“Evolution is a fact!” We’ve all heard someone declare that.
But if evolution is a fact, then why is it so highly correlated to the political Left and to abandoning religion? No other recognition of a scientific “fact” shows such correlation.
For example, states with more stringent evolution requirements tended to vote for Gore (see Lecture #8). Conversely, 7/8 of the Democrats who recently voted for conservative Attorney General Ashcroft were from states with the least stringent evolution requirements.
And there is the common refrain by people who left religion when they started believing in evolution. Charles Darwin himself became an agnostic, if not an atheist. http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/darwin/keynes/script.htm
However, if you ask someone why he thinks “evolution is a fact,” it is impossible to obtain a coherent response. “Oh, because my teacher or my textbook or the media said it is a fact.” Ah.
Would any of us rely so heavily on school or the media about political or religious claims?
A Mile Wide, an Inch Deep.
To scratch the surface of evolution with basic questions is to reveal fundamental flaws underneath. In this 8-lecture course, pervasive flaws to evolution will become obvious.
Numerous fundamental flaws have been expressly admitted by prominent evolutionists themselves (Lecture #2). For example, evolutionists admit that there are no transitional fossils for the alleged evolution or transition of one species into another.
Other central flaws are avoided by evolutionists, because they thoroughly discredit their theory (Lecture #3). How could good and evil exist if evolution occurred? How could there be an aesthetic value of nature under evolution?
More sophisticated flaws in evolution are increasingly emerging as well (Lecture #4). For example, there is Biochemistry Professor Behe’s example of irreducible complexity, which cannot be the result of evolution. There are also the recent gene discoveries that contradict descent of man from apes.
How about the history of evolution’s influence on society? If evolution were true, then it should boast a positive influence. In fact, its greatest historical influence was the deplorable eugenics movement in the early 1900s, which led to a horrific conclusion in World War II (Lecture #5).
With characteristic style, Hollywood has promoted evolution falsehoods at the expense of conservative politics and religious conviction. Its portrayal of the Scopes trial in Inherit the Wind was an anti-religious diatribe replete with factual errors and liberal distortions (Lecture #6).
Evolutionists use an odd collection of phrases – few of which can withstand even a few minutes of scrutiny. One recent promotion for an evolutionist presentation, for example, boasted that the presenter had applied “evolutionary logic” to address a particular issue. Apparently that is different from actual logic!
It is often worth pausing to look at the language used in a debate. When a politician uses the self-contradictory phrase “principled compromise,” for example, beware of what he’s really up to.
In real science, terminology is precisely defined in a meaningful manner. Velocity. Momentum. Molecule. Combustion. These and all other genuine scientific terms have precisely defined meanings.
Not evolution. Darwin developed the term “natural selection” to mean the familiar “survival of the fittest.” The modern dictionary continues to equate those terms. http://www.m-w.com/
But the scientific reality is that the fittest do not always survive better. Differences in reproduction rate, or random influences of weather or predation, are more influential in dictating survival.
Giraffes’ Long Necks.
For example, according to pro-evolution Discover magazine, Darwin claimed that long necks evolved in giraffes in order to enable them to eat high foliage. Long-necked giraffes thereby supposedly out-survived their shorter competitors.
(Many mistakenly think that giraffes developed long necks by stretching to reach the high foliage. In fact, Darwin rejected that Lamarkian concept, but in its place offered no explanation for how the long necks got on some giraffes in the first place. Darwinism merely holds that once the long necks were there, they outsurvived the shorter necks.)
Evolution teachers and textbooks have relied heavily on the giraffe’s long neck as “proof” of evolution. Students and the public seem easily persuaded that the long neck is advantageous for eating from high foliage.
However, as evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould once observed about his colleagues, “Paleontologists (and evolutionary biologists in general) are famous for their facility in devising plausible stories; but they often forget that plausible stories need not be true.”
The giraffe story is, in fact, false. As the Discover magazine article admits, giraffes feed primarily off of low bushes, not high foliage.
Evolutionists responded by devising another theory to explain the long-necked giraffes. The new theory is that the long neck supposedly aids male giraffes in fights, with the winners then mating with female giraffes. But there’s no evidence that such giraffe battles have a statistically significant role in the reproduction of giraffes in nature.
Distortions in Language.
Faced with numerous modern flaws in Darwinism, evolutionists frequently patch these problems by contorting language. For example they have redefined “natural selection” as “a natural process that results in the survival and reproductive success of individuals or groups best adjusted to their environment ….”
This redefinition is nothing more than a tautology, which means that it is true only because it is logically circular. It means that “those which survive have genetic qualities better suited to survival than those that don’t survive.” Or more simply: “those that survive are those that survive.”
Edinburgh University geneticist Conrad Waddington described this new evolutionist definition as “a vacuous statement”: “Natural selection is that some things leave more offspring than others; and you ask, which leave more offspring than others; and it is those that leave more offspring; and there is nothing more to it than that.”
Worse, the term “evolution” itself has become even more vacuous, in a similar effort to salvage Darwinism against its errors. Evolution has been redefined to mean nothing more than “change over time.” Or, because biological change necessarily occurs “over time,” evolution now means nothing more than “change”.
One textbook dresses this up a bit by defining evolution as “the totality of all changes that have occurred in organisms from the beginnings of life on earth to the present day.” That means nothing more than “change” in a biological context.
Here is how a prominent evolutionist defines evolution: “Biological evolution … is change in the properties of populations of organisms that transcend the lifetime of a single individual.” http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolution-definition.html (quoting Douglas J. Futuyma in Evolutionary Biology, Sinauer Associates 1986).
Under this vacuous definition, the death of a single organism represents a change to the population of the organism, because the gene pool of the population changes in a way that transcends the lifetime of the individual. Merely swatting a fly constitutes evolution under this definition!
The purpose of these vacuous redefinitions is to insulate evolution from disproof. It is now accepted that individuals simply do not evolve, so evolution is redefined to be vague population changes instead. It becomes a classic bait-and-switch: students are baited with a vacuous definition and which is later switched to mean something else later.
Not even the term “Darwinism” itself has survived. Its defenders created the unscientific term “neo-Darwinism” to defend Darwin against the disproof.
No real science uses the amorphous “neo-” terminology to describe a scientific concept. Could you imagine scientists using a term like “neo-Newtonian” or “neo-Galilean”? Of course not.
In a recent debate, one evolutionist readily admitted that “neo-Darwinism” means a program rather than a scientifically defined term. That way the program can be promoted forever, regardless of the mounting evidence against it.
The list of redefined terms goes on. The American Museum of Natural History, the leading supporter of evolution in the United States, has changed the meaning of the word “human” as a way of promoting its exhibits. A skeleton with a tiny, ape-sized skull, dubbed “Turkana Boy,” is promoted as an early human even though its skull is far too small to be human.
Philosophy professor Gregory Alan Pesely observed: “What is most unsettling is that some evolutionary biologists have no qualms about proposing tautologies as explanations. One would immediately reject any lexicographer who tried to define a word by the same word, or a thinker who merely restated his proposition, or any other instance of gross redundancy; yet no one seems scandalized that men of science should be satisfied with a major principle which is no more than a tautology.”
To our friend who declared “Evolution is a fact!” our response is simple: “When evolution is defined as change, it is a fact; but beyond that it is fiction!” Our remaining classes explain why.
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You’ve just read the lecture….now it’s your turn to participate!
On our Discussion Board, you’ll share your thoughts and questions with your fellow students and instructor….. it’s simple!
Here’s just a sample of what you’ll find:
|MESSAGE TITLE: Reply to “Left also has facts”|
|POSTED BY: andy1|
|MESSAGE TEXT: You said “You cannot deduce the truth of a statement just by whether it is said by right-wingers or left-wingers.” I agree. But something is unlikely to be “scientific fact” if its believers have a strong political correlation. That’s the case for evolution theory — its proponents are strongly correlated to the political Left. You cite the fact that “most of those on death row are poor.” Nobody denies this. The believers in this fact are not strongly correlated to one end of the political spectrum. What conclusions may be drawn from that fact are disputed, of course. If I said that belief in a certain factual claim is highly correlated to one end of the political spectrum, is that claim likely to be “scientific fact”? I don’t think so. Andy|
|RESPONSE TO: The Left also has facts: I question the reasoning in the statement: But if evolution is a fact, then why is it so highly correlated to the political Left and to abandoning religion? No other recognition of a scientific “fact” shows such correlation. There are a lot of facts that the Left likes to cite much more than the Right. Eg, facts about inequality, racism, poverty, ecology, etc. Suppose I say, “Logging reduces the habitat for spotted owls.” or “Most of those on death row are poor.” Assuming that these are facts, they are a lot more likely to be said by left-wingers than right-wingers. The Right has its favorite facts also. You cannot deduce the truth of a statement just by whether it is said by right-wingers or left-wingers.|
Now, we’d like to hear from you ….
To get you started, tell us what you think about some of the following?
- Can there be a financial motivation for redefining “human”?
- Darwin used “survival of the fittest,” but his followers today do not. Why?
- When evolutionists claim “evolution is a fact,” what do they mean by “evolution”?
- Why do we observe a correlation between politics and evolution teaching requirements?