The Fallacies of Evolution

I was given this list of fallacies that were claimed to be used by science to defend evolution.  It was supposed by the person that gave these to me that they would be unanswerable assaults on the premises of science.  Unfortunately, it was child’s play to respond.

What is worse, is that this was one of the worst cases of projection I have ever seen.  I was able to actually use the exact same comments as assaults on creationism rather than evolution.

All of the quote boxes are the original comments and ‘fallacies of evolution’.  My responses are below each.


Hasty Generalization basing a general statement on too small a sample; building general rules from accidental or exceptional situations. (Microevolution is evidence of macroevolution; origin of life experiments in the laboratory can be extrapolated to the actual evolution of life in the primitive oceans, alleged transitionary forms [Archaeopteryx, Semouria, etc.] prove evolution.)

There is only one book that supports creationist suppositions of the global flood and the 6 day creation.

Since science produces about 15,000 peer-reviewed papers per year over the last 40 years are so (and, in fact) produced hundreds if not thousands of papers per year for the preceding 120 years.

So, in this case the fallacy only applies to creationism.

Links to commentary on the actual claims in the ‘fallacy’.


Begging the Question (petitio principii) reasoning in a circle, using your conclusion as a premise, assuming the very thing to be proved as proof of itself. (Natural selection; paleoanthropology; geologic record.)

The Bible says God created the universe and everything in it (including the Bible).  The Bible is infallible because it is the word of God.  Therefore God created the universe and everything in it.

Circular reasoning.  Got it, thanks.

In fact, science does not use evolution to support evolution. I listed some 20 odd pieces of evidence, none of which use evolutionary theory as a prerequisite, for common descent. Yes, anyone piece in isolation, isn’t enough, but all of them together paint a pretty good picture.

This fallacy only applies to creationism and intelligent design.



Misuse of Authority attempting to prove a conclusion by appealing to a real or alleged authority in such a way that the conclusion does not necessarily follow. (All competent scientists declare evolution is a fact!)


In science, all work is subject to revision, double-checking and critique. Work in ID and creationism is not because it is fundamentally based on the Judeo-Christian Bible.

For example, Mendel didn’t know about codominance. Doesn’t mean that Mendelian genetics is wrong. It also doesn’t mean that we couldn’t change Mendelian genetics to encompass new information.

This fallacy only applies to creationism and intelligent design.

Misuse of Analogy trying to prove something by improper use of a parallel case. (Hominid fossils prove evolution.)

Intelligent design supposes a designer because things ‘look’ designed. The attempt to use anthropology (where we can identify the designers) to support Intelligent Design (where it is specifically stated that they do not know who the designer is and absolutely refuse to speculate or search for the designer), is misuse of analogy.

Homonid fossils do prove that evolution has occurred. It can easily be shown that certain changes to brain volume and various structures (hips, knees, jaw, etc) can be shown to change over time… therefore evolution.

This fallacy only applies to creationism and intelligent design.


Chronological Snobbery (argumentum ad futuris) attempting to refute an idea merely by dating it, usually dating it very old. (Creationism was refuted long ago.)

Creationists always attack Darwin (150 years ago) when the modern evolutionary theory is much more advanced that Darwin could have possibly imagined.

Science ignores ‘hypotheses’ that have no testable properties, no falsifiable statements, and no way of measuring or determining differences between competing theories. Also, creationism has NOT changed, since Paley. Even Behe and Meyer’s argument boils down to ‘I don’t know how it happened, therefore God’.

This fallacy only applies to creationism and intelligent design.


Argument to Future trying to prove something by appealing to evidence that might be turned up in the (unknown) future. (As science progresses, proof of evolution will eventually be forthcoming.)

Creationism and ID always look to the future when such and such will be proven and Darwin will fall. The 5 year wedge strategy, Nelson’s book ‘in a few years’ almost a decade ago.  The constant yammering about how Darwin will be defeated soon and materialistic science will be defeated soon is more examples of creationists hoping the future has better results for them*.

Science is perfectly happy with the volume of information currently at hand. That does not mean that science does not continue to experiment and work towards more information. Indeed, part of the point of science is its predictive power. That must be considered as a future experiment. Einstein’s work couldn’t have been tested until many years after it was shown mathematically.

This fallacy only applies to creationism and intelligent design.


Poisoning the Wells attempting to refute an argument by discrediting in advance the source of the evidence for the argument. (Creationists are “know-nothings” opposed to modern science; they get their arguments mostly from the book of Genesis.)

Creationists and ID proponentists do not publish their hypothesis and experiments in peer-reviewed journals for critique. Their books have been found to ignore relevant information in order to present information with a certain bias.  There are obvious mathematical, technical, scientific and factual errors in their books and blog posts.

Science does ignore people who have continually shown that they do not have the requisite knowledge to play in the big leagues. However, the creationist argument is NOT discredited because the proponents don’t know science. There are thousands of reasons that creationism is discredited.


Appeal to Force (argumentum ad baculum) substituting force or the threat of force for reason and evidence. (Evolutionists’ intimidation of creationist students and professors.)

Galileo and the church. Comer in Texas lost her job because she forwarded an e-mail about evolution.

There has never been a verifiable instance of anyone losing a job because they were a creationist. Notably, in a few cases someone has lost a job because they were harassing coworkers. If students do not learn the material being presented, then right or wrong, they fail.

This fallacy only applies to creationism and intelligent design.


Appeal to the People (argumentum ad populum) trying to establish a position by appealing to popular sentiments instead of relevant evidence. (Everybody believes in evolution, therefore it must be true.)

Creationism constantly quotes statistical studies that show belief in evolution is low.

Science has never made this argument. However, it does poll the people who actually know about a subject (the Steve project) in an effort to show creationists how silly they are.

This fallacy only applies to creationism and intelligent design.


The Fallacy of Extension attacking an exaggerated or caricatured version of your opponent’s position, i.e., to attack a “straw man.” (Creationism is only the religious doctrine of a small but vocal minority.)

Creationism and ID have created their own caricature of evolution then attacked it without mercy. For example, no scientist expects fossils to provide a continuous record of every organism from 4.5 billion years ago to present, yet that’s what some creationists want provided to them.

Scientists, who study this, know exactly what creationism is and have shown it as such in courts of law.

This fallacy only applies to creationism and intelligent design.


Contrary to Fact arguing from “what might have been,” from a past hypothetical condition. (The fossil record.)

Creationists ‘create’ arguments about how certain ‘facts’ of the bible occurred. For example, the confusion about when humans were created, where the water came from in the flood, the parting of the red sea… etc.

Scientists use known examples of modern phenomenon to show that certain things COULD have occurred in the past. There is no claim that this is HOW it DID occur, only that it is possible to have occurred.  In other words, if there is no physical law that prevents it, then it can happen.

This fallacy only applies to creationism and intelligent design.


The Ultimate Fallacy: Pigheadedness refusing to accept a proposition even when it has been established by adequate evidence. (That evolution is false is established by the law of biogenesis, probability considerations, thermodynamics, etc.)

I have been arguing with creationists for over a decade.  Not once has any creationist read a peer-reviewed article I presented and said, “Oh, well, I guess I was wrong about that.”

I personally have been shown information by creationists and said, “oh, you’re right”, as would any scientist when presented with valid evidence.

Oh, none of the things in the parentheses are valid reasons to deny evolution as a science.  I’ve discussed probability here.  I guess I should do one on thermodynamics since most creationists don’t understand what it is.

This fallacy only applies to creationism and intelligent design.

As you can see… creationism uses the fallacies, but science doesn’t.



* This actually reminds me of a joke.

A fellow prayed to God every night to win the lottery.  Every time he thought about it, he prayed to God to win the lottery.  He prayed and prayed and prayed.

Finally God had enough and visited the man.

“Look, I’ve heard your constant praying and am willing to grant your prayer.  But YOU have to BUY a lottery ticket!)

In other words, if you want to change things, then roll up your sleeves and do the damned work.  15 blogs and a handful of books (and a bunch of lost court cases) will never impress anyone.

This entry was posted in Creationism / ID, Debate, Evolution, Science, Skepticism and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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