Thursday, February 16, 2006

Here is why this whole "evolution is just a theory" thing bothers me so much.

A scientific theory isn't "just a theory." It isn't something one man thought up while reading the newspaper in the morning. A scientific theory has to hold up to intense scrutiny. If any fact is found to falsify a scientific theory, the theory is wrong, no doubt about it. Every new fossil we find tests the theory of evolution. If an animal is found out of its natural time, evolutionarily speaking, i.e. a rabbit next to a dinosaur, then evolution is wrong. However, this hasn't happened in the one hundred and fifty years since Darwin proposed the theory. Sure there are gaps in the fossil record, that is one problem with fossils, not everything that dies is preserved. It takes very special and rare conditions for bones to fossilize. Still, we have fossils stretching back 3.5 billion years (an enormous number) and not a single one is out of place.

"The oldest known structured fossils are most likely stromatolites. Now understood to be formed by the entrapment of minerals by mucous-like sheets of cyanobacteria, the oldest of these formations dates from 3.5 billion years ago. Even older deposits (3.8 billion years old) of heavy carbon that are indicative of even earlier life are currently proposed as the remains of the earliest known life on Earth." ~Wikipedia article on fossils

You can even see a plausible chain of animals leading to the evolution of birds. You have a dinosaur. Then, a dinosaur that looks sort of like a bird, see Dromaeosaurids. Then you have a dinosaur with feathers, see Sinornithosaurus. Then you have a bird that looks a lot like a dinosaur, see Archaeopteryx. This is the sort of thing people are talking about when they say there is overwhelming evidence for (macro)evolution.

I'm not saying that God doesn't exist, there is no way for anyone to know if he does or not. Which is precisely why Intelligent Design is not science. There is no way to prove that the intelligent designer exists or doesn't exist. If you can't verify or falsify a theory, then it isn't science. Intelligent Design involves faith, by design, but faith is absent from science.


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