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TalkOrigins Archive

The Talk.Origins Archive is a collection of articles and essays, most of which have appeared in at one time or another. The primary reason for this archive's existence is to provide mainstream scientific responses to the many frequently asked


The Origin of Life
Added October 31, 2006:A discussion of the main models on the spontaneous origin of life that aims to show how cellular complexity could have gradually emerged from simple systems - in contrast to the sudden appearance of complexity that creationists claim to have been necessary at the beginning of life. Central issues like the composition of the early atmosphere of the Earth and the origin of the homochirality of amino acids and sugars are reviewed as well.

September 2006 Feedback
Added October 22, 2006:

The Discovery Institute Quote Mines Stephen Jay Gould
Added October 9, 2006: The newest addition to the Quote Mine Project shows how Casey Luskin of Discovery Institute misrepresents what Gould and others wrote in a brief for Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals.

Awards, Honors, and Favorable Notices for The Talk.Origins Archive
Updated October 9, 2006: Honors won by the TalkOrigins Archive.

The Discovery Institute Quote Mines Judge Jones
Added September 28, 2006: The Discovery Institute selectively quotes Judge Jones' decision in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District in aid of its "bait and switch" claim of scientific evidence in support of intelligent design.

Updated September 16, 2006: In evolutionary biology today macroevolution is used to refer to any evolutionary change at or above the level of species. It means the splitting of a species into two or the change of a species over time into another. This FAQ has been expanded, updated, illustrated, and rewritten.

Hendren v. Campbell: Decision Against a Creationist Textbook
Added August 20, 2006: A 1977 decision of an Indiana superior court ruling against a textbook produced by the Creation Research Society. In some respects this case resembles a young-earth creationist version of the 2005 Kitzmiller case. Introductory material, links, as well as the full text of the judge's memorandum opinion are provided.

Young-Earth Creationist Helium Diffusion "Dates": Fallacies Based on Bad Assumptions and Questionable Data
Updated July 25, 2006: Young-Earth creationists consider the helium diffusion studies of D. Russell Humphreys and others to be one of their greatest achievements in arguing for a 6,000 year old Earth. A geologist shows that these studies are extensively flawed and include: serious miscalculations in their data, sampling the wrong rock type, failing to eliminate possible contamination, using equations that are based on invalid assumptions and relying on questionable data. Appendices C and D have been added in response to Dr. Humphreys' most recent statements in his January 2006 "Trueorigins" essay.

Evidence for the Big Bang
This article covers the evidence which leads cosmologists to believe the Big Bang happened, deals with common objections to the theory, and discusses alternative models and questions that still remain to be answered.

How Old is the Earth: A Response to "Scientific" Creationism
Added January 10, 2006: A classic and often-referenced 1984 paper by G. Brent Dalrymple. The paper contains short but accurate expositions of radiometric dating methods and discussions of creationist criticisms and attempts to date the Earth as young. It includes material difficult to find elsewhere, such as the discussion of mixing isochrons and the effect of neutron-capture reactions. Dr. Dalrymple is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a winner of the National Medal of Science, a former president of the American Geophysical Union, and the author of The Age of the Earth