Shy David's critique of "Why I Believe in Creation,"

Correcting Bullshit: A Critique of "Why I Believe in Creation," the tract written by Rev. David Lawrence.
July 6th, 1995CE

This is a blow-by-blow critique of Rev. Lawrence's anti-evolution and anti-evolutionary scientists tract. Indented paragraphs denote Rev. Lawrence's written words, followed by my critique.

First my observations. Rev. Lawrence presents false simulacra of what evolution is, what Evolutionary Theory asserts, and what the venue of the scientific method is. The reason is simple--- it is far easier to attack a position that evolutionary scientists DO NOT ASSERT and thus DO NOT DEFEND, than to attack what they do assert and defend. His "support" for these falsehoods is argument by authority: he mentions people he hopes his readers will consider authorities and thus unimpeachable. The fact that the "authorities" used, except one, HAVE been impeached conclusively, again and again, Rev. Lawrence conveniently fails to mention. His verisimilitude missive exists to deceive those ignorant of evolutionary science--- presumably for the greater glory of God.

The one authority who's opinion Rev. Lawrence conjures forth which has not been found lacking is, ironically enough, Charles Darwin's. More on that when the time comes.

I should also point out that Rev. Lawrence mis-titled his missive: he does not explain why he believes in "Creation:" he states why he does not believe in evolution and Evolutionary Theory. If anyone reading his tract hoped to see some support for Creationism, they were no doubt sadly disappointed. God knows I was.

Some people will disagree with me on this, of course, but I'm convinced, nonetheless, that the teaching of evolution is probably the greatest hoax ever perpetrated upon the human race. This isn't just an emotional feeling which I have; it's a deep conviction based upon the data which I've studied over the past several years.
Rev. Lawrence writes "This isn't just an emotional feeling. . . ." His readers must first ask themselves, what has "emotional feelings" got to do with the "data" he claims to have "studied over the past several years?" Either the data demonstrates his conviction or it does not--- "emotional feelings" are for lovers and disgruntled Post Office employees, not the venue of science, and has no place in the Scientific Method.
One of the primary reasons why I'm convinced evolution is a hoax is because thousands of scientific experiments all say one and the same thing; namely, that life can only spring from pre-existing life. It never springs from non-life, not in the wilds of nature, nor in the finely tuned experiments of the scientific laboratory.
While he may not realize the fact, Rev. Lawrence is here admitting that his conviction is based upon ignorance about what evolution is and what Evolutionary Theory states: the origin of life is not the venue of evolution, nor Evolutionary Theory. Evolution works on organisms that already exist. If he wants to learn about the origin of life, he should study abiogenesis / biopoesis.

Also, Rev. Lawrence first states that there is a grand conspiracy among evolutionary scientists to perpetrate a "hoax" (though he failed to explain why, exactly, they would wish to do such a thing), and then he states that "scientific experiments" have determined that life "can only" (his words) "come from life." If he believes scientists are enacting a hoax on people, a true conspiracy buff would ask what makes him believe that the scientifically-arrived-at conclusion of "life can only come from life" is not either part of the same hoax, or a different hoax?

I should also point out that it has NOT been determined that "life can only come from life." Making such a statement would require one to have far greater knowledge than any human has so far exhibited.

The simplest living cell, if you can comprehend it, is more complex than the largest computer ever built. Just the DNA of a single bacterium is comprised of more than three million units--which must all be properly aligned and balanced with one another for life to exist. And that's only one element of the bacterium cell.
Not quite. Not every "unit" (I assume he means RNA / DNA) "must all be properly aligned" for any given bacterium to exist--- mutations occur at a phenomenal rate in bacteria, and yet the bacteria continue to thrive.

Consider the Coccogoneae or Hormogoneae bacteria ("blue-green algae"). Gene sequencing of proteins yield long segments of introns, which are intervening (non-function-coding) segments between coding regions--- excellent evidence for their evolutionary history. The genes in all organisms contain "junk." [Xu, et. al., "Bacterial Origin of a Chloroplast Intron: Conserved Self-Splicing Group I Introns in Cyanobacteria," Science 250: pages 1566 - 1569.]

To think that such a cell (with its millions of components) could have arranged its elements in exactly the right way and in exactly the right chemical mix (by sloshing about in some primeval pond) for life to arise---which was capable of producing all the trees, fruits, vegetables, flowers, fish, birds, animals and humans which have ever existed--- doesn't seem very reasonable to me.
Nor does it seem reasonable to evolutionary scientists: maybe that's why evolutionary scientists don't make the claim, eh? Nor do scientists working in biopoesis make the claim Rev. Lawrence is implying in the above quote. (By the way: "animals and humans" is redundant.)
It takes more faith to believe that life happened by accident or chance [...]
Strawman. WHICH evolutionary scientists believes, let alone states, that "life happened by accident or chance?!" Evolutionary Theory does not state it did, nor does biopoesis. Rev. Lawrence is attacking a figment of his own construct.
[...] than it does to believe God created it.
Belief is not relevant to scientific inquiry: knowledge is. Before one can state that the god(s) created something, one must first produce the god(s).
Pray tell, which is easier to believe: that matter is eternal, or that God is eternal; [...]
That is a strawman. Evolution does not address the origins of matter--- cosmology does. Which cosmologists claim "matter is eternal?!"
[...] that matter is the only uncaused cause, or that God is the only uncaused cause; [...]
That is also a strawman. Which scientists claim that "matter is uncaused," let alone the "only uncaused cause?? More to the point, which scientists claim, within the context of science (i.e. other than personal conviction which is not evidentiary), that there are such things as "uncaused causes?"
[...] that in the beginning matter created life, or that in the beginning God created life?
That is yet another strawman. Which scientists claim that "matter created life?"

What we just saw was four assertions that Rev. Lawrence claims scientists make and defend, which they do not. The reader is not given any reason to believe Rev. Lawrence is representing his opponent (science, scientists, evolution, and Evolutionary Theory) accurately.

If nature were capable of creating life all by itself--- without the aid of any kind of outside intelligence or force- -- in some primeval pond, [...]
Wait a damn minute here. Rev. Lawrence has grouped under the same negation ". . .intelligence or force. . . ." If Rev. Lawrence were honest, he would have considered both issues separately. Scientists readily agree that there were, and are, forces that probably created life (though many evolutionary and biopoesis scientists would also include God). There are four known forces--- electromagnetic, gravitational, the light and the heavy nuclear.
[...] why can't our most brilliant scientists with all of their knowledge, skills and equipment create it in their laboratories today? Why are they not capable of doing today what mindless nature supposedly did all by itself millions of years ago?
Give us time. We've only been at it for four or five decades. (And that's "billions of years ago," not millions.) Rev. Lawrence's lament that contemporary scientists cannot YET create life is specious and dishonest at best: how is the issue of our current knowledge in any way relevant to abiogenesis? Leonardo da Vinci could not build the airplane he designed--- would Rev. Lawrence have therefore claimed that humans would never be capable of building airplanes (like most of da Vinci's contemporaries did)?
Sir Fred Hoyle [...]
A once-brilliant astronomer who wrote a book explaining how life was "seeded" from outer space (Panspermia), and that insects are smarter than humans but are just not letting on. (Evolution From Space, by Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe.)
[...] had it right when he suggested that believing the first cell could have originated by chance is like believing a tornado could sweep through a junkyard and form a Boeing 747. Someone else has said: "Believing that the first cell could have originated by chance is like believing a book could result from a explosion in a printing plant."
That is yet another strawman. No biopoesis or evolutionary scientists claims that the "first cell. . . originated by chance." Rev. Lawrence is being dishonest in the extreme to imply he is negating a tenant of the evolutionary sciences. Evolution is governed by natural forces and laws that are not dictated by "chance" except on the quantum level (which doesn't apply here).
If you want to stick strictly to what has been learned through scientific experiments, this is what has been learned: life springs only from pre-existing life--- never from non life!
That is more dishonesty from Rev. Lawrence. If he were an honest chap, he would have written ". . . what has been learned through scientific experiments SO FAR. . . ." Science has just barely begun to examine the origins of life.

If one wishes to concede the claim that "life always comes from life," one is left with an insurmountable paradox: where, then, did life originally come from? If one posits that gods created it, what created the gods (assuming they are alive)? Did gods create the gods? Is it "turtles all the way down, gods all the way up?" Rev. Lawrence didn't bother to explain this to his readers.

The major theme in his complaint that "life only comes from life" is his lack of a better alternative to biopoesis (life from the non- organic): he fills this "unknown" with a miracle. It is self-deceiving for Rev. Lawrence to posit a greater unknown (gods) when, for whatever reasons, he is not comfortable (those "emotional feelings" he previously mentioned) with what scientists currently know. If an individual lacks information to make a valid conclusion, it is only acceptable, among the sciences, to refrain from making a conclusion until the data is in: Rev. Lawrence is not familiar with the data.

Thousands of scientific experiments say one and the same thing; namely, that life can only spring from life--- not from lightning, not from gasses, not from chemicals--- only from pre-existing life.
Not yet, that is. The biopoesis literature documents scientist's abilities to create amino acids and nucleotide bases (the building blocks of proteins and nucleic acids) from simulations of what is thought to be primal Earth conditions. See [Purves, William K., Orians, Gordon H. and Heller, H. Craig "Life, the Science of Biology" 3rd edition. Sinauer Associates / W. H. Freeman, New York 1992, pages 387 - 390.]
Dr. George Wald, winner of the 1967 Nobel Peace Prize in science, put it succinctly when he said, "When it comes to the origin of life on this earth, there are two possibilities: creation or spontaneous generation (evolution).
That is a false dilemma and a strawman. The dilemma is false because I can think of more than just two possibilities (UFO colonization, Panspermia, time travel--- just to name three possibilities that are equally evidenced as the gods). The strawman is rendered self-immolated because evolution is not "spontaneous generation."

Rev. Lawrence also falsely attributed Doctor Wald what he did not write. The "(evolution)" above is not in the original. Lying for the greater glory of God is a risky business when easily checked. See ["A Skeptics Guide to the Creation of Life" by Robert Cheaper, and the ICR's devotional "The Origin Of Life," The Odds.]

"There is no third way.
Sir Fredric Hoyle, whom Rev. Lawrence quoted as an authority previously, disagreed with Rev. Lawrence. Sir Hoyle presented a "third way." This was pointed out in the ICR cult's tract that Rev. Lawrence is quoting from.
"Spontaneous generation was disproved 100 years ago, [...]
Strawman. "Spontaneous generation" is not the venue of the subject Rev. Lawrence is attacking: abiogenesis (which he falsely believes equals evolution) is.
"[...] but that leads us only to one other conclusion: that of supernatural creation.
Before we may conclude a supernatural explanation, evidence of the supernatural is required. Otherwise, one must suspend making a conclusion until evidence is gathered to make a valid one. Where is Rev. Lawrence's evidence for the supernatural? If he claims the evidence is "life," we go into a dizzying spiral of circular illogic.
"We cannot accept that on philosophical grounds (or for personal reasons); therefore, we choose to believe the impossible: that life arose spontaneously by chance."
Strawman. Which evolutionary scientists or biologists claims life arose "spontaneously," let alone by chance? No contemporary scientists (i.e. the last 40 years or so) that I have read make such a claim. In fact, I've only read the opposite: that life did NOT arise by "chance."
There you have it, "we choose to believe the impossible." Why? Because the only other alternative is supernatural creation.
The above is a false antecedent denial: Rev. Lawrence has not demonstrated that abiogenesis (life from inorganic material) is "impossible:" he merely quoted someone who believed it is not. He then arrives at a conclusion based upon the false denial.
And that is unacceptable!
A "supernatural explanation" is QUITE acceptable, as soon as it is evidenced. The idea that Earth orbits Sol was once "unacceptable" until the weight of evidence was heavy enough to shift the old paradigm. Produce evidence for the supernatural, and scientists will accept it if it is valid.
I'm not whistling in the dark. Evolutionists cling to the theory of evolution, knowing full well there isn't any way evolution can account for the spontaneous generation of life.
No shit. Evolution, Evolutionary Theory, the evolutionary sciences, and evolutionary scientists do not address the origins of life, let alone the "spontaneous generation" (Rev. Lawrence's false cartoon characteriture of evolution) of life. He may just as well ask details concerning brain surgery from an auto mechanic.
Evolutionists believe we arose all by itself without the aid of any kind of outside intelligence or force.
That is false. The forces that probably generated life are known and mostly understood. No "evolutionist" I am aware of claims what Rev. Lawrence above asserts they claim. He is attacking a phantom of his own imagination, not evolutionary sciences. That's just oh so much easier, ain't it? You bet.
Creationists believe life was created by God.
So do many, if not most, evolutionary scientists I've read. Charles Darwin is one example [see his "Recapitulation and Conclusion."]
Neither view can be scientifically proved or disproved.
Science does not "prove" or "disprove" anything. Proof is for mathematics and alcohol. What science deals with is EVIDENCE, not "proof." No one can either prove or disprove that Pluto orbits Sol: but the evidence is conclusive that it does.

If Creationists wish to believe the gods created life, very few evolutionary scientists will disagree. Evolution deals with life that already exists, not the origins of life. Many Creationists will argue that evolution "implies" abiogenesis: that is a false argument. The fundamental lack of any other explanation for the origin of life is what implies abiogenesis.

The reason neither can be proved or disproved is because no human was there to witness the origin of the universe or the origin of life.
No: the reason neither can be "proved or disproved" is because nothing outside of mathematics can be proven or disproved.
The creation of the world was a unique, one time, unrepeatable event. It happened before any human was around to witness it. The same is true of the origin of life.
Well golly. That's nice.
There's simply no way to put the origin of the universe or the origin of life into a test tube to examine them.
False. We have already done so, and are doing so. We have examined the universe in a "test tube" back billions of years, right up to a few seconds after the Big Bang. Photon and radio telescopes provide excellent "test tubes" to examine the birth and growth of the universe. It is also not true that we cannot examine the origins of life in a test tube: scientists are currently doing exactly that! [Sidney Fox at the University of Miami is one of many examples.]
The two sources from which we can learn about creation are scripture and science. By studying scripture we can learn what holy men of God said about life's origin as it was revealed to them by the Spirit of God.
The above is, of course, false. One must first demonstrate that there are gods, then demonstrate that there are, or were, "men of gods," and then demonstrate that these men of gods wrote scriptures (by the way: which scriptures are to be used? Homer's? Vedas? Upanishads? Which gods do we use?).
By studying nature we can learn certain things about life and creation. We can learn how life perpetuates itself; how plants and animals grow; how the human body functions; how birds fly; how fish swim. We can also learn how limited changes can occur within a species through selective breeding and rearrangement of the genes.
Rev. Lawrence only ASSUMES a limit on "changes." How did he determine there is a limit? What are these limits if they exist? What referred, peer-reviewed journal supports Rev. Lawrence's claim with evidence?
We can also learn a lot about life as it existed in the past through an examination of the fossils. We know, for instance, that dinosaurs once roamed the earth because they left their imprint in the fossil record.
Millions and millions of years ago. Odd how the fossil record is exactly what one would expect to see when one posits evolution.
Fossils are various forms of life which lived in the past and have been preserved in sedimentary deposits.
The above is indisputably true, except for some Young Earth Creationists that assert the gods created the fossils in situ.
When the teachings of evolution and special creation are placed side by side, we can predict in advance what sorts of creatures should appear in the fossil record.
What, exactly, is "special creation?" How does one "teach" it?

It is false that one can "predict in advance what sorts of creatures 'should' appear in the fossil record." What CAN be done is predict that new fossil finds will demonstrate common descent: unremarked by Rev. Lawrence is that what we see in the geologic column is exactly what Evolutionary Theory predicts. Hum.

Since Rev. Lawrence brought it up, Evolutionary Theory predicts that one will never find human fossils, in situ, with Upper Cretaceous Period fossils. Creationists predict otherwise. Guess which we so far observe to be correct?

EVOLUTION: Evolution teaches that life arose spontaneously as a single cell creature.
The above is false: evolution, and Evolutionary Theory, teaches no such thing.
This single cell creature, over millions and millions of years, through millions and millions of mutations, is supposed to have produced all of the life forms which have existed in the past, and which exist in the world today.
Rev. Lawrence is being dishonest. I am not aware of any evolutionary scientist that claims there was one single-celled organism as the precursor to all life on Earth.
CREATION: Creation teaches that in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth and all things therein. God created trees after their kind, fish after their kind, animals after their kind, birds after their kind, humans after their kind.
Creation and Creationism teaches nothing--- Creationists do. (Also, just what is a "kind?") Before the existence of gods can be "taught," surely it behooves Creationists to evidence these gods? Which brings up the questions: WHICH gods? WHICH creation stories?
Each life form which God created had the ability to reproduce itself after its kind (Genesis 1 and 2).
Current life forms have the ability to speciate, in the field and in the lab. (By the way, Rev., in scientific terms, what, exactly, is a "kind?") Speciation is so common, it hardly rates space in journals these days unless the event was somehow remarkable. I have appended references to a few at the end of this text.
By studying the fossils--- or life forms which existed in the past--- we should be able to tell which of these two models[sic]--- the creational[sic] model, or the evolutional[sic] model[sic]--- is true. The story of life as it existed in the past is written in the rocks or sedimentary deposits.
What, exactly, is the "creational[sic] model?" One can readily learn what Evolutionary Theory states (and one can wish that Rev. Lawrence would do so), and yet there is no Creationism Theory. The "best" Creationists can do is strive mightily, and impotently, to castigate evolution and Evolutionary Theory. If they wish to merely amuse, Creationists may also call evolution a "hoax."
If evolution is true, the lower strata of rocks should contain primitive one-cell creatures gradually transforming themselves into higher and higher forms of life.
That is a false claim: I know of no evolutionary scientists that makes it: one-celled creatures do not "transform themselves". By the way, what, exactly, is "higher forms of life," scientifically speaking?
The evolutionary journey should begin in the lower rocks and gradually work its way up to man.
That is a strawman. No contemporary evolutionary scientists I've read claims "man" is in any way a goal to be "worked up to." Rev. Lawrence is once again imagining claims evolutionary scientists do not make, and then attacking those imaginary claims.
Millions and millions of in-between creatures--- called intermediaries[sic] or transitional forms--- would have been required to change one species into another--- [...]
That is false. Speciation does not require any "in-between creatures," let alone "millions and millions." It only requires reproductive isolation--- which is an observed fact of life.
[...] invertebrates into vertebrates, vertebrates into reptiles, reptiles into birds, birds into mammals, mammals into man.
(Er, "men" ARE mammals.) Rev. Lawrence is being dishonest in the above: he is discussing Phylum and Class (and by implication Order), not Species. He appears to be clueless concerning what he is talking about.
If evolution is true, millions of creatures in every conceivable stage of development should be present in the fossil record.
Rev. Lawrence is being dishonest. Only if FOSSILIZATION was the norm and not the improbably exception that it is, PLUS only if a representative fossil of each species were discovered, should we expect the fossil record to show "every conceivable stage of development." Darwin discussed this issue at length.

Does Rev. Lawrence know where all of his great-great-grandparents are buried? Can he produce their bones?

The journey of life would have been from the simple to the complex, from the primitive to the advanced.
That is a bogus assertion. What is "simple?" Define "complex." What is "primitive" and "advanced?"
In the early stages of evolution the fossils should show fish turning their gills into lungs,
According to whom? Which evolutionary scientists claim they "should" see gills turning into lungs? (Embryonic gill bars, by the way, appear to turn into, among other things, the aorta and the brachial artery.)

Surely Rev. Lawrence is aware of the several extant lungfish?

and their fins into legs and feet as they prepared for life upon the land. Reptiles should be seen turning their front legs into wings, their jaws into beaks, and their scales into feathers as they prepared for flight. Think of the millions of changes it would have taken for reptiles to turn themselves into birds; or for birds to turn themselves into mammals through the process of mutation or natural selection
(Birds into mammals? According to whom, exactly?) That's "mutation AND natural selection," not "or." The fossil record is rich in transitional and intermediate organisms, many of which show very clearly combinations between, for example, Reptilia and Aves. It is false to assert these fossils do not represent intermediates and transitions. [For an extensive list, see Colbert, E. 1980. "Evolution of the Vertebrates," third edition, John Wiley & Sons, New York.]
This blending of one species into another would have been so gradual [...]
According to whom? Species don't "blend" into others: they speciate into new species. As for "gradual," Punctuated Equilibrium in some form is accepted by growing numbers of contemporary scientists. The evidences shows that evolution is generally gradual, with periods of short (spans of 20 million years or so) spurts of growth. [See S. J. Gould, "Evolution as Fact and Theory," Discover, May 1981.]
[...] you[sic] wouldn't know where one species ended and the other began.
It is quite easy to determine when an extant species speciates: observe reproductive isolation between geological or behaviorally divergent populations. Since life is a continuum, species classification for extinct fossils is generally morphological.
Instead of having fish and amphibians, at one stage of their development, you'd[sic] have fishibans[sic]. Instead of having amphibians and reptiles you'd[sic] have amphitiles[sic]. Instead of having reptiles and birds you'd[sic] have repbirds[sic] (as illustrated below).
Not according to evolutionary scientists, evolutionary science, and Evolutionary Theory. What one should observe based upon Evolutionary Theory is exactly what we do observe: transitional and intermediate fossils between the Classes.

When a fossil is found to have both fish and amphibian features, it is not classified as "fishiban----" it is classified as either Pisces or Amphibia, based (generally) upon the greater number of features--- a new Class is not created. Same holds true for amphibian / reptile transitionals and reptile / bird transitionals.

If evolution is true, one species would shade so gradually into another we wouldn't be able to tell if a creature were a vertebrate or an invertebrate; [...]
Maybe Rev. Lawrence cannot tell the difference between an invertebrate and a vertebrate because he himself lacks backbone enough to be honest, but his usage of the word "we" does not apply to biologists.
[...] a mammal or a bird. Instead of having clearly defined species in the early days of evolution, everything would merge together in a chaos of life forms. The boundaries between the species would become more and more blurred as we went further back in time. That's what we should find in the fossil record, if evolution is true. But that isn't what we find!
What "we" find is exactly what Evolutionary Theory predicted we would find: morphological changes from predecessor to descendant, over geologic time.
Paleontologists have discovered that approximately two- thirds of the earth's deepest rock strata contain no life forms at all. Life makes its appearance suddenly, and in great profusion, for the first time in the Cambrian period (in the Cambrian rocks).
"Suddenly" meaning over a 300,000,000 year time span. Besides, Rev. Lawrence is wrong: fossils (cellular and otherwise) exist before the Precambrian Explosion, which he would know if he had examined the literature.
When a species appears in the fossil record it doesn't appear in a primitive or evolving state; it appears fully formed from the very start. Fish are fish, birds are birds and mammals are mammals when they first make their appearance in the fossil record.
That is a strawman. No scientist expects to see an organism that isn't "fully formed." Fish are fish, birds are birds, and mammals are mammals because that's the way scientists classify organisms. Fossils that are both amphibian and reptile are called Seymoromorphs; both fish and amphibian are Ichtyosetigids; both reptile and mammal are Therapsids--- Class is determined by somewhat arbitrary distinctions that have been agreed upon by taxonomists: the fossil record is wealthy with examples of these transitionals.
There are no ancestors anywhere to be found (not even archaeopteryx).
That is false. John Thompson pointed out that "Archaeopteryx is considered to be a 'true bird' only because taxonomists have agreed upon using feathers as the defining characteristic for Class Aves. This does not change by a whit the fact that Archaeopteryx has many reptilian features (e.g. pubic peduncle, bony tail, toothed jaw, etc.) not seen in *ANY* modern bird; this is the reason it is considered to be transitional between birds and reptiles."

Before Rev. Lawrence may dismiss Archaeopteryx, he must produce some evidenced reason for doing so.

Snails have always been snails; squid have always been squid; fish have always been fish; birds have always been birds; mammals have always been mammals.
Evolutionary Theory and evolutionary scientists agree. Rev. Lawrence is implying they do not.

Just when does Rev. Lawrence get around to refuting evolution, Evolutionary Theory, and evolutionary scientists? All his reader gets to see is attacks against FALSE positions that are not defended, as they are not posited, by scientists.

Transitional forms (changing one species into another) simply do not exist.
"Transitional forms" are not considered to be at the Species level, but the Class. Ergo, Rev. Lawrence does not know what he is discoursing upon.

It is, of course, false that no transitional forms have been found. Here's a reference to just one of tens of thousands currently classified: Milner, A.R., and S.E. Evans. 1991. "The Upper Jurassic diapsid Lisboasaurus estesi -- a maniraptoran theropod." Paleontology 34:503-513. [A bird-like reptile]

Even those species which are now extinct appeared suddenly in the fossil record, continued for a period of time, and then disappeared.
How very odd. If Rev. Lawrence cannot find the bones of his great- great-grandparents, does that mean he and his parents "appeared suddenly?"
Instead of one species gradually blending into another over millions and millions of years, each species burst upon the scene (or into the fossil record) fully formed, with no ancestors in sight.
Will someone please ask Rev. Lawrence to produce the bones of his great-great-grandparents? Thank you. If he cannot, is it therefore rational to assume be sprung out of Zeus's head fully formed?
This is absolutely crushing to the evolutionary theory.
It is exactly what evolutionary scientists expect to find. Did Rev. Lawrence's car keys "appear suddenly, fully formed" as they are, or were they cut into the pattern they are? If they were cut, surely he can show us the missing pieces, right?
What we find in the fossil record is the very opposite of what evolution requires.
Evolution does not "require" anything.

What is observed is exactly what Evolutionary Theory states one will observe.

It is, however, exactly what you'd expect if the Genesis account of creation is true.
That is, of course, known false by anyone who has read both creation accounts in Genesis. In one account (Genesis II), humans appear before the other animals--- observation of the fossil record demonstrates this is false. Genesis I also has the sun (day four) appearing after photosynthetic plants (day three).
I'm not whistling in the dark when I say the evidence for evolution simply does not exist in the fossil record.
"Blowing smoke" is the better description. Rev. Lawrence has demonstrated a complete lack of knowledge about the subject.
Darwin was aware of this and was honest enough to admit it. He said, "Geological research does not yield the infinitely many fine gradations between past and present species required by the theory (evolution), and this is the most obvious of the many objections which may be argued against it. The explanation lies, however, in the extreme imperfection of the geological record."
Finally we get to Rev. Lawrence's only "Argumentus ad Verecundiam" (argument by authority) that is valid. Darwin rightly noted, again and again in his writing (see my previous reference) that the fossil record will never be complete. The record has improved immensely since Darwin's time. Now, 136 years later, Darwin would be proud to see just how well supported by the fossil record Evolutionary Theory is.
Darwin knew that the many in-between forms of life necessary for evolution to occur simply had not been discovered by paleontologists. He hoped, however, that when enough digging had been done the missing links would be found. After 120[sic] years of digging, and a quarter million fossils, however, those hoped-for missing links are still missing.
There is no such thing as "missing links," nor does evolutionary scientists expect to "find" them. The phrase "missing link" is based upon the erroneous misunderstanding of lay people in the last 1800s and early 1900s whom believed evolution is a "ladder," not the huge bush it is.
The question every honest person must ask himself is: [...]
How can Rev. Lawrence mention HONESTY when he has been so dishonest?
[...] if evolution is true, why doesn't the fossil record confirm it?
"Have you stopped beating your spouse?" Rev. Lawrence is begging the question: he has failed miserably to demonstrate that evolution did not and does not occur.
Either these millions of in-between forms of life lived and died without leaving a trace of their existence in the fossil record; [...]
Most of them did exactly that: left no trace. The probability that a given organism will fossilize is almost nil. The probability that any given fossil will be found is also almost nil. However, many transitional and intermediate fossils have been found.
[...] or they never existed. If they never existed, evolution is a hoax--- [...]
Since said fossils DO exist, and since evolution is observed in the field and in the lab, the issue is less than mote: evolution and Evolutionary Theory is no more a "hoax" than gravity and Newton's laws of motion are.
[...] a philosophical theory masquerading as science.
Since Rev. Lawrence failed to actually address evolution, but instead manufactured a false simulacrum of what he wishes others to believe is evolution, his claim above is specious at best.
Special creation is the only logical explanation there is.
Then by all means, let's see it. Odd that Rev. Lawrence didn't bother to produce this "logical explanation."
It is highly unlikely that millions upon millions of transitional forms lived and died without leaving a trace of their existence in the fossil record.
That is false. Fossilization is extremely unlikely to occur. Then finding those fossils is also highly unlikely.
If, as evolutionists claim, it took roughly 100 million years for invertebrates to turn themselves into vertebrates, literally billions of transitional forms would have lived and died to bring this about.
Says who? Not evolutionary scientists. Not paleontologists.
How could this possibly have happened without a trace of their existence being left in the fossil record?
"How could you beat your spouse?" Rev. Lawrence is begging the question again: he has failed to demonstrate that the known transitional and intermediate fossils we have are not valid transitional and intermediate fossils.
According to evolutionists, it would have taken some 30 million years for fish to turn themselves into amphibians.
The above is false: evolutionary scientists make no such claim (fish did not turn themselves into amphibians). Perhaps Rev. Lawrence would be so kind as to produce, oh, let's say five evolutionary scientists that assert "fish turned themselves into amphibians." I have never read of any contemporary scientist that makes that claim.

Rev. Lawrence is attacking a position that is not defended, nor asserted, by scientists.

Billions of transitional forms would have lived and died to bring this about. If this is true, why don't they appear in the fossil record?
"Why don't you stop beating your spouse?" Rev. Lawrence has not supported his claim that the transitional and intermediate fossils we currently have are not really transitional and intermediate.
It would have taken millions of years for reptiles to turn themselves into birds; millions of years for birds to turn themselves into mammals;
Evolutionary Theory doesn't make the claim that reptiles turned themselves into birds, nor that birds turned themselves into mammals.
and millions of years for mammals to turn themselves into men.
Humans ARE mammals! Good grief.
Once again the millions upon millions of transitional forms which would have been necessary to accomplish this are nowhere to be found in the fossil record
Once again, the fossil record is rich in transitional and intermediate forms.
How is it that fully formed species were preserved in great numbers while transitional forms were not?
Life is a continuum. Species classification is a HUMAN convention, not a natural one. Organisms are not, as Rev. Lawrence seems to wish, assigned to more than one species / Class / etc.
The most likely explanation is because transitional forms never existed. Those transitional forms which Darwin placed so much faith in never existed. That's why they can't be found.
Museums throughout the world have transitional and intermediate fossils. Perhaps Rev. Lawrence could go visit the Smithsonian some day.
That those hoped-for transitional forms are nowhere to be found is common knowledge among paleontologists.
Not any paleontologist I've known or read. Said "common knowledge" exists only as a fantasy of Rev. Lawrence.
Lord Zuckerman, who was himself an evolutionist, was honest enough to acknowledge this. "If man evolved," he said, "he managed to do so without leaving a trace in the fossil record."
That "quote" is found in "Beyond the Ivory Tower" (Sir Solly Zuckerman, New York: Taplinger, 1970). By the way, the Zuckerman quote above predates the Australopithecus afarensis find.

Jim Foley: "Solly Zuckerman attempted to show, with biometrical studies (based on measurements), that the australopithecines were apes. Zuckerman lost this debate in the 50's, and his position was abandoned by everyone else (Johanson and Edey, 1981). Creationists like to quote his opinions as if they were still a scientifically acceptable viewpoint."

Richard Goldschmidt was so convinced the major forms of life did not pass through millions upon millions of changes as Darwinism asserted, he suggested that evolution may have taken place in big jumps. Maybe a reptile laid an egg and a bird hatched out. "Hopeful monsters" is what he called them.
Richard Goldschmit was a scientist who worked circa 1940s. Why doesn't Rev. Lawrence quote him on jet aircraft while he's at it?
I can tell you one thing: if transitional forms had been found in the fossil record, the hopeful monster theory never would have seen the light of day. The only reason it was ever proposed is because evolutionists know transitional forms do not appear in the fossil record.
Rev. Lawrence keeps making that claim, over and over again, but has utterly refused to support it. If he were honest, he would have demonstrated WHY Archaeopteryx is not really a transitional organism; he would have demonstrated WHY Australopithecus is also not really transitional. And yet the best he can do is merely tell his readers that they are not. Interesting.
Evolutionists, as a whole, do not put much stock in Goldschmidt's "hopeful monsters." I can't blame them; they don't appear in the fossil record either.
Since Rev. Lawrence is aware of that fact, why did he mention Zuckerman? Strange.
A bird hatching from a reptile egg would constitute a miracle. And for the theory of evolution to survive, miracles must not be allowed.
Since such an event is not claimed by evolutionary scientists, plus it would be counter Evolutionary Theory, why does Rev. Lawrence mention it?
If you thought the theory of evolution arose from the discoveries of science or from the fossil findings of paleontologists, you've been misled.
Rev. Lawrence is deceiving his readers. He has yet to discuss evolution, nor has he discussed Evolutionary Theory.
The theory of evolution rose far more for philosophical reasons than for scientific ones.
Rev. Lawrence makes the assertion, then REFUSES to explain what he means by it. Exactly WHY would such a "hoax" be perpetrated?
If you want to have a better understanding of this you should read, The Collapse of Evolution by Scott M. House; Evolution, the Fossils Say No by Duane T. Gish; and Darwin on Trial? by Phillip E. Johnson.
Yeah, sure. Next time I have a biology question, I'll be sure to ask engineers and a lawyer.
Two of the many reasons that I believe in creation are as follows: I believe in creation because, contrary to what evolutionists claim, life can only spring from pre-existing life, not from matter, not from gas, not from anything other than preexisting life.
Where is Rev. Lawrence's evidence that "life can only come from life?" He would need to be omniscient to make such a bold assertion.
To place faith in the spontaneous generation of life, as evolutionists do, [...]
Rev. Lawrence is, of course, being dishonest. Evolutionary science does not address the origins of life, let alone Rev. Lawrence's "spontaneous generation," whatever that is.
[...] is to place faith in that which science contradicts.
Rev. Lawrence has yet to demonstrate any "contradiction."
Only God can create life!
Who or what created that god? Try again, Reverend.
I believe in creation also because there's no evidence for evolution in the fossil record.
Ergo his belief is based upon ignorance. At least he is being honest about it. Too bad he didn't mention this at the beginning, and save people the trouble of reading his nonsense.

It is fundamentally intellectually dishonest to embrace a belief based upon the (wrongfully) perceived lack of an alternative. An honest, rational individual will accept a conclusion based upon the evidence, or refrain from a conclusion until the evidence is in. It is okay to admit one does not know the answer--- scientists do it constantly: why cannot non-scientists such as Rev. Lawrence?

The sudden appearance of life fully formed in the Cambrian rocks harmonizes perfectly with the Genesis account of creation.
Only if "sudden" means a few hundred-million-year-long time frame, and if one ignores the life that predate the Cambrian.
Why should I believe in evolution [...]
No one should believe in evolution. Evolution is a fact, and not subject to belief. Perhaps Rev. Lawrence meant Evolutionary Theory, and not evolution.
[...] when everything points in the other direction?
Rev. Lawrence gives his readers yet one more parting "begging the question" shot. He has not demonstrated the non-validity of Evolutionary Theory, let alone provided evidence for any "other direction."

Observed speciation:

Weiberg, James R..Starczak, Victoria R..Jorg, Daniele. "Evidence for rapid speciation following a founder event in the laboratory." Evolution. V46.P1214(7) August, 1992.

Kluger, Jeffrey. "Go fish. (rapid fish speciation in African lakes)." Discover. V13.P18(1) March, 1992.

Barrowclough, George F. "Speciation and Geographic Variation in Black-tailed Gnatcatchers." (book reviews) The Condor. V94. P555(2) May, 1992

Rabe, Eric W..Haufler, Christopher H. "Incipient polyploid speciation in the maidenhair fern (Adiantum pedatum; Adiantaceae)" The American Journal of Botany. V79.P701(7)June, 1992.

Dobxhansky and Pavlovsky, 1957 "An experimentallly created incipient species of Drosophila," Nature 23: 289- 292

Weinberg, et. al, 1992 "Evidence for rapid speciation following a founder event in the laboratory," Evolution 46: 1214