Is “Evolution” a “Theory” or “Fact” or Is This Just a Trivial Game of Semantics? (Part 2)

[Editor’s Note: This is a Part 2 of a 5 part series on whether evolution should be called a “theory” or a “fact.” See: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5. The full article can be found here.] In Part 1, I assessed the question of whether Darwinists are correct to define theory as a “well-substantiated scientific explanation of some aspect of the natural world” or a “comprehensive explanation of some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of evidence” (the hard definition of theory). I found that they are correct to use such a definition, but that Darwinists sometimes overly downplay the fact that theory can also legitimately mean merely “a proposed explanation Read More ›

Is “Evolution” a “Theory” or “Fact,” or Is This Just a Trivial Game of Semantics? (Part 1)

[Editor’s Note: This is a Part 1 of a 5 part series on whether evolution should be called a “theory” or a “fact.” See: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5. The full article can be found here.] Many members of the general public who are skeptics of Darwinian evolution are intelligent people with a decent understanding of some of the scientific weaknesses with neo-Darwinian evolution. In fact, a recent article in The Scientist suggests that, “public discontent with classical evolution as an inclusive theory stems partly from an intuitive appreciation of its limits.” (Eric Smith, “Before Darwin,” The Scientist, June 2008:32-38.) But in this highly nuanced debate, such Darwin-skeptics must avoid semantic land mines if they Read More ›

Starting to Explain the Mysterious “Altenberg 16” (Updated)

Update: Since this article was first published in 2008, Susan Mazur’s articles, which are referenced below, have been removed from the internet. For ENV readers who would still like to see her writings, the best option is to pick up a copy of Mazur’s book The Altenberg 16: An Exposé of the Evolution Industry, available on Amazon. Mazur’s book contains most of the same information and material cited from her articles below. Recently, Rob Crowther reported on the “Altenberg 16” conference that was planned for Altenberg, Austria. Sixteen leading leading evolutionary scientists — who do not support intelligent design but do have doubts about Darwinism — were to re-evaluate the core claims of neo-Darwinism. The conference apparently did happen, as Read More ›

Tiktaalik roseae: Where’s the Wrist? (Updated)

[UPDATE: I have responded to Carl Zimmer’s critiques with updates and corrections, here.] I recently picked up Your Inner Fish, a highly simplified science book written for a popular audience by paleontologist Neil Shubin that promotes the alleged intermediate fossil between fish and tetrapods, Tiktaalik roseae. On page 83, Shubin’s book contains a nice diagram comparing the skull-components of a human head to the skull of a primitive craniate fish. It’s a vague comparison that does little to convince that fish-heads formed the template for mammal heads. But that’s not the focus of Shubin’s book. The primary feature that excites Shubin and other evolutionary paleontologists about Tiktaalik isn’t found in its head: it’s that this fossil is allegedly “a fish Read More ›

National Geographic Finds Opportunity to Conflate Intelligent Design with Creationism while Misreporting Fish Fossil

In the past, I have observed that the newsmedia and scientific establishment commonly promote the Darwinist bias against intelligent design (ID), where the media “carefully selects the sources of information it will broadcast to the public on this issue.” (To see how various groups in the establishment serve as checkpoints to prevent scientific information that challenges neo-Darwinism from reaching the public, observe the diagram at left.) National Geographic (NG) is doing its job as a media checkpoint, promoting biased information to the public on ID. In an article yesterday about a new fish fossil-find, the NG news headline states, “Odd Fish Find Contradicts Intelligent-Design Argument.” According to the story, “Intelligent design advocates have seized on the idea of instant flatfish Read More ›