Thursday, 11 February 2016

Darwin Day Is Coming: And Richard Dawkins Would Call Evolution Fact

The BBC reminds listeners (and readers) that Darwin Day is just around the corner.

Joel Kontinen

Richard Dawkins has recently made more headlines by tweeting and re-tweeting questionable content than by anything even remotely resembling science. However, on the eve of Darwin Day (due to arrive on the 12th), he was featured in a BBC article that discusses whether evolution is merely a theory.

The article tried to explain what scientists mean when they say something is a theory.

By invoking Darwin, we get the impression that by evolution the BBC is referring to the Darwinian microbes to man story. Dawkins was quick to point out that by having to define what they mean by theory, scientists were already losing the battle, so he prefers to use the word fact instead.

“The evidence for evolution is so strong that to withhold assent [i.e. to not call it fact] would be perverse," he says.

There are several problems here. First, evolutionists tend to see minuscule changes, say in the shape of a bird’s peak or a moth’s colour, and then extrapolate these by many orders of magnitude.

But natural selection is not evolution. While it might explain the survival of the fittest, it cannot account for the arrival of the fittest.

Genetic information does not just happen. Neither does it increase through Darwinian mechanisms. In contrast, it tends to decrease with mutations.

Losing a trait can hardly be called progress.

Second, it would be preposterous to call anything perverse in a purely Darwinian world that does not accept a moral Lawgiver.

Dawkins seems to be bluffing.


BBC. 2016. The Vocabularist: When is a theory 'just a theory'? (9 February).