Saturday, September 25, 2010



There are a plethora of tribal arguments making the rounds these days, among them Global Warming and Darwin's theory. There are plenty more, but these two seem to be particularly susceptible to a logical attack. (Who knows - maybe Bush really DID make a deal with bin Laden) Both sides to these arguments need to ignore the other side's facts to continue in their blissful certainty. These are complicated natural systems, and neither side wants to concede that the truth is NOT available to either side.

One thing I have learned in decades of readings in science during a period of immense progress in the state of understanding is this: The more we know, the less certain we seem to be. Greater knowledge give us the power to formulate better questions. The facts we learn refuse to support either of the polarized sides. We just do not know enough. This has reached the point of parody in the global warming debate, since one side was so sure that their truth was the objective truth that they falsified so much of the data that there has really been no advance of knowledge. None of that is true in the evolution debate, where both sides act from the same set of data.

Evolution is not a sound bite. It is a complex scientific theory that has many elements. Some parts of the theory are provably true, parts are provably false. Anyone who takes a definitive position on either side of the God vs. Nature debate is practicing a religion. Anyone who claims that Darwin or his successors can use their theory to explain or describe how a living cell emerged from a puddle of slime is as committed to his Darwin religion as any holy-roller. There is no way to use that body of work to describe how a fish became a lizard which became a bird or a mouse, let alone how that mouse became Einstein. Not a clue to how that was done. Personally I do not believe a deity was involved, but religion describes the phenomenon better than any scientist can - yet.

Once we get past the child's play of the actual origin of species, we can undertake to explain the Big Bang and the origin of the Universe.