Six Meanings of Evolution
I read with great dismay the May 24, 2010 article by Karl Gilberson in USA Today entitled “Atheists it’s time to play well with others.” I could not believe this author is a professor anywhere, let alone at a supposedly Christian college! The complete lack of common understanding of what science is stands out clearly, so I will try, as patiently and gently as possible, to explain his lack of understanding.
In Mr. Gilberson’s article he continually alludes to “science” and “religion” and marvels that those who hold to “religion” cannot “accept” science which he insists must include the evolution theory and the big bang. Obviously no one explained to him that science means knowledge. Modern science is a collection of all the things we know in various fields. As a fifteen-year-veteran high school biology teacher, I always feel compelled to speak out when someone such as Mr. Gilberson, tries to sneak in the evolution theory as part of scientific facts. The word evolution has six different and unrelated meanings or stages. One definition is scientific fact, but the other five are not. Therein lies the problem.
The Six Meanings of Evolution
Cosmic evolution: the origin of time, space, and matter from nothing in the “big bang”
Chemical evolution: all elements “evolved” from hydrogen
Stellar evolution: stars and planets formed from gas clouds
Organic evolution: life begins from inanimate matter
Macro-evolution: animals and plants change from one type into another
Micro-evolution: variations form within the “kind”
Only the last one, micro-evolution, has anything to do with real science. For all of human history we have observed variations within the kinds such as 400± varieties of dogs coming from a dog-like ancestor such as a fox or a wolf. Dogs produce dogs and corn produces corn. There may be great variations within the basic kind but that is NOT evidence that dogs and corn are related! Every farmer on planet earth counts on micro-evolution happening as he develops crops or herds best suited for his area, but he also counts on macro-evolution NOT happening. Anything other than minor changes within the kind is not part of science. Evolution as defined as macro-evolution is a religion in every sense of the word. People are welcome to BELIEVE the first five types of evolution, but they are not part of science or common sense.
I would encourage you to watch Eric’s Creation Minute on the “Six Types of Evolution,” or check out “Lies in the Textbooks” which deals with many of the scientific problems with the macro-evolution theory.