Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Debate on Darwin's Theory of Evolution

It is a favorite argument of Young Earth Creationists in attacking the Theory of Evolution to pronounce - "Charles Darwin renounced his theory on his death bed" ...Even if it were true that Darwin renounced his theory (there is no evidence that he did), what of it and so what?

This pathetically weak and flimsy argument used as an attack on the Theory of Evolution is known as a non sequitur, definitions of which are: 1) An inference or conclusion that does not follow from the premises or evidence; 2) A statement that does not follow logically from what preceded it (definitions: Answers.com).

The reason that it is a non sequitur is because the inference that they use infers that if Darwin renounced his theory on his death bed, then the theory must be incorrect. Thus, the body of overwhelming evidence, in fact tons and tons of the stuff must be wrong because on his death bed Darwin said so.

Anyone with a right mind can see that the Creationists that make this statement, do it illogically ignoring all the preceding evidence from now back to Darwin's day.

The point is that the Darwinian Theory of Evolution would still be correct even if Darwin never lived, it just wouldn't be called Darwinism. It would of needed someone else to come along and discover the mechanism of Natural Selection. But the fact of Natural Selection as the mechanism that directs the evolutionary process in combination with genetic recombination, is a scientific fact and it would remain a scientific fact whether Darwin denied it or not.

Darwin was of course unaware of DNA. Charles Darwin's great discovery was Natural Selection. The awareness of the genetic recombinations which would allow descent with modifications of species through time was a later discovery...a discovery that only strengthened Darwin's theory. Evolution itself was not Darwin's discovery. Evolution had been speculated by many individuals before Darwin, even long before him. What Darwin did was discover the mechanism that would allow evolution to run ...Natural Selection.

This anti-Darwinian argument put forward by Creationists is similar to the more general attack they put forward to attack atheists. They are often heard saying - "Albert Einstein believed in God" ...as if by some magic of the pronouncement atheists must be wrong. This anti-atheism argument is no less flimsy than the anti-Darwinian one.

It should also be noted that Einstein was most definitely not a theist. In terms of believing in a personal God that performed miracles and had a hand in our daily lives: Einstein was most definitely atheistic.

Einstein certainly did use the word God when explaining aspects of the Universe. But his meaning of God was purely as a personification of the laws of nature working in harmony. He never meant God in scriptural context such as a Jewish, Christian or Islamic God.

"It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it." (Albert Einstein, 1954).

Source(s):
Albert Einstein Quote: The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Princeton University Press






How I make money from this article and how you can make money too. Please Click here to email me! Please do not remove 'permission' from body of email.

* Drink Driving Facts Kit
o Uncover your best defence against drink driving and save your license!

No comments: