Has any creationist conducted experiments to debunk evolution?

Most of the time, I see them post errors in theories and scientists taken in by hoax (ie. Piltdown Man). Has any creationists came up with their own experiments and discouveries?

One last thing, I remember Jack Chick had a few articles about finding Human footprints near dinosaur tracks. Any truth?

And would finding a dinosaur species be considered a viable evidence against evolution?

TalkOrigins’ page on the Paluxy River Footprints

Finding an extant dinosaur species wouldn’t disprove or provide viable evidence against evolution, as the survival of a species from antiquity in a suitable environment is entirely consistent with how evolution works.

Some creationists have attempted experiments… There’s one fellow, for instance, who’s trying to reproduce the antedeluvian atmosphere, with the expectation that it would cause humans and other animals in that atmosphere to live longer (thus accounting for the longevity of Methuseleh et al). Unsurprisingly, it hasn’t worked so far, but the explanation proferred is that he just doesn’t have it quite right yet.

Human footprints may well have been found near dinosaur tracks. Heck, just a couple of weeks ago, I was at the Museum of the Rockies looking at some excavated tracks, and didn’t wipe my muddy shoes well enough beforehand. So there’s some human footprints near dino footprints right there! Doesn’t mean they were laid down at the same time, though.

For that matter, it’s pretty well accepted among biologists that there are still plenty of live dinosaurs around. I saw several just this morning. Thing is, they all have feathers and wings. Even if a live, non-avian dinosaur were discovered, though, it wouldn’t disprove evolution. It’d prove that we’d been grossly mistaken as to some of the timescales, but there’s no reason inherent to the theory why a particular creature must or must not be extinct.

Read the story behind the coelacanth.

I used to work with a guy who conducted extensive experiments to debunk evololution. His methods consisted of reading the book of Genesis aloud while the rest of us were trying to enjoy a smoke break. He seemed pretty convinved he had disproven Darwin…

I’m not sure whether this counts as a hijack, but: What experiment would, hypothetically, count as evidence against evolution? What discovery would hypothetically disprove it?

If we can agree on that, we might have an easier time gauging whether a Creationist has attempted it.

The most basic problem with answering the OP is getting an agreement of terms between the two sides. Dozens of Creationists have claimed to have debunked the Theory of Evolution, but (it goes without saying that) more mainstream scientists contradict this.

If you are interested in investigating the debate, a quick Google for “Creationist scientist” will bring up a wealth of relevant sites.

If God wanted fundamentalists to conduct scientific experiments, He wouldn’t have given them faith.

“Debunking” a theory requires some observation of a phenomenon that contradicts the theory. As far as I know, we don’t have a really good set of applicable phenomena, yet.

I think we have two competing theories. Evolution is based on a tenet of science which says that we should explain observations by a consistent, reproducible, and predictive set of rules. Creationism, as far as I can tell, just says that things are the way they are because the Supreme Being made it so.

It seems to me that, short of the Big Kahuna showing up tomorrow to 'splain itself, we have no way to reproduce or predict what’s gonna happen with speciation in the future, and the only consistency is that it’s in the BK’s hands.

Both theories, but one is a scientifc one, and the other isn’t. I’m not saying that science is better than or worse than non-science, just different. Comparing the two is unfair to both.

This is probably a Great Debate topic, but I see creationism versus evolution as more of a “political” argument along the lines of the Galileo heliocentric versus Catholic Church terracentric argument.

Galileo used scientific principles to explain that the earth moved around the sun. The Catholic Church maintained that the “Aristotlean” system of the sun moving around the earth was “correct”.

Remember, though, that this was all argued in a time of great political ferment in Europe. The Catholic Church was trying to deal with the Reformation, which challenged religious (and thus political) doctrine. Perhaps in an earlier time the Pope would have ignored Galileo, and in a later time accepted him, but at that time he felt he had to push back. The Pope had to fight for tradition and stability against revolutionary ideas that seemed to threaten society.

I see creationism and evolution the same way. I think the subtext of creationism is a desire to enforce G-d’s supremacy in human society. With G-d’s supremacy will come a return to order, safety, and perhaps even salvation.

The creationist view seems to be that modern human society is unruly, unsafe, and complex. We can only respond to this by following the rules! If we all acknowledged that G-d created everything, then supposedly we’d all follow G-d’s law and society would be “better”.

The best way to argue for creationism and thus G-d’s supremacy is to teach it to our children in schools. This is certainly why the creationist/scientist battlefield is public schools.

In addition, the main battle seems to be creationism versus evolution, and not other scientific theories. That’s significant. I think the reason for this is that evolution is hard to prove or disprove, as yet. Natural selection takes a long time, and the only way to really observe it is to watch one species change into one or more others. In comparison, most other processes are blindingly fast. Even some geological processes move quickly. But natural selection mostly does not.

Oh, and human tracks next to dinosaurs means very little. You’d have to show that both sets of tracks were laid down at the same time. That would require proof that the rock containing the tracks was covered over very quickly and then not exposed until long afterwards. This is nearly impossible to do.

We can judge time scales much better by carbon-14 dating correlated with the growth rings on very long-lived trees. We have a sophisticated and reproducible system for dating materials into the remote past. If, using this system, we discovered human remains next to dinosaur remains, we’d have to revise our ideas about natural selection! This hasn’t happened yet.

There are three different sorts of experiments which could do the trick: First, an experimenter could in principle determine experimentally that the offspring of an organism are, on average, no more like the parent organism than any other organism is. Second, an experimenter could in principle determine experimentally that all organisms are exactly identical to their parents. Third, an experimenter could in principle determine that all organisms have the same number of decendants capable of reproducing after some number of generations.

In fact, there is a very large body of experimental evidence on these three points, apparent to everyone. And all of the experimental evidence seems to favor evolution. Once you accept the experimental observations that organisms vary, that offspring take after their parents, and that some organisms are more successful than others in reproducing, the Theory of Evolution follows logically.

The general answer to the question is no creationists haven’t conducted these experiments; despite its best efforts to appear scientific, creationism is in fact nothing of the sort; it isn’t interested in originating any actual science - so generally, it simply doesn’t - it consists largely of a philosophical critique of those aspects of real, mainstream science that it finds most troubling.

If creationism had any actual scientific merit at all, and was capable of producing any kind of useful results, it would not require a concerted political effort to try to get it introduced into schools.

The answer is “no” because the only people who believe in creationism are ignorant religeous zealots.

Another possible experiment (which would sort of override any of the above) would be to demonstrate the existance of some kind of universal mechanism that imposes absolute, invariable limits on the degree of variation possible within any given genotype. This would establish, or at least support the popular creationist assertion that ‘minor variation is possible within a kind, but macro evolution cannot happen’

It’s undoubtedly true that Creationists have overwhelming preferred an armchair approach to science, acting as mere hecklers from the sidelines - and ill-informed hecklers at that. But a few have instituted laboratory research programmes. Nor should this be terribly surprising: the sheer prestige of original research in science, as opposed to the results of rummaging in libraries, coupled with the tendency of “creation science” to mimic its outer forms of actual scientific research have made it almost inevitable that some Creationists should go through these motions.

The most prominent example is Robert Gentry, whose website is here. Stripped of its Creationist baggage, he even managed to get some of his results published in several mainstream journals. This is not to imply that he was correct: far from it. (On the subject of Gentry, his cosmology paper is a candidate for the worst paper I’ve ever read in a peer-reviewed physics journal.)
Walter Lammerts apparently got access to accelerators at Lawrence Livermore to irradiate rose buds to see how they would mutate. His conclusion was that there were limits to how far species could mutate. (Until Googling just now on his name, I hadn’t realised that there were people out there who respected Lammerts as a rose breeder, but there you go …)

There are other examples. As usual, Ronald Numbers’s The Creationists (Knopf, 1992) puts these efforts into historical perspective.

Theilard de Chardin, SJ, did a lot of work studying evolution. He started as a creationist; I consider (yes, my opinion) that his “omega point” theory came from resistance to the notion that there may be evolution after us. The “chosen people” meme is hard to fight, whether you refer it to a race/culture or a species.


Pffft! That old fossil hasn’t published in years!

Okay, I’m up for semantics. What sort of experiment could hypothetically do the trick against speciation?

The same kind of experiment that would conclusively demonstrate that the forks in the trunk of an oak tree were not caused by the same phenomenon as the branched ends of the twigs. i.e. an imaginary experiment.

Let’s turn that around: What evidence would, in principle, falsify creationism – either young-Earth creationism or “intelligent design” theory?

I posted that question – solely WRT ID theory – in this GD thread: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=330058 No satisfactory answers were proffered.