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Zucadragon

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I haven't been here in a looong time, and back then I was in a PM discussion with Timbrx on the definition of evolution and had a few posts on the nonexistant difference between what creationists call "micro" and "macro" evolution.

But I'm back, and I wrote a little piece on "why creationism fails as a theory" a little while ago, just for fun, really short.

We all know the countless arguments that are made against evolution which somehow "prove" creationism through backwards reasoning (evolution is wrong, thus creationism is right). And al though the arguments themselves are all faulty in some way (dishonest, missrepresenting or plain wrong), the biggest error is simply that creationism doesn't want to do the work that scientists do on a daily basis.


Why creationism fails as a theory (or hypothesis)


A lot of creationists out there talk about “destroy evolution and thus prove creation” and other such nonsense, creationist websites like Answers in Genesis spend their time targeting evolution, finding reasons why some factor of evolution isn’t explained correctly or is perhaps a fraud or just simple wrong, and then conclude that creationism is the only viable solution to this problem.

This by itself is a “god of the gaps” argument, where they fill out any holes with “god did it” and leave it at that, this is of course not sound science, but there is a bigger problem with a method like this.


Science works to explain observations, that is why in the case of evolutionary theory, you deal with the theory and the observations of evolution, the observations are, for instance (but not limited to):
The fossil record.
DNA research.
Observations of speciation, mutations and natural selection.

A hypothesis is made, trying to explain these observations in such a way, that any new data should also fit the explanation or is actually predicted to be found. As you can imagine, this is a very hard thing to do, with evolution, we’ve got evidence coming in from many different scientific fields and the theory has to explain all of them, test all of them, have them be falsifiable and make predictions about possible new findings.

And if all this succeeds, and the body of evidence becomes large enough (and it is all positive evidence) then it can turn into a theory. A theory is a body of explanations that, though not perfect, are so heavily supported in all fields involved, that it is very very unlikely anything will come up to change anything but minor details.


This is how science works, and if creationism wants itself to be taken seriously, it will need to do the same, just writing arguments “against evolution” isn’t enough, because even if they manage to take down the theory of evolution, they somehow end up still having to explain the observations that remain in the ruins of evolution as well.

But they don’t “just” have to explain those observations, they have to explain them by building up a possible theory that doesn’t contradict itself, that can make predictions about future findings, that is falsifiable, is testable and explains the complete body of observations and information available in a firm fitting structure (so to speak).

Right now, all we have is loose arguments that focus themselves on single points in evolutionary theory and try to dislodge it, the problem with this, is that you end up having multiple articles and arguments against a single point in evolutionary theory, which, at the same time heavily contradict each other (example: hydroplate vs canopy). This is a problem because it means that there isn’t a unified creation theory that explains all the evidence, but there are a lot of arguments focusing on the theory of evolution that don’t correlate or support eachother and also don’t explain the evidence correctly.
Creationists need to get their act together if they want to actually call their idea a “scientific theory” one day, they need to do the science and if they can, explain all the observations in one unified theory, not little tidbits here and there. Only then will it even come close to the amount of information the theory of evolution has and the amount of predictions it makes (successfully) and its explanatory power.

 


Posts: 103 | Posted: 05:50 AM on April 23, 2009 | IP
sciborg

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"This is a problem because it means that there isn’t a unified creation theory that explains all the evidence, but there are a lot of arguments focusing on the theory of evolution that don’t correlate or support eachother and also don’t explain the evidence correctly."

Yes, and even MORE telling, the people supporting argument A vs. argument B often ALSO subscribe to different theologies.  Uh-oh, that doesn't bode well for the "science" of creationism, does it?  If the metaphysical implications of evolutions can to some degree predict the "science" an individual supports, one had to wonder about the science.
 


Posts: 26 | Posted: 4:14 PM on May 12, 2009 | IP
    
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