Science and Evolution

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by Administrator2, Aug 26, 2002.

  1. Administrator2

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    JHAPPEL

    Time and time again evolutionist's mock creation and in particular YEC as pseudo-science and than turn around and say evolution is objective science.

    Perhaps the most common way to dismiss creation by evolutionist's is to say science only deals with natural explanations and since creation assumes the supernatural exists and has intervened in the past it has no place in science classes. By defining science to fit their worldview they conveniently dismiss having to actually deal with the evidences for creation. See the following quotes below to illustrate this:

    "Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such a hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic." Todd, Scott C., "A View from Kansas on the Evolution Debates," Nature (vol. 401, September 30, 1999), p. 423.

    "Because there are no alternatives, we would almost have to accept natural selection as the explanation of life on this planet even if there were no evidence for it." (Pinker S., "How the Mind Works," [1997], Penguin: London, 1998, pp.162-163.)

    Then evolutionist's wonder why only 10% of the population believes in purely undirected evolution. To convince people evolution is a fact they are gonna have to take the time to refute the arguments for creation whether they like it or not.

    Another common argument used against creation is that creation isn't testable or falsifiable. Evolutionists commonly say creationists have already made up their mind creation is a fact from the Bible and then they look for evidence to fit their religion. First creation is testable and falsifiable. Creation would predict basic types of animals would not change into different types. For instance the Bible clearly says God created flying animals. To date no one has ever observed a non-flying animal evolve flight. The day it is observed creation would be falsified.
    However, we cannot falsify whether undirected evolution can make a flying creature out of a non-flying creature. It happened at least 4 separate times in the past( likely several times in insects) so it shouldn't be asking too much to see proto flying structures evolving today. Also the flood model would predict geologically the entire Earth would show very similar features since the flood effected the whole Earth and that evidence would indicate layers were laid down rapidly. There is consistent evidence for this such as the Morrison Formation with sedimentary layers extending from Texas to Canada,
    polystrate fossils extending through 'millions of years' of strata, fossil graveyards burying hundreds of large animals sometimes dinosaurs, etc. That's not to say there aren't features that are difficult to explain. But isn't that why science exists? To continue to update and enhance our models.

    When creationists say we know creation happened the only question is how they are branded as unscientific. Yet evolutionists do the same thing. We are constantly assured of the fact of evolution. All that is left is to piece together what happened. Perhaps the most common 'evidence' for evolution is homology. Yet creationist Linnaeus devised the classification system grouping more similar animals together with the patterns of how God created. So the fact that many animals share many things in common
    is not evidence for evolution. Evolution is supposed to explain why animals have many things in common. It cannot use this fact as evidence. That would be circular reasoning. For instance the frog specie Gastrotheca riobambe develops directly rather than through tadpole stages. Early development for this species is radically different than most frogs yet from outward appearance it is obviously homologous to other frogs. So the fact that species look similar does not mean they develop similar.

    Evolution is plastic and virtually falsifiable proof. The common 'test' to refute evolution is finding a pre-Cambrian human fossil. Creationists would not expect to find pre-Cambrian human fossils either so this is hardly a test. Evolution did not predict that all the animal phyla would showup at once in strata separated by a mere 10 million years without leaving any evolutionary history but that is what happened. Did it falsify evolution?

    No. The theory simply remolded itself to fit in this evidence. This excuse is that these were soft bodied and high levels of oxygen somehow accelerated their evolution, etc. PE was developed to explain stasis and abrupt appearances of new species yet this was not a prediction of evolution. The theory was again reworked to fit in contradictive evidence. Or how
    about homologous structures that evolved independently? How about the eye of a mouse and the eye of a octopus or the placental and marsupial mammals? If homology is such a strong argument for evolution and yet evolution can just as easily explain strikingly similar structures that don't share a near common ancestor it hardly makes predictions that can easily be tested. Also Darwin said that an example of truly altruistic behavior would disprove the theory. However, dandelions produce nectar, which benefits insects, but have no need of the visits from the insects because dandelions reproduce asexually. Yet evolution is still a fact. Haldane once said evolution could never produce motors or magnets. Yet they have been found and
    no one is willing to abandon evolution.

    Evolutionists also have to come up with ad hoc explanations to preserve uniformitarian ancient Earth believes. Take for instance this case below.

    Dr. Helmick, how dare you imply that our geology textbooks and uniformitarian theories could possibly be wrong! Everybody knows that
    diatomaceous earth beds are built up slowly over millions of years as diatom skeletons slowly settle out on the ocean floor. The baleen whale simply stood on its tail for 100,000 years, its skeleton decomposing, while the diatomaceous snow covered its frame millimeter by millimeter. Certainly you wouldn't expect intelligent and informed establishment scientists of this modern age to revert to the outmoded views of our forefathers just to explain such finds!
    (Olney, Harvey O. III (1977), "A Whale of a
    Tale" [Letter to the Editor], Chemical and Engineering News, 55[12]:4, March 21).

    So my point is creation is no less scientific than evolution. And by not allowing the scientific case for creation to be heard science can no longer be considered a search for the truth. The following quote sums up exactly what I'm talking about in this post.

    "Is evolution a theory, a system, or a hypothesis? It is much more-it is a general postulate to which all theories, all hypothesis, all systems must henceforth bow and which they must satisfy in order to be thinkable and true. Evolution is a light which illuminates all facts, a trajectory which all lines of thought must follow-this is what evolution is." Teilhard de Chardin participant in the Piltdown fraud.

    (I should add that I am not advocating YEC being taught in public schools. I believe intelligent design should be taught in schools and that dating methods should not be taught as infallible but have limitations. However, I am not advocating an age of the Earth of 10,000 years be taught in schools.

    I am merely saying YEC is not any less scientific than evolutionism/uniformitarianism.
     
  2. Administrator2

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    DEACON

    Response to JHAPPEL

    I agree with you, “Creation is no less scientific than evolution”. But Evolutionist have a strong argument.

    The basic principle behind evolutionary theory is Naturalism. The distinguishing feature of naturalistic philosophy and science are its reliance upon naturalistic explanations as opposed to the supernatural.

    Yet there is a reason for taking this attitude when studying the natural world. Accrediting the unknown to God has been termed the “god of the gaps” argument. When we attribute an unknown aspect of nature to a miracle of God, we employ this type argument. The problem is that as science progresses, greater knowledge of the unknown is gained and what is attributed to God is eventually narrowed into a non-essential element. As Christians we believe that God is world-ground to nature, He is over all, creating, directing, maintaining, etc. As Christians, we don’t need to resort to a god-of-the-gaps mentality when working with science because of our core belief, He is sovereign!

    Some basic scientific presuppositions of general science include:

    1. The orderly nature of the external world.

    a. The Principle of UNIFORMITY: (note Jeremiah 31:35-37; 33:25,26 and 2 Peter 3 for contrasting views).

    b. The laws of nature as they are observed presently are the same as they were in earlier times. (Natural Law)

    c. Naturalists would maintain that – ‘Everything can be explained through the natural laws of science’; Miracles cannot happen. (Naturalism). Of course, as a Christian we believe in the power of God over nature powerfully confirmed through Moses just prior to the exodus.


    2. The knowability of the external world.


    3. The existence of truth.


    4. The laws of logic.


    5. The reliability of our cognitive and sensory faculties to serve as truth gatherers and source of justified beliefs in our intellectual environment.


    6. The existence of values used in science.


    As Christians, I believe we can confirm the above presuppositions. We can also understand that science has its limits. The objective of science is to study the physical universe.

    - Empirically
    - Physical interaction must be possible
    - -Theories must be: Testable, Observable, Falsifiable


    Again we can agree with this, knowing of course that there is more to our world than what we see.

    Scientific theories are a rational, intellectual and progressive search for explanations about the physical universe. Scientific theories can never be considered 100% reliable. Christians maintain that natural laws and phenomena are expressions and declarations of God. (Rom. 1:20)

    Up to this point I think all creationist would agree.



    However there is more to the human endeavor we call science than this. What makes one theory better than another? There are scientific guidelines (virtues that increase a theories rationality). These include:

    - simplicity

    - empirical accuracy

    - success in prediction

    - fruitfulness in guiding new research

    - capacity for solving its internal and external problems



    YEC’s seem to have a great tendency to use a “god of the gaps” excuse, probably due to the various problems associated with integrating their theories within other branches of science. Why do many of the “educated public” believe in evolutionary theory over creationism (and more particularly Young Earth Creationism)? Why is there a battle at all? I believe that the success of evolutionary theory is its integration into the various sciences. This is strongly compelling reason for its continued success. It has been profitable in guiding research in many different fields and integrates the sciences.



    Only when Young Earth Creationist scientists begin to develop a fully integrated scientific theory will it be considered a teachable theory. I fear it will be a terrible failure for evangelical Christians if YEC’s are even partially successful in having their type of creationism taught in public school. We will be letting unchristian students compare a fully developed evolutionary science to a poorly developed, inconsistent hypothesis that isn’t even fully supported within the Christian community. Young Earth Creationism should not be taught in a public setting until the theory develops an integrated scientific system that is consistent, successful in predicting events in multiple areas of the physical sciences, and is fruitful in guiding research (perhaps fruitful to the extent that it promotes a venture that is even monetarily successful).



    The Intelligent Design (ID) movement is compelling because it has taken a philosophical approach to the origin problem. This is where Evolutionary theory is at its weakest. I.D. is beginning to integrate mainstream scientific discoveries into the theory (e.g. the concept of irreducible complexity).



    So… I am saying YEC is scientifically less acceptable than evolutionism; I.D. theory on the other hand is beginning to show promise but still needs to develop its hand scientifically. If/when origins theory is taught in school the first steps need to deal with philosophy, and I’m not sure I want just any old public school teacher to instruct my children in this area.
     
  3. Administrator2

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    PAUL OF EUGENE

    For Jhappel:

    There are simply too many evidences for an ancient universe far older than a mere 6 to 12 thousand years. Consider the lovely pictures of the antennae galaxie, posted at the web site below:

    http://www.mpifr-bonn.mpg.de/staff/chzier/antennae.html

    Computer simulations show that two galaxies in collision will leave behind long thin trails of stars like those seen in the picture on the left. The time frame? In the computer simulation, it takes about four hundred thousand years. Now in a real pair of galaxies there will be some variation, depending on the exact mass of the galaxies and their speeds relative to each other. So we could give or take maybe as much as a hundred thousand years. Its a rough "clock" but a valid one.

    It is plain to see that the antennae galaxies have, in fact, gone through approximately four hundred thousand years of gravitational orbiting evolution. This clock is a pure gravity clock. Without regard to light years of distance, and completely ignoring the standard evidence of the age of the stars involved, the gravity dynamics alone have taken four hundred thousand years to produce this shape.

    Any theology that claims the stars of the universe were created only a few thousand years ago is in conflict with this evidence.

    In my opinion, evidence such as this eliminates the YEC hypothesis from serious scientific contention.

    [edited at the request of the author]

    [ September 03, 2002, 05:08 PM: Message edited by: Administrator ]
     
  4. Administrator2

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    EARL DETRA

    JHapple says:
    I am merely saying YEC is not any less scientific than evolutionism/uniformitarianism.


    However, if we are to take his post as an example, then JHappel virtually refutes himself. I refer the reader to this paragraph.

    "Dr. Helmick, how dare you imply that our geology textbooks and uniformitarian theories could possibly be wrong! Everybody knows that diatomaceous earth beds are built up slowly over millions of years as diatom skeletons slowly settle out on the ocean floor. The baleen whale simply stood on its tail for 100,000 years, its skeleton decomposing, while the diatomaceous snow covered its frame millimeter by millimeter. Certainly you wouldn't expect intelligent and informed establishment scientists of this modern age to revert to the outmoded views of our forefathers just to explain such finds!

    (Olney, Harvey O. III (1977), "A Whale of a Tale" [Letter to the Editor], Chemical and Engineering News, 55[12]:4, March 21).


    Apparently, neither Mr. Olney nor JHappel is aware that the whale in question is actually reclining at an angle of about 40 degreess, which just happens to be the same as the surrounding strata. In effect, there is no whale standing on its tail. A little bit of scientific research might avoid the embarrassment of bringing up this old creationist hoax.

    I should add that I am not advocating YEC being taught in public schools. I believe intelligent design should be taught in schools and that dating methods should not be taught as infallible but have limitations.

    But this is done... I have seen what my own son has brought home from schoool. The limitations and assumptions are discussed. Perhpas your school district is behind the curve on this one.
     
  5. Administrator2

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    JEFF

    Another common argument used against creation is that creation isn't testable or falsifiable. Evolutionists commonly say creationists have already made up their mind creation is a fact from the Bible and then they look for evidence to fit their religion. First creation is testable and falsifiable. Creation would predict basic types of animals would not change into different types.

    Exactly HOW does YeCism make this prediction ?


    For instance the Bible clearly says God created flying animals.

    Can you tell me WHY I should consider this claim to be scientific evidence ?


    To date no one has ever observed a non-flying animal evolve flight.


    To date, no scientist has claimed we COULD observe an event that may take thousands if not millions of years. Your objection is the slaying of a strawman.

    The day it is observed creation would be falsified.

    What about the REAL theory of evolution ? -the one that suggests this type of change occurs over many generations - a span much longer than a normal human lifetime? Is your creation hypothesis in opposition to that ?


    However, we cannot falsify whether undirected evolution can make a flying creature out of a non-flying creature.

    Can you recommend a scientific method to determine whether evolution is directed or undirected ?


    It happened at least 4 separate times in the past( likely several times in insects) so it shouldn't be asking too much to see proto flying structures evolving today.

    Would you consider the flying squirrel ?

    That looks like a form, halfway to full fledged flying. Pardon the alliteration.


    Also the flood model would predict geologically the entire Earth would show very similar features


    Which specific geologic layers represent the global flood ?


    ...the fact that many animals share many things in common
    is not evidence for evolution.


    I can understand why creationists might claim that common physiology suggests a common creator - but please explain how common physiology does NOT conform to the common ancestor hypothesis. It plainly does.

    It would be more credible to claim common physiology fits BOTH models that to claim it is not evidence for evolution.

    HOW does common physiology or similar genomes suggest a common creator ?

    Evolution is supposed to explain why animals have many things in common. It cannot use this fact as evidence. That would be circular reasoning.

    Do you mean that two independent observations that are in agreement is not evidence ?

    Can you give a better explanation as to why Humans share more common traits with a Lemur than with a lobster ?

    Evolution would suggest our common ancestor with the Lemur was significantly more recent than our common ancestor with the lobster.

    What does the creation model suggest ?

    What are the creation model's guidelines for 'Creating organisms with similar physiology' ?

    That the creator HAS NO limitations but prefers to create with similarities for HIS own reasons ?

    This 'guideline' could be used to explain conformity to rules as well as the exceptions.

    So if it can explain anything AND everything it ends up rather useless.


    Evolution is plastic and virtually falsifiable proof. The common 'test' to refute evolution is finding a pre-Cambrian human fossil.


    There are abundant ways to falsify evolution. One way would be if all organisms shared identical DNA. This would eliminate the mechanism of inherited traits.


    Creationists would not expect to find pre-Cambrian human fossils either


    Tell us WHY Creationists would not expect to find pre-Cambrian human fossils.
    ...Are you claiming that the discovery of a pre-Cambrian human fossil would NOT falsify the ToE ?


    Evolution did not predict that all the animal phyla would showup at once in strata separated by a mere 10 million years without leaving any evolutionary history but that is what happened. Did it falsify evolution?


    Did someone imply that the ToE DID make such a prediction ?

    Did someone imply that the ToE made predictions on how certain biomes are more prone to fossilization than others ? This speaks more about geology than biology.

    Maybe a better question would be: CAN it falsify evolution ?


    PE was developed to explain stasis and abrupt appearances of new species yet this was not a prediction of evolution.

    Quite true stasis and abrupt appearances were observed in the fossil record and required an explanation. So the PE began as a hypothesis ( not quite a theory yet ) to explain stasis and abrupt appearances.

    Why does a hypothesis devised to explain a given observation needs to be predicted ?

    You have it backwards. The new hypothesis can now be tested by assessing it, making predictions based on the new hypothesis and attempting to falsify them.


    The theory was again reworked to fit in contradictive evidence.


    Which part was contradictory ? the stasis and abrupt appearances part or the perceived lack of fossilized evidence ?

    The ToE states environmental pressures will select the best suited variations.

    No where does it state that these pressures are in constant flux. If an environment remains relatively unchanged over a given interval, then the organisms are already well adapted and not prone to extensive modification.

    So Which part was contradictory ?


    So my point is creation is no less scientific than evolution. And by not allowing the scientific case for creation to be heard science can no longer be considered a search for the truth.


    Allow me to quote a fellow anti-evolutionist:
    "Science isn't the only path to the tree of knowledge."

    Since science can only pursue truth from a physical, materialistic perspective, you may want to employ theology or religion to investigate the supernatural.

    Science can't confirm or deny the intangible.

    I believe intelligent design should be taught in schools

    I have some questions that ID should be able to answer:

    -How is the commodity of "Intelligence" - or the intelligence 'factor' is defined in the ID hypothesis ?

    - By what standards is this implied intelligence measured ?

    -Is this level of intelligence constant, or does it fluctuate based loosely on the relative complexity / simplicity of various, known organisms ?

    -How is that objectively determined ?

    -Is this method, of determining the intelligence factor, testable ? falsifiable ?

    -Is it possible to design without intelligence ?

    -How can Intelligence be invoked into a scientific explanation if it cannot be evaluated ? Does it not matter ?
     

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