Friday, March 09, 2007

Why Creationism is Wrong and Evolution is Right

Professor Steve Jones delivers a lecture exploring this issue. The lecture can be viewed here. From the site:

Science is about disbelief. It accepts that all knowledge is provisional and that any theory might in principle be disproved. Some theories are better established than others: the earth is probably not flat, babies are almost certainly not brought by storks, and men and dinosaurs are unlikely to have appeared on earth within the past few thousand years. Many biologists are worried by a recent and unexpected return of an argument based on belief by the certainty, untestable and unsupported by evidence, that life did not evolve but appeared by supernatural means. Worldwide, more people believe in creationism than in evolution. Why do no biologists agree? Steve Jones will talk about what evolution is, about new evidence that men and chimps are close relatives and about how we are, nevertheless, unique and why creationism does more harm to religion than it does to science.

I enjoyed the light touches of humor. He focuses on an explanation of the evidence for evolution.

I particularly noticed these points: He explains the difficulty of having fruitful discussions with creationists who are happy in their own certainty and unwilling to bring doubt about their own understanding into play. He talks about the limits of science and about what science is unable to prove, leaving plenty of room (in my opinion) for religion to have its say without requiring proof of the religious belief from science. He calls creationism the beginning of the triumph of irrationality and believes the creationist movement in the United States is dangerous. Several times he affirms that evolution is not in control of the future of the human race, because we've developed intelligence and language that permit us to have more control over the natural world, permitting us to fight diseases, for example.

The lecture is followed by a question and answer period.

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