I recall in one of our discussions you asked me about biological evolution and my thoughts on it. Given the broad nature of this topic at the time I only was able to give you a superficial overview of my thoughts... so today I wanted to give you a more complete explanation. It is a big topic to cover but I will try to be as brief as I can about why I don't believe evolution has been demonstrated to be a fact. Thanks for your patience.
Let me first confess up front that I affirm the truth of scientific discovery and will not reject facts if they can be demonstrated through the scientific method. I grew up in a secularist him and simply assumed that evolution was true because it is what I was taught in school, on TV and at home. I recall a Time-Life book in our home on evolution that I used to look through frequently above the round table off our den where I ate breakfast and where my parents used to play poker. When I went off to college to the University of Colorado I carried this belief with me as a given unquestionable fact. I even had friends in college who were staunch evolutionists and I attended their debates about it, where they defended the position for biological evolution against skeptics of it. The first time going I simply assumed the other position was laughable so I entered the debate biased against it but the more I heard what was actually being debated the fuzzy nature of the “facts” of evolution began to put sow a seed of doubt in my mind ... and eventually after my sophomore year I took two classes on evolution, including evolutionary biology/the study of DNA. What I learned there was definitely helpful but it only solidified to me the notion that evolution was not actually all that it claimed to be.
Darwin's theory asserts that 1) the origin and the 2) evolution (diversification) of all life is due to entirely natural, random processes. Most scientist’s today claim evolution came to us by scientific discovery. But the question is, what is it that they have actually discovered about evolution with science? Science is a great tool which extracts what is real, true and factual about the natural world, no? And any conclusions it reaches must be based on factual confirmed evidence from direct demonstration made through purposeful observational studies or designed experiments. Science demonstrates what is factual through direct evidence. And if it does not agree with experiment, it cannot rightfully be called hard, factual science. The scientific method sets the standard of how science is carried out. Those who make assertions that biological evolution is a fact, according to science, must prove their case with clear, complete direct evidence.
Evolution claims to be science and claims to be a fact. Such absolute statements, if it did not have direct evidence, most ought to agree, does not fall under the above definition of science. Accordingly, you will find many papers and statements that there is a "scientific consensus" that evolution is true. But if they could demonstrate it with direct evidence then why use the phrase "scientific consensus"? You never hear people say that there is a scientific consensus that gravity is a scientific fact. Why? You don't need to. It can be demonstrated with evidence and repeat experiments for all to see. This word "consensus" sneaks in opinion, not direct evidence, as truth. Reading between the lines, it means "we think this is the case but we don't have direct evidence to confirm it." If assertions of fact do not confirm findings using the scientific method then a theory may be closer to what most would call pseudo-science. My evolutionary biology textbooks and my teachers emphatically stated the evolution is a FACT. A fact is something that is unquestionably true, like the earth revolves around the sun -- something that is beyond reasonable doubt or debate. But in science, a fact is verified by empirical observation. So I turn now to why these scientists definition of evolution is incomplete and cannot rightfully be called factual.
What is Evolution?
In biology a species is usually taken to refer to a specific organism that is different at its core from any other organism. It will not reproduce or have offspring if mated with another closely related organism. If DNA of one species is inserted into another species they don't reproduce. This is a well-attested fact. An evolutionist will often attempt to prove evolution by saying something along the lines of "... we can prove that blowfly evolves" but such claims are woefully incomplete because YES, a blowfly can become resistant to insecticide, for example, so it may fit in to their narrow technical definition of evolution, because, of course, this fact HAS been demonstrated with direct evidence. But this is precisely where evolution's science and fact begins and ends. Why? Because, in such a case, what they call the "evolution" of the blowfly ends up with the same organism, the same genus, the same species - a blowfly. These are minor genetic adaptive changes resulting in new features but does not change it into a new insect ... >>>In fact, a new insect emerging from these kinds of changes has never once been observed before. That would require substantial changes to its existing genome, or perhaps an entirely new genome such that it is not longer the species it once was. Only speciation adequately describes Darwinian evolution.
So here are the 3 areas I would like you to take a closer look at:
1) Abiogenesis: the natural origin of life due to random events -- from non-living matter to living matter
2) Adaptation - how each animal has an enormous amount of previous genetic information that allows it to cope with the changing environment (the basis for natural selection). The part of "evolution" we all agree is science.
3) Evolution in the strictest sense (speciation) - how entirely new animals may arise from existing ones. (Currently only hypothesized - no hard science, no evidence, no successful experiments)
1) Abiogenesis: This means life had to begin from non-life. If science cannot demonstrate that life developed from natural random processes with direct evidence, then we can all agree with evolution cannot rightfully be regarded as a "fact". Remember a fact is something that can be demonstrated using the scientific method. The proven law of biogenesis states that life can only arise from what?...life. So it already goes against a demonstrated scientific fact. Why is abiogenesis considered part of our discussion of evolution? Because the claim is that a completely random processes is responsible for the origin and diversity of life. If the claim of a random origin of life is not validated as a fact it casts serious doubt on this and other parts of the theory. Evolutionary biologists must demonstrate abiogenesis with direct evidence using the scientific method. What would that evidence be? Simple. The formation of a living organism from non-living matter that can live on its own. Anything short of this fails to establish abiogenesis as "fact" ... the biological requirements for life a staggering and could only arise from incredibly complex systems. Have you ever seen the details that go into a single cell. The further you dive down the more complex it gets. Over 90 strands of DNA in one cell.
So how does evolutionary biology demonstrate the random origin of life? It doesn't. Every attempted explanation offers nothing more than sheer speculation. Science claims to base true discoveries on fact... on demonstrable evidence but science cannot create life from non-life nor has it witnessed it, so, in reality, it does not know how it came to be. It should be obvious that this calls the entirety of the factual claim of life's natural random origins into question. Evolutionary biology cannot legitimately claim the natural random origin of life ever actually occurred -- it has never come up with such evidence ... yet many of these biologists still make the claim that it is fact.
Perhaps because they are committed materialists, their thought process is simply that "there is no better explanation" so this has got to be it. But this sounds a little dubious. In the realm of philosophy this is a logical fallacy called an "argument from ignorance". As you know, that is not science. It would be better more honest for them to say "we don't know".
2) Adaptation. In Darwin's theory adaptaton is often wrongly called evolution, and this is misleading because they can use this one aspect to call the entire study of biological evolution a fact. It muddies how evolution ought to truly be evaluated -- the formation of new, entirely unique organisms from those that already exist. The genome (or an organism's complete set of DNA) builds through cell differentiation. For example, there is a huge variety of domestic dog breeds where preexisting information contained in DNA allows organisms to adapt to different environments without becoming completely new animals. There may be many different kinds of dogs but they are all still dogs. Size, color, behavior may change, but one thing that never changes is the dog's homeostasis -- its stable internal environment. All dogs are the same biological species and so have the same genome: changes occur from characteristics that preexist in their genetic makeup. Adaptation, we all acknowledge, is a real biological phenomena - factual science. But like all animals and insects ... you begin with a dog and end with a dog. You begin with a soapberry bug and you end with a soapberry bug. That is all that has ever scientifically demonstrated as fact.
3) Evolution in the Strictest sense (speciation) Like abiogenesis, there is not even a shred of demonstrable scientific evidence this happens or has ever happened. No scientist has ever used the scientific method and demonstrated that one species has evolved into a new species.. Some have tried: Recently, the Longest-running evolutionary research experiment reached a milestone studying the evolution of more than 68,000 generations of e.coli but the study did not yield the hoped for results-- starting with E. coli they ended with E. coli even after 68,000 generations of it. Click on the link to learn more about it.
The irony is that evolutionary biology wants to hold Creation to strict scientific standards yet are unwilling to hold the same standard for their own theory. You will hear many people say that “evolution is a theory like gravity is a theory - so it is fact”.. But this is patently false. Gravity can be demonstrated through repeat experiments, neither abiogenesis nor evolution proper (speciation) has ever been demonstrated scientifically. So I can only conclude that those who call this theory a "fact" are being consistent with the essential characteristics of what most people call a dogma. If biological evolution is true it should have nothing to fear, so it ought to say to alternate theories, “bring it on”. But instead, it is now the only theory taught in the classroom and any facts which may cause doubts about it are kept out.
On the Internet, as elsewhere, we find very a common strategy by evolutionists. It is the shaming and ridiculing of those who don't believe their theory. Hey, if there were clear undeniable evidence then why resort to ad hominim arguments? ... Since these defenders of the theory cannot produce scientific evidence then shaming seems to be all they have left. One of my evolution professor at CU went out of her way to denigrate Christians over this and even spent a day of class giving a slideshow to show how evil Christians were, attempting to paint all Christians as racist skinheads. This really happened. What it had to do with the study of DNA, I cannot tell you. You know your view is in trouble if this is the only way to argue for your position.
I have embraced and explored both sides of this argument and believe that there is good evidence to the contrary of evolution from the physical world. But that is for another day. I just wanted to share enough that you would see some rational reasons to seriously doubt evolution. Isn’t skepticism the basis for good science?
It is important to be equipped with these concepts as you are likely to encounter many people who simply assume the truth of evolution because they were told by others that it was a fact. I believe the idea presented above can go a long way in taking down people's defenses. Of course there will be others who cling tightly to their dogma and will continue to ridicule the naysayers, without producing evidence.
For many of the above concepts above I owe a debt of gratitude to H Robert WIllson and his book Nullifying God