Cognitive Distoibance wrote:A rather interesting exception there on the MMGW. Religion is where you find it. Which is pretty much everywhere, since few there be that grasp and have for instant recall scientific data on all points. That's why "believe in evolution" is the correct formulation for 90% of evolutionistas. They don't have the means to sort it out for themselves, so their faith is in science, scientists, what have you...
Well, if you don't trust science and scientists, give up the products of their work and thus modern life. If it is said that there are no atheists in foxholes, then everybody in the cancer ward seems to believe in science. The balance of evidence for evolution by natural selection is vastly greater than for MMGW .
I'm sure you know there is a whole class of evidence, which strictly speaking isn't scientific. Historical, for instance.
There are sciences, where you have to look for evidence in the field rather than be able to do lab experiments - astronomy, geology as well as paleontology.
Here's the thing about the TP / religious / fundies / et al. Other than its metaphysical implications, why should the average Joe Sixpack (beer or Coke--I'm partial to 24 packs of Pepsi Max myself) give a southern exposure of a northbound rat about scientific evidence for evolution? There are lots of reason to care about semiconductors, magnetic fields and computers. Sure, some can dork around with genetic modifications of plants and critters, but darn few--and strictly speaking that isn't evolution. Even fewer are in a position to construct environmental factors that will govern the controlled evolution of geckos into say, velociraptors. In other words, what is the dad gummed point of believing in evolution? Or universally acclaimed scientifical evidence for same? Why should most anyone, TP folk included, care?
Well, you care, because it contradicts the literal order in Genesis (the stars came first). Most Christian churches are not so literal and perfectly happy to accept evolution. Since when did all knowledge have to be useful? And are we so arrogant as to know when it will be useful? History is littered with scientists saying their discoveries would have no use - probably the most poignant was Rutherford saying that splitting the atom would have no practical consequences. Since you ask, though:
- drug resistance (those dratted bugs evolve in real time...)
- genetic sequencing
- do you use anything made of steel? The banded iron formations (BIFs) which comprise most of the world's iron ore were laid down around 2 billion years ago when bacteria giving off oxygen (chloroplasts) gradually oxidised the iron dissolved in the sea. Knowing that gives clues as to where to look for deposits.
- just knowing how our bodies evolved is immensely useful for medicine: evolution works by incremental steps so all sorts of suboptimal stuff is left behind (that annoying, useless and potentially lethal appendix is a relic of when our ancestors had double stomachs...). An intelligent designer would have done much better, surely.
There are probably other examples.
More to the point, evolution by natural selection is the central theory of biology, and without it biology would not have made the huge advances of the last century. It is the equivalent of the laws of mass-energy in physics.
I would recommend an excellent introduction, butyou may be put off by the author, so suggest you ask for it to be delivered under a plain cover.. Unfortunately, he is the best and clearest writer in lay terms on the subject, just ignore the egoism and the anti-religious diatribes (on which subject he a dork out of his depth) and look at the evidence.
Oh dear, I feel like a secular equivalent of a JW handing out the Watchtower...