|Wesley R. Elsberry
Joined: May 2002
My first installment of comments on the Duane Gish v. Edward Max debate...
Edward Max opened with discussion of what things were accepted by evolutionists versus creationists. Both creationists and evolutionists agree that "microevolution" occurs. Creationists disagree that common descent or macroevolution occur, while those are generally accepted by evolutionists. Creationists disagree that gene duplication, random mutation, and natural selection can accomplish the tasks of explaining the adaptation and diversity of living organisms, while this is generally accepted by evolutionists. Both sides agree that there is no evidence that would compel belief in a purely naturalistic origin of life, and also that there is no evidence that excludes God from having had a role in species origins.
Max utilized a good technique, which was to use Duane Gish's past statements from debates and presentations for comparison to the standards of science in the scientific community. One of the first things which Max examined was Gish's infamous claim that analysis of protein similarities showed that by that line of evidence, bullfrogs were the closest living species to humans.
|If we look at certain proteins, yes ... it can be assumed that man is more closely related to a chimpanzee than other things. But on the other hand, if you look at other certain proteins, you'll find that man is more closely related to a bullfrog than he is a chimpanzee." (Source: Duane T. Gish, 1983 broadcast on PBS)|
When pressed to give his references to substantiate this claim, Gish could give no actual data. The vague reference extracted turned out to concern a joke told by an evolutionary biologist at a conference, not anything that came out of a laboratory. Max introduced the phrase bullfrog argument to describe this situation of a proponent of antievolution putting forward an argument that could not withstand the slightest scrutiny, as would be required simply to permit initial publication in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. The remainder of Max's talk was peppered with images of a bullfrog whenever he made the point that an antievolution argument failed to withstand even cursory scrutiny.
Max made two points concerning creation "science" arguments in general:
|1. Used repeatedly for church and debate audiences, who find them persuasive|
2. Questions challenging their scientific rigor are not answered
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker