Friday, August 16, 2013

On Science, On Faith

I watched a video the other day.  It was on the theories of evolution versus creationism, or probably more correctly the atheist’s view that evolution can be the only explanation of the development of life on this planet, versus the religious belief that God had a hand in shaping life and the creation of man.
What struck me so clearly, and I recognize it was the video’s intent to do so, was the atheists (including PhD’s) who supported the theory of evolution took as a matter of faith -- that it could be the only explanation.  Of course they cited their teachers and the various classes they had taken to confirm this must be true, but when asked if there was a clear observable chain that showed one species evolving into another they all cited fossil evidence dating back millions of years that suggested a transformation.
In Darwin’s “The Origin of Species” he speculated that natural selection could cause a land mammal to turn into a whale.  “As a hypothetical example, Darwin used the North American black bear, which is known to catch insects by swimming in the water with its mouth open.[1]”  Theorists who have followed Darwin have expanded his theories to include microevolution – where a species can be changed in small ways, like in color or size, over a number of generations.  They also speculate that natural selection will, given sufficient time, result in the large-scale change of one species into an entirely new species.
The challenge for me is the rejection of objectivity.  In this case, evolution has become a faith unto itself; with the scientific community’s knowing that evolution must have happened within a predictable process without having the factual basis to confirm it.  So they teach a theory as fact, based on a faith it must be correct.
The referenced article cites the example of the Ambulocetus natans or “swimming-walking whale” to show evolutionary theory must be correct.  Ambulocetus natans is a fossil whose forelimbs had fingers and small hooves and who had large hind feet and a tail.  It was adapted for swimming like an otter.  From this they speculate it is the ancestor of the modern whale, but what if it was a unique species that did not evolve, but rather went extinct?  The problems with dealing with fossils that are millions of years old is you must base your judgments regarding them on your knowledge and training, and your faith in that theory. 
When the need to prove the Creationists wrong becomes the compelling choice don’t those who believe in evolution abandon the fundamental basis for scientific questioning?  When the scientific method is altered and a basis for questioning is no longer accepted the issue then becomes -- do its proponents have any foundation, other than arrogance, to hold their belief as superior to those who suggest Intelligent Design, or Creation are possibilities?

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