Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Oklahoman of Oklahoma City. It’s titled Evolution can’t be proven using scientific method. We’ll give you a few excerpts, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, and some bold font for emphasis. As we usually do, we’ll omit the writer’s name and city. Okay, here we go:
In his latest attempt to portray evolution as fact, Elliott Doane (Your Views, Dec. 1) says all competent scientists accept evolution; the meaning of critical thinking is unclear; high school students are incapable of sensibly making up their own minds; religious beliefs are undermining sound science.
This is what he’s talking about: Religious zealots undermine sound science. Back to today’s letter:
I’m way past high school age. I have a bachelor’s degree in a recognized field of science. So if it’s all right with Doane, I’m going to sensibly claim I’m capable of thinking critically and that I know the difference between sound science and religion masquerading as science.
We’ll be the judge of that. Let’s read on:
My question is: Why is every branch of science required to adhere to the scientific method, but macro (molecules-to-man) evolution is given a pass?
Wow! In one sentence the letter writer refers to the bogus category of so-called macro evolution (see Common Creationist Claims Confuted) and then he uses a classic phrase found only on creationist websites — “molecules-to-man” evolution It’s clear what we’re dealing with here. The letter continues:
There’s no known, observable process by which genetic information can be added to the genetic code of an organism, but that absolutely had to have happened for macro evolution to be true.
The only problem with that is that it’s totally wrong. We know how these things happen — gene duplication, followed by mutation. We’ve written about several known examples (see Is Convergent Evolution Explainable?). Here’s more from today’s letter:
Doane [the earlier letter-writer] admits no scientist has ever disproved evolution.
He admits it? That’s an odd way to express a fact that is devastating to creationism. Moving along:
What he conveniently avoids admitting is that no scientist has ever proven evolution to be true using the scientific method.
Ah yes, the old “I can’t prove it’s false, but you can’t prove it’s true.” That epistemologically goofy statement overlooks the fact that creationists have the burden of proving that evolution is false (see Creationism and the Burden of Proof). The letter-writer claims to have a degree in “a recognized field of science,” which he doesn’t identify. Nevertheless, he doesn’t know that scientific theories are never proven. They can be disproved, but otherwise all an accepted theory ever has going for it is that it’s supported by numerous tests and observations. Here’s the end of the letter:
Since there are no peer-reviewed, repeatable scientific experiments proving any organism can and has evolved into a completely different kind of organism, evolutionists must believe it happened. That’s their religion, not sound science!
The letter-writer wants a laboratory demonstration that a frog can evolve into dog, and if you can’t do that for him, then evolution is just a religion.
See also: Creationist Wisdom #287: Critical Thinking.
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