The problem scientists face. Oh contrare, Mr. Dawkins

 I cringe when I hear people say “evolution is just a “theory.” There is a clear misunderstanding of what “theory” means among many. In every day life, we consider a theory as nothing more than an idea, a guess, but that’s not at all what is meant by “the theory of evolution.” This is a scientific theory, which is FAR more than just a hunch. It is something that can be tested, something from which empirical data can be populated. Gravity is still explained by Newton’s theory of gravity, but no one says “it’s just a theory.”

The reason I cringe is because, personally, I believe in intelligent design, and when others who believe the same make the theory comment it only makes us look dumb, which doesn’t help the cause.

Richard Dawkins, the last man interviewed in the documentary, has been quoted as saying “… religion is an excuse not to search for answers.” For me, it certainly is not. I believe that metaphysics, the supernatural, in a word, God, is the next frontier of science, and searching for answers about our natural world without God as a possibility is an excuse for steering clear of a really big problem for science, which is how to “quantify” the unquantifiable, how to put into perspective something that we are, as individuals, smaller than. We can’t see Earth without being outside of it, so it is highly plausible that we have no proof of God simply because we can’t get beyond the moon, much less the universe, which God created, and is necessarily “bigger” than it. (an as of yet untestable hypothesis. Or so I’ve read) 

This is an analogy, of course. I don’t pretend to know how to go about the search for proof of God. The analogy hopefully puts the problem into perspective, though. And this seems to be the inherent problem that most scientists face. It must be both a humbling and scary thought to consider the fact that there are questions that may never be answered when, in science, every day is a possibility for a new discovery.

The thing is, evolution is, practically speaking, fact. Evolution, however, is defined as “change over time.” This much is apparantly observable through fossile records-hard to argue against that. The age of the Earth has been measured through carbon dating-hard to argue that, too. But what the theory of evolution doesn’t explain is how it all began, thus, I don’t see why there’s such a heated argument between creationists and evolutionists. What the scientists are fighting against isn’t as clearly intelligent design as it is against religion and how the bible describes the “beginning.” Science has pretty handily disproven that, at the very least, a literal interpretation of it is quite silly.

So, we see the pendulum swing back (obeying the law of inertia, thus not swinging as far as it origionally went) and now, instead of science being the underdog, religion has become the dirty word. But, fortunately, the religious aren’t being murdered or deported for their beliefs, as was often the case with early scientists. They only lose their jobs. Not so bad, all things considered.

On a parting note, I also think it’s short sighted to say that we will never agree on this issue. At one time, only around 500 years ago, EVERYONE agreed on it, so I don’t think it’s inconceivable that we could do so again with a far greater understanding of where, (how, and why) we came from.

One Response to “The problem scientists face. Oh contrare, Mr. Dawkins”
  1. I think you bring up a good point here in that evolution does not and is not meant to explain the origin of life; that falls more under the realm of abiogenesis and things like the RNA world hypothesis. A lot of ID/creationists though tend to assume that because evolution does not explain the beginning, the entire theory must be wrong. I hate to say this but I think it’s definitely true that creationist/ID groups tend to be a lot less educated on average. Somehow, we have to convince thee people to gives science a chance.


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