Absurd and Pathetica rant about those creationist rascals and the audience will automatically erupt with applause. And so arguing evolution with an evolutionist is a lot like the Monty Python argument skit. They will pull out all manner of canards, misdirections, and fallacies, depending on their mood at the moment. One common example is the use of normal science as confirmatory evidence.
As Thomas Kuhn pointed out, science sometimes operates in paradigms. Scientific research on a particular problem can embrace a type of solution, or paradigm. The research tries to elaborate on and refine the paradigm, but otherwise does not question the paradigm. Paradigms provide a stable framework, within which concepts and terminology can be developed to support scientific thinking.
But because the paradigm is taken for granted and assumed from the start, the research conclusions do not generally confirm or prove the paradigm. The research work develops and critically examines concepts within the paradigm, but not the paradigm itself. Kuhn called the research work done with a paradigm normal science.
Evolutionary theory very much works this way. Normal science, within the evolution paradigm, takes it for granted that the world evolved—that everything arose from strictly naturalistic, chance events. That is, that the world arose spontaneously. Therefore in evolutionary research, the evidence is interpreted according to evolution. You could say the evidence is theory-laden.
A typical evolutionary research study goes as follows: Given that X evolved, here is how X probably evolved. All of this is at odds with the empirical evidence, and so the results inevitably lack all kinds of detail normally required in science, and include all kinds of improbable events normally unacceptable in science. It is a kind of storytelling underwritten by the paradigm.
This evolutionary normal science formula has produced a tremendous volume of literature, ranging from journal papers to popular works. And, one of the favorite lines of argumentation, when evolution is rightly questioned, is to point to this “mountain” of evidence. A simple internet search can usually be counted on to produce dozens of papers advertising “The Evolution of Echolocation in Bats” or whatever wonder the skeptic has in mind as problematic for evolution.
Of course, if anyone were ever actually to read the produced papers (and usually the evolutionist presenting the paper has not), that person would find a marked absence of any actual scientific description of how echolocation, or whatever, actually did, in fact, evolve.
Normal science is used inappropriately as confirmatory evidence. When we explained, for example, that epigenetics in plants contradicts evolution, an evolutionist caustically responded with a paper subtitled: “The Evolution of a Complex Epigenetic Pathway in Flowering Plants.”
And did that paper actually explain “The Evolution of a Complex Epigenetic Pathway in Flowering Plants”?
No. The paper presupposed “The Evolution of a Complex Epigenetic Pathway in Flowering Plants.” As we explained, the paper presents several dubious “findings” of how epigenetics evolved which, in fact, are not supported by the science and instead are completely beholden to the assumption that evolution is true.
The paper’s highly unlikely scenarios of how evolution occurred are underwritten and mandated by the a priori assumption that (drumroll), evolution occurred.
And when we pointed this out, the evolutionist next retorted:
In the same way NASA and ESA assume the Earth is a globe and not flat every time they launch a satellite into orbit. What were those dumb space scientists and engineers thinking using assumptions??
Which brings us back to Monte Python and the argument skit. There’s always another canard. After inappropriately using normal science as confirmatory evidence, and having the fallacy explained in no uncertain terms, the evolutionist effortlessly switches over to the next available fallacy: riding the coattails of science.
The analogy between the age-old Epicurean claims that the world spontaneously arose, and space flight, is of course absurd and pathetic. It reveals how silly is evolutionary thought. But like the Monte Python skit, evolutionists will always have another argument.
Religion drives science, and it matters.