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How evolution has harmed science and society

Published: 24 November 2012 (GMT+10)
123rf.com/Pedro Antonio Salaverría Calahorra

This week’s feedback features responses from regular contributor Marc Ambler and CMI’s Dr Don Batten to skeptics who object to us saying that evolution has harmed science and society.

Firstly, Matt E. from the United States comments on the article Make believe knowledge. Author Marc Ambler’s responses are interspersed:

Dear Matt

Thank you for your response to my article. Although it is negative, I always prefer a negative response to no response at all. In fact, from the shrill tone of your message, I cannot help but think it maybe touched a nerve.

You make five very sweeping statements to which I respond interspersed with your comments below. I really hope you will take the time to think about this.

You know, I almost wrote a comment about how yes, evolution is scientific,

If you are using the word ‘scientific’ in the sense of experimental, observable, repeatable, testable phenomena; please tell me one scientifically verifiable fact of evolution (i.e. evolution from matter to man) that you have so proven, or has been proven by others whose conclusion you believe. If you are objective on this I think you will accept that evolution does not meet these criteria. This is because it is a process which allegedly occurred in the past and therefore by its nature cannot be subjected to experimental verification. See the many articles on the website that deal with this topic of historical vs experimental science such as ‘It’s not science. Of course creation would also fall into the same category of historical science. Both evolution and creation are conclusions we reach based on our a priori, un-provable assumptions, i.e. in the case of evolution, “I do not believe in God or that God was involved in the process and therefore everything came from nothing”, or, in the case of creation, “I believe God was the Creator or First Cause of everything”

about how the existence of Jesus is not scientific,

In your next phrase you assume the existence of Hitler. I doubt you are old enough to have seen him personally so I guess your assumption is based on the credible witness and testimony of others as to his existence. The same is true of Jesus, Alexander the Great, Napoleon and any other historical character.

and about how Hitler believed in social Darwinism, which is not evolution,

Of course Social Darwinism is not evolution; it is evolution (i.e. survival of the fittest and elimination of the weak which is biological evolution) put into socio-political practice. I respectfully invite you to read my book review on The Kaisers Holocaust whose authors repeatedly (seemingly unwillingly) link the German policy of extermination of the Herero and Nama people in German South West Africa (Namibia) and later of the European Jews, to social Darwinism. They keep giving the disclaimer that it was a ‘distorted view of Social Darwinism’ but one wonders where an ‘undistorted view of Social Darwinism’ would come from in a silent universe.

and about the fact that people doing bad things because of an idea does not invalidate the idea,

Quite so, but please define ‘bad things’ from an evolutionary perspective for me. And we have more than enough other ground on which to ‘invalidate the idea’ of evolution.

but this article is just so stupid that it makes me sad

I think it made you mad not sad, but at least this is one statement that may be scientifically verifiable.I have had a couple of very positive responses as well. If I have made some factual errors in my stupidity, please point them out and I would be glad to address them.

Please realize what you are writing is hogwash and get a real education.

Matt, from your tone I think you have reached your conclusions before even reading this or any other like article. I pray that you would reconsider those conclusions and give the claims of the Bible some sincere thought, they are too important (if true) to reject out of hand.

Yours sincerely

Marc Ambler


Berwyn W. from Malaysia writes in response to Question evolution!:

123rf.com/Vladimir Nenov

Alright, I’m not an expert on biology or evolution, so I won’t attempt to give any answers to the questions, but I do intend to inform the creators of this article that filling the gaps in knowledge with the explanation that ‘God did it’ will not prove the failure of evolution or the existence of creation. It is arguing from ignorance and leads no where. All present and available evidence confirms that evolution is true, and while we don’t fully understand it yet, this doesn’t prove it false. Therefore, failure to provide an ‘adequate’ answer to these questions do not prove your creation right. Complexity in nature and life does not require a creator. No ‘intelligent design’ or ‘creation’ is required. Life is as it is, so is the Universe. There is no need to have a creator in the sense of religion to explain these things.

CMI’s Dr Don Batten responds:

Dear Berwyn,

Thanks for commenting.

You admit that you are not an expert on biology or evolution, and yet you insist that “All present and available evidence confirms that evolution is true”. So, you cannot know that personally; you have accepted this based on the authority of your teachers (are they never wrong? Infallible?). I have a doctorate in biology and I wrote the 15 Questions. Two other PhD biologists checked the questions. The whole point of the questions is not that they prove creation, but that they show that present and available evidence does not show that evolution is a valid explanation for origins. Many of these questions are fundamental to evolutionary theory and yet there are no reasonable answers. That is, evolution is an exercise in bluff, of pretending to have answers when there are none to the big questions. There is also a pretending that science needs evolution when in fact it impedes the progress of science as money is wasted on chasing phantoms like the naturalistic origin of life (research has only increased the case for it being impossible). Dr John Sanford, Cornell University genetics prof., gave a lecture about how evolution has harmed science.

You also assert, “Complexity in nature and life does not require a creator. No ‘intelligent design’ or ‘creation’ is required. Life is as it is, so is the Universe. There is no need to have a creator in the sense of religion to explain these things.”

Clearly you have no knowledge of how these things came about naturally, so these statements are mere assertions of your ‘faith’ that this is so. Please don’t confuse such a naturalistic ‘faith’ as being scientific knowledge; they are not the same thing.

Modern science grew out of the rediscovery of the authority of the Bible in the 15th century. It would have been still-born if not for the influence of the Bible (atheism provides no basis for science). See Why does science work at all? and the list of related articles at the end.

Please check out what we say. You might not agree, but at least you will have it ‘from the horse’s mouth’ and not some jaundiced version from a critic. You might even find it educational.

With kind regards,

Don Batten