An honest creationist

Actually, it really isn’t.. We don’t necessarily understand gravity nearly as well as many non-scientists seem to think.

The parts of evolutionary theory that we don’t completely understand aren’t any more scientifically troubling than the holes in the theory of gravity. Speciation has been observed. Saying that such experiments don’t mean that we are the result of a long history of mutation and natural selection is as stupid as suggesting that the force Galileo measured at Pisa doesn’t imply anything about the mechanics of the solar system for the last several billion years.

Common descent is as well-established as any other fact in science. How it happened involves hyptotheses, but it’s not really questioned.

Nope, that’s not how it works. Using the same event, here’s a more accurate analogy:

It is a fact that there are a bunch of dead people in a school. It is a fact that they died by gunshot wounds. It is a fact that one of the dead people was found holding a gun. It is a fact that that last dead person died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. It is a fact that the ballistics of the bullets found in the other dead people match the ballistics of the gun held by that last dead person. Those are all facts. The idea that a student walked into the school, shot his teachers and fellow students, and then turned the gun on himself is a theory. Much like evolution, it is a theory that is supported by all of the available facts, and contradicted by none of the available facts.

The idea that this sort of thing could have been prevented by arming teachers/security guards at the school, on the other hand, is a hypothesis. It has not been tested. Although it may sound logical, and it may be supported by experts in the field, it has never been tested. There are no facts to support it, nor are there any facts to contradict it. (That I know of, anyway. I haven’t followed that debate, and am not aware of the particulars of either side of the issue.) Once we start testing it, we can begin to call it a theory, so long as the facts continue to agree with the hypothesis. If the facts don’t agree with the hypothesis, then it is discarded, and a new hypothesis must be created to explain the facts. When we have that, then we have a new theory.

Thank you Miller. You said it better than I even tried to put it together in my head.


There are important differences between the theory of gravity and the theory of evolution (common descent). Gravity is something we can observe by dropping an apple. We can do tests and experiments that work to “verify” the theory of gravity. Which is not to say that we may be certain that gravity functions the same way (or at all) in all places. But on this planet, it may safely be said that ceteris paribus no one has ever observed an exception to it. On the other hand, no one has ever observed evolution or demonstrated evolution, beyond minor variations in the kind. Another major difference between the two theories is that the theory of gravity is predictive, while that of evolution is not, if *necessarily * not (as a stochastic theory subject to historical contingency).

IOW, since the observed instances of speciation disagree with you, you’re arbitrarily raising the bar.

See this article for a discussion of the predictive power of evolution.

But that’s just microgravity, which is totally different from the sort of macro gravity that those wacky atheist scientists allege is resonsible for holding planets together and making them orbit the sun.

“Kind” is of course a word used only in creationist circles–there is no scientific definition of the word. I suppose observed instances of speciation, or a complete fossil chart of the last 30 million years of horse evolution aren’t real observations. (P.S.–who observed creation?)

Not really a difference at all. It’s true that knowledge of gravity, combined with knowledge of air flow dynamics, meteorology, and a host of other sciences can combine to tell you how long it’ll take for that apple you drop from 20 feet up to go splat, whereas evolution can’t tell you what your house cat’s descendants will look like 10 million generations from now. But not all scientific predictions need be forward-directed. Consider astronomy. An astronomer might say “If theory X about the cosmos is true, then we should observe Y in supernovas,” but still be utterly unable to predict when the next visible supernova will occur.

Interesting. The micro/macro distinction with regard to evolution is one that is considered to be a false dichotomy by many evolutionists.

For decades, I have not seriously pursued a relationship with what I feel, deep down, is my creator. Maybe I’ve not met the right people, or found the right church. The sticking point for me seems to be that I must think as I am told, rather than examine things for myself (thereby risking coming to a conclusion that organized religion doesn’t want me to realize). I’ve just never been able to bring myself to ‘toe the party line.’ Or I could be using it as an excuse to not try. Surely there must be intelligent people out there who’ve found a balance between believing in God and thinking for themselves.

News like this saddens me, and the knowledge that I don’t have children that must struggle through this morass doesn’t really comfort me.


It may be a bit of a stretch here, so cut a little slack. We do observe evolution, in a human directed way. We have “evolved” specific breeds of dogs, cats, hogs, horses etc. It is done by selective breeding. We choose the characteristics we want and choose the breedstock that will give us those traits. Evolutionary theory says the same thing happens in nature, except there the selections are made for survivability, or to occupy some niche. There, the desired trait may be size and strength, or speed, or more showy mating displays. Sure, it’s just a Theory, but it’s the best explanation we have. It makes sense. The fossil records seem to support it.

Gravity, I’m not so sure about. One time I drank so much I’m sure I was falling off the planet :smiley:

Now seems like a good time to quote Stephen Wright:

“Is it really gravity?..or does the Earth suck?”
My point here being, holding an apple up and dropping it does not in fact prove the Theory of Gravity. it proves that if you hold an apple up and let go it will fall to earth. Which, as a fact, could also suppost Platos concept that everthing acts according to it’s own nature (and apple’s nature being something that falls to earth). Subsequently though, we’ve come up with better ideas about why this happens. Like the Theory of Gravity. Which, as you point out, has stood the test of experimentation and predictablitiy. I would also point out, though, that if it didn’t hold true for other circumstances (if other massive bodies didn’t exert a similar force, if mass itself didn’t exert that force, if it wasn’t in fact one of the four main forces at large in the Universe) it would be a pretty piss poor theory. I have to ask, are You actually saying you only accept the idea of gravity as a local event and not something that you would count on in the rest of the Universe? I’m just wondering.
and having asked that question…


No. What I’m saying is that we cannot be certain that gravity functions the same way (or indeed at all) in places not in our experimental reach. What we can do is to show that observed cosmic motions match the expectations of gravity as we know it.

I think I should add something (other than that tomndeb has given me whoosh envy).

To bring it back to the point, the Theory of Gravity and the Theory of Evolution are not, in fact, different. Both begin with basic facts. Both start with a hypothosis that can be tested with results that can be predicted. And both then can very reasonably be used to extropolate (with a certain amount of predicablity) the forces behind things we could never test in a lab. Like the influence of gravity on the creation of the Universe. I guess I’m just curious as to how much of the Theory of Gravity roger is willing to throw out considering it’s shaky underpinnings.

Then I guess that answers my question. Then I guess you’re the ultimate empricists. Fair enough. As long as you hold Gravity and Evolution to the same standard.

I really can’t let this gg - it smacks too much of sophistry. Of course they’re different. Otherwise they’d be called by the same name!

roger, you seem to be missing the whole point. Much like ‘evolution’, the word ‘theory’ has two meanings. One is colloquial, and means ‘hypothesis’. The other sense is that a theory is a framework in which facts are placed. It is a collection of facts into a wider, explanatory concept. This does not imply any sense of unprovenness.

No, he’s not missing the point. Roger often plays fucking dumb. I think he gets a rise out of it.


The facts need to withstand tests of as high a level of severity as possible in order to allow a theory to be established that is prohibitive, i.e. one that forbids certain things to happen. Devising such tests is perhaps the chief function of scientists. Corroborating evidence should not count save when it is the result of a genuine test of the theory. This means that it can can be presented as a serious but unsuccessful attempt to falsify the theory.

Einstein’s theory of gravitation satisfies the criterion of falsifiability. Instruments (if not at the time, then now) might not have allowed us to pronounce on the results of the test with complete confidence, and yet there always existed a clear possibility of refuting the theory.

I am by no means convinced that the same applies to the theory of evolution.

Is there an evolutionary scientist out there who could address this point, viz. the comparability (or otherwise) of the status of the theories of evolution and gravity?

As for the “amateur” scientists here (no slur intended), do you believe that the theory of evolution and the theory of gravitation are “not in fact different”?

Corrigendum: “(if not at the time, then now)” should read “(if not now, then at the time)”.