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Evolution and Gravity

We often hear from Darwinists that “the theory of evolution is as well tested as the theory of gravity”. Strangely though, we never hear physicists saying that the theory of gravity is as well tested as the theory of evolution. :lol:

Anyhow, I was just reading yet another Darwinian Narrative on the genetic similarities and differences between man and chimp but how we don’t really know which differences are the important ones. In point of fact, we don’t really know if the DNA differences are even significant. The only thing we really know is that a chimp is a chimp because its mother was a chimp. Beyond that, it’s nothing but guesswork.

Then I thought about how this compares to the theory of gravity. We know enough about gravity so that we routinely spend billions of dollars launching interplanetary unmanned exploratory spacecraft that, with exquisite precision predicted long before the craft is launched, it moves about the solar system, arriving at known points within meters and seconds years after it is launched and after having traveled circuitous routes for billions of miles. Contrast that with how well we can predict what it takes to turn a chimp into a human. That, my friends, is a true example of how well the theory of evolution has been tested. It hasn’t been tested at all. It’s nothing but WAGs and hand waving. Gravity, on the other hand, is indeed well tested. And that’s why you’ll never hear a physicist saying the theory of gravity is as well tested as the theory of evolution.

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26 Responses to Evolution and Gravity

  1. Excellent!!!

  2. I like David Berlinski’s comment that evolutionary theory is thus: Variation and selection explain finch beak changes and bacterial antibiotic resistance. All the rest of biology is explained by more of the same.

    Berlinski observes that this kind of unsupported extrapolation doesn’t even fall into the category of a genuine scientific theory. To suggest that this is on a par with the inverse square law that describes gravity is simply ludicrous.

  3. 3

    Nice post Dave.

  4. The problem with equating that evolution theory is just as solid a theory as the theory of gravity is that it is a false assumption. We have no idea what gravity is and how it works! Not only do we not know what causes it we can’t explain it. The best we can do is find some mathematics which seem to fit the observations. Our math assumes an instantaneous force which acts at a distance. This is however impossible since it would need to travel at speeds faster than the speed of light which Relativity prohibits. So our two Theories of Gravity (Newtonian and Special Relativity) are in conflict.

    “That one body may act upon another at a distance through a vacuum, without the mediation of any thing else, by and through which their action and force may be conveyed from one to the other, is to me so great an absurdity, that I believe no man who has in philosophical matters a competent faculty of thinking, can ever fall into it.” –Sir Isaac Newton

  5. “That, my friends, is a true example of how well the theory of evolution has been tested. It hasn’t been tested at all.”

    Very, very bold claim.

    Please cite evidence.

    A nature.com search of the word “evolution” gives 60,000 results (I realize not all the results are scientific papers, and some papers use “evolution” in different ways, however, many, many thousand still use evolution in the ways criticized here, I’m just not good at filtering them out).

    That’s a whole lot of not testing.

    EDIT: This loony tune has already been banned by me. – P

  6. “It hasn’t been tested at all” – It has been tested and it has failed. Like the black knight in Monty Python & The Holy Grail, Darwinists won’t admit defeat.
    John Sanford describes the failure of mutational crop engineering is his book “Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome”. I met him a couple months ago and he told me of one evolutionist he worked with that read his book 3 times, admitted he was right but still couldn’t admit life could have been intelligently designed.

  7. we never hear physicists saying that the theory of gravity is as well tested as the theory of evolution.

    I had several physics professors who were anti-ID, and two of them debated Behe and Bill Dembski. None of them, when lecturaing about gravity, said gravitational theory was as well tested as the theory of evolution. :-)

  8. John Sanford describes the failure of mutational crop engineering is his book “Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome”. I met him a couple months ago and he told me of one evolutionist he worked with that read his book 3 times, admitted he was right but still couldn’t admit life could have been intelligently designed.

    I am SO delighted Sanford is being quoted so frequently at UD. I felt it was only matter of time….

    When asked about the best ID sympathetic book for a serious newcomer to ID, I always recommned Sanford’s book. The objections to the content of that book have been anemic at best, and the “best” objections resorted to misrepresentation to given any appearance of a credible case….

    Regarding gravity, see Gravity

    Modern physics describes gravitation using the general theory of relativity, but the much simpler Newton’s law of universal gravitation provides an excellent approximation in most cases.

    These theories explain planetary motion so well. Modern Evolutoinary theory, by contrast, cannot explain the problems outlined in Genetic Entropy. I think Genetic Entropy has basically provided a line of argumentation that falsifies the major tenets of Darwinism…further, genetic entropy is a scientifically testable hypothesis.

    We might be saying someday, “without intelligent assistance, genetic entropy (not Darwinism), is as good as the theory of gravity!”

  9. Somewhat off ( but related ) – topic: This article, just out in New Scientist may be interesting. I would certainly be interested in comments from UD et al.

    http://www.newscientist.com/ch.....e-lab.html

  10. toc, I believe the subject of the article you referenced is being discussed here: Behe’s “Multiple mutations needed for E. coli”

  11. 11

    Re DK:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_of_gravity

    excerpt:

    Speed of gravity

    Experimental measurement?

    The speed of gravity can be calculated from observations of the orbital decay rate of binary pulsars PSR 1913+16 and PSR B1534+12. The orbits of these pulsars around each other is decaying due to loss of energy in the form of gravitational radiation. The rate of this energy loss (“gravitational damping”) can be measured, and since it depends on the speed of gravity, comparing the measured values to theory shows that the speed of gravity is equal to the speed of light to within 1%. [14] (However, measuring the speed of gravity by comparing theoretical results with experimental results will depend on the theory; use of a theory other than that of general relativity could in principle show a different speed, although the existence of gravitational damping at all implies that the speed cannot be infinite.)

    In September 2002, Sergei Kopeikin and Edward Fomalont announced that they had made an indirect measurement of the speed of gravity, using their data from VLBI measurement of the retarded position of Jupiter on its orbit during Jupiter’s transit across the line-of-sight of the bright radio source quasar QSO J0842+1835. Kopeikin and Fomalont concluded that the speed of gravity is between 0.8 and 1.2 times the speed of light, which would be fully consistent with the theoretical prediction of general relativity that the speed of gravity is exactly the same as the speed of light.

    —-

    As a side note, as DaveScot points out, the space program can accomplish truly amazing feats with what we currently know about Gravity:

    “We know enough about gravity so that we routinely spend billions of dollars launching interplanetary unmanned exploratory spacecraft that, with exquisite precision predicted long before the craft is launched, it moves about the solar system, arriving at known points within meters and seconds years after it is launched and after having traveled circuitous routes for billions of miles.”

    Yet, in spite of this current impressive level of understanding, there is still a severe problem with our foundational understanding of where gravity comes from(as well as with where the cosmological constant comes from):

    Scientists estimate that 90 to 99 percent of the total mass of the universe is missing matter. Bruce H. Margon, chairman of the astronomy department at the University of Washington, told the New York Times, “It’s a fairly embarrassing situation to admit that we can’t find 90 percent of the universe”

    “The abstract of the September 1006 Report of the Dark Energy Task Force (which, “was established by the Astronomy and Astrophysics Advisory Committee [AAAC] and the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel [HEPAP] as a joint sub-committee to advise the Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation on future dark energy research”) says:
    “Dark energy appears to be the nt component of the physical Universe, yet there is no persuasive theoretical explanation for its existence or magnitude. The acceleration of the Universe is, along with dark matter, the observed phenomenon that most directly demonstrates that our (materialistic) theories of fundamental particles and gravity are either incorrect or incomplete. Most experts believe that nothing short of a revolution in our understanding of fundamental physics will be required to achieve a full understanding of the cosmic acceleration. For these reasons, the nature of dark energy ranks among the very most compelling of all outstanding problems in physical science. These circumstances demand an ambitious observational program to determine the dark energy properties as well as possible.”

    For me this problem clearly points to a profound difference between the Theistic and Materialistic philosophies and their approach to science. Materialism presupposes all forces to arise from a material basis (particles), thus we have the huge problem with “missing matter” or excess gravity, whereas, Theism presupposes all forces to arise from God from some undefined higher dimension.

    Colosians 1:17
    He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

    The philosophy of Materialism has a huge problem, to put it mildly, if it can’t find 95% of the material of this universe it insists is suppose to exist. What’s more the problem may be intractable for materialism, because the “missing matter” had to be “invented” to keep the equations of gravity, that explain gravity (space/time curvature) to a material basis, from becoming ineffective (Though as DaveScot pointed out Gravity equations) do work very well for our space program). Yet, there very well may be a way around this problem with the general relativity equations. If scientists and mathematicians were to treat the force of gravity as a primary constituent of the universe and were to treat matter as subordinate to gravity (as Theism postulates), then the equations that explain gravity may very well be able to be reconfigured, or reinterpreted, to reflect this proposed truth found from the Theistic perspective. The Theistic postulation would state that space is curved from a higher dimension to enable matter to exist, and to have an existence that is conducive for life to exist in this universe. In fact, gravity is already found to be conducive (finely-tuned) for life at the level of star formation. That is to say, gravity is found in the anthropic principle (which is actually a Theistic postulation) to be exactly what it needs to be in order to allow the right type of stars to form, for the right duration of time, to allow life to be possible in this universe. Thus, the Theistic postulation for gravity has already found preliminary validation in empirical evidence. The question that truly needs to be asked, to solve this missing matter mystery, is not the vain materialistic question of “Where is the missing matter in this universe?” but is the Theistic question of “Why is it necessary for this precise amount of gravity to emanate from a higher dimension in order for life to exist in this universe?” It seems a preliminary answer to this question is already found in the anthropic principle once again. If gravity were not at it’s “just right” value in the big bang, a universe conducive to life would not exist. That is to say, gravity is found to act as the counterbalance of the big bang. If gravity were weaker, the big bang would have been “too e” and matter would have been too thinly spread out to allow the formation of galaxies, stars and planets. Thus, life in this universe would not have been possible. If gravity were a bit stronger at the big bang, matter would have collapsed in on itself shortly after the big bang. Again life, as we know it, would not have been possible. Thus in the anthropic principle, we already find a preliminary reason for the huge amount of “missing matter’ to exist, whereas the materialistic philosophy can postulate no reason why the matter is missing and is left vainly searching for non-existent matter in this universe to account for the “excessive” gravity that is found in this universe. I believe the amount of “missing matter” can be further refined to the anthropic principle. For instance, the missing matter may be further refined to reflect the fact that the huge amount of missing matter actually allows us the truly fortunate privilege of scanning the universe unimpeded with our telescopes ( “The Privileged Planet” by Guillermo Gonzalez Ph.D.). That is to say, if the huge amount of missing matter actually did exist, the universe would be a lot less “see through” than what it currently is. Our knowledge of the history of the universe would suffer dramatically as a result of this reduced visibility. As well, it is very likely that an answer for why the galaxies rotate at the much greater “unpredicted” value that they do will be found in the anthropic principle instead of the materialistic philosophy. As pointed out earlier, the Theistic postulations in science have already provided many correct predictions with stunning empirical validations. Predictions that materialism not only did not predict but was blatantly incorrect on. Thus, it is only natural to look to the Theistic postulations to answer the many remaining questions we have about the universe. To give further evidence of this “missing matter” problem, all matter is reducible to energy as illustrated by Einstein’s famous equation of e=mc2. Thus it may be plainly said that all material in the universe has been created out of energy. Yet energy in and of itself does not produce the force of gravity (space-time curvature). In fact, energy has exactly the opposite effect of gravity. Energy is thought, and somewhat verified, to actually make space “expand”, by “exactly the right amount” to allow life to be possible. Put simply, matter is not justified by the overall empirical evidence in science to have a totally equal status with gravity in gravity equations. Theism is free to expect gravity to arise independently of material objects from a higher dimension without ever having to “invent” matter that will, by all current indications of empirical evidence, never be found in the “physical” dimension of this universe but will only be found when taking into consideration the “primary higher dimension” of the Theistic philosophy.

  12. ba77

    A number of inaccuracies I see in your last. It isn’t so much a theoretical lack of understanding about the particle which transmits the gravitational force (the elusive hypothetical graviton) as it is a lack of sufficient sensitivity in any experimental apparatus to confirm its existence. Another error is saying that “materialism” cannot or will not draw upon extra dimensions. This is wholly untrue. As far as I know all the serious GUTs (Grand Unified Theories) which attempt to reconcile quantum gravity with general relativity call upon some number of unobserved dimensions. String theories predict anywhere from 10 to 26 dimensions! That’s quite an increase above the 4 we know and deal with everyday.

    However, I do heartily agree that when physics has no explanation whatsoever for 70% of the constituent mass of the universe (dark energy) and astronomers can’t identify another 20% of the mass of the universe which physics is able to describe (dark matter) then having the other 5% well characterized is about like having the surface of the ocean well characterized without knowing anything about what lies below the surface. There’s only so much (and it isn’t very much) which can be deduced about the deep oceans from only observation of the waves and froth on the surface. It’s the same with the universe. There’s far more we don’t know than we do know. Ruling anything beyond current powers of observation as “supernatural” and “outside the scope of science” is not good science. “God” might very well be composed of dark energy and thus, for now, hidden from our view. The so-called science stoppers are the ones that impose limits on science by saying there are things which are beyond its scope. What’s outside the scope of science today might very well be within the scope of science tomorrow. I don’t put limits on science any more than theists put limits on God. Arthur C. Clarke understood this very well as I’ve mentioned often here before and expressed it in his “Three Laws of Prediction”

    1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

    2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.

    3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

  13. 13

    Thanks for the constructive criticism DaveScot, Yet, despite all the flaws in my amateur paper, I still believe my criticism of unwarranted invention of hypothetical particles (gravitons in this case) by materialism, is in direct contradiction to what would have happened from a “scientific” Theistic standpoint.

    As well I am not literate on string theory but in “The Devil’s Delusion” Berlinski is ,to put it mildly, less that impressed with the invention of all these “higher dimensions” in string theory and, if memory serves me correctly, he delivers a fairly solid rebuttal of String Theory’s validity to physical reality.

  14. The Devil’s Delusion is sitting on my nightstand about 2/3 unread. I can only stand so much flowery prose substituting for actual substance in any one book and about 75 pages of Berlinski went over my limit. Berlinski is best taken in small doses IMO and not taken seriously in any dosage. His writing can be entertaining, he has a way with words and a remarkable vocabulary for sure, but that’s about as far as it goes in my opinion. That said, if you want to be more specific, I do have the book and if you can describe what impressed you in more detail I might be inspired to try to slog my way through the rest of the book. I hate to spend good money on a book and find it not worth the price but right now that’s how I feel about that particular book.

    Regardless of the extra dimensions in string theory, you made the claim that materialism refuses to acknowledge the possibility of other dimensions and clearly that claim is false.

  15. 15

    I ally left the book (Devil’s Delusion) at the library after listing some references out of it, and it disappeared when I had returned for it. But a quick search for criticisms of super-string turns up this:

    Superstring theory” syndrome

    http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/nakanishi2.pdf

    excerpt:

    Recently, superstring theory is extraordinarily fashionable among the researchers of
    elementary-particle physics. The sales point of this theory is anomaly-free (the absence
    of anomaly), but the way of its fashion cannot be said to be anomaly-free.
    While the standard theory consisting of electroweak theory and quantum chromodynamics
    is steadily establishing its footing, various attempts at going beyond the standard theory
    are flustrated one after another. It seems that any of grand unified theories, supersymmetry,
    supergravity, Kaluza-Klein theory, and Kaluza-Klein supergravity do not go well. This frustration
    seems to have made people jump at the superstring theory which appeared in good
    timing. But this phenomenon looks unreasonable, because the superstring theory should be
    regarded as an extension of these unsuccessful theories. Ordinary development of natural
    science goes to the direction in which the theory has been successful. But this time people
    are making the theory develope further just because it has been unsuccessful.

    Can the superstring theory become physics?

    http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/nakanishi3.pdf

    excerpt:

    I wrote comments criticizing the superstring in the Sory¯usiron Kenky¯u (Research of Elementary Particles) 1) and in a magazine Parity 2) in 1986. Reading them again now, I do not feel any necessity of revising them. It seems that the superstring had been too much based on wishful expectations.
    General relativity was a theory having the sturcture quite foreign to the mechanics established before that time. However, Einstein was quite right in believing the correctness of his theory before knowing the observational result of Eddington. The reasons are as
    follows: First, general relativity was constructed from the clear-cut first principles. Second,
    it included the already firmly-established Newtonian mechanics as an approximation in a
    natural way. Third, it explained the precession of perihelion of Mercury, which any other
    theory had been unable to explain, quantitatively without introducing any new adjustable
    parameter.
    If the superstring is the “theory of everything”, it is not inadequate to compare it with general relativity. It is remarkable, however, that the superstring has no ground corresponding to anyone of the above three. First, it was not constructed on the basis of any fundamental principle….

  16. ba77

    I made no claim at all about the validity of string theory. Personally I think anyone who starts calling out unknown dimensions to explain the unknown isn’t playing with a full deck if you get my drift. My sole point was a refutation of your point that materialists refuse to acknowledge the possibility of higher dimensions. They can be as desperate as anyone else to make up crap like extra dimensions out of thin air in an attempt to explain the unexplained. I find so-called multiverse explanations held out by materialists to be just as laughable as any stories about deities. Heck, in an infinite multiverse there must be an infinite number of them where Odin, Zeus, Thor, and Hercules are all real. Spare me. There’s too much we actually can learn about the local universe here and now to waste time speculating about spooky extra dimensions and stuff which are in all likelyhood never going to cure malaria, feed a hungry child, prevent war, or have any other practical benefit.

  17. 17

    DaveScot,
    Actually I found it quite surprising that super-string was built on such a unstable foundation. And also like you am very scepticle of (materialistic) postulations of a multi-verse and the MWI of quantum mechanics. Each of which, as you well know are brought up by ID detractors, from time to time, to counter the inference to a transcendent Theistic Designer (God Almighty). Though there is little value in fairy tales, Thor, Zeus etc etc.., to real world problems, I do believe that a better and more complete understanding of God Almighty, who is definitely no fairy tale, to His creation and to humanity does indeed have a positive moral impact on humanity. Just look what the “godless” societies have wrought as far as de^ath and misery is concerned when compared to what delusional religious fanatics have wrought. Thus though it may not help us in our fight against malaria and such I do believe morals (feeding hungry children) is definitely effected the more we realize Almighty God is in fact really real.

  18. Sorry…what is a WAG?

  19. Berceuse:

    Wild Ass Guess

    a SWAG is a Scientific Wild Ass Guess

  20. It’s remarkable that such a well tested theory has to resort to regular vindications to prove just how well it works.

    http://www.newscientist.com/ch.....e-lab.html

    Consider this revealing news item from slashdot on Tuesday http://science.slashdot.org/ar.....10/1845250

    … news sure to perplex and confound creationists: scientists have watched a new, complex evolutionary trait develop in the lab.

    Commenters proceed to show just how balanced they treat findings.

  21. 21

    DaveScot,

    I just reread your post,

    “There’s far more we don’t know than we do know. Ruling anything beyond current powers of observation as “supernatural” and “outside the scope of science” is not good science. “God” might very well be composed of dark energy and thus, for now, hidden from our view. The so-called science stoppers are the ones that impose limits on science by saying there are things which are beyond its scope. What’s outside the scope of science today might very well be within the scope of science tomorrow.”

    I completely missed that the first time I read your post, and I certainly agree with that statement, except for the fact that I believe that the “Infinite Mind of God” (information) will be found to be foundational to dark Energy as well as it is currently being found foundational to “visible” energy and matter. (Zeilinger)

  22. vpr,

    Funny thing is those results are right within our predictions… The only people “perplexed and confused” are the Darwinists who trumpet this as devastating. It’s the opposite. It provides even more evidence to establish a better estimate for the “edge”.

  23. vpr:

    It’s remarkable that such a well tested theory has to resort to regular vindications to prove just how well it works.

    This is a dead giveaway that a theory is in trouble. Evolutionary theory is supposed to be as well established as the fact that the earth orbits the sun. When was the last time you saw an article touting further evidence that the earth orbits the sun?

  24. Darwinists would be correct if they said that the situation of the theory of evolution has gravity.
    In the sense that gravity also means a serious situation or problem.

  25. “Darwinists would be correct if they said that the situation of the theory of evolution has gravity.”

    Sweet! I’ve got to remember that one! :)

  26. It’s good to have a little levity after all this gravity.

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