© Original content written by James R. Carlson
Science begins by testing a philosophical thesis. There are many ways to develop a philosophical thesis but the truths of science derived from experimental science not philosophical science. Results from empirical tests will either validate or invalidate a philosophical thesis. The by-products of experimental/empirical science are data and math. When principles of science are discovered, they are based upon the data and math discovered in the empirical tests. And from the principles of empirical science, new technology can be built. Evolution, however, cannot be tested. In fact, evolution has never been validated by empirical science, which means there are no products of data and math based upon experiment, which also means there are no principles of science that lead to new technology. As a result of the lack of empirical validation for evolution, evolution remains a philosophical thesis that many still choose to believe in.
A philosophical thesis can be developed in many ways. Religion can inform one’s philosophy about nature and philosophy is often used to support religious ideas about the natural world. A thesis may be based upon a religious or irreligious viewpoint but science does not test religion; science can only test a given philosophical thesis. Some think that science can prove or disprove a theistic or atheistic viewpoint but this betrays a misunderstanding of what science is and does.
I spent many years researching the subject of evolution and I’ve written two books on the topic of evolution (see below) from a perspective of the history of science.
The Evolution of Evolution: A Theory in Chaos
The Alchemy of Evolution
From my research on these books, I have discovered that evolution is modern day mythology and modern day alchemy. I have also discovered that despite the claims of many, evolution remains a philosophy of science and a religion of science.
Evolution is a Philosophy of Science
You may be shocked to learn that Charles Darwin’s only earned college degree was in Theology. He failed in his medical studies and began working towards a career as a member of the English Clergy. Darwin also enjoyed working in the field of natural science and planned to continue his private studies while working in the Clergy.
Darwin’s work as a theologian and natural scientist led to his search for a mechanism of species variations that would provide a more naturalistic view than that provided by traditional natural theology. Darwin studied and was a fan of William Paley’s work entitled, “Natural Theology,” but he disagreed with Paley’s belief that God divinely intervened into the activities of nature and species variations. Whereas Paley advocated divine selection, Darwin advocated natural selection; natural selection then became Darwin’s natural theology.
Darwin’s book titled, Origins, was a book on natural theology with a focus on the variation of species. Darwin opened his book with a quote from William Whewell, a natural theologian, showing his purpose for writing. Whewell used the philosophical tool of induction to promote his views of natural theology and Darwin followed his example within his Origins. Darwin’s thesis was presented using the philosophical tool of induction but as induction is used to build and present a thesis, it cannot validate that thesis. Empirical science then is left to test this thesis to see if nature agrees with it.
Darwin continued to work towards validating his thesis but failed to do so in his long career in the 19th century. He came up with the idea of pangenesis but this was disproven by his cousin Francis Galton as a result of his experiments on rabbits. However, the new science of heredity was named genetics based upon the term of pangenesis. In following Darwin, the Neo-Darwinists of the 20th century also failed to validate a genetic mechanism of species transformations. In fact, evolution has never been validated by empirical science. This fact escapes many people in science, the media, politics, religion, and education who continue to support the idea of evolution.
Testing Darwin’s thesis of biological evolution requires falsifying the thesis to see if nature will confirm the thesis. The central thesis of Darwin’s evolutionary hypothesis is the transformation of species, which when falsified will require changes in species from one type to another by means of genetic action. However, all empirical data shows that changes in species are minor variations resulting only in changes in characteristics (some beneficial and detrimental). Never has there been an observable change from one species to another.
All changes in bacteria render bacteria, all tests of fruit flies still produce still fruit flies, changes in moths lead to more moths, variations in finches lead to finches, turtles remain turtles, lizards are all lizards, dogs are still dogs, and cats are still cats with an abundance of varieties. The whole set of data from empirical science proves that there are no transmutations only simple mutations. Empirical science has no evidence for the transformation of species; therefore, empirical science has invalidated evolution.
Some, however, say that it takes millions of years for species to change. Then how do you test this in a lab setting? After 100 years of studying the fruit fly in the lab all the results produce more fruit flies. And after 50,000 generations of bacteria have been studied, there is nothing more than bacteria to show for all the changes. The fact that millions of years cannot be tested by empirical means is further evidence that evolution is not empirical but philosophical science. One may argue for their philosophical perspective as much as they want but calling it science without a single data point is pointless. Evolution is only a philosophy of science but many refuse to let this bother them and continue to believe in it.
Evolution is a Religion of Science
Evolution is also a religion of science. It is no wonder that many Christians who believe in God as Creator also believe in evolution as the supposed mechanism of God’s creation. Evolution began as Darwin’s view of natural theology but Darwin did not include God as an actor within nature to cause changes in species. Darwin left the door open for atheists to adopt his view of natural theology based upon a materialist view of nature. As a result, atheists have taken ownership of evolution and turned it into an atheistic religion.
Although the 19th century ideas of theistic evolution included ideas of vitalism, entelechy, and teleology as mechanisms for species variation, 20th century atheistic evolution changed these ideas into new ones of self-complexity, self-organized criticality, hyper-cycles, auto-catalysis, etc. The vitalism of the 19th century was replaced with a naturalistic/materialistic view of nature that did not include a spiritual component of life. Theistic views of nature have been remade into modern atheistic views.
Ask anyone inside scientific circles if they believe in evolution. Unless they are guarded in their response they will usually answer – yes. Evolution is a belief central to the thinking of most people connected with the scientific community. But most of these people are unfamiliar with the particular issues related to evolution and are only taught that science has proven evolution is real, which it has not. Belief in evolution is required by peer pressure for everyone in scientific circles; if you want to be taken seriously in science you have to believe. However, this belief betrays the fact that evolution is not real but religion.
Many people in science also believe in science. However, science is not a religion, it is a tool. And like a hammer used for driving nails into wood, science is a tool used to test philosophical views of nature and build new knowledge about the natural world through testing. It would be foolish to believe in a hammer and it is equally foolish to believe in science.
From the tool of empirical science, testing a thesis renders the products of data, math, and technology. Empirical data from a test becomes the empirical formulas that are expressed as the principles of science. These principles of science are expressed in approximate mathematical terms and become the foundation for engineering; engineering by definition is applied science. From the application of science we get new technology. But as evolution has never been validated empirically, nor can it be tested fully, there is no data, there is no math, and there is no technology based upon evolution. It should be easy for anyone to search for any technology that is based upon evolution to prove the contrary. However, upon finding that there is no technology based upon evolution one should conclude it is because evolution is not real!
One’s belief in evolution as a science does not make it science. Science is not what one says it is, thinks it is, or believes it is; science is not a tautology, philosophy, or a theology. Science requires real work by testing a thesis to validate or invalidate a philosophical thesis such as evolution. Evolution has never been validated empirically (experimentally) and remains as a philosophical perspective of science only. But as scientists and others continue to believe in it, it has taken on the model of a modern day religion.
The Courts have ruled that public schools are not allowed to present religious viewpoints in science classrooms. Even if a creationist perspective is presented to balance the views of evolution, the Court has ruled against it. Although the No Establishment clause of the U.S. First Amendment is supposed to prevent the government from giving preferential treatment to one religious sect over all others, the U.S. Court system has allowed evolution to be taught to the exclusion of other viewpoints. However, evolution and creationism are both philosophical and religious views of “origins.” And as a result of the Courts decisions, they have given preferential treatment to the religious views of origins of evolution as the only viewpoint allowed in government run public schools. This violation of the No Establishment clause should be challenged and the science curriculum of public schools changed to reflect a truly non-preferential application.
Let’s look at it this way. Instead of teaching cosmology, cosmogony, and metaphysics, public school science curriculum should teach biology, chemistry, and physics. The speculative views of origins (philosophical or religious) should remain a part of a parent’s responsibility and right to teach their children with supplements to public school curriculum. But the empirically validated views of science that show students how to test a thesis, gather data, associate math with the data, and render the math into scientific principles should be what public school science courses teach. Biology expressed mathematically with genetics, chemistry with equations, and physics with kinematic principles have all been empirically validated and rendered as scientific principles in mathematical terms. This is what is needed in public school science classes.
It is time to remove both evolution and creationism out of public schools and require the teaching of science in science curriculum. The teaching of the philosophy and religion of science may be reserved for college electives but it has no place in public schools. It may be a novel concept to teach empirical science in science classrooms but that should be the focus of anyone no matter what they believe in. Again, science is a tool and learning its proper use will benefit everyone.
In the end, evolution cannot be tested or validated empirically. If you disagree, show me the data, show me the math, and show me the technology; put up or shut up! Evolution cannot do this and fails the test because evolution is not real science. In the end, evolution is only a philosophy and a religion of science.