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Guest post by Sarah: Why your theory matters [Apr. 13th, 2010|10:02 am]
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A few days ago, I made a request. “I am looking for examples of young earth creation scientists whose literalist Bible belief has assisted them in a helpful discovery.” The request was misunderstood as I expected. Creationists don’t generally use the belief of the six-day creation story (where God simply spoke everything into existence) as a tool to form hypotheses, to define their expectations that lead them through research and discovery. Since they don’t normally think using this methodology, so the principle to them seems unimportant. I bring it up because I have found it important to have a developed theoretical foundation.

(Quoting Sarah)
…. The reason we want to know about this question is because we are familiar with how the principle works coming from an understanding of evolution.

The great thing about science is it is predictive. It makes concrete “prophecies” if you will. Things like “if x is true, then y must also be true.” Evolution, being a vast and thorough theory has made and fulfilled many predictions. An example:

Evolution declares that snakes evolved from lizards. A specialist in venom asked the question, “Where did venom come from? How did it evolve?” If snakes came from lizards, then lizards must have some of the compounds required to be venomous. Only two lizards out of 5,000 are known to be toxic: the gila monster and the bearded lizard. It was assumed they maintained some highly acidic bacteria in their saliva that was corrosive to most organisms. The question of where venom came from required an answer congruent with evolution, else the theory would be in trouble. Accepting that evolution is true the answer must necessarily lie in the glands of lizards. He looked exactly there and found that it was not strong bacteria causing toxicity in these two lizards, but a simple, slow venom. These are the older, simpler compounds that were concentrated and strengthened in snake venoms. What’s more is every lizard is equipped with these compounds, which function as digestive aids! Viola!… See more

Another example of how the theory of evolution is predictive is with a hawk moth and the madascar orchid. Hawk moths and orchids co-evolved so tightly that these moths feed only on this flower, and the flower is pollinated only by these moths. This is ensured by the depth of the cavity in the flower that holds the rich nectar. The depth is matched only and exactly by the length of the moth’s proboscis. This method is so successful that species of these two genus have been sectioned off into unique pairs; you can tell what species of moth is present in the region by the flower, and vice versa. One orchid was discovered whose nectar cavity had receded 12″ deep, and no moth was yet discovered whose proboscis could reach it. The search was on, and lo, 40 years later, it yielded an as yet undiscovered hawk moth species meeting exactly the specifications predicted by evolution; a moth with a 12″ mouth.

It works retroactively too. This is a flounder: http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/image/0012/164001/flounder.jpg It has both it’s eyes on one side of it’s body. It’s a bizarrely asymmetrical animal that has had evolutionary biologists scratching their heads for years, including Darwin himself. It seemed implausible that a fish would gradually move its eye over its head for such a pointed purpose with no benefit in between. A fish having the same morphology and genetics with an eye moving halfway around the head *must* exist. The problem was shelved until the Heteronectus Chaneti fossil was found. There was no reason to believe such a thing existed, except that evolution demanded there be one. It was the logical conclusion that must necessarily be true by extension if evolution is also true.

In this way evolution has made countless predictions that are very specific. These animals must exist in a specific location and a specific era with specified traits. If it’s a fossil it can’t be found in the wrong rock or the wrong continent. The predictions are concise and consistent with the theory, and many bushels of them have been vindicated. It is this cycle of theory and predictive hypothesis that I have not been able to fathom applying to creationism, and I was hoping someone could bridge the gap in my imagination.

Mirrored from notetoself.net.