21 February 2007

The Day Had Gone And I Hadn't Begun...

Evolution is unscientific, because it is not testable or falsifiable. It makes claims about events that were not observed and can never be re-created.

This blanket dismissal of evolution ignores important distinctions that divide the field into at least two broad areas: microevolution and macroevolution. Microevolution looks at changes within species over time, changes that may be preludes to speciation; the origin of new species. Macroevolution studies how taxonomic groups above the level of species change. Its evidence draws frequently from the fossil record and DNA comparisons to reconstruct how various organisms may be related.

These days even most creationists acknowledge that microevolution has been upheld by tests in the laboratory as in studies of cells, plants, fruit flies (JT says) and in the field. Natural selection and other mechanisms such as chromosomal changes, symbiosis and hybridization can drive profound changes in populations over time.

The historical nature of macroevolutionary study involves inference from fossils and DNA rather than direct observation. Yet in the historical sciences (which include astronomy, geology and archaeology, as well as evolutionary biology), hypotheses can still be tested by checking whether they accord with physical evidence and whether they lead to verifiable predictions about future discoveries. Evolutionary biology routinely makes predictions far more refined and precise than this, and researchers test them constantly.

Evolution could be disproved in other ways, too. If we could document the spontaneous generation of just one complex life-form from inanimate matter, then at least a few creatures seen in the fossil record might have originated this way.

It should be noted that the idea of falsifiability as the defining characteristic of science originated with philosopher Karl Popper in the thirties. More recent elaborations on his thinking have expanded the narrowest interpretation of his principle precisely because it would eliminate too many branches of clearly scientific endeavor.

3 Comments:

Blogger BD said...

I'm sure with evolution, eventually we'll be born guilty...

Those searing words still burning in my head...

19:51  
Blogger just thinking said...

We're already born guilty..

08:56  
Blogger c&d said...

Guilty of what?

There is no denying things have changed or evolved. But at the very beginning it was a creation of God.

17:31  

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