Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins

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Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins » Theory of evolution » Is Evolution Scientific?

Is Evolution Scientific?

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1 Re: Is Evolution Scientific? on Wed 26 May 2010 - 10:53

That is not the scientific method. The scientific methods is thus:

  1. Observation of a phenomenon.
  2. Initial hypothesis explaining the phenomenon.
  3. Making a testable prediction from the hypothesis.
  4. Falsification test.
  5. If it fails, the hypothesis has been disproven. If it succeeds, it has been evidenced.
  6. Repeat 3-5; the hypothesis becomes a theory, and, eventually, an established scientific fact.


How does evolution do this? Well, let's take an example.

  1. The initial phenomenon could be as specific as "all mammals have fur" or as general as "biological diversity exists".
  2. The initial hypothesis is "there existed a species from which all mammals are descended, and evolution by natural selection is the mechanism by which the plethora of mammalian species exist today".
  3. The testable hypothesis can be anything from predicting further anatomical homology, genetic evidence (e.g., human chromosome #2 being a fusion of two separate chromosomes found in other Great Apes, complete with extra centromeres and telomeres), fossil mammals showing both the same features and common ancestry between two groups of mammals (e.g., Ida), vestigial features (e.g., the recurrent laryngeal nerve, or the vas deferens), etc.
    But let's say the prediction is that speciation occurs. After all, if it doesn't, the theory of common descent doesn't work.
  4. The falsification test is, basically, any attempt to show that speciation occurs. And, lo and behold, it does. We see species split into several independent species naturally in the wild (e.g., all extant lemurs exist on Madagascar), accidentally in human habitat (e.g., nylon-eating bacteria), and artificially in the lab (e.g., fruit flies, E. coli). This aren't just hypothetical past events, these are actual, observable effects.


The evidence for the evolution of all extant species from a single common ancestor is staggering. It really is. It was a valid hypothesis at Darwin's time, quickly became a respected scientific theory, and has since become a scientific fact. It's still a theory of course, but its truth is as undisputed in the scientific community as the existence of atoms: the evidence is so strong that the very nature of reality as we understand it would have to be overturned for evolution to be disproven.

Basically, the theory of common descent is a valid, testable explanation for vast swathes of data and observations, and is supported by an unparalleled variety and plethora of evidence from virtually every field of scientific endeavour.

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2 Re: Is Evolution Scientific? on Wed 26 May 2010 - 14:04

elshamah888 wrote:You mean the scientific findings, which are intepreted as evidence for common ancestor.
No. Evidence is evidence. The only subjectivity is the skill with which the proponent can justify a fact's stats as evidence for a given claim. Whether it is or not is objective.

elshamah888 wrote:I can say exactly the oposit. The evidence against neodarwinism is staggering.....

http://www.truthinscience.org.uk/site/content/view/143/65/

Comparative biochemistry and cell biology does not give clear evidence for macro-evolution. In fact, recent discoveries such as the non-universality of the genetic code are strong arguments against common ancestry. The patterns of similarity and difference in living organisms are fully consistent with design.
TiS is a Creationist think-tank if ever I saw one. The author(s) fail to understand why homology evidences evolution, instead comparing it to architectural similarity (which, as it happens does evidence a sort of 'evolution' of architecture). They fail to understand that the evidence is not an attack on Creationism, despite what their arrogant persecution complex might lead them to believe (they all but state that they support 'teaching the controversy'; one almost wonders why they don't advocate astrology, Galanic medicine, etc...). Obviously it could all be the work of a designer, but the evidence does not support that conclusion. It supports a common ancestry.

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3 Re: Is Evolution Scientific? on Wed 26 May 2010 - 14:48

elshamah888 wrote:
Wiccan_Child wrote:No. Evidence is evidence. The only subjectivity is the skill with which the proponent can justify a fact's stats as evidence for a given claim. Whether it is or not is objective.

http://creation.com/origin-of-life-and-the-homochirality-problem-is-magnetochiral-dichroism-the-solution

The experiment is great experimental chemistry, but as usual, the difference between creationists and evolutionists is not the data, but their interpretation, because of their different presuppositions. Creationists dispute no observations by evolutionists, but often vigorously oppose the conclusions evolutionists draws from their observations.
It is only the Creationists who advocate this "same evidence, different interpretation" idea, because the Creationists are desperate to be seen as being on par with scientists. You don't see astrologers pining that astronomers interpret the same evidence differently, nor homoeopaths that proper doctors are misinterpreting the evidence, etc.

elshamah888 wrote:
Wiccan_Child wrote:
elshamah888 wrote:I can say exactly the oposit. The evidence against neodarwinism is staggering.....

http://www.truthinscience.org.uk/site/content/view/143/65/

TiS is a Creationist think-tank if ever I saw one. The author(s) fail to understand why homology evidences evolution, instead comparing it to architectural similarity (which, as it happens does evidence a sort of 'evolution' of architecture). They fail to understand that the evidence is not an attack on Creationism, despite what their arrogant persecution complex might lead them to believe (they all but state that they support 'teaching the controversy'; one almost wonders why they don't advocate astrology, Galanic medicine, etc...). Obviously it could all be the work of a designer, but the evidence does not support that conclusion. It supports a common ancestry.

http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/darwin-s-theory-of-evolution-f3/homology-a-problem-not-a-proof-for-evolution-t259.htm#863

We must conclude that homology is at best ambiguous in its support of evolution and does not exclude creation. Phylogenies based on DNA and protein homologies in particular are often incompatible with phylogenies based on other methods such as embryology and the fossil record. There is a tendency on the part of evolutionists to make much of homologies that are consistent with evolutionary dogma and to ignore those which are incompatible.
Such as? As I've said before, evidence for evolution does not necessarily have to be direct evidence against Creationism; it is only the Creationists persecution complex that demands this.

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4 Re: Is Evolution Scientific? on Wed 26 May 2010 - 15:28

elshamah888 wrote:
Wiccan_Child wrote:
It is only the Creationists who advocate this "same evidence, different interpretation" idea, because the Creationists are desperate to be seen as being on par with scientists.

There is no such a dispute of " creationists against scientists ". There is a dispute of " creationists against evolutionists ", which is entirely different. There are many scientists that believe in creation, and many others, that believe in evolution.

Here you have a long list of scientists, which did or do believe in creation :

http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/christian-apologists-scientists-and-authors-f9/the-world-s-greatest-creation-scientists-t149.htm
The percentage of scientists who believe in the theory of common descent is well in excess of 99%. Every major (and virtually all minor) scientific organisations and institutions have explicitly expressed their support for the theory, and condemned Creationism as religious pseudo-science. A tiny fraction of scientists, and an even tinier fraction of biologists, actually reject the theory. This is no surprise: there are people today who reject the existence of atoms, the truth of quantum mechanics or relativity, even the Earth's shape (Flat Earthers are alive an well).

But if you insist on playing the numbers game, I see your list and raise you Project Steve. As an added bonus, I submit to you the Clergy Letter Project: the vast majority of scientists, and the vast majority of theists (the two groups not being mutually exclusive, of course), have explicitly expressed their rejection Creationism and support of the theory of common descent.

So, yes, it very much is a case of 'Creationists versus scientists', since virtually no scientist is a Creationist.


elshamah888 wrote:that is quit a equivocation of your conception, and the comparison does not fit.
How is it equivocation?

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5 Re: Is Evolution Scientific? on Fri 28 May 2010 - 14:26

elshamah888 wrote:Scientific truth is not determined by consensus. In science the majority can be, and often have been, wrong. There is a great deal of peer pressure in the science community, which can stifle objections to a popular theory. New advances in science often begin with just a few scientists who are prepared to risk questioning the reigning paradigm.
Perhaps, but that doesn't mean all scientists who are prepared to question the reigning paradigm are right. Most really are just crackpots. The scientific consensus is not averse to change; indeed, it works so well precisely because it encourages change. Scientists aren't idiots. They're well aware that their hypotheses and theories can be wrong: they make a living out of trying to prove their ideas wrong.

elshamah888 wrote:1) Many scientists hold that science seeks to explain the universe purely in terms of observable natural mechanisms. Anything which involves God or the supernatural is therefore outside of science. They claim that theories involving creation or intelligent design are unscientific. Darwinism is the only theory we have which claims to explain the origin of life and its diversity without involving God or the supernatural, and so is seen by many scientists as the only scientific theory of origins. Many scientists also believe that science is the only way we have of knowing anything, and finding truth. Therefore the only scientific theory of origins must be true, even if there is strong evidence against it.
Non sequitur. First, few scientists consider the supernatural to be necessarily unscientific in the way you make out; most, myself included, exclude the supernatural as unscientific because, by definition, if something interfered with the universe, it isn't supernatural. If ghosts really do exist, then they are interfering with the universe (they emit light and sound, they make rooms cold, etc), and, by the definitions of 'natural' and 'supernatural', ghosts aren't supernatural. Neutrinos are far less interactive than ghosts (assuming they exist), yet we consider neutrinos to be 'natural' and ghosts to be 'supernatural'.
Basically, the distinction is a meaningless one. Science is 'natural' inasmuch as the 'supernatural' is a nonsensical concept; if ghosts really are the true explanation for a given phenomenon, then science will, eventually, settle on that explanation, and it will not be a 'supernatural' explanation, but, rather, a natural one.

Second, we claim that Creationism and ID are unscientific because they are completely void of the key things that make something scientific: falsifiability, and evidence. That they involve the supernatural is irrelevant.

Third, you final statement ("Therefore [evolution] must be true") is a non sequitur. The absence of any alternative explanation doesn't mean the one we have must be true. No scientist worth his salt would claim that. Science is built upon the foundation that theories can be wrong.


elshamah888 wrote:Richard Dawkins writes in The Blind Watchmaker: “Even if there were no actual evidence in favor of the Darwinian theory, we should still be justified in preferring it over all rival theories.”
I remember that part of the book, and I remember thinking "I bet a Creationist is going to quote that out of context". Thank you, elshamah888, for proving me right.
For what it's worth, Dawkins was highlighting the theoretical strength of the theory, and the utter lack of any other theory (or even hypothesis) on par with it.


elshamah888 wrote:
2) There is a great deal of peer pressure within the scientific community, and to some extent this is institutionalised in the process of peer review which all scientific papers must go through before they are published. Scientists' careers depend on publishing their work and they can only publish work which their colleagues approve of. It is very difficult to publish papers which contain alternative theories to evolution.
There is indeed peer pressure within the community: for truth. The community mercilessly criticises any and all papers put before it (whether they support evolution, creationism, atomic theory, or whatever). Since everyone is criticising everyone else, only that which is true can stand on its own: everything else, all the false conclusions and erroneous statistics, is found out by the scientists criticising it. If something is true (e.g., a paper concluding God created the Earth 6000 years ago), then the scientists won't be able to demonstrate that it's false, and it withstands peer review.

That's how science works. To criticise this process is to reject all of modern science. Which, of course, you don't. You're just railing against the fact that your idea isn't being accepted by the big, bad scientists. Could it possibly be that, despite your fervent belief to the contrary, your idea really isn't scientific? That it really doesn't have any substance beyond your personal, private, religious beliefs?


elshamah888 wrote:Recently, a single such paper was published in a scientific journal, and peer pressure began to be replaced by persecution of the editor of the journal. His website describes how attempts were made to ruin his academic career.
Source? Can you give me the name of the journal, the name of the editor, the website, and the title of the paper, please?

elshamah888 wrote:3) Most scientists are highly specialised and have in depth knowledge of only a single field. Even if they realise that Darwinism is flawed in their own field, they may assume that in other areas it is well supported by evidence.
And every scientists in his or her own field would publish the refutation of evolution. Elshamah888, if someone successfully refuted the theory of common descent, they would be hailed as one of the most brilliant and successful scientists of all time! That scientist would be on par with Newton, Einstein, Hawking, Schrödinger, Darwin, Pasteur, and all the other greats.

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6 Re: Is Evolution Scientific? on Tue 1 Jun 2010 - 14:29

elshamah888 wrote:
Wiccan_Child wrote:Source? Can you give me the name of the journal, the name of the editor, the website, and the title of the paper, please?

you just might click the link to the website of the text above. here it goes :

http://www.rsternberg.net/
Ah yes, Richard Sternberg. He came under criticism for deciding to peer-review a paper published by an organisation he had ties with (a dishonest practice in itself), despite have far more qualified editors to hand (showing his reluctance to get anyone else involved). The paper itself didn't discuss the data it claimed to, and was of insufficient quality to be published.
The peer-review process worked, despite Sternberg trying to go behind its back: a poor-quality paper that was only published because of the dishonest and biased attempts of one editor, was subjected to scrutiny and thrown out as unscientific twaddle. The whole Sternberg affair just goes to show what a Creationist is capable of: they commit underhanded and dishonest acts of subterfuge to try and make their position seem anything but religious, and then cry foul whenever they get caught red handed.

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