This is my rebuttal of jk-89's essays 'We Must have a Creator' and 'Refuting the Theory of Evolution'. I have chosen to tackle them together since the two topics are intimately connected. This is not intended as any kind of personal attack on jk-89. She is entitled to her views, and it is admirable that she has taken the time and effort to express them in an essay. I just happen to believe that she is wrong. I believe in the theory of evolution, since I have so far heard of no better, more logical explanation for how the many wonderful creatures in the world came into existence. However, the theory of evolution and a belief in God are not mutually exclusive. I am also an agnostic. I do not know enough about the universe to absolutely rule out the possibility of the existence of a supreme being, but I will not believe that there definitely is one until I see proof. This won't be a great explanation of how evolution works. For that I recommend reading The Origin of The Species by the great man himself, and also 'The Blind Watchmaker' by Richard Dawkins. I'm not a biologist. All I'm aiming to do hear is defend the theory of evolution against certain arguments that are often made against it.

In both her essays, jk-89 makes heavy use of what Richard Dawkins calls the Argument from Personal Incredulity. At different points in her essays she uses the phrases "I do not see how. I fail to see how that could evolve.?... Does it make any sense to say.?... I don't see how. I agree, that over time, a certain species could develop larger/longer beaks, but to say that animals can evolve into utterly different species?' This is a very weak argument, as was noted by Darwin himself*. That jk-89 does not personally believe in or understand something does not disprove it.

In her essay on creation, jk-89 begins 'You exist, you cannot deny this, the heavens and earth exist, beyond any doubt. It is simply common sense for the rational mind, that the things which exist must have a cause for their existence. Footsteps on the beach indicate that someone must have walked there. So the heavens with their stars and the earth with it's mountains and valleys must indicate the existence if a creator.'

The existence of the universe would seem to indicate some creating force, but it does not follow that this must be a conscious force, like God.

' Because nothing cannot create something, which is simply a matter of common sense, and a thing cannot create itself.'

Jk-89's arguments on creation are based on faith rather than logic. She argues that there must have been a creator because the universe could not have come into being by itself. If the universe was created by God, then where did God come from? You could say that God was always there, but if you're going to allow yourself a lazy way out like that you could equally say that the universe was always there.

In 'Refuting The Theory of Evolution', jk-89 says: 'If these natural forces such as wind, heat, thunder, water, storms, etc, are able to cause damage to people and destroy their works, such as blinding them or destroying what they have built, it is impossible to believe that these blind, unintelligent natural forces are able to create an eye for one who does not have an eye, or to repair a structure that is in a state of is impossible to attribute this perfection to blind natural forces.' I, (Tiefling), Charles Darwin, Richard Dawkins and other supporters of the theory of evolution do in fact believe that blind, unintelligent forces created the eye, so clearly such a belief is not impossible. She later goes on to say: 'Darwin's principal of survival of the fittest has destroyed human life, because it has given justification for every oppressor, whether an individual or a government. When the oppressor engages in oppression, confiscation, war and plots, he does not think that he is doing anything wrong - rather, he is following a natural law, according to Darwin's claims, the law of survival of the fittest. This claim led to the ugliest excesses of colonialism.' Here Jk-89 is being extremely unfair to Darwin. To say that Darwin's theories are are bad because of people who might misuse them is like saying the Quran is bad because Islamic Fundamentalist terrorists interpret its teachings to mean that blowing up buildings and killing thousands of people is morally acceptable. A book is just a book. It's what people do with it that counts. If anyone has used Darwin's theories as an excuse for acts of oppression (and jk-89 does not provide any evidence that they have) then this is not his fault, and without his theories they would undoubtedly have found some other excuse. People kill each other. Unfortunately, it's part of human nature. Jk-89 misrepresents Darwin, by arguing that aquired traits like physical strength or body modidications like circumcision will not be passed on from one generation to the next. 'Jews and Muslims have been circumcising their sons for centuries, but this has not led to any of their children being born circumcised. The more science advances, the more Darwin's theory is proven wrong.'. Darwin never made such claims. What she is describing is another theory, known as Lamarcksim, which has been widely discredited. We can only pass on to our offspring those characteristics which are already coded into our genes, not those we cause ourselves by modifying our bodies through surgery or exercise. That we cannot pass on non-genetic traits does not disprove the theory of evolution. She harps on this point some more:

'The science of genetics states that characteristics are either passed on from our parents, or are affected by environmental factors. The ones that are passed on through our genes, we can also pass on to our offspring. But the characteristics which are affected by the environment, cannot be passed on. Now doesn't that say a lot?'

What exactly? Jk-89 goes on to describe a few of the biological wonders of the world. I concede that the circulatory system, the senses etc. are indeed amazingly complex and awe inspiring and therefore deserve some sort of explanation of how they came into being. However, jk-89 has not successfully proven that her explanation is better than Darwin's. 'Is it possible that all of this could have come about as the result of blind chance or accidents, or as the result of trail and error?' There's that argument from personal increduality again. Rhetorical questions are lazy writing. 'Is it possible that all of this could have come about as the result of blind chance or accidents, or as the result of trail and error?' Evolution is not simply a matter of 'blind chance'. Mutations are a matter of random chance, but natural selection is not. Richard Dawkins used the analogy of a sieve. If you pour some pebbles through a sieve, after they have finished falling you will be left with pebbles underneath the sieve and pebbles left inside. The position of the pebbles is not random. The ones that fell through are those that are small enough to fit through the holes. The ones that do not fall through are those are too big. The animals not weeded out by natural selection are not random, they are those which have what it takes too survive. Jk-89 continues: 'This amazing formation of the lens, rods and cones, and nerves can only have happened at one time. If they were all not created at the same time, sight would have been impossible. How can it bee (sic) that all these factors complement one another at the same time?' Firstly, saying that the formation of the lens etc. must have happened all at one time is begging the question (building into your argument as an assumption the very thing you set out to prove). According to Darwin's theory, organs like the eye were formed gradually over many generations. Simply insisting that they were not is not any kind of proof. Secondly, to say that sight is impossible unless all of the parts of the eye are in place and working perfectly is simply untrue. 'Someone close to me has had a cataract operation in both eyes. She has no lenses in her eyes at all. Without glasses she couldn't even begin to play lawn tennis or aim a rifle. But she assures me that you are far better of with a lensless eye than with no eye at all. You can tell if you are about to walk into a wall or another person. If you were a wild creature, you could certainly use your lensless eye to detect the looming shape of a predator' (Dawkins p.96) With one of the useful parts of the eye missing we are left with less than perfect vision, but this is better than no vision at all. It is entirely possible that the eye evolved over a succession of generations from many less than perfect eyes. Many of Jk-89's objections to the theory of evolution seem to be due to misunderstandings of the theory itself, and her adherence to her religious faith. The theory of evolution is, as Darwin himself admitted, just a theory- it has not been (and possibly cannot be) completely irrefutably proven, but I believe it is the best explanation available for the way things are.

*Please note once again, I am not attacking jk-89 here, I am sure I have used this line of reasoning myself in the past, possibly on essays on this site, but I will try to refrain from doing so in future since it has been pointed out to me how weak it is.