Mind Games 2.0

Bloggin' 'bout science and life

Tag: creationism

Where Does It Say That Evolution Does Not Happen?

I was sitting in church a couple of weeks back on Christmas Eve waiting for the service to start.  As I usually do to pass the time, I picked up the Bible (what else are you going to do in church?), and I had a revelation about what I work on – namely evolution.    

This revelation came to me in the form of a simple question.  Where in the Bible does it say that evolution does not happen?

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Darwin Was Wrong About A Lot of Things

Now that’s a provocative title coming from an evolutionary biologist, isn’t it? Well, it’s meant to be.

I am continually amazed by both creationists and evolutionary biologists alike in the ongoing “debate” about the validity of evolution.  Many creationists feel that if they can find a single instance in which Charles Darwin was wrong about the workings of evolution, the entire idea that biological evolution shapes the biota of the world around us will be shown to be a complete fraud.  Moreover, many evolutionary biologists fall to an extremely defensive position because of this.

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We Scientists Work On Things We Don’t Completely Understand

This afternoon I’ve been reflecting on the debate last night between Bill Nye and Ken Ham over evolution and creationism (see here), and reading the various critiques and criticisms in the blogosphere.  A few can be found here, here and here.  In this short post, I won’t add to this critique.  Rather, I want to put down a few thoughts on science and religion.

Scientists work on things we don’t completely understand.  This is a given about doing science.  If we knew everything about something, a scientist would have no reason to figure it out.  The debate last night centered on something I’ve thought about for a very long time in interacting with people who question evolution and science in general.  Much of the basis of Ham’s argument to Nye was essentially, “Admit you don’t know.”

However, criticizing science for what we don’t yet understand shows a complete misunderstanding about what science is.  That is the entire point of science – working on things we don’t know.  In fact, if you want to engage a scientist at the most fundamental level, don’t ask them, “what have you found?” but rather ask them “what is your question?”  And what flows from that is “what is your prediction?”

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