Right There in the Mirrorarticle for the BBC about why evolution is a fact. As Baraniuk writes:
By comparing how many genes organisms share, we can figure out how they are related. For instance, humans share more genes with apes like chimps and gorillas than other animals, as much as 96%. That suggests they are our closest relatives.
"Try to explain that in any other way than the fact that those relationships are based on a sequence of changes through time," says Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum in London. "We have a common ancestor with chimpanzees, and we and they have diverged since then from that common ancestor."
In other words, according to Stringer, genetic similarities between humans and apes cannot be explained in any way other than evolution. This sentiment, which runs all through evolutionary thought, is not scientific, it is metaphysical.
Stringer and the evolutionists insist that there is no explanation, other than evolution, for similarities we observe between species, such as the high genetic similarity between humans and chimpanzees.
And since there is no explanation, other than evolution, then we must conclude that “We have a common ancestor with chimpanzees.”
That must be the conclusion.
But this claim makes reference to the set of all possible explanations. You’ve got evolution, and then you’ve got all the others.
This means that Stringer and the evolutionists must have knowledge of all those explanations. All possible theories of origin are known to them.
Creationism comes to mind, but of course there could be different versions of creationism. And of course there could be other theories still.
A scientist, qua scientist, cannot have such knowledge. This is why Mr. Nelson was so careful to teach you in seventh grade science class that “The Scientist” works from observation to hypothesis to prediction to experiment. Scientists deal with hypotheses and theories, which they deduce and test.
They don’t make all-encompassing truth claims. The claim that Theory A explains Observation B is scientific. The claim that no theory except Theory A explains Observation B is metaphysical. A slight change in the language makes an enormous difference in the claim.
One is scientific, one is religious.
But it gets worse.
Because, as stated above, Stringer and the evolutionists are making claims about creationism. Stringer’s point is that God would not create genomes with so much similarity. This claim traces back to the Principle of Plenitude. That is the label that historian Arthur Lovejoy gave to a long running religious tradition in the history of thought about, simply put, how God would design the world.
The Principle of Plenitude is very much with us today, as much as it was with Plato, Anselm, Bruno, and Leibniz.
Evolutionists aren’t merely making some vague claims about colored marbles in an urn. They are making very specific claims about what God would and would not do.
But it gets worse.
Not only are Stringer and the evolutionists driven by religious sentiment, but it forces them into a completely untenable position. If you genuinely want to test theories against the evidence, it is evolution that fails. In this case we’re talking about the comparisons between the species. How are they similar, and how are they different?
And these data demolish evolutionary theory.
The data do not fit the evolutionary model, not even close. One way to measure this is with the so-called consistency index, which consistently shows, pun intended, no consistency. The observables are closer to the random “null hypothesis” model than to the evolution model.
So while evolutionists criticize the skeptics for being religiously-driven, anti-science, smuggling metaphysics into science, and insisting on terrible theories, all those criticisms are, actually, right there in the mirror.
Religion drives science, and it matters.