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The theory of evolution is wrong!

  1. Mar 5, 2010 #1
    dear readers,

    i have a friend of mine who just doesnt believe in evolution!. i just find that very hard to believe as i thought the theory of evolution was one of mankinds strongest to date!. the thing is that he is an intelligent man!(he is a chemist for goodness sake!).
    every time i try to give an argument for the case of evolution he comes up with a strong counter argument.

    what i am asking of you readers is this
    what is the best argument for evolution you can come up with? i need to checkmate my friend once and for all!
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 5, 2010 #2
    Re: evolution is wrong!

    First off, evolution is a fact. I highly doubt that he is coming up with a 'strong counter argument'. That's like coming up with a strong counter argument to state that the Sun is smaller than the Earth... I'm sure that you could make up an argument but it'd hardly be considered strong at all. To show that evolution is fact you could merely question him about say the flu, why is it recommended to get a new flu shot every year... where do the strains come from??? Or ring species, they clearly indicate evolution and I'm pretty sure it's even been observed.

    Peppered moth always works well to teach about evolution and natural selection as well speciation has been observed quite a few times.

    You should post his 'strong counter arguments' here because I believe this problem you are having is that you both do not know enough about evolution. (you included because if you KNEW what evolution was you'd easily be able to show that it occurs.)
  4. Mar 5, 2010 #3
    evolution is acually not a fact but a theory a very strong one i might add and one which i firmly believe in. theorys can never be proven only strengthened by observation or other means of proof. or of course disproven which i dont believe will ever happen.
    thanks for your input, i dont believe you realise how hard it is to make this man believe in evolution.
    i explaned to him about the evolution of the peppered moth which were light coloured to start with and then the industrial revolution happened and a mutation acounted for a dark moth to appear then because of the pollution the white ones were the moths that got eaten more often because they were more visable to predators and through natural selection over a fairly short time the dark moths in time passed on their genes and then in turn became more abundant!
    he just wouldnt have it! i will have to note down his arguments in detail so we can disect them at our lesure.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2010
  5. Mar 5, 2010 #4


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    No, evolution is a fact, the change has happened and has been observed and this change is evolution.
    The theory of evolution is about understanding the mechanism of the change, not the change itself.
  6. Mar 5, 2010 #5
    No. This is not true there is a theory of Natural Selection, which ThomasEdison has pointed out. This theory was brought about to explain evolution.

    ThomasEdison is also correct when he states that most people who are arguing against evolution bring up other theories in order to somehow discredit evolution. That's their perogative, as I said before it comes down to a misunderstanding of what the phenomena is.
    To list out the most popular potential arguments used by people arguing 'against evolution':

    1. Evolution doesn't show where life originated, therefore it's wrong.
    This is wrong because evolution does not encompass any theories of origin of life. Evolution in a biological sense only occurs when life is existing. The theory which discusses where life on Earth originated is called abiogenesis and it is not really a theory of biology but a theory of chemistry. Which I'm sure your 'chemist friend' surely knows.

    2. Microevolution occurs but Macroevolution doesn't.
    First it's necessary to understand there is 'no such thing' as 'microevolution' and 'macroevolution'. These terms were brought into existence by creationist in order to dispute that one lifeform can, over time, change into another. You have to find out where the arbitrary cut-off point is for micro-macro evolution and why the cut-off is located at that 'point'. Normally it's speciation, however speciation has been observed plenty of times. Normally they twist the definition of species since it's not a very well defined word in biology currently but that doesn't change the fact that some level of what they would call 'macroevolution' does occur.

    3. Sometimes they attempt to use mathematics in order to 'prove' that evolution could never occur.
    You would have to post the specific attempt here in order for it to be deconstructed.

    4. The fact that animals only give birth to animals which are like themselves disproves evolution since beneficial mutations occur very rarely.
    Well since there is a plethora of observed instances of evolution there's really no point in wasting time to argue against this. If a person attempts to use this argument continues to be ignorant of observations then you're much better off not arguing with them any further.

    5. The 'transitional' lifeform argument.
    This is quite possibly the most infamous argument used by creationist to disprove evolution. It really doesn't follow logically it's like asking: Where does black end and white begin on a black->white gradient? Pointless question.

    As you can see there are PLENTY of arguments which attempt to 'disprove evolution'. Sometimes people even say: "'insert holy scripture here' says that it didn't happen that way so that means evolution is wrong." Or sometimes they move into cosmological concerns (a branch of mostly physics) or they try to play 'moral' grounds or 'life is pointless' grounds. There is really no point in arguing with people who show gross ignorance. However if you write out the specific arguments which you are encountering and having difficultly refuting then I'll try to help you out in your refutations.

    EDIT: As well just to point out the theory of Natural Selection is not the only theory to attempt an explaination of evolution but it is by far the most popular and strongest theory.
  7. Mar 5, 2010 #6
  8. Mar 5, 2010 #7


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    I hate arguments like these, give it up. You are obviously not well versed in the field so don't bother. It would be like me saying that the theories behind superconductivity are wrong and some high schooler coming up to me and trying to prove me wrong by doing what you're doing even though his side of the story is right. Now, I really haven't dabbled in condensed matter but still, I am far more educated then said high schooler in the sciences. Whatever my response to this person would be, since the person is not well versed in the field, I could easily dismiss using flimsy arguments that aren't likely to be countered by someone who has no formal training in the field. Hell, I might even (as I assume he does) believe said flimsy arguments which would make it fairly impossible for the other person to make me change my mind.

    I mean really, when was the last time you got someone to change their mind on abortion or religion or whether or not the world was flat. You're not going to change his mind. Infact, you might even strengthen his views.
  9. Mar 6, 2010 #8
    can a theory ever be proven as fact?

    Dear readers. . .
    is it possible for ANY theory to be proven?

    i believe not,
    what do you think?
  10. Mar 6, 2010 #9


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    Re: can a theory ever be proven as fact?

    In the context you mean https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?p=2611504 a scientific theory implies that something has been proven and is generally accepted as being true.

    This was explained to you in your thread claiming the theory of evolution is not true.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2010
  11. Mar 6, 2010 #10


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    Unfortunately, regardless of his intelligence or scientific background in chemistry, it seems that when it comes to biology and evolution, he has checked his scientist badge at the door and instead reverted to relying on a belief system. To be fair, based on your own posts in this thread, it is also very possible you too are relying on a belief system for your own "belief" that evolution is accurate. The reason I say that is that you yourself seem to have a fairly rudimentary understanding of the subject and lack of familiarity with the field of research supporting this theory.

    This too often makes for a bad combination when someone who is not well-versed in the literature surrounding evolutionary theory is trying to explain the evidence (of which they only understand a small bite) to someone who is determined not to believe any of it and punch holes into the explanation. And, without a solid foundation of understanding the subject, they WILL find holes...not in the actual theory, but in your explanation of the theory. This only serves to reinforce their disbelief.

    It is usually more constructive to address specific questions and misconceptions frequently spread by those who do not believe in evolution to prevent others from being led down the same wrong path, and less constructive to try to explain all of evolutionary theory and convince someone who has already chosen a path of faith over rational understand (faith in the psychological, not religious sense) to change their views.
  12. Mar 6, 2010 #11


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    Re: can a theory ever be proven as fact?

    A theory can be shown to be in accordance with experience and evidence. That's the only sense in which a theory can be "proven as a fact".
  13. Mar 6, 2010 #12
    Re: evolution is wrong!

    So to answer your post now I'll start off by saying 'wikianswer' is not a good source to be citing here on physicsforums.

    Besides if you wanted to just ask any of the scientists here on PF if a scientific theory can be proven then they would all tell you the exact same thing: No. Proofs exist in areas such as mathematics and philosophy. What does any of this have to do with what we were discussing earlier?
    Absolutely nothing.

    Let me draw this out for you in a way which you will, hopefully, understand.

    Light. Light is an observed phenomenon. Now, we have various theories of light many of them actually. Does this mean that light is a theory??? No, it does not. Light is a word we have given to a phenomenon it has a strict definition which encompasses only that which is directly part of the phenomenon. Anything outside that (using logic/reasoning) will be a theory about light as opposed to the theory of light.
    Now what kinda theories are there?
    Well we have:
    -The old Hellenistic theories based on the '4 elements' they involved the 'light' coming from the eyes outwards. The biggest work of the time I think was by Ptolemy. There was another theory which wasn't accepted at the time which involved light travelling from the Sun as particles.

    -Optical theory then developed and changed up the game, light now came from sources. How it travelled was also explained.

    - Partical theory developed at the same time as Optical theory, and stated that light was made of energy particles. Newton had also followed up on this idea and wrote about it.

    - Wave theory developed pretty much because of Optical theory. Since particle theory could not explain why light refracted travelling into denser materials unless it assumped it sped up because of gravity. Descartes was the first to suggest that light was a wave and behaved similarily to sound waves.

    - Electromagnetic Theory continued to give additional observed properties to light and posed that light was a electromagnetic vibration.

    - Relativity came along and explained even more about the phenomena.

    - Quantum theories came along as well as wave-particle duality theories.

    Now there are clearly a plethora of theories that have been developed through the ages about light. Does this imply that light is a theory???

    Same goes for evolution, evolution is an observed phenomenon. Theoretical explainations of why it occurs are theories. Some mechanisms of evolution are also observed phenomenon however the connection between these mechanisms and evolution is still a scientific theory.

    Now if you had instead stated that this chemist friend of yours is disputing the theories about evolution that's a completely different ball park. To dispute evolution however, no go.
  14. Mar 6, 2010 #13


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    I have moved the OP's other thread back into this one.
  15. Mar 6, 2010 #14
    why do people say "the theory of evolution" when it is a fact and not a theory?, i have been mistaken sorry.
    i didnt know that you couldnt quote from wikki. i am new to this forum and i am just looking for answers.
    you are right, i do not have a scientific background and as its so easy to gain Infractions
    will be cautious as to reply to any further questions. shame really.
    isnt it funny that after all this i actually believe in evolution.
    my mistake was to confuse the theory of Natural Selection for evolution . maybe i will evolve a better understanding!

    i dont think i will bother talking about evolution to my friend! as many of you rightly say i am NEVER going to change his mind.
    thanks again for the input.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2010
  16. Mar 6, 2010 #15


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    Rob, have you read any of the explanations provided that explain what a scientific theory is?

  17. Mar 6, 2010 #16

    Char. Limit

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    You probably won't evolve a better understanding, but it's likely that you will eventually gain one. I'm still waiting, though, on that better understanding...
  18. Mar 6, 2010 #17
    amazing that a chemist does not believe in evolution. the simplest example of evolution is viral mutations. i mean, goodness, you cannot get any more simple than that. Look at the influenza season. Also, what about DNA sequence analysis and resulting phylogenic computations?

    i agree with the general sentiments on the board, if someone states that they dont believe in evolution, then don't bother trying to convince them because it is clear why they dont believe in evolution (but i am not allowed to say it in fear of being banned). in either case, the chemistry department should fire that person immediately.
  19. Mar 6, 2010 #18


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    Fire someone for their beliefs, even if it doesn't interfere with their ability to do their job? That's outrageous.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2010
  20. Mar 6, 2010 #19
    got emotional at the end. i was making the point of how frustrating it is to try to explain a fact (theory) to a scientist who just dismisses it because of their blindness. why cant you have evolution and "blindness" (again, i am not saying the word that may ban me). He probably believes in the Bohr model. that is ok. right? what a joke.
  21. Mar 6, 2010 #20


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    No one has been banned for typing the word god here, unless it was accompanied by religious nonsense or crackpottery.
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