The advocates of evolution insist that it is a science. But in fact it fails most of the tests that those same advocates set for science.
The tests of science
Any argument must stand or fall on its own terms. So when an evolutionist sets out tests for science, evolution must stand those tests—or fail as a science.
The science faculty at the University of California at Berkeley have such a statement on file. It is as good a statement as any of the tests that science must meet, to be worthy of the name. They are:
- The conclusions of science are reliable, but still tentative. No scientist ever proves anything. The best that any scientist can do is to try to explain what he sees.
- Scientists do not vote on their conclusions. When they do their jobs properly, they explain all that they see in the simplest way possible. “Entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily,” said William of Ockham. And that does not depend on what anyone prefers.
- Scientists hold to no absolute “givens” or “directives.” The Berkeley professors say that “nothing in the scientific enterprise requires belief.” More accurately, nothing in the scientific enterprise requires obedience, except of the laws of logic, averages, etc.
- Scientists do not make moral or philosophical judgments in their work. A scientist, or an engineer, might decide that building a given device might be immoral. But to decide that a given conclusion would be immoral is not the job of a scientist.
How does evolution score on this test?
Evolution fails miserably. Examples abound of violations of at least three of the rules that the Berkeley professors say that science must follow.
- Evolution advocates refuse to admit that their basic premise is tentative. Even a scientific law is tentative. But not to an evolutionist. To an evolutionist, nothing can have a cause beyond nature, and no intervention is possible in nature, apart from anything a man can do. Yet whenever any set of observations is so radically different from natural expectation that the probability of those observations is vanishingly small, they still refuse to accept intervention. The reason: to accept intervention, they must accept an Intervenor.
- Evolution itself is a dogma. This is almost the same as 1 above, and more. Evolutionists, to the extent that their political or other power allows, do not permit anyone to call himself a scientist who does not, liberally, believe in evolution. They say that their enterprise does not require belief. Yet they offer a premise that they have never been able to observe, or show, in action.
- Evolution advocates, and their allies in other disciplines, have made and continue to make philosophical judgments in their work. The prize example is Edwin Hubble (of telescope fame). He set forth what he called the Copernican Principle: that the universe has no center, and every vista in the universe would look the same to any observer, no matter what galaxy (or larger object) he was in. At first Hubble saw plainly that the galaxy in which we live is at the center of the universe. But then he made a philosophical judgment against that conclusion.
John Hartnett (Starlight, Time and the New Physics) quotes him thus:
Such a position would imply that we occupy a unique place in the universe…But the unwelcome supposition of a favored location must be avoided at all costs…Such a favored position, of course, is intolerable; moreover, it represents a discrepancy with the theory, because the theory postulates homogeneity. [Emphasis added by editor]
Unwelcome? Intolerable? A thing to avoid at all costs? Those are philosophical, even moral, judgments. What is morality, but a code of values that one accepts by choice? Obviously Edwin Hubble valued uniformity so highly that he flew in the face of the evidence. This also disproves, by counterexample, the Berkeley professors’ statement that scientists do not make moral judgments. Hubble made one, and his successors have copied that judgment without question.
The only rule that evolution seems to follow is the rule that science is not democratic—that is, scientists as a body do not vote on their conclusions. True—but in a non-flattering way. What evolution advocates do is worse than call for a vote. They draw conclusions a priori, and either force their observations to conform to them—or else ignore them.
The Yale University Student Handbook, in 1976, said this about such behavior:
The practice known as dry-labbing, constructing observations out of one’s head,…is an offense of such gravity that it merits excommunication from the community of scientists. At Yale the comparable sanction is expulsion.
But not, evidently, for an evolutionist.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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