UBC Okanagan biology instructor Blythe Nilson recently wrote in her Okanagan Skeptic column: "When done correctly, science is the most powerful tool we have. It's a set of rules that is most definitely not a belief system." (What every skeptic needs to know, Feb. 24)
While operational science employs the scientific method, Nilson fails to recognize origins "science" (evolution and creation) is definitely a belief system because it is outside the scientific method. Philosopher of science Michael Ruse (an atheist) goes further: "Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today."
The evolution hypothesis: simple living organisms originated from lifeless chemicals, and through gene duplication, mutation and natural selection gave rise to complex life.
The creation hypothesis: God created all life on Earth rapidly and with the ability for limited variation in response to environmental changes.
Our best and brightest scientists are incapable of making complex biomolecules, let alone a living cell. Yet we are asked to believe it happened naturally? Clearly, God is better at it than we are.
Microevolution is merely microvariation, while macroevolution is vertical evolution or information-building evolution - a supposed gain of genetic information. Evolutionists have never observed one organism producing offspring with a novel body part. Renowned evolutionary biologist, the late Lynn Margulis, repeatedly criticized the "mutations create new kinds of organisms" hypothesis. We also have over 100 years of fruit fly mutation experiments. Conclusion? Fruit flies reproduce fruit flies (albeit with harmful mutations). No evolution has occurred.
Four well-known technical books are Levinton's "Macroevolution" (2001), Gould's "Structure of Evolutionary Theory" (2002), Valentine's "On the Origin of Phyla" (2004), and Futuyma's "Evolution," (2009).
How many examples of macroevolution are mentioned in these books? Zero.
Why? No examples are known to exist.
Evolution survives, not so much as a theory of science, but as a philosophical necessity. Regardless of conflicting scientific data, the idea of evolution as a valid concept is not open to debate. Students are allowed to ask "How did evolution occur?" but never "Did evolution occur?"
Nilson writes: "...the theory of evolution is now the accepted explanation for many phenomena, such as changes in the fossil record that correspond with geological changes."
Carl Werner (thegrandexperiment.com) documented how fossils of modern birds, such as parrots, owls, penguins and flamingos are found in the same rock layers as dinosaur fossils. The discovery indicates the birds have not evolved over an alleged 100 million years. See "Winged Victory" (Scientific American, July 2010). Fossils of modern trees have also been found, including: sequoias, redwoods, sassafras and walnut.
Nilson: "... and the close physical resemblance between species that share very similar DNA."
A good engineer repeats efficient design features because they work. You can see this in the human design of houses, bridges, cars, etc. Why not extend the same courtesy to the Great Engineer in designing life on Earth?
Nilson mentions great minds like Newton. That Newton, the greatest scientist of all time, was a creationist should give any evolutionist pause. Though he lived before Darwin, he knew about the concept of evolution and rejected it.
Nilson continues: "If your hypothesis is the correct one, then your predictions will be borne out with evidence."
In the 1960s, millions of children had their tonsils unnecessarily removed because evolution predicted the tonsils were vestigial organs and had no useful function. Today, we know the tonsils are involved with immune response. Another prediction? Humans and apes shared a common ancestor. Sadly, this idea was used to justify the killing of human beings considered "less human" on the evolutionary scale.
Nilson mentions the global positioning system. The monarch butterfly has a brain weighing less than 0.5 gram - equipped with a GPS. It can reach a location as far away as 3,000 miles to an accuracy of 100 feet. It took intelligent humans to create the GPS. Surely, the monarch's optical lens and navigation system was designed and created by an even more intelligent Designer.
Nilson concludes: "How do we know it (science) works? It delivers the goods." Science does indeed deliver the goods. Evolution, however, does not.
Ed Neeland is an associate professor of chemistry at UBC Okanagan. David Buckna is a retired public school teacher (School District 23).