The debate among creationists and evolutionists as to the origin of modern life on Earth has pushed increasingly into the limelight over the last several years. Unfortunately, such mainstream coverage has caused many of the related issues to become skewed and misinterpreted. In the article “Five Major Misconceptions about Evolution,” Mark Isaak attempts to make clear the true nature of evolutionary theory so that, if it must be challenged, such arguments can be made on a purely factual basis rather than, as Isaak says, “against a set of misunderstandings that people are right to consider ludicrous” (“Misconceptions” Para. 1). He presents these misconceptions and his explanation of the faulty logic behind each one in five main categories: “Evolution has never been observed,” “Evolution violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics,” “There are no transitional fossils,” “The theory of evolution says that life originated, and evolution proceeds, by random chance,” and “Evolution is only a theory; it hasn't been proved” (“Misconceptions” Para. 2). In addressing each of these proposed falsehoods individually, Isaak forms an argument with few faults that is clear, precise, and effective.
Mark Isaak is not the most well-known or established author, but he has written numerous articles, mostly about creation and evolution issues, but also on subjects as different as mythology and philosophy (“Home Page”). While not explicitly claiming to be any sort of expert in this particular subject, Isaak cites reliable scientific sources like Natural History in support of his argument.
Isaak doesn't seem to have one specific intended audience. His emphasis on systematically dissolving common misconceptions points to an intended audience of creationists. However, his tone points to the contrary – he makes a few points that come off as rather condescending towards creationists and therefore may appeal more as reassurance to people who already believe in evolution. Either way, Isaak does retain some credibility by remaining humble, as demonstrated by a web link to a creationist rebuttal to his own article. This shows that his intent is not to “fight fire with fire” by ignoring the opposing viewpoint, but to keep the debate civil and mature.
As such, unbiased knowledge-seeking individuals will not be disappointed by this article; its main purpose is to inform, even though it may appear to persuade in a rather dogmatic fashion at times. Like his tone, Isaak's purpose may be up for interpretation depending on the reader's point of view. Evolutionists may see it as information in the form of “ammunition” for a debate. Creationists could interpret it as more persuasive, but probably not an all-out catalyst for conflict, since the author expertly avoids potential opportunities to demean creationist-specific beliefs.
One notable negative aspect of the argument is Isaak's use of generalizations. He refers to creationists as a whole rather than attributing certain claims...