Of course Moore and Cotner are not saying anything new. These types of arguments are standard in evolutionary thought. They can be found throughout evolutionary apologetics. After all, the book is meant to be an encyclopedia. So the book is a useful compendium of evolutionary thought.
And as the book reveals, the most serious problems in evolutionary thought lie not in the scientific details that are brought forth as evidence, but in how those details are interpreted and arranged. Everyone agrees on the scientific observations, but how are we to understand those observations? It is here that the main problems arise, and it is here where one begins to learn the essence of evolutionary thought.
The underlying religious motivation drives evolutionary thinking into several common, predictable patterns. These include the construction of bogus predictions, the ignoring of substantial scientific problems, and misrepresenting how the evidence bears on the theory.
This is all in support of the false claim that evolution is a scientific fact. Evolution may have occurred or it may not have occurred. People can argue over the this, but there is no question that evolution is not a scientific fact. That is to say, the scientific evidence, no matter how generously interpreted, does not make evolution a fact. Not even close. There are significant scientific problems with the theory.
So evolutionists have a problem. The science contradicts their theory yet they say it is a fact. One strategy evolutionists use to rationalize their claims is to make undefendable demarcation claims about what science is. Though they have made metaphysical claim after metaphysical claim, they then hypocritically say science must be strictly naturalistic. And if science is strictly naturalistic, then the species must have arisen naturalistically, at least according to science.
So evolutionists both rely on and eschew metaphysics. Not surprisingly Moore and Cotner follow in this tradition. For instance, they tell us that “Nonnatural, or supernatural explanations, are neither scientific nor evidentiary.” Yet elsewhere they approvingly quote Darwin who wrote that “nothing can be more hopeless than to attempt to explain this similarity [pentadactyl pattern] … by utility or by the doctrine of final causes.”
So when convenient, metaphysics are allowed, but when not convenient metaphysics are ruled out as “not scientific.” After all, we all know metaphysical claims are not scientific (except when we make them).
As if sensing a problem, evolutionists deploy yet another backstop. To rationalize their rationalizations, they lower the bar and reduce evolution to mere change over time. This way, no one can argue that evolution is not a fact. Change occurs over time, therefore all of biology arose spontaneously, strictly by the play of natural laws.
For instance, Isaac Asimov once wrote that mere color changes in the peppered moth prove evolution. How could such trivial change prove evolution? Of course it doesn’t—this is an equivocation on evolution.
Similarly Steve Jones wrote that the changes observed in HIV (the human immunodeficiency virus) contain Darwin’s “entire argument.” According to science writer Jonathan Weiner, the changes in the beaks of birds show us “Darwin’s process in action.”
Likewise Professor Marta Wayne tells us that “Evolution is change in gene frequency” and science writer Emily Willingham defines evolution as “a change in population over time.” Professor Pamela Bjorkman states that a mutating virus is “evolution at work” and that “In the same way, people have evolved, but over a much slower time scale.”
So it is not surprising that Moore and Cotner follow this tradition of equivocation. After approvingly quoting Stephen Jay Gould that it would be perverse not to accept the fact of evolution, they next inform the reader that “Most simply, evolution is any change in a population’s genetic composition over time.”
All of this would be laughable if it weren’t so real. The book’s promotional material states that:
The book shows how scientists have tested the predictions of evolutionary theory and created an unshakeable foundation of evidence supporting its truth. As such, it demonstrates how evolution serves as a case study for understanding the scientific method and presents a logical model for scientific inquiry.
Unfortunately the truth is close to the exact opposite. This new book by Moore and Cotner does not demonstrate the truth of evolution any more than previous apologetics have. Nor do Moore and Cotner help reveal anything about “the scientific method” or “scientific inquiry.”
There’s nothing wrong with exploring new or unlikely ideas, but evolution is about the manipulation and misrepresentation of science to prove a preconceived conclusion. Evolutionists do not merely explore an unlikely idea, they insist it is a fact in spite of the science.
Moore and Cotner are not demonstrating the scientific method, they show yet again how evolution abuses science. They do not reveal the truth of evolution, but rather how unfounded are its proofs. Evolutionary thought is a Trojan Horse that has infected science. This new book from Moore and Cotner is simply one more example.
Religion drives science, and it matters.