Defender's Guide to Science and Creationism

Mark Vuletic

Assertion

Evolution is unfalsifiable.

Analysis

I. Possible falsifications

There are many possible discoveries that would have falsified evolution. For instance, had the chronological distribution of fossils in the fossil record been haphazard or the inverse or what evolution predicts, then evolution would have been falsified. Likewise, had human beings been found to have a genetic code based on chemicals radically different than those of the great apes, the idea of common ancestry between the two would have been put to rest permanently. However, all of the data we have found very closely matches the predictions of evolutionary theory. It is curious that out of the infinite number of ways the creationists' god could have arranged the data, He chose one of the relatively few patterns predicted by evolution.

Evolution, moreover, still could be falsified in the future; the discovery of a fossil elephant in Precambrian rock strata, for instance, would do the trick nicely.

II. Unfalsifiability of creationism in the hands of creationists

Compare the falsifiability of evolution with the approach of the average creationist: the average creationist assumes that his interpretation of his favorite religious text is infallible, and then proceeds to distort or deny any evidence from the natural world that contradicts that interpretation. The intent may be sincere, but the outcome fails the criteria for science. When one is willing to follow the data, creationism invariably ends up falsified.

Last updated: 19 Jan 2016

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