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Discussion 6 to Meditation 48
Evolutionary theory is not a religious belief

by: Adrian Davies

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I am not particularly well versed in the Constitution of the United States and have no training in US Law, as such I am willing to accept that the opinion of U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III has more credence than my opinion. If the opinion of Judge Jones is that teaching ID is unconstitutional, then, unless given extremely convincing arguments to the contrary, I accede to the opinion of Judge Jones.

As to the idea that ID is scientific, I am qualified to make an informed opinion. I have been a working Scientist for almost twenty years and have been published in various peer reviewed journals. These are my credentials, and my opinion is that Evolutionary theory is Science, ID is not.

The roots of modern Science can not be clearly defined, can we say exactly when Alchemy transformed into Chemistry and became Science. However, where science began has no bearing on what Science is now. That Sir Isaac Newton believed in God has no bearing on the validity of his ideas as scientific concepts.

The Heliocentric concept of the Universe gave way to the Newtonian view, this has been refined by Einstein’s concept of space time. In the near future string theory may change our view again, until that in turn gets refined or superceded.

In the absolute sense there are no unchanging ‘facts’ or ‘theories’ in science. All we can offer are theories that “bests fit” the evidence that we have, and has not yet been disproved.

The theory of natural selection has been considerably modified in the last 150 years (incorporation of Mendelian Genetics) but has not yet been proven false.

If you have evidence that the theory of natural selection is false then please publish it in a peer reviewed journal. Personally I would welcome this, if the theory is false, then I wish it would be falsified as soon as possible so that science can advance.

This is the crux of why Evolutionary theory is not a religious belief - Scientists do not mind if you prove it wrong, we welcome the opportunity to get rid of incorrect ideas. That is why physicists no longer discuss the ether, why chemists no longer discuss phlogiston, why Lamarckian evolution and Lysenkoism or no longer part of biology. These ideas were proven wrong, then we moved on.

Religion does not give this option, an Omnipotent, Omniscient God, explains everything and nothing. That does not mean it is not true, but it takes it out of the realm of what is accepted as scientific. Please, practice your religion, enjoy it and get what solace you can from it, but accept it as a religion, it does not need to be dressed up as science.

On a final note, I do no think that science is “attempting to dispel God as a consideration”. Personally, and as a scientist I can only say ‘I don’t know, and I don’t care’