible for Hitler or that the examples you give are considered vital evidence for evolution?

Thank you again for your patience. --Drlindberg 12:31, 25 October 2006 (EDT)

...the methods used to prove that the Piltdown man was a hoax, radioactive dating and the geologic column, are rejected by creationists...

As far as I know, the only radioactive dating that could reasonably have been used on Piltdown man is carbon-14. Creationists do not reject that completely, but do dispute the older dates it gives, since its assumptions assume a constant C14/C12 ratio throughout the last 100,000 years, which is unprovable at best. In fact creationists have strong reasons to doubt that constancy. We do indeed reject the geologic column, since it is constructed on the false assumptions of uniformitarianism.

According to the Piltdown man homepage, the dating was done by the fluorine-absorption test.

Oelphick 14:19, 25 October 2006 (EDT)


Gee, you are quick on my tail! I didn't expect a response so quickly.

Anyway, thanks for that correction. My memory is not all it should be, and I don't have the time or expertise to take notes of everything I run into. I'm just trying to learn and understand a little.

But my main points remain unanswered. --Drlindberg 10:27, 26 October 2006 (EDT)


You asked for a definition of myth. It is originally a story told about the supposed gods of paganism. Those best known to us in the West are the Greek and Norse myths. The word was also used to mean a story (untrue) told to illustrate a religious truth; this is a definition used by liberal "Christian" theologians; for instance, there was a book in the late seventies called "The Myth of God Incarnate". Finally, the word is used colloquially to mean a frequently told or commonly believed but false idea, as in "urban myth". It is the last sense that is being used here.

But what happens with hoaxes and myths promoted by creationists? Has any creationist lost his job or resigned over hoaxes such as the human and dinosaur footprints, or the misrepresentations about unpetrified dinosaur bones, or the myths that Darwin was directly responsible for Hitler or that the examples you give are considered vital evidence for evolution?

There may be some creationist myths and hoaxes. If we knew of them, we would discard them. The things you mention are controversial topics, where alleged facts are hotly denied by evolutionists because they obviously overthrow the evolutionist world view. It is difficult to establish the truth in such cases.

  • The Paluxy River tracks were claimed to show human prints and dinosaur prints in the same rock, but the exposed prints have apparently substantially eroded. It is claimed that evolutionists went to the site by night to destroy the evidence. Answers in Genesis, to take one example, do not promote the use of this site as evidence, which is not to say that it was a fraud but merely that the facts are too difficult to establish.
  • Unpetrified dinosaur bones seem to be firmly established, to judge by all accounts I have read. Here, the evolutionists flatly refuse to believe what they are seeing.
  • It is quite evident that Darwin, along with many of his generation, was racist and assumed that the white "race" was evolutionarily superior to other races. We also know that Hitler adopted Darwinism and believed in establishing Aryan superiority. How "direct" that connection is cannot really be determined. I think Darwin bears a measure of responsibility.
  • the examples you give are considered vital evidence for evolution - I don't understand this.

--Oelphick 21:18, 29 December 2006 (EST)


Thank you for your comments.

"the word is used colloquially to mean a frequently told or commonly believed but false idea, as in "urban myth". It is the last sense that is being used here."

This is what I was talking about. I don't think any of these are "commonly believed but false ideas." Can you name one person who believes that Piltdown Man, Nebraska Man, or Archaeoraptor Liaoningensis are or were real? I have asked for but not yet received the names of any textbooks using them as evidence.

As for the other points, what I am looking for is evidence, not just opinions.

"It is claimed that evolutionists went to the site by night to destroy the evidence."

Where is the evidence for this accusation? It sounds criminal to me, and those involved should be prosecuted. I think Answers in Genesis actually include the footprints in their list of arguments that should not be used (They and this site are about the most honest of the anti-evolution sites I have found), but the pictures and claims are still out there.

"Unpetrified dinosaur bones seem to be firmly established, to judge by all accounts I have read. Here, the evolutionists flatly refuse to believe what they are seeing."

I have been searching for such accounts for a year, but found nothing. Can you give me some references? All I have been able to find is a claim that they were invented by Carl Wieland. But, beyond that, how are you able to tell what paleontologists are seeing better than they can?

I read ad nauseum in anti-evolution literature that Darwin and evolutionists are racist and responsible for Hitler, etc. etc., but again I find no evidence. See my comments elsewhere.


"the examples you give are considered vital evidence for evolution - I don't understand this."

You're right. My syntax is not very clear here. What I meant was that the claim that the examples given in the article are considered vital evidence for evolution is itself misleading, if not fraudulent. Suggesting that proving their lack of authenticity would seriously weaken the evidence for evolution would be like claiming that if the population figures given for New York City were out by six hundred, this would prove that the USA did not exist. I have never heard of anyone using any of these examples as proof. There is plenty more evidence out there for anyone who wants to take the trouble to look. --Drlindberg 18:11, 2 January 2007 (EST)