The naiveté of Evolution denial

The naiveté of Evolution denial

Posted in the Evolution Debate Forum

SimpleTom

Nanaimo, Canada

#1 Oct 6, 2013
Why do so many people deny evolution? We should ask ourselves that question and seriously think about it. Is it because it is such a difficult scientific concept to understand? Highly unlikely. I don't see a great deal of debate over Einstein's theory of special relativity that posits that time slows down relative to us on our easy chairs if you are traveling at a high rate of speed or in orbit around the earth. How many of us really comprehend this? Why aren't forums full of relativity deniers? Is it because it has been proven innumerable time and is an essential principle in GPS systems' design and operation? What about that little controversy about the sun and not the earth being at the centre of the solar system. This was a biggie in the 17th century with the Church staunchly opposed to any theory that "demoted" the earth from its prestigious place at the centre of the universe. Again, we've matured as a society and we've accepted reason and scientific proof to the extent that we don't see a plethora of discussion groups espousing the evidence for and against the solar system as we understanding it.
The glory of science is that it always betters itself. It is not always right at every moment in time, but it self-scrutinizes and self-corrects. Today's view is always more accurate than yesterday's because it is based on all accumulated evidence and analysis to date. It is based on a system of challenging itself, re-evaluating existing theories in light of new evidence, and re-re-shaping or replacing existing theories with more accurate ones.
And this brings us to evolution of species, a principle over 200 years old, and natural selection, the incredibly successful theory that explains the mechanism behind evolution, itself 150 years old. It has been debated, tested, proven, duplicated, watched unfold and used as an essential principle in the fight against acquired resistance to antibiotics or pesticides. Fossils show a beautiful and detailed account of inumerable changes over time, impossible to explain any other way. Extant organisms show vestiges of organs once an integral part of their ancestors but totally useless in the current form - for example, vestigial legs in whales or snakes, or the tail bone in humans. And even if this is too abstract, what about the "hit you in the face" evidence of human selection (breeding) of domesticated animals and plants - Chihuahuas, corn, broccoli and cauliflower, to name a few - which bear no resemblance to their very recent ancestors.
So why do so many accept the earth orbiting the sun, general relativity or quantum mechanics, but reject evolution? Two reasons: It appears to challenge that ancient book by multiple authors and of multiple translations that sits on our coffee table, and perhaps more to the point, because we were indoctrinated at an early age to oppose it. Let's face it, there are few if any of us who have taken the time and effort to independently review the evidence for the heliocentric model of solar system and say: "I've looked at this from all sides and, yes, I can only come to one conclusion - the earth goes around the sun". We just accept it because it is taught to us and no one opposes it. Not so in Galileo's day, but we've come a long way in 300 years. I am confident that in 100 years from now, we will also say the same about evolution, by then 300 year old. Over time, truth and evidence always win out over myth and conjecture, but never while our minds are closed. What does it say of our society that in the self proclaimed leader of the free world, only 15% of Americans accept something taken as the undisputed truth by 100% of serious mainstream biologists? What moral authority does this give us to question Islamic fundamentalist beliefs or the Aztec ancient custom of human sacrifices. They have their own ancient coffee table book...

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