In honour of Darwin 150, and those great men of Science the Young Earth Creationists – those who believe the world was created just a few thousand years ago in seven literal days by God – I thought it was the duty of an Evolutionist like me to join them this year in attempting to rip Evolutionary theory to shreds. 🙂 This is not a game for Creationist types – it’s actually for the rest of us to set about trying to falsify the current Evolutionary hypothesis, which we hold true. After all, as Popper pointed out, falsification is the heart of the scientific method? So let’s try and falsify Darwin!
We can do this by either demonstrating that Darwinian Evolution is a nonsense (harder than it looks, Creationists have been trying for over a century, though for a good fifty years it did contravene the known laws of physics and was therefore “paranormal/perinormal” – ask if confused, though I will explain in a later post, or look up on Google, using search terms “+Kelvin +Darwin + Sun”) or by proposing another hypothesis that meets the evidence just as well (underdetermining Darwinian Evolution; an underdetermined hypothesis is one where another explanation can be used just as well by the same facts, or even different facts, brought as evidence.
If we are to be Creationists though rather than think up some other completely new explanation for the biological diversification of life on Earth, then hopefully we will follow the Atrahasis Epic, or the Pimander, Hindu myth or Inuit Creation stories, or something that has not been as rigorously examined as Biblical Seven Day Creation. I’m hoping most of us who reply to this are from a staid dull old Evolutionary mainstream position, as I am, but I’m looking for radical new perspectives. Aliens did it? Sure, if you can substantiate it. Evolution is caused by periods of Rapid Plate Tectonic movement combined with psychoactive mushrooms? OK – show us your argument! I don’t care if you believe a word of your outrageous theories – so long as they provide alternatives to Evolution, or are legitimate critiques of the Evolutionary consensus (but but NOT YEC – the Creationists are already doing sterling work in attempted falsification working hard to test the evolutionary hypothesis for us – sure we should give Henry M Morris a Nobel Prize for outstanding contribution to biology?)
We evolutionists are used to manning the defenses, waiting in our deep trenches, well armed with superb arguments, ready with the heavy ammunition of data and countless papers that show the strength of our walls. Tonight, let’s creep out, and rather than join the Creationist forces who assail us, let us mount our own offensive, and try to blow Darwinism sky high. It’s what Darwin would have wanted, and it’s the proper thing to do!
Science progresses through falsification, and if we can falsify our evolutionary hypotheses, we can all move on. it is kind of the Creationist bunch to take the scientific burden so hard upon their shoulders, and do so much sterling work attacking our positions, but they are not really to my mind making much of a dent. So it is our solemn duty to try and destroy it ourselves – let the YEC man the walls of our theories, if they desire – but let us hurl epistemological grenades amidst our friends, explore weaknesses in our battlements, and tear our own folk apart. I’m hoping our best evolutionists will earn their oak leaves as first through the breach of our shattered arguments!
Of course simply while the urge to destroy is a creative urge, in Science at least, we are not going to simply parrot Creationist stuff. We are going to as a group try to devise and test alternative theories that account for the diversification of life on Earth, and preferably the origin thereof as well, which is a weakness of the current theory. We are going to think outside of YEC/OEC/Natural Selection/Lamarckism, and invent whole new alternatives, and marshal interesting new evidences to support them. We will set about underdetermining our own walls, like pious Scientific Vandals, immolating our cherished beliefs in dynamite blasts of pure reason. 🙂
So who is with me for a bit of Punk science? Who has an alternative hypothesis to propose, a mortal blow to our evolutionary enemy to deliver, or some data that might show us a completely third way of addressing the issue? Let’s smash it up, and do some real science! 🙂 Let’s chuck on The Sex Pistols and The Damned and set about some radical in-ya-face falsification attempts. Who is with me? 🙂
Note: I originally posted this on RichardDawkins.net in the “Debunking Creationism” section. Sadly I recieved very little response, from either side, though two noble posters did play – john and HAL. Cheers guys! Let’s hope the readers of my blog are more committed to real science, and join in. The orginal post was of course motivated at least partly by my reading Paul Feyrabends wonderful book on anarchism as theory of science, Against Method.