Inspired by Dawkins’ METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL program (hereafter just weasel) described in his book “The Blind Watchmaker,” and wanting to practice my blossoming C++ skills, I decided to write my own version of weasel. It was successful enough, and I found the results interesting enough to warrant discussion. Download the program (Windows .exe file) so you can try it out for yourself (and you can also get the source code if you want). In this post I’ll discuss what the program does and why. In the next post I’ll talk a bit about the results of the program.
Note: This was a detailed response to post about evolution. The post contained a lot of common misconceptions, so I wanted to take the opportunity to try dispelling them.
Evolution: A Modern Paradox
In today’s culture, evolution has permeated people’s worldview and has changed science into a new meaning.
As far as I understand, the definition of science has not changed as a result of the discovery of evolution. What is the older meaning that has been supplanted, and with what newer meaning?
Evolution is a matter of faith, certainly not scientific fact, because there is no solid proof supporting the theory. No one was there to see what really happened, and it contradicts proven scientific law.
Actually evolution is a matter of scientific fact. Your confusion comes from the extremely common misunderstanding of what science does. Science does not prove anything. Ever. The scientific method is a process where observations are made and models are proposed to explain these observations. These models are also known as hypotheses.
For any given set of observations there can be many different hypotheses that explain the data. Some hypotheses might seem more reasonable than others, but you cannot prove that any one of them are correct, though you can certainly prove some wrong. So the scientific method continues by collecting more data and trying to determine which hypotheses best fit the new data.
This is where experiments come in. Not all science is experimental, since experiments are things where conditions are manipulated by people. We simply can’t manipulate anything we want (like in evolution where we can’t go back in time, and astronomy/cosmology where we can’t manipulate giant, distant bodies). Experiments are useful because they allow us to throw out alternative hypotheses that don’t shed any light on the data.
For example, let’s say you wanted to decide if beer bread made with dark beer tastes better than that made with light beer. I hypothesize that dark is better, based on the fact that I think dark beer tastes better (taste of beer is the data). So, I need to collect beer bread taste data.
The key to understanding how one can figure the origin of the universe is in origin science. Evolution is origin science, which is science that tries to explain the origins of the earth through studying written history and physical evidence from ancient past.
Evolution does not try to explain the origin of the earth. It tries to explain the origin of biodiversity.
Operational science includes the discovery of information through experiments that are done today. Evolutionists have tried to prove evolution through operational science, like in Miller’s experiment (Ham and Mortenson 24).
Again, this type of experiment only supports specific hypotheses, not the theory of evolution. But otherwise you are correct; scientists have tried to prove evolution through “operational science.” And have been successful (look into evolution of pesticide and antibiotic resistance). Probably the greatest and most obvious example of all, however, is dog breeding. This is essentially a grand experiment done over thousands of years that has brought the original wolf ancestor to exist as one species with forms as diverse as a chihuahua and great dane. And this experiment wasn’t even done on purpose!
Which probably requires that I add this note: natural and “artificial” selection are the same thing. We call it artificial when it is done by people. So “natural” selection is when the environment selects for/against certain traits, and “artificial” selection is when the environment that does the selecting is controlled by people (in other words, an experiment).
Evolutionists claim that evolution can be seen in modern society, but this “evolution” that we see is mutations—a loss of genetic information, rather than a gain in genetic information that evolution requires (25).