Is the ‘Theory of Evolution’ really a theory?

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The problem with defining the theory of evolution is that there are many definitions for evolution.  The word ‘evolution’ is used in many different way and has many different meanings.  Unfortunately, some of those meanings aren’t scientific, but religious, and scientific uses of the word are provided to explain faith-based beliefs.  ‘Evolution’ is not a new word but goes back to the 1600’s translation of a second-century Greek military text where the word is used to describe changes in formations and tactics (Marshal, J., 2015).  Marshal goes on to state the by the 17th century, the word had picked up much of its Latin origins coming to mean “the process of unrolling, opening out, or revealing” and was even used to described the development of a baby in the womb (2015).  Darwin avoided the word and never used it in his own writings but by the 19th century it was well in use to mean “a process of development, especially when this involved a gradual change” (Marshal, 2015).  This is where the word starts to go awry. 

In his voyage, Darwin noticed finches that had different size and shape beaks.  It was from this (and other minor differences within animals) that he postulated the Darwinian theory of evolution, that all life originated by changing from one species into another.  Scientist give many different ways for this to have happened, from Lamarckism, punctuated equilibrium, and, the most popular, natural selection.  The problem with the theory of evolution, Darwinian or otherwise, is that there is no mechanism to introduce new information into DNA.  What Darwin witnessed was merely genetic variation within a kind, same as the difference between family members.  Natural selection is not a creative force but more along the lines of quality control.  Natural selection was designed so that deleterious effects would be bred out of a population instead of propagating.  Lamarckism was the theory that organism would pass characteristics that it acquired during its lifetime to its offspring and was disproved by Gregory Mendel’s research (O’Neil, D., n.d.).  Punctuated equilibrium was developed after it was realized there was no evidence for evolution by other methods and basically stated that there were rapid changes from one kind of animal to another and that is why there are no ‘missing links’ in the fossil record (Batten, D., 1994).

According to Dictionary.com, a scientific theory is described as “a coherent group of propositions formulated to explain a group of facts or phenomena in the natural world and repeatedly confirmed through experiment or observation.”  The theory of evolution is not a scientific theory as it has not been confirmed by experiment or observation.  What is observable and verifiable by experimentation is adaptation, changes within a kind usually to make it more successful in its environment.  Some people and textbooks will call this evolution and hold it up as evidence for the changes of one kind of organism to another but this is blatantly and intentionally deceitful.       

 

References

Batten, D.  (1994).  Punctuated equilibrium: come of age?  Journal of Creation, 8(2), 131-137. 

            Retrieved from http://creation.com/punctuated-equilibrium-come-of-age

Marshall, J.  (2015, May 8).  The etymology of the word ‘evolution.’  [Web log].  Retrieved from

            http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2015/05/evolution-etymology/

O’Neil, D.  (n.d.).  Mendel’s genetics.  Retrieved from http://anthro.palomar.edu/mendel/

mendel_1.htm

scientific theory. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved February 23, 2016 from

Dictionary.com website http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/scientific-theory

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