Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Falk Misrepresents the Science of Biology

Evolutionist Darrel Falk, biology professor and co-president of The BioLogos Foundation, this week reports that evolution is both theology and scientifically mandated. Falk's theological arguments are largely motivated by the problem of evil. That argument has been fueling evolutionary thought since before the eighteenth century Enlightenment. Philosopher David Hume claimed it trumped the problem of complexity (the creator would never have caused all this misery so complexity must have arisen naturally), and Charles Darwin followed with examples of predation as one of his many metaphysical mandates for evolution.

Such religious arguments have always been at the foundation of evolutionary thought and Falk, to his credit, does not try to hide the crucial role of theology. What is less commendable, however, is Falk's gross misrepresentation of the science. According to Falk evolution is not merely theologically correct, but scientifically correct as well.

Natural selection, Falk explains to his readers, is "a process that the science of biology shows really does explain how the machinery inside cells is built." It would be hard to imagine a more dastardly misrepresentation of the science of biology. Most readers are not in the position to critically evaluate such a statement. The evidence is somewhat detailed and subtle so many readers are dependent on scientists to explain in plain English what the evidence reveals.

Falk's statement is in plain English. But it is simply false. There is no nice way of putting it--Falk is foisting a gross misrepresentation upon the unsuspecting reader.

Indeed, the notion of evolution's natural selection as the creative agent behind the origin of species has led to an abundance of flawed predictions. Today, not a few evolutionists in the know have backed off from such a claim. We simply cannot be so sure, given the empirical evidence, of natural selection's creative powers. Falk over reaches and it is obvious to anyone familiar with the evidence.

One of the most important duties of scientists is to represent science with fidelity. The rest of society depends on us to provide accurate and impartial reporting on what science is and is not telling us. Evolutionists consistently fail on this score. Religion drives science, and it matters.


  1. "Indeed, the notion of evolution's natural selection as the creative agent behind the origin of species has led to an abundance of flawed predictions. Today, not a few evolutionists in the know have backed off from such a claim."

    Can you name a few? How many of them are named Steve?

  2. Lol, we are up to 1107 now - http://ncseweb.org/taking-action/project-steve . Rather puts the 'Dissent from Darwinism' list into perspective. Alongside the fact that most of the people who signed that didn't reject evolution - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ty1Bo6GmPqM - and essentially all of the ones who did were associated with fundamentalist religious apologetics ministries.

    Still, we should teach the controversy.

    *This textbook discusses heliocentrism, the theory that the earth orbits around a centrally located sun. Students should be encouraged to fully consider the evidence for, and the evidence against, this very interesting idea.*

  3. These are the standard evolutionary responses. Arguments from ignorance and from authority sustain evolution these days. The fact that evolutionists are unaware of problems, such as with natural selection, tells all.

    For those interested in science rather than dogma, I provided a link in the post (see Section 5.2 for example). But that is just an introduction.

  4. What is your understanding of nested hierarchies? Good evidence for evolution or not?

  5. Peter:

    The nested hierarchies prediction has been falsified many times, often dramatically. So, no, from a scientific perspective it is not a winner for evolution. The strength of the argument, as usual, comes from the metaphysical assumption about patterns that go back to the 18th c. I discuss the history of this theological claim, and the various ways it penetrated science (mostly by way of evolution) in *Science's Blind Spot*.