Science So Called
The discussion on the integrity in science and its adoption of a failed hypothesis can only be effective if a foundation is established – a definitional foundation. PSSI defines science as utilizing the five senses to apply the principles of the scientific method, which includes making empirical observations, proposing hypotheses to explain those observations, and testing those hypotheses in valid and reliable ways. That is an unconstrained approach to phenomena, an approach that was utilized in the founding of the major disciplines of science. It requires a hypothesis about phenomena to be tested and either revised or discarded should the application of the scientific method fail to confirm the hypothesis.
Another very important definition is for the term evolution. This word has numerous meanings, many of which do not comport with current scientific research. Unfortunately this word, unclarified, is used by many to mislead the public as to what scientific research supports. For clarity we will, against the protest of some, refine it with two prefixes, micro and macro. Microevolution refers to the process by which all forms of plant and animal life change slowly over time because of slight variations in the genes that one generation passes down to the next. A simple example of microevolution would be the number of different types of dogs. They have transitioned from an initial form of dog, but are all nevertheless still dogs. It is important to note that PSSI is aware of no one that disputes that microevolution is a fact. Macroevolution refers to the origin of groups of organisms, involving common ancestry, descent with modification, and large scale functional and structural changes, through random mutations and natural selection, resulting in the transformation of one species into another. An example of macroevolution would be simple organisms morphing over billions of years into homo sapiens.
The issue that PSSI is confronting is whether macroevolution is supported by scientific research. Let us be perfectly clear in that regard. There is no bona fide scientific research or evidence that demonstrates the ability of one animal species to generate a completely different species. Beyond that, at the simplest form of independent life, bacteria, macroevolution is not seen. Generations of bacteria are measured in minutes (20-30), yet in the over 150 years of the science of bacteriology, no evidence exists of one species of bacteria changing into another. With no evidence at the basic levels of life of such transitions, it should not be surprising that there is also no evidence for species transitions in more complex, multicellular organisms. You will find much in the scientific literature surmising how a particular organism arose in a macroevolutionary sense, but you will not find scientific research confirming those “just so” stories. Then why is macroevolution touted as a scientifically confirmed fact when the evidence doesn’t support such an opinion? Why hasn't the macroevolution hypothesis been discarded upon applying the scientific method discussed above? That will be the subject of our next article.