first off, i'm not addressing any singular post, but . . .
Scientific evidence merely means that it was obtained through the scientific method. Nothing more. It does not mean it's valid.
Environmental adaption is not evolution.
"The Theory of Evolution" is pretty much explained with it's name. It's a theory.
Technically there has never been a transitional species found; only creatures with slight variation in characteristics, but still completely congruent
within known species, or simply different species. Even if an ancient transitional species was found, it would sadly be next to impossible to confirm
this, because of the fallacies of fossil interpretation. Finding a transitional species alive n' kicking would be great.
Creationists are the ultimate sceptics, they will believe in men being raised from the dead and talking to ghosts that can impregnate virgins without
even a shred of evidence but when confronted with the evidence for biological evolution, they transform into staunch critics upholding the highest
burdens of proof ever constructed.
The theory of evolution is actually supported with a wide variety of evidence. Evolution is right up there with the basic principles of elementary
physics in terms of observational support. In the face of such overwhelming evidence, critics adopt standards of such unreasonableness that virtually
nothing can be considered true if we applied such standards across all areas of enquiry and knowledge.
The creationist argument is based on selectively rasing standards, if other preposed ideas were supported by evidence to the degree that biological
evolution is, creationists would certainly not doubt these ideas – for example the theory of gravity and the atomic theory.
However the theory of evolution is fare game for doubt because creationists selectively demand implausible degrees of evidence for its truth and
won’t accept anything less.
Common creationist arguments that utilize this tactic are numerous, for instance they often make the following claims
– There aren’t that many transitional fossils, scientists should have found more.
– Scientists can’t explain in full detail how life first arose or how sex evolved.
– Scientific claims are provisional and are always subject to disproof, why should we believe in evolution if it could be wrong
– Macro-evolution that produces grand and complex changes has never been “observed”
They make these statements even in the face of maintains of evidence, like the complete set of transitional fossils from a fox like creature to the
modern day horse. Notice how these facts can only truly be considered criticisms of evolutionary theory of we expected complete and total mathematical
proof for biological evolution. The problem of course is empirical science do not deal with formal proofs of absolute certainty, they must instead
rely on evidence and probability – like much of our everyday knowledge.
In normal scenarios creationists do not have such high standards of proof, if for instance they found a half eaten deer sounded by wolf paw prints the
reasonable conclusion is that the wolfs ate the dear. If subsequently they found wolfs near by covered in deer blood and analysed the vomit of one
wolf and found that it contained deer meat, that would be further evidence in support of the rather obvious conclusion that the wolfs at the deer.
Now if some wolf-loving sceptic wonted to protect the wolves from this charge of murder, he could adopt the creationist strategy and utilize
unreasonable high standards of proof to shield him away from criticism. He could argue for instance that because no one ‘observed’ the wolf eating
the deer, we can doubt the conclusion. For the sceptic, all the evidence pointing toward to wolves means nothing to him if we cannot directly observe
the event. He could also remark that the wolf theory leaves out certain details for instance, it doesn’t tell us exactly how many wolves were
involved or whether the wolves attacked from the left side or the right side or whether the dear happened to be looking down at its feet when the
attack occurred. They could argue the deer are faster then wolves so it’s impossible. The sceptic could argue that these ‘gaps in the theory’
rule out the wolf hypothesis.
Of course any reasonable person can see that the wolf sceptic sets his standards of proof way too high. We need not to directly observe the event, nor
explain every trite and inane detail in order to know the wolves did indeed eat the deer. The evidence of the eaten deer, the wolf paw prints and the
blood splattered wolves, the deer meat in the vomit and so on, all show without a doubt that the deer was eaten by the wolves.
Creationists use almost the exact same sort of arguments against evolution. When they argue that huge biological changes resulting from evolution have
never been observed, they do not realize that scientist need not directly observe single cell organisms becoming primates in order to reasonably
conclude that such an event occurred. Just as those who believe that the wolves ate the deer do not need directly observe the event to know that it
truly happened given the abundance of evidence supporting the claim.
When creationists argue there are gaps in the fossil record they fail to realize that geology predicts such gaps and his hardly reasonable to expect
every species that ever lived to become fossilized. They also fail to realize that the few transitional forms that have been found are solid evidence
for evolution. If for instance one could not find the paw prints of one particular blood covered wolf, it wouldn’t necessarily indicate that the
other wolfs whose paw prints were found did not eat the deer. The missing paw print of one wolf is not evidence that he didn’t eat, because the more
plausible explanation given the evidence of his blood covered fur is that he ate the deer but perhaps did not leave any prints or that his prints were
destroyed by the other wolves walking over them.
The creationist criticism that scientists cannot explain a very specific and complex event like the evolution of sex with absolute accuracy and then
remarking that this is evidence against evolution, is like claiming that because we cannot explain how the wolves caught the deer, the wolf scenario
must be false. Clearly such an argument would only hold any force for someone with unreasonable expectations of evidence, who for some reason believe
that we must prove everything with complete certainty. Even though the sort of accuracy is impossible outside of mathematics.
If one adopts this sort of stance of irrational doubt and applies it to any holy book, it’s clear that they fall short of this high standard of
proof. Indeed one of the most interesting things about creationists, is their ability to have such high standards for something like evolution while
at the same time having virtually no standards of poof for claims about religion – often justifying those beliefs with faith. One would think the
creationists would be consistent with his standards of proof but he sets evolution to such a high standard, because he finds implications inconsistent
with his religious worldview.
Basic reasoning and scepticism will suffice in debunking most religious claims, one can only imagine how quickly religious beliefs would be debunked
if one approached them in the extreme scepticism, the likes of which creationists brand us as evolution. We can only hope they apply this scepticism
to their religion one day….
[edit on 28-11-2008 by andre18]