Creation Museum spot

Whatever your feelings are towards the controversial Creation Museum in Petersberg Kentucky, I think we can agree this is a pretty nice TV spot:


  • http://animationwriters.blogspot.com Steve

    Agreed. Of course, there was a lot of great design work coming out of Germany in the late 30s and early 40s, but… that was some pretty sinister propaganda too.

    Ah well, what do I know? I’m part ape.

  • Fred Sparrman

    Ah, come on Jerry, a monkey could have made that spot.

  • Travis Gentry

    Argh, so many confusing feelings. It’s hard being angry and impressed at the same time.

  • Al

    It’s all flash animation, isnt it?

  • http://www.milkmoneycartoons.com Ohjeepers

    Nice textures, and magic is ALWAYS funny!

  • Kris

    That’s some pretty gorgeous design work.

    I actually find people’s reactions to the Creation Museum a lot more disgusting than the museum itself. I don’t dig religion being repackaged as science, but in the end it is something harmless that will end up being visited only by people who genuinely believe in creationism already and folks who enjoy novelty attractions.

  • Fred Sparrman

    Kris — It’s not harmless when they try to infiltrate our schools with their fiction. The museum is designed to lend an air of legitimacy to their fairy tales, and to try to sway naive minds. I feel Steve’s analogy is quite apt.

  • Jonathan G.

    Like Leni Reifenstal films, without half the beauty.

  • GhaleonQ

    Yes, Fred, creationists ARE trying to subjugate the continent. Thanks for your measured, reasoned criticism.

  • Chris S.

    The whole concept of commercial seems to contradict what the museum is all about. It seems more “evolutionary” then “creationist”. And what’s with all the dinosaurs? I thought creationism wrote off the dinosaurs as myth?

  • Fred Sparrman

    GhaleonQ -

    Hard to tell from your writing, but I think you’re referring to my appreciation of Steve’s analogy. (Um…so why not pick on HIM?) But “subjugating the continent”? Those are your “measured, reasoned” words, not mine. I simply think creationism is a negative, destructive force.

    Okay, I’m bowing out of this potentially long, off-topic thread. Have fun; I’ll be watching Popeye.

  • http://www.autodaddy.blogspot.com tom

    Let’s not open a non-cartooning can of worms here, folks. Let’s just agree that that spot was charming, beautiful and note-perfect in its execution and leave it at that.

    Lovely work.

  • http://sandwichbag.blogspot.com Elliot Cowan

    I think this is lovely – like animated Eric Carle.
    I couldn’t care less what the content is.
    I’m a little surprised that anyone here really gives a shit.
    It may have been animated in Flash, but it was probably composited in After Effects.

  • c.tower

    Creationists found that even THEY couldn’t ignore dinosaurs-those big skeletons are pretty hard to refute.They just claim that people and dinosaurs co-existed, and that dinos didn’t make it on to the Ark. (Incidently, why is this museum open on Sundays? Oh, right- they’re hypocrites whenever it comes to advancing their “cause”…)

  • http://williamwray.blogspot.com/ Wray, William

    Nope, they think Fred Flintstone was real. It all happened at the same time.

  • Taber

    Neato. I liked those multi-plane effects and the graphic simplicity, but I do wish there had been a little more focus on the motion of the animals.

  • Brad

    To me, it’s hard to imagine the dinosaurs not interfering with noah’s boat and saving all of the other animals, maybe I’ve watched Jurrasic Park too many times. The animation itself is content/propaganda free — well there’s a snake on a tree but…

    I think the design is great, the details of the plants had me thinking of krtek the mole. The timing is matched nicely to the music.

  • http://www.iheartdan.com Dan Pinto

    As much as I hate the idea of the museum teaching, basically, lies, the spot itself was quite nice.

  • Tony

    Does anyone know who created the TV spot?

  • Charlie

    I liked the animation in this spot. No black lines seperating each object, just colors. The beauty of this is that animation is not just saying that, but the outside world that was created is very much indeed….beatiful!

  • http://geritopiablogspot.com GeeVee

    Nice work. Reminds me of illustrator Lane Smith-meets-George of the Jungle. If you enjoy a steady diet of being irate over logic vs. creationism, I recommend going to onegoodmove.org

  • http://segaltoons.com Steve Segal

    This reminds me of the “lumage” technique (The name was something like that, it was sheets of transparent colored paper) used in John Korty’s Twice Upon a Time. Where’s that DVD?

    I guess they have a right to express their beliefs, I wish they didn’t present it as scientific and acknowledge evolution.

  • http://www.glitschka.com Von Glitschka

    Someone said “Creationists found that even THEY couldn’t ignore dinosaurs-those big skeletons are pretty hard to refute.”

    Actually if you bothered to do your homework in regards to a creationists view on Dinosaurs you wouldn’t have made such an ignorant statement as you did.

    Dinosaurs existed pre and post flood.

    I find it amusing that those who hold to the belief of evolutionary theories have thousands of museums worldwide pushing that theory. Some even still showcase proven fallacies such as ‘PiltDown Man’ or ‘Peking Man’. But along comes one single museum that gives an alternate view and the self prescribed tolerant crowd goes ballistic and starts whining.

    Someone else said “I hate the idea of the museum teaching, basically, lies”

    Easy to just spout out comments like that without getting specific. Evolution has spouted a plethora of lies and flat out racism over time. Read the sad story of Ota Benga, a victim of the theory of evolution playing out to it’s LOGICAL ends.

    Read this article: http://www.floatingbanana.com/storage/Ota_Benga.doc

    How many of you if I were to look at your creative artwork and marvel at it’s beauty then turn around and attribute it to random chance would honestly enjoy that? It’s nuts to do that. It took intelligence, creative thought and design to pull it off. But yet an evolutionist can look at an ornate vase designed with inlaid gold, jewels etc. that is filled with rare tropical flowers and they’ll have no problem giving praise for a beautifully designed artistic vase but they won’t even bother to comment on the infinitely more complex design and beauty of the flowers themselves, nor will they honor the one who designed them.

    I think that is sad.

  • Ziggy Zerboutski

    The Creation Museum is pretty funny.They have a display where a baby tricerotops has red saddle buckled around it with a toddler girl on top holding the reins and riding it.Just like something you would see Pebbles do in The Flintstones.

  • http://robcatview.blogspot.com Robert

    Beautiful commercial. Don’t we know who did it?

    If only the energy that went into the creation/evolution debate would go into something that actually mattered.

    If we could actually go back in time and observe one of them it still wouldn’t change anything here today or anything coming down the road at us that we ought to be paying attention to. It’s like the perfect high school debate topic.

  • http://niffiwan.livejournal.com/ Esn

    Von Glitschka:
    http://www.vuletic.com/hume/cefec/
    Very nice FAQ at that link, if you scroll down past the introduction (which need not be read).

    Back on topic,
    the spot is absolutely charming. Excellent design work, and excellent colours. Does anyone know how they made it seem as if there’s a certain almost-invisible texture covering everything?

  • David

    Al, this was done primarily in AfterEffects.
    Check out YellowShed.com for more work by Soyeon and Todd!
    I think this is a great spot!

  • http://zekeyspaceylizard.blogspot.com Zekey

    Things learned from this brew post:

    1.) the creationism vs evolution debate still rages on. and it’s still as convoluted and dumb as ever.

    2.) someone really needs to invent a time machine

    3.) we must find out who animated this gorgeous commercial

  • Jay

    The folks backing the Creation Museum have deep, deep pockets. Even the angriest critics of the museum have admitted being impressed when they visited the place… it’s no cheapo roadside attraction. The folks behind it know that they need to *look* top-notch if they’re going to sell their ridiculous message.

    I love, love, love the look of this spot; reminds me of that EarthShare commercial narrated by Harrison Ford.

    @Ziggy Zerboutski: That’s not a display; they have life-sized plastic dinosaurs with saddles for your kids to sit on and ride.

  • Sean Dooley

    Wait, Bill Wray. The Flinstones wasn’t a documentary?

  • red pill junkie

    Actually, the Creationist museum postulates Noah DID carry dinosaurs in the ark. They just claim all animals (T. Rex included) were vegetarian BEFORE man ate of the forbidden fruit and disobeyed God.

    But sticking to the animation spot: Who is that ape that appears at 00:14…. Is that Adam??? ;-)

  • Rat

    Von Glitschka wrote:

    “Dinosaurs existed pre and post flood.”

    You just made me pee myself.

  • David

    Zekey, read my post. Animated by Soyeon Kim and Todd Hemker of YellowShed.com. Wonderful people.

  • Steve

    Sorry, but to me, Creationism is the OJ defense against evolution. It’s just trying to create reasonable doubt.

  • Anne

    “They just claim all animals (T. Rex included) were vegetarian BEFORE man ate of the forbidden fruit and disobeyed God.”

    …..wait, what? How do you even…? I mean, where do you come up with…

    My brain hurts. I need to stop reading this thread.

  • Steve

    By the way, don’t get me wrong. I have no problem with a creationism museum existing. But it’s faith, not science.

    And my red flags raise when faith is disguised as science and then starts creeping into public schools. Or debates about health care. Or scientific advancement.

    I’m not even opposed to pointing out holes in evolution theory, because somebody should try to fill those in, if they can.

    But not with faith. Faith is about looking at stuff that doesn’t connect and connecting the dots with your own personal beliefs, and that has no place in science.

    Wait – is this an animation board? I’m shutting up now.

  • Joe Smoe

    I guess all of you are right about evolution being the truth, because nearly everyone that has posted on this topic has acted like a bunch of salvage apes when someone else presents an opposing viewpoint.

  • c.tower

    Wait a minute… All animals were vegetarian BEFORE Adam ate the apple- which was sometime AFTER Noah’s Ark? Is that really what they claim? If they can’t even understand the chronology of their own bible, no wonder they think the world is 6000 years old! Apparently when I made that “dinos killed by the flood” comment, I was giving them too much credit for rationality….

  • Rat

    I blame my religious upbringing.

  • red pill junkie

    “But not with faith. Faith is about looking at stuff that doesn’t connect and connecting the dots with your own personal beliefs, and that has no place in science. ”

    Psst. Steve!

    Ever heard of something called “Dark Energy”? ;-)

    Yeah I know. Way off topic. But I think it’s great animators are exposed and comment on other things ASIDE from animation. Otherwise you’re condemned as an artist to REGURGITATE the work of previous professionals.

  • red pill junkie

    Soyeon Kim. I think all of us think the spot is BEAUTIFUL, whether we have problems with Creationism or not. I have not visited the Creationist museum but I have seen photos of their exhibitions and dioramas; personally I think it would have been better if they would have asked you guys for more of your wonderful work to increase the quality of their museography.

    c. tower: My bad. Of course they have their chronology right (although they still mantain the Earth is only 6000 years old and the Grand Canyon was the end result of the Biblical Flood).

    They believe that prior to the fall of man, all the animals lived in peace (including the dinosaurs), and after Adam & Even sinned, that was the moment animals began to kill each other. That was also the very first time animals began to die…

    The Creationist museum mantains that Noah DID carry dinosaurs in the Ark. As to the size problem, they say that the average size of most of the dinosaurs were “about the size of sheep”.

    What did they eat in the ark? The same thing that the lions and the tigers and all the carnivores that were aboard:

    GRAINS.

    Soyeon, if I may, let me ask you something, on a more personal basis. Actually this is a question to all of you animation artists: How do you feel if the work you are being asked with seriously, SERIOUSLY opposes your personal beliefs. Say for example that you are deeply PRO-Life, and that you are asked by an NGO to make a short clip that is aimed for a Birth Control Campain.

    Do you say no?

    You Soyeon mentioned you guys found out what was the purpose of the short when you were deep in the middle of completion. Did it cause a personal conflict?

  • Chuck R.

    Wow, we’re getting religion, art, education, science, and dinos all in one thread. Jerry, this is the best posting in a long time! So much to comment on:

    1. Thanks Soyeon for writing. May I ask where you guys are located? Your work looks amazing and has great rhythm. (I love the way you can barely see the T-rex in the bkgnd before the foot comes in.)

    2. The evolution debate has been a bit sensationalized by the press. Everything you read is an argument between two extreme minority views. Most of mainstream Christianity (the Vatican included) believes in God as the creator of all things, but takes no stance on exactly how He did it. Christianity and evolution are compatible.

    3. What is taught in schools should concern us all (yes, even animation geeks) Evolution is a sound theory, but shouldn’t be taught as a conclusive fact. There are pieces of the puzzle missing, and science needs to argue less and dig more.

    4. I give this Creationist group a lot of credit for using art (great art) to get it’s point across. This advert and the museum itself uses a non-bullying approach, and even though I’m not in their camp, it’s refreshing to see art in the service of religion again. To compare this to the hate speech of Nazi Germany is an affront to anyone persecuted by Hitler, as well as a disservice to rational debate..

  • Dock Miles

    I think it’s interesting that, according to Soyeon Kim’s post, the Creation Museum hired her under, if not false, at least pretty shifty pretenses. The Biblical basis of the “natural history” the place presents is not a trivial matter.

    But she gets one thing very wrong –

    >”I believe that you don’t have to be christians to enjoy michelangelo or da vinci’s art.”

    The great masters were not promoting obvious lies and confusion. It’s as though they were great nature artists today who believed in evolution with all their hearts. If they had promoted some weird, mutant version of Christianity, then the parallel with Creation Museum would be accurate. (Maybe Bosch is the proper parallel, heheheh.)

    Finally, to consider any work of art sealed off from its social and political context is to look with one eye closed and one ear plugged. The contexts are there, whether or not you acknowledge them.

  • Dock Miles

    >Evolution is a sound theory, but shouldn’t be taught as a conclusive fact. There are pieces of the puzzle missing, and science needs to argue less and dig more.

    So why not argue we need to work more on physics theories? That gravity, what a wacky notion. It’s only religious implications that put solid science “under suspicion.”

  • Dock Miles

    >I give this Creationist group a lot of credit for using art (great art) to get it’s point across.

    I don’t give them credit, I give their budget credit.

    It’s no more enlightened than the Turkish anti-evolution book.

    Which is no doubt gorgeous.

  • Steve

    “I don’t give them credit, I give their budget credit.”

    Outstanding.

    Soyeon, for what it’s worth… the piece is beautiful. My only counter point is:

    “I and director, Todd were asked to create a spot for the natural history museum. And that’s how we began the concept. Irony is that we didn’t know that it was for the ‘creationism’. With all the respect for anyone who has belief in their point of view, both of us are not christians.

    We did find out about the religious theory behind it when we finish more than half way…and had a little bit of difficulty bringing our visions out through the piece since we do believe evolution. ”

    That’s a bit of a bummer, because it does feel like you were tricked. Would you have done it if you did? Or would you have told them to find someone who believed in what they were selling?

    And would it have been as good?

    Since this is a weird theological / political debate on an animation board, I’ll say this: I’m not saying you and your team did anything wrong or unethical or anything like that.

    To me – It’s really just a discussion of the entire creationism concept, through the very small microscope of the animated advertisement they produced.

    You should be proud of the work.

    Whether you’re proud of who paid for it, that’s different, right?

    All the best…

  • Mike Adair

    I think scientific claims are usually based on facts.
    So…what are the fact’s of evolution, exactly? Are there any? Is there one?
    Oh, and beautiful animation regardless of less than clear motives on behalf of this museum. The imagery and style are wonderful – that’s a fact.

  • Steve

    Oh, and to Dock:

    “4. I give this Creationist group a lot of credit for using art (great art) to get it’s point across. This advert and the museum itself uses a non-bullying approach, and even though I’m not in their camp, it’s refreshing to see art in the service of religion again. To compare this to the hate speech of Nazi Germany is an affront to anyone persecuted by Hitler, as well as a disservice to rational debate..”

    Lets not go too far into hyperbole.

    I think the propaganda discussion is completely merited. I doubt there’s anybody on this board that would counter the fact that the design of German propaganda was as well designed as it was insidious and evil.

    It’s like Darth Vader. Cool to look at, rotten to the core. (At least in the good Star Wars movie)

    Nobody’s saying that Creationists believe what the Nazis believe. Nobody’s comparing Creationists to Hitler.

    This isn’t about the speeches, this is about the art and what it represented. And since I was the one that brought it up in the first place, I think comparing and contrasting art and design used to sway is a fair debate.

    Okay, maybe NOW I’ll shut up.

  • Dock Miles

    One last note –

    >it’s refreshing to see art in the service of religion again.

    Man oh man oh man. I’ve always thought one of the best things art ever did was get the fuck away from the holy hellhole dead end.

  • Soyeon

    I almost forgot to say that I truly appreciate those kinds words toward this animation. I really did/do enjoy reading about it including everyone’s notes on the issue.

    I may not have the same viewpoint as the client, yet I must say that they did show a great deal of respect and appreciation for this spot. That makes difference, if that answer any of questions above.

    In a odd way, this controversy on the subject bring more attentions to the spot. Visual arts are made to be shown to the audience, I believe, so it serves it’s goal…

    Chuck R, we’re located in LA.

  • http://www.fooksie.com Fooksie

    Oh please. I can’t believe people are getting their panties in a wad about this.
    I thought it was a very nicely designed spot.
    I guess the other animators who post on this board who are so upset about the museum, would have turned down the work if it had been offered to them.

  • http://www.timpanogos.wordpress.com Ed Darrell

    There is no more science in the entire museum than there is portrayed in that cartoon — and that’s an ironic little tragedy.

    So much money spent on so little information. I have 150 kids who could learn history a lot better if I had $500 for DVDs with real facts in them. In the school are 500 or so kids who could learn biology a lot better with some DVDs that are available now, or with some good animation that shows what we really know about cells, about evolution, and about how evolution literally affects our daily lives (no “virtual” about the effects).

    I hope the cartoonist got well compensated. I hope the ad fails to pack ‘em in to the museum the same way I hope kids fail to listen to the sex ed campaign that says condoms don’t work.

    There’s another area where we could use accurate animation . . .

    Among the saving virtues of this ad: It makes no serious claim to be other than animation of a fantasy.

    Nice animation. Bad museum

  • Steve

    Mike – I’m not going to debate science with you. You have your beliefs, I have mine. This is the icky part about inserting faith into science – there is an unquestioning allegiance to faith (just by the nature of what faith is), whereas science is based on questioning something and trying to create fact.

    You’re asking me to talk about something and prove it’s true – which because it’s science, I admit I can’t completely. It’s the “Theory of evolution,” after all. But your counter (if you are a creationist) is faith, which you accept 100% as truth without any proof whatsoever.

    How is that an equal debate? :)
    With no ill will…

  • Chuck R.

    Soyeon: I wouldn’t bother writing a defense for people who: Rush to compare Creationists to Nazis. Accuse someone who objects to this of using “hyperbole”. Then changes the comparison to Darth Vader. Some people need to get out into the world more.

    It’s also unfair to you to say that the big budget made this spot a success. Anyone who works in a creative field knows that throwing money at a problem doesn’t guarantee a great result.

    It’s an excellent piece. I’m sorry if you were conflicted about it in any way. You should be proud of your work. The other commenters should really check out your other pieces —they are dynamite!

    Art question: How much creative control did you get over the storyboarding—the spot flows very nicely.

  • MH

    I’m not going to get into the evo/creo debate, but here’s a review of the museum in question, and here’s a list of responses to creationist arguments.

    Now, the animation. It was truly beautiful, Soyeon. Well done! I’m intrigued as to where you are from though, as I find it intersting how people are influenced by their surroundings. Did your culture/nation influence you, and in what way? Also, which artists influence you?

    Thanks for joining us here to answer our questions.

  • red pill junkie

    Seems nobody noticed my question; so allow me to post it once more.

    This is a question to all of you animation artists: How do you feel if the work you are being asked with seriously, SERIOUSLY opposes your personal beliefs. Say for example that you are deeply PRO-Life, and that you are asked by an NGO to make a short clip that is aimed for a Birth Control Campain.

    Do you say no?

  • Rat

    I’d say no.

    But then, I have the luxury to say no. I can be choosy and my kid still gets fed.

    But I feel so passionately about the dismal state of science education in this country that I consider it my patriotic duty and my duty to future generations to fight the tide of ignorance threatening us.

    Beautiful art. But sad. Tremendously sad.

  • Chuck R.

    RPJ: A bit off-topic, but a good question:
    I’m an illustrator who does character/bkgnd design for animation occasionally. I have turned down at least one project (in publishing) that I strongly disagreed with. Can’t say how much it has hurt me. I try to do these things nicely, but I may have forfeited their business for a while. C’est la vie.

    Like Soyeon, I’ve also worked on a project that got ickier as I learned more about it. It worked out fine, but asking a lot of questions beforehand didn’t guarantee a smooth ride.

    There was a great thead (dangerous opinions) that hit upon this, and it probably should’ve gotten more discussion.

  • Kseniya

    Beautiful piece of work. I don’t really care what it’s about. The Creation Museum is crap science, but that doesn’t affect my view of the animation. Lovely!

    For Mike Adair and others who have freely admitted here on this blog that they know little about science and nothing about evolution, try going to talk origins and see how many facts you can find. It’s fun!

    http://www.talkorigins.org/

  • peerke

    evolution = creation & creation = evolution
    ‘god’ created evolution and thus this whole debate is pointless
    but the clip is very very beautiful

  • Mike Adair

    Hey Steve,

    None taken and likewise. I actually think this thread is kind of fun to think about. Anything that get’s my nose out of Photoshop and Flash for a few minutes has gotta be worth while.

    I think someone earlier equated evolution with scientific fact and in most circles I believe it is treated and (may I?) protected as such? I’ll just show my hand – yes, I’m a Christian and worse yet, a Lutheran! Gasp!

    But pretend for a minute that there is no religious element to the debate. All the Christians in the world are locked inside a humongous Dunkin’ Donuts (and, man, are they happy!) I believe there would still be a debate. Is the theory of evolution based on facts (measureable scientific discovery) or is it actually a matter of faith? I’m just asking. I don’t know. Maybe it’s split 50/50?

    And it was really a question earlier since I only have an art degree, afterall. Does evidence exist in support of evolution? Are there fossils of half-formed wings or something?

    I actually don’t believe either theory should be taught in public school. I also happen to think school prayer is a really bad idea. My dear, fellow Christians need to realize that Pietism has done nothing to help the Church. Faith comes from hearing the (unadulterated) Gospel. But that’s just one crazy Lutheran’s opinion.

    Now, back to whatever I was doing.

    Cheers Steve.

  • Rat

    Mike,

    The theory of evolution is actually based on measureable scientific discovery. Millions and millions of seperate, rock-solid, mutually-confirming pieces of interlocking evidence that have been confirmed over and over again in every biological laboratory on the planet, in fact. Every day, in every biology department at every scientific university in the world, the theory is confirmed and reconfirmed, as it is the central organizing principle undergirding all of modern biology. It is rock solid, based on tons of physical evidence that is growing all the time.

    “Are there fossils of half-formed wings or something?”

    Yes. Bird wings started from the arms of theropod dinosaurs. Bat wings started from the arms and fingers of rodents. Insect wings started from various other insect appendages.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_of_birds

    The evidence for evolution is overwhelming, and comes from multiple disciplines. Comparative anatomy, physiology, DNA evidence, biogeography, embriology, ethology, biochemistry, palentology, geology, plate tectonics, microbiology, and many, many other disciplines of science independently confirm the historical fact and continuing process of evolution. It is perhaps the single most solidly confirmed theory in all of science.

  • Oliver

    Believing the Earth, billions of years in existence, to be only 6000 years old is an egregious underestimate akin to describing Mt Everest as only six feet high.

    Admittedly there have been times when modern science has been wrong; but how could it possibly be THAT wrong?

  • Mike Adair

    Then why is it a theory?

    I’m feeling a little guilty that I’m contributing to the length of this post and I can feel Jerry Beck’s eyes rolling as he sees how long this is getting – so I’m going to bow out with this:

    I’m not sure how an arm decides it wants to be a wing (granted over millions of years). And, yes, Wikipedia probably gets the story straight but it still adds up to a theory. And my only point was that it takes faith to believe in it.

    Sorry Jerry.

  • red pill junkie

    “Are there fossils of half-formed wings or something?�

    Yes there are. Archeopterix (Ancient Wing) was found in Bavaria, Germany in the 19th century, which was the first evidence to point in the direction of a direct link between theropod saurians and birds.

    I will only add that, incidentally, Archeopterix does make a quick cameo at the wonderful segment THE RITE OF SPRING, in 1940′s FANTASIA.

    So I think it’s fair to say that Uncle Walt had no problem with evolution, right? RIGHT?? And that he thought animation was the right tool to spike the curiosity of the audience about these wonderful animals of the past.

    So I find it a little bit ironic that much of the technology Disney created for his visionary theme parks (Pirates of the Caribbean, Epcot Center), are now being used to defend the theory of creationism.

    Ok, I’ll shut up (for now)

  • MH

    Mike, if you want to educate yourself about evolution, EvoWiki is your one-stop-shop. It was put together to address the MANY misconceptions that are fed to the public by, alas, church groups. Their list of creationist arguments should be your starting point, and includes answers to all the questions you have raised here.

    Imagine for a second how you would feel if the vast majority of the public said things like “you can’t use spray-paint effects in Photoshop because there’s no way to squeeze a can of spray-paint into the monitor”. You would feel perplexed at first, and infuriated after you had heard it several hundred times. Know you know how scientists feel when they are confronted by the questions on that page I just linked to.

    Mike, education is GOOD.

  • Rat

    Because in science the word “theory” is defined not as “guess” or as “conjecture” but as “a unified explanation of natural phenomena that is predictive, falsifiable, fits all available data and has never been disproven.”

    So a theory is a human explanation for a law of nature. Species change over time… that is a law of nature. Evolution by means of natural selection is the proven human theory that explains that law of nature.

    The theory of universal gravitation, Einstein’s theory of relativity, the germ theory of communicable diseases… these are all called “theories” as well.

    “I’m not sure how an arm decides it wants to be a wing” Study science if you want to know. The answer is there… it’s not a mystery. It’s called “natural selection”, and humans have known for over 100 years how an arm becomes a wing. I can recommend some really good books, if you really want to know. That is, if you’re brave and curious and you want to know how far down the rabbit hole goes.

    “And my only point was that it takes faith to believe in it.”

    I have faith in knowlege, deep study, science, and the blisteringly hard work of the greatest scientific institutions on the planet. I do not have faith in the idea that one day some sky spirit breathed on some sand and a man jumped out, and his girlfriend jumped out of his rib.

    That takes more than faith to swallow.

  • http://me.asolis.net/ Alex

    Von Glitschka: “Someone said ‘Creationists found that even THEY couldn’t ignore dinosaurs-those big skeletons are pretty hard to refute.’

    Actually if you bothered to do your homework in regards to a creationists view on Dinosaurs you wouldn’t have made such an ignorant statement as you did.”
    c.tower (“someone”) was correct. Creationists have denied the existence of dinosaurs in the past, but now in order to make their ideas seem more plausible, they’ve been forced to accept the fact that dinosaurs exist. My grandmother was a Creationist and she was angry that my parents let me play with dinosaurs when I was little. That was because she thought dinosaurs never existed. Now Creationists have rationalizations for these things, but in the end, no matter how many rationalizations you make, Creationism is still bullshit.

  • red pill junkie

    “That is, if you’re brave and curious and you want to know how far down the rabbit hole goes.”

    You’re stealing MY lines, man!! ;-)

  • Kseniya

    Hey, kudos to Mike Adair for asking good, honest questions, and to the rest of you for providing good, honest answers. That’s one woman’s opinion, anyway. :-)

  • Chuck R.

    Well, there’s evolution and then there’s Evolution. It’s one thing to look at the fossil record and see a progression of complexity in organisms over the ages, but Macroevolution maintains that all life developed from single-celled microorganisms through random mutations and natural selection.

    It’s the random part that most mainstream Christians have a problem with, and there are enough holes in evolutionary theory (yes, even Darwin acknowledged them) to suggest that there could well be some guidance behind what we see as a natural progession.

    Some of the classic objections include: the “foresight” of mutations to become fully functioning adaptations, the lack of intermediary specimens in the fossil records, and simple probability. eg. the extraordinary length of time it would take to produce a human being from a proto-mammal with random mutations. I’ve always wondered why no one speaks of sexual selection as another mitigating factor: even if a mutation is advantageous for survival, it doesn’t matter if the mutation is later “bred-out” or makes the animal a freak so that it cannot mate and pass down the genetic material.

    Biblical models aside, there are enough scientific problems to give one pause. Good science should mean that nobody makes conclusions or derides the other side, until the work is done.

    Oh, and wasn’t that a neat TV spot? Who did that? :-)

  • Kseniya

    Nice misrepresentation of the science, there, Chuck. You well-intentioned comment (and I mean that sincerely, and I like your comments in general) suffers from a lack of credibility.

    A statement like “even Darwin acknowledged them” is a dead giveaway. (Hint: Darwin died 125 years ago.)

    So is this: “Evolution is a sound theory, but shouldn’t be taught as a conclusive fact.” (Hint: The theory is taught as a theory. The facts are taught as facts.)

    Once again, I recommend taking a good look at http://www.talkorigins.org – your “classic objections” (meaning, the decades-old objections that have been addressed, explained, or debunked thousands of times already) can probably be found in the Index of Creationist Claims on that site. Lack of transitional forms? Heh. “Simple probability?” Heh.

    Also, I refer you back to the salient and concise comment posted at 08/14/07 4:48pm by “MH”.

    Best wishes,
    Kseniya

  • Kseniya

    Oh yeah, the comment immediately following MH’s comment, posted by Rat, should also be reviewed. Good stuff, Rat.

  • Dock Miles

    >Because in science the word “theory� is defined not as “guess� or as “conjecture� but as “a unified explanation of natural phenomena that is predictive, falsifiable, fits all available data and has never been disproven.�

    Good enough. Should probably be run as a TV spot every five minutes until America stops abusing the poor word “theory.”

    And the anti-evolution arguments are really, really weak. This is one of my faves:

    >simple probability. eg. the extraordinary length of time it would take to produce a human being from a proto-mammal with random mutations.

    Of course mutations aren’t the only engine driving evolution, but the sheer simple-mindedness of this astonishes. You live for 10 or 12 million years and then tell me it’s not enough time. Human beings can barely begin to wrap our smooth little brains around how much time a century is, let alone 10,000 times that much. Reducing the vastness of time and space to the little tinkertoys humans can grasp has always been a kind of insult to reality.

    That’s why art is good. It IS a universe we can understand.

  • wundermild

    Who could ever be so foolish to believe in evolution! For everyone knows, it’s intelligent design that formed all mankind. Nobody could ever deny the masterful creations of HIM. Hail the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    Ramen!

  • MH

    Chuck, all of you questions are dealt with at the list of Creationist arguments page. That’s what it’s there for. If you have any desire to learn, click the link. I’m a little dismayed that you haven’t done so already.

  • http://niffiwan.livejournal.com/ Esn

    Yikes, I can’t seem to avoid getting dragged into this. Well, I’ll let someone else do the talking, at least.

    Here are some questions answered for Chuck R:

    “Macroevolution seems unlikely”
    http://www.vuletic.com/hume/cefec/4-17.html
    http://www.vuletic.com/hume/cefec/4-19.html
    http://www.vuletic.com/hume/cefec/4-22.html
    (these are just a few, there are many others)

    “It’s the random part that most mainstream Christians have a problem with”
    http://www.vuletic.com/hume/cefec/8-1.html

    “the “foresightâ€? of mutations to become fully functioning adaptations”
    http://www.vuletic.com/hume/cefec/4-1.html

    “the lack of intermediary specimens in the fossil records”
    http://www.vuletic.com/hume/cefec/5-7.html
    http://www.vuletic.com/hume/cefec/5-1.html
    http://www.vuletic.com/hume/cefec/5-2.html
    http://www.vuletic.com/hume/cefec/5-3.html
    http://www.vuletic.com/hume/cefec/5-4.html
    http://www.vuletic.com/hume/cefec/5-5.html
    http://www.vuletic.com/hume/cefec/5-6.html

    “even if a mutation is advantageous for survival, it doesn’t matter if the mutation is later “bred-outâ€? or makes the animal a freak so that it cannot mate and pass down the genetic material.”

    It does. Unless I misunderstood what you meant.

    “Good science should mean that nobody makes conclusions or derides the other side, until the work is done.”

    Actually, good science means that the work is never “done”. This is one of its most fundamental tenets, but it is obviously confusing for people who are used to infallible doctrines.

    Science is always “the best answer we know of”. It has always been thus. To some, that’s the same thing as “we have absolutely no clue”, but I wouldn’t agree with that interpretation.

  • c.tower

    When I made my comment about the dinos dying in the Flood (I was probably thinking about the Irish Rovers song UNICORN), I admit I was just guessing. Seemed a good guess, actually; made sense, as the Bible doesn’t actually mention how dinos died out- probably doesn’t mention them at all. But now you tell me that the official Creationits’s line is “Noah took SMALL dinos aboard the Ark, and got them and all the other carnivores (including Man, I assume) to convert to vegetarianism, and STAY vegetarians for the several generations it would take to repopulate the Earth, after which they all decided it was okay to go back to being carnivores-even though they would now know that they didn’t have to eat meat to survive (which would make carnivorism an ACTIVE CHOICE to MURDER their fellow animals for selfish reasons)… and, oh yeah, they STILL don’t have an explanation for why the dinos died out? Have I got that right this time? Because I wouldn’t want to get my facts wrong on this….

  • http://www.timpanogos.wordpress.com Ed Darrell

    This is the most calm discussion of creationism on the internet.

    If the blog owner has difficulty with this discussion (hey, it’s driving traffic), c’mon over to Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub, and you can discuss to your heart’s content, maybe to your mind’s satisfaction. I even have a thread on this specific ad.

    Or, there are several other great sites on the web where it could be discussed — say, Pharyngula, with a real evo-devo biologist in charge, or Evolutionnews.

  • Chuck R.

    “This is the most calm discussion of creationism on the internet.”

    LOL!

  • red pill junkie

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=dEyt8qqaWD8

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=DWyMBnfjQKI

    OH! And let’s not forget this one!

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=8zQqgIGhLik

    Man I LOVE that french cartoon! I owe it so much…

  • Chuck R.

    I went to all those websites listed above and was greatly impressed!
    I even left a comment at each one about how Mocap is ruining our lives, which I’m sure they’ll all find fascinating.

  • red pill junkie

    c. tower:

    I think that they explain it in these terms:

    *Man sins against God
    *Man is thrown of Eden.
    *Nature turns on man and on itself (the lion and the sheep stop being buddies and all that)
    *As a consequence animals and Man discover SEX. Animals begin proliferating.
    *Seeing this, God then find a solution to the problem of the Earth getting overpopulated with both man and animals: Death
    *Animals that were once herbivores go carnivore.
    *Fastforwarding to Noah, when they carnivore animals stay in the ark (dinos included) they accept a vegetarian diet just fine: the argument to “support” this is that zoos have succeded in mixing the diet of animals that are completely carnivore in nature (lions, tigers, lawyers) with vegetables, grains and fruit. Your dog can eat a piece of bread and it descends from wolves right?

    There was a website with a lot of photos and info on the Creationist museum where I read all that. Sadly I didn’t bother to keep the url
    :-(

    PS: Oh! I remember one more thing: the whole “Where did Cain’s wife came from?” big question is answered thus: Cain’s wife was of course ALSO his sister, and that happened with all of Adam and Eve’s siblings, eventually they married each other. And that was ok with God because if you read the Bible Lot also had intercourse with her daughters and God did not punish Him for that (He did punish Lot’s wife for turning in curiosity to watch the destruction of Gomorre though). Now it is not ok to marry your sister because since man’s fall our genetic make up has obtained a lot of “imperfections”… and because your offspring would be drooling idiots.

  • http://www.timpanogos.wordpress.com Ed Darrell

    Well, while we’re on ads and evolution, don’t forget this one:
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=OpqlwJ-g34I

    Dallas, Texas, still hasn’t evolved enough to have many (any?) good outlets for a good pint of Guiness.

  • red pill junkie

    c. tower:

    I found the website with the museum’s photos!

  • Kseniya

    Chuck, LOL @ “Mocap ruining our lives” :-)

  • red pill junkie

    let’s not forget THIS one then:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=_OTMo9FkR0c

  • Rat

    I like this video to explain the origin of life on Earth:

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ozbFerzjkz4

    The animation ain’t as pretty, but the science is a heckuva lot better.

  • Chuck R.

    You all misunderstand me (and Mr. Darwin) on the transitional forms
    argument. If Darwinism is true, almost every specimen dug up would be a “transitional” specimen. This doesn’t seem to be the case, when science heralds a major finding every two years or so that supposedly puts the final nail in the coffin of ID. How many species on earth do we have to account for and how many of the skeletons unearthed are animals previously found? An occasional archaeopteryx doesn’t fit the Darwinian model

    MH: I don’t want you to be dismayed. I looked at your links, and I think this does a better job at explaining all the objections: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objections_to_evolution and providing rebuttals. It answers most objections with scenarios that are very plausible, but again almost all of these scenarios are unproven theories concocted to fit an existing assertion—that Darwinism is true. The same technique used by the creationists. An example is the old punctuated equilibrium concept. Very possible, but made up to fit the existing model.

    ESN: I followed your links as well. Same thing. And yes, you did misunderstand me. Sexual selection is observable, more potent a force, and may work counter to natural selection. Like punctuated equilibrium, it gives natural selection less time to do its work. Remember it’s not enought to say “this is how evolution could happen”. You have to prove that it’s probable that early mammals turned into humans in a given amount of time.

    Let me emphasize that I’m Catholic, and as such, I can handle anything that good science throws my way. Evolutionists make a good case, but it’s not so iron-clad that it warrants the routine mockery of people who would like more proof.

  • red pill junkie

    “almost every specimen dug up would be a “transitionalâ€? specimen”

    Chuck let me ask you this:

    Don you think of humans as an “end result species”??? I mean, is this it? We are what we were supposed to be? We have reached perfection?

    By definition, ALL species are transitional. The only moment a species stop evolving is when it becomes EXTINCT.

  • Chuck R.

    RPJ: Good question. I probably do think of humans as an “end result species”. We are not perfect, although Brad Bird comes close.

    For the evolution argument, transitional species are 1: the missing links that science is looking for eg. the birds with limbs that “point toward flight” but aren’t fully functional. 2: specimens found that are rarer because they appear at times of rapid evolution as opposed to well-known animals like T-rex that seem to appear at times of evolutionary stability.

    Remember: I’m only armed with a BS in Graphic Design and a healthy inquisitiveness in our origins. My interest is in continued research and rational debate with a bit more humility on both sides.

  • Rat

    “Evolutionists make a good case, but it’s not so iron-clad that it warrants the routine mockery of people who would like more proof.”

    Mocking the creation museum, or mocking the idea that T-Rex was on a boat filled with sheep and goats 5000 years ago is NOT the same as mocking someone who wants more proof.

    Ken Ham of the Creation Museum doesn’t want “more proof” to dissuade him from the “T-Rex on a big boat” hypothesis.

    And red pill is exactly correct. Every organism is properly seen as a transition, unless they were the end of the evolutionary line.

    If posters above “want more proof” as you say they do, why don’t they, you know, pick up a book? Go to the library? Go to the local science museum? Take continuing education courses at the local university? Ask deep questions there? I’m not a science teacher. But I can recommend some good ones. If they need more proof, where’s the evidence that they’ve ACTUALLY SOUGHT that proof? I can’t spoon feed people.

    As I’ve found in the past, these people who just “want more proof” will not even read the book you give them for free if you send them a nice easy-to-read entry level college science book (with pictures!). They don’t want proof. They merely want the ability to say that “there are holes” so they can keep believing that the heavens, the Earth, the stars, the planets and the entire history of life on Earth began a few thousand years after the agricultural revolution.

  • red pill junkie

    We share 97% of our DNA with chimpanzees. The big differences between they and we is how those same genes are expressed differently, in our case to make bigger brains and also methabolize sugars that are the fuel of those big brains.

    Maybe humans are nothing more than the TRANSITIONAL state between chimps and angels… kind of an oddball species like the archeopterix which is neither a fully functional bird nor an efficient reptile.

    Ironic isn’t it? The very same thing that we link with a dupe like Homer Simpson (eating douhnuts) is the very same thing that makes us the smartest beings on this planet :-)

    Look Chuck, I know your inner debate because I passed through the same dilemmas. Believe it or not I don’t believe science has all the answers, and I get upset with people like Richard Dawkins who call themselves atheists but are in reality ANTItheists and as fundamentalists in their views as an Al Qaida militant.

    Maybe we should simply acknowledge that Science is best for trying to explain the “HOWs”
    And Religion is best for trying to explain the WHYs

    And you kno what? Why is much more interesting in the end than How ;-)

  • Chuck R.

    What? I say I’m Catholic, and it’s presupposed that I’m all gooey and conflicted inside? Hey, I just enjoy taunting people like Rat.

    …and saying that Brad Bird is almost perfect.

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