Creationists Will Never Evolve
(Printed in the Towanda Daily Review on 2/26/96.)
Editor: In Dr. Gerald W. Stokes' letter (Review 2/19/96) about evolution and creationism, he wrote that evolution is "still a theory" and "cannot be proven". He followed with, "It takes far more faith to believe in evolution than creation."
Evolution is not a theory, it is a fact. In science, facts are collected from observations and experimentation. A hypothesis, or tentative theory, is then proposed to explain the observed data, the facts. If the hypothesis explains the facts, it then becomes a theory. Further observations and experimentation are done to test the new theory. If the theory does not explain the established and additional facts, it is modified or discarded. If the theory does explain the facts, additional facts are collected to further test the theory. Theories do not prove anything, nor are they intended to prove anything. They attempt only to explain the facts. As this cycle is repeated and verified, a theory becomes more and more probable, approaching certainty, but never reaching it.
The Sun appears to rise above the horizon each morning. This is a fact. Biblical accounts imply that the sun revolves around the earth, as do casual observations. This hypothesis progressed into a theory, but was eventually shown to be grossly incorrect based on further observations and facts, and was replaced with the Copernican model with Earth and the planets revolving around the Sun. Improvements again came with Newtonís theories of universal gravitation, and yet again with Einsteinís special theory of relativity. Others may follow. The sequence is: fact, hypothesis, theory, repeat and modify as necessary to explain the facts.
As I previously stated, evolution is a fact. Its historical evidence is overwhelming and no serious scientists doubt this. There are, however, several theories about the mechanism of evolution, the most famous being Darwinís theory of natural selection. It is possible that his theory about the mechanism of evolution is incorrect, but the fact remains that we, and everything else alive on this planet, are the products of evolution occurring over millions of years. If Darwin is incorrect, other theories will be proposed to attempt to explain the facts. The dogma of creation explains nothing except the claims of the writer. Like it or not, we and apes have common ancestors.
If your religious beliefs dictate that you must believe in creation, so be it. This is faith. But creation explains none of the collected and observed facts of evolution. If you must believe, then do so. But donít try to pass it off as science. It fails miserably.
In closing, and to save Tom Smith of Ulster some time, Iíll call myself a condescending, plagiarizing bastard. In my own defense though, I donít intentionally condescend, and I never plagiarize.
John L. Ferri