Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Evolution - Fact or Question

Is the Theory of Evolution Really a Matter of Faith?

No, of course it isn't. As the authors state:

As a natural phenomenon based on scientific evidence, evolution is not a matter of belief or faith, any more than gravity or genetics, and to ask whether someone believes in it is a nonsensical question, much like asking if someone believes in subatomic particles.

Exactly right. Now people can doubt anything they want. But certain things beyond are reasonable doubt. People can try to create controversy where really there is none among those that understand an issue in the hopes of confusing the general public. Thinking evolution is questionable is like thinking that the basic ideas of geology are questionable.

There was a time when people doubted the earth was billions of years old. That the continents drifted apart. That diamonds were created far under the earth under great pressure and heat - out of simple carbon. That the explanation for the mountains, valleys, rocks, gems, earthquakes, volcanos and on and on were essentially as we understand geology today. Today there is no serious question about the basic concepts.

Someday, my guess is before 2070 the same will be true of evolution (I would hope before 2030 - but people can avoid seeing the truth longer than I would optimistically think). I have no doubt that this will come about. By what date I have nothing more than a wild guess. When that date finally arrives those that tried to claim the was some controversy will look pretty silly - given all the evidence we have today.

Most all those questioning geology realized the overwhelming evidence required adjusting their beliefs far before the overwhelming amount of evidence for evolution we have today. Science is about adjusting your world view as new evidence provides a much more valid understanding of an area of study.

Related: Understanding Evolution is Fundamental to Scientific Thinking - Understanding the Evolution of Human Beings by Country - Understanding Evolution (from Berkeley) - Teaching Evolution and the Nature of Science - United States The National Academy of Science's Science, Evolution, and Creationism

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