Monday 9 February 2009

I Do Not Believe In Evolution

Bet you weren't expecting that were you? But I don't believe in evolution. Believing in something implies that a degree of faith is needed in order to accept something that cannot be proven one way or another. Oooh, like the existence of God for example.

Creationists often use the strawman argument that "evolution is just a theory, even the scientists say so". Yeah, well we also refer to gravity as a theory, but that doesn't mean that we don't think it's a FACT, or that we're happy to have intelligent falling taught in schools as an alternative to gravity!

As the AAAS explains:
A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment. Such fact-supported theories are not "guesses" but reliable accounts of the real world. The theory of biological evolution is more than "just a theory." It is as factual an explanation of the universe as the atomic theory of matter or the germ theory of disease. Our understanding of gravity is still a work in progress. But the phenomenon of gravity, like evolution, is an accepted fact.
So I don't believe in evolution for the same reason that I do not believe in gravity. There is no need to believe in something that is happening constantly, measurably and without us thinking about it. It is as silly to believe in evolution as it is to believe that 2 + 2 = 4.

Sadly this distinction has been lost on the journalist who wrote this report on a survey of evolution versus creationism, and I presume on an awful lot of the people who filled in the questionnaire, whether they are part of the 25% who "believe" evolution is definitely true, or whether they are strongly opposed to it. As for the actual figures reported, that half the people surveyed do not accept evolution, looks like we're in for a battle like the Americans have been fighting.

And because it needs to be said, evolution is a testable scientific concept. We can now see it happening in nature and in the lab. We can see it in our own embryology and that of other animals. It is as real as that force keeping you on that chair rather than atomised in space.


  1. MischievousBastard29 June 2012 at 12:01

    Seen this lunacy? Nessie-osaur proves creationism in Louisiana schools.

    1. I had seen that in the new curriculum for LA schools. Sadly, I fear that, with the impending destruction of the National Curriculum, there'll be more of that over here...

    2. MischievousBastard30 June 2012 at 10:45

      That's strange, link hasn't worked. Does your blog take HTML?

      Anywho, it's odd. We're alive at the same time as the other Hominidae, from which we are meant to have evolved. Especially in the minds of creationists, whose argument ignores the age of Lucy and just goes "scientists reckon your Granddad were a chimp". There's a theory doing the rounds that (and I can only be so careful) Caucasians (including Arabs) are physically different from other Modern Humans because we interbred with Neanderthals, rather than wiping them out. This last one is partly about evolution and partly because it pisses fundamentalists off. Neither of these attracts a lot of flak these days, at least not from alternative fundamentalist curricula, but just one alleged Plesiosaur...

      Mind you, perhaps it's not so odd. An accredited course of education has to stand - albeit loosely - on evidence, where such is available. There's enough literature around which discredits any argument that the first two negate evolution. The fundies can't touch it, not in this way. Nessie, however, is different in that s/he is not confirmed as existing, but is widely believed to and widely believed to be a Plesiosaur. Since no leading scientist (to my quick googling) has described exactly how the existence of Nessie cannot negate evolution, the fundies are on safe ground.

      Next up it'll be aliens, zombies, and the Beast of Bodmin Moor. (As opposed to the Beast of Bodmas Moor, which is what we used to call my Year & Maths teacher).


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