historical sciences (was: Evolution's Imperative)

Rich Daniel (rwdaniel@dnaco.net)
Wed, 24 Mar 1999 12:22:54 -0500 (EST)

Vernon wrote:

> ...evolution is being accepted 'by faith' rather than 'by sight'; the
> doctrine is based on the interpretation of historical data, is untestable,
> and... unfalsifiable...

Is it your contention that science can say nothing whatever about history?

Surely you agree that we can make legitimate scientific statements about
fossils. Most obviously, we can say that they are the remains of animals
(and plants) that once lived. T. rex really did walk the Earth at one
time. Not only that, but we can be pretty darn sure that he didn't eat
grass. We can reach somewhat less certain conclusions about the extent of
their warm-bloodedness based on details of bone structure and the ratio of
predators to prey.

Are these conclusions unscientific? Are they untestable? Are they

Assuming your answer is "no", what makes evolution different?

What about another historical science: cosmology? Do you accept the
evidence that the Big Bang happened, even though we can't repeat the
"experiment"? (Note, of course, that we *can* repeat such experiments as
measuring the frequency of the cosmic background radiation, just as we can
repeat the experiment of digging up fossils.)

Rich Daniel rwdaniel@dnaco.net http://www.dnaco.net/~rwdaniel/