If you question evolution you will, at some point, be told that you are opposing science. Anyone who doubts such a mature, well-established theory must be anti science, whether he knows it or not. Has not the success of science proven the naturalistic approach? As Sean Carroll (the cosmologist, not the geneticist) explains:
Most modern cosmologists are convinced that conventional scientific progress will ultimately result in a self-contained understanding of the origin and evolution of the universe, without the need to invoke God or any other supernatural involvement.
But such raw realism relies on a whiggish understanding of the history of science. Scientific progress, while undeniable, has been accompanied by massive failure. And how to distinguish between the two is not always obvious. Theories that are thought to represent reality often turn out to be miserable failures. And very successful scientific theories are routinely later taken to be a false representation of reality. They were not slightly modified but dropped altogether. But in their day such theories were held with great confidence.
And so it is not terribly surprising that, as a recent paper explains, most published research findings are false. Like the weather forecast, what science tells us is often not true:
There is increasing concern that most current published research findings are false. The probability that a research claim is true may depend on study power and bias, the number of other studies on the same question, and, importantly, the ratio of true to no relationships among the relationships probed in each scientific field. In this framework, a research finding is less likely to be true when the studies conducted in a field are smaller; when effect sizes are smaller; when there is a greater number and lesser preselection of tested relationships; where there is greater flexibility in designs, definitions, outcomes, and analytical modes; when there is greater financial and other interest and prejudice; and when more teams are involved in a scientific field in chase of statistical significance. Simulations show that for most study designs and settings, it is more likely for a research claim to be false than true. Moreover, for many current scientific fields, claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias. In this essay, I discuss the implications of these problems for the conduct and interpretation of research.
Published research findings are sometimes refuted by subsequent evidence, with ensuing confusion and disappointment. Refutation and controversy is seen across the range of research designs, from clinical trials and traditional epidemiological studies to the most modern molecular research. There is increasing concern that in modern research, false findings may be the majority or even the vast majority of published research claims. However, this should not be surprising. It can be proven that most claimed research findings are false. Here I will examine the key factors that influence this problem and some corollaries thereof.
None of this means that science does not progress, but science’s progress is not straightforward. It is not as though science smoothly and efficiently gains knowledge of the natural world, like the turning of a Baconian crank. And while careful formulations of realism are possible, there is little basis for the evolutionist’s marshalling of it as an apologetic for naturalism. What is amazing is how often realism is so naively employed. As Larry Laudan once commented:
It is little short of remarkable that realists would imagine that their critics would find the argument compelling. As I have shown elsewhere, ever since antiquity critics of epistemic realism have based their scepticism upon a deep-rooted conviction that the fallacy of affirming the consequent is indeed fallacious. …
No proponent of realism has sought to show that realism satisfies those stringent empirical demands which the realist himself minimally insists on when appraising scientific theories. The latter-day realist often calls realism a “scientific” or “well-tested” hypothesis, but seems curiously reluctant to subject it to those controls which he otherwise takes to be a sine qua non for empirical well-foundedness.
There simply is no basis for the evolutionist’s common retort that criticism of his theory is anti science. In fact, this seems to be more of a protectionist ploy than a genuine defense of truth. Perhaps it is no coincidence that such a ploy is used to defend the empirically problematic evolutionary claim that the universe, and everything in it, spontaneously arose on its own.