Why Naturalism Makes Darwin Unfalsifiable


Naturalism. By definition, it is the presupposition that the world came into being, developed [i.e. – evolved] to its present state and is sustained by purely material processes. God is not needed. Or so they hope. I think they’ve mistaken the concept of a God who is not wanted [by them, at any rate] with an unnecessary being.

The universe, which shows so much evidence of design and purpose, was not designed. And though the universe offers no explanation for why it bothers to exist at all, they insist that it is irrelevant and immediately begin speculating about multiverses that cannot be observed, tested or even made plausible with the barest of supporting data. After all, they’re trying to explain to us why the world spontaneously came about and became increasingly complex to its present point by purely natural processes. They’re trying to explain away the extreme improbability, using speculation to keep their theory from being falsified, but never being able to test whether these proposed universe bubbles or multiverses actually exist! Another speculation [Dare we refer to such Just So Stories by the respectable name of a scientific theory?] is that our universe was created in a lab experiment by aliens from another universe [extracosmolians?] who were successful, but will never know whether this was so any more than we could ever prove they in fact existed much less conducted said pointless experiment [For what would be purpose or point of such an experiment, if one could never know if it were successful or not?] And let’s not forget my all-time favorite yarn of why the universe bothers to exist: It just always has. Big Bang theories of every stripe stand in opposition to the idea of a steady-state universe, so we propose rebounding universes [Nevermind that we only observe an expanding universe and have never seen a contracting cosmos. Nevermind that there isn’t enough energy left for another such endeavor. They need a universe without God. What can they do?]. Why isn’t this stuff considered science fiction again?

 Nor can they explain why the universe is so amazingly fine-tuned for the existence of our particular kind of life [the anthropic principle]. When cornered, they glibly shrug, “Well, we’re here, aren’t we?” [So says Richard Dawkins, who hypocritically says that God must not exist because, ignoring entirely an entire set of data with all the glassy-eyed zeal of a religious fanatic, he finds God to be improbable. This is yet another example of the classic double standard atheist scientism [How can we call such biased faith in pure naturalism “science?”] applies when considering evolution versus Creation/ID.] Or they claim it only has the appearance of being designed while assuring us that it wasn’t.  It’s like saying the pyramids only have the appearance of design but are, after all, simply a complex variant of geology. No one would suggest such a farce in the face of overwhelming and obvious evidence of design, but these guys do so on a daily basis when it regards the irreducibly complex, intricately inter-related intelligently designed universe! The “It’s not designed; it only looks that way,” excuse fails precisely because it can offer no fair and accurate definition of design that would not allow for the existence of a Grand Designer. Unless they fall back on an arbitrary “made by man” definition that would exclude the idea that beavers build and design their homes and dams and that birds build nests whose design varies by variant of bird or that spiders design webs. These are not purely natural phenomena, like a rock lying on a beach, but require some level of intelligent intervention in their creation. We recognize rocks as natural until they are arranged as they are at Stonehenge. We recognize dead wood as natural until they are arranged into nests and dams. Denialism [when acknowledging the facts might hurt your pet dogma theory] is not science. We must account for these realities of the observable world, even if cosmological evolution and biological evolution cannot [except in speculations theory].

And what of life? Life spontaneously generated, they insist. Chemicals changed and became proteins and enzymes and the stuff of life. I won’t get into just how improbable this is. The Stanley-Miller experiment has been thoroughly discredited, though it still gets put into our textbooks. [Propaganda anyone?] That leaves the “crystals became chromosomes” theory, which over-reaches more than they usually do. It’s also purest speculation. They seem to have a hard time telling the difference between speculation and establishing whether something actually occurred according to those speculations. Speculating that something might have occured a certain way does not establish that it did. There has to be a way to test it and then to repeat the results of that test until a discernable pattern emerges to avoid the possibility that we were only witnessing an anomoly. Here’s the rub: Creating life in a test tube from nonliving material, even crystals, would only prove that such things can be CREATED by intelligent design. It would not prove that such things have occurred by NATURAL processes. 

Yeah. They really don’t have anything. Oh, except aliens. Whom they’ve speculated as having existed. Though Richard Dawkins insists that these aliens might have designed us to develop by evolutionary processes [Wasn’t this a Star GTrek: The Next Generation episode?], he also insists that the aliens must have come about by evolution too. He has no way of knowing this other than by assuming evolution to be true. Unfortunately, this has a problem. There isn’t enough time for man to have developed by pure naturalistic processes on this planet, but he’;s saying that aliens would have evolved on a different planet, had enough time to develop space travel [or dimensional travel, whichever] and master genetics and THEN come all the way here from God Only Knows Where to seed life on this planet for reasons unfathomable. I mean, why do you farm life on another planet but leave it to develop on its own? It’s the stuff of sci-fi, which is pretty much the only place this stuff belongs.

A purist Darwinian will object at this point that we have only address cosmological evolution and that Darwin’s theory only applies to biology. But then they have to explain to me exactly what means life and the universe came into being, if it was not by naturalism. Pure Darwinism, despite the capitulations and equivocations of so-called theistic evolutionists, rather demands naturalism since it does not allow for the interventiuon of the supernatural [God] at any point in the process. Apologists for theistic evolution might insist that Darwin’s theory allows for divine intervention at the outset [a sort of biological deism] or at crucial points of the process [as the catalyst of punk eek], but they cannot explain why God must be limited by working by evolutionary processes, nor why He would state that it only took days in His Infallible Word and nor else why He would deceive the world by using naturalistic processes to hide a supernatural work of Creation.

I digress.

The preceeding served only to show that naturalism has three [largely unaddressed] problems:

1. Naturalistic origins is mostly speculation. While natural processes are observed, origins is beyond observation, much less testing. The sort of things naturalism assumes [something from nothing, continuing and increasing complexity and order in defiance of observable entropy, life from nonlife, common descent when we only see variation with set kinds of animals] require giant leaps of faith — and continual adaptations of the theory [read: more speculation] to shore up persistently increasing cracks in Darwin’s Dyke.

2. It is presumed. I think I’ve already covered this point. That rivers cut canyons out of rock its observable now. Uniformitarianism [the idea that things have always done thus] make presumptions about the unobservable past. But catastrophists are increasing in number, even amongst nontheistic scientists. Worse, for biological evolution, more is presumed, namely that one kind of animal can change into another, even though no one has ever seen this occur. We’ve seen variations within the kinds, but a cat is still a cat and never anything else.

3. Naturalistic origins is beyond science. We can experiment with creating life, but we cannot say beyond all doubt that life or the universe actually began that way. We will have only demonstrated intelligent design. We can speculate about it, but we cannot prove it occured according to our speculations. The only way such a thing could be proven would be to observe it occuring naturally, but we would still be supposing it occured in the past [though said speculation would seem more reasonable in light of our observations]. Unfortunately, Darwinian evolution occurs much too slowly to be observed [I speak of evolution from one kind into a new kind, not variation within a kind], so If it occured by purely naturalistic processes, man shall be long gone before he has future natural proof of it.

Which, along with the makes Darwin patently unfalsifiable.    

 –Sirius Knott

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14 Comments Add yours

  1. vitaminbook says:

    You can easilt falsify evolution by pointing to a single mammal fossil that was found further down the fossil record than trilobites, or by demonstrating that one species can spontaneously turn into another. Either would would instantly cast serious doubt on the theory of evolution as it currently stands.

    I’m not sure why you’d want to ‘falsify’ Darwin, though, unless you’re in the business of discrediting science that’s been out of date for over one hundred years. Darwin didn’t even know that genes existed.

    But catastrophists are increasing in number, even amongst nontheistic scientists.

    Could you provide some evidence for this?

  2. panj says:

    Dawkins does not believe that life started on other planets but he does concede that such a possibility does not contradict the evidence.

    You say that man has not had time to evolve by evolutionary processes. The evidence indicates well over 1000,000,000 years since the first complex molecules arose through spontaneous reactions. Perhaps you could indicate, if evolution is the mechanism, how long you would like?

    You also confuse the idea of a “prime mover” with the concept of a god. Postulating something we don’t understand to start things off is the same as proposing the existence of such a prime mover. This is not the same as demonstrating the existence of your God.

    I lost interest in the rest of this drivel.

  3. “The universe, which shows so much evidence of design and purpose, was not designed.”

    What evidence do you know of that indicates the universe was designed and has a purpose?

    “After all, they’re trying to explain to us why the world spontaneously came about and became increasingly complex to its present point by purely natural processes.”

    Please clarify what you mean by “increasingly complex”.

    “They’re trying to explain away the extreme improbability, using speculation to keep their theory from being falsified, but never being able to test whether these proposed universe bubbles or multiverses actually exist!”

    What extreme improbability? What do you think the probability is (and what exactly are you referring to here–the Big Bang, the existence of other universes…?)? Why do you think it’s “extreme”?

    “When cornered, they glibly shrug, “Well, we’re here, aren’t we?” [So says Richard Dawkins, who hypocritically says that God must not exist because, ignoring entirely an entire set of data with all the glassy-eyed zeal of a religious fanatic, he finds God to be improbable. ”

    What data is he ignoring?

    “No one would suggest such a farce in the face of overwhelming and obvious evidence of design, but these guys do so on a daily basis when it regards the irreducibly complex, intricately inter-related intelligently designed universe!”

    So-called “irreducibly complex” systems have been shown to evolve. You can find many references to this here: http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB200.html

    “We must account for these realities of the observable world, even if cosmological evolution and biological evolution cannot”

    How does evolution NOT account for beavers building dams or birds building nests?

    “The Stanley-Miller experiment has been thoroughly discredited, though it still gets put into our textbooks. ”

    I think you mean “Miller-Urey” instead of “Stanley-Miller”. One of the men involved in this experiment was Stanley Miller; the other was Harold Urey. I believe you don’t understand the Miller-Urey experiment. Nothing about it has been discredited. On the contrary, it showed that the building blocks of life can be built from inorganic precursors. Did the experiment result in all the building blocks needed for life? No. Did it create life itself? No. However, it demonstrated the possibility that life could have begun in such a manner. Several similar experiments have been done since with similar results.

    “While natural processes are observed, origins is beyond observation, much less testing.”

    How so?

    “continuing and increasing complexity and order in defiance of observable entropy, life from nonlife, common descent when we only see variation with set kinds of animals”

    Ah, the classic “evolution can’t be true because it violates the second law of thermodynamics” argument. I defer to Talk Origins:

    “The second law of thermodynamics says no such thing. It says that heat will not spontaneously flow from a colder body to a warmer one or, equivalently, that total entropy (a measure of useful energy) in a closed system will not decrease. This does not prevent increasing order because

    the earth is not a closed system; sunlight (with low entropy) shines on it and heat (with higher entropy) radiates off. This flow of energy, and the change in entropy that accompanies it, can and will power local decreases in entropy on earth.
    entropy is not the same as disorder. Sometimes the two correspond, but sometimes order increases as entropy increases. (Aranda-Espinoza et al. 1999; Kestenbaum 1998) Entropy can even be used to produce order, such as in the sorting of molecules by size (Han and Craighead 2000).
    even in a closed system, pockets of lower entropy can form if they are offset by increased entropy elsewhere in the system.
    In short, order from disorder happens on earth all the time.”

    By the way, could you please clarify “set kinds of animals”?

    “Worse, for biological evolution, more is presumed, namely that one kind of animal can change into another, even though no one has ever seen this occur. We’ve seen variations within the kinds, but a cat is still a cat and never anything else.”

    There have been many observed instances of speciation. Why do you think otherwise?

  4. Sirius says:

    noodles,

    You should really consider reading what I’ve posted [here and elsewhere on this blog] before you offer these silly sort of responses.

    In brief:

    The universe shows purpose and design. I’m refering to the anthropic principle. And universal moral law. Among other things.

    By increasingly complex, I mean that according to your view the following occured: nothing turned into something. energy turned into matter. simple molecules became complex molecules. nonlife turned into life. simple life became increasingly complex life. That’s what you believe. I’m simply pointing out that it’s incosistent with observation.

    Entropy. I see you’re using the standard “I’m applying the term entropy to thermodynamics and ignoring other applications of the term and pretending the other guy doesn’t kknow what he’s talking about” rebuttal. Weak. Get a dictionary. Try to keep up.

    By extreme improbability, I mean just that. Those who have crunched the numbers say that the odds are rediculously to the point of impossibility against our being here. Dawkins even admitted to this himself, but offered this glib rebuttal. “We’re here, aren’t we?” But that’s just an attempt to trivialize the data. Not a rebuttal.

    And this is a perfect example of how Dawkins ignores data that doesn’t suit him. He ignores the question of where information came from. he ignores the good that religion has done. He paints the stained-glass window black and then says that it offers no light.

    Don’t appeal to higher powers on this blog. I have no interest in TalkOrigins’ biased hubris. Make an argument on your own. If you can. I’ve already debunked their post on why Darwinism isn’t falsifiable, here and in other posts [ https://siriusknotts.wordpress.com/2008/04/16/taking-on-talkorigins-evoltuion-is-an-unfalsifiable-tautology/ & https://siriusknotts.wordpress.com/2008/05/19/transitional-forms-why-the-speculative-nature-of-darwinism-makes-it-unfalsifiable/ ], so their lynchpin is gone.

    The Stanley Miller experiment has been discredited. It did not duplicate conditions that scientists now agree must have been present during that stage of Earth’s development [by evolutionary timescale] so the whole basis of the experiment is kaput. Also, he didn’t produce any biological amino acids, just the nonliving chemical type. You might want to do a little more research. I’m sorry your textbooks keep printing things they know have been debunked.

    Oh, and, what other experiments?

    Naturalistic origins is beyond testing for the reasons I stated in this post. It is beyond observation because it is in the past and you do not possess a time machine.

    Set kinds of animals. Cats are still cats even if they are tigers. To use a different example: We could theoretically breed a teacup poodle from a wolf [but never vice versa] because adaptation within a kind is typically a loss of genetic information, yet both are dogs and that’s all they ever will be.

    Observed speciation? You really should read what else I’ve written here on this blog. The observed speciation argument begs the question. It presumes we are seeing speciation [as evidence of common descent and that these changes will eventually result in a different kind like reptiles becoming mammals or cats becoming dogs] because it presumes evolution is true and therefore that is what these changes are. A Creationist admits to variation with a kind, but never common descent. Why do you take such a great leap of faith?

    –Sirius Knott

  5. Sirius says:

    vitaminbook,

    In regard to your allegation that evolution can be falsified, I refer you to two previous posts:

    https://siriusknotts.wordpress.com/2008/05/19/transitional-forms-why-the-speculative-nature-of-darwinism-makes-it-unfalsifiable/

    https://siriusknotts.wordpress.com/2008/04/16/taking-on-talkorigins-evoltuion-is-an-unfalsifiable-tautology/

    Your specific rebuttal is addressed.

    Also, not all catastrophists are the Biblical sort. Try a search for the term “neocatastrophist” or “neo-catastrophist.”

    –Sirius Knott

  6. Sirius says:

    panj,

    Your information on when life might have evolved is out-dated. You have not taken into account the new data which concedes a much earlier date, as life was allegedly wiped off the planet several times before it took. Hugh Ross makes a point about this in his The Creator & The Cosmos. The odds are against you.

    What the blazes is a prime mover? Oh, let me guess: A way of admitting to something very much like a Creator without invoking divinity? What evidence can you present that such a prime mover which would require all of the attributes of divinity would not in fact be God?

    Oh, and my points about Dawkins stand because stated that IF he were presented with evidence of design, he would have to say it was aliens. My points are an exploration of this dodge.

    –Sirius Knott

  7. vitaminbook says:

    There are enough scientific inaccuracies in pretty much every one of your comments and posts that I’m not sure how much good this is going to do, but…

    Addendum: Several bloggers have mentioned a famous rebuttal that evolution would be falsifiable simply if we found rabbit fossils in Pre-Cambrian rocks. Unfortunately, they forget that fossils are not dated by the rocks they are found in; quite the opposite, rocks are dated by the fossils they contain. Any rocks containing rabbit fossils would be dated accordingly [as least where evolutionists are concerned].Addendum: Several bloggers have mentioned a famous rebuttal that evolution would be falsifiable simply if we found rabbit fossils in Pre-Cambrian rocks. Unfortunately, they forget that fossils are not dated by the rocks they are found in; quite the opposite, rocks are dated by the fossils they contain. Any rocks containing rabbit fossils would be dated accordingly [as least where evolutionists are concerned

    Actually, they wouldn’t be. Finding a rabbit fossil in rock that had been independently dated by other sources (which do exist!) to be too old to contain rabbit fossils would be a huge conundrum. The fossil record is not the only method of dating rocks.

    Better yet, we could have a more unambiguous example: a rabbit (or other mammal fossil) in the same rock layer as a trilobite, one that hadn’t been moved there by geological process.

    By increasingly complex, I mean that according to your view the following occured: nothing turned into something.

    Actually, no. Where are you getting the idea that scientists believe ‘nothing turned into something’?

    It’s also completely ridiculous to argue that ‘variation within a species’ is possible but that evolution isn’t. Are you saying that, at some point, a species simply stops ‘varying’ in order to stay the same species? Or are you saying that a species can continue to change and vary slightly indefinitely and, somehow, always remain the same species? Evolution is simply change within species over a great time period.

    Will a cat still be a cat even after ten million years of minor changes?

  8. Sirius says:

    Yes, a cat will still be a member of the feline kind of species even after ten million years of minor changes. Each change is a LOSS in genetic information, making the sort of biological leap of faith you postulate an incredible miracle. A kind of species will stop changing at some point, just as teacup poodle has nowhere to go genetically [though one could theoretically breed a teacup poodle from a wolf, you cannot mae a wolf out of a teacup poodle because it no longer possesses the genetic information necessary].

    Evolution is not simply change within a species over a great period of time, or we wouldn’t be arguing about it; it’s changes from one kind of species into anothner so that all life came about by common descent.

    Now, I get the idea that nothing became something from one group of cosmological evolutionists, though this is an oversimplification. What they actually believe is either than the universe always existed, but it’s been on the rebound [leapof faith] quite a few times [and apparently no longer has the energy for this yo-yo trick], that it always existed as a singularity [leap of faith] which is now expanding or that it was one of innumerable universe bubbles [um, yeah, leap of faith] before it that just happened to be just right [wow! did it ever beat the odds!] to produce all we see.

    Another camp believes even sillier things like our universe springing forth as the result of an extracosmological alien experiment or, you guessed it, out of nothing.

    The really cool thing about origins is that no one knows what happened, but that never keeps them from making stuff up!

    Oh, and you should really read up on just how they determine what layer is Cambrian. They can’t even agree on it. But my rebuttal still stands: Like the allegedly extinct Coelecanth, they’d just suppose trilobites lived longer than they previously supposed and then date the fossils by the rabbits.

    Thanks for playing.

    –Sirius Knott

  9. Sirius says:

    Oh, and by the way, good job picking up on the fact that Darwin’s theory HAS actually been falsified.

    Now let me ask you a question: Why are we still debating a dead theory?

    Oh, that’s right; a bunch of die hards Darwinists got together and did a bit of patchwork speculation and came up with NEO-Darwinism. They used speculation [and misplaced zeal] to plug the holes in Darwin’s Dyke, because the only reasonable alternative [Special Creation] was just philosophically unbearable for them.

    This is YET ANOTHER example of why Dafrwinism cannot be falsified due to its speculative nature.

    –Sirius Knott

  10. vitaminbook says:

    Each change is a LOSS in genetic information, making the sort of biological leap of faith you postulate an incredible miracle.

    Could you provide some sort of evidence for this claim? Or, for that matter, define what you mean by ‘loss of genetic information’?

    It would also be helpful if you could explain at what point you think one species become another. If, after ten million years, our cat species has evolved into something twice as big with no tail, a completely different internal physiology and had lost its retractable claws, would that still be a cat?

    I’d also advise that you account for the fact that finding rabbit fossils in the same layer as trilobite fossils (or below them) would completely obliterate the current evolutionary timeline. Nobody could possibly pretend that rabbits lived at the same time as trilobites and keep the theory intact.

    Finally, perhaps you could propose how you believe all of this biological diversity got here?

    Oh, who am I kidding. You don’t have the first clue what you’re talking about. You’ve made wild assumptions about dating methods, you’ve lumped fringe (read: whackjob) cosmological ‘models’ in with mainstream theories and you have a bizarrely skewed idea of the history of evolutionary theory. I’m guessing you’ve never actually read a mainstream book on evolution or, if you have, you weren’t paying that much attention. You’ve cobbled together an argument out of bits and pieces of the same creationist nonsense that’s been circulating for decades.

  11. soulbiscuit says:

    Oh, and by the way, good job picking up on the fact that Darwin’s theory HAS actually been falsified.

    Oh? When was that?

    What really happened is that the science of genetics came along in the beginning of the last century. When this happened, the theory of evolution could have been refuted if it was not supported by genetics. In fact, it was vindicated by genetics, and fantastically so. Hence, the neo-Darwinian synthesis: the integration of genetics into evolutionary theory.

    Now before I go off reading another of your ill-informed screeds against the most successful theory of all time, I have a question: Why does evolution (not Darwinism, which is a word creationists have come to use to marginalize evolution) threaten you? Why are you so afraid of it? Is it because it undermines your religious belief? I’m sure that’s a part of it, but the evidence provided by scientists like Ken Miller, who are devoutly religious yet completely accept evolution, makes me think the aversion runs deeper.

    I think you’re horrified by the idea that humans could come from a “lower” form of animal. It disgusts you to think that somewhere in your family tree is a monkey. (There isn’t, but the level of understanding of evolution most creationists harbor isn’t that great.) To you, humans are made in the image of God. We are the chosen ones, the organisms for whom the entire universe was made, the ones destined to conquer and rule it. The fact (this one is a fact) of common ancestry threatens that idea. If we were meant to rule this place, then why did the Creator arrange for us to evolve from slime? (Again, we probably didn’t evolve from slime, but that’s the image most people have of what abiogenesis and evolution mean.)

    For whatever reason, the threat you feel from evolutionary theory is obviously powerful, because it’s keeeping you from learning any real science. It’s made you suspicious of findings by real scientists. It’s closed your mind to the true wonders of creation. It’s taken you from an enormous universe, populated with fantastic things of unimaginable beauty, to a small, pastoral, anthropocentric one, which concerns itself only with us.

    What a shame.

  12. Sirius says:

    soulbiscuit,

    I’ve answered you on your blog, but it bears repeating here:

    Creationists argue for creationism not because we feel threatened. We feel outraged! The lie of evolution is being indoctrinated into successive generations through an antitheist public education system.

    We argue for creationism because it’s true.

    Whether you believe it or not.

    –Sirius Knott

  13. Sirius says:

    vitaminbook,

    You’re not really reading what I’m writing. Read it again. Try to comprehend this time, especially as I’ve already answered each of your objections already.

    –Sirius Knott

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