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Evolution: It's Just Another Religion.

Updated on July 25, 2014

Just how much real evidence is there for evolution? Are there so many facts that we can take the word theory and disregard it completely? There are those who think so and they do so without asking does the study of evolution meet all the criteria for true scientific investigation?

Theodosius Dobzhansky the noted Russian born biologist, geneticist, and evolutionist (1900 – 1975).
Theodosius Dobzhansky the noted Russian born biologist, geneticist, and evolutionist (1900 – 1975).

Empirical Science

Empirical science uses careful observation and testing of certain facts of nature. Theories are postulated to try to explain those facts. Experiments are the testing of those theories. The most important requirement of empirical science is that something can only be studied if it is observable.

Macro evolution, the changing of one species into another, because of its gradual changes over long periods of time, is something that cannot be witnessed by any human and is unobservable and is based on an assumption as supported by Theodosius Dobzhansky who stated: that “There is no way toward an understanding of the mechanism of macroevolutionary changes, which require time on a geological scale, other than through a full comprehension of the microevolutionary processes observable within the human lifetime. For this reason we are compelled at the present level of knowledge reluctantly to put a sign of equality between the mechanisms of micro- and macroevolution, and proceeding on this assumption, to push our investigations as far as this working hypothesis will permit. This statement is quoted from Dobzhansky’s “Genetics and the Origin of Species” (1937) which proposed a fusion of Darwinism and genetics known as Modern Synthesis.

Dr. Paul R. Ehrlich, PhD, another noted evolutionist, stated that the theory of evolution “cannot be refuted by any possible observations” and thus is “outside of empirical science.”

The changes in Finch beaks, which Darwin thought were evidence for his theory, are an example of genetic variation, not evidence for macroevolution.
The changes in Finch beaks, which Darwin thought were evidence for his theory, are an example of genetic variation, not evidence for macroevolution.

Micro and Macro Evolution verses Variation

Of the two types of evolution, micro and macro, only micro evolution is observable. Micro evolution is small-scale hereditary changes in organisms resulting in the formation of slightly differing new varieties of that organism such as within a species of animal especially over a short period of time.

Macro evolution is a hypothetical process of unlimited variation that evolutionists believe transforms one kind of organism into another kind such as reptiles into birds or apes into humans. There is some debate as to how or whether evolution may explain large-scale changes, an increase in genetic information, and the introduction of newly evolved genes.

Variation, a genetic term is used to describe characteristic changes within certain individual or groups of species. That is, a species carries similar genetic information as in humans. People have different color hair, eye shape, nose length, and physical stature, these differences, based on the extent of the variation potential of their genetic information determines the characteristic changes that may occur within that species. These changes are apparent based on existing genetic information and not from any new genetic information claimed to be part of the same gene pool.

Study Must Meet Certain Standards

Major evolutionary changes to living organisms and their offspring are said to occur over extremely long periods of time. Theodosius Dobzhansky also stated that when evolutionary changes happen they are by nature “unique, unrepeatable, and irreversible.” He said “the applicability of the experimental method to the study of such unique historical processes is severely restricted.” Therefore, without observation, repeatability, and testability the subject of study becomes a unique experience such as the fall of the Roman Empire which is of importance as an historical event only. The criteria of observation, repeatability, and testability are not viable unless those standards are met.

A Matter of Faith

To accept the theory of Evolution as fact one must start with an answer and then look for evidence to support it. Evolution is not observable, repeatable, nor able to be refuted and therefore can not be studied by empirical science as it does not qualify as fact or theory. It can only be accepted by its believers on the basis of faith!

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    • cyreenik profile image

      cyreenik 5 years ago from Salt Lake City

      My mistake on the moon missions. I went back and checked and what I said would have been true for four months. [grin]

      Good luck yourself.

    • Wickramshingle profile image
      Author

      Wickramshingle 5 years ago from East Coast

      My friend, judging from your last comment I think emotion is overshadowing your reason. You are getting too emotionally involved in this discussion. Observation was and still is the point not repeatability.

      Thanks for your thoughts and goodbye.

    • cyreenik profile image

      cyreenik 5 years ago from Salt Lake City

      "What does that have to do with evidence for evolution?"

      Just checking on your criteria for good science. That's what it has to do with evolution.

      It seems a bit warped from real world usage. It would seem, according to your criteria, that man landing on the moon never happened because it hasn't been repeated, and therefore it's not good science.

    • Wickramshingle profile image
      Author

      Wickramshingle 5 years ago from East Coast

      What does that have to do with evidence for evolution? Using the same logic I could claim that studying the existence of God is a science.

    • cyreenik profile image

      cyreenik 5 years ago from Salt Lake City

      "The problem with supporting evolution is that it has no basis in fact. The only "evidence" is SUPPOSITION AFTER THE FACT!"

      What's your feeling on astronomy these days? Is that a "science" with no basis in fact because you can't do repeatable experiments on stars?

    • Wickramshingle profile image
      Author

      Wickramshingle 5 years ago from East Coast

      The problem with supporting evolution is that it has no basis in fact. The only "evidence" is SUPPOSITION AFTER THE FACT!

      Observe the characteristics of something and then try to explain its origin using a Darwinian approach.

    • Davesworld profile image

      Davesworld 5 years ago from Cottage Grove, MN 55016

      Those are NOT predictions, they are observations.

    • cyreenik profile image

      cyreenik 5 years ago from Salt Lake City

      I was answering the question "Why is evolution better than other faith systems?"

      If predictability is not an important virtue then other systems will work better for you. In real life this predicting advantage is offset by the strengthening of kinship benefits that comes with sharing a faith. If you and your buddy can cooperate better because "those evolution people are "them's" and you and I are "us's", that's a strong benefit.

      Re. chess: Exactly, brute force works. The human brain has not developed any high performance tricks for solving chess problems, so a computer using brute force can equal it. But vision is another matter. Evolution has incorporated lots of tricks into the vision system. Why? Because the system has been experimented on for a trillion generations. It's been important for a long time, chess has not.

      Evolution predicts that vision systems will become high performance, as will digestive systems, and mobility systems.

      Here's a different prediction: How important the immune system will be depends directly on how long the organism lives. It's very important in humans, and not nearly so important in shrews.

    • Davesworld profile image

      Davesworld 5 years ago from Cottage Grove, MN 55016

      Nice try, but lousy example. Computers overwhelm human beings in chess, not because they actually understand the game and not because they are necessarily skilled at it, but because the computer works so extremely fast that it can chase down tens of thousands of possibilities, run all the potential counter-moves and select the optimum path. The machine can do that in a couple seconds whereas a human being would need days to do the same thing themselves. Computer chess programs are, for the most part, brute force and ignorance. Besides which, the best chess players can draw the machine and even occasionally win.

      And even if you ignore the foregoing, what you have done is (1) assume evolution occurred, (2) look at something the happens in real life, and finally (3) rationalize that thing's existence as a proof of evolution. So you start out with evolution and end up with evolution - excuse me while I take time out for a yawn.

      Actually, so-called "evolutionary science" is one of the best gigs people have come up with. All that you need to do is take a sip of coffee, lean back in your chair and day dream for a while. And then, voila, you have a "scientific" explanation for something and you really didn't have to work all that hard to get it, just a little make believe. If you're any good at it you can write books about an imaginary "god gene" or an "altruism gene" and make money from your active imagination - oops, I forgot, imagination is probably "evidence" of evolution..

    • cyreenik profile image

      cyreenik 5 years ago from Salt Lake City

      Dave, the benefit of working with the evolution concept is understanding the world around you better. As you are demonstrating it's not an essential benefit. So if it's causing you discomfort, leave it for others.

      One point on your last statement, though, is wrong.

      "When born, a human child instinctively knows only a couple things: how to suck on a teat, to cry when it is unhappy and to smile and that's about the sum of what we're born with. Everything else is learned behavior."

      What you are not noticing in that description are things such as the vision system. Yes, a baby has to learn to see, but it is training a system so high performance that computers still can't match it. Compare that to the human chess playing system. That skill computers matched a decade ago.

      The point of this is that all tasks are not created equal in the brain. Those things that have been a challenge for a long time, such as seeing, the brain is very good at. Those that are new, such as playing chess, the brain is just so-so at.

      Evolution predicts that.

    • Davesworld profile image

      Davesworld 5 years ago from Cottage Grove, MN 55016

      But there is no empirical evidence that human beings are genetically programmed to think in certain ways, only wishful-thinking from evolutionists. When born, a human child instinctively knows only a couple things: how to suck on a teat, to cry when it is unhappy and to smile and that's about the sum of what we're born with. Everything else is learned behavior.

      Don't try to come up with physical causes for things that are not inherent in the genome because that's a losing game.

      And yet, there is no prediction from evolution. Just one will suffice. Just one prediction that was made and the results shown to occur through the evolutionary process. Something other than presupposing the validity of evolution and then applying it to things from long long ago. If there is no predictive value in evolution, and I've yet to see it, what is the point to messing around with it in the first place? Other than to provide some intellectual satisfaction to an atheist?

    • cyreenik profile image

      cyreenik 5 years ago from Salt Lake City

      @wick, "Wouldn't that have to hold true for all life forms for it to be a prediction?"

      Hardly, each life form is different. That's what makes life so interesting, and that's what makes studying it, as evolution, so interesting.

      This business of adapting is explaining, predicting after the fact [grin], why different life forms have the shapes and activities they do. Mother Nature can come up with more than one good solution to a problem, but they will have solving the problem in common. Birds have feathers, bats have skin stretched between bones, insects have stiff extensions that are wings, all solve the problem of how to move air around a body so the body can fly. The multiple solutions are fascinating, if you are fascinated by design issues. And evolution doesn't say you have to predict that birds, bats, and flies will all come up with the same solution to the flying problem.

      To put it another way, evolution does predict that it's going to be a lot harder to get pigs flying than grasshoppers. [grin]

      @Dave, "Lord help me, but where is the PREDICTION IN EVOLUTION in that?"

      I apologize, Dave, the predictions about what actions people will take in different circumstances, based on evolution, takes a bit more explaining than I can do here. I have a lot of predictions published on my web site in the Cyreenik Says section. I can't put them here because the HubPages TOS indicates I shouldn't reprint stuff on this site.

      To make clear why the evolution concept is important to this predicting, the important part of the predicting process is thinking, "OK... humans think in particular ways for good reason. Good meaning: For many, many generations this thinking style had practical survival value." Mankind evolved his thinking style to solve practical day-to-day issues quickly and efficiently while living in the Neolithic Village lifestyle.

      I start from that premise and I end up with a whole lot of "Ah-Hah!"'s.

    • Davesworld profile image

      Davesworld 5 years ago from Cottage Grove, MN 55016

      Lord help me, but where is the PREDICTION IN EVOLUTION in that? Do you not understand the word "prediction?" Physics predicts that if you put too much weight on a cross beam it will snap. Chemistry predicts an explosion if you drop a hunk of pure sodium into water. Evolution can't predict squat.

      All you managed to do is confuse sociology with evolution.

    • cyreenik profile image

      cyreenik 5 years ago from Salt Lake City

      Using evolution to predict: I've got two books and an extensive web site devoted to that. Here's one example, a fun one:

      Humans have evolved strong language skill, and this skill is a game changer. One change is that human parents can tell their children who to marry -- arranged marriage. No other plant/animal/bacteria does this. What difference does this make? [drumroll... a prediction coming] It means that if you want to marry someone you have to look good to... his or her parents, not them.

      What do parents look for that their children do not? (teenage children in Neolithic Village environment) They look for cooperation. They want their new in-law to "get with the program" and give them and their hopefully soon-to-come grandchildren support. This means that as humans developed strong language skill their gene pool was pushed to make them more cooperative.

      This is an example of a prediction based on evolution.

    • Davesworld profile image

      Davesworld 5 years ago from Cottage Grove, MN 55016

      Still doesn't answer the question (or attempt to for that matter) which was, What exactly are the predictive strengths of evolution?

    • cyreenik profile image

      cyreenik 5 years ago from Salt Lake City

      To continue my answer, here's the anthropomorphic version:

      Think of Mother Nature as a design engineer. She sits "up there" somewhere and makes changes to living organisms (mutations) then watches the results. If the organism passes The Grandchild Test (has lots of children who have lots of children) the change was a winner. If not... ah well, try again. The result is quadrillions of experiments. She isn't smart about her experimenting, just patient, persistent, and prolific. The result is gradual change and rarely "out of the blue".

      Everything alive today has a trillion-long line ancestors who passed The Grandchild Test. Everything alive today is a high performance adaption. Humans, and human thinking, are as well. The catch is evolution is a slow process, so we are well adapted to Stone Age living, not modern civilized living.

    • cyreenik profile image

      cyreenik 5 years ago from Salt Lake City

      I'm glad you asked that. [grin] It's the heart of my book "Evolution and Thought" and next month the longer version "How Evolution Explains the Human Condition" comes out.

      To give a quick answer evolutionary changes (successful ones) are gradual changes, not "out of the blue". But... dinner just came, I have to run. Try the book, or my web site, White World, for more answers.

    • Davesworld profile image

      Davesworld 5 years ago from Cottage Grove, MN 55016

      Cyreenik,

      What exactly are the predictive strengths of evolution? Because prediction is the strength of the scientific method.

      It strikes me that evolution is a theory that says every once in a while, for reasons both unknown and unknowable, a fortunate change occurs and voila a completely new creature appears from some unknown and unknowable predecessor. How does that differ from religious teaching other than to substitute "unknown and unknowable" for "God?"

    • cyreenik profile image

      cyreenik 5 years ago from Salt Lake City

      The advantage of science theories over the average faith theory is predicting the future. If you build a building using faith to decide your strength of materials... umm. Biology, chemistry, geology and astronomy -- all of which contribute to the evolution concept -- are areas where science has a lot of predictive value.

      In my writing I take the concept one step further: I write about how evolution has shaped human thinking. Starting with that premise has lead me to some interesting insights.

    • Davesworld profile image

      Davesworld 5 years ago from Cottage Grove, MN 55016

      Cyreenik

      There probably isn't a theory of life on this planet that isn't an article of faith. So, when one theory is taught as if it were the truth, sin;t this akin to teaching a religion?

    • Wickramshingle profile image
      Author

      Wickramshingle 5 years ago from East Coast

      Thanks for your thoughts. Unfortunately everything comes down to a matter of faith and that may be the only truth in life.

    • cyreenik profile image

      cyreenik 5 years ago from Salt Lake City

      Nicely put. But, sadly, the alternatives to evolution suffer all these same problems. Which alternative do you propose is testable, repeatable and not a matter of faith?