BY: Michael Janti
The way evolution has been taught to me, I thought it was entirely undeniable on scientific grounds. After some investigation though, I have realized many weak points in the theory of evolution and in the arguments of its proponents.
Of course the term “evolution” can particularly refer to concepts such as macroevolution, microevolution or simply non-scientific progression through time.
This multiplicity must be recognized so that an observation, such as change within a species, is not assumed to prove change from one species into another – two different kinds of evolution operating through different mechanisms.
I will be using the term to refer generally to the idea of fully naturalistic evolution, whereby life is said to have progressed and diversified from single celled organisms to mammals and humans through innumerable instances of gene mutation and natural selection.
Contrary to statements by evolutionists who would rather coddle the theory of evolution than subject it to the objective scrutiny typical of the scientific method, the scientific community is not in agreement over the validity of the theory of evolution.
The disagreement is not over mundane details, but over the very capability of the mechanisms of evolution to transform life from simple single-celled origins to the complex organisms that can see, hear, smell, feel, speak, think and hypothesize about their own origins, known as humans.
The disagreement is not just between religious fundamentalist and scientists, but also among prominent scientists with prestigious backgrounds and across disciplines. Even debates among evolutionist scientists over mere details of timescale are over matters of utmost importance since the effects of time are half of the theory.
Disagreement over whether or not complex organs and systems can come about without a sudden leap in genetic mutation, whether gradualism or punctuated equilibrium has been the driving force of evolution, or how to explain the discontinuity of the Cambrian explosion relative to the preceding and proceeding fossil record are of paramount importance to the validity of the theory for anyone who does not presuppose the “fact of evolution” before subjecting it to scientific analysis.
Scientists and scholars who promote evolution as undeniable fact say there are examples right in front of us: variety in dogs through breeding, the peppered moths and the similarities in prenatal development among different vertebrate animals – all of which are misleading.
Dog breeders demonstrate intelligent selection, thereby preventing natural selection. Furthermore, this demonstrates that even the intense selective pressure of dog breeders over thousands of years has been unable to bring about a single new species.
The peppered moth example draws upon the fact that during the industrial revolution, pollution caused the blackening of trees, which in turn caused the differential survival of the dark peppered moths over the light colored ones because they blended in with the soot covered trees where the light moths were easily picked off by birds.
This only demonstrates population shift since the variety in the species was already present before the fact. If “survival of the fittest” rang true for this species, then when the trees became light colored again, the black moths would have been the only ones left, whereupon (having no remaining members suited for the change) the whole population of the peppered moth would have been wiped out.
If we look at the prenatal development stages of animals like the salamander, chicken and pig compared to that of a human, the apparent similarities might tell of a shared evolutionary past. Unless the theory of evolution is presupposed, however, the observation of similarities says nothing on its own. Alleged evidence does not necessarily speak for itself.
One reason for evolution being presented as fact without serious consideration of opposing evidence is the idea that audiences are highly impressionable and would harbor unwarranted doubt if the scientific community did not come across as thoroughly decided on the subject.
I would not recommend the teaching of creationism or creation theories in public schools, but evolution must be taught with objective consideration of the evidence for and against. It is frustrating to have an anthropology professor who mocks and belittles any opposition to the theory while making passionate declarations about the lifestyle of an early hominid for which the only evidence is a few bone shards.
Instead of being subjected to rigorous objective testing, the theory of evolution has been assumed to be true and therefore any evidence against it is disregarded.
The scientific community of evolutionists is a dogmatic, anti-theistic orthodoxy that has been highly intolerant of dissenting scientists/scholars and has been out to de-evangelize the world. Despite the notion that evolution is based only on empirical evidence and sophisticated rationalizations about the tangible world, proponents from Darwin himself to leading neo-Darwinists of today unabashedly draw anti-theistic and metaphysical conclusions about man and the universe.
There is a lot of merit to the theory of evolution and adjacent geology, biology and archaeology – certainly a body of circumstantially supportive evidence as well –but the way that it is being presented, particularly in public schools, is not objectively scientific.
Since college, students are required to take certain courses for specific degrees, and at UAA a student hardly has a choice of professor, many are captive audience members to the unscientific teachings of an over-opinionated professor.
Whether you are a staunch supporter of the theory of evolution, a fundamentalist/creationist of some religion or somewhere in between, this debate scene must intrinsically pose the most important questions of today.
Read a serious book that asks the tough questions of today’s leading evolutionists such as “Darwin on Trial” and see for yourself if you like the answers.