A SERIES OF COMMENTS RELATED TO THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION

cevolutionWe are too often full of ourselves, making big fusses about small things — forgetting what matters. Therefore, in my last post the discussion got sidetracked.  Yet we can still use that discussion to make the larger point.

In a comment (on WHY DO CHILDREN NEED A RELIGIOUS EDUCATION?) replying to tildeb (here), Matthew introduced the subject of the Theory of Evolution.

What religious answers provide is a substitution of an honest “I don’t know” with a “But here is what I believe.”

Secular religious beliefs provide the same “But here is what I believe.” An honest Secularist will say, “I do not know.” Both worldviews begin with presuppositions. For instance. Where were you at the formation of the universe? You and I shall answer, “I was not there.” Where were you at the foundation of the earth? You and I shall answer, “I was not there.” Who or what determined the measurements of the universe and earth? You and I shall answer, “I do not know. But here is what I believe. . .” Your worldview beings with evolutionary presuppositions, whereas my worldview begins with creation presuppositions. Get my drift? You and I observe and measure the same facts, but we interpret those facts differently owing to different presuppositions and biases. There never was and never will be an objective scientist, whether Christian or Secularist. Both Christian and Secular scientists go into the lab with their respective religions. (from here)

With that  took off. Here is a sample.

I lend claims about reality – say, the explanatory model we call evolution – a very great deal of confidence not because I first believe it to be true. That’s the apologetic southern product of a northern facing bovine. I lend that confidence about a claim when the explanatory model produces applications, therapies, and technologies that seem to work for everyone everywhere all the time regardless of any contrary beliefs they may hold… compared to lending confidence to an explanatory model that produces no applications, no therapies, no technologies that work for anyone anywhere ever. The explanatory model of, say, evolution continues to consistently and reliably produce not just new knowledge but new and productive avenues of inquiry. It is a model that keeps on giving us insights into how reality operates, how life really does change over time demonstrable and falsifiable through the genetics of common ancestry. All of this has exactly NOTHING to do with my beliefs about it but work regardless. So it has nothing to do with the beliefs I bring with me when I consider the world’s arbitration of claims made about it. (from here)

Of course,   added that the creation model “proposes that a mysterious agency of Oogity Boogity! used a mechanism best described as POOF!ism to create stuff like life.” So   tried explain that the Theory of Evolution is also religious in nature.

Every student of logic knows that definition is a matter of importance in logical discourse. Everything is a religion. Believers and unbelievers cannot escape this fact. Everyone has religious views. The word “religion” derives from the Latinreligio, which simply means belief and devout — nothing more, nothing less. For example, is evolutionism a religion? First, does evolution have a system of beliefs? Yes. Second, are evolutionists devoted to that system of beliefs? Yes. Therefore, evolutionism is a religion. Likewise, creationism is a religion. Question. If the people wish to separate religion and state, which is a religious view, then why are we teaching the religion of evolutionism in our classrooms? (from here)

When that did not go over with , I tried a different tact.

Is the Theory of Evolution a fundamental pillar of biology? Not really. There is a lot written that suggests the Theory of Evolution is important, but very little practical use is made of the theory. Evolution is used to explain taxonomy, for example, but we don’t actually use Evolution to do taxonomy.

So if the Theory of Evolution is ever proven to be seriously flawed (assuming we ever learn enough to discover said flaw), scientists will just edit some textbooks. The difficulty will be admitting the mistake, not dealing with it. (from here)

, of course, did not reply with an example of a practical use for the Theory of Evolution. Here in this excerpt he was as about as polite as he could be.

Perhaps you missed the bit that NOTHING in biology makes sense without the evolutionary explanation. Nothing. But to you, this doesn’t really matter, does it? You seem perfectly comfortable to intellectually shrug as if of little consequence that this explanation works to directly inform applications, therapies, and technologies that – oh, by some strange coincidence, just so happens to work for everyone everywhere all the time. Meh. Probably some chance result. (from here)

Therefore, I offered  a direct challenge.

You say Theory of Evolution is a pillar of biology. Thus far, in support of that contention you have spouted a bunch of meaningless generalities. If you can be more specific, I will have learned something. If you cannot, maybe you will learn something.

So here is a challenge. A man walks into a doctor’s office. He is ill. Is there any illness that man might have that a doctor who believes in the Theory of Evolution would treat differently than a doctor who thinks the theory is not true? That is, how could a doctor apply Theory of Evolution, supposedly a fundamental theory of biology, in his practice? (from here)

 responded mostly with insults (here). Frankly, if  is not defending his religion, his behavior is inexplicable.

Anyway, the comment trail following WHY DO CHILDREN NEED A RELIGIOUS EDUCATION? is more interesting than the post and I suggest perusing it.

As to that challenge I gave . Anyone is welcome to reply at this post. If you can prove me wrong, then I will have learned something, but here is what I currently believe.

tildeb – I asked the question to make a point. The Theory of Evolution is only an explanatory model. If it happens to be a good explanation, that is okay. If not, so what?

An idea can be idea about something we believe true or something we don’t believe. In either case, we can share the idea. If I tell you a car is coming, and you don’t believe me, then if I am telling you the truth, you will wish you had gotten out of the way. Whether or not someone believes or does not believe the Theory of Evolution, however, is not of much consequence.

My point? It is what I have said before. The Theory of Evolution is not a pillar of Biology. It does not hold up anything. We hold it up by speculating upon whether or not it might be true. Except for the fact some people are overly impressed, the fact that our speculations are quite elaborate changes nothing.

Anyway, thank you for visiting. (from here)

When I look at the problem of educating our children, what concerns me is this. If we put parents in charge, then we put the people who are most likely to CARE in charge of the education of children. If we put politicians in charge, we put people who care too much about something else (like the Theory of Evolution or their pocketbooks) in charge.

46 thoughts on “A SERIES OF COMMENTS RELATED TO THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION

  1. Further more, Matthew’s assertion by quoting Richard’s Dawkins:
    “Richard Dawkins, who is an agnostic, accurately stated that evolution and creation cannot coexist. Two different religions and world views.”

    Is nothing more than the logical fallacy of Argumentum ad verecundiam.

    It seems to me that the assertion that intelligent design, or Denominations who support it, are incompatible with Christianity, or not Christian, as they do not support on Creationism reminds me of the story of the cooper who was having trouble closing up a barrel that he was making. To remedy this, he decided to put a boy inside to hold the head in place. The Plan worked incredibly! The Cooper drove on the hoops and finished the job; forgetting all about the young lady or how was going to get him out.

    Like

  2. How do you think “I imagine” things, CS? I’m not sure that we’re in disagreement. Perhaps that’s because you’re not being clear and/or I’m not being clear. I’m trying to say that Old Earth science can be comfortably reconciled with the Genesis creation story. Are you saying something different? If so, what does the Flood have to do with it?

    Like

  3. Pingback: « DeHavelle.com

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