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Mailbag: Evolution and God, Part 3

By July 16, 2006

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From: "Martin"
Subject: The Everlasting Man
i see one of your articles menioned the "onus of proof", that is, who should be proving their ideas? i say that if creation came first, and evolution came second (which is logic really, since charles darwin himself believed that his ideas may have been the demise of organised religion, hence creation was there first) then surely it is up to the evolutionist to prove his new idea.

I can hardly find words to express how amazingly ridiculous this is. What sort of person can seriously claim that the "burden of proof" lies on whatever idea comes second - and, hence, not on whatever idea was thought of first? It's incredible, truly incredible. Of course, there is quite a lot of evidence supporting evolutionary theory - indeed, all of the evidence we have points to evolution while no evidence points to anything else. That's pretty conclusive and it creates a case that no one who understands and accepts science can dismiss.

The "burden of proof" lies on whoever is making claims. Scientists who work in biology generally and evolution specifically make all sorts of claims - and they also provide all sorts of evidence ot defend those claims. What about creationists? Sadly, there is a complete absence of scientific evidence supporting their claims - and that's when they bother to try and provide evidence in the first place. Most of the time, they simply try to argue (unsuccessfully) that there are problems with evolution itself, as if problems in evolution would "prove" creationism (such people obviously know as little about proof and science as Martin).

now i dont know why i brought up the onus of proof, but i guess im trying to say that evolution is a relatively new idea, and it is widely accepted in the world today (hell, its taught as fact in schools isnt it? at least, it is here in australia), so where is the proof? where are the so-called missing links? can we really dig up some teeth and a skull and say "sheesh, this must be one of our ancestors"? on what do we base that conclusion? do we dig up photos with the skull? some holiday snaps of early man around a fire with his early wife and playing with his early canine? at risk of being "a parrot for the higher powers" (which is what the girl in my uni course said i was) i dont think that there is sufficient evidence for the case of evolution. its a scam; an excuse to be laws unto ourselves.

Evolution may be taught in Australia, but either it is taught very poorly or Martin managed to miss all of the lessons on evolution while in school. I'm not even sure that he learned much in the way of science generally. There is as much "proof" - i.e., evidence - for evolution as there is for anything else in the science. Evolutionary theory is as much proven as is atomic theory, quantum theory, plate tectonics, and a host of other things people already take for granted. But, because they think evolution threatens their religious beliefs, they oppose it - thus demonstrating that their problem is religious, not scientific.

Martin doesn't think that there is sufficient evidence for evolution, but that can only be because he hasn't taken the time to find that evidence or he doesn't understand the nature of scientific evidence. Evolutionary theory wasn't developed in order to oppose Martin's religious moral beliefs, it was developed in accordance with the evidence people have discovered. Biologists couldn't care less what Martin's religion is and they aren't going to rig scientific theories just so that they can ignore what Martin thinks his god commands. That's absurd.

Part four of this conversation on evolution, atheism, and religion will appear tomorrow. Part two appeared yesterday.

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