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Evolution is wrong because it's a system of beliefs, not science

December 10, 2005|By Brian Black

To the editor:



As Mr. Buhrer stated in his letter of Dec. 4, the "thorough lack of understanding of how science works" is sad indeed. Science is the study of observable phenomena that are repeatable and subject to hypothesis, testing and independent verification. Anything outside this process of observation and repeatability cannot be investigated scientifically.

And this is exactly the problem with Darwinian evolution.

To be fair, we must first define some things. In biology, there are two terms used - microevolution and macroevolution. Microevolution, or "small changes," refers to the observation that small changes can occur within the population of a specific kind of organism. If the environment of a breeding population is altered, a certain segment of the population may be eliminated. The survivors then pass their peculiar genetic information on to succeeding generations.

Microevolution is what Darwin termed "natural selection." He attributed the varieties of finches he observed on the Galapagos Islands to this process. Since Darwin's day, natural selection has been verified by further scientific work. I might add that I know of no creationist or intelligent design advocate who doesn't accept microevolution.

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Macroevolution, on the other hand, is where the debate lies. As might be expected, macroevolution is defined as being the "big changes" that have supposedly occurred. One kind of organism, over vast amounts of time, eventually changes into a different kind of organism. This is the view that says that all living things, including ourselves, have descended from a common ancestor that lived in a pool of pre-biotic soup about 1 billion years ago or so. It is imagined that all life has progressed through macroevolution to modern times. This is sometimes known as the "goo to you by way of the zoo" view.

Please note that, since it must take vast amounts of time for such great changes to occur, macroevolution remains an unobservable phenomenon. Therefore, by the rigid definition of science outlined above, macroevolution lies outside the realm of scientific inquiry. No scientist can possibly observe one kind of organism becoming a completely different kind of organism. And such a process, if it occurred at all, is certainly not subject to repeatability and, therefore, experimentation. Macroevolution is not science; it is an inferred hypothesis that can never be tested, more along the idea of a model rather than a theory.

One might argue that the fossil record proves that macroevolution occurred. Suffice it to say that there are some very, very serious gaps in the fossil record - a real absence of transitional forms that need to be there if big changes have occurred over time. It's not that there are missing links; entire chains are missing. Scientifically, the best we can say about fossils is that we today can readily observe that there are many, many dead things buried in rocks. How they got there is subject to speculation and, I might add, a great deal of wonderfully creative human imagination. To demonstrate this to yourself, pick up just about any child's book on this topic and see how many photos of actual objects are offered as opposed to how many renderings of an "artist's conception of how things might have been" you find. It's imagination.

The point of this is that, contrary to Buhrer's contention, people do indeed simply believe that macroevolution has occurred. We live in a day where some folks have placed a great amount of faith in "just so" stories that are the products of human imagination. Modern evolutionary theory is not science; it is a belief system. And it ought to be treated as such, both by our educational institutions and by our society in general.

Brian Black
Waynesboro, Pa.

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