Monday, September 29, 2008

Genesis and Creation (15) - Plausibility is not Proof

The theory of evolution has a couple of serious philosophical problems too. The first is that plausibility is not the same as proof. Evolutionary changes cannot be repeated in a laboratory, so they cannot be proved using the scientific method. This means that evolutionary explanations for life are never proved. Therefore, all that scientists seek is plausible explanations. Nothing more is expected.

When a new phenomenon is discovered, someone come up with an evolutionary reason why the phenomena might have occurred. A plausible explanation is all that is required to settle a matter. For example, if a bird has bright feathers on it head, someone will suggest that these evolved to attract mates. Provided the explanation is plausible, it is accepted. No one bothers trying to prove that this was the actual reason, because such proofs are impossible, because the processes that happen randomly over thousands of years cannot be repeated in a laboratory.

Plausibility on its own is a very low standard of proof. The fact that something is plausible does not mean that it actually happened. Many plausible events have never happened, so plausibility is not the same as proof. Evolutionary science has settled for plausibility as a standard, because it cannot work with anything stronger, but this means that evolution can never be more than a theory.

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