Re: Darkness spreads over Kansas

Tim Ikeda (
Sun, 15 Aug 1999 09:55:19 -0400

Greetings Jeff.
You wrote:
> These are my thoughts:
> Both Evolution and Creationism are theories. Neither have the
> scientific backing to be proven.

No scientific theories are proven. But I understand the gist
of your statement.

> Why should evolution be taught as fact when it
> is theory? Why should creationism be taught as fact when it is
> theory? Why not teach "science" in the school system, give students
> the tools to test, evaluate, discuss, and come to scientific
> conclusion based on facts of the creation/evolution debate?

This is exactly what should be done, with an eye to keeping
extraneous and previously refuted crap out.

Young-earth creationism actually does posit some conditions which
make it testable. And it has failed, so let's toss that theory out
right now.

Old-earth creationism and intelligent design assumptions have
of yet produced no distinguishable or truly positive predictions.
Thus they have not been generally susceptible to testing and
we certainly do not have a strong case for presenting it
as a viable, competing theory a this point. See Robert T.
Pennock's "Tower of Babel" (1999: MIT Press, Cambridge MA)
for more details. A theory such as intelligent design cannot
provide much in the way of explanation or research as long as
it is perpetually defined as "not naturalistic evolution".

For information about evolutionary theory/philosophy, and
testability see Elliott Sober's "Philosophy of Biology" (1993
Westview Press) & Ernst Mayr's, "The Growth of Biological
Thought: Diversity, Evolution, and Inheritance" (1985, Belknap
press, Cambridge, MA).

> My views are based on the information available to me at
> the time. If someone has information that can prove the
> macroevelutionary theory, I would be interested.

It would help to understand more about the nature of science,
proof, and theory development. Currently, Michael Behe, Michael
Denton & even Lee Spetner support at least a minimal interpretation
of common descent/macroevolution. They dispute some of the
proposed mechanisms (favoring instead a pre-formational kind of
view) but they do think that at least some "macroevolutionary"
events have occurred. Some YECs have even invoked steps which
we would clearly understand to be "macroevolutionary" in order
to account for the post-flood repopulation of the earth with
new species. Personally, I don't view macroevolution as being
under dispute; the main question is the mechanism.

Tim Ikeda (despam address before use)