Note: the heading of a key comment is emboldened and underlined.
Discussion Topic-Why has Evolution remained so prevalent today, despite all of the evidence against it?
One of the reasons seems to be that a large part of the educational system puts the theory into the students' minds as if it were indisputable fact. Then when presented with evidence against it it becomes hard to accept because it is so different then what they have been taught.
Many adults probably simply cannot accept any sort of deity and therefore creationism. They think that this means that some form of evolution must occur. There are only two ways the earth could have originated: by means of creation or that of evolution.
Like Michael pointed out in an earlier post, atheism was around long before evolutionary philosophy; however, the theory of evolution (as defined on this site) seems to be a compelling and "successful" way of promoting an atheistic worldview under the disguise (and with the authority) of science. This is called scientism and ultimately turns science and scientific authority into an idol. Unfortunately, there aren't too many professional scientists who are willing to publicly admit that there are many propositions in evolutionary theory that ARE NOT supported by the science. Instead, they just "plow ahead" insisting that evolution is fact. This can hardly be called factual science -- and lacks all credibility.
Point #2. If the foundation of a premise is false (as Greg pointed out in a previous post) then everything built on that premise must also be considered false. Therefore, since science has proven that life cannot come from non-life, where did life originate? Without life, you cannot have evolution, so it seems to me that this question has to be answered before evolutionary theory can even be considered. Creationism has an answer to this most important question. Evolutionary philosophy does not.
Finally, it seems to me that the lack of transitional forms is the biggest challenge to evolutionary philosophy. Sure, Darwin's finches adapted to their environment with various sized beaks, but they were STILL finches. Bacteria may develop resistance to antibiotics, but they are STILL bacteria. Dogs produce dogs and cats produce cats, etc. If there is anything in the fossil record that supports an evolutionary change from one "kind" to another, please let me know. I would really like to see it. Science does a wonderful job of studying the natural selection and species adaptation of micro-evolution (why do things change within an organism or species). However, if you want to talk about progressive adaptation and macro-evolution, which I submit is not supported by science, then you have moved into the area of evolutionary philosophy and are outside the confines of science.
Aside from the reasons listed in previous posts, Evolution seems to remain prevalent because the evidence against it hardly ever seems to get out! When most museums, schools, and universities believe and teach Evolution as fact, many, many people will find it harder to accept alternatives because it is so entrenched in almost every facility of academic prestige. With the increasing number of resources that actually exhibit the problems with Evolution, the well-entrenched philosophy of Evolution may soon find itself on more insecure foundations.
I agree with the previous posts as well, but it also appears to me that the prevalence of evolution is largely dependent on those who are taught it not questioning what they are told. Since evolutionists have very little credible evidence to back up their theory, as soon as the public begins to question what "science" tells them, and searches with a discerning ear for the truth, evolution will collapse. However, since public education is largely controlled by secularists and evolutionists, students are fed a constant stream of "science has proven evolution" which makes it very hard for them to question what they are told, or seek truth, since truth is apparently exactly what the teacher says "science has proven evolution"
I think discussions of evolution are very prevalent today because, while there is a great deal of evidence against it, there is also a great deal of evidence for it. Some very smart people have dedicated their lives to finding evidence for evolution, and there is a great deal of evidence. However, the real reason I think it catches the mind is that it uses a force none of us really can understand personally--the power of gradual, continual change over absurdly long periods of time. So it seems conceivable to the average layman (note also that while many people debate over evolution, like politics, very few people actually know a great deal about it (I might even throw myself into this group)) that a small change (feather color) might, if multiplied by an impressive number of years, result in a new organism. There's very little plain reasoning that can go against this. There are many complicated arguments, but to my knowledge there is no simple argument against this, which is the basic principle of evolution. And when one side presents an easy solution and the other side presents only complicated reasons why it's not a solution (if they actually listen to the other side at all, which seldom happens when the other side is lumped in with that lousy caricature of Christians in "Inherit the Wind"), they'll tend to use Occam's razor (as the typical uninvested person would do) and lean on the side of evolution.
The real problem, I think, is that people don't care a great deal about religion; they presume that it's "unimportant" or "not for them"--we're seeing a great rise in the number of people who are claiming to be "spiritual" but not "religious"--what we need, if we really want to talk about evolution seriously, is for people--and I mean the vast majority of people, not the minority we have now--to really care about the issue. But in order for people to care about that issue we need to get people to care about RELIGION first, and the big questions (what is goodness, etc.). Until people start caring about those things, many of these debates in which we could really talk about the merits and demerits of particular theories (the only way a certain theory could be taken out of the public eye) are like the old adage: you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.
More of a ramble than anything else, I guess, but maybe someone else will read it and say something genuinely intelligent that's not just me ripping off "A Secular Age".
Small changes like in feather color are the result of already existing genes. Changes in such things does not lead to new kinds of organisms. Natural selection does a very good job of suiting kinds of animals to their environments. However. natural selection does not produce new kinds of animals. (For example a bird with a different feather color remains a bird.)
I would argue that evolution is much more improbable than creation. To borrow some from an Answers In Genesis book, starting with some science:
There are over 300 different types of amino acids, only 20 of which form life. Each amino acid comes in two shapes, often referred to as left-handed and right-handed. Only left-handed amino acids form biological proteins, but they tend to bond with each other just as much. These amino acids must bond in the right order for protein to be formed.
Any "primordial soup" would undoubtedly contained most or all of the types of amino acids. It is also worth mentioning that any cell membrane would be destroyed by any water present (a process called hydrolysis).
Using this knowledge we can begin to calculate the probability of correctly forming a protein. Proteins range from about 50 to 30000 amino acids long. To keep things simple, assume a length of 100 acids long (on the short end.)
Imagine you are flipping a coin. The chance of getting heads would be 1/2. The chances of getting 100 heads in
a row is similar to that of only left-handed amino acids bonding 100 times. This had been calculated to on average occur after flipping a coin 300 MILLION times a second for one QUADRILLION years! This is only to get 100 left-handed amino acids bonded! In a similar manner, the probability of these proteins being in the right ORDER brings the probability of forming a protein to 1/10 to the 130th power!
This is only to get one protein! the probability of getting all the proteins necessary to form a cell is 1/10 to the 40,000 power. Then this cell would need to survive its environment, mutate, etc. to form all the kinds of life. The argument of that things will happen given enough time simply does not stand.
Occam's razor is the idea that the most likely explanation for something is the one with the least assumptions. Look at all the assumptions that evolution makes! It assumes that all the proteins came together by chance formed to make life. It then assumes that any life would be able to survive and the would proceed to reproduce, mutate, and form new kinds (of which true transitional fossils have never been found.)
I like the saying that you mentioned. It is always very important when considering topics as this to keep an open mind. I also agree that there is a minority of people that really care about looking in to the differences and evidence for creation or evolution, as can be seen as people often try to just combine them with the concept of theistic evolution. It is important for people to care about religion. Then they can consider the evidence and whether they agree with atheism/evolution, theistic evolution, or creation.
I probably ended up "rambling" just as much as you did, so don't worry. I hope you will comment again!
I'm still waiting for a Darwinian explanation of the soft dinosaur tissue that has been found in virtually every dinosaur remains. Often it is just ignored by the Darwinian side, in the hope that it will go away, but it's not going away. And I predict that there is no 'millions of years" explanation of substantive value that will be found.
I also believe that the fact that "kinds produce their kinds" proves difficult for the Darwinian side. We often hear about bacteria that becomes (evolves into) antibiotic-resistant bacteria, but the "evolved" bacteria is still bacteria. Darwin's finches developed longer beaks and shorter beaks (natural selection) but they were still finches. As far as I know, there is no reputable science that supports the notion that one kind "evolved" into another completely different kind with new and different DNA.