Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The "Scientific" Reliability of Natural Selection

Although Europe has taking the initiative of banning the teaching of Creationism, it is important to look at how the North American school system takes a similar approach. In science classes the theory of evolution is presented as the primary explanation for life on Earth without much emphasis on creationism of intelligent design. Interestingly, it appears that criticism for Darwin's theory is becoming a more popular topic in the psychological field. Several of these arguments I feel, should be made more apparent in the typical schooling environment.
During the development of Social Darwinism, several of Darwin's theories came under attack from psychologists around the world. According to Karl Popper, a science is only valid if it can be disproven. This principle of falsifiability provides the largest criticism of evolution; that the "fact" cannot be challenged. It is virtually impossible to refute Darwin's arguments, however this does not necessarily demonstrate scientific reliability. In addition, it has been implied that the reliability of many of the stories that founded Darwin's theory are questionable. The reliability of the peppered moth, Darwin's finches, fossil record and probiotic soup have all been attacked.
Clearly, Darwin's theory cannot be entirely proven as we would expect from a "scientific" theory that has entirely transformed our world view. It's validity does not meet the standards we would expect from other scientific hypotheses although there is substantial supporting evidence. It is possible to view Darwin's theory as a philosophical assumption rather than an actual science. In this case, how are we to say that it should take priority over the teaching of other philosophical theories such as creationism?

References:

Study of ID means fair debate in schools - December 30, 2003By Curtis L. Brickley J
http://www.ravallirepublic.com/articles/2004/01/02/opinion/viewpoint/zvalley.txt

class discussions, PSYC 210 UVIC

1 comments:

Dominic B. said...

There are flaws to any science and theory but most scientists agree to Evolution. It can not be disproven...this is right! The existence of God can not be disproven or proven....I believe in evolution because this is an incredibly elegant way of explaining a lot of things...are we right to think so...maybe...but maybe not!