Is it fact or is it belief?

It is widely known that Darwinian evangelist, Richard Dawkins says that evolution (on the macro level) is a fact. I’ve often wondered how he came to such a conclusion because I’ve never considered macroevolution to be a fact. I have always considered it merely a theory that claims life as we know it evolved from other life forms over millions of years. The reason I have never considered macroevolution a fact is because the theory lacks the necessary criteria that a fact requires in order to be a fact. I’ll explain.

It can be said that a fact is one of two things. It is either something that is evident to virtually everyone (the Grand Canyon is in Arizona) or it is something that is not evident to virtually everyone but can be proven scientifically. If we hold to a position that doesn’t fall into these two categories then it is a “belief” or an act of faith. (I owe this thought to Timothy Keller’s book Reason for God).

A scientific theory is accepted as “verified” if it organizes and explains evidence better than any other theory. And this is where Darwinists rest their case for the supposed fact of evolution. Even though it is merely a theory, evangelist Dawkins proclaims it as fact and thousands of his disciples follow his lead.

It is appropriate to ask why Darwinists believe that their theory better demonstrates any other explanation of life as we know it, including the highly plausible Intelligent Design science. The reason this occurs is because virtually everything a secular scientist observes must be explained by natural causes. He presupposes naturalism and automatically rules out other logical explanations. But notice here how the secular scientist quickly moves his science into the area of philosophy. When he asserts that “no supernatural cause for any natural phenomenon is possible,” how does he demonstrate his assertion scientifically? He cannot place his assertion in a test tube and show us that it is naturally true. Secular scientists simply cannot be consistent with their claims.

Most rational people would likely agree that macroevolution does not and never has fallen into the two “fact” categories. Macro evolution (fish turning into humans via the transitional forms) is not evident to anyone and it is not provable scientifically. It is a theory, and in my opinion a bad one. The very best evidence scientists use for evolution is shaky at best. I would need an entire post to show that to be the case. But for our purposes here, what do we make of those who think of evolution as a fact?

As I’ve very briefly shown, evolution should not seriously be taken as fact by anyone and I’ve shown in a concise way why this is the case. So with that said, we have to be able to articulate clearly that their evolutionary assertions are based in faith. They have formed a belief that evolution is true, but they can’t show that it’s actually true. We need to learn how to recognize language the Darwinists use and not be afraid to counter their assertions and do it with boldness and rationality.

Keep in mind that the Darwinist can claim that Christians do not have facts to back up our claims on the rise of human life. He would be partially correct. We cannot show all our claims on life to be true scientifically. Christians simply follow the evidence where it leads without any presuppositional naturalism to get in the way.

We have great evidence (historical, archeological, extra-biblical, etc.) for the reliability of the Bible. If we can demonstrate the reliability of the Bible then we have good reason to follow its teachings. It’s like believing the reliability of history books. No one says that George Washington was not the first president even though they were not there to witness it. We follow where the evidence leads. (If you want to know more about the reliability of the Bible, contact me. I can help).

Christians don’t often attempt to prove claims about God’s existence or His teachings on human life. Again, we follow where the very best evidence leads, and we think that the Bible coincides with the best scientific and natural revelation available to man. Because neither Darwinists nor Christians can make factual claims on the matter of origins, Christians simply seek to follow the most probable route. And in my opinion, the Biblical teachings on this matter are by far the most probable route.

The Bible states that we all have knowledge of God and the truth and that many will suppress it. The Bible and Christianity has the answers for all areas of life if we are not bigoted and closed-minded but if we open our minds and follow where the evidence leads.

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24 thoughts on “Is it fact or is it belief?”

  1. Other things which are “merely a theory:” the theory of gravity, which states that objects with mass are attracted to one another; atomic theory, which states that all matter is composed of elemental atoms; germ theory, which states that diseases can be caused by bacterial infection; even the Pythagorean theorem, which states that the square on the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle is equal to the sum of the squares on its other two legs.

    Calling a scientific model “merely a theory” betrays a fairly fundamental misunderstanding of what a “theory” is, in science.

      1. There’s no genetic fallacy, here. I’m not saying that you are wrong based on the origin of your argument– which would be a genetic fallacy. I’m saying that the phrase “merely a theory” is wholly misleading.

        It is precisely equivalent to saying something is “merely the best explanation to fit all the given data which is known to science.”

      2. Again, you are simply saying that it is “nothing more than the best explanation to fit all the given data which is known to science.”

        Do you also complain when people say that gravity is a fact? Or that it is a fact that matter is composed of atoms? Or that it is a fact that germs can cause disease?

      3. Allow me to explain: just like I said in the post, anything not a fact is taken as a belief or on faith. I believe gravity (based on faith) will still be there tomorrow. I don’t know for sure it will be there, but by faith and reasoning i believe it will be there.

        You’re not getting anywhere with me. Ive seen this brand of counter argument and it just avoids the real issue all together though. But, thanks fir the comments.

      4. It just seems that your definition of “fact” seems to be so wildly overstrict as to completely divorce itself from the meaning intended by Dawkins. By the logic you are prescribing, hardly anything could be considered a “fact.”

  2. I have always considered it merely a theory that claims life as we know it evolved from other life forms over millions of years. – In science, if something was “merely a theory,” it would only be called a hypothesis. The fact that the Earth rotates around the sun is also described by a theory – The Heliocentric Theory. There is nothing “mere” about it.

    The reason I have never considered macroevolution a fact is because the theory lacks the necessary criteria that a fact requires in order to be a fact. – Macroevolution is only a way to summarize the effects of microevolution over a very long period of time. There is no definitive line of demarcation where one “kind” (as creationists like to put it) becomes another “kind.” Each offspring has too much in common with its parents to be considered a different “kind.” Think of a $100 bank account that increases by one penny every second. There is no point in time where one additional penny would turn you from poor to rich… but when you compare the beginning account balance ($100) to the account balance three years later, you would be able to describe yourself as rich (even though there was no single point in time where you became rich). Microevolution works in the same manner. After millions of years pass by, the new life forms would deserve a new name because of how little they would have in common with their distant ancestors.

    It can be said that a fact is one of two things. It is either something that is evident to virtually everyone (the Grand Canyon is in Arizona) or it is something that is not evident to virtually everyone but can be proven scientifically. – Evolution has been proven by observation in both nature and lab tests countless times by the most brilliant scientific minds all over the world for the last 150 years. If hypothetically you are correct and the Theory of Evolution is false, it would be the largest conspiracy in the history of mankind.

    A scientific theory is accepted as “verified” if it organizes and explains evidence better than any other theory. – Scientific theories do not compete with each other. On the contrary, there are competing hypotheses… and those hypotheses that can be dis-proven are discarded. The hypotheses that are confirmed by supporting facts and experimentation are elevated to the status of theory.

    It is appropriate to ask why Darwinists believe that their theory better demonstrates any other explanation of life as we know it, including the highly plausible Intelligent Design science. – The simple answer to this question is because the Theory of Evolution can be tested in a lab environment… Intelligent Design cannot. The integrity of the scientific method does not concern itself with things that it cannot test and confirm… this is why scientists who value integrity fight so hard to keep unscientific claims out of the science classroom.

    When he asserts that “no supernatural cause for any natural phenomenon is possible,” how does he demonstrate his assertion scientifically? – If a scientist makes this assertion, they are giving a personal opinion that cannot be tested… thus they are not speaking on behalf of the scientific community–even though they may think they are. If their assertion offends you, consider it an offense committed by the individual, not the entire scientific community.

    Macro evolution (fish turning into humans via the transitional forms) is not evident to anyone and it is not provable scientifically. – It is evident to anyone who does not presuppose that it is false based on the account of creation in the book of Genesis. DNA, fossil records, the observation in labs & nature are consistent with the Theory of Evolution. Not once in the last 150 years has it been proven to be false.

    I would need an entire post to show that to be the case. – Your very best WordPress post is still unscientific and will never stand a chance at disproving the Theory of Evolution. I suggest you put on a lab coat and do some actual work that attempts to disprove the Theory of Evolution.

    We need to learn how to recognize language the Darwinists use and not be afraid to counter their assertions and do it with boldness and rationality. – Conducting science experiments in lieu of boldness and rationality would give you a much better chance of being taken seriously. Remember, you don’t necessarily have to prove your hypothesis to be true… you just have to prove the Theory of Evolution to be false.

    Christians simply follow the evidence where it leads without any presuppositional naturalism to get in the way. – As opposed to pre-suppositional super-naturalism? When a scientist pre-supposes something, they call it a hypothesis… and then they try like HELL (pun intended) to disprove their hypothesis—this is how science and integrity come together.

    We follow where the evidence leads. (If you want to know more about the reliability of the Bible, contact me. I can help). – That is wonderful. I fully support your attempt to spread this message to other people… just not in the science classroom. I would even support your effort in a public school, so long as it was an elective course that students could volunteer to take, but again, it has no place in the science classroom because it is not subject to the scientific method.

    Because neither Darwinists nor Christians can make factual claims on the matter of origins, Christians simply seek to follow the most probable route. – The Theory of Evolution does not address origins… that is known as abiogenesis. The Theory of Evolution makes the assumption that life did begin, which is a valid assumption to make. The Theory of Evolution explains how we arrived at all the complexity of life we see in the world today… not how non-life became life.

    1. You say evolution can be demonstrated in a lab. One must distinguish between macro and micro. I already conceded the fact of micro evolution. Macro evolution has never been demonstrated in a lab. Let me repeat: never. In a lab, we have never observed one known species turning into a brand new species. That has never, ever, ever been observed in a lab. It’s a lie. Micro evolution is obvious, such as people changing, dogs changing, etc.

      You seem to be making the case that no one other than a credentialed scientist can make claims about science itself. That’s just absurd. Imagine a home inspector. The inspector has the ability to critique the soundness of a housing structure without knowing how to build a home. Several different kinds of contractors are usually required to build a house such as masons, tilers, roofers, framers, etc. but only one man, an inspector, needs to be present to critique the work and he need not know the skills (trigonometry, physics, geometry, etc.) required to design and/or build the structure. To say one cannot comment on the scientific method if he is not a scientist is the height of irrationality.

      As far as abigenesis, you only echo exactly what I said. I already pointed out that Darwinism does not deal with abigenesis but that the Naturalists often insist on it. Unfortunate.

      1. Of course, you are more than free to comment on the scientific method. But you would stand a better chance at influencing people of your position if you found a way to disprove the Theory of Evolution.

        Yes, brand new species has most definitely been observed. I suspect what you may be referring to is the argument that it is still the same kind, i.e. it is still a dog, still a bird, etc. You won’t live long enough to observe a dog or bird transition into something that you would think deserves a new classification. This could take millions of years before you might find that enough microevolution has occurred before the new life-form deserves a new classification. Just think back to the penny bank account analogy. Each additional penny represents microevolution. There is no clear line of demarcation where you go from poor to rich. You can only compare the vast differences between $100 and $900,000 after the fact before you can distinguish that one is poor and another is rich. Microevolution happens just like pennies keep being added to your bank account… but macroevolution is just a description of what has happened over the long-term, just like being rich describes what happened over the long-term of adding more pennies.

        I would have to say that if you don’t understand that, it is by choice that you not understand… because you want so badly to hold onto your other beliefs. Scientists do not struggle with those kind of pre-suppositions.

      2. I understand the analogy, but there is no proof the analogy works. As you admit, it would take time, time, and more time. I wrote about this in one of my blogs here. The way Darwinists use time is the same way they accuse theists of “God of the gaps.” Your faith is in time and chance. You fill in gaps with more time and chance. So really, we are both in the same boat making faith claims. Anyway, you have nothjng in your arsenal that I’ve not yet heard and apparently I will never convince you, so I’m unsure what you are doing here.

  3. In response to Boxing Pythagoras you said: It’s the same as saying it’s “nothing more” than a theory. That’s what merely means. And the statement I made is true.

    In science, there is no higher standard than a theory. Theories do not get promoted to laws, as some people may think. So to say that it is “merely a theory” is misleading because it attempts to persuade people who don’t know any better and think that a theory is “just a hunch or guess.” I have been going to church for a very long time and have seen many pastors present it the same way you have… and many people listening don’t know the difference between the term “theory” as used in science vs. “theory” as used in everyday conversation. The scientific equivalent to the term theory as used in everyday conversation is “hypothesis.” Using the term “merely a theory” is a dis-ingenuous attempt that takes advantage of a person’s ignorance about science. People who don’t know any better are just going to repeat that and end up looking like a fool when saying it to someone who does know the difference.

    1. Again, it is not misleading or disengenuious. It’s not my fault if people do not know the meaning of the word “mere” or “merely.” Heck, C.S. Lewis used the word in one of his greatest apologetic works. What if I used the word “huge” and a person thought that the word “huge” means hot dog? Oh well, I’m not here to educate people on grammar.

      1. You used the term “merely” in the same context as “only.” As in “only a theory” as to degrade it. Anyone being honest with themselves can see that was your intention. That was obviously not the same context as C.S. Lewis used it because he wrote a book supporting Christianity. You on the other hand, are most definitely not supporting the Theory of Evolution, but trying to trash it (which I am really okay with you trying). Context, context, context 🙂

  4. Here is another analogy that might help you with your struggle to understand macro-evolution. Imagine you are standing in Eastern Kansas. You are facing West and you take very small steps forward. Each small step represents micro-evolution. With each footstep, you will not notice any significant changes in the landscape. But after millions of small steps, you will find yourself in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Small changes over millions of years, just like millions of steps… equal enormous changes that are deserving of new classifications. You’re not in Kansas anymore. Just like the common ancestor that bears, wolves, and raccoons share. Their common ancestor was not a wolf, not a bear, not a raccoon. But DNA confirms they all share a common ancestor. Millions of years go by, and of course they all deserve different names because of their vast differences 🙂

    1. … and yes, there is plenty of proof the analogy works. DNA confirms the relationships among bears, wolves, and raccoons… and fossil records are consistent with it (even though there may be some missing transitional fossils–100% of all fossil records are consistent with the predictions made by the Theory of Evolution). By the way, I am here to engage in dialogue. Surely you must be okay with that if you create blog posts and approve replies. You don’t seem like someone who would want to stifle honest dialogue. But my goal is not to convince you. Perhaps someone else will stop by and read your blog post… and they might find my replies helpful… or not. Either way, every idea deserves to be challenged in a public forum, no matter how good or bad it is.

      1. I understand your points about gradual change but the examples you gave are not at all analogous to macro evolution. In fact, they fail miserably and here’s how. The penny example is not analogous because when the amount of gradual change is measured years later the end result is the same as the beginning. You begin with money and you end with money….every single time. If you started with money and ended say with a taco, then you would have made an excellent point. After all, macro evolution demands things magically turn into brand new species. What your example indicates is micro evolution which every agrees to.

        Your example of baby steps doesn’t work because the object that should have changed (or evolved) in the example was the man walking, not his surroundings.

        Moreover, having common properties doesn’t in any way prove we all came from the same single property (the first life, which evolution cannot explain. It presupposes it). All houses have common properties. All cars have common properties. All t-shirts have common properties. And all of those things have a common designer.

      2. The result with the pennies is the same if you only consider that you started with money and ended with money. The same can be said about evolution, i.e. you started with life and you ended with life–so by your own standard that is perfectly analogous. The question is whether or not the life you end up with is deserving of a new description? The money you end up with is deserving of a new description, e.g. poor vs. rich. After millions of years of continuous micro changes, those micro changes amount to very large changes. Whether or not mankind wants to give the descending life forms a new description is irrelevant… the only thing that matters is whether or not the life form has changed substantially. If so, you have to be able to determine whether or not you are going to keep classifying it the same as its ancient ancestors or if it deserves a new name–which is really arbitrary… because no one really knows how much a bear needs to change before we stop calling it a bear (just like know one really knows precisely when to consider themselves rich if their bank account keeps increasing by one penny).

        To think that millions of years of micro changes do not amount to enormous changes in life would be like taking my small footstep analogy and claiming that I am just walking in small circles and not going anywhere. If that is your position, what exactly is the inhibiting factor that prevents the micro changes from amounting to very large changes? Is there an imaginary line of demarcation that would prevent a dog from changing so much that it cannot cross that boundary where you might consider giving it a new classification?

        Using the idea that we cannot observe a macro level change in a laboratory as evidence against the Theory of Evolution is analogous to a defense attorney using the fact that a murder was not recorded on video as evidence that his client did not commit murder. That is silly, considering that there are so many other pieces of evidence that can be collected at the crime scene. All of the evidence that has been collected supports the Theory of Evolution, even the macro-level changes that you so adamantly oppose.

        By the way… species don’t magically turn into new species. This is a common misconception for many people. The truth is that species split. Lots of people who don’t understand evolution seem to think that a species turns into a new one, when that is simply not the case. Species divide, with each path going in a different direction–this is why no species turned into a wolf, bear, or raccoon… they simply all share a common ancestor whose species divided into different paths. This misconception is quite common among people in the creationist/ID crowd that continually insist on embarrassing themselves by asking “If humans came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?” (Never mind the obvious fact that they are confusing apes with monkeys, lol).

        Lastly, my small footstep analogy served one purpose… to help you understand that lots of small changes collectively = big changes. So when you find yourself in the Rocky Mountains, you would probably agree that your new surroundings deserve a different description than your previous surroundings in Eastern Kansas. This is only analogous to evolution in the sense that any life form that undergoes lots of small changes over a long period of time will at some point in time deserve a new description. But as I said before, whether mankind decides to give it a new description is irrelevant… the only thing that matters is how much the life form changed. Any new classification we give it is just an abstraction, i.e. it is what it is, no matter whether we want to call it a dog, bird, or some new name never before used.

      3. In no way do your explanations neuter you from horrible analogies. You sinply cannot compare non-living objects to living ones. I know it sounds sexy to you, but it’s beyond absurd. It’s simply not sound reasoning. By the way, I never brought up observation of evolution in a lab. You did that. Maybe you were speaking about the micro form. Either way, you’re the one who went there, not me.

        The bottom line as this has progressed is that your analogies may convince 5th graders, but more developed logic suggests otherwise. Speaking of logic, reason, and immaterial laws, Darwinism has absolutely no way to explain them. Darwinism presupposes all of them. 🙂

      4. I cannot believe I’m entertaining such a horrible analogy that makes no sense, but I’ll try this again. If you saved pennies for years and years and assuming they don’t decompose, the only way the analogy works is if the pennies somehow, over long periods of time, changed into paper money without the aid of a banker. It’s still money yet different. That answers your life objection. The pennies remain money but if the analogy is to work, they must not remian pennies. It’s simply ridiculous. And furthermore, the notion this happened to fish is a wild, faith-based notion.

        And btw, even though I see macro evolution as a fairy tale of sorts, it still has absolutely NOTHING to do with God’s existence. In fact, the miracle of evolution, were it true, would be futher proof of God’s existence! If you have studied the Anthropic principle, you would agree.

      5. Another way your penny analogy fails miserably: it woukd be like trying to argue that snow accumulating on the ground is proof of evolution. No, it’s not. It’s simply proof that snow is in fact accumulationg. Period.

      6. A 5th grader can understand that lots of small changes = big changes. It is unfortunate that you can’t draw the same conclusion. You demonstrated that you do not understand this logic of many small changes = big changes when you suggested that my penny analogy begins and ends in the same way, i.e. started w/ money, ended with money. To suggest that starting with money and ending with a taco indicates you do not understand the relationship between micro/macro. Through the process of evolution, you start with life and end with life. You don’t start with life and end with something else (like you suggested with the penny/taco relationship).

        In the end, you are showing that you are incapable of addressing what inhibitors would prevent you from re-classifying a life form that has undergone millions of years of micro evolution. After 10 million years of micro changes, how could you justify classifying the end result life form as being the same if it has constantly changed for 10 million years? I guess I have to ask a 5th grader that question… since they understand that lots of small things = something big, lol. But then again… so does every credible scientist in the world. People like you are the only ones being “Left Behind” (pun intended).

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