Isn’t the theory of evolution a scientific fact?

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By BibleAsk Team


In science, a theory is considered testable if it makes predictions that can be empirically verified or refuted through observation, experimentation, or other forms of empirical evidence. Science is observational and it must be testable, falsifiable, and repeatable. Naturally evolutionary ideas, fell under the category of historical science that are NOT testable, falsifiable, or repeatable because they are simply not observable.

The Nature of Scientific Inquiry

To understand why the theory of evolution is not universally accepted as a scientific fact, it’s essential to consider the fundamental principles of scientific inquiry. Science operates on the basis of empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and testable hypotheses. Scientific theories are provisional explanations of natural phenomena that are supported by a body of evidence and subject to testing and refinement based on new observations and experiments.

A definition of science given by the monumental OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY states: “A branch of study which is concerned either with a connected body of DEMONSTRATED truths or with OBSERVED facts systematically classified.” Thus, SCIENCE deals with “demonstrated…..Observed” data arrived at by experimenting in a laboratory or observing in the real world of nature.

This is the limitation of science, its the inability to address questions that lie outside the realm of empirical observation and experimentation. Historical events, including the origin of life and the diversification of species over millions of years, fall into this category. Unlike phenomena that can be directly observed and tested in the present, events that occurred in the distant past are not amenable to experimental manipulation or direct observation. The notable evolutionist Richard Dawkins, admits in a 2009 interview, “We can’t see evolution happening because we don’t live long enough.”

Evolutionary Theory as a Hypothesis

In light of the limitations of science, evolutionary theory can be viewed as a hypothesis rather than an established scientific fact. Thus, the question of origins presents unique challenges to scientific inquiry due to the lack of direct observational evidence and the inability to conduct controlled experiments on past events.

George Gaylord Simpson, Professor at Harvard and perhaps the foremost writer on evolution, has stated that: “It is inherent in any definition of science that statements that cannot be checked by OBSERVATION are not …. science.”  George Gaylord Simpson, Science, Volume 143 , p.769.

Evolution cannot be studied in a laboratory or seen in nature, since its assumed mechanisms operate so slowly as to require millions of years for demonstrable results. This fact is admitted by David Kitts in Evolution Magazine: “Evolution, at least in the sense that Darwin speaks of it, cannot be detected within the lifetime of a single observer.”

One of the builders of neo-Darwinism affirms: “It is manifestly impossible to reproduce in the laboratory the evolution of man from the australopithecine, or of the modern horse from an Eohippus, or of a land vertebrate from a fishlike ancestor. These evolutionary happenings are unique, unrepeatable, and irreversible” (Theodosius Dobzhansky, American Scientist, December 1957).

Conclusion

The question of origins, including the origin of life and the diversity of species, lies beyond the purview of science, as it deals with historical events that cannot be directly observed or tested through experimentation. The theory of evolution remains a hypothesis rather than an established scientific fact.

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In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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