Skip to comments.Burden of Proof: Why Most American Evangelicals Reject Long-Earth Evolution
Posted on 05/11/2012 10:56:54 AM PDT by ReligiousLibertyTV
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I never saw a coherent proof of the evolutionary hypothesis. I saw belief statements: that fossils, because they are similar, prove evolution, or that neatly drawn “tree of life” pictures prove it, or that microorganisms, because they survive mutations, prove it, or that breeding of complex animals, because it produces different looking subspecies, proves it.
Then I noticed that a question posted form a skeptic’s position: Where exactly is the proof? — is met with repetition of the belief statements, — the proverbial “pound the table” method known to lawyers; arguments about words (”species” is redefined so that selection appears as if it produces new species); references to complex research that does not prove it either, but slows the opponent down; impugning the opponent’s motivation (and his religion alongside it); condescension (crack a book, young man, we are not in the Middle Ages any more); holding on to the skirts of real science (you insult science!). Or else you sue.
So I conclude, it is junk science. It ought to be ridiculed relentlessly. You don’t deserve anything better.
First of all, in actual scientific terms, you might "falsify" a hypothesis, or you might "confirm" it, but except in mathematics (&?), you never "prove" it.
A "confirmed" hypothesis is called a "theory".
How do you "confirm" a hypothesis?
For one thing, by using it to make predictions, and then testing to see if those predictions prove true.
In the case of Evolution Theory, it is confirmed by an endless list of predictions, all of which proved true.
The link above refers to a few, and here is another, longer list of confirmed predictions.
Here is a long list of physical evidence confirming Evolution Theory.
And here is a summary of the entire discussion on Evolution as Fact and Theory
annalex: "Then I noticed that a question posted form a skeptics position: Where exactly is the proof?"
I am somewhat familiar with your tactics here, having years ago debated at great length with some dedicated Holocaust deniers.
I began thinking: this should be easy, since there are literal tons of physical evidence of the WWII Holocaust.
But it turned out that no amount of evidence would satisfy dedicated deniers -- no eyewitness testimony was reliable, no photograph could be trusted, no official document really meant what it said, no expert analyses mattered, even words themselves did not actually mean what they meant, according to the deniers.
And all the while deniers kept saying: show us the proof, show us the proof, show us...
Of course, you remember the old saying: "You can lead a horse to water...", well, that also applies here.
Obviously, anyone determined not to see the truth of evolution, can't be forced to see it.
annalex: "So I conclude, it is junk science.
It ought to be ridiculed relentlessly.
You dont deserve anything better.:
And in the end, it became totally obvious that those Holocaust deniers really cared nothing about the Holocaust itself, and were instead using the debate as a forum to express those ideas they truly did care about: pro-Nazi anti-semitism.
So in any future discussion, such as this one, I always try to look behind the stated arguments to see if it can be discovered: what does this person truly care about, and why are they continuing to deny the obvious in order to present their real views -- and those are what?
In your case, your "real view" seems to be simply your desire to continue to "ridicule relentlessly" science.
Obviously, I don't get it, but whatever turns you on, FRiend... ;-)
Problem with your “evidence” is that it isn’t. A believer in evolution sees that as some kind of corroboration. A skeptic doesn’t.
The comparison to the holocaust is self-serving. The Holocaust is an event of recent history with serious documentary evidence, plausible motivation, and available (quite unfortunately) mechanism. It was also perpetrated by people who believed in human speciation; probably not the company you would choose as an apologist for Darwin. To equate the level of evidence available regarding WWII and the figments of your fellow cultists’ imagination as regards the fiction of the “evolution” is laughable.
That was just the language of those Holocaust deniers, and even when presented with evidence, they still claimed "no evidence."
annalex: "The Holocaust is an event of recent history with serious documentary evidence, plausible motivation, and available (quite unfortunately) mechanism."
Sure, but to dedicated deniers, none of it "proves" a real Holocaust.
Indeed, they called it the "Holo-hoax", and jabbered on endlessly about how all the "evidence" was manufactured by Communists and, of course, Jews.
Nothing could faze them, they had "answers" for everything.
annalex: "It was also perpetrated by people who believed in human speciation; probably not the company you would choose as an apologist for Darwin."
In fact, this re-visits a point I made earlier which needs serious correction.
Comparing "Global Warming" to Evolution, I posted that the problem with "Global Warming" is: it mixes science with leftist politics, resulting in the corruption of science.
I said that by contrast, Evolution Theory had not become a left-wing political agenda item, and therefore could still be trusted as honest science.
Well, I momentarily forgot how the Nazi era clearly demonstrated what happens when even a theory as seemingly innocuous as Evolution gets mixed up in socialist politics -- millions of innocents murdered.
Today, so far as I can tell, there is no leftist political agenda being driven by Evolution Theory -- it's just science, and nothing more.
Yes, I understand somewhat your angst over the word "random", as in mutations, since it seems to remove God from the process.
But I argue that is a self-inflicted wound, since any child can be taught that what science calls "random" is often God's Long Term Plan or even God's Hand in action.
Nothing is truly "random", everything has some reason and purpose, if we only seek to see it.
annalex: "To equate the level of evidence available regarding WWII and the figments of your fellow cultists imagination as regards the fiction of the evolution is laughable."
But the Holocaust deniers used the same tactics for looking straight at evidence and claiming it wasn't there as you do.
Indeed, they were far better at their game than you are at yours -- they knew their stuff far better than you know yours.
For every piece of evidence which I thought would clinch the case, they had already prepared detailed legal briefs showing how that evidence was supposedly faked or unreliable, and so should be discarded.
By contrast, you have not mastered your subject.
For examples, you don't know basic scientific terminology, and thus can only produce "word salads" on the subject.
You don't know the differences between a scientific hypothesis, theory or law.
You cannot even accurately recite what the Theory of Evolution says.
You don't understand the processes through which evolution operates, indeed, you've repeatedly said, in effect, that you don't need to understand it to "relentlessly ridicule" evolution.
I'm only suggesting that when you attempt to "relentlessly ridicule" something you so thoroughly misunderstand, there is a serious question as to who, exactly ends up more ridicul-ous, FRiend. ;-)
LOL. Evolution is proven because there are Holocaust deniers, QED. Great job.
Theories are confirmed, not "proven".
Techniques for denying obvious confirming evidence are pretty standard, and used in various applications, including Holocaust and Evolution denial.
QED? No, what was to be demonstrated here is that annalex hates science, knows nothing about it, refuses to learn even the basics, and is only attempting to ridicule what annalex thoroughly misunderstands.
QED: I think that has been demonstrated beyond all reasonable doubt.
Don't slander me, shaman.
You slander yourself, in every post -- demonstrating your loathing for real science, your love of pretend-science and, by using words like "cult", "voodoo" and "shaman", you show your hatred of the idea of truth itself.
You even claim to be all about ridicule, which makes you just ridicul-ous. QED.
It is because evolution is a superstition that you need to cling to someone else’s skirt: you want to be called science, suffer with the Jews in the Holocaust, and start lawsuits against those who see through your schemes. Oh, and you don’t really need to prove your fantasies. No greater damage to science has been ever done in human history. No wonder American kids don’t want to go to science, — you guys gave it a bad odor.
Sue me, won’t you?
That is a false statement, demonstrating again that you have no respect for the truth. QED
annalex: "...you need to cling to someone elses skirt: you want to be called science,"
Another false statement.
I "want to be called" BroJoeK, I am posting to defend all of science, including its theory of evolution.
annalex: "...suffer with the Jews in the Holocaust..."
Another false statement.
I compared your Evolution Denial to Holocaust Denial because you use similar techniques, including over-reliance on ridicule to make your cases.
annalex: "and start lawsuits against those who see through your schemes."
Another false statement.
The word "sue" as in "lawsuit" was used exactly once before in this thread -- in your post #151.
It is a false accusation invented out of whole cloth in thin air.
annalex: "Oh, and you dont really need to prove your fantasies."
Another false statement.
In real scientific terms: you can prove a mathematical theorem and disprove a scientific hypothesis.
But you do not "prove" a hypothesis, you confirm it, and mulitple confirmations make a hypothesis accepted as "theory".
Long-term evolution is a confirmed theory, and that is a fact.
annalex: "No greater damage to science has been ever done in human history."
Nonsense, in 1632 Galileo Galilei did far more damage to science by insisting, against the Church's orders, that the Earth revolved around the Sun.
Galileo had no proof, it was just a wild "mathematical fiction" according to the Church, for which he was arrested and required to "abjure, curse and detest" those opinions.
So science has often been punished for asserting whatever the evidence confirmed.
Nothing new in that.
annalex: "Sue me, wont you?"
Yeah right, now on top of being Holocaust victims your fellow cultists are also all Galileos. Who, by the way, proved heliocentrism, — something you cannot do.
I stand by my statements.
Also, you made this a flame war. So unless you have news on the scientific justification of the evolution hypothesis, I will ignore your future rants.
Nor could Galileo.
In actual scientific terms, Galileo's telescope observations helped confirm the heliocentric hypothesis, which along with mathematical work of Copernicus and Kepler, made it a scientific theory.
Today we could also call heliocentrism a scientific fact since it has so many times been observed and confirmed (i.e., by space probes launched to photograph the Sun).
But in actual scientific terms, such a theory cannot be definitely proved because it is always possible that some new evidence will be discovered to disprove it.
By the way, we should note that at the time, the Catholic Church correctly considered heliocentrism a "mathematical fantasy", and did not object to it as such.
It was only when Galileo claimed he could confirm it through observation that the Church put its foot down and demanded recantation.
Of course I'm not saying the Church was right and Galileo wrong, only that there's no way Galileo could actually see the Earth revolving around the Sun.
So Galileo's observations did not prove the heliocentric hypothesis, they only helped confirm it, and so made it a scientific theory. QED.
annalex: "I stand by my statements."
Nearly all of your statements have been confirmed false, so wherever you wish to stand is irrelevant.
annalex: "Also, you made this a flame war."
I have merely responded with truth to each of your false statements, FRiend.
annalex: "I will ignore your future rants."
Have a nice day, FRiend. ;-)
You just keep provide material for good laughs that cannot be passed up.
Heliocentrism is the hypothesis that planets have orbits that are nearly circular with the sun at the center. That is a proven theory: astronomical observations agree with it, the observations do not agree with the geocentric hypothesis, and the laws of gravity explain the mechanism. Nothing even remotely similar can be said of the evolution hypothesis: fossil observations can agree with the similar species being unrelated just as easily; the breeding experience does not speak to the issue; and the genetic mechanism more readily explains why the species remain confined to their own boundary overtime, rather than how they supposedly evolve and cross them.
I agree that at the time of Galileo his hypothesis was not yet duly proven, this is why the Church felt it necessary to censor him. However, the insinuation that fundamental astronomical facts such as the shapes of planetary orbits are all merely relative truths that obtain till found false (”some new evidence will be discovered to disprove it”) is another example of your fellow cultists not having a grasp what science is and isn’t.
Overtime, Protestants and Catholics may have adjusted somewhat to the science. It was advocates of the science that attacked Chrisitianity based on their prebiased Atheistic views regarding science...never mind the fact that pure scientific inquiry and reasoning can allow no views regarding tautologies....that is arguements or concepts that can’t be proven true or false. The antireligious Fabian types are picking the fight with religion, not the other way around!
Attacking Christians’ biases in their reasoning based on their belief in the transcendent, the so called atheist scientists as well as the science writer wannabe activists are not being intellectually coherent about their own biases. The current view of these pseudo scientific skeptics is that any arguement that can’t be proven, tested or argued true or false, or “falsified” must therefore be considered automatically false. Thusly, such scientists holding to such transcendent beliefs are not worthy to be considered “relevant” or “true to the scientific method” according to the elitist “tut tut” types of the scientific establishment. Not only that, but angry emotional scorn must always be heaped upon such folk who believe that God has a place in scientific inquiry.
True reason points out yes and no, this or that, type alternatives in rational arguements but the reasoning process must neverbe the impetus in justifying bias. A tautology can’t be proven true or false and true science can never speak to it per se. Yet, while there is nothing in the scientific method that says a scientist in testing principles should draw inspiration and bias from the belief in the Transcendent God, it would be also false for the pre biased God skeptic to claim that a scientist can’t believe in God and do good science...that is while trying to base his anti god bias on that same scientific method.
A scientist who truly believes in God, believes in self honesty, and knows his own pre biases; such an one won’t make short cuts in testing principles leading to new discoveries. He may feel that his belief in God is justified by the order around him and in nature yet he is aware that even Reason herself can only carry him so far to the TRUTH. Such a person also recognizes an epistomological gap between knowledge of an object and the object itself, that only faith not reason can bridge!
In response, first note the example of scientific terms used below:
"It was not until the 16th century that a fully predictive mathematical model of a heliocentric system was presented, by the Renaissance mathematician, astronomer, and Catholic cleric Nicolaus Copernicus of Poland, leading to the Copernican Revolution.
In the following century, Johannes Kepler elaborated upon and expanded this model to include elliptical orbits, and supporting observations made using a telescope were presented by Galileo Galilei."
Notice that real scientific language almost never uses the term "proven theory", and if it does, qualifiers such as "apparent" or "claimed" are usually attached.
The usual scientific term is "confirmed theory", though in this particular case, note the words, "fully predictive mathematical model".
That's scientific talk, because science always has to leave open the possibility that some future data or understanding could overturn or obsolete our current thinking.
A good example of that is Einstein's Relativity Theory compared to Newton's Laws of Motion.
Einstein did not invalidate Newton, but did show the limits of Newton's laws and put them in a larger context.
And the same could happen some day with with any other scientific theory or law, however often confirmed.
It could happen with Darwin's Theory of Evolution.
Indeed, it already has, in several senses, since today's understandings (i.e., of DNA) are far beyond what Darwin originally imagined.
Or perhaps in vindication of anti-evolutionists, scientific evidence will someday be found of not only Intelligent Design, but also the Intelligent Designer!
annalex: "Nothing even remotely similar can be said of the evolution hypothesis: fossil observations can agree with the similar species being unrelated just as easily;"
No, the analogy of heliocentrism with evolution is exact, since no data-observations of any kind suggest anything other than 1) descent with modifications and 2) natural selection.
No scientific hypothesis even hints how species might arise on their own, without ancestors, at various times over millions of years but in sequences which make it appear as if long term evolution has taken place.
Indeed I'll ask it again: what scientific hypothesis explains why an Intelligent Designer would make it appear as if long-extinct species had evolved into those we see today?
annalex: "...the breeding experience does not speak to the issue; and the genetic mechanism more readily explains why the species remain confined to their own boundary overtime, rather than how they supposedly evolve and cross them."
Those are not factually true statements, as I have explained now several times, in seemingly infinite details, none of which phase you, do they?
annalex: "However, the insinuation that fundamental astronomical facts such as the shapes of planetary orbits are all merely relative truths that obtain till found false (some new evidence will be discovered to disprove it) is another example of your fellow cultists not having a grasp what science is and isnt."
In every post you demonstrate how little you know about real science, and how much you loathe it, and your statement here is no exception.
In actual scientific terms:
If all that sounds just a bit "wishy-washy" to you, well, there's a reason for it.
Every serious scientist understands, in the words of Sir Arthur Eddington:
Scientific "faith" such as it is, would be acceptance and adherence to its methodologically natural assumptions.
That is the truthful definition of science, and nobody is required to accept it, except when you intend to call your work "science".
Of course, if you wish to call your work something else, then you need not adhere to methodological naturalism.
If you call your work "philosophy" or "theology" or perhaps even "Moe, Larry and Curly", then you can adopt whichever assumptions suit you best to reach whatever conclusions you may.
Just as long as you don't call it "science", then anything is permitted of you, and any conclusions are acceptable in your own logical systems.
But if you wish to call it "science", now you must use science's terminology, follow science's rules and the first one of those is: methodological naturalism.
My biggest beef is with those who claim “by scientific reasoning” to have arrived at the conclusion that any supposition that is tautologous in nature must necessarily be false, (with heaps of scorn and ridicule to be piled on that person who may hold such suppositions to be at least... plausible!).
When the evolution hypothesis reaches anything comparable to the level of proof of the heliocentric model — or the Holocaust, — wake me up.
Wake up! Crack open a science book.
Go back to school.
Learn something about real science.
Tell all your fake-science friends where they can go. ;-)
Yeah, right. Real scientists don’t not have to prove anything, they just tell us evolution myths.
Not true. Read a book. Go to school. Learn something.
For example...the belief and arguements for the existence of God. That is a discussion of a tautologous nature. Such a belief can’t be accounted for in regular scientific reasoning as God has not submitted himself directly for an evidentiary inquiry. Now one can argue for the existence ordered matter and energy being derived from some unkown origin or higher intelligenceknown as the God of our universe but using the scientific method in and of itself to do so is impossible.
E Forest Mims lll was kicked off the Scientific American staff when it was revealed he was a Christian who held creationist views;the letters and comments from non religious scientists were quite vicious. There was controversy a few years back at the Smithsonian Museum when another noted scientist was “drummed out” for his religious views, the arguemet being that his religious views colored his science and there-fore he was not fit to be working at the institution. I know there was a suit of some type but I don’t know how it turned out!
Indeed. My post was using irony. Yes, you have to prove the theory of evolution like any other theory.
I'm saying it isn't just "regular" scientific reasoning, it's all scientific reasoning, by definition of the word "science".
If you try to bring God into science, then what you are doing is just not "science" any more -- it's something else.
I'm saying you can give it another name, call it whatever you wish, just don't call it "science", because by definition, science is based on Naturalism.
Of course, that is supposed to mean Methodological Naturalism, not Metaphysical-Ontological-Philosophical (MOP) Naturalism, which seems to be the problem concerning you.
In other words, a scientist should be able to put on his Methodological-Natural hat when he gets to work in the morning, and take it off again at the end of the day.
But you describe a different situation, where organizations seem to be snooping into a scientist's religious practices, to see if they might influence his work products.
I find that hard to believe, am more inclined to suspect an excuse rather than real reason.
After all, people get hired or fired from jobs every day, and one often doesn't know the "real reason" and so may be inclined to "fill in the blanks" with something that sounds plausible.
And if there are lawsuits involved, the organization may agree to settle out of court, providing a strict "non disclosure" agreement is signed.
So yet another level of secrecy gets added to an already murky situation.
The bottom line is, a significant number of working scientists are religious enough to attend church regularly, and a much larger number will admit to believing in God, and I doubt if any feel seriously threatened in terms of job security on account of those things.
But maybe I'm wrong, and if so, then that's a shame.
Google E Forest Mims sometime and you’ll understand my beef regarding the antireligious elitism that dominates much scientific thinking nowadays. I do understand the “in between the lines” reasons that cause some folks to lose their jobs and occaisionally such an one may attempt to use red herrings such as “a personal attack on my religious freedoms” to deflect any scrutiny away from one’s shoddy work product or habits(that got one fired in the first place).
All steps from basic photoreceptor cells to modern eyes of different types can be seen in living animals. As for the rest, your questions are based on a mistake. A species - defined by the ability of members to breed with each other and have fertile offspring - does not and of course can not jump to a different species. There is no point in time where mutant members of a new generation could not breed with non muitant ones. Those who can’t breed by definition don’t breed, and the mutation dies with them. However, while each new step can breed with the preceding one or the following one, a large enough number of differences CAN mean that distant relatives can’t interbreed. This is true both of far ancestors and of different groups of what was formerly one single specie if they migrate to different areas and adapt to different selective pressures. All creatures are transitional, including me and you. The transition is simply small enough to make breeding with our near genetic relatives possible.
Frankly, you could read all this before you post.
I’ve read a lot of theories. Quite frankly I’m searching for a new wrinkle, theory or angle I can research.
As we’re all in transition as you say, can you give me some examples of creatures that are between species right now?
What are our nearest relatives btw? I ask because there isn’t a pat answer to that. Also, has there been any discovery that has really been proven to be part ape, part man? Proven. . .not extrapolation or outright fraud.
Has abiogenesis been witnessed anywhere or reproduced in any test? Has speciation been witnessed anywhere? Why the lack of studies or papers on the subject?
To save yourself time just give me some names or direct me to a location and I’ll do the legwork.
Thanks in advance. Hope all is well.