Feature Article - March 1999
by Do-While Jones

Is Evolution Scientific?

Last month we reviewed a web site that gave the judge’s decision in a court case that decided that creation science could not be taught in public schools because creation science is “not science.” Lothar pointed out that the court used a definition of science that was so biased that it precluded creation from the outset. Given that definition of science, there was no way any lawyer could have won the case for creation.

The court used the following (flawed and biased) definition of true science.

    More precisely, the essential characteristics of science are:
  1. It is guided by natural law;
  2. It has to be explanatory by reference to nature law;
  3. It is testable against the empirical world;
  4. Its conclusions are tentative, i.e. are not necessarily the final word; and
  5. It is falsifiable. (Ruse and other science witnesses).

But, by the definitions used by that court, Darwinian evolution isn’t scientific, either. Here is the court’s definition of evolution.

    ``Evolution-science'' means the scientific evidences for evolution and inferences from those scientific evidences. Evolution-science includes the scientific evidences and related inferences that indicate:
  1. Emergence by naturalistic processes of the universe from disordered matter and emergence of life from nonlife;
  2. The sufficiency of mutation and natural selection in bringing about development of present living kinds from simple earlier kinds;
  3. Emergence by mutation and natural selection of present living kinds from simple earlier kinds;
  4. Emergence of man from a common ancestor with apes;
  5. Explanation of the earth's geology and the evolutionary sequence by uniformitarianism; and
  6. An inception several billion years ago of the earth and somewhat later of life.

That’s an accurate definition of the theory of evolution. It covers the entire molecules-to-man process generally taught in schools. As we have noted in a past newsletter, it depends more on inference than experimentation.

Let’s compare these six major aspects of the theory of evolution against the five-part definition of science used by the court.

Origin of Life

Is “Emergence by naturalistic processes of the universe from disordered matter and emergence of life from nonlife” guided by natural laws? What natural law creates order from disorder? What natural law creates life from death? There are no such natural laws. Evolution fails this test.

Is “Emergence by naturalistic processes of the universe from disordered matter and emergence of life from nonlife” correctly explained by natural law? It isn’t explained by any known natural law. Evolution fails this test.

Is “Emergence by naturalistic processes of the universe from disordered matter and emergence of life from nonlife” confirmed by tests in the empirical world? We don’t know of any experiments that have shown this. We only know of experiments that have shown it can’t be true. Evolution fails this test.

Is “Emergence by naturalistic processes of the universe from disordered matter and emergence of life from nonlife” tentative? In other words, “Are evolutionists willing to admit that the universe didn’t arise naturally from disordered matter, and that life didn’t arise naturally from non-life?” Certainly the evolutionists who took this matter to court won’t admit this. Evolutionists categorically reject all non-natural explanations for the origin of the world and life on it. Evolution fails this test.

Is “Emergence by naturalistic processes of the universe from disordered matter and emergence of life from nonlife” falsifiable? We know of no evolutionist who has ever said, “If you can do this or that experiment and get this or that result, then we will admit that the theory that order arose from disorder has been falsified.” What would a scientist have to do to falsify the theory that life arose from nonlife? How many spark-in-the-soup experiments have to fail before evolutionists will admit that organic chemicals can’t form living cells? If Louis Pasteur’s experiments didn’t falsify life from nonlife, then nothing will. Evolution fails this test.

The origin of life component of the theory of evolution fails all five of the court’s criteria for being scientific.

Origin of Kinds

Is “The sufficiency of mutation and natural selection in bringing about development of present living kinds from simple earlier kinds” guided by natural laws? Certainly mutation and natural selection bring about limited variation in existing kinds; but there is no evidence that mutation and natural selection have ever brought about a new kind from simple earlier kinds. Evolution fails this test.

Is “The sufficiency of mutation and natural selection in bringing about development of present living kinds from simple earlier kinds” explained by natural law? No, it isn’t. There is no natural explanation of how new genetic information required to produce complex kinds from simple earlier kinds comes from natural mutation and natural selection. Evolution fails this test.

Is “The sufficiency of mutation and natural selection in bringing about development of present living kinds from simple earlier kinds” confirmed by tests in the empirical world? Breeding experiments have shown that natural selection can produce a limited variation in one kind. Experiments on generations of fruit flies have shown that random modifications of genes can cause a loss of information resulting in inferior mutant varieties of fruit flies, but no new kinds of insects. In these experiments, scientists have not been able to use artificial selection to create a new kind of insect because mutation hasn’t produced anything suitable for selection.

Only when a scientist uses unnatural processes to remove existing genetic information (that has a known function) from the DNA of one species, and uses it to replace part of the DNA in another species, have new kinds of living organisms been produced. In these experiments the “gene jockey” plays the role of an intelligent designer using a “supernatural” process. Scientists have to resort to intelligent molecular rearrangement because mutation and natural selection is not sufficient to bring about new kinds. Evolution fails this test.

Is “The sufficiency of mutation and natural selection in bringing about development of present living kinds from simple earlier kinds” tentative? In other words, “Will evolutionists ever accept that new kinds arose through any natural process other than mutation and natural selection?” Well, scientists used to believe in Lamarkian evolution (where parents somehow “willed” their children to be better suited for survival) before they accepted Darwinian evolution. Now we are starting to hear theories about how bacteria can somehow consciously make their offspring evolve to resist antibiotics, so maybe Lamarkian evolution just lost a battle and will eventually win the war. Surveys and news stories that we have reported upon in the past say that some good scientists are rejecting evolution of purely scientific grounds. Therefore, evolution passes this test.

Is “The sufficiency of mutation and natural selection in bringing about development of present living kinds from simple earlier kinds” falsifiable? Experiment after experiment has failed to show that forced mutation and artificial selection can create any new living kinds from existing earlier kinds. Modern understanding of genetics and information theory shows that new kinds can’t arise from existing kinds. This should be sufficient for falsification, but apparently evolutionists don’t think it is. What more could a scientist possibly do to falsify this doctrine? We don’t know of anything. Evolution fails this test.

The origin of kinds component of the theory of evolution fails four out of five of the court’s criteria for being sceintific.

Origin of Man

Is “Emergence of man from a common ancestor with apes” guided by natural laws that really exist? There are no natural laws that turn apes into men. It is true some men have made monkeys of themselves, but only figuratively. Evolution fails this test.

Is “Emergence of man from a common ancestor with apes” correctly explained by natural law? No. How can it be, since there are no such natural laws? Evolution fails this test.

Is “Emergence of man from a common ancestor with apes” confirmed by tests in the empirical world? Absolutely not. Evolution fails this test.

Is “Emergence of man from a common ancestor with apes” tentative? Will evolutionists ever believe we evolved from pigs? We don’t think so. No matter what the evidence, evolutionists will dogmatically insist that men and apes evolved from a common ancestor. Evolution fails this test.

Is “Emergence of man from a common ancestor with apes” falsifiable? What experiment could anyone do that would prove, to the satisfaction of an evolutionist, that men and apes did not evolve from a common ancestor. If you know of one, we would love for you to tell us what it is. Evolution fails this test.

The origin of man component of the theory of evolution fails all five of the court’s criteria for being scientific.

Origin and Age of the Earth

Is “Explanation of the earth's geology and the evolutionary sequence by uniformitarianism; and an inception several billion years ago of the earth and somewhat later of life” guided by natural laws? This is debatable. Sedimentary rocks may have been formed over long periods of time at the bottom of an ocean. The existence of fossils in these rocks more strongly suggests that they were formed rapidly, and not uniformly slow, however. But, we must admit that there are natural laws that could be used to explain present geologic formations. Although we don’t believe these natural processes did form the present geologic formations, we admit that the explanation is natural and possible. Evolution passes this test.

Is “Explanation of the earth's geology and the evolutionary sequence by uniformitarianism; and an inception several billion years ago of the earth and somewhat later of life” correctly explained by natural law? We don’t think so, but some people do. Since we are kind, generous, and magnanimous, we will give them a pass on this one. Evolution passes this test.

Is “Explanation of the earth's geology and the evolutionary sequence by uniformitarianism; and an inception several billion years ago of the earth and somewhat later of life” confirmed by tests in the empirical world? The young-earth interpretations of geological evidence tend to be as good, or better, than the old-earth interpretations, so one really can’t say that the old-earth explanations have been confirmed by laboratory tests. There have been no tests that have proved that life has been around for hundreds of millions of years. Evolution fails this test.

Is “Explanation of the earth's geology and the evolutionary sequence by uniformitarianism; and an inception several billion years ago of the earth and somewhat later of life” tentative? Yes, it is. Evolutionists are always accepting new dates for the formation of the earth and appearance of particular life forms (as long as those dates aren’t dangerously close to 6,000 years). Evolution passes this test.

Is “Explanation of the earth's geology and the evolutionary sequence by uniformitarianism; and an inception several billion years ago of the earth and somewhat later of life” falsifiable,? There is abundant evidence for a young age of the earth. Catastrophic (rather than uniformitarian) formation of some rock formation is gaining acceptance. But we know of no test that any scientist could do that would prove (to the satisfaction of evolutionists) the Earth is young. Therefore, this doctrine is not falsifiable. Evolution fails this test.

The origin and age of the Earth components of the theory of evolution fail two out of five of the court’s criteria for being scientific.

The Test Results

Nearly every aspect of the definition that the court used for evolution fails the court’s test for being scientific. Those few tests it does pass, it passes more by our generosity than by its own merit. If we felt more argumentative, we could probably prove in a court of law that they don’t really pass those tests either.

If being non-scientific is grounds for not teaching a subject in public schools, then evolution should not be taught, either.

Evolution is not scientific. Science is against evolution.

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