223 of 302 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2006
Sometimes you can tell a book by its cover. The illustration gives everything away. A menacing hammer labeled "SCIENCE" is crashing through a glass window that represents evolution. Implicit in the image is a promise totally unfulfilled by the contents of this book - that 'science' (as mangled and misused by the author) somehow refutes evolution!
Cynically intended to separate uncritical creationists from their money and the actual facts, this aggressively mediocre publication is typeset in a large 'Weekly Reader' font and format that keeps your fingers constantly busy flipping from page to page. Which is appropriate since "Refuting Evolution" is essentially content-free.
If Jonathan Sarfati has any honest cards to play in the seemingly endless game of whack-a-mole that scientists are forced to play with Young Earth Creationists (YECs for short), he should write them up and submit them for peer review in a credible scientific journal. He won't because science is hard work and Sarfati can make an easy living by taking unfounded pot shots at evolution.
The threads of error woven into Sarfati's tapestry of nonsense are numerous and perverse. Here are a few highlights:
Sarfati postulates that a lack of helium escaping from the atmosphere of the earth supports its 'youth.' He deliberately ignores the evidence NASA, and many others, have accumulated on helium escape that deflates this lighter-than-air YEC balloon.
He also trots out the discredited canard about ocean salinity supporting a young earth interpretation. Unfortunately this creationist gambit conveniently omits well known mechanisms, such as basaltic lava quenching, that removes sodium from the ocean.
Another whopper posits that radioactive potassium and uranium are "easily dissolved" in water and that the leaching of these parent radionuclides from rocks supposedly disrupts radiometric dating calculations. Even if this was the case - and it isn't, the minerals these elements form has everything to do with weathering and solubility - this weak argument ignores lunar samples obtained by Apollo astronauts from earth's airless and waterless moon.
Physics, chemistry, and geology falsify Sarfati's hand-waving, assertions, and 'Jesus just-so' stories. How about biology?
Here Sarfati resorts to what I like to call the creationist 'argument from low self-esteem' - he attempts to invalidate the molecular phylogenetics that show an extraordinarily close relationship (98% commonality) between human and chimpanzee DNA - and fails spectacularly.
From chromosomal fusion and pseudogenes to retroelements and transposons the scientific reality of evolution is expressed in the DNA of every person on earth (including Sarfati). These relics (literally) are millions of non-coding segments of DNA, snippets of our genome that eloquently document common descent with uncommon clarity and incontrovertible evidence.
Specifics include how human chromosome 2 resulted from the fusion of two separate chromosomes (corresponding to chimpanzee chromosomes 2A and 2B) after the lineage leading to modern humans split from the one leading to contemporary chimpanzees.
Transposable elements, also known as transposons and retroelements (aka 'jumping genes'), such as Alu elements, HERV-K, CMT1A, and GULO provide exacting confirmation of human evolution and our ancestral affiliation with other primates.
Pseudogenes (including unitary pseudogenes, duplication pseudogenes and retropseudogenes) also supply eloquent evidence for evolution. Comparisons of pseudogene sequences across species reveal a consistent pattern. Human pseudogenes are most similar to those in chimpanzee DNA, and are highly similar to those of other primates. Species as divergent as rodents and humans also display some degree of ancient pseudogene similarity - additional evidence of our shared evolutionary history with kindred primates, and more distantly related mammals.
Genomics research addresses the evolutionary relationship between humans, chimpanzees and gorillas. Mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences both show that humans and chimpanzees are more closely related to each other than either is to gorillas. Genome-wide comparison of the human and chimpanzee genomes spectacularly confirms that the genes, chromosomes, transposable elements, and pseudogenes of humans and chimpanzees are strikingly similar.
Human mitochondrial DNA diversity, X-chromosome diversity, Y-chromosome diversity, and diversity of DNA sequences in all chromosomes unambiguously reveals that the evolutionary cradle of humanity is located in sub-Saharan Africa, and also tracks subsequent migrations across the entire globe - initially to the Middle East and Asia, then Europe, Australia, and the Americas.
So much for 'science,' ala Sarfati but then this book really isn't about science at all. "Refuting Evolution" is a desperately shrill and pandering mishmash of fundamentalist theology and amateur hour apologetics, based on a literal misreading of Genesis and other parts of the Bible.
'Truthiness' is no substitute for the truth; scientific facts, however well supported and tested by experiment and inference, are routinely feed to Sarfati's faith-based shredder to justify his absolute and dogmatic faith in an allegorical creation myth.
Earth to Sarfati - evolution is a solidly established and widely accepted scientific theory with vast explanatory and predictive power, based on a solid foundation of supporting evidence. Get over it. You may as well deny gravity (Newtonian or General Relativity). Worship as you please and find spiritual solace in Genesis if you must - but don't pimp science to prop up your irrational and medieval worldview.
244 of 357 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2004
Sarfati's `book' - small pages, large font and all - seems to be a collection of half-truths, bizarre extrapolations, aspersion casting, and nonsense. Does anyone really wonder why the only people that give it the time of day are lay creationists?
The laughable naiveté displayed by Sarfati in his description of molecular phylogenetics
indicates that he has at best a cursory understanding of it. Considering that Sarfati may have had Batten look
over this section for him - a creationist that has made many of the same errors in his own writing that Sarfati does in his book - there is little reason to wonder how such nonsense made it
Sarfati's 'common designer' alternative is a case in point. He mentions
only similarities - if he had an understanding of how such analyses are
done, he would - or should - have known that it is not mere similarity that
If this 'common designer' schtick of Sarafti's and other creationists made any sense, should not
the DNA of a whale be more 'similar' to that of a shark, given their
morphological similarity? Sarfati even alludes to this when he mentions the
relationships of crocodiles to chickens rather than reptiles (which
actually, contrary to Sarfati's ignorant implication, makes perfect sense).
Furthermore, Sarfati makes a blatant false claim on p. 83:
"Similarities between human and ape DNA are often exaggerated. This
figure was not derived from a direct comparison of sequences. Rather
the original paper inferred 97% similarity between human and chimp DNA
from a rather crude technique called DNA hybridization."
In reality, the % 'similarity' figures had been batted about for a few
years - it was the Sibley paper that got quite a bit of attention
because 1. DNA-DNA hybridization compares the entire single copy genome
2. Sibley and Ahlquist were accused of fraud because they did not
explain the techniques they used in deriving their figures and when
others replicated their work, they came up with slightly different
The original numbers were gleaned form direct DNA sequence comparisons,
and, sadly for Sarfati's readers (and Sarfati himself), the numbers have been borne out by ever more
studies using many more loci.
Studies pre-dating the S&A paper cited in Sarfati's book:
Chimpanzee Fetal G-gamma and A-gamma Globin Gene Nucleotide Sequences
Provide Further Evidence of Gene Conversions in Hominine Evolution.
Slightom et al., 1985
Mol Biol Evol 2(5):370-389.
This paper found a 1.4-2.25% nucleotide difference, depending on
which sets of alleles are compared.(1.8 kilobases). That is
Primate Eta-Globin DNA and Man's Place Among the Great Apes. Koop et
This paper found a 1.7% distance measured by direct comparison of
aligned nucleotide sequences (2.2 kilobases in a pseudogene). That is
Just one paper of many post-dating it that come to similar conclusions:
A Molecular View of Primate Supraordinal Relationships from the
Analysis of Both Nucleotide and Amino Acid Sequences. Stanhope et
al., 1993. In Primates and Their Relatives in Phylogenetic
Perspective. MacPhee, ed.
This book chapter discusses Epsilon globin gene, (~4 kilobases), 1.1%.
That is 98.9% identity
When one knows a little bit of science, creationist claims can seem to
When one knows quite a bit of science, one can see how shallow and nonsensical creationist claims can be.
On the next page, Sarfati refers to electrical engineer ReMine's
self-promotion book and his application of "Haldane's dilemma." Which
it would seem Sarfati does not appear to understand any better than ReMine does.
"Population genetics calculations shows that animals with human -like
generation times of about 20 years could substitute no more than about
1700 mutations in that time."
Where to start?
What is the evidence that the ancestor of both humans and apes had a 20
year generation time?
Sarfati presents none. ReMine didn't either.
Sarfati does not mention that the calculation applies only to fixed,
beneficial mutations, and not all mutations (most of which are neutral
with regard to fitness and so can accrue much faster in a population).
Why is that? Was it to make the total estimated difference between
humans and chimps seem that much more unbridgeable? Or was it because
Sarfati, like his Answers in Genesis colleague, Batten, doesn't understand (or care about) the difference?
Did Sarfati present any evidence that even if that number is correct, that
human evolution cannot be accounted for?
No. Just assertions and emotional rhetoric.
Most other topics were dealt with in a similar fashion.
Of course, as is clear from the many positive reviews, the average reader will not know - or care about - the disinformation, the errors of omission, the empty rhetoric, etc.
Again, when one knows a little bit of science, creationist claims can seem to
When one knows quite a bit of science, one can see how shallow and nonsensical creationist claims can be.
58 of 86 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2005
It appears that Creationism has evolved significantly over the years and is converging to closely match modern evolution theory. In his book Refuting Evolution author Jonathan Sarfati Ph. D. easily accepts formerly proscribed facts: Beneficial Mutation, Natural Selection, and Speciation. He might be writing the next high school textbook on evolution theory except for one critical departure from the norm.
The main difference between Sarfati's theory and that of Darwin's successors is that Sarfati does not believe a mechanism exists in which new information can be added to a genome without loss of previous information. He does believe that new information can be added to the information space by replacing information that already exists although only at the loss of the previous information.
Sarfati claims that organisms can differentiate, yea even unto speciation, but only within their information space or genome. Sarfati bases this claim on the fact no mechanism exists that allows for simple organisms to increase their information space. As a result evolution to more complex forms is impossible. Of course, the reverse is also true. If such a mechanism does exist, Sarfati's theory would be wrong (at least until he absorbed more evolution theory into his own).
Hypothetically speaking, one way that information could be added without loss of information might be the duplication of genetic information. This way the information space could be increased without harm to the organism since the new space still carries the old information. Subsequent mutation of the duplicate produces new information without loss of the old. If genetic duplication were true it would be conceivable that simple organisms could become increasingly complex.
In fact, genetic duplication does occur, and has been observed both in nature and in the laboratory. A brief perusal of the currently available literature on the subject produces two known mechanisms for genetic duplication. In the case of transposons, the child carries a second copy of a parent gene or section of chromosome. In polyploidy, fairly common in plants, some or all chromosomes in a parent are duplicated often resulting in very large genomes. In both cases the result is that the child has a genome with redundant information but with increased information space. The two copies can diverge through mutation resulting in a child genome with both new information and greater complexity.
The fact that information of genetic duplication is and has been readily available since prior to the publication of Mr. Sarfati's book breeds one of two possibilities. Either author Sarfati's research on his chosen subject is deficient due to gross neglect or, for reasons known only to him, Sarfati is withholding facts and intentionally misleading his readership. Perhaps Mr. Sarfati, and beyond doubt his readership, would benefit if he should spend more time at the library and less at the typewriter.
93 of 138 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2003
Sarfati's book contains countless errors and numerous misused references. For example, when arguing for a "young" Universe, Sarfati(p. 113) claims that no stage 3 supernova remnants exist in our or neighboring galaxies. However, 166.2+2.5, 180.0-1.7, 189.1+3.0, 279.0+1.1, and 290.1-0.8 are just five undisputed examples of these "nonexistent" remnants. Sarfati(p. 113) also claims that a lack of helium escape from the atmosphere supports its "youth." However, recent NASA images show helium being SWEPT from the Earth's atmosphere into deep space. One event occurred on September 24-25, 1998 after a solar coronal mass emission. Considering these readily seen escape mechanisms and the effects of modern helium pollution, the helium content of the Earth's atmosphere in NO WAY conflicts with the ancient age of the Earth. So, why don't creationists use heavier gases(e.g.,argon) that won't readily escape into space for "dating"? Perhaps, it's because the atmospheric 40argon/36argon is consistent with an ancient Earth. Sarfati(p. 114) further argues that salt accumulation in seawater indicates that oceans are "young." However, this argument fails because creationists have refused to properly consider the removal of sodium from seawater by erupting basalts (albitization). Albitization is real and EASILY identified in the glass rims of pillow basalts. All of Sarfati's attacks on radiometric dating are also erroneous. As one example, Safati(p. 110) claims that with radiometric dating, potassium and uranium are "easily dissolved" in water. However, solubility and weatherability depend on mineralogy and oxidation state. Uranium(IV) is generally insoluble, whereas UO2 +2 is highly soluble. Potassium chloride is soluble, but potassium muscovite is not and it's low on Goldich's weathering series. Clearly, Sarfati does not understand simple chemistry.
Geologists know that sediments may be deposited slowly or rapidly by mudslides, earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, and other NATURAL catastrophes. Yet, Sarfati's(p. 105) discussions of a rapid depositional event at Mt. St. Helens are presented as news. Besides Pompeii, there have been numerous studies over the years that support rapid NATURAL deposition, including the 1973 studies at Laacher See, Germany. Sarfati(p. 106) also mentions creationist Berhault's lab work on rapid sediment layering as if it's news. However, Berhault's results are similar to layering in catastrophic turbidites, which geologist Bouma described in 1962. Sarfati(p. 105-107) is also mistakenly believes that local natural catastrophes can just be scaled up to produce Noah's flood. As geologists discovered by 1840, nature refutes creationism (e.g., blueschists, varve cycles that correspond beautifully with the Earth's 100,000-year eccentricity, thick non-hydrothermal salt deposits, extinct short-lived radionuclides, radiation movement from the Sun's core, fossil soils, metastable aragonite and obsidian, in place coral reefs and their growth rings, silica cement, fossil desert ventifacts, and even polonium haloes according to a 1989 article by Odom and Rink). Polystrate trees may form from modern mudslides and hurricanes. However, sometimes, their formation is much slower than Sarfati(p. 107) realizes. For example, in 1700 AD, an earthquake caused some coastline trees in Washington State to sink to a few meters below sea level. They're still standing today and are slowly being buried to form polystrate trees. Other modern polystrate trees occur in Texas and at Mt. St. Helens, all without Noah's Flood.
Sarfati(p. 110) mentions how creationist Austin obtained "anomalously old" radiometric dates from Mt. St. Helens. Austin's photographs CLEARLY show zoned feldspar and other broken xenocrysts in the volcanics, which indicate a long history. Considering the enormous number of microscopic xenocrysts in the photographs, it's ignorant to claim that anyone could effectively remove them before the samples were dated. No wonder Austin got old dates. Interestingly, Austin's dates of the impure mineral fractions are consistent with Bowen's reaction series and indicate a LONG history for the volcanics.
Sarfati(p. 18) is correct that science only favors natural explanations. Natural explanations are superior to the wild, untestable supernatural speculations that originate from the boundless imaginations of creationists. If creationists believe that it's suitable to invoke supernatural explanations in biology, why don't they advocate their use in courtrooms, forensic labs, sanitariums, and hospitals? Obviously, even creationists realize that bacteria better explain diseases than demons. Furthermore, any defense attorney would be disbarred if he/she argued that a demon and not the suspect committed the crime. Whether we're dealing with a murder victim, thick salt deposits, or diseases, viable explanations don't involve gods, demons, Noah's Flood or Jack Frost. While creationists object to the lack of eyewitnesses and repeatability in paleontology, how many of them will object to the sole use of forensics with its lack of repeatability and eyewitnesses in criminal trials? Murderers are often solely convicted on forensic evidence without any eyewitness testimony. Indeed, DNA evidence is superior to eyewitness testimonies, which often conflict. At the same time, forensic scientists may have less evidence for the death of a victim than paleontologists have for the death of a dinosaur. How many creationists will demand subjective eyewitness testimony before suspects may be convicted and executed?
Sarfati(p. 15) claims that creationists rely on science, but they really rely on "god-of-the-gaps." Whenever science finds natural explanations and the gap closes, creationists simply remold their plastic Bible interpretations to claim that the Bible had the answers all along (e.g.,Sarfati,p.97-98) or that the obviously ridiculous verses are just non-literal "poetry" (e.g.,Sarfati,p.100-101). Sarfati repeatedly attacks contemporary Christians that support an old Earth in ways that are far more childish than ANYTHING I've ever seen among evolutionists. At the same time, Sarfarti(p. 26) has double standards for famous unorthodox Christians of the past. For example, while denouncing Ross and other contemporary old-Earthers, Sarfarti praises Buckland, Cuvier, Agassiz and Kelvin. Kelvin, for example, believed that the Earth was older than 20 million years. Sarfati(p. 26) also admires Newton, but ignores his Unitarianism. Sarfati (p. 29) even praises Wernher von Braun, but overlooks von Braun's nazism. Galileo, Copernicus and Steno were creationists as Sarfati(p. 26) states, but considering the lethal intolerance of Catholics and Protestants back then, few (DaVinci, Buffon) were brave enough to criticize creationism. Because of the numerous errors in "Refuting Evolution," this book fails to refute anything.
74 of 110 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 1999
This book is a response to an educators guidebook, published by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), called "Teaching about Evolution and the Nature of Science." The author uses this guidebook as a springboard for various quotes and introduction to creationist ideas, concepts and arguments. I'm sure the NAS didn't intend it for this purpose, but Sarfati has done a good job of rounding up the many holes and difficulties faced by those who hold to the evolutionary model.
Sufarti quotes DMS Watson in Nature: : "Evolution [is] a theory universally accepted not because it can be proven by logically coherent evidence to be true, but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible." To which Sufarti rightly concludes: "So it's not a question of biased religious creationists versus objective scientific evolutionists; rather, it is the biases of the Christian religion versus the biases of the religion of secular humanism resulting in different interpretations of the same scientific data."
"For scales to have evolved into feather means that a significant amount of genetic information had to arise in the bird's DNA which was not present in that of its alleged reptile ancestor." Sarfati shows that Natural Selection actually inhibits the supposed transitional creatures from ever surviving. Natural Selection is biased toward those who are best fit to live in its present environment. Sarfati points out that Birds with their, "avian lung, with its super-efficiency, becomes especially advantageous only at very high altitudes with low oxygen levels. There would have been no selective advantage in replacing the reptilian lung."
Another good point made by Sarfati is the question of what would it take for a rational person to recognize that something was designed? The SETI project uses, the criterion of "a signal with high level of specified complexity--this would prove that there was an intelligent sender, even if we had no other idea of the sender's nature." And Sarfati points out that within our cells is just that same specified complexity. Tiny motors that drive the flagellum of a bacterium and magnetic sensing systems found in many organisms, are an example of this specified complexity. But, and Sarfati's first point is right even to the end, that most evolutionists are committed to evolution, even before they open their first book, "so the evidence, overwhelming as it is, would probably have no effect." I enjoyed reading this book, as Sarfati did a good job of summarizing the many issues surrounding this debate.
33 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2008
I'm not a scientist. Science, biology and evolutionary biology are not my fields, so I leave the science to the professionals. What I would like to do is point out some of the author's weaknesses in style and argument.
The first thing that caught my eye and really surprised me was the authors frequent use of exclamation points within this text. To be honest I was shocked to see an exclamation point at all in a supposed "scientific critique". You don't really even have to be in a scientific field to realize the commonly known fact that exclamation points are not used in scientific works. Anyone taking a comp 101 class can tell you that you don't use emotive punctuation in an argumentative work. The use of exclamation points was so frequent that I almost expected to see the :) punctuating one of his really good points. I wonder if there was just no editorial process or what the author was thinking, but I found that to be very weak and had the book not been so short I have would have simply put the book down after seeing the first exclamation point.
Next throughout the book the reader will find short quotes from a multitude of sources and then the author will draw extremely broad conclusions from those very narrow sources. He does this throughout the work. At one point he uses a C.S. Lewis quote to allude to the "fact" that if there is no designer then our "ability to reason would be called into question" (P. 28). This is of course absurd and completely self-serving extrapolation of a statement by someone who probably agrees with the author's world view, but of course it doesn't stand to reason that without their conception of god physics and all laws that govern the universe suddenly cease to exist. He also takes a quote from Psalms 16:8 "I shall not be moved" and from that simple quote decides its true meaning is that "the Earth . . . will not stray from the precise orbital and rotational pattern God has set for it."(P. 101) This is indicative of the entire work. It would be laughable if it were not taken seriously by the author and apparently some readers. The author will take small and seemingly benign quotes and then stretch them so far out of context that it is amazing.
Next his arguments are entirely inconsistent throughout the entire work. When attempting to discredit one aspect of evolution he will work from the assumption that everything on Earth has remained constant such as when he speaks of the amount of Helium still trapped in the ground, but then when it no longer suits his case he will switch to arguing constant changes in the Earth such as when talking about sedimentation and radio carbon dating. The author has no compunction about making 180 degree turns and arguing seemingly at cross purposes from previous or future sections of his own book. I guess it does make one's argument simpler when he isn't constrained by consistency.
Next he argues that the global flood is a good explanation diversity of species and their dispersal throughout the world. Of course this is probably the most absurd statement of all. Plus I love the little picture the author has on page 46 of an ark and what appears to be a man and a dinosaur like creature outside of the ark. First off the author posits that there would be about 8,000 (16,000 individuals) different species that would have to be on the ark and that would not be a problem. I will not argue about insects and other small creatures that number well into the hundreds of thousands, but will let the author's number stand. The amount of food that would have been necessary to store on this ark would have been enormous. The food supply alone would have filled up a craft the size of the ark. Not to mention the logistics of about 10 people feeding, watering and cleaning up after 16,000 animals is beyond reason. The whole notion is childish and immature, and for this type of argument to be found in a "scientific work" is ludicrous. Not to mention the fact that there is no way that this author or anyone else would ever be able to find a credible scientist that would say that any animal population would be viable with only two breeding individuals left in the species. Not to mention the fact that carnivores would have nothing to eat, or whatever they did eat would mean the extinction of a species. Absurdity thy name is Global Flood Model.
Next there are a whole lot of little things peppered throughout this book like on page 85 were he basically credits evolutionists with the rise of the Nazis. I loved that one. Or how he continuously calls some of the great scientists of the past like Galileo and Newton creationists even though that term did not even exist. Just because someone is (or was) religious does not make them a creationist. Although I can certainly see why the author feels the need to piggyback on these great men since he certainly needs all the legitimacy he can muster from anywhere he can get it. I also like where on page 22 he decides that anyone who considers themselves a Christian or religious and believes in evolution are not in actuality religious or Christian since to believe that "[a] God who created by evolution is, for all practical purposes, indistinguishable from no God at all." I found that statement to be the most arrogant and absurd statement from a book filled to overflowing with such statements. How this man can decide to take on the authority to tell hundreds of thousands of people that they are not Christians is beyond me.
This is the weakest and most amateurish piece of propaganda I have yet come across. The author is arrogant, completely inept at creating sound, logical arguments and totally irrelevant. If this is representative of the creationists best and most talented then they are woefully in need of drastic changes. After going back and reading over my own review I feel angry that I allowed this author to waste so much of my own time with this ridiculous book. I am glad that I at least bought a used copy so this poor excuse for an author didn't receive any compensation from me.
Do not buy this book and do not waste your time with this book.
82 of 122 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2001
Like most creationist books that I've read, this one is full of elementary errors in astronomy, chemistry, geology and the nature of science. For example, when arguing for a "young" Universe, Sarfati (p. 113) claims that no stage 3 supernova remnants exist in our or neighboring galaxies. However, 166.2+2.5, 180.0-1.7, 189.1+3.0, 279.0+1.1, and 290.1-0.8 are just five undisputed examples of these "nonexistent" remnants.
Sarfati (p. 113) also claims that a "lack" of helium escape from the atmosphere supports its "youth." However, recent NASA images show helium and other gases being SWEPT from the Earth's atmosphere into deep space. One event occurred on September 24-25, 1998 after a solar coronal mass emission.
So, why don't creationists use heavier gases (e.g. argon) that won't readily escape into space when they try to date the Earth's atmosphere? Perhaps, it's because the atmospheric 40argon/36argon is consistent with an ancient Earth (Dalrymple, 1984, p. 83; Krauskopf and Bird, 1995, p. 576) and it cannot be distorted to support their interpretations of Genesis.
Using poorly known numbers from his allies, Sarfati (p. 114) argues that salt concentrations in ocean water should be much higher if the oceans were billions of years old. This argument also fails. When hot basaltic lavas erupt onto the seafloor, they remove sodium from seawater as they quench. This process, called albitization, refers to the accumulation of sodium in the cooling rocks during quenching. Because creationists ignore this important sodium-removal mechanism, their salinity calculations underestimate the age of the oceans.
Sarfati (p. 110) also claims that radioactive potassium and uranium are "easily dissolved" in water and that the leaching of these parent radionuclides from rocks supposedly can disrupt radiometric dating calculations. However, as taught in any introductory chemistry course, (doesn't Sarfati hold degrees in chemistry?) water solubility and the ability of uranium, potassium, and other elements to weather out of minerals depend on the compounds that contain the elements and the oxidation state of the elements. For example, uranium (IV) is generally insoluble in water, but (UO2)+2 is highly soluble (Langmuir, 1997, p. 495-496). Potassium chloride is very soluble in water, but potassium muscovite is not and it's low on Goldich's weathering series. Even if Sarfati's accusations were true, they're irrelevant to radiometric dates on rocks from the airless and waterless Moon.
31 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 1999
I read this book as a science teacher seeking to understand the fiercely critical stance of some holy rollers in regards to teaching/not teaching evolution in the classroom. I went into the book with an open mind, seeking to understand, and after the first two pages I was so offended I was turned off to everything the author had to say. The author takes many liberties with his blatant stereotypes and clumping of all scientists together into one group of "humanists" and claims that we are teaching our "own religion". I would submit that religion should be taught at the church and in peoples homes where it BELONGS and let us do our job of teaching science in the classrooms. We DO NOT teach that any religion is bad.....WE AREN"T ALLOWED BY LAW to talk about religion. I think it is arrogant of this author to even suggest that we should teach creation in the classroom. What about all of the other faiths? Shouldn't we teach those too? And what do you know, we will be turning a science class into a religion class. Evolution is a theory and should be taught that way. This book is just more fuel for the fire and does nothing to clarify the issue for me. The author quotes other authors out of context in a vain attempt to cast a dark shadow on the science community. I am offended by it in the worst way.
39 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2007
Sarfati's science is abysmal. Period. Victoria University of Wellington should be ashamed of itself if this is the kind of "scientists" it is turning out, although I suspect Sarfati's religious pathology would misconstrue the facts of scientific reality no matter where he earned his degrees.
REFUTING EVOLUTION is so full of elementary errors in astronomy, chemistry, geology and the nature of science, that I half-suspected Sarfati to be an 'agent provocateur' really working in the service of science and that he was only offering up this book as 'disinformation' to make the Creationists look bad by assuming they were either too ignorant, too lazy, or too complacent to bother researching his laughable (and patently inaccurate) claims.
The more I read, however, it began to dawn on me that Sarfati actually believed the fantasies he was doling out even though they go against all the basic findings of elementary science. This is downright frightening, to see how religious fanaticism (a kind of mental pathology) should have such a stanglehold on what might otherwise turn out to be a strong and rational mind. It's a pity to see such potential wasted in the service of supernaturalism, magical thinking, and science fiction! What else is Sarfati deliberately and rigorously pretending not to know?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2015
Simple and straight to the point. No adhominem. Takes each point and offers a rebuttal, but also lays out the underlying presuppositions in evolutionary belief. Good documentation and citations so you can check the resources. This is a good quick read which can help bring the conversation past "it is a fact" with your atheist friends.