Some people might say, ‘the reason to believe in evolution is that it’s true. Period.’
I disagree with this. Change the word ‘evolution’ to some other word and it doesn’t work.
‘The reason to believe that WWII happened is because that’s true. Period.’
Here’s why that sentence doesn’t make sense. No one is magically given truth as a child. And there are so many facts that some people think are universal knowledge, but really aren’t. We have to find stuff out when we learn it. Sure, we learn about WWII pretty early in life because people before us decided to put it in text books and erect museums and make movies, etc. But we can’t know that it happened. And if we hear from one particular source, then why should we believe it? But, when it comes to WWII we have a whole bunch of sources. So, becomes more tempting to believe it the more sources we get.
But it is hypothetically possible that WWII didn’t happen. Here’s a way: Everyone got together in the 1930s and decided that the future generations should believe that a huge war took place again shortly after WWI for some reason. So they shot some films, printed up newspapers, created weapons, killed off a large portion of our population, etc. They would have to do all this for the evidence to be there without a war having actually happened. But as far as I know at age 32 (two more weeks til 33) it’s possible that it was all faked.
That is possible. But also seems highly unlikely.
So, I weigh the unlikeliness of the two scenarios in my brain. In that way, my sense of logic and truth act like a scale. Huge conspiracy theory on one side. WWII on the other. My life experience tells me that conspiracy theories are harder to pull off the more people you involve. And a conspiracy this big would have involved whole nations to put together. Therefore it is highly unlikely and I believe WWII really happened.
The fact that the statement is truthful does not prevent me from going through a process to believe in its truthfulness. I would go through the same process for any claim.
Sometimes the process is short:
‘Do you believe in bridge trolls?’
Sometimes the process takes a lot longer:
‘Do you believe in quantum entanglement?’
‘I’ll have to get back to you on that.’
And then I would pile up the evidence and apply my life experience and come up with the answer of ‘yes I do, but I’m not as certain about that as I am about bridge trolls, because I don’t fully understand it.’
Evolution is real to me. Mainly, because the sheer number of scientists who must be wrong or lying to make it false is extremely large. I can’t believe based on my life experience that that many educated people could be involved in on a conspiracy or be completely wrong, or a mix of both. It’s too unlikely.
So, evolution must be real. And even though I find the evidence to be fascinating, I don’t really need to ‘see it for myself’ anymore than I require my physician to show me his diplomas, test scores, and pictures of him in college. It’s very unlikely that he is where he is if he’s lying. The likelihood of that seems much less than the likelihood he’s telling the truth.
And I don’t require a time machine to prove to me that WWII happened or the War of the Roses or the reign of James I.
I’m happy to discuss proof of evolution if you like. I actually love talking about that stuff. In another life (if you believe in Hinduism or some other multi-life reality) I am a scientist by day who is obsessed with acting, but never really tries it professionally. But in this life I’m not a scientist. Just a struggling actor. So, when I look at the evidence I have to take the scientists’ word for it that it looks the way that one interprets it to be what they say it is. I’ve read so much about the stars. But I’m still not an expert. I just have to trust experts.
Experts can be wrong, but what is the likelihood that this many scientists over the years and living today were all wrong about this issue they all seem so sure about? I would say low or slim to none.
Just add up the numbers of scientists who currently believe this vs. those that don’t. Then see how those numbers are affected by going back in time to the evidence? Evolution started out as a fringe idea. Evidence was presented and more people bought into it. As more evidence was brought in more scientists believed it. Same thing is true of gravity and quantum physics and many other ideas.
The opposite is true of the luminiferous ether. It was thought of as an idea with no evidence – a hypothesis. Then as contradictory evidence was presented fewer and few believed in it. Now, practically no scientist believes in the existence of the ether. It’s not a controversy.
The idea of the ether doesn’t make people uncomfortable. The idea that our great great great great great great (add a few thousand more greats) grandfather looked more like an ape as we know them today than they did a human. If you find that fact uncomfortable then I understand wanting to believe in Creation Science. But you need to admit that. Not that the evidence is strong. It’s not. It’s constant stream of falsified evidence and misunderstandings of scientific concepts and nothing more. But we can fool ourselves more easily because of our desire to be right.
I have no desire for evolution to be true. I’d be fine if the evidence supported creation science. I believe what I believe based on the evidence and not on my personal desires. If you show me more evidence for your case than I can find against it then I believe in your thing. Sound capricious? It shouldn’t be. It seems like the only way to make decisions to me.
As I said, I’m happy to dialogue about this. But only in a calm and friendly manner. If it gets yell-y or inflamed up in here then I’m deleting your comments off my blog. This is not a news source, this is my own private corner of the web. I will not delete your comment if I disagree with you. But I will if you get rude.