Have you ever had a young-earth creationist — like, I don’t know, this young-earth creationist — tell you that they refuse to accept “macro-evolution” (large-scale, species-level changes) because there is no “observable evidence” that it occurs?
Well, now you know what to tell them.
That’s right. Requesting a live demonstration of a process that takes millions of years makes about as much sense as insisting to see a baby turn into an 80-year-old in the span of a few minutes. Now, just imagine how frustrating it would be to repeatedly encounter people who not only make this demand, but also use the fact that you can’t demonstrate such a feat as proof that humans don’t really age, and you’ll understand how my therapist was able to afford her new beach house.
The funny thing about this argument is that, because all the evidence for evolution points to large-scale changes only happening gradually over long periods of time, if “observable evidence” of these changes ever actually surfaced, it would not vindicate evolution, it would completely falsify the theory as we know it. So when Ray Comfort demands observable evidence of evolution, it’s essentially the same as asking to see an object float in mid-air above the surface of the earth to prove gravity exists.
As my friend James McGrath pointed out on Facebook, you can do more with this analogy as well. For example, young-earth creationists are like people who, when shown family photo albums, insist that there is no proof that the children in the older photographs are the same people as the adults in the more recent ones.
“I mean, there are some similarities, sure,” they might say. “But there are also some differences. Really, it’s just a matter of faith. I have to trust that what you are saying is true, because I wasn’t there.”