The Ramblings of the Millahtime Man

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Evolution or ID?

Wow, I am amazed at how many people posted comments on Intelligent Design. Here is something to think about with the science behind evolution and just science in general. I'm not asking anyone to agree with me but to honestly think about it.

A question I have asked myself is, how much of the evolution push is due to the science or the way it is integrated through society?

Kids are taught this young but teachers. How much do middle school and high school teachers really know about these things? Are they highly educated people on this topic? Of course not. High school and middle school teachers are rarely experts in any specific field. They are going off the science books they have.

Kids are also taught at a young age. How many people actually question evolution, look into it, and find what it really says? Most of the people I know go by the little they were taught when they were kids. They don't really know much about it, just that they are supposed to believe it and so they do. This is as bad as Christians who do the same with their religion. They were taught something when they were young but don't know much since then and have little idea what it really says.

So, you end up with a lot of people who were taught something when they were kids that they stand behind with little real knowledge and understand on it. When they were taught was by a teacher who didn't really know much about it except what was in the text book back when they were kids. Evolutionary theory has changed since then (if you have been out of school for a bit).

I also have asked myself the question, how much of "modern science" is true science and how much is scientists philosophizing based on that information?

Back in the day, hundreds of years ago there were scientists and philosophers. I am talking hundreds of years ago and long before our times. Back then there were scientists who did the science work. Most didn't try to put meaning behind it. There were philosophers to put meaning behind it. What ever that meaning would be.

Today things work a little bit different. Scientists today are the combination of scientists from the past and philosophers from the past. They take their work and try to find meaning behind it. They take the info they find and come up with grand schemes of what it could mean rather than just what it is.

I recently read an interesting statistic that said that 50% of all scientific papers these days are not true.

Not too long ago a friend of mine brought up the medias role in this. What is that role?

The media presents science info to the world. Well, when something is found out to be wrong does the media show that. If you do the research the answer is typically not. If a scientist finds something "big" then he touts his mouth off and the media bites and publishes. If he is proven wrong then he keeps his mouth pretty quiet and the media typically doesn't bite. This leaves the general reader the impression it's still true.

In Summary

I have studied creation, intelligent design, and evolution. I have books on them from many points of view. I have studied the science, how it works, what people have said, and so much more. After all of this I don't believe in evolution from a purely scientific point of view. You may not agree with my conclusion but please respect my opinion.

So, how much of your belief is on faith or real knowledge about it?

21 Comments:

  • Well, where to start...

    "Back in the day, hundreds of years ago there were scientists and philosophers. I am talking hundreds of years ago and long before our times. Back then there were scientists who did the science work. Most didn't try to put meaning behind it. There were philosophers to put meaning behind it. What ever that meaning would be."

    Either you haven't much studied the history of science or you have come up with some (to my mind) really strange conclusions here. A 16th or 17th century scientist would have called himself a philosopher. The two fields were deeply mixed at that time as what we would call science now grew out of what we would now call philosophy. These have become more differentiated, not less, over time. In fact many of the early Western science researcher were clergymen of some sort.

    "I recently read an interesting statistic that said that 50% of all scientific papers these days are not true."
    You sound suprised by this and I wonder why. That statistic is pretty much what I would expect. Science is the search for empirical truth. The search is conducted by constructing hypotheses and conducting experiments or making observations that test the hypotheses. Those results are publish in scientific papers. The reason they are published is so that others may work with those data and provide further support or contradiction. Since most things being researched in these days are very complex, it is not surprising to me that much of the published research would be eventually shown to be wrong. That is not a bad thing; it is how the empirical search for truth works.

    "The media presents science info to the world. Well, when something is found out to be wrong does the media show that. If you do the research the answer is typically not. If a scientist finds something "big" then he touts his mouth off and the media bites and publishes. If he is proven wrong then he keeps his mouth pretty quiet and the media typically doesn't bite. This leaves the general reader the impression it's still true."

    This is a problem everywhere. Our current presidential administration uses it to great effect leaving many people with the impression that we found WMD's in Iraq. However, in my memory (which may be wrong as I tend to follow the science sections and not just the front page) when major questions arise with stories that were earlier widely reported (such as the fossils in the Martian meteorites) they are covered.
    I suspect here you are trying to allude the ID/Creationist claims of problems with evolution. If you can show me an example of major media coverage of an evolutionary story and a really solid ID debunking of that story, I'd be interested to see it.
    Scientists advance in their field by making discoveries that provide new or better understanding of the way things work. A scientist who saw strong evidence of something like intelligent design would probably not simply reject it out of hand, they could make their career as a proponent of that theory. Evolution proved its worth by predicting the need for genes and DNA, showing how bacteria might become resistant to anti-biotics and why there are species yet still so much genetic material seems the same. If ID can provide the same practical types of predictions, it will be accepted by the scientific community as were heliocentrism, relativity, quantum theory, and plate tectonics. So far though, I have seen nothing fruitful from ID.

    By Anonymous Ed T, at 2:29 PM  

  • To the above commenter: No scientists could ever accept Intelligent Design. Intelligent Design, you see, calls for an Intelligent Designer, which calls for an intelligence, which calls for a being with free will. And the one thing science will never admit to the existence of, no matter how great the evidence, is free will.

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  • Skepticism, the foundation of science, is most admirable. To question assumptions and challenge current conventions with new ideas based on evidence derrived from observable fact is unquestionably the best path to truth presently available to humanity.

    Your skepticism of evolutionary theory is warranted. However, by failing to cite any specific evidence for your conclusions that evolution is false (you claim it is not entirely convincing, meaning that you find it to be false), you open yourself to ridicule, and deservedly so.

    You see, tens of thousands of scientists across dozens of fields for over 100 years have failed to find a single shred of compelling evidence suggesting that evolutionary theory is false. The evidence in favor of evolution is simply overwhelming. Your claim that it is 'unconvincing' is exceptional, and as Carl Sagan said, "exceptional claims require exceptional proof." Your lack of any supporting evidence beyond a gut response leads readers, via Occam's Razor, to the simplest conclusion: you have no evidence to support your hunches, which are probably based on personal biases, and your failure to reach the same conclusion reached by thousands of the most respected scientific minds on the planet suggests you are either uninformed, unintelligent, or both.

    By Anonymous Hadam Hiram, at 9:16 AM  

  • It's difficult to take anything you say seriously when the first sentence of your first answer has a syntactical error.

    Anyhow, ID people are always floating around very spurious logic and extremely loosely-connected examples/points to try to drive their emotional/spiritual agendas. That's fine I guess; to each his own. The problem is, no ID proponent ever seems to have a truly compelling point.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:39 AM  

  • Hi there, I agree with many of your observations and very little with you conclusion.

    I agree that many people argue over evolution without havening a real grasp of what it is. I agree that most arguments - either for or against - are based on elementary education.

    I think you nailed this very well. However I believe this is why so many people don't believe in it - they don't truly understand it.

    If you believe that reproduction is perfect, then there is no room for evolution.

    Evolution is simply the study of genetic change in populations over time. The premise of evolution is that DNA can be changed (mutated) in the process of reproduction and that those changes can be passed on to future generations.

    Micro-evolution is the theory (that even most IDers accept) of genetic change within a species.

    Macro-evolution is the theory that with enough changes an organism can arise that would not be able to produce viable offspring with a genetic equivalent of its ancestors but would be able to produce viable offspring with a genetic equivalent of its siblings (i.e. a new species).

    If you accept the above two theories, then you accept evolution. If not then you either don't believe that genetic change can happen, or you don't believe that it can happen "enough".

    The problem with not accepting it of course is that we have ample examples every day of genetic change (I am the father of a baby with Trisomy-18 so I am painfully aware of genetic changes from one generation to the next).

    In applied research (not theoretical science, but research that has real return on investment) the concepts of evolution are vital - Drug companies spend billions on drugs based on genetics. The WHO is tracking virus mutations (i.e. evolution) to prepare us for potential epidemics.

    Of course I am respectful of your opinion, but closing your eyes to evolution will not make it go away - nor will the reality of evolution care to respect that kind of ignorance.

    -CF

    By Anonymous ChronoFish, at 12:08 PM  

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