XXXXXXXXX@aol.com Wrote:

hi, i am chris and i just have one question about darwin.why do they say hes dead and can you give my some facts about disproving his theorys? because my thrird period teachers loves him and his work. thank you for your time.

Fredric L. Rice replies:

Greetings, Chris!

Yes, this is a fairly silly thing that some people say and it's predicated upon a profound ignorance of evolution and simple biology. Any biology text you're likely to run into will cover evolution so when you hear somebody say "Darwin is dead," you'll know that there's really no excuse: public libraries are open to the public and such ignorance is inexcusable.

A small percentage of Christians will say "Darwin is dead" because they are unwilling to accept the fact of evolution which Darwin observed and codified in his book, "The Origin of Species." Some believers in gods have a problem accepting the fact of evolution because they mistakenly believe it adversely impacts their faith.

Science concerns itself with testable claims, however, and as such gods and goddesses, warewolves and vampires just don't factor into science. Science doesn't concern itself with religious faith so it's silly when believers in gods feel threatened by science. They should be comfortable with their faith, you see, rather than try to attack science due to their inability to understand science. That's the whole swatting idea of faith, after all!

It's an unfortunate misconception to begin with since evolution is an undeniable fact just like gravitation is yet a few percentage of Christians who have a problem with evolution try to pretend that evolution is some kind of religion and as such they may ignore the overwhelming evidence which shows evolution to be fact. It's rather like trying to pretend that everyone who accepts gravitation is part of a religion which "believes" in gravitation -- never mind the fact that gravitation, like evolution, is a directly observed phenomena.

Most theists accept the findings of science. A few have problems with science -- as you can see with what theists did to Galileo. It took the Vatican 360 years to "forgive" Galileo his "crime" of observing the fact that the Earth orbits the Sun.

I find it somewhat amusing that the few remaining Christians who are unwilling to accept the fact of evolution say "Darwin is dead." It's an attempt to try to pretend that evolution is a religion and that Darwin was some kind of god to those who accepted his observations. Saying "Darwin is dead" is an attempt to say that people who accept evolution are worshipping a dead god.

As far as disproving evolution, that's kind of difficult since evolution is a directly observed phenomena. One would have to discount entirely the change in allele frequency in a population over time which is observed in species in the span of human lives. One could observe evolution and argue the how of how it takes place but it would be a logical absurdity to deny that it does in fact take place.

One major step toward disproving evolution would be to find fossils in the earth's strata which are out of sequence in its geological collumn. If there were trilobytes, for instance, mixed in with mammals in sites around the world, that would disprove everything that's known about the history of speciation and would eventually be a horrible wound to evolution; scientists would need to find better explanations for the observed fact of changeing allele frequencies in a population over time.

Evolution is both a fact and a number of closely-related theories. (Gravitation is also a fact and there are two closely-related theories which attempt to explain it.) Evolution is a directly observed phenomena not subject to belief or disbelief. (Sure, it's subject to acceptance and denial but that's not science's fault.)

Evolution is also a number of theories which seek to explain how evolution takes place. The contemporary synthesis is called "Punctuated Equalibrium" or "Punk Eeek." It's a minor variation on the theory which has predominated paleontology, biology, and evolution for several decades.

The fact that scientists debate the theory of evolution doesn't mean that the fact of evolution is in dispute: no scientist speaking within his or her area of education denies the fact that evolution takes place. It's the same for physicists working on gravitation. The fact that gravitation exists is undeniable even though there are two theories of gravitation which physicts argue over.

So, in summary, find a fossil bed where trilobytes appear in the same strata as mammals and one will have put a knife in the back of evolution. One will also need to find fault with a bewildering amount of field work and lab work which record observed speciation events and changes in the allele frequencies of a population under investigation. That's a fdaunting task to say the least.

It's an interesting subject, I think. Paleontology, geology, biology, and even cosmology and astronomy factor into the theories of how evolution works.

And you might dump this note of mine to paper and run it through your instructor since your instructor will have a great more technical data on hand than I currently have.

Carl Sagan said that any visiting aliens from other planetary systems will determine the intelligence of the Human species by whether they have discovered the fact of evolution or not. Humanity suspected that species evolved long before Charles Darwin codified his observations. Darwin was just the first to organize his observations and provide testable explanations on what people have observed for centuries before him.

Darwin thought that natural selection was enough to explain evolution: it's not. Science had to wait unti Mendel worked with his pea plants to discover genetics at which time it was learned that genetic mutation and allele traits changes also drive evolution.


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