Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Cult of Science and Fire-Worship

We have often referred to Multiculturalism as a modern secular relgion. One of our readers detected another one — the worship of science — and sent us his essay on the topic.

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The Cult of Science and Fire-Worship
by Dimitri K.


For those who lived under communist rule — like the author of this piece — it is obvious that science played the central role in their ideology. Starting with Marx, communists claimed that their ideology was based completely upon rational scientific calculation, as opposed to traditional faith. They claimed that science can account for not only the material world, but also the world of ideas and social behavior. That explains why communists always paid great attention to economics and sociology. The failure of those pseudo-scientific disciplines could itself be a topic for a paper. However, here I am only discussing one interesting feature of the scientific cult — its close relation to fire-worship.

Zoroastrian fire-worshippers by NargeotFire was undoubtedly the first and the most important scientific discovery in the history of the mankind. By learning to use fire, people gained a decisive advantage over all other species. Fire made it possible for people to populate territories with cold climate and use a wider range of nutrients. I cannot imagine any possible discovery which would influence the life of modern people to the same extent as fire influenced the life of our ancestors. Hence, fire-worship at that time was equivalent to the belief in the power of science.

The relation of science and fire is especially obvious from the documentary films about science. There, scientists are always shown with something related to fire. It could be a laser, a faraway star or galaxy, an atomic reactor, a starting rocket, or at least twinkling lights on the instrument board. Earlier, it used to be a blast-furnace or a steam-engine. I wonder if the current assault on smoking is driven by the desire to exterminate the competitors, namely the non-scientific fire users.
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During the medieval period of the Dark Ages people probably did not believe in science very much. However, as the instrumentation and means of production became more and more complicated and science started to play an important role in European societies, the worship of science reappeared. Not surprisingly, the name of that historical period is the Enlightenment. The means for propagandizing the science cult is education; those who do not want to educate themselves about science are usually called “dark” people.

Undoubtedly, the Global Warming Catastrophe is closely related to science. It was predicted by scientists and can be avoided only by scientific means. With Global Warming, the religion of science has obtained its Apocalypse. But what is the reason for that terrible punishment? It is the unwise burning of fuels, burning by rough uneducated people who are not entitled to use the fire. It is the desecration of fire by the mankind. Scientists aloner are entitled to burn fire and distribute the power of fire to the people, but only in the amounts they consider sufficient. Clearly, they cannot and do not want to prohibit fire, because the fire is their power, but they want to be the only ones in the control of the fire. By the way, the accusation that the Bush administration has the desire to control Mid-Eastern oil is a typical projection of one’s aggression on the enemy.

In the light of the above piece, what else could be expected from the scientific fire worshippers? Probably, the prohibition of matches, grills and fireplaces as unsafe, restrictions on fireworks, and of course the prohibition of firearms. Later one may expect limitations on the use of electric power and natural gas, as well as recommendations to avoid cooking and frying. The prohibition of all combustive liquids, including alcohol. Finally, any unauthorized use of fire will be prohibited.

And Science will prevail.

29 comments:

S said...

That is really a reach. It is well below your usual standards for well reasoned argument. Please try to do better, or just don't post anything. I am disappointed.

Tushar said...

One interesting thing about religious people is projecting their own terminology and its related ethos onto scientists. Thus we have Dawkins being called "militant" the same term used to describe Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. We have "crusading" Atheists. We have the "church of evolution" and now comes the "cult of science." Its just funny watching people like Dmitri Kolb flail about all over the place without much coherence or documented evidence.

Now, I would agree that "global warming" is indeed a cult. As we know whenever Greenies and lefties use science, it becomes a cult. They appropriate whatever results they find that fit their socialist-colored glasses and use it to promote further taxation, curbs on the free market, multiculturalism and a totalitarian agenda.

However, to project a "cult" onto all science is not only simple-minded but perverse and reveals more about the accuser than the scientific community. The very basis of science is doubt and falsifiability. I see no proof that this is not how science is working today. (And no we will not call global warming hysteria "science" cos the science has not been settled and conclusions are being forced upon it).

How exactly do you "worship" science? Do you sacrifice a few H2O molecules in an electrolytic converter to the Chemistry god? Do you collide particles to please the Physics God? What is this all about? Fire is an "object" (not exactly) that was discovered. It is not part of "science". Science is a PROCESS, and what does "worshipping" it mean? Would that be like "worshipping" Plato? or Voltaire? Leibniz? Newton? No? Are there blasphemies? no?

This is a completely juvenile ranting article. It would be interesting if Fjordman had written it, for it would have interesting data and quotes to back things up.

gun-totin-wacko said...

Oh I don't know. I agree he's reaching, but there are some interesting corollaries there.

It would be interesting if there were some quotes supporting the point a little better. I suspect they could be found if one tried.

As to the "worship" of science, I do know people who hold science as the center of their universe. If it's scientifically proven, it's good. Otherwise, it's garbage. And they refuse to concede any point- on any topic- which isn't based in science. I suspect that's what he means.

Tushar said...

gtw,

Are you saying that its wrong to not accept things if something cannot be scientifically proven? Really? Do you realize that this means that you are validating "proofs" other than the hypothesis-data-observation empirical model that is science, utilizing logic? Really, listen to what you are saying. I suppose then we could just dismiss Fjordman out of hand too and just accept a jew-hating view of an Arab, because well, both are the same! How dare I not accept what the arab said?? Oh so what if Fjordman follows the scientific approach of hypothesizing, observing and finding data?

Right.
Just listen to yourself.

Dymphna said...

Are you saying that its wrong to not accept things if something cannot be scientifically proven?

The profusion of negatives here leaves me confused.

Are you saying that the only things that should be accepted are those which can be scientifically proven?

If so, I think that may have been the author's point...not everything falss under the rubric of science, though it doesn't stop people from trying to make it so.

I think he's also trying to trace back to the beginnings of pre-science, before the conception of hypothesis, test and validation.

This point was the basis for (?)Manchester's book, "A World Lit Only By Fire...

I think scientism, which is rampant, makes of science a cult, with scientists the priests. It is a categorical error because scientists are not a disinterested group, set apart. They can play dirty pool even better than politicians. The current university system of sciene is riven with corruption and greed for the corporate and governmental "grants." The doctoral students are serfs.

Which does not make scientific proofs bad...they just aren't the whole of life.

Ypp said...

2 tushar

How exactly do you "worship" science?

You praise science. You thank science for all you have. You consult with a scientist before doing anything. You always justify your decisions by using some recent article from a scientific journal (ast year they may have recommended the opposite). You do only what is recommended by scientists. You believe that science can solve all you problems. You believe that science can make people immortal. You respect scientists as enlightened people. For every obvious conclusion you require "logical proof", which is usualy some pseudo-logical triviality. You believe that knowing some scientific formulae (like E=mC**2) puts you above the others. You believe that knowing the structure of neutron star gives you some power over the Universe. You believe that science can tell you why and what for you live.

gun-totin-wacko said...

Go easy there, Tushar. I'm well aware of what I said. My point was that these people I know refuse to even discuss ideas that are not "scientific". Religion is unworthy of discussion, as it is unscientific. Evolution-even with the known flaws that it has- can't be discussed because the "science" is proven. And so on. That's all I'm saying.

Jesus Christ Supercop said...

gun-totin-wacko
Evolution-even with the known flaws that it has- can't be discussed because the "science" is proven.

I'm not exactly sure what you are talking about, but in my experience such discussions of evolution are typically nothing more than a religious person trying to explain why creationism is just as plausible as a "theory," and sooner or later he ends up condemnding science as silly hoghwash that has never achieved anything of value because it can't explain the meaning of life.

I don't think you can really compare science to a religion, because science is the opposite of religion. If it becomes a religion, it's no longer science. However, I would say that there's not enough "science worshipping" these days. People believe in all sorts of weird things without even a hint of critical thinking or consideration for facts, and often science is ridiculed as if it really has never achieved anything (such as computers or antibiotics), and as if scientific theories are "just theories."

It just occured to me that people seem to be abandoning religion (as in Christianity) and science, so what is taking their place?

Archonix said...

The thing is, there's science, and then there's science. Popperian ideas of science, the so-called 'scientific method' are the former. The grand experiment. Falsifiation of a theory. Skepticism. The default position of a scientist is, and should be, skepticism. The first action of a scientist on formulating a theorem is to try and create a set of falsifying conditions and then test for them. Einstein, considered by some to be the greatest scientist of the modern age, was very strict on this point. Rather than creating a set of circumstances that would prove his theory of relativity, he laid out the condtions that would demonstrate it to be false and started testing for these. That is how science works. The problem is, we also have scientific positivism, or the idea that science is all about creating a theory, calling that the truth and then finding evidence in favour of that theory. With this attitude it is very easy to classify just about everything as science and it's very easy to claim that your theory is right, because you simply ignore anything that falsifies your theory and push forward everything that matches it. That's the 'worshiped' science.

A marxist can open the newspaper and see evidence of his theory everywhere he looks. An AGW proponent will see 'warming' as proof of his theory. The theory is redefined as the starting condition, a thing to be defended rather than the thing to be tested, and that's why science is becoming a cult. Popperian ideas are being abandoned and rejected. Rational objective falsification is being replaced with the idea that a theory only needs to be positively verified. Facts and observation are rejected in favour of opinions and models.

Best part is, I learned athese definitions first from christian books. The christian church long ago adopted the idea of rational skepticism within the framework of faith. You may not believe that considering how some christians operate but, regardless, that's the case, and several centuries of philosophical rambling have taken place within cloisters and pulpits on this matter. So far the argument goes something like: God cannot be proven or disproven, but the nature of god can be deducted from a rational observation of creation. It is a starting point that might feel a little uncomfortable for non-christians but it eventually lead to the church being one of the biggest sponsors of scientific research in all history, only relatively recently surpassed by government funds. That might be irony. :)

So the point is, science is rapidly returning to a cult status. Alchemy with a new name. Not proved it yet? Just keep looking for proof. Forget all those observations that contradict the theory, they don't count...

gun-totin-wacko said...

JCS,

Thanks. You just proved my point, far better than I could have done. :)

Evan said...

Scientists, in principle if not in practice, can tell us whether we are warming the earth.

They cannot tell us what to do about it. That is not a scientific question. The more scientists forget that, given the esteem in which the public (somewhat justifiably, for historical reasons) holds them, the more dangerous they become.

turn said...

I got your fire right here, Dimitri

mistkerl said...

This essay was stupid.

I have never understood the American conservative's hatred of science. It is the single thing which will always make me a libertarian and not a conservative or a republican. What is so absurd is the vast majority of scientists are highly religious people. Indeed, logical and rational people have virtually no difficulty understanding and appreciating science while retaining their religious convictions.

Counter to that, you have a large % of religious Americans who live in petrified fear of science. I submit that if your religious ideology is threatened by science, INCLUDING EVOLUTION, you have a weak religious ideology.

Gun Totin Wacko:

I began my college career as a biologist, and I have a profound and deep admiration for evolution, and I find it particularly shameful that so few people understand its simple elegance. The reality of evolution is so overwhelming that it is comical to hear the arguments against it. Evolution is the single most attacked scientific achievement in history, and there is a good reason it has withstood 150 years of assault...

I hate to see these anti-science biases perpetrated on conservative blogs; I keep hoping this dark age of ignorance will go away, but alas, it seems endemic to the American conservative.

Archonix said...

I have never understood the American conservative's

Dimitri doesn't strike me as an american anything. Might I direct you to my previous reply to this topic, wherein I laid out the differences between 'science' as practiced by the marxists and environmentalists - amngst others - and actual scientfic skepticism. Many people reacting against 'science' are actually reacting against the sort of positivism that claims to be science but isn't.

On top of which, this particular article had nothing to do with evolution.

Dymphna said...

Archonix,

Thanks for the badly needed clarification. I don't ever remember seeing such arrogance and ill will in our comments till now.

I repeat: there is valid science and there is scientism. The latter is a cult, of which the greenie eco fundamentalists are members, as are the people who use wild hypotheses which can't be proved just to scare everyone.

The bird flu "science" is another example. And the SARS epidemic that never happened.

Not to mention the nuclear war between the super powers that was absoultely going to be a fact.

And remember when the "scientists" were telling us in 1979 that there would be world wide famine, huge overpopulation on every continent. Ah, yes, the Club of Rome, those renowned scientists.

Scientism is a religion.

Science is an endeavor to find out how the world works and why, using the scientific method.

The problems start when people make the scientific method the *only* method by which to examine problems.

The author had an interesting attempt, trying to find a metaphorical thread leading back to the era before the scientific method was established.

Metaphors and analogies work sometimes, and sometimes they don't. And some of them work for some people while leaving others unmoved.

But reading into what this author was trying to do things that aren't even there is something to ponder. Who would have thought "scientists" were so sensitive about their orthodoxies?

David said...

I don't think today's "progressives" are generally pro-science at all--and in this they are quite different from the old-line leftists. Today's left seems more concerned with feelings, with vague sorts of mysticism, and with aesthetic values.

Ypp said...

David,
Good point. That's probably why we are not going to be burned by Sun, but rather drowned by the melted ice. Fire will be quenched, rater than lit. That reflects the exhausted leftist's soul of our time. But still, it is about fire.

Thordaddy said...

If one wants to believe in MET, as most scientists seem to, then they must submit to the notion that science represents descent with modification in relation to religion.

It is understood fundamentally that both religion and science represent mankind's attempt to explain the universe and the life that is contained within it.

The problem with scientism is in the devout belief that science represents an "evolution" in mankind's thinking over and above the primitive thinking of religion.

Of course, descent with modification does not necessarily indicate better or more complex. MET does not accord value to the modifications in nature. So those that make the claim that science represents an "Enlightenment" or exaltation of rational thinking are attributing to science things that it cannot or does not represent.

What it does say is that the thinking behind the scientific process is a descendent of the thinking behind the religious process. This thinking represents a modification, but does NOT exclaim or manifest self-evident superiority . Afterall, science merely labels phenomenons and forces that have been perpetual and existant since the beginning. Science identifies effects while religion attempts to explain Cause. Science would have never came to be if it had not had certain religious thinking as its "mother and father." In fact, science is still in search of that which caused it to be.

mistkerl said...

Dymphna:

You have a very large portion of non-Americans on your blog. So, the standard conservative propaganda doesn't do as well as it would in a more typical homogeneous US blog. I don't see much of either arrogance or ill will, just people who don't buy into the anti-science conservative talking point.


Archonix:

I didn't fully enunciate why this essay was so stupid, simply because I didn't want to leave a longer comment, but here are 2 reasons why:

1. First, regardless of whether you want to believe it or not, no sane person can say with a straight face that 6 billion people living on the surface of a planet will not affect the climate. That's 6 billion people that weren't on the planet just a few thousand years ago.

2. And more importantly:

Global warming is probably the biggest weapon we have in the counter jihad.

Although at first, the two issues seem separate, they are very linked. There is a huge percentage of the western world that will never support counter jihad or even accept that the west is under attack (note: it's hard to understand why people would so willfully ignore the obvious, until you look at the right's constant attack on science that is equally obvious, :D).

However, all those people on the left will happily support any efforts that stop global warming, including anything that limits our funding of opec nations. The less oil we buy, the less money the fundamentalists have to attack our civilization. Finding an effective way to stop the west from funding its own demise should be one of the foundational strategies of the counter jihad movement. And, I can think of no better one than to exploit the fear of global warming.

So, you can casually dismiss global warming in your mind and in these righty circles, but please don't waste energy arguing against it when it really benefits our goals more than most of the strategies we currently use.

Archonix said...

Misterkerl, the problem you seem to neglect is that the US gets the majority of its oil from Africa. The african producers are not OPEC members, despite following the OPEC pricing - the market dictates that they do so there's little choice. African oil is a little harder to extract and has a slightly higher price as a result. If the west starts to reduce its 'dependence' on oil the first producers to be abandoned will be the higher-priced african producers, which will actually increase the grip of the arabian oil states on western foreign policy.

And yes, I do dispute the idea of global warming. Here's a good analogy explaining why.

Archonix said...

Now an addition. I find your constant carping about 'american conservatives' attacking science more than a little annoying. It strikes me that the biggest assaults on science come from the left. The very essence of marxism is anathaematic to science; it relies on confirmation bias. The positivism I mentioned before.

These attacks on 'science' that you perceive are not attacks on science at all. They're attacks on the pretence of scientific credibility by those who want to use the mantle of science without actually putting their pet theories to the test. Global warming is a good example of this. AGW theory is untestable. There are no falsifying conditions. It relies on models and manipulated data rather than observation and testing. The science behind it is based, not on actual empirical evidence, but on guess-work and opinion, and as the evidence is gathered it becomes less tenable.

But,a s I said, it has no falsifying conditions. It is not science, no matter how people try to dress it up as science.

Ypp said...

Evolution does have one problem, which makes it different from other scientific theories: it cannot predict anything, because evolution is completely random. Second, it is impossible to tell whether real development is random or not, because randomness can be proven only by comparison of many processes. However, we can observe only one process- evolution on one planet.

P.S. I am of European origin and have scientific background. Not a narrow-minded dogmatic American conservative with slave-owner past.

mistkerl said...

Archonix:

My understanding is that you are a fairly young British person. So, I find it amusing you don't like my carping simply because you have no concept of how poorly evolution has been framed by American conservatives, :). The 'attacks' on science you bring up, are always directed at 'scientism' or some other excuse, but end up being thinly veiled attacks on sound scientific principles (like evolution). But, I do agree with you; I have no love for the left either, Marxism was a terrible event. Communism (*google Lysenkoism for a chilling example of what happens when fundamentalists tell scientists what to produce) was just as disastrously anti-science, and just as wrong.

And, you are again missing my point, which is, it really doesn't matter one whit if global warming is real or not. Like I said before, it is silly to imagine that humans don't affect the climate, but even if you take that position... it has no bearing whatsoever on using global warming as a weapon against the jihad. And, while the US may spend exorbitant amounts of money in Africa, there is no doubt that the US also pumps billions of dollars into OPEC countries. The less oil we buy, the less we fund our enemy, fullstop.


YPP:

Evolution is not completely random. In fact, it is not random at all. That's what natural selection does... provide a non-random way to select for the most fit populations...

Evolution makes tons of predictions. Long before genetics, Darwin himself, predicted that some unknown process was involved which passed traits amongst offspring. About half a century after his death, we discovered DNA, the exact thing Darwin would have expected to discover, if science had been advanced enough in his time to see it. Pretty much, if you accept the idea that DNA evidence can identify one individual in a population, you accept evolution. If you accept that human drugs can be tested on pigs to see what their affects will be on humans, you accept evolution. It goes on and on.

Archonix said...

Evolution is not completely random. In fact, it is not random at all. That's what natural selection does... provide a non-random way to select for the most fit populations...

Actually no, you're quite wrong. Natural selection is not something that provides anything. It's a name we've given to a process of things dying, or not dying, depending on how suited they are to their environment. Evolution is a purely random process with no direction, no goals. It's not driving toward any articular perfect species. It's purely random mutations altering existing species which then live or die depending on whether that mutation is beneficial to them. Now perhaps it's just a semantic misunderstanding, but you have to be careful with your use of language in regards to such matters, because you can wander dangerously close to the anthropic principle.

My mind is boggling now. Here I am, a christian, lecturing people about the anthropic principle... ironic?

So far, research has demonstrated that an evolutionary process of some sort does take place but I find it interesting that nobody has yet proposed a set of tests to falsify evolutionary theory. I grant it would be difficult to do so, given the potential timescales we're talking about, but in terms of scientific curiosity I think it would be worth the effort.

Now back to africa. You missed my point, which is that the west, in reducing its oil consumption, would stop paying africa for its oil and still be paying OPEC top dollar. The result would be african countries losing a vital income stream just as they're facing a prolonged and growing threat of assault from muslim forces within and without.

Of course, the way the market operates is: we buy oil. Where it comes from doesn't matter that much. If we stop buying oil, other people guy it., China buys it. Using global warming as a trick to try and reduce our consumption of oil will not have any effect on OPEC, or islamic oil producers. All it will do is reduce our own ability to defend ourselves by reducing our production capacity. Until a viable alternative power source is found, reducing our use of oil would cripple the economies of the west, but wouldn't do a thing to reduce OPEC's income. China would take up the slack in no time. It's one of those catch-22 situations.

Thordaddy said...

Mistkerl,

Actually, the better anti-jihadist, pro-global warming stance would be a halt to all immigration across Western nations. That would guarantee a reduction in CO2 emissions and stop and then dwindle jihadist influence in our countries.

mistkerl said...

Thordaddy,

I completely agree that a sensible approach to immigration control would be a beautiful thing; unfortunately, I don't believe the Republicans are any more interested in that than the Democrats. The last 8 years have shown that to be the case in my opinion.


Archonix:

I apologize for the length of the coming reply, but it is necessary to refute your claims. I know how irritating it is to try and read a 100 page novel comment, but I couldn't make it any shorter.

I'm sorry, but you are attacking a creationist strawman. If evolution was anything like your explanation, then it would be understandably hard to accept. However, the only people who claim evolution is 100% utterly random are the people who learned about it in church.

First, you are correct that evolution is unguided and has no purpose. There is absolutely no end goal in evolution. This is of course the central tenet which I think impairs religiously minded people from being able to accept it. If humans aren't the pinnacle of life, and we are just another animal, how could we possibly be so arrogant to think God looks exactly like us? So, I understand why it is that some people feel the need to attack evolution as the greatest evil simply because it scares the crap out of them. Interestingly, this is also why the argument for 'transitional' fossils is so silly. All species are transitional. For example, that's why many types of ocean birds can dive and swim under water (as deep as 20-30 meters) but land based birds can't.

QUOTE Mist: "Evolution is not completely random. In fact, it is not random at all. That's what natural selection does... provide a non-random way to select for the most fit populations..."

QUOTE Archonix: "Actually no, you're quite wrong. Natural selection is not something that provides anything. It's a name we've given to a process of things dying, or not dying, depending on how suited they are to their environment. "

Hmm interesting, I said that natural selection ISN'T random because it selects the most fit individuals from a population. You then totally agree, saying it is a process that selects which animals die depending on how suited they are to their environment. If the most fit animals live the longest, that means they breed the most. Over time, their genetics will be passed to a greater percentage of the population than an individual that dies at a younger age. So, how is selecting the most fit of a species random again? That is exactly the point. It is a very selective process. Here is an excerpt from the talk origins archive:

"There is probably no other statement which is a better indication that the arguer doesn't understand evolution. Chance certainly plays a large part in evolution, but this argument completely ignores the fundamental role of natural selection, and selection is the very opposite of chance. Chance, in the form of mutations, provides genetic variation, which is the raw material that natural selection has to work with. From there, natural selection sorts out certain variations. Those variations which give greater reproductive success to their possessors (and chance ensures that such beneficial mutations will be inevitable) are retained, and less successful variations are weeded out. When the environment changes, or when organisms move to a different environment, different variations are selected, leading eventually to different species. Harmful mutations usually die out quickly, so they don't interfere with the process of beneficial mutations accumulating."

Ok, next part:

QUOTE Archonix: "So far, research has demonstrated that an evolutionary process of some sort does take place... "

You state that limited evolution has been shown, which I am translating into the typical creationist jargon: micro-evolution, which creationists usually claim means 'changes inside a specific species'. By creating this artificial barrier, creationists can then dismiss all of the overwhelming evidence that exists which they can no longer outright deny (which is why they invented the term micro-evolution after 60 years of just straight denial of all evolution).

However, and so ironically, this is a dangerous position to take for an anti-evolutionist. The only difference between micro and macro evolution is the amount of time you allow it to occur. So, if you are willing to accept that in a few short thousand years a wild pack of dogs could be domesticated and bred into shapes as varied as ST. Bernards and Weiner dogs (an artificial evolution which is no longer deniable), then imagine what would happen over millions of years if you separated the weiner dogs and St. Bernards into different geographical locations. If they could diverge so much in just a few thousand years, what would they be like a million years later?

Finally,

"... but I find it interesting that nobody has yet proposed a set of tests to falsify evolutionary theory."

Ummm... first of all I find it interesting that you believe this to be the case. Science is about falsification. If evolution was not falsifiable, it would be just as useless as intelligent design creationism. Imagine the fame scientists achieve when they develop new theories. That is a powerful motivator for scientists to try and find flaws in the prevailing theory, whether it is the theory of evolution, the theory of gravity, or the theory of electricity. There are so many ways evolution could be falsified. Evolution requires corroborating evidence from numerous unrelated scientific fields to all reach the same conclusion. Everything from biology to geography, chemistry, genetics, phylogenetics, anthropology, etc etc. The list goes on. And yet, they all complement each other.

In Darwin's day for example, the common understanding of the age of the earth was limited to between 5000 and 10000 years. In his very own book On the Origin of Species, he acknowledged that evolution could not possibly have occurred if the earth was really so young. He set it out as one of the primary methods to falsify evolution. Of course, we now know the earth is far far older than 10k years, but at the time he wrote it, that was a very powerful factor that could have completely worked against his theory.

Since then, numerous attempts have been made to produce evidence of something that could not possibly have evolved. Famous past examples include the eye, the human, the horse, and the whale. All of these were championed, and all were found to be completely produce-able by evolution once enough knowledge and technology was acquired to truly study them. Finding just one example of something that could not have evolved, and that is central to modern day species, would falsify evolution.

This is the major tactic that ID proponents take: they describe something as 'irreducible' and then claim because of that, evolution is wrong. The current favorite is the tail rotor on the bacterial flagellem. Why something so ridiculous? As science expands its understanding of evolution, creationists have to go to increasingly more bizarre and obscure items to make their claims against evolution. Still, if no scientific explanation could be made for how the tail of a flagellum evolved, eventually, evolution would be in serious trouble; especially if some other competing (and falsifiable) theory existed which offered an explanation for flagellum rotors.

Or, think of the huge trees of animal relatedness based on their fossils that were developed over the last 100 years. These relationship trees make a specific claim: such and such animal is related in this fashion. When genetics became a major field, it created a new method totally unrelated to fossils to sort species. And what happens when DNA is sequenced from hundreds of animals? At the genetic level, the relationship patterns still match. Again, evolution of species, is the only logical explanation of why this is the case, why should the DNA of animals like humans and pigs be so similar? Why does the genetic relationship fall in line with the fossil relationships? Why are mammals so closely related in so many unrelated ways? Genetics could have shown no relationship between animals. If animals had no relationships at the genetic level, then species would not all be related and evolution would have been falsified. History has shown us that not only do they complement each other, but that genetics independently verifies many of the principles of evolution. This is particularly powerful evidence for evolution because genetics was absolutely unheard of and completely beyond understanding in the 1800s when evolution was first discovered.

Maybe you want a specific example? Ever heard the famous statement "find a rabbit in the Cambrian"? That's one super fast way to falsify evolution; find fossils that are in the wrong epochs in the ground. Find just one non-faked example anywhere and you would be able to bring serious doubt to all of evolutionary theory. And the beautiful thing is you don't have to be a scientist to go dig up fossils. Anyone can go do it. Oh yeah, creationists tried this for many years without luck, :( The reality is that if this were a common occurrence, 150 years of digging in the ground would have already found such discrepancies, and there would be many more than one of them, and evolution would have been falsified.

So there are many falsification tests for evolution. Over the last 150 years, evolution has passed each test with flying colors. It is because of this that the reality of evolution is so accepted amongst anyone who spends the time to understand it. If you have read all the way through this essay, and want more, I would be happy to provide a very long list of peer reviewed articles that would meet your needs. Evolution is one of the pinnacles of human achievement, and it is a crying shame that so many people want to destroy it in the name of religion.

Ypp said...

2 mistkerl

There is overwelming evedence that atheistic Survive-the-most-fit believers will soon die out naturally. And this is the most obvious inconsistency of the survive-the-most-fit theory. I would think twice before subscribing for it.

Archonix said...

Please don't put words in my mouth, mister. I did not talk about 'microevolution' I talked abotu evolution, which has been demonstrated to happen. I happen to believe both creationism and evolution. One is a matter of faith and the other is a matter of science.

What evolution does not do, and yet what it is used to do, is explaint he origin of life. It is used to replace rather than complement faith, and that is darwin's big mistake. Granted it was brought about by his contemporaries on both sides of the debate, rather thant he man himself, who saw evolution as a way of explaining god's creation. Thhis action by these people is why the debate is so polarised.

I have, in fact, read of artefacts being found well outside their expected epochs in the fossil record. These artefacts are generally supressed because they don't fit. Your rabbit might noe exist, but other thigns do. They don't necessarily falsify evolutionary theory, rather they might falsify the current theories on the formation of sedimentary layers, for which alternative viable theories also exist.

So, again, don't put words in my mouth. I learned abotu evolution from books, not church. My church was more concerned with spiritual truths than trying to explain misunderstood scientific theories. You'll find that most churches are the same.

mistkerl said...

Oh you're a theistic evolutionist?
Why didn't you just say so. I have no problem with people who accept evolution but believe creation was a supernatural event that began it. I personally have no idea how life began and I just accept that it is beyond my comprehension at this time.

However, I want to make sure you understand that your viewpoint is probably the only one you could take that would be more upsetting to American conservatives than mine, :).

And, just to clarify to anyone else who may still be lurking in this never ending thread, evolution does not attempt to explain the origin of life. Evolution has absolutely nothing to do with that. It simply posits an explanation for how species adapted to their environments; changing over time and creating the huge diversity we see in modernity. This is why the vast majority of scientists have religious beliefs, and also why science can appeal to anyone regardless of their belief system.

Indeed, the only religious groups who can't accept evolution are those that believe in a fundamental / literal reading of their religious texts. And that is exactly why the 2 areas where evolution is the least accepted (The USA and the Middle East) just happen to have the largest populations of fundamentalists (Christians in the USA, muslims in the ME).