Evolution as Fact2017 Sep 29
The neo-Darwinists of today know that evolution is a fact. They also have many hypotheses about the mechanisms of evolution which they freely invent and discard. Some of these mechanisms contradict each other, but remain accepted (e.g. gradualism vs punctuated equilibrium).
This may seem to be a situation of conflicts, but the key to understanding it is that evolution is actually two separate things: it is both 'fact' and 'theory'.
The 'fact' part is that naturalistic causes are considered to fully explain the origin of species. The 'theory' part is the collection of proposed mechanisms for how this did happen. Darwinian evolutionists are invested in the first part, but they will use or discard those in the second part at will. Falsifying a mechanism of the 'theory' therefore never has the effect of falsifying the 'fact'.
How can it be known that evolution is a 'fact'? Certainly the evidence does not lead exclusively to this conclusion. There is both evidence that lines up nicely with evolutionary explanations, and other evidence that is in falsifying conflict with it. Committed evolutionists often claim that there is no evidence that goes against their 'fact' of evolution. However this is because they are either ignorant, or they are closing their eyes to problems or are classifying them in their mind as items they can ignore because these only need further research.
The real reason for evolution being known as a 'fact' is due to non-scientific assumptions. note These include assumptions about God-like makers: note
See also The Atheistic God
They also hold to other metaphysical assumptions such as the idea that explanations via the invocation of natural causes are the only ones that are valid. But this then implies that philosophical ideas cannot be known to be valid. This then is a self-refuting fallacy because science itself is based on metaphysical assumptions which science cannot prove. Darwinian Metaphysics
- Such a being could do anything, therefore they would be expected to have spread out designs evenly over the space of all possibilities. However since we often see repeating patterns, these then more likely indicate that natural processes were the responsible agent (natural processes follow simple repeatable rules).
- God would not have designed the world to contain evil and/or bad content as it does. So the world had to have resulted from natural processes instead from creation. The "bad" designs (that presumably we see everywhere) would not have been made by a good designer, therefore they had to have been produced by unthinking natural processes.
These are clearly meta-physical arguments.
Note that these arguments have been around a long time. They had become common in Darwin's time, and he used them extensively in his "long argument" for evolution. The average neo-Darwinist today probably would not articulate these arguments and might not even recognize their basis nature. They are however foundational to Darwinian evolutionary confidence.
How ironic it is that the evolutionists "know" the fact of their view because (especially when as atheists) they "know" theological things about what god would do.