The Four Failures of Macro Evolution

Reblogged from Thinking in Christ

Science is observable, testable, and repeatable. If something is not all three of these things, then it is not science, but rather a collection of just so stories. Is evolutionary theory science, or a collection of just so stories.

  1. Evolution fails to explain life. In fact, modern medicine is entirely based on a simple fact proven by Pasteur many years ago —life does not come from non-life. This is why we Pasteurize milk, it’s why we wash our hands before eating, and it’s why surgeons sanitize their instruments before they operate. If life could come from non-life, the entire medial world would be thrown on its ear in short order. The only answer evolution can answer is that life originated under very different conditions than exist today. These conditions can’t be explained, much less replicated. Here, then evolutionary theory falls outside science and into the realm of just so story.
  2. Evolution fails to explain species. Every time some scientist changes the color of rat’s fur, there are huge articles about how this proves the theory of evolution. Here, at last, is a repeatable experiment showing the mechanism evolution “used,” to create new species. Only all the evidence is actually on the other side. Men have been breeding dogs, cats, and peas for thousands of years, and no new species has ever resulted from this out and out genetic manipulation. Evolution can’t produce one new species, so clearly no repeatable experiment has been devised to show how evolutionary processes can actually produce new species. Evolution, then, falls into the realm of just so story here.

Read more…

Whereas the blogger I have linked to here thinks that the Theory of Evolution is not science, I tend to have a more neutral view of the Theory of Evolution. I think the theory is interesting, but unproven. What bothers me is not the theory. What bothers me is the religious devotion to the assertion that the Theory of Evolution is  proven science. As the post the Thinking in Christ post demonstrates, that “proof” is vastly overstated.

About Citizen Tom

I am just an average citizen interested in promoting informed participation in the political process.
This entry was posted in Culture War, US Blogs. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to The Four Failures of Macro Evolution

  1. Russ White says:

    Don’t confuse micro and macro evolution… Micro evolution is a scientific theory. Macro evolution at its narrowest –new species can come about through repeated instances of micro evolution, or through random genetic changes– has been proven false. Macro evolution in its broadest sense –all life as we know it came about through evolution– isn’t science, but religious belief.

    Much confusion comes about because of the (often intentional) mixing of these ideas together in one big cauldron called “evolution.”

  2. Citizen Tom says:

    Merely by defining the terminology, micro and macro evolution, one provides an argument against the Theory of Evolution. Of course, that is why Creationists developed and promote the terms.

    The reason I take a neutral position is this: all scientific theories begin as unproven.To the extent people insist without rigorous proof that the Theory of Evolution has been proven, that is not science. However, doing the research and mathematical modeling that would be required to prove the Theory of Evolution is science.

    On the other hand, the Theory of Intelligent Design is religion, not science. The hypothesis is too ambiguously stated. God did what to create life?

    God may be the ultimate cause, but we don’t have a prayer of mathematically modeling God. Thus, we cannot mathematically model the cause and effect relationships suggested by Intelligent Design. That’s why the Theory of Intelligent Design generally revolves around “proving” that evolution could not have happened. Yet while it may prove true that we did not evolve from simpler life forms, the “fact” we did not evolve from simpler life forms would not prove Intelligent Design. It would simply leave us with yet another mystery unanswered by science.

    • Russ White says:

      “Of course, that is why Creationists developed and promote the terms.”

      Actually, it’s evolutionists who have come up with these terms. Further, macro and micro evolution have real meanings, and are clearly distinguishable from one another. The first thing you must do to solve a problem is to classify it properly.

      “The reason I take a neutral position is this: all scientific theories begin as unproven.”

      There is a difference between unproven, and unprovable. That creatures change in reply to their environment is proven. That these changes can result in a new species being formed is unproven, and there is a massive amount of evidence against such an idea. That these sorts of changes can result intelligence, or morals, or civilization, is unprovable. No amount of “scientific evidence” can prove our senses are reliable, no amount of “scientific evidence” or “mathematical modeling” can prove the value of human life, or that the scientific method, itself, is a valid way of discovering reality.

      BTW, your classification of evolution as “science,” and creationism as “religion,” is more than 50% of the problem.

      Look at it this way. In one corner, we have a group who claims the world was created by an all powerful, all knowing being who is eternally existent. In the other, we have a group who claims everything you see was created entirely by random chance and nothing else. Neither of these, as it turns out, is provable. The first can be shown to be reasonable, the second can be shown to be reasonable, but neither is provable in the scientific, mathematical, or philosophical senses (“QED”). We can argue over the degree to which these two are reasonable versions of reality (this turns out to be a worldview problem as much as it is a scientific one), but neither are really “provable.”

      To say, “this one is based on fact, and that one on faith,” is simply wrong. The inevitable result of doing so is a “god of the gaps” –God may only exist at the will and power of science. The more science proves, the less God exists. You’ve put God in the science box, and he may not go beyond the bounds science allows.

      BTW, as an aside –in both of these science still works. Science != naturalism, so get that out of your head, no matter how much it’s repeated and insisted on. Science is a method, not a religion. Naturalism is a religion, not a method. Science, and the scientific method, is, in fact, more fully supported by Christian thought than by naturalistic thought. To get back to the main thread…

      You could answer this, “no, theology only deals with the spiritual, and science with the physical.” If you really believe this, then you’ve not read any modern science, nor have you read the Scriptures. On the one side, science is increasingly claiming to have solved the problem of where “mind” comes from, and everything that goes with it. Science is increasingly reductionist –reducing all things to the physical. On the other side, the Scriptures clearly state God created physical things, and interacts with those physical things. God exists in history. If God didn’t create those things, or God doesn’t exist in history, then God doesn’t exist. You can’t divorce Christianity from the physical.

      “Oh, but Genesis 1 and 2 are just spiritual, figurative statements, they’re not designed to be real descriptions of how God created the world.” Are you so certain that you’re willing to stake your entire Christian life on it? If Genesis 1 is figurative, then Matthew 28 is also figurative, and there is no Christianity. If each time science disagrees with the Scriptures, the Scriptures must be figurative, you might as well abandon your Christian faith now, and get it over with. There is more proof that dead men don’t rise than there will ever be that life came from nothing, and the process of evolution resulted in all the things we now see.

      Or are you saying that faith is belief in the rising of Christ in spite of the scientific evidence? That faith is believing in things you know to be factually false in spite of that knowledge? If so, then are you saying that you don’t have enough faith to believe in Genesis 1, but you do have enough faith to believe in Matthew 28? Why should this be? Again, there is far more evidence that dead men don’t rise than there ever will be of evolution being the cause of all that we see. But this line of reasoning is entirely based on a false view of faith. Faith is clearly not “believing in things which go against the facts.” Otherwise there would be no Scriptures, and Saul wouldn’t have been converted on the road to Damascus.

      Christianity isn’t a “heart faith,” it’s a “heart and mind faith.” As God himself says, “Love the Lord with all your heart, _and_ all your _mind_…” Or as Paul says in Romans 12, “Be transformed by the renewing of your _mind_…”

  3. Russ White says:

    “On the other hand, the Theory of Intelligent Design is religion, not science. The hypothesis is too ambiguously stated. God did what to create life?”

    He did what the Scriptures say. But you’re mixing Creationism up with intelligent design at this point. The thesis of intelligent design is this: “All the evidence points to an intelligent designer.” This is a propositional statement, and thus is provable in the same way evolution is. If intelligent design isn’t science, then evolution as a theory of how all things came to be isn’t science. They both fall or stand together.

    If intelligent design shouldn’t be taught in schools, then neither should evolutionary creationism, or Evolution as the grand unifying theory of the origin of all life.

    “God may be the ultimate cause, but we don’t have a prayer of mathematically modeling God. Thus, we cannot mathematically model the cause and effect relationships suggested by Intelligent Design.”

    Nor can you prove the relationships suggested by Evolution. Yet you call one science, and the other faith.

    “That’s why the Theory of Intelligent Design generally revolves around “proving” that evolution could not have happened.”

    Again you’ve confused Intelligent Design and Creationism. Intelligent design makes a positive statement, but it must attack Evolution on both positive and negative grounds. You only see half the picture because that’s the half you’re being fed. Read a bit more, and you’ll find there are positive statements on the ID side, as well, and there are proofs offered of those positive statements, and those proofs are based on observations from the real world.

    The reality is that the best solution is to understand that the origin of life is a mystery, and any theory that postulates what that origin looks like is a religion, and that religions must be judged on grounds other than scientific. Science injecting itself as the arbiter of truth in these matters is damaging to science itself in the long run, not to the religions it is competing against.

    Science is a welter weight fighting in the heavy weight ring in this battle. Given the good real science has done when it’s limited to its rightful realm, is this really the outcome you desire?

  4. Citizen Tom says:

    Russ – Very interesting and thoughtful comments. Even if for the most part we did not agree, I would appreciate what you have said. However, we are largely in agreement. I too think:
    1. Science is method, not a basis for religion. In fact, science is a consequence of religion. Because Christians do not believe God is the author of confusion, we look for order in the universe.
    2. That we cannot divorce Christianity from the way we perceive the physical world. To act positively upon others, we must strive to see the world as Jesus sees it.
    3. That the origin of life remains a mystery.
    4. That where it speaks on an issue, the Bible is the final authority. When I compare what the Bible says with what people infer from the Theory of Evolution and the origin of the earth, I admit I sometimes scratch my head. I know the Bible is right, but I still don’t know how reconcile some of the things we have discovered with what the Bible says, and sometimes the Bible and science do appear to contradict each other. Yet except for Jesus, none of us were there when God created the universe. So we don’t actually know in detail what happened. All we know is that when God decides it is time for us to understand we will eventually understand.
    5. Science requires a testable hypothesis.

    Thus, we do have areas of significant agreement. Unfortunately, we humans have a tendency to always want more, and this drive for perfection can easily get us into trouble. Consider what demonizing an opponent involves. What we do when we demonize an opponent is we inappropriately attribute beliefs, motives, and deeds to our opponent.

    Look at it this way. In one corner, we have a group who claims the world was created by an all powerful, all knowing being who is eternally existent. In the other, we have a group who claims everything you see was created entirely by random chance and nothing else.

    Here we have a logical fallacy, creating a straw man. To destroy our opponent’s arguments, we exaggerate his views.

    Let’s consider the Theory of Evolution with less acrimony. The Theory of Evolution does not describe creation by random chance. We are not talking about a monkey sitting at typewriter “accidentally” writing War and Peace. Instead, the Theory of Evolution describes a process that overcomes random chance, that is, how the letters the monkey types that are needed to produce War and Peace make their way into the book, and the letters that are not wanted in the book find their way into the circular file.

    When we conduct science, you are correct in suggesting we must at some point formulate a testable hypothesis, and you are right again when you say neither evolutionists nor creationists have formulated such a hypothesis. However, that is not the end of it.

    The evolutionists, beginning with Darwin, have postulated a cause and effect mechanism. Unfortunately, we do not have the capacity to reproduce the cause and watch what happens.
    1. We don’t have the technology.
    2. We don’t live long enough.
    3. The Theory of Evolution may just be wrong, and this is one of those cases where it is hard to prove the hypothesis not true. Therefore, even though such a claim is wrongheaded, the true believers point to the “preponderance of evidence” as proof.

    With the Theory of Intelligent Design, the Creationists have not even postulated a cause and effect relationship. With the Theory of Intelligent Design, the Creationists have postulated a Doer, not a cause and effect relationship. So the Creationists have no scientific hypothesis that they can test. Logically, so long as Creationists focus on the Designer and not the mechanism of creation, they never will have a testable hypothesis. Hence, instead of doing science, Creationists will have voluntarily reduced themselves to role of critics.

    Anyway, I do not think government should be in the education business. If the majority of politicians did not insist upon foisting the Theory of Evolution as proven science upon other people’s children, except as a matter of personal choice (what do we want to believe?), the debate over the The Theory of Evolution would be of little consequence. As it is, the Theory of Evolution illustrates the stupidity of mixing politicians with science, religion, and education. It makes for a witch’s brew.

    • Russ White says:

      Whether or not this is a “straw man,” depends on what your view of “natural selection” is. Let’s examine the case a little more carefully.

      (An aside –within this post, when I use the term “Evolution,” with a capital E, I am talking about the grand unifying theory that everything came from nothing, life arose from non-life, and sepcies came about through random chance).

      You say, “The Theory of Evolution does not describe creation by random chance. We are not talking about a monkey sitting at typewriter “accidentally” writing War and Peace. Instead, the Theory of Evolution describes a process that overcomes random chance, that is, how the letters the monkey types that are needed to produce War and Peace make their way into the book, and the letters that are not wanted in the book find their way into the circular file.”

      Suppose you take a set of monkeys and put them at typewriters. Suppose you take their output, which is presumed to be random, and you cut and paste different pieces together to “find” the works of Shakespeare (or an Obama speech, take your pick). What you are claiming is that since the input is random, the output is “natural.”

      But wait –where did the filter come from?

      Why should selection for life, or for more adapted life, be “better,” within the framework of evolution itself? Where does “life is better than nonlife,” come from? Why should it be so? Why should the “better adapted” survive?

      If the “better adapted” should always survive, then why do we still have liberals in our midst? :-)

      But seriously, if nature is truly random, then the fittest do not survive any more than the nonfittest. Survival is just as random as the mutations themselves.

      In other words, if you have the randomness that generates the changes Evolution needs, then you can’t have the filter Evolution needs. If nature is random, then it doesn’t select for survival. On the other hand, if you have the filter evolution needs, then nature has a target –survival of life– and hence nature isn’t random in the first place.

      “With the Theory of Intelligent Design, the Creationists have not even postulated a cause and effect relationship.”

      Yes, they have. God created, what God created exists. Now you can say that this isn’t provable in the _scientific_ sense –but that’s my point. It’s no more or less provable in the _scientific_ sense than Evolution itself is. You can find instances where the proposition is reasonable, but you can’t _prove_ it.

      So, go back to what I said in the first place. Evolution, as a religion, is reasonable within its own framework. Creationism, as a religion, is reaonsable within its own framework. But you’re still trying to argue that evolution is science, and creationism is not, and hence that Evolution is provable but unproven, and Creationism is simply not provable.

      In other words, as soon as science figures Evolution out more fully, we can safely abandon our Chrsitian faith (unless we find it useful or effective).

      I will go back to my original stance, and stay there. Neither Evolution, as a grand unifying theory of how everything came to be, nor Creationism, are scientific theories. Evolution, in the sense of a grand unifying theory, is a religious belief system, based on faith, with unprovable pressuppositions.

  5. Citizen Tom says:

    Russ – What you are illustrating is why scientists and engineers generally refused to mix science and religion. Once we get into “The Bible Says” mode we stop discussing the data (Instead, we disgust the data. :grin: ), considering what the data suggests, and evaluating how the data supports or undermines a particular theory. In fact, we get into these doomsday scenarios.

    In other words, as soon as science figures Evolution out more fully, we can safely abandon our Chrsitian faith (unless we find it useful or effective).

    Plenty of people think it possible to reconcile Christianity with the Theory of Evolution. Are they right? :roll: All I know is trying to fight or justify a scientific theory based upon the Bible serves no useful purpose, and our government should not be in that business. Let the people who support the Theory of Evolution finance it and teach it to their own children.

    In nature, what we observe appears “random” within certain parameters. For example, mutations are not equally good and bad. Just as most of the letters monkeys would type would be counterproductive to the publication of “War and Peace,” most mutations are bad. Therefore, to speculate that survival of the fitness leads to evolutionary progress requires a wild leap of logic. Yet that is where Darwin’s observations led him, requiring selection criteria that is anything but random. To make evolution work almost requires God’s direction.

    Nevertheless, the Theory of Evolution proposes a cause and effect relationship for species differentiation. Does the Theory of Evolution (the survival of the fittest) explain how life began? No. The Theory of Evolution only takes one small step backwards towards the Ultimate Cause, God. And since God is a Thinking Being who by definition is beyond our understanding, science cannot model His behavior. God is therefore outside the scope of the Scientific Method. That is why the Theory of Evolution does not address God’s role.

    As Christians, we are compelled to consider the relationship between what the Bible says and the Theory of Evolution. However, the scientific method is not germane to that part of the discussion, and that is where The Theory of Intelligent Design breaks down. The Theory of Intelligent Design hypothesizes an Ultimate Cause, not a cause and effect relationship. Does the Theory of Intelligent Design explain how life began? Yes, but the Theory of Intelligent Design does not propose a cause and effect mechanism, and science is about modeling cause and effect mechanisms, not defining and arguing for the Ultimate Cause, God.

    • Russ White says:

      It seems we are working from two different definitions of evolution, and two different definitions of science. You say, for instance, that evolution doesn’t purport to show how life began, but according to Wikipedia:

      “Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.[1] Life on Earth originated and then evolved from a universal common ancestor approximately 3.7 billion years ago. -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution”

      So evolution includes not only the speciation, but also the individual molecules, and the origin of life. The second definition we don’t share is what science is. You seem to say it’s modeling processes in a cause and effect relationship, but:

      “Science (from Latin scientia, meaning “knowledge”) is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science”

      Which says nothing about cause and effect, just testable hypothesis (and testable means you can set up a way to test your hypothesis and then actually test it repeatedly and consistently).

      Examining fossils to arrange them in an order you think might have represented their evolutionary progress isn’t science. You can’t observe the animals breeding, you can’t observe their change over time, you can’t see them die and compare the bones generation to generation. You can’t even create the desired sequences in a lab, or under repeatable conditions.

      Evolution cannot explain why it should be that we can trust our senses in just those cases they need to be trusted to prove Evolution itself (but not in all cases), nor why we can trust our ability to think (since it is the product of random chemical interactions). When Evolution assumes these things, it is operating on faith, not knowledge (no system can prove it’s own presuppositions), and hence Evolution, in these areas, is a religion, not science.

      To make any sense out of this, you must divide micro evolution from macro evolution, and even break down the difference between macro evolution in its narrow sense (still within the realm of science, but unproven), and Evolution in the broad sense (outside the realm of science). You might think those are artificial divides, but moving from micro evolution to macro evolution requires one logical leap, and from macro evolution to Evolution requires an extra-logical leap.

  6. Russ White says:

    “That is why the Theory of Evolution does not address God’s role.”

    This is another point on which we disagree –Evolution does address God’s role, even in the simplest sense. If you say, “this is how God created,” you’re defining God’s role in creation –guiding otherwise apparently natural processes. By going to this point, you leave God out of the physical realm, pushing him, instead, into the spiritual only realms. You’ve put God in the “science box” –God only operates where science can’t provide an explanation. The more science progresses, the smaller God is.

    Second, by saying, “this is the process God used to create,” you’re making theological and hermeneutical statements as well. Theologically, you’re saying that the Fall didn’t involve physical death. Hermeneutically, you’re saying the Scriptures aren’t trustable at face value. If Genesis 1 and 2 are a myth made up by God to provide an explanation for people who “couldn’t understand science,” then Matthew 28 is a also a myth made up for people who “couldn’t understand science.”

    Your neat divisions quickly fall apart.

  7. Citizen Tom says:

    Russ – When I have to debate with either you or my brother, I get worn down. In self defense, I have to pace myself. Nonetheless, you have raised some interesting issues, and I will deal with them. How? I have been doing a series, WHY DO I BELIEVE IN JESUS? In Part 5, I think I will find it appropriate to explain what I think of the relationships between Christianity, religion, and science. Your comments will, of course, be most welcome.

Comments are closed.