Tue. Jan 25th, 2022

A New Type of Faith
By Steve Wilburn SW581160@wcupa.eduThis past week, the town of Dover, Pennsylvania removed eight incumbent school board members in their local election. Proponents of the change cited the school board’s support of teaching Intelligent Design as the cause for the landslide victory. Groups like the ACLU and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State have praised the results of the recent election claiming a victory for the first amendment. Yet, ignoring the claims of intelligent design for the moment and the age old constitutional debate of the role of religion in society, this does bring to light a very important question. Since when did the theory of evolution become infallible and unassailable? After all, isn’t it only a theory?
Talking to many scientists and professors you wouldn’t think so. Many believe evolution is as certain as gravity or the fact that the earth revolves around the sun. But there is an inherent problem with evolution that reveals the weakness of such beliefs. The scientific method states that to find truth scientifically one must create a hypothesis; test that hypothesis; observe the results of the tests; redo the test several more times; and draw conclusions from the results. Yet evolution cannot be tested this way despite the efforts of many scientists. Despite the efforts of scientists like Jack Szostak of Harvard University and Richard Lenski over the past 20 years, no lab has ever produced life out of inanimate material nor has any lab observed one species evolve into another. Because of their lack of success scientists must turn to fossil evidence to draw their conclusions about evolution. This is the same procedure that cosmologists use to determine their theories of the origin of the universe, observing historical material and drawing conclusions from it. However, these theories are not held in such high regard as the theory of evolution. In the hierarchy of scientific certainty, both cosmology and evolution are at the bottom of the food chain.
Yet despite the logical frailties of the evidential basis for evolution, scientists continue to proclaim evolution as factual. And that creates a problem. The problem is that the faith scientists have in evolution precludes any legitimate attempt to propose an alternate theory for the origin of life on earth. Anyone who casts doubt on evolution is branded a religious extremist (even if their ideas have nothing to do with religion) or a bad scientist. I was always taught to question the status quo in the search for truth. But I guess for the time being the scientific community will rely on blind faith. So much for evolution not being religious.

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