It has been a while since I posted two responses to Buzzfeed’s “22 Messages From Creationists To People Who Believe In Evolution” (here’s part 1 and part 2). Let’s see how far we get this time.
The next one is nearly identical to one below, so I’ll address them both at once.
There is no inbetween…the only one found has been Lucy and there are only a few pieces of the hundreds necessary for an official proof.
Why have we found only 1 “Lucy” when we have found more than one of everything else?
The first quote is hard to unpack. The second one helps explain it. Apparently the first person thinks there are no transitional hominid fossils, and that the Lucy specimen needs hundreds of pieces for an “official” proof of…what? This is such a poorly constructed statement that I have to chalk it up to muddled thinking.
The second seems to make it clear that the claim is that only 1 “Lucy” has ever been found. That, of course, is nonsense. There have been a number specimens that appear to be Australopithecus afarensis. Samples of other Australopithecus species have also been discovered. It’s not hard to check Wikipedia to discover lots of information about human evolution. While there are still many questions about the classification and interrelatedness of these specimens and their relationship to modern humans, it’s simply silly to state that “there’s only one.”
Does metamorphosis help support evolution?
I had to look this one up. Apparently there is a creationist claim that metamorphosis contradicts evolution.
The evolution of metamorphosis is an unanswered question, but that does not make it unanswerable. We know that metamorphosis evolved because it was not present in earlier organisms. How this happened is a matter for scientific inquiry. Here’s one possible explanation.
In contrast, creationists claim that metamorphosis is an example of irreducible complexity pointing to an intelligent designer. They claim that metamorphosis could not have evolved because they can’t imagine how an intermediate stage in evolution would be useful. Not surprisingly, this line of argument has been debunked when it has been tried in the past.
If Evolution is a Theory (like creationism or the Bible) why then is Evolution taught as fact.
So many simply wrong statements on one short question. This will take a while to unpack.
Evolution is a theory. In science, a theory is a complex explanation of multiple related natural phenomena. Theories incorporate models and empirical laws to offer deeper explanations and predictions of observable
The germ theory of disease explains how microbial infection gives rise to many of the maladies we encounter. It distinguishes between viral, bacterial, and other microbial infections. It explains and makes predictions about immune response, antibiotic and antiviral therapies, etc.
The theory of gravity explains the attraction and interaction of astronomical bodies via a field theory. It incorporates Newton’s empirical law of gravitation as an approximation of these interactions under certain conditions. The theory also explains and predicts non-Newtonian phenomena such as gravitational collapse, orbital energy loss by emission of gravitational radiation, cosmological expansion, etc.
Evolutionary theory is both grander in scope than gravitation theory and better supported by multiple independent lines of evidence.
Evolution, gravitation, and germ theory are also facts. In science, we don’t typically use the non-technical word “fact” because it has a rather fuzzy meaning. Indeed, when we do use “fact” we tend to mean in it two different ways.
The first use of fact is mundane. Facts are data and observations. It is a fact that my meter gave a certain reading at a certain time in a certain experiment. It is a fact that a blood sample contains certain antibodies. It is a fact that a certain fossil is located in a certain geological stratum. In that sense, facts are the quanta of scientific knowledge — the individual bricks from which theories are built.
In his essay “Evolution as Fact and Theory” Stephen Jay Gould also points out that scientists use “fact” to mean “confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.” In this sense, evolution, gravity, and germ theory are facts. Simply put, they are too well supported by evidence to be “wrong” in aggregate.
Nobody disputes gravity, or even Einstein’s theory of gravity. A few people dispute the germ theory of disease. Even more people dispute evolution. There is no scientific reason for this; the theories are all strongly supported by massive amounts of evidence. The latter two “perverse” responses are motivated by religion, not science.
It is rather sad that the perverse opposition to certain uncomfortable aspects of science have given rise to obfuscation and muddled thinking as exhibited in this question and the one I will address next:
Because science by definition is a “theory” – not testable, observable, or repeatable, why do you object to creationism or intelligent design being taught in school?
Who defines “science” as a theory? Who defines “theory” as “not testable, observable, or repeatable?” Apparently this person, and nobody else I’ve ever met or read, does.
Science is not a theory; science is a process. Theories are built out of scientific progress. Science is what one does, theories are what one gets when one does science.
Theories are testable. Indeed, theories only develop after extensive testing and observation. Theories are not “guesses”. O.J. Simpson’s lawyers had a “theory” the Columbian drug lords killed Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. They didn’t have any evidence for it, nor did they need to. All they needed to do was to confuse a jury into doubting the evidence presented by the prosecution.
Similarly, creationism and intelligent design are not theories. These ideas have no explanatory power and they are not testable. They were created to confuse the populace into rejecting science, as this person clearly has.
Perhaps someday there will be theories of creationism or intelligent design. Perhaps these ideas will make testable predictions and be able to pass those tests. If so, then perhaps one day they could be taught in science class. I’m not holding my breath because, as I said in the previous post, creationism and intelligent design are nothing more than extensive arguments for “not evolution.”
So in answer to the question, I object to creationism and intelligent design being taught in school science classes because they are not scientific theories. They are collections of logical fallacies and arguments that are either not supported by evidence or flatly contradicted by the evidence. Their purpose and content are completely religious in nature and have no business in any public school or any private school that values science education.