There are two, kind-of related criticisms of evolution that I want to adress here. This is the last of the attempts that anti-evolutionists make to underut Neodarwinism on a scientific level, that I am aware of. If somebody else knows of any other arguments, I’d be interested to hear them… the way I see it, none of the them work.
The two related points:
A) Even Neo-darwinians call it the theory of evolution; notice the contrast between the word “theory” and the use of the word “law” as in “the law of gravity.” This indicates that main stream science isn’t nearly as confident in Darwinian principles as it claims.
B) If you read the journals, darwinians fight violently over the details of this science. This similarly implies a lack of confidence in the fundamentals of neodarwinian theory.
The reasons that neither of these work:
Response to A) Though some people attempt to draw a distinction between science’s use of terms like “law” and “theory”, these are mostly just matters of convention…. Ultimately, in science, everything is a theory. If an account popped up that better explained why stuff falls than gravity, we’d accept this account. What we call “gravity” is quite beside the point.
But suppose I’m wrong… I’ll consider the possibility that maybe the fact that evolution is referred to as a theory is significant. If this were the case, the anti-evolutionary folks ought to see this as a sign of respect. With a tiny handful of overplayed exceptions, the only people who really doubt that evolution is a law is the creationists themselves.
The creationists often lament the fact that mainstream science gives them no respect, credit, etc. If the creationists are correct, if the fact that evolution is referred to as a theory has some level of significance, it’s actually quite a show of respect to the creationists themselves… The creationists are having their cake and eating to; are they going to play the “we get no respect” Rodeney Dangerfield card, or are they going to play the “there are serious doubts about evolution and where the one’s causing those doubts” card; because playing both cards at the same time simply makes no sense.
B) The fact that there are debates within the evolutionary community does not indicate that the science is shaky… In fact, debate is a sign of robust science. There aren’t many who doubt whether evolution is occuring, nearly all of the debate is around comparitively insignificant details…
Sometimes quotes seem to imply otherwise. This is sometimes because the quotes are taken out of context, and other times, because overemphasing the significance of disagreements sells books, articles, and journals.
Who’d really read an explanation that said “Such-and-such a belief is 99.9% correct.” Wouldn’t we be much more likely to read something which said “I’ve discovered a fundamental problem with the traditional account of such-and-such a thing.”
Before we get to holier-than-though around those Godless, deceptive bioligist, we religious folks would do well to look at our own history… We could teach science a thing or two about overstating fairly insiginicant differences in beliefs. And our beliefs are supposed to have a moral component! If a scientist behaves in poor character, it doesn’t impugn his science!
So there we are. I guess I’m all done with the topic of evolution for now.