Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Creationist Refutes Darwin’s Evolutionary Theory - A Rebuttal

I mentioned about this talk about a week ago of a creationist attempting to falsify Darwin's theory of evolution. This morning, I found this response written by a physics major junior that easily threw a lot of doubt in the garbage that was spewed at that talk.

Carter used a wonderful scientific vocabulary and showed some facts that were true.

However, blinded by science jargon, he put up facts and figures with little truth to them, no way to verify them (or if he did, they were not accurate and considered fraudulent in the scientific community), nor accuracy to the science actually used.

This man performed a wonderful show, and is an outstanding example of how the public will believe almost anything that has numbers and graphs in it with no scientific proof.

The writer listed several examples where Carter simply can't produce valid sources for his numbers.

I'm left to wonder how many people in the audience who bought into what they were told. We often talk about the public needed to be scientifically literate. What we mean by that is NOT that the public knows all these "facts", but rather, having the skill to analyze how one goes from A to B to C to D. How, for example, do you draw up the conclusion that, say, "gay marriage" leads to "undermining traditional marriage". People throw out those two phrases all the time, but no one seems to explain the mechanism that show how "gay marriage" CAUSES "undermining of traditional marriage". Not only that, if such mechanism exists, one needs to publish such a thing and be scrutinized for it by others who are experts in the field of study to ensure that such a mechanism is valid, and that leads to the unique conclusion.

The same thing is occurring here. One simply can't throw out all of these numbers and conclusions (something that is commonly done in politics and economics) without any basis to show that they are valid. But the public that isn't familiar with the scientific process are ignorant of that. This is why I'm very proud of this young writer who already has the skill (hopefully something he gained from his education) to analyze and question how such conclusions are made. So well done, Jim Eakins!

Making the public be scientifically literate should mean making them able to make a rational analysis of how one draws up a conclusion. It is why when I proposed a revamping of the undergraduate intro physics labs, I try to steer away from making "textbook tests" of physics principles. Rather, I focused on how one can draw up the conclusion on how A depends on B, and what is the exact relationship between those two. Our world has always been focused on how we can relate things, how are they interconnected, etc. These types of lab exercises precisely present such tests.


1 comment:

Kent Leung said...

From the Daily Show w Jon Stewart in response a TEA party "protest" banner. The protester who made that sign goes to kinko's:

"I got this photo of a german death camp, how big can you make it? I'm going to this rally on healthcare and I really want to equate the healthcare reform bill to the holocaust. You see the same as the Nazis because universal healthcare is socialism and the Nazis were the national socialist party. The same way I'm a communist because I'm a republican and there's the peoples republic of china."