The Three Failures of Creationism: Logic, Rhetoric, and Science

The Three Failures of Creationism: Logic, Rhetoric, and Science

The Three Failures of Creationism: Logic, Rhetoric, and Science

The Three Failures of Creationism: Logic, Rhetoric, and Science

Synopsis

Walter M. Fitch, a pioneer in the study of molecular evolution, has written this cogent overview of why creationism fails with respect to all the fundamentals of scientific inquiry. He explains the basics of logic and rhetoric at the heart of scientific thinking, shows what a logical syllogism is, and tells how one can detect that an argument is logically fallacious, and therefore invalid, or even duplicitous. Fitch takes his readers through the arguments used by creationists to question the science of evolution. He clearly delineates the fallacies in logic that characterize creationist thinking, and explores the basic statistics that creationists tend to ignore, including elementary genetics, the age of the Earth, and fossil dating. His book gives readers the tools they need for detecting and disassembling the ideas most frequently repeated by creationists.

Excerpt

The theory of biological evolution is the central organizing principle of modern biology. In 1973, the eminent evolutionist Theodosius Dobzhansky famously asserted, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” Evolution provides a scientific explanation for why there are so many different kinds of organisms on Earth and gives an account of their similarities and differences (morphological, physiological, and genetic). It accounts for the appearance of humans on Earth and reveals our species’s biological connections with other living things. It provides an understanding of the constantly evolving bacteria and viruses and other pathogenic organisms, and it enables the development of effective new ways to protect ourselves against the diseases they cause. Knowledge of evolution has made possible improvements in agriculture and medicine, and has been applied in many fields outside biology— for example, in software engineering, where genetic algorithms seek to mimic selective processes; and in chemistry, where the principles of natural selection are used for developing new molecules with specific functions.

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