Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Creationism and Proof

Muslim creationist Adnan Oktar challenges scientists to prove evolution: "Muslim creationist Adnan Oktar challenges scientists to prove evolution. As a poll reveals that more than a quarter of science teachers believe creationism should be taught alongside evolution, Oktar is offering an implausibly large reward to anyone who can point to a single fossil that proves evolution."

Oktar is working from a category error that is also propagated daily in the newspapers. Science never "proves" anything. "Proof" may (or may not) occur in mathematics or geometry, but the best status for a scientific hypothesis or theory is "not yet disproven". The criterion of a scientific statement is that it must be susceptible to disproof - that is, it must be capable of being overthrown by further observations.

Religious dogma, on the other hand, cannot be overthrown (in the minds of the believer) by any fact or experience.

Oktar's claim that any not one of all the fossils "proves" evolution is meaningless, because evolution is the process of development, and it is in the relation between different organisms that evolution is induced, not in the examination of any single specimen.

Philosophy should be taught in schools, in order to avoid the widespread misunderstanding of science that exists.


DonaQixota said...

This guy Oktar writes under the name of Harun Yahya, which I found when googling a disturbing book I saw last week in the window of an Islamic bookshop in Bristol. It has a striking cover showing terrorist acts flanked by pictures of Darwin and Marx.


Apparently terrorism is all down to evolutionists and godless materialists!

"Darwinism has laid the groundwork for Hitler's and Mussolini's fascism and Stalin's communism. And when we look at the present day, we see that all the members of terrorist organizations -- even those that portray themselves as Muslim organizations -- are Darwinists, atheists."


"The Real Ideological Root of Terrorism: Darwinism and Materialism.

Most people think the theory of evolution was first proposed by Charles Darwin, and rests on scientific evidence, observations and experiments. However, the truth is that Darwin was not its originator, and neither does the theory rest on scientific proof. The theory consists of an adaptation to nature of the ancient dogma of materialist philosophy. Although it is not backed up by scientific discoveries, the theory is blindly supported in the name of materialist philosophy.

This fanaticism has resulted in all kinds of disasters. Together with the spread of Darwinism and the materialist philosophy it supports, the answer to the question "What is a human being?" has changed. People who used to answer: "Human beings were created by God and have to live according to the beautiful morality He teaches", have now begun to think that "Man came into being by chance, and is an animal who developed by means of the fight for survival." There is a heavy price to pay for this great deception. Violent ideologies such as racism, fascism and communism, and many other barbaric world views based on conflict have all drawn strength from this deception.

This article will examine the disaster Darwinism has visited on the world and reveal its connection with terrorism, one of the most important global problems of our time."


What are we to make of the fact that such beliefs are being increasingly widely preached to children and young people as THE TRUTH ?

What are the most likely social effects of these teachings?

DocRichard said...

Fundamentalism is its own worst enemy. They are so boring and shot through with hypocrisy that the children will see through the show, and liberate themselves, provided that the (a) fundamentalists themselves are ignored, not attacked, and (b) that the real truth is made easily available.

Was it Russell who said "Attacking a man for talking nonsense is a bit like seeing my enemy drowning in a bog, and jumping in after him with a knife."

DonaQixota said...

There's the last couple of thousand years of Abrahamic massacre, torture and repression to disprove this comforting theory, unfortunately.

Brainwashing works.

DocRichard said...

Well yes Dona, I admit there is a bit of a problem here, but do you have a better solution?

DonaQixota said...

There are no easy solutions. Are there ever?

I just think we need to be much more conscious of the history and current activitieds of the three "Peoples of the Book" as they like to call themselves, and not be intimidated by any of them. Complacency is always a very dangerous route to go down.