Monday, January 08, 2007

What We Might Not Know About Evolution

Newspapers, TV programs, and other media have often inadvertently circulated inaccurate information about evolution. As a result, many myths have been established as truth in the minds of the public. To sort out fact from fiction, check out the misconceptions and corrections from the website Evolving Planet

For instance:

  • Misconception: Evolution is just a theory, just as intelligent design and creationism are theories.

    Answer: False. Evolution is a scientific theory based on the scientific method, which involves systematic data collection of observable phenomena and scientific experiments that can be accurately replicated. Intelligent design and creationism are faith-based belief systems—not testable scientific theories—that offer non-scientific explanations for life’s origins and the diversity of life forms.

  • Misconception: If you accept evolution to be a well-supported theory, you can’t believe in God.

    Answer: False. Many scientists who accept evolution as a well-supported theory have religious beliefs that are perfectly compatible with their work as scientists. Science and religion are not mutually exclusive.
  • 3 comments:

    Tom Mull said...

    Hey Gary: There is the Fact of Evolution (the "What" URQ)as is pointed out by the scientific/inductive method and then there are Theories of Evolution (the "Why" ULQ)which would include: Darwin, Neodarwinian, Intellegent Design, ect. Mostly the substansive arguments over evolution are over which is the best InterpretationTheory. Even the Bible account of creation in Genesis is a developmental/evolutionary schema in that God created the universe in six literal days from the more simple things to the more complex things. =)

    Gary Stamper said...

    Tom, the "why" quadrant, I would say LLQ, may include Intelligent Design abd the Biblical account or schema, but they are not backed up by any LRQ "how"....in other words, they are based on the "why of the myth." The Theory of Evolution is supported by physical URQ evidence from which a LRQ "how" can be scientifically verified. I also recognize that it's not necessarily false just because it can't be verified by science.

    Tom Mull said...

    Hey Gary: I'm not saying that ID is a very good interpretation (much less the original creations story in the Bible). The strength of a theory (interpretive story) is in how well it explains the facts. Better stories tend to win over worse ones in the rational+(orange/green+)worldspace. Old stories fight like hell to survive but time is against them. Back to the ole conservative/liberal saw. Mythic/magic- (amber-) conservative stuck in homeostasis want to conserve the old stories and Rational+ liberal want to be liberated (freed) from the old stories and make new stories (even though there are many competing new stories in the translative liberal orange/green free-for-all of which teal/turquoise are trying to integrate into a coherent metanarrative). =)