The Scientific Method
The Scientific Method
By Les Sherlock, posted April 2021 but originally 2018
"…science is about proving not truth, but falsehood. The crucial thing is that when you find evidence that disproves a scientific hypothesis, you discard or amend that hypothesis."
Joshua Howgego, New Scientist Magazine, 30th June 2018, page 40.
This sounds perfectly reasonable to me. Clearly, if one wants to investigate how things work, one needs to make assumptions based on all available evidence, then discard every aspect that is later falsified by observation. In the above article Howegego gives the example of having the hypothesis that all swans are white after seeing none of any other colour; but of course, you can never be sure there isn’t one somewhere, and if one is observed then the rule must then be abandoned, or at least, modified. Is this how it really works in practice when it comes to the theory of evolution, though?
Talking about the origin of humans, Kate Douglas, a features editor of New Scientist magazine, in their 7th July 2018 edition, said,
"As fossils trickled out of Asia, drawing far less attention in the West than the African fossils did, they were often dismissed because they contradicted the dominant narrative."
Since scientists are human, their tendency is bound to be one of favouring a position they have previously taken, with reluctance to abandon it, as described in the above quote. Indeed, Joshua Howegego confirms this later on in the article mentioned previously:
“The thing is, scientists don’t stick to Popper’s strict criteria in practice, and often follow their hunches or look to confirm rather than refute their theories.”
“Sir Karl Raimund Popper CH FBA FRS (28 July 1902 – 17 September 1994) was an Austrian-British philosopher and professor. He is generally regarded as one of the 20th century's greatest philosophers of science.”
This is exactly my point: the theory of evolution has been based, start to finish, on so called 'evidence' that, even when disproved by later observation, has continued to be promoted because the evidence that falsifies it is ignored. This is not science - it is prejudice based on the belief that God does not exist.
A perfect example of this is in the previous week's edition of New Scientist, quote:
"The Human Genome Project, completed in 2003, revealed that genes account for just 1 per cent of our DNA; the rest is "junk.""
New Scientist, 30th June 2018, page 33
One of the 'evidences' for evolution is the claim that nearly all of our DNA is 'junk', being useless remnants left over from the previous life-forms from which we evolved: if we had been created, the argument goes, God wouldn't have put all that junk there, therefore we weren't created.
Should anyone doubt what is meant by 'junk', Richard Dawkins spelled it out, quote:
"…it is a remarkable fact that the greater part (95 percent in the case of humans) of the genome might as well not be there, for all the difference it makes."
'The Greatest Show on Earth' page 333
Notice that 95% when his book was published in 2009 has morphed into 99% in 2018 according to New Scientist magazine, quoted previously.
So it is called junk because it is believed to have no function - clearly, if it did have function it would not be called junk because junk is useless rubbish! However, the final report on the ENCODE project, which was undertaken by 442 researchers around the world over five years examining 'junk' DNA, concluded in 2012 (quote):
"According to ENCODE's analysis, 80 percent of the genome has a "biochemical function"… Almost every nucleotide is associated with a function of some sort or another…"
Human DNA is made up of over 3 billion nucleotides.
Furthermore, Ewan Birney, the project's Lead Analysis Coordinator, went on to say,
"It's likely that 80 percent will go to 100 percent. We don't really have any large chunks of redundant DNA. This metaphor of junk isn't that useful."
(More detail in the ENCODE link above)
And yet six years after this was revealed, 'New Scientist' is still claiming 99% of our DNA is junk! I am astounded that they can ignore such a major scientific project in this way. What better example of…
"dismissed because it contradicts the dominant narrative"
(New Scientist Magazine, 7th July 2018, page 30)
…than this could you find? It is the equivalent of seeing a black swan but continuing to maintain all swans are white on the basis that the black one was actually a white swan with dirty feathers, or a black duck with a long neck!
The late Stephen Hawking, hailed as one of the world's greatest brains, said,
"…you can disprove a theory by finding even a single observation that disagrees with the predictions of the theory."
('A Brief History of Time', page 11)
The fallacy of 'Junk' DNA is one such observation, since if DNA containing junk would be evidence for evolution, as had been claimed for 40 years, then DNA with no junk is evidence for creation. Presumably that is why New Scientist continues to claim it is junk: a glaringly obvious case of
“I’ve made my mind up; don’t confuse me with the facts!”
So it had been labelled ‘junk’ not because it had no function, but because scientists’ understanding of DNA was incomplete and they did not know what it all did. Indeed, DNA is such a sophisticated programming system, with complexity far beyond anything imagined by today’s computer programmers, it is possible we will never be able to decode it fully. Yet evolutionists believe it all arose as a result of a series of random copying mistakes: i.e. mutations.
Well, I suppose you can always claim a single black swan is not enough evidence to falsify the white swan hypothesis, although Stephen Hawking clearly thought it is; but when they keep appearing, it becomes impossible to maintain the illusion, and junk DNA is not the only observation running contrary to evolution:
DNA, which could only survive for tens of thousands of years at the most, has been found in dinosaur bones, proving their extinction must have been within that time and not the 55 million years claimed; but it is "dismissed because it contradicts the dominant narrative."
Soft tissue has been found in dinosaur bones, which also could only survive for tens of thousands of years at the most, but it is "dismissed because it contradicts the dominant narrative."
Carbon in diamonds dug out of rocks dated as millions of years old has been carbon dated as tens of thousands of years old at most, but it is "dismissed because it contradicts the dominant narrative."
The observable rate of mutation is massively different from that required by evolution, as shown by Nathaniel T. Jeanson, Ph.D. in his research papers and recent book (along with the work of other scientists over recent years); but it is
"dismissed because it contradicts the dominant narrative."
I could go on with problems like abiogenesis, irreducible complexity, specified complexity, the mineral content of the oceans, etc., but these will serve as examples: there are many more on the pages of this website.
There are two points to be made from all this.
If the scientific method is to modify or discard hypotheses in the face of contradictory evidence, then the theory of evolution is quite clearly not scientific, since the ever-increasing evidence against it is simply ignored. In which case, what is it? There is only one alternative: it is blind faith in the belief that a Creator does not exist, and since the only possible means for life to appear without Him is evolution, it has to be believed, no matter how much the evidence stacks up against it.
The consequence of this deliberate decision to ignore scientific observation when it conflicts with evolution is very serious. In my view the main reason for people turning their backs on God over the course of the last century or so is that evolution claims everything could appear without Him; but more and more scientific observations are proving the opposite, with some former atheists finally realising the weight of evidence is too heavy for the naturalistic requirements of a universe without a Creator, and making a significant ‘U’ turn. A classic example of this being Antony Flew, British Oxford professor and philosopher, who, after over 50 years as an atheist, renounced this belief in 2004.