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Evolution leaves lots of things unexplained. (Talk.Origins)

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Response Article
This article (Evolution leaves lots of things unexplained. (Talk.Origins)) is a response to a rebuttal of a creationist claim published by Talk.Origins Archive under the title Index to Creationist Claims.


Claim CA100.1:

Evolution leaves lots of things unexplained, such as gravity, the origin of life, biological complexity, and morals.

Source:

CreationWiki response:

(Talk.Origins quotes in blue)


1. No theory explains everything, and evolution makes no pretense of being different. Evolution does not even apply to some areas, such as cosmology and physics.

It would be better if Talk Origins used the words the "theory of evolution" or "biological" or "Darwinian evolution" because of the known ambiguity of the word (see CA212). "Evolution" can be used to describe the evolution of stars and the evolution of the cosmos, thus including cosmology.

It is true that no theory explains everything, but that wasn't really the point made by Michael Behe. For him, and many others, the theory of biological evolution leaves a lot of things unexplained in the macro- and micro-biological realm which it is supposed to explain. For just one example, I will quote:

"The bottom line is that the cell -- the very basis of life -- is staggeringly complex. But doesn't science already have answers, or partial answers, for how these systems originated? No. As James Shapiro, a biochemist at the University of Chicago, wrote, "There are no detailed Darwinian accounts for the evolution of any fundamental biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations." Behe, Michael J. 1996. Darwin under the microscope. New York Times, 29 Oct. 1996

Behe had a lot more to say if you want to look.

When it comes to the other source Talk Origins used, which may have been talking about cosmological evolution. I don't believe physicists or evolutionary scientists have explained how the laws of gravity and the nature of light formed from the hypothetical Big Bang. Since no one truly knows what gravity is, it would be difficult to guess how it formed. It is probably because evolutionary scientists assume all the right ingredients were already there without postulating their origin why they think everything in the universe when along a certain evolutionary path. This always is the weakness of naturalistic evolutionary theories: you have to assume everything is there at just the right time in just the right measurements. You have to assume because you don't know what was actually there. The model you come up with from those assumptions may be consistent with a lot of observations, but that doesn't make it true, because the actual events are locked in the past. Evolution, in any of its forms, be it cosmological, stellar, chemical or biological, may be consistent with some findings, but is not without serious flaws, flaws that give us reason to question the theories, their assumptions, and their logic in interpreting the evidence said to confirm them.

In biology, evolution is broadly applicable, and it explains a great deal (Theobald 2004), but it is not everything. Some explanations depend on other factors; some we simply have not found yet; and some may be beyond our ability to uncover or understand. It is silly to condemn evolution, despite its strengths, for not achieving godhood.

The real problem is this: has evolution adequately explained enough within its biological framework? The answers for many is no! Even if it could, does it make such stories that the evolutionists make factual? No! Because science cannot deal with the past outside human experience and there is no way of verifying what happened in that past. Without verification, we can speculate and give "explanations", but they have no truth value. The circumstantial evidence paraded as unambiguously pointing to evolution is not so unambiguous.

Also the things explained by evolution, a good number of them, if not all of them, can be explained from another framework other than the theory of evolution, i.e. research into creation science.

It is correct to condemn evolution, despite its "strengths", not for not reaching "godhood" but because of its fundamental weaknesses.

2. Evolution does explain some things that people claim it does not (morals, for example), at least in broad outline. Sometimes the people making this claim simply have not done their homework.

It is questionable which "evolution" Talk Origins is talking about here. Not only is there biological evolution, there is something now called "social evolution" or "social Darwinism", or in its more modern guise, sociobiology, which tries to explain morals in an Darwinistic framework. The explanations given for moral behavior like altruism (which does fly in the face of Darwinism) are not without problems, seem like ad hoc hypothesis or just-so stories, and lack any solid evidence between genetics and complex human behavior.

Since morality is more abstract than biological, and Darwinian evolution is supposed to just be talking about our physical history, it seems a stretch to want to apply to every part of our lives. This may prove to be one of the factors that shows the ultimately philosophical adherence to reductionism and naturalism that exhibits the religious mentality of evolution.


Useful resources: Ethics and Darwinism Part 1 and Part 2.


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