Is evolution ‘scientific’?
Published: 25 December 2008 (GMT+10)
Photo by Dave Sackville, sxc.hu
Is evolution ‘scientific’? What better way would there be to decide this issue than to use the standards set out by the pro-evolution National Research Council (US).
Their 1995 report entitled the National Science Education Standards (NSES) was produced and approved (published in 1996, revised 1998) by the Governing Board of the Council listed criteria for defining science. The purpose of the report was to assist educators in setting ‘goals for achievement that are appropriate for all members of the science education community’.1
Groups like the National Science Teachers Association are involved in an ongoing effort to implement the Standards in classrooms throughout the country. Why?
The online description of the product says:
‘Americans agree that our students urgently need better science education. The Standards offers a coherent vision of what it means to be scientifically literate, describing what all students should understand and be able to do in science. The volume reflects the principles that learning science is an inquiry-based process, that science in schools should reflect the intellectual traditions of contemporary science, and that all Americans have a role in science education reform’.2
Nature of Scientific Knowledge
Although pro-evolution, the NSES has some very specific criteria they promote in regards to the nature of scientific knowledge.
‘Science distinguishes itself from other ways of knowing and from other bodies of knowledge through the use of empirical standards, logical arguments, and scepticism.’
‘Scientific explanations must meet certain criteria. First and foremost, they must be consistent with experimental and observational evidence about nature, and must make accurate predictions, when appropriate, about systems being studied.’
‘They should also be logical, respect the rules of evidence, be open to criticism, report methods and procedures, and make knowledge public.’
‘Explanations on how the natural world changes based on myths, personal beliefs, religious values, mystical inspiration, superstition, or authority may be personally useful and socially relevant, but they are not scientific.’3
From this we can make a short list according to their criteria of what ‘science’ involves.
4-Open to criticism
Now, let’s apply these criteria to the ‘theory’ of evolution.
Photo by Olei, Wikipedia
Most evolutionists insist evolution is observable, but disingenuously point to examples of change that fall far short of what they really mean by evolution. According to a text on evolution published by Pergamon, the General Theory of Evolution is:
‘ … the theory that all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form.’4
Ask the average person what evolution means and you’ll get the same idea. Often they will describe it like ‘We came from monkeys’.
So showing students examples such as light and dark coloured moths evolving into various populations of light and dark coloured moths hardly constitute proof of evolution. They do not show that amoebas somehow gained the massive amounts of functional genetic information to morph into a human being in the unobserved past. Even evolutionists have admitted this:
‘The experiments beautifully demonstrate natural selection—or survival of the fittest—in action, but they do not show evolution in progress, for however the populations may alter in their content or light, intermediate or dark forms, all the moths remain from beginning to end Biston betularia.’5
Mutation and natural selection (evolutions supposed mechanism) have never once shown an ability to create new, functional genetic information in a creature. No one has ‘seen’ evolution.
Evolutionary champions such as Richard Dawkins are continually pinned down in this area when they are forced to defend their own faith position.
After being chided recently by a creationist on a UK TV program about his comment; ‘Evolution has been observed. It’s just that it hasn’t been observed while it’s happening’6, Dawkins attempted to parry with a prepared comment:
‘The refusal to believe in anything you can’t see yourself is absurd. Think about it, I never saw Napoleon with my own eyes, but that doesn’t mean Napoleon didn’t exist.’7
And Bible believers everywhere said, Amen! However, I’d reckon atheists were figuratively banging their heads against their TV sets because of Dawkins ‘letting the cat out of the bag’. The existence of Napoleon or Jesus Christ can only be known through historical records, not operational science. So the scientific method cannot be invoked.
Once again the world’s most vocal champion of evolution and the outgoing Oxford University Chair for the Public Understanding of Science has revealed that evolution hasn’t been observed! So according to the NSES, (‘ … all scientific ideas depend on experimental and observational confirmation … ’8) evolution fails their first criterion for being scientific.
Charles Darwin admitted there was a serious challenge to his hypothesis.
‘Why is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely-graduated organic chain; and this is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory.’9
Darwin hoped that subsequent fossil discoveries would vindicate his ideas. So an accurate evolutionary prediction would be an abundance of transitional fossils.
Over 100 years later, Gould said:
‘The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of palaeontology.’10
And recently National Geographic admitted;
‘Illuminating but spotty, the fossil record is like a film of evolution from which 999 out of 1,000 frames have been lost.’11
In other words, they are admitting that 99.9% of the evidence is missing! Evolutionists continually point to a small group of highly disputed, (even within their own community) doubtful transitional candidates to justify their theory.
Gould’s attempt to overcome the situation was to invent ‘punctuated equilibrium’, an evolutionary hypothesis that basically says creatures evolved so quickly that they left little trace of it in the fossil record. But such a shift from Darwin’s expectation of a finely graduated organic chain of fossils is a public admission of evolution’s lack of predictive ability. By a sleight of hand the the absence of evidence becomes ‘evidence’ of evolution.
Similarly, predictions about useless vestigial organs like the appendix (supposedly a usefuless left over from our evolutionary past) and non coding regions of DNA being described as millions of years of left-over junk have proven equally wrong. The latter prediction resulted in one researcher saying;
‘ … the failure to recognise the implications of the non-coding DNA will go down as the biggest mistake in the history of molecular biology’.12
And further research has revealed that the appendix is a fully functional and important organ, particularly in early childhood.
The NSES proposes that true science should make accurate predictions but the evolutionary story is continuously plagued with false guesses. If over 100 years of in-depth research has not confirmed even Darwin’s biggest prediction about the fossil record evolution is clearly non-science.
Imagine you open your front door and see a robot walking on two legs along the street carrying a package on its shoulder. The package is marked with an address, that the robot has followed and arrived at.
Glancing at your neighbour you say ‘Who do you think made the robot?’ To which he says ‘I don’t think anyone made it, I think it made itself!’ With even a lay person’s knowledge of basic engineering, would this be a logical conclusion?
For many people, discoveries inside living things of micro technology of an astounding nature (analogous to the scenario above) have stretched concepts of self assembly to the limits of credulity.
For example, the tiny protein kinesin is the miniature ‘postman’ contained in abundance within every living cell. Kinesin carry parcels of proteins along cellular roadways, walking on two legs in a similar fashion to humans. Somehow the cell knows when and what ‘parts’ (proteins) to manufacture, which it then does in tiny factories and packages them (in Golgi apparatus), somehow transmits a signal to the ‘robot’ (kinesin) that arrives, picks up and delivers these ‘packages’ (vesicles) to the specified destination.
Similarly, knowledge of motors such as the bacterial flagellum (equivalent to a 32-piece outboard motor, which also has a clutch) and the incredible ATP synthase (a motor that spins at 1000 rpm and faster, producing ATP, the universal energy currency of all known life forms) cause any thinking person to ask, ‘Where did these machines inside living beings come from?’
Occam’s razor is often paraphrased ‘All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best.’ Is it more logical and rational when observing things like motors and robot-like mechanisms to believe they created themselves or they were created by an intelligent designer? No logical person would conclude their car’s motor designed and assembled itself, or that computer software writes itself! The NSES states scientific explanations must be logical, so once again evolution fails.
4-Open to criticism
The newly released documentary Expelled blows the whistle on what many evolutionists have been doing for decades, which is brooking no opposition to anything that challenges Darwinian dogma.
The movie reveals that even Darwinists themselves, when attempting to be open-minded, are often removed from their positions for daring to allow other points of view. A recent example is evolutionary Prof. Michael Reiss, the Royal Society’s former director of education, who was forced to resign within a couple of days after suggesting that creation and ID should be discussed in classrooms (he proposed this so that they could be countered!).
When first making their way into the public education system, Darwinists argued that evolution should at least be taught alongside creationism in the spirit of fairness. But today the intellectual elite command total obeisance to their interpretation of origins as the ‘only way’, and use taxpayer’s money to indoctrinate children in public schools by disallowing competing viewpoints.
Far from encouraging scientific scrutiny, evolution fails the NSES criteria of being open to criticism.
Those remembering the long-running radio and TV show ‘Dragnet’ may recall Detective Joe Friday’s exhortation for truth; ‘All we want are the facts, ma’am.’ Many people imagine scientists the same way.
But scientists are people and people make mistakes, including knowingly fudging their data to promote their theories. Those that have been around the creation/evolution debate are usually familiar with hoaxes like Piltdown Man, Archaeoraptor (the Piltdown Bird!), Nebraska man and the Staged photos of peppered moths, all fraudulent ‘evidences’ used to promote the theory of evolution.
Top row: Haeckel’s drawings of several different embryos, showing incredible
similarity, in their early ‘tailbud’ stage.
Bottom row: Richardson’s photographs of how the embryos really look at the same stage of development.
Creationists point these out not as an example of differing opinions on how evidence can be interpreted, but rather as complete falsehoods, which evolutionists have admitted to. Why then do scientists and science educators continue to endorse such blatant lies?
One such fraud refuses to die it seems. I was shocked days ago when flipping through my daughter’s science text book to find Haeckel’s forged embryo drawings! I knew these had still been used in textbooks up to a short while ago but couldn’t believe my eyes to see it used in a 2008 science curriculum. This false ‘evidence’ was created in the 1860’s, so if the NSES states accurate information be given to the public, where is the outcry from these evolutionists demanding the removal of this material?
Although many evolutionists deride creationists as pseudo-scientists because of their ‘religious’ presuppositions, one can quickly conclude the same of evolutionists by their own definitions.
Photo by Sanja Gjenero, sxc.hu
In order to be truly neutral (hold no presuppositions) regarding the theory of origins, one would have to be open to the view that life could have arisen completely naturalistically, while simultaneously accepting that it may have been intelligently designed. You would then conduct investigations to see which hypothesis is better supported. But many evolutionists are atheists or were taught by atheists. By definition an atheist is;
A person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.13
So how can an atheist be unbiased or hold no presuppositions when their world view pre-supposes ‘no-God’?
‘I would describe myself as a humanist or a nontheist.’14
Eugenie Scott, Executive director of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE-America)
Evolutionist Richard Lewontin revealed his bias in this quote;
‘It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.’15
And this bias has deep roots in Darwinian tradition. Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World (and grandson of T.H. Huxley, ‘Darwin’s Bulldog’) admitted meaninglessness (no God) was central to his world view;
‘I had motive for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption. The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in pure metaphysics, he is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do, or why his friends should not seize political power and govern in the way that they find most advantageous to themselves. … For myself, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation, sexual and political.’16
Huxley’s quote reminds us that humanist philosophy, unbound by any absolute moral restrictions, has no qualms about seizing political power to promote their atheistic views. No wonder we see quotes like these in humanist publications;
‘I am convinced that the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly view their role as the proselytizers of a new faith … The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new; the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of Humanism … ’17
Evolutionists are religious too. Religion is defined as:
- A set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe.
- A specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons.18
So Humanism is a religion being promoted in public schools. And what is the weapon that teachers are wielding to promote the religion of humanism? Evolution!
‘ … belief in modern evolution makes atheists of people. One can have a religious view that is compatible with evolution only if the religious view is indistinguishable from atheism.’19
So looking into the roots of evolution we see a deep seated tradition of naturalism, with an incredible bias against any concept of intelligent design or God. So much for the NSES’s appeal for no religious presuppositions.
Where does this leave us? The table summarises our analysis:
|4-Open to criticism||Fail|
Many people will profess loudly that they do not believe in God because ‘science’ has proven that evolution explains our existence without God. But according to the NSES’ own stipulations, evolution fails the test they have put forth to qualify as true science.
In light of this, why do so many scientists, who ought to know better, blindly accept evolutionary notions of our origins, instead of at least considering the possibility of a Creator?
Perhaps Hebrews 11:6 is appropriate to cite in this context. It says:
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
- <nsta.org/publications/nses.aspx> Return to text.
- <nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=4962> Return to text.
- National Science Education Standards (page 221) National Academy Press (1996) <nas.edu> Return to text.
- Kerkut, G.A., Implications of Evolution, Pergamon, Oxford, UK, p. 157, 1960. Return to text.
- L. Harrison Matthews, FRS, Introduction to Darwin’s Origin of the Species J. M. Dent & Sons, London, 1971, p. XI. Return to text.
- Transcript at: <pbs.org/now/transcript/transcript349_full.html#dawkins> Return to text.
- "The Genius of Charles Darwin (Episode 3): Richard Dawkins, Channel 4 (UK), Monday 18th August 2008. Return to text.
- National Science Education Standards (page 221) National Academy Press (1996) <nas.edu> Return to text.
- C. Darwin, Origin of Species, 6th ed. 1872 (London: John Murray, 1902), p. 413. Return to text.
- S.J. Gould, Evolution’s Erratic Pace, Natural History 86(5):14, 1977. Return to text.
- National Geographic Nov. 2004 Page 25 Article: Was Darwin Wrong? No! Return to text.
- <abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/s898887.htm> Return to text.
- atheist. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). <Dictionary.com> website: <dictionary.reference.com/browse/atheist> Return to text.
- Research News and Opportunities in Science and Theology <www.researchnewsonline.org> Return to text.
- Richard Lewontin, Harvard Geneticist, “Billions & Billions of Demons”, The New York Review of Books, Jan. 9, 1997, Pg. 31. Return to text.
- Huxley, A., Ends and Means, pp. 270 ff. Return to text.
- Official Journal-American Humanist Association (1983) Return to text.
- "religion." Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. 28 Oct. 2008. <dictionary.reference.com/browse/religion>. Return to text.
- Provine, W.B., ‘No free will’ in Catching up with the Vision, Margaret W Rossiter (Ed.), Chicago University Press, p. S123, 1999. Return to text.