Fact vs. Theory.

A fact is an un-tested statement, usually made about something that is apparently obvious to the whoever is stating it. For example, if I saw a wall made of square red-tinged rocks from across the street and stated that it was a brick wall, I would be stating a fact. I have no proof that it is a brick wall other than the fact that it looks to me like a brick wall and my worldview supports the fact that it is more likely to be a brick wall than anything else. A theory, on the other hand, is a fact that has not only been observed but also tested. For example, if I asked the maker of the wall what it was made of and was told that it was made of bricks, then the statement that it is a brick wall would be a theory. Fact’s aren’t always wrong, after all, the wall did indeed turn out to be made of bricks, but theories are much more trustworthy. An important note, however, is that theories are not always the absolute truth. For example, despite checking my assumption of the material against that of the maker of the wall, I do not have definite proof that the maker of the wall’s statement is not merely an assumption as well. If someone else could prove that, for example, the maker had been scammed into buying dyed red cinder blocks rather than bricks, my theory, despite the fact that my original tests proved it correct, would become just as false as the original fact which I observed.

An overview of the theory of evolution.

The basic theory of evolution is that, across billions of years, life evolved from single celled organisms to what we see now. Originally, this was a controversial statement, as it suggests that life was not created by a deity, as was previously believed. Because of this, for a long time nearly all the scientific community either ignored or scorned it. Famously, however, it was championed by Charles Darwin, a scientist who lived in the eighteen hundreds. The idea of evolution was not originally Darwin’s; the concept had been around for some time before Darwin’s observations. He did, however, make the idea more convincing by suggesting how it could happen, a process called Natural Selection. The basic theory of Natural Selection is that as the world’s climate and landscape changes, creatures less suited to live in the new setting die, taking their undesirable traits with them. The only organisms that survive are those best suited for their new landscape. Given millennia, this could explain how microscopic organisms gave rise to humans, an idea so convincing, especially with the evidence that has been found to support it, that many regard it as a theory.

“They also noted that these mechanisms “suggest in a natural way how the many and diverse compartments in eukaryotic cells could have evolved in the first place.” Working researchers, it seems, see something very different from what Behe sees in these systems — they see evolution.”

-The Flaw in the Mousetrap: Intelligent design fails the biochemistry test.

Evolution response to Michael J. Behe

By Kenneth R. Miller6/

Scientific evidence for evolution.

Some of the most potent evidence for evolution can be found in fossils, the remains of an organism preserved in rock. Because fossils are found rock layers, they provide both a timeline of how evolution progressed and access to animals in different states of transformation. An example of a fossil in the midst of evolving is Tiktaalik, an early ancestor of amphibians.

Another fact which supports evolution is bone structure. Many seemingly unconnected animals, such as cats and whales share common bone structure, though they often use the bones either differently or not at all. This suggests that in the far past, they had a common ancestor whose offspring traveled to different regions and in time evolved into different creatures.

Scientific evidence against evolution.

One of the most common cases against evolution is the simple fact that the earth is not old enough for the changes required for an amoeba to evolve into a human to happen. It is true that in a short time, through natural selection, a population of short beaked birds can turn into a population of longbeaked birds during a dry season, but these are comparatively small changes – not the sort that could cause such drastic transformations in a mere 6,000 years.

Another common theory used to refute evolution is the theory that all life is irreducibly complex. The basic gist of this theory is that all life is so complex that if any part of it was taken away, it could not function at all. A common demonstration of this is a mouse trap. To make a mouse trap, one requires a platform, a hammer, a spring, a catch, and an iron bar. When screwed together properly, these function as a very good mouse trap, crushing the mouse as it runs through. If, however, one took away the spring, then entire machine could not function. This is true as well if the parts are there but not being used properly. If I switched the locations of the hammer and the spring, the trap would be useless. This theory provides a strong case against evolution. If merely one of the integral components of life was not yet evolved or not yet working in its intended function, then the organism could not function, and life would have quickly petered out. This suggests, then, that life did not slowly evolve, painstakingly gathering new features, but was created all at once in more or less its present form. This theory was formulated by Michael J. Behe in his essay on intelligent design, an opposing theory which we will discuss next.

An overview of the theory of Intelligent Design.

Intelligent design is the theory that the universe, and all that is in it, is too complex to have been made by a fairly random process such as Natural Selection. Instead, supporters of the Intelligent Design assert that the world was, as the name suggests, designed by an intelligent creator, such as God. This fact is often proven by the Mouse Trap example, which I described in the previous paragraph. The following quote shows why:

“Irreducibly complex systems appear very unlikely to be produced by numerous, successive, slight modifications of prior systems, because any precursor that was missing a crucial part could not function. Natural selection can only choose among systems that are already working, so the existence in nature of irreducibly complex biological systems poses a powerful challenge to Darwinian theory.”

-The Challenge of Irreducible Complexity: Every living cell contains many ultra sophisticated molecular machines, .

Intelligent Design position statement

By Michael J. Behe.

Evidence for Intelligent design.

The mouse trap analogy is one of the most prominent theories used to support intelligent design. Further proof of intelligent design can be derived from the fact that the universe is simply too complicated to occur without an intelligent designer. This is sometimes proven in comparison to the movie Contact which, while fictional, provides strong support for the argument of those who believe in Intelligent Design. In the film, a group of researchers detect a seemingly random sequence of beeps in space. After listening to the beeping uneventfully for some time, the beeps, and pauses in between them, list all the prime numbers between two and one hundred and one. Because this particular series is so random, practically impossible to tell the truth, the researchers conclude that there is extraterrestrial life somewhere in space. This is true with the world. The chances of the universe and then everything in it randomly evolving is so low that the only conclusion one can make is that an unknown supernatural force, like God, made it.

Undirected natural processes like the Darwinian mechanism are incapable of generating the specified complexity that exists in biological organisms.

-Detecting Design in the Natural Sciences: Intelligence leaves behind a characteristic signature.

Intelligent Design position statement

By William A. Dembski

Evidence Against Intelligent Design.

There is a very simple argument against the mouse trap analogy. As fossils have shown, far ancestors of certain organisms lived very differently in very different climates than their current descendants; with certain parts, such as the catch and metal bar, the mouse trap is no longer suitable to be a trap, but could make a very good paper clip. This suggests that an organism could survive without the features that seem fundamental to their descendants, as they lived very differently. This simple fact makes the main proof for Intelligent Design very unstable. The concept that the universe is simply too complex to evolve without an intelligent designer can also be simply denied. It is indeed very unlikely that life could be randomly created. Given a vast period of time, however, there is a chance, no matter how small, that life was randomly created. There is no definite proof of this, but it is a fact which many deem more likely than a supernatural creator.

My personal opinion.

My opinion is that the theory of Intelligent Design is correct. Evolution has a lot of convincing proof, but most of the proof seems that it could be read in several different ways. There are many fossils which appear to be animals in various states of evolution, but there is no reason to assume that they are not merely animal species which went extinct long before humans were created or organized enough to record, whether in art or lore, such sightings. Bone structure, another key fact used to promote evolution, does not necessarily mean that the organisms are distant ancestors. Perhaps there is merely a bone structure which is most efficient, no matter how it is used. I do not wish to imply, however, that natural selection or evolution over a short period, is not real. It has been observed many times, and I would be deliberately ignoring massive scientific evidence if I denied it. I do, however, believe that natural selection is too prone to fluctuations, during a dry season bird beaks become long, but during a wet season they become slightly shorter, to produce such an amazingly complex thing as humans.

“In the absence of evidence that natural selection and random variations can account for the apparently designed features of living things, the entire question of design must be reopened.”

-Elusive Icons of Evolution: What do Darwin’s finches and the four-winged fruit fly really tell us?

Intelligent Design position statement

By Jonathan Wells

Sources.

“They also noted that these mechanisms “suggest in a natural way how the many and diverse compartments in eukaryotic cells could have evolved in the first place.” Working researchers, it seems, see something very different from what Behe sees in these systems — they see evolution.”

-The Flaw in the Mousetrap: Intelligent design fails the biochemistry test.

Evolution response to Michael J. Behe

By Kenneth R. Miller

“Irreducibly complex systems appear very unlikely to be produced by numerous, successive, slight modifications of prior systems, because any precursor that was missing a crucial part could not function. Natural selection can only choose among systems that are already working, so the existence in nature of irreducibly complex biological systems poses a powerful challenge to Darwinian theory.”

-The Challenge of Irreducible Complexity: Every living cell contains many ultra sophisticated molecular machines, .Intelligent Design position statement By Michael J. Behe.)

“In the absence of evidence that natural selection and random variations can account for the apparently designed features of living things, the entire question of design must be reopened.”

-Elusive Icons of Evolution: What do Darwin’s finches and the four-winged fruit fly really tell us?

Intelligent Design position statement

By Jonathan Wells

is that an unknown supernatural force, like God, made it.

Undirected natural processes like the Darwinian mechanism are incapable of generating the specified complexity that exists in biological organisms.

-Detecting Design in the Natural Sciences: Intelligence leaves behind a characteristic signature.

Intelligent Design position statement

By William A. Dembski

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