by Bill Nugent
Evolution is often promoted as a scientific theory but in actuality it is more properly described as a hypothesis of natural history. The term “theory” is usually connected to the experimental sciences such as chemistry, biology and physics. A theory must be confirmed or falsified by experimentation. Evolution has to do with alleged events that occurred in the distant past which cannot be observed or experimented upon in the present.
Evolution is not biology. Evolution is an hypothesis of the historyof biology. It’s important to make that distinction.
The term “hypothesis” relates to the soft sciences such as criminology, anthropology, sociology and history. Evolution has to do with natural history and therefore is soft science.
Natural history is also called a forensic science. Forensic science is a science of history that attempts to discover what occurred in the past. It is the type of science that a police detective uses to investigate a crime that occurred in the past. A detective uses forensic, investigative science to formulate a historical hypothesis that will stand up in a court of law.
Forensic science by its very nature is an inexact science. You cannot recreate history in a test tube whether it’s the history of a crime or an aspect of natural history.
In a field of experimental science such as chemistry you can analyze a chemical reaction that occurs over and over again. You can do experiments to establish a scientific theory that can be either falsified or verified with great precision. Experimental science is very precise and conclusive while forensic science is inexact and tentative.
Forensic science merely suggests, implies or infers a conclusion. More and more scientists are coming to the conclusion that forensic analysis of the fossil record shows flaws in the Darwinian evolution hypothesis.
Evolution is claimed to have occurred in the past. The evolutionist will make a large part of his or her case based on comparative anatomy. The evolutionist points out that a giraffe and a dog have the same basic skeletal structure. Both have vertebra, ribs, similar leg bones, etc. The evolutionist claims that this “proves” that giraffes and dogs have a common ancestor that lived in the distant past.
A creationist looks at a giraffe skeleton and a dog skeleton and says that this is not proof of a common ancestor but rather is proof of a common designer. A creationist says that God designed them both in the past. The creationist also says that similarity of function is the reason for similarity of design. God designed a giraffe leg similar to a dog’s leg because of similarity of function. But the foregoing is also a hypothesis. The creationist can’t absolutely prove that creation occurred operating in the realm of forensic science alone. I believe that creation has the stronger case from a forensic standpoint. Yet the creation vs. evolution controversy can’t be absolutely resolved by forensic analysis alone.
To resolve the controversy we must shift the debate to that limited realm of the study of living things that can be analyzed by experimental science where firm conclusions can be drawn. It is the realm of natural history called proto-evolution that can be subjected to rigorous experimental and probability analysis.
Proto-evolution is the science of life origins which is the study of how life allegedly sprang from nonliving chemicals. Microbiologists with electron microscopes and biochemists with sophisticated chemical experimentation have discovered irrefutable evidence for the utter complexity of single celled life. Chemistry and biology which are hard, experimental sciences enter the creation vs evolution debate at this point. Probability analysis, a precise branch of mathematics also enters the fray.
A “simple” cell is composed of a minimum of 200 different kinds of proteins (according to Francis Crick) and each protein comprises an average of 446 amino acids arranged in precise order. Darwin and Huxley didn’t know this! Computer driven probability analysis has proven it couldn’t form by chance.
Even the components of a cell; the proteins, the DNA, RNA, etc., are so complex as to not form randomly if the whole universe were primordial soup and 20 billion years were to elapse. (I refer you to the work of molecular biologist Harold Morowitz.) Therefore there must be an intelligent designer of life. The intelligent designer of life is God.
The precise conclusions of experimental science overwhelm and refute the tentative conclusions of the forensic science used to support evolution.
The Christian faith is not an irrational faith. God has given us His inspired book, the Bible. God has also given evidence of His existence in the complexity and wonder of the natural world. Our faith is in God not science. Yet science, when properly understood, does not contradict the Bible.