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Evolution – Not a Controversy?

27 Feb
from Google Images

from Google Images

In his YouTube video, It’s Not a Controversy, Chris, an atheist whose testimonial videos I have been discussing, fails to show why the Theory of Evolution (TOE) is not a controversy. Chris makes the same mistake often made by folks who take the posture that TOE is a proved theory. That is, he assumes TOE is an overwhelmingly proved scientific analysis of how life forms have come to appear as they do today, and treats any opposing idea with disdain and abject dismissal. The problem, as I understand it, is that Chris confuses science with worldviews. He has become so accustomed to accepting his worldview without further analysis that he assumes it is proved science, but this is not true.

Chris opens his video by saying the “Discovery Institute” released a public statement in June of 2006 entitled “Dissent from Darwin”, which was signed by over 600 doctoral scientists[1] from around the world, saying in effect that natural selection and random mutations cannot account for the complexity we see in life. In response to lists like “Dissent from Darwin” the National Center for Science Education introduced “Project Steve” in order to ‘poke fun’ at the Discovery Institute’s claim. As of 2014 ‘Project Steve’ lists over 1300 scientists with the name ‘Steve’ who support the TOE. Chris then implied that because the list of ‘Steve’ scientists who support TOE outnumber the total list of international scientists who publicly deny it, that the Discovery Institute’s list ought to be treated with disdain.

The trouble is that ‘Project Steve’ does nothing to support its position, but it does do what it said it wouldn’t do, and that is to simply create a larger list. How does ‘Project Steve’ offer any credibility to TOE, other than show its list of advocates outnumbers that of the “Dissent from Darwin list? The point is: there are a sizable number of internationally recognized scientists who do not believe that natural selection and random mutations are able to account for the complexity we see today in life all around us. This dissention is never addressed either by Chris or by ‘Project Steve.’ How does one simply dismiss the opinions of about a dozen Nobel Prize winners on the Darwin Skeptics list in 2014 (see footnote below)?

Chris then makes the claim that evolutionary biology is the very foundation of modern biology and genetics, saying that without it “research in these sciences would not exist” – a bold claim. A claim I quite frankly find difficult to believe, since at best evolutionary biology is an example of historical not empirical science. Scientific law and laboratory experimentation are inappropriate techniques to try to explain TOE. One simply cannot conduct a laboratory experiment and show how life in the sea produced life on land, or how one lifeform ever evolved into an entirely different species. Rather, TOE is an attempt to explain the life events and life processes that produced the complexity of life we see today. It is an attempt to reconstruct what some believe has already occurred. In other words it is a worldview and uses scientific vocabulary to explain its premise. In doing so, it has been very successful in gaining public recognition that TOE is scientific and is the best explanation for life’s complexity.

Chris then tries to say that TOE is responsible for pye-dogs evolving into modern breads of dogs. This simply isn’t so, unless one wishes to use the tool of breeding as an evolutionary term, but this would have nothing to do with natural selection or random mutations. The same would be true for Chris’ efforts to prove TOE by saying it is responsible for ‘weeds’ evolving into broccoli, cauliflower or cabbage. These plants are not the result of natural selection or random mutations. Intelligent people produced these kinds of plants through selective breeding. Chris is assuming his worldview is correct and superimposing it onto science. It simply doesn’t work that way.

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[1] The list has grown to over 800 as of January, 2011, and almost 3000 names, “including about a dozen Nobel Prize winners” according to a PDF publication Darwin Skeptics in August, 2014 by Jerry Bergman, PhD.

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Posted by on February 27, 2015 in atheism, naturalism

 

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