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Humanism vs. Christianity
~
The Polarization of America

by Patrick Vosse

Chapter 7

If Not Science What Is It?


Humanism vs. Christianity
~
The Polarization of America

by Patrick Vosse


Part Two
Know the Foe


Chapter 7 - If Not Science What Is It?


About 60 years ago, people began seeing unidentified flying objects, UFOs. There was much speculation about what they were:  aliens from outer space, Russians, secret government technology– the list goes on. Many of the UFO sightings were explained by normal events, but many remained unexplained. Although quite a few sightings were reported by "unreliable" witnesses, many witnesses were pilots (including Air Force personnel), scientists, engineers, and even politicians. Although there have been numerous reports by credible witnesses, the scientific community has generally dismissed UFOs as an urban legend. The main reason the scientists cannot accept the existence of UFOs is that there is no hard empirical data to support their existence. The entire prospect of the existence of UFOs rests on the observations alone. According to the scientific method, hard data is required to prove that UFOs exist and, if they do, what they are and where they are from. Still there are thousands, if not millions, who believe that the existence of UFOs is a fact and that their pilots are extraterrestrial aliens.

Several decades ago, astronomers speculated that there might be life on other planets sufficiently developed to have a technology that could be detected here on earth. A program was established to seek evidence of alien life, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI. They constricted a giant complex of radio receivers and computers sensitive enough to pick up electromagnetic signals, even if they had only minute strength. These are scientists who are pursuing their hypothesis with the required testing. If you ask them if there is extraterrestrial intelligent life, they will answer, "We think there is, but cannot prove it yet. We are still searching. We do not know."

Which of these two approaches is most like the Evolutionist's position, urban legend or hard science? Books and papers on evolution are remarkable in their use of certain words and phrases to describe various evolution phenomena. Some examples are: "we think", "somehow", "possibly", "it is likely", "might have", "happened by luck", "probably", "although there is no evidence, it probably …", "we believe". UFOlogists and Evolutionists have a lot of jargon in common and neither is appropriate to hard science.

The Evolutionist prides himself on using reason for make decisions and faults Christian for being unreasonable. But how reasonable is the decision to assert that evolution is a fact? True, much of the evidence supporting the hypothesis is based on scientific observation and good reasoning. But there remains a significant shortcoming in establishing the hypothesis as fact. These shortcoming are covered by the jargon mentioned in the paragraph above. But that is not reason. The Evolutionist has to make up the deficit not covered by reason. He could wait until the data is more complete or, he could admit that the hypothesis is a work in progress. But even though evolution as a scientific fact is not ready for prime time, the Evolutionist presses on, ignoring the deficit. We will discuss what the Evolutionists and Humanists use to fill in the deficit in Chapter 18; it may surprise you to discover what that is.

At the Evolutionist, conference in Chicago mentioned in the last chapter, the purpose was to defend evolution. This is interesting in that if evolution were proven according to the procedures required by the scientific method, it would not need defending after 100 years declaring it to be a fact. One does not hear of conferences to defend other proven theories. Typically, scientific conferences are held to present new hypotheses, present evidence to support or challenge existing hypotheses, or new applications of proven science and technology. If new discoveries are presented, they are supported by the results of the experiments that prove the hypothesis. However, in the case of evolution, 150 years after the publication of The Origin of Species, Evolutionists still have to defend their hypothesis with rhetoric– not data. This raises the question:  Is evolution a science?

The modern evolution synthesis hypothesis draws on many hard sciences and uses data that were developed by using the scientific method. It has been scientifically proven that genes mutate, geological strata can be dated, that fossil finds have a temporal organization, and so forth. Each component is fact. Evolutionists, however, brings these components together and interpret them to form a conclusion to support evolution without using the scientific method to do so.

As Tom Kemp reveals, "In other words, when the assumed evolutionary processes did not match the pattern of fossils that they were supposed to have generated, the pattern was judged to be 'wrong.' A circular argument arises: interpret the fossil record in terms of a particular theory of evolution, inspect the interpretation, and note that it confirms the theory. Well, it would, wouldn't it? ... As is now well known, most fossil species appear instantaneously in the record, persist for some millions of years virtually unchanged, only to disappear abruptly - the 'punctuated equilibrium' pattern of Eldredge and Gould."[1]

The case can certainly be made at this point that the concept of evolution is not rigorous science. After 150 years the Evolutionists are still tinkering with the hypothesis, there is still no empirical data verifying that one species can evolve into a different species, and equally important, there is still no proposed experiment than can establish evolution is falsifiable. As discussed in Chapter 3, if a hypothesis is not falsifiable, it is not suitable for scientific inquiry. However, the Evolutionists approach their subject with sufficient structure that I would not call it urban legend or pseudoscience either. If evolution is not a science, what is it? The answer may surprise you.

phi-los-o·phy

  1. Love and pursuit of wisdom by intellectual means and moral self-discipline.
  2. Investigation of the nature, causes, or principles of reality, knowledge, or values, based on logical reasoning rather than empirical methods.
  3. A system of thought based on or involving such inquiry: the philosophy of Hume.
  4. The critical analysis of fundamental assumptions or beliefs.
  5. The disciplines presented in university curriculums of science and the liberal arts, except medicine, law, and theology.
  6. The discipline comprising logic, ethics, aesthetics, metaphysics, and epistemology.
  7. A set of ideas or beliefs relating to a particular field or activity; an underlying theory: an original philosophy of economics.
  8. A system of values by which one lives: has an unusual philosophy of life.

Note definition (2).

A philosophy does not require the rigor of the scientific method. In fact, philosophies existed for hundreds of years before the development of the scientific method, which was originally derived from a philosophical approach to discovering truth. Philosophy is about reasoned knowledge and does not require empirical proof. The concept of evolution fits the definition of a philosophy exactly, particularly (2) above. I propose that evolution should be considered a philosophy rather than a science. And, I believe, many Evolutionists secretly agree because it solves many or their problems and "lets them off the hook" scientifically where they are faced with some very difficult questions.

In the 18th century, the German philosopher Immanuel Kant developed a concept of descent that is relatively close to modern thinking; he did, in a way, anticipate Darwinian thinking. Based on similarities between organisms, Kant speculated that they might have come from a single ancestral source. In a thoroughly modern speculation, he mused that "an orang-outang or a chimpanzee may develop the organs which serve for walking, grasping objects, and speaking--in short, that may evolve the structure of man, with an organ for the use of reason, which shall gradually develop itself by social culture". This was proposed as a philosophy, not science.

Nietzsche used Darwinian ideas to analyze the development of moral values in human culture. His concept of a society that evolves a race of "supermen" was influenced directly by Darwin’s philosophy. The concept of natural selection gave rise to the philosophy of eugenics and the elimination of "inferior" human in order to strengthen the species. This was the basis for Hitler’s infamous death camps. Some of this philosophy is returning to modern society and this will be discussed in Chapter 13.

Philosophers such as Marx saw evolution as an important component to their thesis and readily included it in their arguments. In fact, all modern philosophies that are atheistic include evolution in some form because, as will be discussed in detail in Part 3, evolution is a necessary element in denying that there is a God. Evolution is an important element in any philosophy that is Atheistic because reason along cannot prove there is no God. Evolution provides scientific "proof" and that allows Atheism to be treated as an axiom, i.e. an obvious statement not needing logical proof.

The proponents of eugenics based their philosophy on the application of natural selection to their social and political agenda. Evolution was Hitler's justification for genocide, even though he had little understanding of evolution as a science; he used evolution as a tool in his philosophy.

If evolution is considered a philosophy rather than a science, many of the difficulties facing Evolutionists cited in the previous chapters can be ignored. As a philosophy, evolution does not require empirical data proving the hypothesis. Problems such as the gaps in the fossil record can be ignored. Philosophies present a much softer standard for acceptance than that required for science. Philosophies are presented, debated, points are argued, and proponents attempt to convince opponents that theirs is the more appropriate position. Science, on the other hand, holds to the scientific method and this leave little room for debate–you prove the hypothesis or you do not.

Philosophies impact the socio-political world by proponents who attempt to sway society to their way of thought. Science impacts the socio-political world by the technology that is develops. And here there is a major difference between the socio-political philosopher and the scientist. The proponents of a philosophy who want to have the socio-political system adapt their position often become activists for their cause. They use the media to spread their message. They lobby with politicians, community leaders, universities and, where appropriate, religious leaders. That there may be flaws in the philosophy is not important; it is the social change that is important. These methods, as they are used by Humanists, are discussed in detail in Part 3.

Consider evolution in the light of philosophy. Recall the actions of Darwin and his supporters when The Origin of Species was first published (Chapter 5). Instead of focusing on the experiments that would prove the hypothesis, they conducted a media blitz. They lobbied influential scientists. They manipulated publications on the subject to press for the general acceptance of the evolution hypothesis without completing the rigor of the scientific method. Within a few years, much of the scientific community had accepted evolution, some only because, without doing so, they would be ostracized by their peers who by now had become influential Evolutionists. However, more important, evolution had become a social movement, a phenomenon discussed in detail in the next chapter.

As mentioned, philosophies are debated. They are dynamic. Proponents always have to defend their philosophy. However, unlike scientific principles, the history of evolution has been a running debate and the Evolutionists have had to expend a great deal of effort defending evolution from those who challenge it. But they do so with rhetoric, not science.

Case in point, the conference held in Chicago mentioned above was specifically to defend evolution. After 150 years, Evolutionists are still defending their position. They felt this was necessary in spite of the fact that they have been enormously successful in continuing Darwin’s media blitz and intimidating the scientific community (more on this in Chapter 13). At that meeting, Dr. McCarthy emphasized that evolution was a fact not just an idea. To paraphrase Shakespeare, "The Evolutionist doth protest too much, methinks."[2]

If evolution is not just an idea, then hold a conference on the experimental data proving the hypothesis. Of course, if evolution is just an idea, it is philosophy not science.

Over the past several years, I have had the opportunity to debate the evolution issue with regard to the scientific method. Recently, the Evolutionists have countered with an interesting argument. They say that, in the case of evolution, it is not necessary to adhere to the scientific method. They base their argument on the 20th century philosopher, Karl Popper. Popper proposed that knowledge was uncertain at best. Even with the rigor of the scientific method, it is possible that a new discovery would be made that would show a theory incorrect and necessitate the development of a new hypothesis to accommodate the new discovery. Popper was speaking theoretically, as a philosopher. The philosophy of knowledge is epistemology and the uncertainty of knowledge has plagued philosophers for centuries. One of the greatest philosophers was Descartes and the uncertainty of knowledge was a constant preoccupation for him. Descartes was also a mathematician and the philosophical uncertainty he had with knowledge did not prevent him from advancing mathematics with profound certainty.

My Evolutionist debaters hide behind philosophy, and misuse it, to defend the lack of rigor in evolution. It is true that, at any time, someone might make a discovery that proves Newton’s laws of physics in error, however, in the meantime engineers will use those laws to build buildings and launch rockets. The point I want to make here is that Evolutionists are more than willing to move evolution from the science category to the philosophy category when it suites their purpose. No other science is that flexible. Intuitively, if not consciously, the Evolutionist knows that Evolutionism is a philosophy. Philosophy is also the only way evolution can be presented as a fact without completing the rigor demanded by the scientific method. As a philosophy, evolution can miss a few steps along the scientific path, many philosophies do, and can still be considered a valid argument. For the Humanist, that is all that is of interest.

For the Humanist, it is only necessary that the general public accept evolution as fact; where by science or philosophy. Repeat the mantra, "Evolution is a fact" often enough and it will be generally accepted.

Later in the book, we will explore the Humanist agenda and how it is being implemented. Evolution is an excellent example of how a philosophy becomes a "science"; how a speculation becomes a "truth". Here we are in the 21st Century faced with major gap in the evolution hypothesis. As we discussed earlier, in the 19th Century Darwin's hypothesis was incomplete and based on folklore for some of the more difficult issues. Most of the advances in science that produced the evolution hypothesis we have today have come about in the last 50 years. At the beginning of the 20th Century, Darwin’s hypothesis, we now know, had numerous errors and was opposed by many scientists for that reason. However, in spite of the deficiencies in the science, Humanists had, by the 1930’s enabled evolution to be taught in public schools. In 1933, it was included as a basic dogma of the Humanist Manifesto. And evolution had become an integral part of the Progressive movement. We will return to this in Chapter 13.

I have had numerous conversations with Evolutionists, both in person and in the "Blogosphere". When is raise the difficulties that face the evolution hypothesis such as the unanswered questions of spontaneous life, eukaryotic cells, animal consciousness, human intelligence, and the need to empirically prove the evolution hypothesis to comply with the scientific method, I get an interesting reaction. In very few cases the Evolutionist will admit that there are difficulties and, in even fewer cases, an admission that Evolutionism might be a philosophy. The greatest reaction by far is hostility! Without answering any of the arguments raised against the evolution hypothesis, the typical reaction is to call me names! In al least half of the conversations I have had, the Evolutionists dismiss my objections with, "You don’t understand the scientific method. It is not necessary to prove a hypothesis with empirical testing and analysis. That is only necessary in some cases. For evolution, the numerous observations are sufficient proof of the theory." It seems that Evolutionists admit the hypothesis does not comply with the rigor of the scientific method and then dismiss that objection without explanation. They respond this way because there is no explanation. They respond this way because Evolutionism is a philosophy, not a scientifically proven theory.

We will discuss the philosophy of Humanism in the following chapters in detail. However, it is important to see how evolution and Humanism are connected. The fundamental premise of Humanism is that there is no God, humans are the pinnacle of biological existence as a result of evolution, and humanity will evolve to develop a utopian existence. There is much more to Humanism, but this will suffice for our discussion here. Without evolution, much of the foundation supporting Humanism crumbles. However, there is another aspect of evolution that is integral to Humanism that is often overlooked—eugenics and the fact that, if Man evolved to this point of development, Man is continuing to evolve. For the Humanist, evolution is the "salvation" of humanity. This is the root of "collective salvation" that has contaminated the Social Church, mentioned in Chapter 4. The implication of  the Humanist philosophy and the resulting implementation movements, such as Marxism and Progressivism, is that, for the first time in the history of the biological processes, humans can control their evolutionary journey.

That is why, in the first part of the 20th century when the Progressive movement emerged, eugenics was popular among the elite, the educated, and the powerful. The concept of selective breeding was applied to humans. The objective of Humanism is to develop a race of Supermen as conceived by Nietzsche. If evolution is challenged, the entire Humanist philosophy totters. That is why, irrespective of the science, or lack thereof, the Humanist must press evolution onto the public mind-set. Evolution is part of the warp and weave of the Humanism philosophical fabric.



[1] Kemp, Tom S., "A Fresh Look at the Fossil Record," New Scientist, vol. 108, 1985, p. 66-67

[2] Hamlet Act 3, scene 2, 222–230, "Lady" is here replaced with "Evolutionist".


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