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Myths of Origin and the Theory of Evolution

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bluegray
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« on: November 17, 2006, 16:58:51 PM »

Myths of Origin and the Theory of Evolution
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Mefiante
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« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2006, 12:13:44 PM »

One possible précis of that article would be "evolution is a culture-bound myth because all views of truth are equally valid."  Another one would be "post-modernist, deconstructionist humbug."

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The modern theory of evolution was born during the nineteenth century, a period particularly disturbed by various political and intellectual movements. One of the inherent aims of a number of these movements was to break the ideological hold that Christianity had over Europe and America at that time. An explanation of the origins of man, one that avoided reference to the supernatural or to God, was a necessity before an effective ideologial assault could be substantiated.
If only it was that simple: sure, naturalistic explanations of observables were being sought (and continue to be so), but the author makes it sound as though these efforts were inspired by the express and deliberate agenda of undermining other - religious - dogmas, rather than by genuine curiosity about the world.


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Now that we know that science has no monopoly on truth, why not consider it as being one method of acquiring information among many others?
Because such other "methods of acquiring information" invariably draw for their "success" on one or other form of intellectual dishonesty, usually at the expense of objectivity or testability.


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We thus see that the whole question of origins is outside the scope of science because the origin of life and matter cannot be submitted to laboratory experiments or to any real observation. The theory of evolution is therefore not scientific, but a matter of faith, and this despite the fact that it is formulated with "scientific" vocabulary and that many scientists believe it.
Total straw man and non sequitur: evolution is silent on the question of the origin of life, matter, energy, etc.  These are questions of physics, biophysics and biochemistry.  Moreover, simply because a specific hypothesis concerning origins cannot - yet and/or easily - be directly tested or replicated, it does not follow that its consequences are equally beyond the reach of objective testing.  For example, the extremely uniform distribution of the cosmic background radiation is compelling evidence in support of the Big Bang (or something very like it) having occurred.  That is not to say that no other explanation is possible, but a plausible alternative that accounts for the same range of phenomena in a similarly simple manner has yet to be posited.


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... scientists, too, are human and, like other human beings, they need a concept that explains where they came from and that gives them some kind of understanding of the present and also of the future.
So what?  Such a motivation for believing in an idea, even if it is widely present in individuals, says nothing about the validity of the idea itself.  In fact, the scientific enterprise, as a whole, works just the other way around: the validity of an idea, as measured by tangible evidence, decides its acceptance or rejection.


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It is well-known that social Darwinism was the main basis for Hitler's notion of the superiority of the Aryan race which served to justify the massacre of six million Jews. Would we dare again place power in the hands of someone who really believes in the theory of evolution?
The fact that a concept is hijacked for evil purposes does not make that concept itself inherently evil or objectionable.  If it did, we'd have to stop doing all sorts of things, e.g. making cars, because people have died, even been deliberately killed, as a result of their presence.


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« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2006, 13:35:34 PM »

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Now what can be said about the theory of evolution ? Is it scientific ? Does it meet the demands of the scientific method ? Henry M. Morris, a creationist opposed to the theory of evolution, indicates one of the major weaknesses in relation to the scientific method:

"The essence of scientific method is experimental repetition and one cannot repeat the origin of the solar system or the origin of man in his laboratory. There is no experiment that can be devised which can discriminate between total evolution and creation. These, therefore are not matters of science at all. They cannot even be compared by canons of historical investigation, since they took place before the advent of written records." (p. 80)

Karl Popper, who was an evolutionist, admits that this theory does not meet his own standards which would qualify it for the status of a scientific theory. He notes:

"There is a difficulty with Darwinism… it is far from clear what we should consider a possible refutation of the theory of natural selection. If, more especially, we accept that statistical definition of fitness which defines fitness by actual survival, then the survival of the fittest becomes tautological and irrefutable." (p. 964)

Since someone else already discussed this flawed argument, I can now point you to these articles Wink :
Karl Popper and Evolution: Is Evolutionary Theory Based on a Tautology?
Is Evolution Scientific?
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