Re: Evolution's Imperative (was Def'n of Science)

Vernon Jenkins (
Sat, 20 Mar 1999 00:11:29 +0000

Hello again Brian. Thanks for your comments.

You wrote:

> ... Lord Kelvin used Fourier's theory of heat conduction to estimate
> the age of the earth at 98 million years, later revising this to 20-40
> million years.
> It turned out, however, that Kelvin was the one who got
> falsified as he made a few assumptions which turned out
> to be erroneous. Nevertheless, I surfed around a little
> on the web this afternoon and found several creationist
> web pages that repeat Kelvin's claims (minus rebuttal).
> Needless to say, the authors of those web sites would
> (should) not claim the evolution is unfalsifiable.

Along with you, I deplore this perpetuating of a lie - whether it
involves estimates of the earth's age, or 'peppered moths'. As with
evolutionists, so with creationists: people express a wide range of

> >> OK, let me try another idea. From what you say later I get the
> >> impression that you think that enough evidence has been accumulated
> >> to falsify evolution but that people are ignoring this evidence
> >> because of some bias or whatever. Evolution then is unfalsifiable
> >> for these people, they will believe it no matter what? OK, once
> >> again this would be a reasonable use of the word unfalsifiable but
> >> once again would not be what Popper meant by the word.
> >
> VJ:==
> > I believe you are getting closer to the mark here. Kevin presented
> > us with a number of falsification scenarios. (Perhaps Popper had
> > some such idea in mind when he gave evolution his blessing. However, > > all are illusory, I believe, for the reasons given in my earlier
> > posting.
> Maybe I missed it, but I cannot recall your giving any specific
> reasons, only vague generalities.

> Why don't you take the Kelvin example above and explain specifically
> why this would not falsify evolution?

I believe I have already addressed this matter in my statement:

> > The ultimate scenario is a universe teeming with life - a logical
> > consequence of Darwinian thinking. This expectation (clearly
> > unfalsifiable) is the atheist's last resort.

> I'm curious where you got this idea. Can you show the intermediate
> steps in the logic? While your at it, here's a humorous quote
> from George Gaylord Simpson which may cast some shadow of doubt
> on your claim:
> ...There is even increasing recognition of a new science of
> extraterrestrial life, sometimes called exobiology--a curious
> development in view of the fact that this "science" has yet
> to demonstrate that its subject matter exists.
> -- G.G. Simpson

The efforts currently being made to detect the existence of such life
forms are based, I suggest, on the expectations of the majority of
evolutionists. Would you really disagree?

You later wrote in response to my comment:

I am therefore perplexed that you should baulk at the three criteria I
listed as reasonable requirements of one who had received salvation
through faith.

> ...I am perplexed that you should consider my answer a baulk..."Saving > faith is faith in a person, not ascribing to a list of beliefs.

But, let's be quite clear here: we are speaking of Jesus, God Incarnate,
are we not? One who has the power to save; One who created all things;
the King of Love. Is it really possible to claim salvation by faith in
Him and not believe all He said?, not believe what He believed?, and
ignore His warnings? Brian, there is a serious flaw in your logic here!

You further responded to:

In the light of our discussion so far, perhaps you could
tell me how you view each of the following three passages:

> I'll try.


> One of my favorite parables, but I'm afraid you'll have to
> help me out some since I can't understand what you're getting
> at.

> Are you saying that if Abraham had allowed Lazarus to go and
> warn the rich man's brothers then the warning would be to
> interpret Genesis literally? Or are you suggesting that when
> Abraham said that they should listen to Moses and the Prophets
> that the key items they should listen for is the order in which
> animals were created?

Yes. I think a literal interpretation is proper because of the One who
delivered the parable. Any other course leaves the door wide open to all
kinds of distortion, wouldn't you agree? For myself, I prefer to 'play
it safe' and follow Peter's sound advice (2Pet.14-18).

> Or perhaps you're just saying that Jesus took Moses and the
> Prophets to be the inspired word of God? So do I.

But, if inspired, why 'bend it' in order to meet the requirements of a
doctrine for which no solid evidence exists?

> Mt.24:35-39,

> You'll have to help me again at understanding your point.
> It seems the key verse in the above is Matt. 24:35

> "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never
> pass away." (NIV)

> Amen to this.

Yes, indeed! But you skate over another significant statement concerning
Noah: "...the flood came and took them all away;" - an act of divine
punishment that extended to all flesh (Gn.6:5-8). The flood was global.
Would you agree?

> and 2Th.2.

> Again, I am at a loss as to your point. But, you asked for my
> view on these verses. My view is that they are part of the
> inspired word of God which I fully accept.

The chapter involves a prophecy concerning the 'end times'. Verses 11
and 12 are rather powerful. What do you suppose the 'lie' referred to
might be?

Finally, concerning the order: 'birds, then land animals' in the
creation narrative, you say:

> ...I do not endorse a literal "at face value" interpretation of > Genesis.

You are again bowing to the god Evolution here. Why should we believe
that the God who inspired the writing of this Book; the One having the
power to give eternal life to those who believe on him; should err in
the matter of the order in which things were done? How can you possibly
question this?

Always a pleasure hearing your views!

Sincerely, in His Name,


Vernon Jenkins
[Musician, Mining Engineer, and Senior Lecturer in Maths and Computing,
the Polytechnic of Wales (now the University of Glamorgan), 1954-87]