|Section 3: Quotations from Scientists|
|Other Problems With the Theory|
Now that we have had the opportunity to listen in on the discussions within the community of secular scientists, the vast majority of them committed to evolution as a fact, and heard many of them, so to speak, "let down their hair," what are the evident relationships of evolutionary science to empirical science, to religion and to special creation? What can we conclude from the admissions we have heard relative to the scientific status of their theory? Simply this: The theory of evolution has a very shaky place in the realm of empirical (i.e., empirically testable) science. What is evolution, then? In our opinion philosopher of science, Sir Karl Popper, got it right in his 1976 intellectual memoire, Unended Quest, when he wrote,
In our view creation, also, is a metaphysical research programme, a possible framework for testable scientific theories.
This parallel characterization of evolution and creation points the way to an understanding of the relationship between evolution, science, religion and creation. Neither evolution or creation qualifies as a scientific hypothesis, for neither is capable of empirical falsification (i.e., falsification by observation or experiment). On the other hand, any scientist is free to believe in either creation or evolution, which provides a conceptual framework within which testable scientific hypotheses can be constructed. Thus religious beliefs can give direction and goals for scientific work. The requirement that hypotheses be testable excludes actual religious concepts from a place in the hypotheses. It also prevents the confounding of science and religion. However, the results of scientific tests of the hypotheses can provide circumstantial evidence for either evolution or creation. The interpretation of circumstantial evidence depends strongly upon the assumptions of the interpreter. Therefore, the same evidence may be interpreted to be compatible with either evolution or creation.
The integrity of science is protected from confusion with philosophy and religion by the requirement that hypotheses by empirically testable. The academic freedom of scientists and also teachers and students of science is protected by maintaining a philosophically neutral definition of science which says nothing about the beliefs of scientists. Scientists are required, however, to abide by the rules of the method of empirical science.
In any event, the quotations we have examined from many secular scientists strongly suggest the following conclusions: (1) that the dogmatic claims for evolution as a fact of earth history are highly questionable, (2) that the common assertion or belief that biologists have explained theoretically how evolution occurs is unjustified, (3) that the status of evolution as a scientific theory is highly questionable, and (4) that evolution was properly characterized by Popper as "a metaphysical research programme."