Darwin’s Point, also known as ‘Darwin’s Tubercle’ or ‘Darwin’s Bump’, is a very small outer ear trait used by Darwin in an attempt to prove evolution. It consists of a slightly pointed thickening of the cartilage on the posterior helix at the junction of the upper and middle thirds of the external ear lobe called the auricle (figure 1).1 It is often called ‘Darwin’s Point’ because the idea was first published by Charles Darwin in The Descent of Man as a vestigial feature that he attempted to use as evidence of our common ancestry from primates including baboons and macaques that have a point on the apex of their ears (figure 2).2 It is often called ‘Darwin’s Point’ because the idea was first published by Charles Darwin in The Descent of Man as a vestigial feature.
In his 1871 book on human evolution, Darwin wrote about “a little blunt point, projecting from the inwardly folded margin, or helix” which is the outer ridge of the ear lobe.3 Darwin invested a full page and a half on this topic, as well as one of the few illustrations in the 1879 edition of his book.4 He commented that some readers might conclude that this “trifling” trait is not worth our notice, but responded to this claim with: “Every character, however slight, must be the result of some definite cause”, adding that the trait was produced by
“… the extreme margin of the ear folded inwards … . In many monkeys, which do not stand high in the order, as baboons and some species of macacus, the upper portion of the ear is slightly pointed, and … if the margin were to be thus folded, a slight point would necessarily project inwards [towards the centre] … and we may safely conclude that it is a … vestige of formerly pointed ears—which occasionally reappears in man.”5
Darwin claimed he learned about it from the ‘celebrated sculptor’ Thomas Woolner who first described the small disturbance on the ear auricle, and even depicted it in one of his sculptures.3,6 Woolner also claimed in his correspondence to Darwin that a 6-month-old human fetus ear often has a Darwin’s Point and also resembles that of a monkey, a claim that is untrue.7 Woolner theorized that this small protuberance was an atavistic throwback linking humans and primates to their common ancestor. It is sometimes called the Darwin-Woolner Point for this reason. Millard and Pickard even concluded that the trait should be named ‘Woolner’s Tubercle’ instead of Darwin’s Point.8 It is of interest that Woolner painted a well-known portrait of Darwin, indicating their close personal relationship.
Considered an important evidence of evolution
This Darwin’s Point feature is considered so important by some evolutionists today that New Scientist’s list of the top five human vestiges has it as number three.9 Robbie Gonzalez lists it as number six on his list “10 vestigial traits you didn’t know you had”.10 Another website titled “All you need is biology” lists it as second in importance to prove Darwinism.11 An anonymous blogger, a former young earth creationist and now an atheist, on his website “Leaving Christianity and embracing skepticism” wrote: “Darwin’s tubercle demonstrates our common ancestry with other primates, which have significantly more prominent pointed ears, possibly to help funnel sound into the auditory canal.” He added:
“It’s both startling and fascinating to realize that I carry tangible, visible evidence for evolution with me wherever I go. And by no means is this connection to the past something to be ashamed of. On the contrary, to bear such tokens of our history just serves as a reminder of how far our species has come.”12
Illinois State University anthropologist Martin Nickels presented Darwin’s Tubercle among his “Twelve lines of evidence for the evolution of humans & other primates”.13 Last, Rubicondior on “The blog religious frauds tell lies about” wrote:
“I’m not one to boast, but I have primitive ears. I have the sort of ears of which my remote ancestors might have been proud … . I have Darwin’s Tubercles and I can wiggle my ears without wrinkling my forehead. Both these things are vestigial fossils of my remote ancestry.”14
In spite of these many confident statements about the validity of Darwin’s Point, as early as 1871 German Professor Ludwig Meyer published his doubts about this interpretation for reasons that included its great variability of size, shape, and location in humans, which precludes Darwin’s claims.15
Major problems with the theory
One major problem is that our putative closest ancestors, the chimps and most other higher apes, lack a pointed ear as well as a Darwin’s Point. The rare primates with a pointed ear include macaques and yellow baboons. The literature lacks either descriptions or images that document a chimp ear with a trait like Darwin’s Tubercle. Neither do gorillas, orangutans, gibbons, nor dwarf chimps called bonobos have pointed ears. Darwin’s crude drawing16 shows an alleged orangutan foetus featuring a pointed ear very unlike that of adult apes, a claim that is not supported by photographs of an orangutan foetus.17 Darwin considered this an example of evolutionary ontogenetic recapitulation.
A major problem for the atavistic theory is that the Darwin’s Point trait is influenced less by genetics, or not at all, than it is by early developmental contingencies in the womb. Professor McDonald concluded that “family and twin studies strongly indicate that Darwin’s Tubercle is not determined by a single gene with two alleles, and there may be very little genetic influence on the trait.”18 One German study of 58 pairs of identical twins found 26 pairs (45%) in which one twin possessed a Darwin’s Tubercle on one or both ears, and the other twin totally lacked the trait.19 For this reason, McDonald stresses that one “should not use Darwin’s Tubercle to demonstrate basic genetics”.18 The trait can be bilateral, present on both ear auricles, or asymmetrical, present on one ear only.
Another major problem identifying the trait is that it varies so greatly in both size and shape that it is difficult to divide ear auricles into the two categories, with or without Darwin’s Tubercle. It varies from a very prominent bump to close to a small unmeasurable enlargement. Sometimes it can be large enough to cause social problems, such as its peers mockingly calling the child with the trait Pixie ear, Spock ear, or Vulcan ear. In such cases, it is often easily cosmetically removed.20 Darwin also noticed the size problem, saying that the tubercle is variable in size and also somewhat in position.3,21
Darwin’s Point can also protrude toward the auditory canal, away from it, or even in the middle of these two extremes.1 Its presence also varies widely in the world’s population. For example, in the few small studies completed it has been confirmed to exist in only about 10.5% of the Spanish adult population, 40% of Indian adults, and 58% of Swedish school children.22 Much larger studies in different populations are required to make any definite conclusions regarding its presence in various populations. As a whole, on average it exists in about 10% of the human population, a rate that depends greatly on the specific size and position criteria used to define it. This Darwin’s Point feature is considered so important by some evolutionists today that New Scientist’s list of the top five human vestiges has it as number three.
Another reason for its significance is that in both criminology and modern human evolution theory the presence of Darwin’s Point has historically been associated with criminality as part of the atavistic theory of crime causation.23 This theory, called anthropological criminology, essentially taught that the tendency to commit crimes was inherited, and someone who is ‘born criminal’ could often be identified by physical (congenital) defects. These claimed primitive physical traits, such as Darwin’s Point, are part of the now disproved theory that a person is an ‘atavistic criminal, ‘a throwback’ to a more savage stage of human evolution.24
The exact developmental factors producing Darwin’s Point during the ear’s embryogenesis are unknown but it is believed to form as a result of unequal turning inward of the helix in the foetus. In other words, it is a harmless congenital quirk that results from a slight malformation caused by ear folding occurring during early development. If this conclusion is correct, environmental contingencies, not genetics, would play a central role in the formation of Darwin’s Point.25 This despite the fact that a Darwin’s Tubercle was once speculated to be due to an incompletely penetrant autosomal dominant because those who possess the alleged allele often do not have the trait. Thus, little evidence exists for the genetic view.26 If genetics plays little or no role in its formation, Darwin’s Point could not be either a vestigial organ or an atavism.
Darwin’s Point could not be either a vestigial structure or an atavism because, although all biological traits are influenced in some way by genetics, the environment and other non-genetic factors are critically important for its existence and specific physical form. Furthermore, Darwin’s Point identification is problematic because it is so variable in size and location that it could be located in almost any position on the general area where Darwin identified it, even if it was barely identifiable on the ear auricle helix.
The only reason it was proposed to be some kind of ‘genetic throwback’ was due to the evolutionary assumption that humans evolved from some type of primate.27 A big problem right up front is that very few primate kinds have a decisive point on the upper part of their ear. To support the Darwinian proposal of its origin requires at a minimum genetic evidence consistent with the notion. The only plausible explanation for Darwin’s Point is that it is caused by a harmless congenital/developmental quirk. This view is supported by the finding that it is a relatively rare trait and that the few studies done so far have failed to provide genetic evidence consistent with the Darwinian explanation.
References and notes
- Loh, T. and Cohen, R., Darwin’s Tubercle: review of a unique congenital anomaly, Dermatology Therapy 6:143–149, 2016. Return to text.
- Millard, D.R. and Pickard, R.E., Darwin’s Tubercle belongs to Woolner, Archives of Otolaryngology 91(4):334–335, 1970.
Public school textbooks assert that apes and humans emerged from an ape-like animal, whereas Genesis 1 says that God created humans and the different animal kinds right from the start. What difficulties would one expect researchers to encounter as they search for evidence of human evolution if humans never actually evolved? Two excuses in a recent summary of the sad status of human evolution unwittingly verify what the Bible has been saying all along about where humans came from.
Publishing in America’s top journal, Science, Sergio Almécija at the American Museum of Natural History led a small team to report big difficulties with the story that primates and people share an ancestral animal.1 The big problem? Almécija summarized it in a research post, saying, “When you look at the narrative for hominin origins, it’s just a big mess—there’s no consensus whatsoever.”2
This messy lack of consensus is exactly what creation researcher Chris Rupe found as he reviewed hundreds of technical journal articles while writing Contested Bones, the aptly titled book about disputes over ape and human fossils.3 In it, Rupe quotes paleo experts’ disagreements over the status of every fossil candidate. Secular scholars now confirm this chaos.
It’s every expert for himself, spinning his or her unique web of story lines around selected bones. But Almécija’s team strongly defends human evolution as a fact despite the bedlam in their field.
They wrote, “Evolutionary scenarios are appealing because they provide plausible explanations based on current knowledge, but unless grounded in testable hypotheses, they are no more than ‘just-so stories.’”1
Strong enough evidence would leave no room for just-so stories. Could all this room for storytelling arise in the wake of an absence of evidence for human evolution?
If we really evolved from animals, shouldn’t we find enough fossils for objective scientists to reach some level of consensus over? Shouldn’t the fossils dictate which animal morphed into the next in a chain that led to us? The Science report offered at least two reasons—which amount to excuses—for the difficulties that paleo experts face in constructing an anti-Bible human history.
For one excuse, the study authors decry a “highly incomplete and fragmentary nature of the hominoid fossil record.”1 How convenient to claim that the record of the story we want to tell is simply missing the key elements of that story. How can we know that a record is incomplete—let alone “highly incomplete”—if we don’t even have the record?
An alternate hypothesis fits the evidence from fossils that we do have instead of wrapping suppositions around undiscovered fossils. If we never actually evolved, then we wouldn’t have fossils that show human evolution. That would explain what we see, but it’s an impossible stance to take under a religiously held bias that “humans diverged from apes.”1
Another quotation contains a second excuse for the dumpster fire status of paleoanthropology. The study authors wrote, “Besides their fragmentary nature, a persistent challenge is understanding the phylogenetic relationships among fossil apes, which exhibit mosaics of primitive and derived features with no modern analogs.”1
To understand phylogenetic relationships means to decide which creature evolved into the next. And nobody agrees on an order. For every expert that claims human ancestry for their discovery, another expert sees that discovery as an evolutionary dead-end or the like.
Claims of “primitive” and “derived” (read, “more recently evolved”) are arbitrary and—of course—hotly contested, but what makes a “mosaic?” Each extinct ape fossil is supposedly made up of a “mosaic of…features.” Different reports use “mosaic” in different ways. Sometimes workers use it to refer to mixtures of ape bones and human bones that they pretend belonged together.
For example, those who promoted Australopithecus sediba as a missing link candidate referred to its “mosaic” of ape-like and human-like bones.4 However, more careful comparisons of sediba bones found them to match either ape or human remains.5,6 Those bones never did belong to the same skeleton.
But in cases where the bones actually articulate, “mosaic” can refer to body parts that fit and function with one another. Think of a Roman mosaic’s tile fragments, each expertly tailored to form a whole picture. In other words, these fossil discoveries show body parts that look like someone shaped them to mesh with one another into a whole and working creature—whether ape or human.
Whether a mosaic fossil consists of a jumble of ape and human bones that don’t belong together or a system of articulated bones like those in modern humans or apes, it shows no evolutionary transition or pattern. This fits biblical creation’s idea of separately created kinds just fine.
Two excuses for the “big mess” of human evolution unwittingly uphold God’s account of creation. The fossil record only looks incomplete to those who expect it to contain pre-human fossils. And mosaics of either mixtures from different kinds or well-fitted bones from one kind or another follow from Genesis creation.
1. Almecija, S. et al. 2021. Fossil apes and human evolution. Science. 372 (587).
2. Why Fossil Apes Are Vital to Understanding Human Evolution. American Museum of Natural History. Posted on amnh.org May 6, 2021, accessed May 12, 2021.
3. Purchase Contested Bones at ICR.org/store.
4. Berger, L.R. 2013. The mosaic nature of Australopithecus sediba. Science. 340 (6129): 163-165.
5. Sediba had an ape skull: Carlson, K. et al. 2011. The endocast of MH1, Australopithecus sediba. Science. 333 (6048): 1402-1407.
6. Sediba had human hands: Nuwer R. and S. Richards. The mosaic pre-man. The Scientist. Posted September 18, 2011.
*Dr. Brian Thomas is a Research Associate at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his Ph.D. in paleobiochemistry from the University of Liverpool.
Let’s look at flightlessness instead
First published: 19 June 2012 (GMT+10)
Re-featured on homepage: 3 June 2021 (GMT+10)
Evolutionary researchers recently published a paper in Nature Communications which is an archetypal example of what we’ve been saying for years.1
The researchers themselves are most probably unaware of this—it’s likely they’ve never heard of CMI; at most they may only have heard mainstream disparaging references to ‘creation scientists’. But the key elements are there in their paper: the grandiose presumption that evolution brought everything into existence, the specific highlighting of one evident design feature as something that evolution has produced, followed by the bait-and-switch2 to mutational degradation or shifting allele frequency and/or reproductive isolation as being evidence of ‘evolution’ (which it most definitely is not, in the sense of being support for the idea that microbes turned into man, over millions of years).
Here’s the first 290 words3 from the Introduction to their paper, in which they give the background to, and outline of, their study:
“Insects are an extremely species-rich group with about 930,000 species. One of the most important events in insect evolutionary history is the acquisition of flight, which occurred approximately 400 million years ago. Flight ability facilitates the search and colonization of distant habitats, wide dispersal and the ability to find mates and food. The evolution of flight is believed to have led largely to the diversification of insects through the exploitation of novel habitats and niches. However, despite the advantages, many insect species of various lineages have lost their ability to fly. Flightless species account for 10% of insect species diversity, and species that are winged, but flightless due to the lack of flight muscles, are also expected to occur. The evolutionary loss of flight is attributed to the energetic cost associated with the maintenance of flight apparatuses, relative to other organs essential for survival and reproduction. Low dispersal ability of flightless species leads to a low rate in gene flow, and as a consequence, differentiation among populations occurs. Lower levels of dispersal result in higher rates of allopatric speciation. Thus, the loss of flight in various lineages might be an important factor contributing to current insect diversity.
“Coleoptera comprises approximately 40% (350,000 species) of all insects, despite having evolved relatively recently among the insect orders. Approximately 10% of the Coleoptera species are wingless, although marked variations exist in flight ability among lineages. To test our hypothesis that the loss of flight promotes allopatric speciation and leads to higher species richness, we addressed, in detail, the causal relationship between flight loss and diversification using carrion beetles (Coleoptera: Silphidae) as a model system, two lineages of which (in the subfamily Silphinae) lost their flight ability due to evolutionary shifts in feeding habit.”
In lay terms (if you’ll permit us some interpretive license here), the essence of the above extract is:
- Insects evolved the ability to fly. Flight was a huge advance—it had many advantages.
- Despite the advantages, many insects lost the ability to fly. Must have been because flying is too ‘expensive’. Maintaining airworthiness wasn’t worth it.
- The grounded insects couldn’t mix it anymore with the flyboys and flygirls, so with their reduced social circle they could only marry the similarly-grounded insect boy-or-girl-nextdoor. Thus ‘reproductively isolated’ from their sky-wandering counterparts, they and their equally-ground-hugging offspring were declared to be a new ‘species’.
- Because today we don’t see insects evolving the ability to fly (it happened in the past), we couldn’t study it directly. So we thought instead we’d look at something we can see today: evolution of flightlessness. That’s because it seems to us that this is now causing many new species to evolve, each in their own little isolated patch somewhere.
- We chose to study carrion beetles—two of these sorts of carrion beetles lost their ability to fly because they decided to stop eating food they had to fly to get to, in favour of food they only had to walk to.4
It’s not evolution they’re studying, but devolution
Re #1: The progression from flightlessness to flight is evolutionary dogma—it is presumed, without any evidence for it whatsoever. The engineering precision and design involved in insect flight is astonishing. Insects are so well constructed that engineers are striving to emulate, in as much as they are able to, the amazing design features of flying insects. E.g. see Astonishing acrobatics—dragonflies, Why a butterfly flutters by, Aces of the air, Dragonfly design tips, Why a fly can fly like a fly, and “Lessons from locust wings”5. To suggest that random mutations, even allowing for selection, could generate this sort of technological achievement, demands a high level of credulousness, to say the least. It certainly places a tremendous burden of proof on those making the claim to show how such mechanisms for flight could have arisen—which is hardly achieved by showing how they are lost, as these researchers did. Showing how such mechanisms for flight could have arisen is hardly achieved by showing how they are lost, as these researchers did.
Re #2: The loss of flight because it was energetically too costly?!! You have to admire evolutionary theory for one thing—its ability to accommodate almost any story, even contradictory ones.
Re #3: ‘Species’ cannot be equated to the biblical ‘kind’. ‘Kind’, as used in the Genesis account of the creation of animals and plants, is not the same as man’s classification of ‘species’ (which taxonomists usually define today as a group of creatures reproductively isolated from others, whether by physical barriers or preferential mating). For example, lions and tigers have been given different species names (even different genus names), yet the fact that they can hybridize, indicates that they are actually descendants of the same created ‘big cat kind’. Speciation is not evolution!
Re #4: This is classic bait-and-switch: evolutionists can’t directly study what is presumed to have happened in the past (evolution of flight), so they’ll study what can be observed today (the loss of flight ability)—and call it ‘evolution’. Creationists have no problem with reproductively isolated populations of insects, because of flightlessness, being named as new species. But again, speciation is not evolution!
Re #5: The flightless insects didn’t ‘decide’ to become flightless in order to change their diet. Or, using the exact phrase of the original paper, it was not “due to evolutionary shifts in feeding habit” that a subset of carrion beetles became flightless. Rather, mutational degradation of wings and/or wing muscles compulsorily rendered a different diet necessary, if the flightless beetles were to survive. The evidence the researchers observed is not evidence of the evolutionary changes needed to turn bacteria into beetles, but rather is of loss of function, specifically the ability to fly.
Nowhere in the researchers’ study is there any evidence of microbes-to-man evolution. That’s because there’s no evidence of the generating of any new genetic information.6 Instead, flightlessness in insects that could once fly is undoubtedly the result of one or more mutational defects which prevent the formation of fully-functional wings and associated musculature. That is, the wing-making information on the genes is lost or scrambled in some way. The damaged genes will then be passed to all that beetle’s offspring, and to theirs, as the mutated genes are copied over and over. All these descendant beetles will be flightless.
So the evidence the researchers observed is not evidence of the evolutionary changes needed to turn bacteria into beetles, but rather is evidence of loss of function. Specifically, it shows the loss of the mechanisms required to fly.7 Some of the subsequently terrestrially-limited insects could survive this loss, but with a diet now limited to invertebrate carcasses, as vertebrate carcasses were no longer accessible. Conceivably the flightless carrion beetles are at greater risk of predation than their flying counterparts. That’s certainly a factor explaining the greater prevalence of insect flightlessness in island environments—see Beetle Bloopers.
Unfortunately, most people will just thoughtlessly accept this as one more relentless reinforcement of the belief that all around us, we see evidence of ‘evolution happening’. I.e. the sort of change which, they say, given enough time, turned single cells into all of the complexity of life on Earth. Even though common sense itself indicates that it’s really evidence of the very opposite—that biological systems initially created in a high state of complexity and function have been running down ever since the Fall (Genesis 3).
- Ikeda, H., Nishikawa, M. and Sota, T., Loss of flight promotes beetle diversification, Nature Communications 3:648, doi:10.1038/ncomms1659, 31 January 2012. Return to text.
- Also known as equivocation, this refers to the deceptive (though not necessarily consciously so) tactic of shifting a definition (in this case of ‘evolution’) partway through an argument.
Published: 20 July 2021 (GMT+10)
Different scholars have different ideas about the crossing site. Some ideas are better than others, but much of the debate centers on which aspect of the account gets more weight.
During their sojourn in Egypt, the Israelites built and lived around Pithom and Raamses (Exodus 1:11). 1 These were cities in Goshen, in the eastern Delta region (figure 1) of Lower Egypt (Genesis 47:6, 11). We can be fairly certain of where they lived. However, the timing of the events immediately after they left Egypt is somewhat murky.
Besides the timing of events, there are questions about what we should see left behind as evidence at any of the proposed crossing points. This was a very long time ago, so the land may have changed, archaeological evidence may be buried, wind-blown sand could have filled in shallow bodies of water or altered the landscape in general (which is very common in Egypt), and siltation and marsh growth may have moved shorelines.
Also, even though the Red Sea crossing was clearly miraculous, physical causes (e.g., a strong wind) are also mentioned. Thus, there is a tension among the scholars about how much ‘miracle’ they want to accept. Did a wind move the water? Then the water must have been quite shallow. But if it was too shallow, the water could not have “stood up like two walls” on either side or drowned the Egyptian army. Wind alone could never part water that is a half-mile deep (for example, at the Gulf of Aqaba). Even steel-reinforced concrete could not hold back that much pressure. If a miracle is involved, we need not search for physical answers, but we still need to exhaust all possibilities.
Tim Mahoney has produced an excellent series of films in the Patterns of Evidence series, including a film on the Exodus and The Moses Controversy . He follows these with a two-part series of films on The Red Sea Miracle (one of which I appeared in). From these, it is clear that there are many potential ‘Red Sea’ crossing points, but scholars have not come to any consensus. Briefly, the Israelites either crossed a bay near the Mediterranean coast, one of the lakes in the Bitter Lakes district, the northern Gulf of Suez, a lake north of the Gulf of Aqaba, northern Aqaba, mid-Aqaba in the area of Nuweiba, or southern Aqaba at the Straits of Tiran.
We can use any standard nautical chart to examine the water depth at any of the crossing sites. I used a free chart viewer (fishing-app.gpsnauticalcharts.com) to zoom in on the various locations. Screen shots will be included below. See figure 2 for an overview of the northern Red Sea region.
Crossing the Red Sea
On the night of the Exodus, 2 the Israelites journeyed from Rameses to a place called Succoth (Exodus 12:37). There are three places by that name in the Bible and the root word might have something to do with animal stables (c.f., Genesis 33:17 and Joshua 13:27).
From Succoth, they went to Etham, “on the edge of the wilderness” (Numbers 33:6), before doubling back to Pi-hahiroth, which was between Migdol and the sea. This was in front of (Exodus 14:2) and to the east of (Numbers 33:7) a place called Baal-zephon. Etham is not very descriptive. It is referred to as a place and as a wilderness. From context, it is also called the Wilderness of Shur and was also immediately on the other side of the crossing point. ‘Migdol’ is not a city. It means ‘fortress’ and, since the Egyptians were very protective of their borders, there was a migdol near most potential crossing sites. 3 Nobody is certain what ‘Pi-hahiroth’ means, as it could have either Hebrew or Egyptian roots. Baal-zephon might have the root word for the main Canaanite god (Baal), but nobody has been able to conclusively locate a site by this name anywhere in the region.
Different scholars have different ideas about the crossing site. Some ideas are better than others, but much of the debate centers on which aspect of the account gets more weight. Is it a timing issue? Then they crossed soon after leaving Goshen. Do the place names drive the discussion? Then perhaps we should focus on Timna, north of Aqaba (see below). Do we require that wind, and only wind, parted the sea? Then any crossing point on the Gulf of Aqaba is necessarily excluded. The question of where to place Mt Sinai also comes into the discussion, and there is much debate on that as well, but that is outside the scope of this article.
All we know for certain is the starting point. Yet, we know they had doubled back (Exodus 14:2) and become trapped between Pharaoh’s army and the sea. At this point, God intervened, giving us one of the most famous historical accounts in the Old Testament:
Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. The Egyptians pursued and went in after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. 4 And in the morning watch the LORD in the pillar of fire and of cloud looked down on the Egyptian forces and threw the Egyptian forces into a panic, clogging their chariot wheels so that they drove heavily. And the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from before Israel, for the LORD fights for them against the Egyptians.”
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.” So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its normal course when the morning appeared. And as the Egyptians fled into it, the LORD threw the Egyptians into the midst of the sea. The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen; of all the host of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea, not one of them remained. But the people of Israel walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.
After successfully crossing the sea, they then made several more stops before arriving at Mt Sinai: Either they literally sprinted across Sinai and then relaxed in Arabia, or they moved but a few miles per day, then crossed Suez, the Bitter Lakes, or some northern bay.
- Marah (Exodus 15:22–23) in the wilderness of Shur, also called the wilderness of Etham (Numbers 33:8), which was a 3-day journey from the sea (Numbers 33:8)
- Elim (Exodus 15:27; Numbers 33:9)
- “By the Red Sea” (Numbers 33:10), meaning they had travelled along the shore for at least four days.
- The wilderness of Sin (Numbers 33:11). They arrived on the 15 th day of the 2 nd month (Exodus 16:1), or after traveling about 30 days.
- Dophkah (Numbers 33:12)
- Alush (Numbers 33:13)
- Rephidim (Numbers 33:14), where they fought against Amalek (Exodus 17).
- Sinai (Numbers 33:15), arriving on the 3 rd new moon after they left Egypt (Exodus 19:1), or after about 75 days of traveling. Jethro visited Moses at Sinai, traveling from Midian (Exodus 18) with Moses’ family.
When did the crossing occur?
The Red Sea crossing had to happen before the 30 th day, when they arrived at the Wilderness of Sin. But you must allow time to camp at Succoth, Pi-hahiroth (if they camped there overnight prior to the crossing, c.f. Exodus 14:9), Shur, and Elim.
If they only stopped at Succoth and Pi-hahiroth before the crossing, Aqaba is excluded. But it is also possible that the sites listed are only the main stopping points where they spent significant time. The distance between campsites is difficult to determine. Either they sprinted across Sinai (it is something like 350 km/220 miles from Goshen to Nuweiba) and then relaxed in Arabia, or they moved but a few miles per day, then crossed Suez, the Bitter Lakes, or some northern bay.
The only additional geographic clues we have are not very helpful for identifying crossing points: the fight with Amalek (they were associated with the “people of the east” in Judges 6 and 7 but were resident of Ephraim (central Israel, north of Jerusalem) in Judges 12) and the visit of Jethro (Midian was in northern Arabia).
Possible crossing points
Option 1: Northern coastal route
One of the many shallow bays and ponds along the Mediterranean coast could have been the crossing point (figure 3), but this option runs into an immediate textual problem. Exodus plainly states that “God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near.” (Exodus 13:17)
As they show in the films, computer models have demonstrated that wind “set down” can expose shallow areas if the wind blows strong enough and long enough across some bodies of water. This assumes that the wind, which was definitely mentioned, was the only cause of the water’s parting. It also would not produce a “wall” of water “on the left hand and on the right”, as described in the Exodus account. Also, this entire area would have been much different thousands of years ago. Inshore locations like this simply do not stay the same for long periods of time. Siltation fills in shallow bodies, shorelines migrate, storms can open up new inlets, subsidence due to compacting sediments can cause water to deepen, etc.
Many scholars have pointed out that the phrase translated ‘Red Sea’ in our Bibles ( yam suph ) can also mean reed sea. There are many potential areas that could fit that description. There are several bodies of water in the area called that today and several were called that in ancient times (including Aqaba). Additional ones may have since disappeared under the sands. If that name was not recorded, we would not even know it. Thus, scholars, once again, argue among themselves as to which location is most likely.
Option 2: Bitter Lakes region
To the north of the Gulf of Suez are several shallow, salty lakes (figure 4). What would this area have looked like thousands of years ago? Is it possible the lakes were connected to the Red Sea? This is not necessary because they could have still been called Yam Suph if they were not. Perhaps they were deeper, or maybe a ‘lake’ that existed then has since turned into a field and the crossing point is now buried under land? Several of these lakes dried up when they built the Suez Canal. There are many possibilities here that remain unexplored. Note that one does not need miles-deep water to drown a soldier. All you need is water deeper than a person is tall. Six feet or 6,000; it’s all the same to a drowning person. Note that camping “by the Red Sea” four days after crossing would be difficult if the crossing site was one of these lakes or some northern bay. This would require either doubling back to the relatively small lake or the second “yam suph” would have to be different from the one they crossed. This is not impossible, but it does not seem to be a natural reading of the text. It is possible that this is the same one if, after crossing the Red Sea at Suez (below), they turned south. It would also be possible if they crossed the Gulf of Aqaba at Nuweiba (see below) and turned north, but not if they turned south as the ground is too mountainous.
Option 3: Suez
After marching for two days, the Israelites could have made it to the tip of the Gulf of Suez (figure 5). This would also have given enough time for dispatch riders to reach Pharaoh and for him to chase down the Israelites camped on the shore. Among the Red Sea/Reed Sea/Yam Suph crossing options, Suez is the shallowest about 10 m (33 ft) at Adabiya, with a gentle slope. In fact, the entire Gulf of Suez is shallower than the shallowest possible crossing point in the Gulf of Aqaba. Adabiya would be easy to get to from Rameses, and if they went around the western side, they would be “hemmed in” by a mountain to the south. The crossing is only about 9 km (< 6 miles), but there is some contention about what the Egyptians called the land on the other side. Some claim they would still be in “Egypt” if they crossed at Adabiya. Others point out that the forts just east of the delta are the border of Egypt, which is why they had forts there, and the Sinai Peninsula was designated as ‘foreign land’, even though they had mining operations there. If this is the case, the entire Sinai Peninsula was not considered part of Egypt.
Option 4: Aqaba
There are several possible crossing points associated with the Gulf of Aqaba.
Option 4a: Lakes north of Aqaba. Fred Baltz supports this site, at a place called Timna. 5 He claims there are good matches for the names Migdol, Baal-zephon, and Pi-hahiroth here.
Option 4b: Northern Aqaba. There is no real route to get here from the west, there is no place to get trapped along the coast, the sea bottom is steep on the west and the east sides of the gulf and on land there is a steep descent down to the water and up from the water on the Arabian side. Plus, the Israelites could simply have walked around the northern shore.
Option 4c: Southern Aqaba/Strait of Tiran (figure 6). This is the shortest possible crossing through Aqaba, but there is an extremely steep ascent followed by massive fields of sharp, irregular, leg-breaking coral heads. It is also the longest possible route from Rameses to a Red Sea crossing point (about 420 km/260 mi). Of course, the coral reef should have grown considerably over the millennia, so we cannot use today’s bathymetry to know what it would have been like thousands of years ago. This entire coral reef had to have grown since the Flood. 6 It could even have grown since the time of Moses. Someone really needs to examine the topography of the ocean bottom beneath the coral layers.
Option 4d: Mid-Aqaba/Nuweiba.
This is the most popular alternative among the public. It was popularized by a controversial amateur archaeologist named Ron Wyatt. Many of his claims are clearly false, 7 but this does not necessarily mean this particular one is wrong.
It is important to note there is no “underwater land bridge” here (figure 7). The shallowest depth is nearly
800 m. Depths surpass 1 km just to the south and reach well over 900 m just to the north of the potential crossing site, so there is something of a saddle here, but it is not shallow. Granted, when we are talking about the miraculous providence of God, anything could be possible, but this site would require a very long walk with a serious change in elevation requiring a steep ascent in their march. This would be difficult for animals, children, and the elderly. Perhaps they made several switchbacks on the ascent, making the slope gentler, but this would make the journey even longer. There is also the problem of several million people (if indeed the population was that large) camping on so small a beach, especially since the delta was most likely much smaller thousands of years ago.
Conclusion: Where was the crossing point?
After 3,500 years, a single coral can grow as large as a tall building. Why would we expect to see corals in the shape or size of Egyptian wagon wheels today?
In the end, each of the potential crossing points has strengths and weaknesses. We would do well not to put too much emphasis on one when the others have not yet been fully studied. The remains of the portion of Pharaoh’s army that pursued the Israelites most likely decomposed or were buried in mud or sand. They could be deep in the Red Sea or under an area that is now dry land (e.g. the steamboat found buried under a field, far from the Missouri River ). They could be anywhere within an area of several hundred square miles, most of which remains unexplored. Nuweiba could be it, but no compelling evidence for this hypothesis has been found and there is little reason to expect such evidence will be found in the shallow areas near the beach, even if the Israelites did see Egyptian bodies near the shore.
We need to beware the ‘ knock-out punch syndrome ’. Rarely in the world of archaeology do we see slam-dunk evidence for the Bible. Good evidence that supports the Bible is there, but most of that is for the later periods. There are many other bits of evidence that are perfectly consistent with the biblical account, but which tell us little on their own. Excitement over poorly detailed theories creates an additional danger, in that rejection of a pet theory can lead to disillusionment. What if, for example, after putting so much emotional effort into Nuweiba, it turns out not to be the crossing point?
Our guide should be the biblical narrative. The Red Sea crossing was, in part, a miracle of God. We don’t need to make it easy for Him by having shallow water or easy crossing sites, and we can’t let deep water or difficult terrain preclude a site from consideration. Water depth is not a problem, but landform approaches to and from the crossing point are still an important consideration, and they need room to set up camp for a lot of people. On the other hand, we simply don’t know where the Israelites went through the sea … yet.
Chariot Wheels in the Red Sea?
Over the past several decades, many sensational reports of ‘wagon wheels’ on ‘the bottom of the Red Sea’ have appeared. Yet, no actual evidence for wagon wheels has actually been found. There are some photos, true, but these are almost certainly of modern metal objects.
None of these look like Egyptian chariot wheels. The main image supplied by Wyatt (Figure B1) looks very much like a modern cast-metal wheel. The Egyptians only had copper or bronze to work with, and they corrode quickly in salt water. Note the solid spokes, as opposed to the double-v-shaped split wood spokes used by the Egyptians. The shadowing suggests a groove ran around the outside, as if this was a pulley wheel, although similar grooves ran around the edges of real Egyptian chariot wheels. Notice how pristine it looks. If it really was discovered in the sea, it was dropped very recently. It does not even have any algal growth. There is every reason to believe this is a total fabrication.
In comparison, we have many contemporary paintings of Egyptian battle chariots . The wheels are thin and light, and the wheels usually have six spokes (figures B2 and B3).
We even have contemporary chariots that have been preserved, such as the ceremonial gold-plated chariot found in King Tut’s tomb (figure B4). Don’t let the gold fool you. This chariot is only covered in a thin layer of gold. A metal chariot would have been much too heavy to be pulled by a team of horses across sand. Within his tomb were six chariots, three that were highly decorated, and three utilitarian models designed for normal use.
There is also a lack of provenance. Who can actually say when and where this photo was taken, and by whom, and if the wheel was actually found where it is pictured? The images are never properly documented. As far as size goes, that wheel that was supposedly found in the Red Sea might be only 6” in diameter, but it is impossible to tell from the image because there is no scale. Marine biologists can sometimes look at something in the background like the size of a sponge, fish, or sea urchin and make an educated guess for the sizes of objects, but the classic ‘chariot wheel’ images give few clues.
Think about it: Egyptian chariot wheels were made of wood, 8 and wood is rapidly destroyed in warm tropical seas (figure B5). There have also been claims of bones and skulls found in the area, but these suffer from the same problems just listed, with the added caveat that bones quickly dissolve and/or get eaten in seawater. Consider what was found on the ocean bottom near the Titanic: dozens of pairs of shoes, still laced up. Tanning leather preserves it. The bodies that were once in the shoes, or at least the owners of the shoes if they had been stored in a bag or a suitcase, have long since disappeared.
Evidence must reach a certain threshold in order to be scientifically acceptable. None of the evidence for ‘chariot wheels’ and such meets that standard. Thus, we do not accept this as evidence as support for the Nuweiba crossing site hypothesis. In a similar way, after many years of writing about the possibility of living dinosaurs, CMI went on record strongly cautioning our readers against the idea. (see Dinosaurs are almost certainly extinct ). Why? Because none of the supposed evidences had ever been verified. Creationists are already held to a double standard by the world. Thus, we need to hold onto the best evidence and put the more debatable matters on the back shelf. Nuweiba might be the crossing site, and there is an ever so slight probability that dinosaurs are still clinging to existence in one or two unexplored places on earth (if those even still exist), but we have no hard evidence for either possibility.
There is also no reason to expect to find ancient wooden and metal artefacts, in shallow water, still exposed on the seabed. Wood decays quickly in salt water, especially tropical waters that are teeming with wood-eating teredo worms (aka shipworms), the effects of which are seen in figure B5. Egyptian chariots were mostly wood, with wooden spokes, wooden wheel rims, and wooden tires that were tied on with straps. They were built for speed and lightness. Even shipwrecks from a few hundred years ago leave behind no wood. Burial in sand helps preserve wood, but even that does not last thousands of years. Even if there were bronze fittings on the chariots, bronze decays rapidly in seawater due to a well-known problem in archaeology called ‘bronze plague’, a chemical reaction with chlorides (i.e., sodium chloride in the seawater). After this much time, nothing should be left besides a few objects made of gold, if there were any to start with.
Only a very small, relatively shallow area around Nuweiba beach has been searched via SCUBA. One of the most famous ‘chariot’ discoveries happened during an emergency rescue dive, where an experienced diver went down to grab a novice diver who was swimming into dangerously deep water. Not only might nitrogen narcosis have been a factor at that depth, but the novice ran out of air, precipitating a rapid emergency ascent and a serious risk of getting the bends. Essentially, everything that is not supposed to happen on a dive did. Unsurprisingly, the team has been unable to locate the coral-encrusted ‘chariot’ again. 9
Corals take on many different shapes as they grow. The shape is dictated by the species normal growth form, the amount of available light, competition from neighboring colonies, and the direction of prevailing currents. Many species will form horizontal plates or circular discs. These can often be seen growing on axle-like knobs or stalks (figure B6). This is true of multiple species of coral that inhabit the Red Sea. This image is not the best representation, but a person looking for things that were the size and shape of chariot wheels and axles can easily find them on many of the world’s coral reefs.
Some claim that the chariot wheels, etc. are no longer there but that the coral has encrusted the original material. There are also problems with this hypothesis:
- With the exception of the fire corals (which are not true corals but calciferous hydrozoans), corals don’t typically encrust objects. In the same way, a tree might envelop something it is growing near, but it does not follow the lines of that object.
- Many corals form boulder-like shapes. They might start off life by attaching to a hard object, but they don’t grow in the shape of a cannon, etc. Instead, they grow on the cannon. Even if a wooden object could last long enough to be encrusted, corals don’t do that.
- Corals will fill in any spaces as they grow. Hence, objects will disappear into the coral. Again, the coral will not take on the shape of the object.
- After 3,500 years, a single coral can grow as large as a tall building. Why would we expect to see corals in the shape or size of Egyptian wagon wheels today?
- The video evidence at Nuweiba beach shows a normal patch-reef-like field of corals. Similar areas can be found around the world. There is nothing there to indicate the corals are growing on the remains of the Egyptian army! The coral colonies all appear to be but a few years to a few tens of years old and they are growing on older material (probably corals that grew for a decade or so and were then killed by being buried by sand or by being hit with a burst of freshwater from the wadi).
- But many corals that grow in the area (specifically some species in genus Acropora ) do take on fan-shaped and disc-shaped growth forms. This is especially true in deeper water where light is scarce. Thus, we would expect to see natural corals that take on the shape of a chariot wheel. They may even have what looks like an ‘axle’, but this is nothing more than the attachment point upon which the coral colony developed.
- The Red Sea is very warm, very salty, and is one of the worst places for the preservation of wood.
Considering the physical description of the Nuweiba site, why would we expect to see remains on the shore? Nuweiba is an accreting, sandy delta (figure B7). How much material has been washed down the wadi over the past 3,500 years? Why would we not expect the remains to have been washed into deep water, or to have been buried (perhaps by hundreds of feet of sand), or to have decayed? Periodic avalanches from the foreslope of the delta would carry material far out into deep water.
And the use of metal detectors is unhelpful in our search. First, Egyptian chariots did not have much metal on them. Second, most of that metal would have long since rusted away. And third, modern trash will overwhelm any ancient signal.
Finally, let us not forget that we need room to fit maybe two million people, with tents and livestock. Consider that in ancient times the beach would have been smaller than it is today, and you can see that Nuweiba faces some major challenges.
References and notes
- If they lived there during Hyksos times, the name by which the Israelites would have known it was Avaris, but it had still other names at different times. If they left in the 18 th Dynasty, it was would have been called Peru-nefer. The use of the latter name (Raamses) in the Bible was probably due to textual updating. See Cosner, L. and Carter, R., The inspiration of Scripture comes in various forms , 10 September 2019.
We have seen many instances of hubris from Darwinists, but their cult of death is making some so unhinged, they are attempting to tamper with the fabric of the space-time continuum. They seldom accept the hand they are dealt, so they try to change the rules.
LAURENCE: Well, in view of what you’ve told me, I’m going to fetch the police.
THE DOCTOR: No! This is much too grave a matter for the police, Mister Scarman.
LAURENCE: Too grave?
THE DOCTOR: Yes. They’d only hamper my investigation.
LAURENCE: Your investigations?
THE DOCTOR: Yes. Why do you think I’m here? Something’s interfering with time, Mister Scarman. Time is my business.
— Doctor Who, “Pyramids of Mars“, 1975, by “Stephen Harris” (Robert Holmes And Lewis Greifer)
|Image before modification: Freeimages / Jean Scheijen|
A subject discussed in astronomy, relativity, and physics is the time dilation effect where time passes differently for objects in motion. Evolutionists are distorting time for their own convenience, where living things evolved for a while, did nothing for long periods, then commenced to evolving again. There is a God, he did the creating, and evolutionists cannot make up their own versions of time. Sometimes they act like two-bit Time Lords that can control it.
How fast is evolution? Answer: as fast as the storyteller needs it to be. There is no preferred reference frame in Darwinism. Depending on the storytelling speed of the observer, it can go lickety-split or slow to a crawl, appearing motionless. Evolutionary time dilation is sometimes termed “rate heterogeneity.”
. . .
Darwinism has length contraction, too, and mass equivalence. Its yardsticks stretch like Silly Putty, and when criticisms come in too fast, its empirical mass converts into imagination. Only one thing in evolution is immutable: the mythical image of the Great Darwin Tree branching out over millions of Darwin Years.
Relativistic concepts are admittedly difficult for laypeople, but perhaps a few examples will help.
To learn more, take the time to read “Time Dilation in Evolutionary Rates“.
We have seen many times that votaries of universal common descent evolution have a tendency to obscure facts like a double-naught spy laying down a smoke screen from an Aston Martin. Facts are omitted, basic science principles ignored, and logic is shunned.
Creationists and the Intelligent Design folks try to keep them honest, but we often need to point out the nefarious tactics of those evolutionists. One way they obscure the truth is by oversimplying. For example, kingfishers eat bugs.
Not very informative, is it? There’s actually quite a bit involved. Some people may want to know the metabolism of the creature that’s eating the bug, what kind of bug, how it catches the bug, maybe even how it digests the bug. Then there’s the part about the kingfisher fishing fish. I’ll allow that making an article or video can get bogged down with too many details, but you get the idea.
These jaspers have also oversimplified things like the human genome, vestigial organs, cells that were originally thought to be simple (but are actually amazingly complex), and other areas where it’s convenient to evosplain away something and slide on over to another subject. As Christians and creationists, we know that part of the dominion mandate of Genesis 1:26-28 is learning about living things. We want to know more because so we can be more effective stewards of God’s creation.
Although we cannot learn all of creation’s astounding details, the Lord enabled us to learn much of what He has done. The secret (literally “hidden”) things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever.
. . .
The more details we learn about how animals live, the easier it is to recognize oversimplification fallacies—and overgeneralizations—that pervade evolutionist descriptions of animal life.
That’s all the excerpt you’re going to get for this one, because the full article is quite short. To read it, venture over to “Eating Bugs Isn’t Always So Simple“.
Although this post specifies 2022, the information will be useful any time.
This is a mighty fine time to be a biblical creationist, since not only are we standing on the Word of God, but there is a flood of evidence in our favor.
Unfortunately, people “think” with their emotions and are easily deceived by sidewinders pushing their narratives. They are willing to deceive since that is who they are and what they do. We need to avoid being parts of the herd.
|Credit: Freeimages / pacotto|
People need to have healthy skepticism, utilize critical thinking skills, and spot basic logical fallacies. Discerning deception gets tricky when a story is handed to you all gussied up with nice wrapping paper and a pretty bow on top. It happens all the time with movies, catchy tunes, persuasive words, favorite celebrities, impressive special effects, and so on. All that packaging makes falsehoods and succumbing to groupthink seem oh so appealing.
Atheists, evolutionists, and political leftists (among others) frequently elevate their narratives above the truth. They often reject logic. And civility. And tolerance. It is easier to dehumanize Christians, creationists, and anyone that stands in the way of an agenda (such as this tinhorn) than to have a rational discussion; admitting that an enemy has a likeable quality or (shudder) made a valid point is streng verboten.
We have to be careful about calling someone a liar because there are qualifiers of sorts. Atheists desperately defend their origins myth of evolutionism, so when the hated creationist or Intelligent Design proponent presents evidence that doesn’t fit their worldview, they are often called liars. Evidence misotheists and evolutionists dislike, contrary opinions, even jokes are declared lies. Because atheism. Some folks seem to be at the emotional level of six-year-olds, reflexively making that accusation.
Now pay attention, pilgrim: Accusations of liar without evidence of lying or intent to deceive make a liar out of the accuser! (Ian Juby explains this quite well in this video, starting at 14 minutes 43 seconds.) There’s a bit more involved that we need to consider.
Numerous times, atheopaths say that there is no evidence for God, creation, the Genesis Flood, the existence of Jesus, and so on — but they refuse to consider it, even going as far as saying that we do not even present it in the first place! (Mayhaps they’re afraid that if they do check things out, they’ll realize that articles, videos, and so on have already refuted their objections.) That is a badge of a deceiver, old son. It is also intellectually dishonest, because the spirit of science (or even knowledge) thrives on getting correct information, not protecting a message.
Ask Clinton Richard Dawkins or other angry atheists why they refuse to debate creation scientists like Dr. Georgia Purdom, Dr. Jonathan Sarfati, Dr. Jason Lisle, Dr. Jeffrey Tomkins, and many others. Instead of shutting us down forever with scientific truth and refuting the logic of our arguments, evolutionists give some song and dance about refusing to give creationists credibility, then light a shuck out of there.
Another sign of deceivers (actually, I think they were awarded medals for these) is to pretend to make up their own facts. For example, I eviscerated some lies about three “E” words that evolutionists dislike, the claim that the term living fossil was “made up by YECs, “quote mining” accusations about George Wald and D.M.S. Watson, and so on. I’m no intellectual giant, but I’m pointing out that such false claims were easily refuted. Conversely, Darwin’s acolytes can do the research as well, but they choose not to.
Atheists and evolutionists refuse to examine the evidence, and deceivers call us liars. It should be obvious that truth is a hindrance to their objectives. I have concluded that they are afraid, because they are suppressing the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:17-23).
Let’s be very careful about leveling charges of liar against people. We don’t want to be like our own detractors, but it is fair to point out that something is inaccurate or untrue. This saves a person’s dignity who may be making an honest mistake. When they show that they’d rather uphold an agenda than learn or promote truth, and when it’s clear that they’re intending to deceive — you just might want to let them have it.
All this, but we have to be watchful so we’re not sheeple taken in by the herd mentality, you hear?
In my 22 years as editor of Creation-Evolution Headlines, I’ve seen a lot of controversial topics in science come through the news lines. By following the outcome of a controversy over years, one gains some savvy about identifying honest seekers from deceivers. We don’t call some a “liar” who doesn’t have enough facts to know a subject; we reserve it for those who do know the facts but say the opposite with ulterior motives. I hope these three tips help tune your Baloney Detector for a wild ride of news coming in 2022.
To honestly finish reading, ride on over to “How to Tell Who’s Lying.”
How does someone determine the meaning of a word? I guess one could consult a dictionary but I think we usually learn new words by hearing how they are used by others. When you think about it, dictionaries only describes how the word is commonly used. It’s not a rule book. Dictionaries don’t write languages, languages write dictionaries. After all, there is no transcendent, immutable meaning of any word that has been carved in stone somewhere. There is no “word czar” who has sole authority to judge what is the correct meaning of a word. The reality is that meaning of any word is transitory and it can mean whatever the majority of the populace thinks it means. Consider the word, “gay,” for example; it was during my lifetime that the word went from meaning, “happy” to meaning, “homosexual.” The dictionaries have changed their definitions to reflect this.
Of course, nearly every profession uses certain words that have specialized meanings. We usually call such words, “jargon.” The word “load” for example, will mean something different to an engineer than it does to a truck driver. There’s nothing wrong with using jargon. However, an industry specific meaning of a word shouldn’t change the way that same word is used by the public at large, right? Well, I don’t think a reasonable person would expect it to but many evolutionists aren’t reasonable. They want to foist their jargon upon us!
Here’s a quote from the rabidly pro-evolution website, Talk Origins:
“Recently I read a statement from a creationist who claimed that scientists are being dishonest when they talk about evolution. This person believed that evolution was being misrepresented to the public. The real problem is that the public, and creationists, do not understand what evolution is all about. This person’s definition of evolution was very different from the common scientific definition and as a consequence he was unable to understand what evolutionary biology really meant.
In the creation v. evolution debate, there’s some controversy over the meaning of the word, “evolution.” There shouldn’t be. When we’re talking about evolution, we’re talking about the idea that dinosaurs became birds or, more specifically, that apes became people. When a creationist says he doesn’t believe in “evolution,” that is the point of contention – not the amount of change in the light/dark ratio of peppered moths.
Evolutionists, on the other hand, have their own definitions of the word, “evolution.” The most common definition is “any change in the frequency of alleles within a gene pool from one generation to the next.” Again, it’s fine when one profession assigns a special meaning to an otherwise, ordinary word. However, when evolutionists engage in debate with the lay public, there’s no rule that compels us lay-folk to use words the same way the evolutionists do.
In the above quote, I suspect the unnamed creationist understood very well what “evolution” means to evolutionary biologists. I also suspect that Mr. Moran knows very well what the creationist means by the word, “evolution.” Any “confusion” that occurs is only on the part of evolutionists who intentionally conflate the term to include both the minor, observed changes (like the peppered moths) and the unobserved evolution of molecules-to-man. In the creation v. evolution debate, the dispute is not over wolf-to-dog type evolution but over fish-to-frog, dino-to-bird, or ape-to-man.
For some reason, evolutionists think they have the right to monopolize words. Just like Humpty Dumpty in, Through the Looking Glass, when they use a word, it means just what they choose it to mean. When a creationist says he doesn’t believe in “evolution,” the evolutionist knows precisely what is being said. It’s the evolutionist who muddies the waters by recklessly citing examples of “evolution” like the peppered moth and dino-to-bird as though they are the same thing.
There is no communication problem in the creation v. evolution debate. There are only evolutionists complaining that we don’t use their jargon. In real fields of science, scientists are careful to use words with precise meanings but evolutionists aren’t. They’re happy to abuse the language in order to deceive a lay public. Conflate, confuse, and obfuscate – that’s the tactic of evolutionists.
I got a little chuckle at Mr. Moran’s closing quote:
Scientists such as myself must share the blame for the lack of public understanding of science. We need to work harder to convey the correct information. Sometimes we don’t succeed very well but that does not mean that we are dishonest. On the other hand, the general public, and creationists in particular, need to also work a little harder in order to understand science. Reading a textbook would help. ”
Really, Mr. Moran? Your solution to the imagined problem is that creationists read a book? I suggest you climb out of your ivory tower and begin learning how real people talk.