"Evolution is Just a Theory!" Um, no


#1

That evolution is untrue and just a “theory” is a widespread and annoying misconception. I have seen it appear on this board many times.

Let’s clear this up right now with a few links from a PBS documentary web site and Berkeley:

"Evolving Ideas: Isn’t Evolution Just a Theory?

When we use the word “theory” in everyday life, we usually mean an idea or a guess, but the word has a much different meaning in science. This video examines the vocabulary essential for understanding the nature of science and evolution and illustrates how evolution is a powerful, well-supported scientific explanation for the relatedness of all life."

pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/11/2/e_s_1.html

Please view the video that is on the PBS web site. You need either Quicktime or Real Player.

"Misconception: “Evolution is ‘just’ a theory.”

Response: Scientific theories are explanations that are based on lines of evidence, enable valid predictions, and have been tested in many ways. In contrast, there is also a popular definition of theory—a “guess” or “hunch.” These conflicting definitions often cause unnecessary confusion about evolution."


evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/misconceps/IIAjusttheory.shtml

Clarkal


#2

Is this a point in regards to the actual validity of evolution or is it a point in regards to the definition of the word “theory” in scientific exploration/research?

I watched the PBS special, it talked about gravity and evolution as if they were identical with regards to evidence. Yet gravity is a constant on Earth both in the past and now.

To present equal evidence with regards to evolution one would need a time machine to go back to the begining of the planet. The average person has a different use of the word theory that is more in line with ‘idea’ and less in line with scientific investigation. It almost seems as if the scientific community is perhaps offended by this?

-D


#3

If we evolved from apes, then why are apes still around? Why would one group of apes evolve into man but not another group?

[quote=] … gravity is a constant on Earth both in the past and now …
[/quote]

Yes. Unless the mass of the earth significantly increased or decreased (which there is no evidence to suggest that it did), gravity would remain constant.


#4

[quote=Sir Knight]If we evolved from apes, then why are apes still around? Why would one group of apes evolve into man but not another group?
[/quote]

Quite simple. According to the theory, we didn’t evolve from apes. We have an ancestor (that is no longer around) in common. We are “cousins” to apes.

Kris


#5

Because God created into apes with His creation process of evolution. We did not evolve from apes that are around today, very different. There are some experts on evolution in this forum that I’m sure will see this and respond to commet.

There is no reason to be concerned with evolution. It’s Gods awesome unseen creating in progress. There are many verses within the Bible that give the impresion of an ancient earth as well. It’s mysterious I admit, but so is the idea of the Apostle Paule preaching his letters to the Romans of his own free mind (not being roboticly controled by God) and yet was the Holy Sprit speaking as well.

God give you peace:)


#6

It also seems like God gave his creation a “free will” of it’s own. He created all the nessecary requirements for life and those requirements took their own path, yet God was invovled as well. Interesting.


#7

From what I know of the evolution ‘idea’ the big hole in it is the fact that they can’t figure out the origin of the first cell that multiplied.

It either happened as a result of some random fluke or as a result of supernatural creation. So in other words the theory ends up saying there may have been a God that created that life but we don’t know yet.

I have a great deal of respect for the accomplishments of science from medical advancement to the computer chip.

I also think science has a tendency to negate common sense and over complicate the very simple. For example it is common sense that God created the universe including the Earth.

Just take a look at your monitor and keyboard, they only exists for one reason and that is because a being(s) created it. This very simple common sense theory applies to the entire physical universe. Nothing exists that was not created. There is no need for 9000 pages of text to understand this. It doesn’t matter if evolution is right or wrong or if the big bang theory is correct or incorrect with regards the universe. It is obvious that there is an incredible mind behind it all and every scientist not in denial knows it.

I think we can all agree that since science might understand .000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 percent what God created in regards to the Universe and our World, I think it’s safe to say that science in spite of all of its wonderful accomplishments might not be qualified just yet to teach us the origin of life and the universe.

If you think about the thousands of galaxies out there right now and the massive size of the Lords creation. You have to ask the question… how much can we really know?

-D


#8

[quote=clarkal]That evolution is untrue and just a “theory” is a widespread and annoying misconception. I have seen it appear on this board many times.

Let’s clear this up right now with a few links from a PBS documentary web site and Berkeley:

"Evolving Ideas: Isn’t Evolution Just a Theory?

When we use the word “theory” in everyday life, we usually mean an idea or a guess, but the word has a much different meaning in science. This video examines the vocabulary essential for understanding the nature of science and evolution and illustrates how evolution is a powerful, well-supported scientific explanation for the relatedness of all life."

pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/11/2/e_s_1.html

Please view the video that is on the PBS web site. You need either Quicktime or Real Player.

"Misconception: “Evolution is ‘just’ a theory.”

Response: Scientific theories are explanations that are based on lines of evidence, enable valid predictions, and have been tested in many ways. In contrast, there is also a popular definition of theory—a “guess” or “hunch.” These conflicting definitions often cause unnecessary confusion about evolution."


evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/misconceps/IIAjusttheory.shtml

Clarkal
[/quote]

Don’t believe everything you see on PBS.

I would suggest you read the book** Icons of Evolution ** by Jonathan Wells before concluding that there is overwhelming scientific evidence in favor of Evolution.


#9

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clarkal, From your profile I see you are now an Athiest who also is a student. I am a Latin Rite Catholic who has a degree in Chemistry. With reference to the use of the term evolution, may I call your attention to any College Chemistry Textbook that treats “Atomic Theory”. It is not the Atomic Law, it is Atomic Theory.

Would you say that atomic theory is much more “concrete” than evolution? We say the earth is made of atoms don’t we? But in Chemistry Textbooks we do not read as a Chapter title, “The Law of Atoms”. No, we read “Atomic Theory”. We have much more evidence that atoms exist than we do that evolution has occurred since the beginning of the first life forms. But, it is still the Atomic Theory.

I think a better question is this: How did the first life on earth begin? Once we have living beings then we can consider how they became diverse. Evolutionary Theory or Evolution Law does not answer how life began, but only the mechanism of how a population can change. :yawn: :tiphat:


#10

[quote=clarkal]That evolution is untrue and just a “theory” is a widespread and annoying misconception. I have seen it appear on this board many times.

Let’s clear this up right now with a few links from a PBS documentary web site and Berkeley:

"Evolving Ideas: Isn’t Evolution Just a Theory?

When we use the word “theory” in everyday life, we usually mean an idea or a guess, but the word has a much different meaning in science. This video examines the vocabulary essential for understanding the nature of science and evolution and illustrates how evolution is a powerful, well-supported scientific explanation for the relatedness of all life."

pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/11/2/e_s_1.html

Please view the video that is on the PBS web site. You need either Quicktime or Real Player.

"Misconception: “Evolution is ‘just’ a theory.”

Response: Scientific theories are explanations that are based on lines of evidence, enable valid predictions, and have been tested in many ways. In contrast, there is also a popular definition of theory—a “guess” or “hunch.” These conflicting definitions often cause unnecessary confusion about evolution."

evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/misconceps/IIAjusttheory.shtml

Clarkal
[/quote]

Basically, no fact, and no hypothesis however solidly established, is more than a theory if one is unwilling to accept it :slight_smile:

Evolutionary ideas have their weak points - but they are in every respect preferable to creationist ideas. “Creationism” is a term which should be reserved for its old purpose of denoting a theological theory about the how the soul contracts original sinfulness. ##


#11

Well officially speaking, evolution is both a fact and a theory, or rather when you divide it into it’s sub categories, micro-evolution (the constant changes and variation among living things) is a fact, macro-evolution (The idea of ‘molecules to monkies to man’) is a theory. However some people like to give a theory more credibility than it actually deserves. This is most certainly true of macro-evolution. Though many people still seem to be under the impression that the latter has been proven without doubt and when referring to ‘evolution’ will always usually be talking macro…


#12

Regardless of what we call things or why we as individuals elect to pit them against one another or not, there is no reason that evolution and creation should be mutually exclusive. You say potahtoh, I say potaytoe.


#13

I really enjoyed the 2001 PBS special when it was first aired. A companion book was published called

Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea by Carl Zimmer

That Berkeley site is also quite good as an introduction. As for scientific theory, one definition from the various online dictionaries

“A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena.”

“A systematically organized body of knowledge applicable in a relatively wide variety of circumstances, especially a system of assumptions, accepted principles, and rules of procedure devised to analyze, predict, or otherwise explain the nature or behavior of a specified set of phenomena.”

“A plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain natural phenomena – see ATOMIC THEORY, CELL THEORY, GERM THEORY”

"A well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena; ‘theories can incorporate facts and laws and tested hypotheses’; ‘true in fact and theory’ "

Evolution qualifies as well as any other scientific theory we have. And Jonathan Wells is bad news, don’t get me started. He is a Moonie as well. I have him in a discussion with philosopher Michael Ruse and paleobotanist Bruce Tiffney and I thought Wells came off poorly. He really doesn’t have any other scientific theory to offer.

Phil P


#14

I think a better question is this: How did the first life on earth begin? Once we have living beings then we can consider how they became diverse. Evolutionary Theory or Evolution Law does not answer how life began, but only the mechanism of how a population can change. :yawn: :tiphat:


#15

Evolution, or more precisely, the Darwinian theory of the Evolution of Species by Random Mutation and Natural Selection, is indeed just a Theory - because it is unproven.

No-one has scientifically observed or recorded one species mutate into another by the process of a random beneficial mutation that is stable, and passed on to subsequent generations, forming a new species.

What has been observed is that mutations are rare, and that the overwhelming majority of mutations are either deadly or harmful. The chances of say, a finch with a short bill, happening to gain a set of random mutations that fortuitiously (out of billions of possibilities) gives it eactly the right long bill for sucking nectar from a nearby flower is virtually the same order as dropping a grain of sand on a beach in Australia and having the same grain of sand blown across the world independently to fly into your eye when you get off the airplane in London. It isn’t going to happen in a useful timeframe.

There is obviously something else that adapts animals to their environment, which scientists have not eplored because of their fiation with the random.

The fact is that Evolution has been made a golden calf by some scientists, and they hold to it as a dogma, which blinds them to anything else.


#16

[quote=Cherub]Regardless of what we call things or why we as individuals elect to pit them against one another or not, there is no reason that evolution and creation should be mutually exclusive. You say potahtoh, I say potaytoe.
[/quote]

Well what I think you really mean is that God and evolution can be mutual. However the problem is, with the Jewish and Christian creator God, this is not how He claims He did it…

Evolution assumes long ages, billions of years. Genesis states 6 days and a seventh day to rest. There is no indication that the Hebrew means anything else other than literal 24 hour days.

Evolution states death and sufferring and survival of the fittest were necessary ina dog eat dog world and the most superior specie triumphed. Genesis states God made the world very good to begin with, and death and sufferring occured after, only because of the fall.

Evolution leads to the conclusions that there are more ‘evolved’ races of men. Ex. the White man is more evolved than the primitive black man. The man being the hunter and provider is also overtime more evolved than a woman. Genesis states all men are descended equally from one man and woman created originally in God’s image. While Eve was created second there is no indication of submission, both are equal, Eve taken from Adam’s side, although different and given specific roles and duties. The conflict between man and woman as we know today is also a result of the fall, all this is clearly outlined in Genesis when God banished them from Eden.

There are many other things, but most importantly of all, it demolishes the point of Christ’s death on the cross. Without the fall and the concept of death entering the world afterward, it seems God intended death and suiffering to always be there and active. So the purpose of Christ dying for our salvation is utterly going to be nonsensical. There is no point then to Christ being the new and last Adam, nor Mary being as the new Eve. Both born free from sin, therefore death could not take them. Which is why Christ could suffer so badly a scourging that ‘He no longer resembled a man’ and take up His cross to mount Calvary. Even then He did not die because of their infliction, but after shedding enough blood and sufferring humiliation He in the end gave up His spirit and so died. Likewise Mary too, free from sin, did not suffer death but was assumed into Heaven. There are many more things that can be said…

Christ Himself referred back to Scripture as His authority when He taught “Did you not know that He who made them in the beginning made them man and woman…?” And He upheld the authority of Scripture. When Paul preached to the greeks (the first evolutionists) He did not begin with the Gospel, but with Genesis to lay down the foundation for them to understand the reason for Christ’s sacrifice. Peter on the other hand was preaching only the Gospel, but he was preaching to Jews who already had the foundation.

So long story short… can the idea of evolution be compatible with the concept of a creator God? Yes.

Is it compatible with Christianity? Nope…


#17

[quote=1ke]Don’t believe everything you see on PBS.

I would suggest you read the book** Icons of Evolution ** by Jonathan Wells before concluding that there is overwhelming scientific evidence in favor of Evolution.
[/quote]

In the year 1500 there was conclusive evidence that Ptolomey’s astronomy was true. Even if we accept that the evidence “proves” the present evolutionary theory, it is certain that more evidence will appear and that it may contradict key elements of today’s theory.


#18

[quote=Exporter]I think a better question is this: How did the first life on earth begin? Once we have living beings then we can consider how they became diverse. Evolutionary Theory or Evolution Law does not answer how life began, but only the mechanism of how a population can change. :yawn: :tiphat:
[/quote]

I agree with the comment here. Creation and Evolution are not mutually exclusive. We can use the Genesis account of Creation to understand God’s Truth of how we came into being. We can then take the theory of evolution to explain how the universe has evolved over time, but without having to accept that man evolved from apes.

There is a point in the middle of both extreme theories. I prefer the middle road in explaining our existence and at the same time acknowledging God as our Creator.

MaggieOH


#19

jdnation << There are many other things, but most importantly of all, it demolishes the point of Christ’s death on the cross. … Is it compatible with Christianity? Nope… >>

If all of what you say is true, I guess you have to give up Christianity then. Because, guess what, evolution is most probably true. You know Catholics said the same thing about a moving earth 500 years ago, right?

Evidences for Evolution

my summary of Dalrymple and Theobald

“Let me try to make crystal clear what is established beyond reasonable doubt, and what needs further study, about evolution. Evolution as a process that has always gone on in the history of the earth can be doubted only by those who are ignorant of the evidence or are resistant to evidence, owing to emotional blocks or to plain bigotry. By contrast, the mechanisms that bring evolution about certainly need study and clarification. There are no alternatives to evolution as history that can withstand critical examination. Yet we are constantly learning new and important facts about evolutionary mechanisms.” (Dobzhansky, “Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution” American Biology Teacher, March 1973)

What do you say to this guy? Hint: he was an Orthodox Christian as well as a geneticist. He therefore probably knows what he’s talking about. Someone’s “theological problems” with evolution doesn’t make the scientific evidence go away, or become any less strong.

I hate it when people take the lazy way out and simply deny the science, and deny the evidence. Sorry, it exists. You’ll just need to work out the theology then, and maybe work on your 6-day literal interpretation of Genesis, huh? :rolleyes: :thumbsup:

Phil P


#20

Axion << No-one has scientifically observed or recorded one species mutate into another by the process of a random beneficial mutation that is stable, and passed on to subsequent generations, forming a new species. >>

Oops, you forgot about the Nylon Bug which evolved since 1935

And there are others…

Mutations are harmful?
Mutations and new features
Mutations and new information

As for those transitional fossils I’ll just post this link again…

Phil P


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