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Evolution—Science or Religion?

27 Jun
Charles Darwin

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In 1959 Julian Huxley stated: “Darwin’s theory is no longer a theory but a fact.”[1] Is this so, and does this scientific fact follow the rules of a normal scientific hypothesis, or is it simply a theory given tremendous levity denied all other legitimate hypothesis that would oppose it? [2]

Let me say from the beginning that natural selection and adaptation are indeed scientific principles, but some scientists would argue that the evolutionary theory[3] may have a legitimate place in philosophical endeavor such as religious belief has, but it is by no means a scientific fact that can be proved through scientific hypothesis. For example:

“…for those scientists who take it seriously, Darwinian evolution has functioned more as a philosophical belief than as a testable scientific hypothesis. This quasi-religious function of the theory is, I think, what lies behind many of the extreme statements that you have doubtless encountered from some scientists opposing any criticism of neo-Darwinism in the classroom. It is also why many scientists make public statements about the theory that they would not defend privately to other scientists like me.” (Professor James A. Shapiro, bacteriologist; University of Chicago; May 12th, 2006, an open letter to the Kansas State Board of Education)

Whether or not Charles Darwin was under pressure to reveal that his theory was not original is arguable, but it wasn’t until his 6th edition of his book that he revealed the roots of the theory. Notice:

“…until recently the great majority of naturalists believed that the species were immutable productions, and had been separately created. This view has been ably maintained by many authors. Some few naturalists, on the other hand, have believed that species undergo modification, and that the existing forms of life are the descendants by true generation of preexisting forms. Passing over the allusions to the subject in classical writers, the first author who in modern times has treated it in a scientific spirit was Buffon.[4]” [emphasis mine in citation]

Therefore, according to Darwin, himself, the theory of evolution can be traced back at least to allusions in the classical writers, who lived a minimum of two thousand years before Charles Darwin and other scientists of the 19th century began to take the idea seriously. In a footnote pointing to the classical writers in the above citation, Darwin referenced Aristotle’s Physics, 2:8:2, from which he claimed the “principle of Natural Selection shadowed forth.” Again, let me emphasize once more that I have no argument with natural selection, but the theory of evolution itself, which claims that life formed by itself, and ancient and lower, less complex species evolved into different life forms of a higher nature and complexity, is not true. I believe the geological table would support this statement. In future blog posts in this series, I hope to elaborate on this theme to show exactly where the theory originates. Later, I’ll address the more modern scientific issues directly, but if the theory of evolution has more to do with ideology, what business does it have in science?


[1] Darwin Centennial Memorial Lecture.

[2] This series is based upon a lecture given by Paul James-Griffiths, Exposing the Roots of Evolution; EdinburgCreationGroup.org; full video found HERE.

[3] The Oxford English Dictionary defines evolution as: “The origination of living things by development from earlier forms, not by special creation.”

[4] Charles Darwin: The Origin of Species, 6th edition, preface, 1888.

Related Articles:

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8 Comments

Posted by on June 27, 2013 in classical writers, theory of evolution

 

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8 responses to “Evolution—Science or Religion?

  1. rixistential

    July 2, 2013 at 06:09

    It is also important to make a distinction between micro and macro evolution. Micro evolution involves changes and variations within species. Micro evolution has been demonstrated to prove true.

    However, macro evolution, which involves cross species changes and variations, has not been adequately demonstrated. If macro evolution were an established scientific fact like gravity, the fossil record would abound with transitional forms. The evidence for such forms is sketchy at best, and certain ‘discoveries’ have proven to be half concocted hoaxes.

    The irony is that many evolutionary scientists pride themselves on being rational, objective, and void of any supernaturalism and superstition. Yet to believe that marine life somehow evolved into mammals culminating in human beings involves more faith than any mystic (even more bizarre is kind of a reverse evolution in which cows are believed to have evolved back into whales. What happened? Did they get up on the dry land and decide they didn’t like it, so they decided to descend back into the water? It seems rater counter-intuitive to the whole progressive nature of evolutionary theory).

    Furthermore, acceptance of ‘fact’ based upon such sketchy evidence involves the establishment of dogma and unquestioning orthodoxy in which the scientific community has become the new priesthood, and any dissenters are subject to the same treatment as Galileo was by the Medieval Church.

     
    • Eddie

      July 2, 2013 at 08:52

      Greetings Rick, and thanks for your participation in this discussion. I welcome you on my little journey through “evolutionary” time. I agree with what you say above, and indeed there is a great difference between micro (natural selection) evolution and macro-evolution. I will address this in a future blog when I make my leap into the arena of science. Presently, I wish to fully address the theory of evolution’s being an ideology rather than scientific inquiry. I have somewhere between five to nine more blogs on this theme to go before I address these issues as a matter of science. I hope you will stick with me throughout the journey, and continue to participate in the discussion along the way. Lord bless you.

       
  2. steve heinaman

    June 27, 2013 at 10:01

    Here’s the basic flaw with anyone who argues from this angle: ‘the theory cannot be based in scientific endeavor, since it rules out, without cause, an intelligent origin of life and the universe’

    The Theory of Evolution does not involve the origin of life. And it certainly has nothing to do with the Universe, which is an entirely different branch of Science (Cosmology). Evolution picks up the microsecond after the very first “life” ever on this planet. That “life begins” moment could have been a chemical reaction in the primordial ooze caused by an incoming comet. Or it could have been the omnipotent finger of God simply reaching down and stirring up the ooze with His powers.

    Whatever happened in that instant is an entirely separate theoretical debate. A debate that has many hypothesis that are still vigorously being tested and debated. All “theories” with regard to the origin of life are still wide open, including an omnipotent agent. The “problem” with the omnipotent agent hypothesis with regards to the origin of life is, why? Why initiate a 4 billion year process that for the first 3.7 billion years do not even produce homo sapiens? Why the hundreds of millions of years of dinosaurs as the dominant species? Why not just begin with Man, since that seems to have been the reason for all of this in the first place?

    Evolution is simply the most thoroughly-tested scientific theory of all time. It’s on more solid scientific footing than the theory of gravity, although no one seems to think you can walk off a building without plummeting to the Earth. Over 125 years of non-stop attempts to find a flaw. Evolution has never lost. The more attempts to “break it” , the stronger it gets.

    So please, carry on sir. Post your ignorance of Science for all to see. Future civilizations will thank you for helping to perpetuate the foolishness of organized religion.

     
    • Eddie

      June 27, 2013 at 11:28

      Steve, welcome, and thank you for your comment. I do have to differ with you about the theory of evolution not being connected with other branches of science such as geology and cosmology. If there were no evolution of the elements and sudden appearance of life, there could be no biological evolution. So, they are connected, and need to be addressed together, but certainly not in the same blog-posts. In later blog posts, I will address the ‘science’ issues of the theory, but at present I am addressing its roots in ideology—not science.

      Evolution is simply the most thoroughly-tested scientific theory of all time. It’s on more solid scientific footing than the theory of gravity…

      I do very much disagree with this statement, and in later posts I hope to show from evolutionists, themselves, that only the tips of the outer limbs of the evolutionary “tree of life” is certain. All else is inferred. Although, throughout my study I have grown to respect Darwin more and more as a scientist who was willing to test his theory against a future complete fossil record, he was by no stretch of the imagination and equal to Isaac Newton.

      So please, carry on sir. Post your ignorance of Science for all to see. Future civilizations will thank you for helping to perpetuate the foolishness of organized religion.

      :-)

      I trust, thus far, since you haven’t pointed to anything other than the theory’s ruling out an intelligent origin, that my claims are well founded—namely that Darwin’s theory was alluded to thousands of years ago by the Greek philosophers. My basic premise for the first 9 or so blogs is that the theory has its roots in ideology, not science. Only after I fully address this premise do I intend to make the leap into the scientific arena.

      I hope you will keep reading and continue to discuss this issue with me. :-)

       
    • Librarybabe

      June 29, 2013 at 04:06

      I find it useful in any discussion of evolution to remind myself about a couple of definitions.

      Interesting that the Webster’s dictionary should use the following examples in defining the difference between a hypothesis, a theory and a law.

      “HYPOTHESIS, THEORY, LAW mean a formula derived by inference from scientific data that explains a principle operating in nature. hypothesis implies insufficient evidence to provide more than a tentative explanation . theory implies a greater range of evidence and greater likelihood of truth . law implies a statement of order and relation in nature that has been found to be invariable under the same conditions .” http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypothesis

      Dr. John Oakes, college professor at Grossmont College gave this clear explanation of the difference between a law and a theory: “The chief distinction between a scientific law, on the one hand and a theory or hypothesis on another, is that a law is a generalization. It is NOT an explanation. It is the result of induction. It is an empirical (ie based on observation alone) statement of something which always appears to be true. Hypotheses and theories, on the other hand, are an attempt to explain what has been observed. Often scientists form theories to explain laws.” http://www.grossmont.edu/johnoakes/s110online/Notes%20on%20Scientific%20Laws.doc

      The fact that more scientists are doing research to explain natural observations through the theory of evolution than are seeking to explain the law of gravity through gravitational theory, does NOT make the theory of evolution “on more solid scientific footing than the theory of gravity.” Gravity is a scientific law which has a set of theories that seek to explain it. There is no law of evolution, therefore comparing the two is comparing apples to oranges.

       
      • Eddie

        June 30, 2013 at 00:15

        Greetings “Lb” and welcome. Thank you for reading and for your participation in this discussion. Hope you continue with me on this little journey.

         
  3. Vlad

    June 27, 2013 at 09:49

    I’m always exited to see more sources addressing this topic. You are truly are taking on the leviathan of the modern pseudo religions. The one so deceitful that hides it’s true nature with the veil of science.

     
    • Eddie

      June 27, 2013 at 10:52

      Greetings, Vlad! I hope you have been well. Thank you for your encouraging comment. Lord bless you.

       

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