The Illogic of Evolution
|#1. There’s no such thing as an atheist.
#2. Science vs. Religion
#3. How do you know what you know?
#4. The illogic of evolution
#5. Evidence: Handle with care!
#6. What do “Creation” and Evolution” really mean from a scientific perspective?
by David Prentice, M.Ed., M.A.S.T.
No living person has seen humans evolve from apelike ancestors. Nor are there any ancient eyewitness accounts of such a process, because even if it did happen, those evolving wouldn’t have been intelligent enough to write down what they saw! So when people say they know something about evolution, they really mean that they figured it out logically rather than observing it.
Let’s look at logic in general, then zoom in on the logic used to support evolution. We’ll see that there are a number of glaring errors that render it unreliable.
Much of logic works by conditional statements made up of a hypothesis (“if something …”) followed by a conclusion (“then something else …”). For example, “If I am at Victoria Falls, then I am at one of the highest waterfalls in the world.” This is true. However, a common mistake occurs when people reverse the hypothesis and conclusion. If the statement above were to be rearranged into “If I am at one of the highest waterfalls in the world, then I am at Victoria Falls,” it would no longer necessarily be true. Since there are many high waterfalls, the statement is unreliable.
Here’s how this ties in with evolution. We could summarize the whole of evolutionary logic by saying, “If the story of evolution is true, the universe would exist.” Since evolution is one of the possibilities for the origin of the universe, this is correct. The problem is when people use the converse, “If the universe exists, the story of evolution is true.” Just as in the waterfall example above, the logic is invalid because there are other possible explanations, such as creation.
A diagram of the possibilities would look something like this, where the outer ellipse indicates that the universe really does exist and each of the inner ellipses shows one possible explanation for how it came to be.
Despite the bluster of evolutionists, the fact that the universe exists doesn’t tell us which explanation is correct. It seems that they must have forgotten their basic logic.
VALID LOGIC, FALSE PREMISES.
Though few evolutionists have ever thought about it, their belief is a logical system similar to geometry. Both are based on postulates, statements that cannot be proved but are accepted as self-evident. (We also call them axioms or presuppositions.) However, if one rejects a postulate as not being self-evident after all, the whole system falls apart. For example, two different versions of non-Euclidean geometry have arisen because not everyone believes Euclid’s Parallel Line Postulate.
Few seem to realize that evolutionary “knowledge” is likewise based not on scientifically testable phenomena but on a series of unprovable statements accepted as self-evident. Following are some of the most important axioms of evolution. If any of them is not self-evident after all, the whole system crumbles.
1. Everything must be explainable by purely natural processes. Even Darwin admitted that if there were any structure could not be explained by the accumulation of great numbers of miniscule changes — that is, if one had to bring God in at any point — evolution was useless as a scientific theory.
2. Since evolution is the only natural process available, it is the only possible explanation for the origin of the universe and everything in it.
3. Since evolution has not occurred within recorded human history, it must be an extremely slow process. Therefore, the earth has to be billions of years old.
4. Since a worldwide flood could explain a great deal of the fossil record in a short time, it might cut billions of years off the geologic record. Therefore, a worldwide flood must be rejected as impossible.
5. Since intelligent design cannot be explained by natural processes, it can never be allowed as an option. Similarities between different types of living things must be explained either by common ancestry or random chance.
6. Since divine revelation violates Axiom 1, it must be disallowed as a source of scientific information. The word of scientists is the final authority in everything. (Which scientists? The ones that agree with you!)
Here’s how this fits into evolutionary logic. The most common logical construction is the syllogism, which has the following structure:
1. A major premise, which can be put in the form: “If Statement P is true, then Statement Q is true.” For instance, “If something is a parrot, then it wants a cracker.”
2. A minor premise, “Statement P is true.” For example, “Polly is a parrot.”
3. A conclusion, “Therefore, statement Q is true.” In our example, “Therefore, Polly wants a cracker.”
The logic is flawless. However, if either the major or minor premise is false, the conclusion is unreliable. Suppose a box of crackers fell on Polly when she was first hatched, frightening her so badly that she never wants to see a cracker again. Though the syllogism is fine, Polly really doesn’t want a cracker. The conclusion is wrong because of a false premise.
Now, since the evolutionary axioms above are by their nature unprovable and since they are used as premises in almost every part of evolutionary logic, almost nothing about evolution can be proved. It’s all based on faith!
Those that believe the Bible would say that EVERY SINGLE ONE of the axioms of evolution is false. Instead, we believe it is self-evident that: 1. Some things may not be explainable by purely natural processes; 2. God is powerful enough to use any method He chose, including creation as the Bible says; 3. Since God could have worked at any speed He wanted, the earth need not be any particular age; 4. A worldwide flood is within the realm of possibilities; 5. Similarities in nature may be due to common design; and 6. If the Bible is the word of God who started the universe, then it is the final authority on everything.
We can’t prove either one, but which makes more sense: believing the axioms of evolution — the ideas of men who were not there and are only guessing — or believing the Word of God who was there and knows what happened?