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November 11, 2005

More rationalization for the religion of Evolution

From Tech Central Station—Is Intelligent Design a Bad Scientific Theory or a Non-Scientific Theory?  by Uriah Kriegel ...

To make their case, opponents of teaching ID must show not just that the theory is bad, but that it's not science. This raises a much more complicated question: What is science? What distinguishes genuinely scientific theories from non-scientific ones?...

To win in the game of science, a theory must be submitted to many tests and survive all of them without being falsified. But to be even allowed into the game, the theory must be falsifiable in principle: there must be a conceivable experiment that would prove it false.

If we examine ID in this light, it becomes pretty clear that the theory isn't scientific. It is impossible to refute ID, because if an animal shows one characteristic, IDers can explain that the intelligent designer made it this way, and if the animal shows the opposite characteristic, IDers can explain with equal confidence that the designer made it that way. For that matter, it is fully consistent with ID that the supreme intelligence designed the world to evolve according to Darwin's laws of natural selection. Given this, there is no conceivable experiment that can prove ID false.

The first problem with this argument is that Evolution doesn't meet the requirements. It is not falsifiable since it can't be tested.

The second problem with the author's (a philosophy professor) argument is that ID doesn't specify detailed mechanisms but poses that what is observable is not producible by natural means. Therefore it is falsifiable. Take DNA for instance.

“[T]here is enough information capacity in a single human cell to store the Encyclopaedia Britannica, all 30 volumes of it, three or four times over.” — Evolutionist Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, W.W. Norton, New York, p. 115, 1986.

DNA is by far the most compact information storage system in the universe. Even the simplest known living organism has 482 protein-coding genes. This is a total of 580,000 ‘letters,’ —humans have three billion in every nucleus. — Jonathan Sarfati, DNA: marvelous messages or mostly mess?

All it would take is for someone to demonstrate that an organized, meaningful collection of data of 279,560,000 bytes (482x580,000, the minimal gene complement of Mycoplasma genitalium, one of the simplest known living organisms) can be generated by a completely natural process, and ID would be disproved. (Interestingly enough even a $1 million dollar prize hasn't been enough encouragement to get scoffers to attempt this.) That's only one of numerous experiments that could indeed falsify ID. Makes you wonder why the zealots of the religion of Evolution aren't out trying to collect that million dollars. Perhaps they know full well that there's a big difference between falsifiable and falsified, even though they pretend that it means the same.

It's interesting that so many philosophy professors are turning up defending Evolution. But it's hardly surprising given that in reality Evolution is much more about philosophy and belief than anything having to do with science.

Posted by Danny Carlton at November 11, 2005 08:00 AM

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Comments

The first problem with this argument is that Evolution doesn't meet the requirements. It is not falsifiable since it can't be tested.

Actually, this is only true is you take the 3rd grade version of science that something has to be testable only in a lab with repeatable experiments. A prediction that turns out to be true is a test of the theory. Things like the fossil record can provide a test. Looking at the similarity of DNA across species can be a test. In all cases evolutionary theory works.

All it would take is for someone to demonstrate that an organized, meaningful collection of data of 279,560,000 bytes (482x580,000, the minimal gene complement of Mycoplasma genitalium, one of the simplest known living organisms) can be generated by a completely natural process, and ID would be disproved.

This is dishonest. Evolutionary thoery does NOT posit that such things poofed into existence complete. In fact, such an occurence would be evidence for the supernatural, not a natural process like evolutionary theory which takes millions of years.

Posted by: Steve at November 14, 2005 11:45 AM

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