email - March 2003

Evolution and Philosophy

Certainly the most coherent, most logical, and most interesting email we received last month was from Peter. It was quite long, and some parts of it weren’t particularly interesting, but there were parts that are worth sharing with you. It is both enlightening and sad because it shows how philosophic arguments can be mistaken for science, and can deceive honest and sincere people.

Subject: evolution and philosophy
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2003 02:10:53 -0500
From: Peter


I think of evolution as the ever changing state of our planet, for one. I believe that this is undeniable, since we have pictures and historical records of the state of our planet chronicling its evolution since humanoids began to write and paint. Since it seems that human beings have learned many skills over the years, many of which we take for granted, how are we to know that humans began life on this earth with the ability to record history, but without the ability to make automobiles? This may seem like an obvious and unimportant change in the state of the earth and the species on it, but I think of macro-evolution as the extremely long term effects of years and years of micro-evolution compiled upon one another.

Peter has been misled by the word “evolution.” Some meanings attached to the word are true, and some are false. Evolutionists would like people, like Peter, to believe that if one definition of evolution is true, then all definitions must be true.

One definition of evolution is “change.” Change happens. As Peter correctly points out, civilization has evolved over the years. But the fact that people have learned how to make automobiles does not imply that reptiles have learned how to turn into mammals. The baseless insinuation is that if technology can change, then species can, too.

Furthermore, Peter has accepted the evolutionists’ mantra that lots of microevolution adds up to macroevolution. Microevolution and macroevolution are two entirely different things. Microevolution is a scientifically observed process pertaining to various combinations of existing genes, which can produce a limited amount of change. Macroevolution is not just accumulated microevolution. Macroevolution is the speculation, contrary to scientific observations, that genes that produce unprecedented new functionality can arise by random chance. Microevolution and macroevolution have nothing in common except 13 of the 14 letters in their names.

I would point out that scientific perspectives are never proven, but that they are either supported or DIS-proven by experimental data.

Peter has fallen for the philosophical argument that we can’t really know anything for sure. No matter how many times you create an explosion by striking a spark in a mixture of gasoline vapor and oxygen, you haven’t really proved that gasoline reacts with oxygen, according to their reasoning. Evolutionists would like to discredit all scientific knowledge in order to allow the possibility that evolution might be true even though you can’t prove it. No matter how many attempts to turn lead into gold fail, you can’t really be sure that alchemists were wrong. No matter how many attempts to create life from the “primordial soup” fail, you can’t really be sure it didn’t happen. Whenever you hear an evolutionist say that “nothing is ever proven,” you should recognize that it is an admission that the theory of evolution hasn’t been proved. Just like alchemists, they are hoping that the next experiment will be the one that finally makes their dreams come true.

Christians have come a long way since the crusades!!! If, as you say, truth never changes... how could it have seemed so right to wage war in the name of god, when now given our much greater wealth of experience, we can see that war is not the solution to the worlds problems.

This is perhaps the saddest part of the email. Peter has been so confused by the new definition of “science” (“science” is “whatever scientists believe”), that he no longer recognizes the difference between truth and belief, or the difference between science and philosophy.

It is true that the crusaders waged a war motivated by religious beliefs. That is a fact. That fact will never change. It happened. Even if people deny it, or history books omit it, it still is true that it happened. Truth doesn’t change.

During the crusades, many people believed it was the right thing to do. Now, most people believe it was the wrong thing to do. There may come a time in the future when people will again believe that a holy war is the right thing to do. Beliefs do change.

What Peter apparently doesn’t recognize is the difference between truth and belief. If he did recognize the difference, he would not have used public opinion about the crusades as an example of changing truth.

Yet many do not seem to question whether what they are taught by their religion is the absolute "truth". I am not bashing Christianity or religion in general, but merely drawing parallels between science and religion and philosophy, because in the end I think that we all do have similar problems, and that it is good that we all try to solve them differently.


Finally, at the end of Peter’s email, there is a glimmer of hope. The theory of evolution really is based on religion and philosophy. It isn’t based on science.

Peter realizes that when people in authority pronounce something to be true, many people accept it. When religious leaders said that the crusades were virtuous, people mistook the belief of the leaders for truth. When scientific leaders say that evolution is a fact, people often mistake the belief of the leaders for truth.

There are people who are trying to confuse philosophy with science. They want you to believe that scientific truth is not absolute, is subject to change, and can be decreed by the intellectual elite. Many people have accepted the idea that anything “scientists say” is true. When scientists said that feathers evolved from scales, it was true. Now that scientists say that feathers evolved from quills, that is the new truth.

Perhaps that is the greatest harm that the theory of evolution has done to science. It has fostered the idea that truth is nothing more than the current opinion of the intellectual elite.

Truth never changes. The scientific method is a method for discovering truth. Science isn't "whatever scientists believe".

Evolutionists like to confuse philosophy with science because philosophical arguments can be constructed that appear to make the theory of evolution true, but science is against evolution.

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