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What's Wrong? - Evolution Vs. God Movie

posted Jul 23, 2014, 9:42 PM by Nathan Wheeler   [ updated Apr 11, 2018, 4:12 PM by Nathanael Wheeler ]
I've seen this movie making the rounds on Facebook by my various Christian friends. First, I want to point out that it certainly is an intriguing movie, and I'm not slighting any of my friends who have shared it. What I want to do here is analyze the means of "proof" that it is using and maybe invoke some deeper thought about the argument. Here's the movie:

Evolution Vs. God Movie

The movie is comprised of several distinct sections, and I'll go over each one in chronological order as they appear in the video. Please read all the way through this, or at least read the last section. In the description of each section, I'm only describing the argument used, and the manner in which it is presented. I'm describing what's wrong with that particular section of the video. In those sections, I'm fairly harsh when it comes to dealing with the logic of their argument. In the last section, I'll explain why.

The Video - Breakdown

Atheistic/Agnostic Affirmation - 0:00-1:08

In the first 1:08 of the video, there's a careful pointing out that most/all of the interviewees are atheists or agnostics. This portion of the video seems extraneous - it doesn't really serve much purpose since atheists and agnostics comprise only around 18% of the world's population. According to these statistics, even 50% of "Mainline Protestant" and 23% of "Evangelistic Protestant" believe "that evolution is the best explanation for the origin of human life on earth."

Therefore, since atheism and agnosticism is such a significant minority in the world view, this section seems to be only intended to discredit the views of the interviewees. It leads anyone who believes that there is a god (of any kind) to view their input as warped from the beginning of the video. If you were to watch from 1:09, and skip this nonsense, you might come off with a more open mind about the topic of conversation - having no predisposition to discrediting the interviewees' statements.

Belief in Evolution - 1:09-2:47

This portion of the video seems harmless enough. All the interviewees believe in evolution. There's some other little stuff thrown in this section though that, in an overview seems fairly insignificant. Mostly there is the pointing out that many of the interviewees are either educated men and women or college students (becoming educated). However, this is a little deceptive trick similar to the previous section. Now, because you believe that these are educated men and women, you simply expect them to be able to provide answers to questions. Specifically, since many were science majors, you expect them to be able to answer questions about science.

The problem with this generated presupposition that the interviewees should be able to answer the questions presented is that it's actually an unreasonable assumption. For example, if you randomly walk up to a math professor and ask him to recite pi to the 50th significant digit, he will be highly unlikely to do so. It doesn't mean that pi can't be calculated to 50 significant digits. It doesn't mean the math professor is a moron. It means that the math professor has simply never found it necessary to memorize pi to that precision. In fact, if you were to give the math professor a little bit of time (or a 15 minute warning) he could probably either calculate it for you or find it somewhere to show you.

Observable Evidence - 2:48-13:48

Now this is where the video stops with the presuppositions and building the interviewees up for looking baffled. Here, we finally come to the meat of the argument presented in this video - "observable evidence." Here again is some deception from the very start though - "A scientific method is based on 'the collection of data through observation and experimentation...' ~ Science Daily." This is a misquote. I'm not sure if the producers of the video simply didn't understand the scientific method, or if they intentionally misquoted Science Daily. The actual statement on Science Daily is that the evidence gathered is "subject to specific principles of reasoning, the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses."

While observable evidence is one type of evidence which can be gathered and subjected to this scrutiny, it is by no means the only type. The statement is made that all this stuff happened a long time ago, and over a long period of time, and so "it can't be observed." The question of observable evidence is only significant when it can not be answered. In return, I can ask a similar question - "Can you provide observable evidence that you were born, and not hatched in a lab?" Suddenly, this question bears a lot less weight. Cuddly baby pictures, like the fossil record, are not "observable" - your birth also "cannot be observed." Since the event isn't specifically repeatable, i.e. you can't be born physically another time from inside your mother, then even those who corroborate the story aren't enough to truly prove to anyone that you aren't a test tube baby from this warped scientific viewpoint.

Intelligent Design - 13:49-16:05

"Something from nothing" is the prevailing theme of this section. No successful model of the Big Bang shows anything other than an initial singularity in which something came from nothing. In other words, the vast majority of modern scientists today believe that the universe as we know it did, in fact, come from nothing. No other model of the origins of the universe have proven successful. Apparently, the interviewer is unaware of this "new" development in the theory of evolution. In fact, scientists originally fought very hard against the Big Bang theory, because "not only did the Big Bang model seem to give in to the Judeo-Christian idea of a beginning of the world, but it also seemed to call for an act of supernatural creation" (J. M. Wersinger, qtd. in Zacharias 58). 

Vestigial Structures - 16:06-17:31

This section deals with parts of the body which are sometimes considered to be leftover parts from evolution, such as the tailbone or the appendix. This part is another extraneous portion of the video. Had scientists not discovered that there was, in fact, a purpose for the coccyx and the appendix, this section would have been left out and nobody would have been the wiser. Since scientists haven't learned of any purpose for the plica luminaris or the arrector pili, those were left out of this video. Thus the use of vestigial structures to prove or disprove evolution is, at best, 50-50.

Famous Atheists - 17:32-20:55

What's the point of this - that people often mistake others to be atheists? People often claim to be Christians, but that doesn't make it so. Quite frankly, very few people are aware to any significant degree what the religious (or anti-religious) views of others are with whom they are not intimately acquainted. There are a significant number of famous atheists - Richard Dawkins, Bill Nye, Stephen Hawking... I could go on. Again, there's not really any point to this - see "Atheist/Agnostic Affirmation." Showing a poster that someone made with errors, and then point out that the only confirmed atheist in the image committed suicide is really irrelevant to the argument of evolution. Professing Christians have also committed suicide. The famous atheists I pointed out have not committed suicide. 

Moral Absolutes - 20:56-22:19

This is really the first section that presents a good argument. Not a great argument. Just a good argument. However, because this argument actually requires significant leading and building time, it isn't given very much space in this video. It's also misrepresented quite horribly by suggesting that Hitler may have been practicing evolution.

Who Would You Save? - 22:20-23:42

This is really just a modified version of a standard "who would you save if" question, of which the most well-known is the Trolley Problem - and this is a pretty bad example of that problem. The only thing that this section shows is the lack of the value of human life within a handful of individuals. Quite honestly, I have had neighbors that I probably would have said I would let drown even without having to make a choice to save my pet - if they had been the only drowning being in the vicinity, I might not have acted on their behalf. Being presented with the reality of someone drowning, however, I'm pretty sure that I would have acted quite differently than my attitude may have appeared had someone asked me that question at the time. I have little doubt that the interviewees in this video would likely respond the same.

Good Person (Liar, Thief, Blasphemer, and Adulterer) - 23:43-32:59

There's a couple second lead-in to this one that seems to have been about dying and going to Heaven or Hell, but it's a little vague... After that, there's another standard question string which is often used by street evangelists. This argument has absolutely nothing to do with evolution. This argument also requires that you believe the Bible to be true. If you don't believe in God, or if you disbelieve the Bible, then this argument is rendered virtually ineffective. If one does not believe in God, they will not believe God will judge them for those sins, so why do they care if they are a liar, thief, blasphemer, or adulterer? 

This section ends with a presentation of a rather simplified version of the plan of salvation, with another couple of little street evangelism "tricks." Again, nothing to do with evolution, and more tricks and guided questions to make the people being interviewed look unbalanced or foolish.

Blooper Reel? - 33:00-33:56

This section really doesn't make a lot of sense. There's a handful of some of the more silly statements, that people made when confronted with particularly outlandish questions, intermixed with a handful of articles with bold headlines about evolution that sound rather silly or outlandish. 

Director's Commentary - 33:57-34:42

A short "Bible vs. Richard Dawkins" statement. Nothing more.

Producer's Commentary - 34:43-36:55

This is really just an ad space. Buy our stuff, visit our web page, and help us spread our materials to other people. Ends with a long plug for the Creation Museum.

Credits/Watch More - 36:56-38:26

Exactly what you expect at the end of a YouTube video. Although a minute and a half is pretty extravagant.

The Video - Summary

Now, whether or not I believe in evolution or the Big Bang theory completely aside, many people whom I firmly believe are Christians do believe in one or both of these theories. I want to very carefully point out that this is not an issue of salvation - you can believe in evolution or the Big Bang theory and still be saved. Salvation has to do with Christ dying for your sins, not what means God employed to create the universe. The Big Bang theory actually gives credibility to an act of creation, rather than doing completely away with the notion of a Creator, as stated in my section on "Intelligent Design."

This video seems to have been put together by one or more street evangelists who believe that they have come up with a way to beat scientists at their own game. These guys at least seem to be well-intentioned, but they are quite far off on a handful of their facts and their presentations of philosophical ideas are really just awful. I don't see this video doing anything positive for building up the Kingdom of God, and in fact, I think it only serves to make Christians who are fooled by this nonsense thump their chests, while non-Christians laugh at the silly Christians thinking they've outwitted the scientists. In other words, it makes Christians more proud, and non-Christians more resistant to the Gospel - it increases the gulf between the lost and the saved.

I realize that there are going to be those who are going to seriously not like my breakdown of this video, but I would like anyone who read this far to seriously consider what good this video actually does in bringing anyone closer to God. In this video, despite all their tricks and confusing the interviewees, not a single person is recorded as becoming a Christian. In fact, I've seen many individuals employ these tricks and the same sorts of questions many times, and it has been extremely rare to see any effect from them, and worse - those who do seemingly convert are in it for the "fire insurance" and there is no real change in their lives, and they are gone as quickly and easily as they were persuaded to come. These reasons are why I am fundamentally opposed to this video, and why I am so harsh against their arguments. 

Works Cited

Zacharias, Ravi. Who Made God? : and answers to over 100 other tough questions of faith. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003. Print.