Friday, September 10, 2010

AIG: Evolution: Not Even a Theory

Usually, what emanates from Answers in Genesis barely passes for logically-constructed arguments. In this new post called Evolution: Not Even a Theory, however, even that goes out the window. Two questions: why doesn't AIG ever identify who writes these articles and why don't they leave room for comments? This is out of the Discovery Institute playbook. The anonymous author writes:
Two problems prevent anyone from legitimately calling evolution a theory. First, there’s no direct, observable experiment that can ever be performed. Scientists can measure bones, study mutations, decode DNA, and notice similarities in morphology (the form and structure of animals and plants), but they can never test evolutionary events in the past.

Some point to natural selection as a form of “evolution in action,” but natural selection can only act upon the genetic potential that already exists. What we do observe from natural selection fits perfectly with a recent creation and does not point to common descent.

Secondly, and related to the above, evolution misses the mark as a theory because all the supposed “tests” to confirm Darwinism do not necessarily and distinctively correspond to the idea. In other words, each has an alternate and equally viable explanation. A theory requires that the confirming experiments correspond to one specific hypothesis. Otherwise, the experiment cannot establish legitimacy. Evolution has no such legitimacy.
This isn't just badly written, it is nonsense. The writer, whoever he or she is, has no working knowledge of evolution or even of biology. Direct, observable experiments occur daily in labs all over the world. Direct, observable experiments exist in the form of identifying genetic drift and flow in populations. These include studies on sickle cell anemia, Down's Syndrome, twin studies and thousands of other studies in which genetic variation is quantified. Those all deal with evolution.

The writer states that we can never test evolutionary events in the past. How is this so? As with any predictive science, evolution predicts what we should find in given circumstances. Darwin predicted that we would find the precursors of modern humans in Africa because that is where we find our nearest relatives. Guess what? That is exactly what we found. Prediction confirmed. It is hypothesized that modern-day salamanders and frogs share a common ancestor. Last year the fossil remains of a "frogamander" were found, having the basal characteristics of each. Prediction confirmed. Sorry. Yes, we can test evolutionary events in the past.

He continues by writing that evolution has no legitimacy without backing up the statement with any evidence whatever and then goes on to write that, since it doesn't have legitimacy, how can it be called a theory. Is this what passes for scholarship at AIG?? It is hard to take someone seriously when they cannot even muster a compelling argument for their position. At least the ICR attempts to make it convincing. AIG doesn't even try.

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  1. They are a predictable bunch those Hamites; those canards are as old as the hills. And they know it. But you know what? Most laypeeps will read that and be totally convinced. Those of us who actually get our hands dirty? Well, we're just inconvenient. Stinks.

  2. And, as i have written on several occasions, the bad thing is not just that they don't know what they are talking about, they don't want to learn more about it. It is an amazingly pompous position: they think they know all they need to know to pontificate about the evils of evolution. Sad and infuriating at the same time.