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Author Topic:   Potential falsifications of the theory of evolution
Robert Byers
Member (Idle past 4487 days)
Posts: 640
From: Toronto,canada
Joined: 02-06-2004


Message 967 of 968 (605406)
02-19-2011 6:04 AM
Reply to: Message 962 by Taq
02-17-2011 1:23 PM


Re: Summary
Taq writes:
Preface:
It is impossible to summarize every argument in this thread for this post so I will only speak in generalities. I will instead focus on how scientific theories are falsified and why creationists consistently fail to do so. If others are still interested in specific topics I urge them to open new threads that focus on that specific topic.
Summary:
To falsify any scientific theory you first need to understand what the theory actually predicts and what facts it is trying to explain. For example, the precession in Mecury's orbit did not falsify the theory that electrons move about the nucleus of an atom. As it relates to evolution, the theory makes no predictions on how many fossils there should be nor which species should have been fossilized and in what number. Fossilization is a process of geology, not biology. Therefore, citing the lack of fossils in the fossil record is not a valid criticism of the theory of evolution which makes no statements on the actual processes of fossilization.
This leads to another common mistake made by creationists trying to falsify the theory of evolution, or any theory for that matter. Lack of evidence is not evidence of absence. You can only falsify theories with evidence that actually exists. Using the example of fossils again, the lack of a specific fossil intermediate between two species does not falsify the theory of evolution. What you need is a known fossil that does not fit the predictions made by the theory. A lack of transitionals between non-avian dinosaurs and birds does not falsify the theory of evolution. A known fossil with a mixture of avian and mammalian features WOULD falsify the theory of evolution. All scientific theories predict what one should NOT see if the theory is correct, and it is those things that you must find.
A third mistake that creationists make when trying to falsify the theory of evolution is citing a lack of knowledge as an indication that the theory is false. We are told that unless we can explain every single mutation that has happened over the last 3.5 billion years that the theory is false. IOW, we either have absolute knowledge or no knowledge. Any sane person would not expect us to know everything before we can know something, but that is the creationist argument nonetheless.
Creationists seem to think that theories are simply something that is taught, just as theology is something that is taught. What they don't seem to understand is that science is an activity. It is something that you DO. Theories guide research. The whole point of science is to use theories to discover what we DON'T know and then design research programs to fill those gaps. This is an ongoing process, not one that was finished when Darwin finished the last page of "Origin of Species". Do we know the step by step evolutionary pathway of every single protein complex in every cell of every species? No, but how does that falsify the theory of evolution? Quite simply, it doesn't.
There is no theory in science that is complete. If the lack of complete knowledge falsifies a theory then every theory in science has been falsified. It would seem that creationists are not only after the fall of evolution but of science as a whole. They can't seem to understand that "I don't know" is a perfectly valid scientific answer, and one that is actually very exciting. The whole idea of science is to confront our ignorance and try to solve the problem. This seems to upset creationists who would rather accept faith based explanations and never question them.
So my advice for creationists is this. Understand what the theory predicts we should not see and try to find those pieces of evidence. Arguments from ignorance and incredulity only expose your ignorance and your lack of imagination.
Take your first stuff about fossils.
If evolutionary theory is using fossils as evidence for the theory then one CAN note the lack of intermediates as a flaw in the theory. For the theory is itself based on a line of heritage. The fossils being used as a connection, yet without a intermediate, then lose their support for being in a line.
You can't draw a line between a and c and ignore b missing when without b being there THERE is no reason to draw a line in the first place. its just speculation .
This is why creationisms attack against the gaps in fossils is so persuasive. Evolution needs to fill in the gaps because the connections are speculative.
i would add further that a biological theory can not use geological presumptions as its main point and still say its a biological idea.
Without the geology evolution claims are worthless. So evolution can not claim to be based on biological research to a great extent.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 962 by Taq, posted 02-17-2011 1:23 PM Taq has not replied

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