Skeptic » Reading Room » Top 10 Myths About Evolution (and how we know it really happened)

The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine

Top 10 Myths About Evolution
(and how we know it really happened)

This concise pamphlet provides answers to common objections to evolution, such as: If humans came from apes, why aren’t apes evolving into humans?; Only an intelligent designer could have made something as complex as an eye; The second law of thermo-dynamics proves that evolution is impossible; Evolution can’t account for morality; and more…

Download the free PDF

Recommended by Amazon


  1. Kim FLINTOFF says:

    All seems to be summed up in a far more engaging manner than the PDF..

  2. John Macnab says:

    Myth #7 contains the sentence “If you can find fossil mammals in the same geological strata as trilobites then
    evolution would be falsified. No one has ever found such contradictory data.” This seems to me to be mistaken.

    Evolution (in its various theoretical incarnations) predicts a wide array of outcomes in an enormously wide array of scenarios. Should we find fossil mammals and trilobites together it would indicate at most that our chronology of species arrival on earth is flat-out wrong. I can see no evolutionary reason to assert that trilobites HAD to be extinct before mammals arrived. What we do have is evidence to suggest that that is what, in fact, happened. But the two are causally separable.

    • Trevor says:

      John, I think you are partially right. Horseshoe crabs can likely be found in strata that would include a wide variety of animals since they seem to have been around so long.

      But the point of this myth is that young earth creationists believe ALL those animals now extict at one point, and quite recently, lived at the exact same time and died in the Noachian flood which would have jumbled them all together. So in young earth creationism it should be rare to find a group of only trilobites and only mammals. But we NEVER find tilobites AND mammoths AND dinosaurs together, thus the myth.

      If there were anything scientific to creationism it would predict that we find these wide ranging types of animals together on a regular basis.

  3. John Macnab says:

    Thank you Trevor. I agree with your criticism of young earth creationism. It predicts all kinds of things that we don’t see, as you note.

    My concern is that this otherwise excellent pamphlet contains a falsehood. Fortunately, no major argument relies on the falsehood, but I’d like to see it expunged nonetheless.

  4. Dewey Diligence says:

    I thought this was a site for skeptics. Surprise, surprise, since when do skeptics not present all information, either for or against a particular theory? This is the only way to make an informed conclusion. Please do not turn skepticism into religion, it is the last bastion of free thought. I would like to know about this falsehood, John Macnab. I wonder why you felt so inclined to omit this information.

  5. Dewey Diligence says:

    Myth #1 “We come not from apes but from
    a common ancestor that was
    neither ape nor human that lived
    millions of years in the past”

    Myth #2 “and in
    human evolution there are at least a dozen intermediate fossil stages since hominids
    branched off from the great apes six million years ago”.

    I guess I’ve missed something.
    No harm meant, just a little skepticism.

  6. John Macnab says:

    Dewey Diligence, you misread my post (but perhaps I was unclear). I am advocating the expunging of a false statement. I believe that the statement “If you can find fossil mammals in the same geological strata as trilobites then evolution would be falsified” is FALSE.

    The reason I think that it is false is that evolutionary theory does not insist that trilobites must be extince before mammals evolved. It appears to be an empirical fact that this is how things happened, but it is not a logical consequence of evolution.

    Since the sequence “trilobites become extinct before mammals appear” is not a consequence of evolutionary theory, then the statement “If you can find fossil mammals in the same geological strata as trilobites thenevolution would be falsified” is false.

    It is for this reason that I do not believe that a document dedicated to debunking “10 Myths about Evolution” should contain the statement.

    Perhaps you should consider retracting your comment, Dewey.

  7. Dewey Diligence says:

    Thank you for taking the time to respond to my question. I would like you to know that the first four sentences in my comment were in no way directed towards your insightfull and skeptical concern. An error of composition on my part. With that said, I think the combination of environment {ancient shallow sea beds} and the composition {exoskeleton} of the trilobite obviously lends itself to be preserved and explains the plethora of fossil specimens. I should also point out the possible diet of these scavengers. Iam assuming we are talking about marine mammals fossilising in situ with the aformentioned environment. I find the odds of this highley unlikely.

    Also Iam of the understanding that the chronology of the dare I say, genesis of species, is of the utmost importance to the theory of evolution.

    To me, having a truly open mind means, that when you decide to out and out reject something, you must also prove a truth.

    Thank you for your attention, I await your retort.

  8. John Macnab says:

    Thanks for your clarification, Dewey. I’m with you right up to “having a truly open mind means that when you decide toout and out reject something, you must also prove a truth”. What do you mean by this?

  9. Dewey Diligence says:

    Just a snapshot of the process I use to keep a truly open and skepticle mind. Directed towards anybody that chooses to contemplate this.

  10. BLACK BART says:

    There are three interesting youtube videos dealing with intelligent design here:

    These videos were produced by a former fundamentalist pastor who understands the evangelical perspective and gently debunks the creation myth without being overtly offensively.

  11. Paul Entrekin says:

    I tend to agree with Mr. Mcnab. I am no scientist, but it seems to me that whatever the most favorable environment for a trilobite is could become isolated and preserved until a humanoid stepped into it. Viola’ fossil evidence for both. It doesn’t negate natural selection, tho.

    2 and 8 need clarification. Most people seem to think that there are too many gaps in the HUMAN fossil record to give evolution much credit. Even Darwin supposedly said this. With all the fakes and mistakes taken out, there are still only a few transitional forms of man left. It seems like there should be more. Why aren’t there more? Item 2 dodges that issue by including ALL fossils, and 8 avoids it by only stating that we remove fakes and mistakes. You need to show what’s left and why that is enough in scientific opinion.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how Akismet processes your comment data.

Patreon: a new way to support the things skeptic creates

Get eSkeptic

Science in your inbox!

eSkeptic delivers great articles, videos, podcasts, reviews, event announcements, and more to your inbox.

Sign me up!

Donate to Skeptic

Please support the work of the Skeptics Society. Make the world a more rational place and help us defend the role of science in society.

Detecting Baloney

Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic) by Deanna and Skylar (High Tech High Media Arts, San Diego, CA)

The Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic)

For a class project, a pair of 11th grade physics students created the infographic shown below, inspired by Michael Shermer’s Baloney Detection Kit: a 16-page booklet designed to hone your critical thinking skills.

FREE PDF Download

Wisdom of Harriet Hall

Top 10 Things to Know About Alternative Medicine

Harriet Hall M.D. discusses: alternative versus conventional medicine, flu fear mongering, chiropractic, vaccines and autism, placebo effect, diet, homeopathy, acupuncture, “natural remedies,” and detoxification.

FREE Video Series

Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

Understanding the difference could save your life! In this superb 10-part video lecture series, Harriet Hall M.D., contrasts science-based medicine with so-called “complementary and alternative” methods.

FREE PDF Download

Top 10 Myths of Terrorism

Is Terrorism an Existential Threat?

This free booklet reveals 10 myths that explain why terrorism is not a threat to our way of life or our survival.

FREE PDF Download

The Top 10 Weirdest Things

The Top Ten Strangest Beliefs

Michael Shermer has compiled a list of the top 10 strangest beliefs that he has encountered in his quarter century as a professional skeptic.

FREE PDF Download

Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future (paperback cover)

Who believes them? Why? How can you tell if they’re true?

What is a conspiracy theory, why do people believe in them, and can you tell the difference between a true conspiracy and a false one?

FREE PDF Download

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

Mind altering experiences are one of the foundations of widespread belief in the paranormal. But as skeptics are well aware, accepting them as reality can be dangerous…

FREE PDF Download

Top 10 Myths About Evolution

Top 10 Myths About Evolution (and how we know it really happened)

If humans came from apes, why aren’t apes evolving into humans? Find out in this pamphlet!

FREE PDF Download

Learn to be a Psychic in 10 Easy Lessons

Learn to do Psychic “Cold Reading” in 10
Easy Lessons

Psychic readings and fortunetelling are an ancient art — a combination of acting and psychological manipulation.

FREE PDF Download

The Yeti or Abominable Snowman

5 Cryptid Cards

Download and print 5 Cryptid Cards created by Junior Skeptic Editor Daniel Loxton. Creatures include: The Yeti, Griffin, Sasquatch/Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, and the Cadborosaurus.

Copyright © 1992–2018. All rights reserved. The Skeptics Society | P.O. Box 338 | Altadena, CA, 91001 | 1-626-794-3119. Privacy Policy.