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Section 2: Questions & Answers

Science, Religion, Creation, and Evolution
5. Can any theory about supposed processes of origins--for example, the beginning of life or the origin of the solar system--be tested in a way that might conclusively falsify the theory?

Answer: Theories about the beginning of the world or of life generally cannot be tested experimentally. This is because nobody observed or can repeat what happened in the ancient past history of the earth.

Since no humans were present at the beginning, no scientists could be on hand to record the conditions and the events. Furthermore, those conditions and events cannot be repeated experimentally. Therefore, the only evidence available is that found in the present world--in the rocks, fossils and living things. The data collected by observation and experiment in the present world, and advanced in support of one or the other theory or origins, is circumstantial evidence.2

By "circumstantial" we mean that the meaning or interpretation given to the data depends strongly on the assumptions and presuppositions of the interpreter. Furthermore, any objection raised against a theory of origins can often be answered by some additional new assumption. And this new assumption cannot be tested experimentally either. Thus theories of origins, be they evolutionary or creationist, cannot conclusively be proved false by experimental test.3 Therefore, they are strictly speaking outside the realm of scientific theories.

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