Sent to the ST Forum:
Dear Forum Editor,
Evolution a fact, not fiction
In contrast to Dr. Loke’s assertion that evolution is not a fact, I counter that it would be highly irresponsible if any scientific program or curriculum fails to reinforce this foundation truth of modern biology.
Dr. Loke calls evolution highly debatable. In truth, only a tiny, vocal minority of theistically-motivated researchers (especially those linked to the Discovery Institute) dispute the fact of evolution, and so far have failed to offer credible alternatives as well as ignored the manifold refutations of their so-called problems with evolution such as ‘irreducible complexity’.
Contrary to his claim that ‘gaps’ in the fossil record disprove evolution, the fossil record, even with its meagre volume given the sheer age of the earth and geological changes, already demonstrates the way phyla have evolved and the diversified paths of species radiation over time. The emergence of mammals and birds from reptilian ancestors (including the relict evidence of egg-bearing mammals and marsupials in isolated Australia), the uncanny morphological and biochemical homologies and atavisms within phyla, as well as the increasingly well-documented journey from ape to early man offer substantiated arguments for the veracity of evolution. Evolutionary biologists may dispute the rate at which evolution takes place, but no serious researcher (despite claims by creationists to the contrary) doubts the phenotypic roads enshrined in fossil beds and corroborated by prevailing observations of ecology, biogeography and species distribution around the world.
The only point that may be conceded is the ultimate origin of life and its genetic transmission system itself. Various hypotheses exist as to how this occurred, but to resort to using theological claims to answer the question is both unscientific and self-defeating, for such claims are unprovable and there is no reason why scientists should be prevented from exploring the question rather than accepting doctrinal fiat and stopping at that.
The sad case is that many false avenues (e.g. the Piltdown Man) that evolutionary biologists have clearly rejected without these instances casting doubt on evolution itself are still cited by writers such as Dr. Well as strawmen to convince fellow creationists.
The Discovery Institute claims a ‘mere’ hundred signatures supporting its claim. In response, the US National Center for Science Education has received at least 600 signatories for its Project Steve that garners support for evolution only from scientists named “Steve.” Furthermore, the Discovery Institute’s list posits a misleading claim, as the belief that natural selection and random selection are insufficient to explain evolution does not necessarily imply that one supports the creationist version of origins.
Readers who wish to find out more about the debate, as well as responses to Denton and Behe, can check the following websites:
In short, whereas evolution is a matter of fact, the notion of divine creation is a matter of faith, and when has faith ever required evidence, since it is by definition a belief that defies the need for proof?
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Man's evolution from monkey a proven scientific fact? No, it's not
I watched the show 'A Species Odyssey' on Channel NewsAsia on November 6 and was very concerned with the way the highly debatable theory of human evolution was presented as a fact.
While micro-evolution, ie the process of mutation and natural selection, can be observed in nature and is a proven fact, macro-evolution - the theory that all the organisms we see today resulted from the micro-evolution of simpler pre-existing organisms, which ultimately came from non-living matter - is not a proven fact.
It is in fact contradicted by huge gaps in the fossil records as well as other theoretical considerations (see www.answersingenesis.org).
Because of the evidence and theoretical considerations, many scientists have now repudiated the theory of macro-evolution (see, for example www.discovery.org/articleFiles/PDFs/100ScientistsAd.pdf), and the number is increasing despite the 'persecutions' by scientific establishments wishing to maintian their unwarranted naturalistic philosophy. (See Dr Jonathan Well's The Icons of Evolution, chapter 12).
We must note carefully that micro-evolution does not necessarily imply macro-evolution. Micro-evolution only implies that given enough time, living things may change as they adapt to the environment. For example, given enough time, apes may change.
But micro-evolution does not necessarily imply that all the living organisms that we see today originates from pre-existing organisms. For example, to say that apes may change given enough time does not necessarily imply that man did come from apes. Above all, micro-evolution does not explain how the RNA/DNA comes about in the first place. (See www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/magazines/TJ/docs/tjv10n3_origin_life.pdf).
Paleontologists often construct the supposed intermediates between monkeys and humans with much imagination and subjectivity which resemble myth-writing. (See The Icons of Evolution, chapter 11). Many such constructions have in fact been proven false (eg the Piltdown man which deceived scientists from early 1900s to 1953), while the remaining ones are highly debatable (see www.answersingenesis.org).
People should not be given the idea that evolution from monkey to man is a proven fact of science when it is not and the media should not just present one side of the story without presenting the evidence and theoretical considerations that contradict it.
While many books showing the fallacy of macro-evolution can now be found in bookshops and the National Library in Singapore (eg Dr Michael Denton's Evolution, a theory in crisis, Dr Michael Behe's Darwin's Black box), documentaries showing the fallacy of macro-evolution should also be shown on TV to let the public know the truth about our origin.
Andrew Loke Ter Ern (Dr)
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