Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Mark Mathis is a Fool

From Detroit Weekly

Mathis argues that instructors who want to incorporate theology into their science curricula are being censored. But it’s not a question of censorship—it’s a question of classification. Theological concepts like ID could certainly be taught to students in a course on religion or philosophy, but these concepts are simply not scientific. Science is concerned with evaluating hypotheses which are testable and falsifiable, and God’s existence does not meet these criteria.

I confront Mathis with this point, and he counters that evolutionary theory is also untestable. This is patently untrue—to give just one example, scientists have witnessed speciation, the arisal of a new species from an old one. When I point this out, he interrupts me immediately: “Whoa! Wait a minute! Please send me whatever material you have that demonstrates that we can observe speciation because I have not seen anything. I’ve never heard anyone even claim that!”Is he serious? He’s just produced a film about evolution, and he’s never heard of the fact that speciation has been observed and thoroughly documented in the scientific literature? I’m stunned. I send him peer-reviewed research confirming this fact via e-mail, and he later responds, “This isn’t an important argument for me.”

So I ask him about falsifiability. Clearly, evolution could potentially be disproved, but how could one ever disprove the existence of a deity? He laughs. “You can’t apply falsifiability to Darwinian evolution. How is it falsifiable?”

I respond by quoting the biologist J.B.S. Haldane: “Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian.” One instance of fossils appearing in the wrong strata would disprove current evolutionary theory in an instant. Mathis pauses before saying, “If you want to get into the science...” He then trails off and mutters something irrelevant before finally confessing, “Look. You can get into the intricacies of the science on both sides. And I am not qualified.” On that point, we can both agree. (End Of Article)

I would also add that if observed rates of evolution could not account for the fossil records' rates of evolution, then we could safely discard Evolution by Natural Selection (it would be falsified).


Max said...

Sorry, but I'm a tad confused. Where did this confrontation take place? Was it a debate? Were you chasing him down the sidewalk?

AIGBusted said...


No, I did not have any "confrontation" with Mathis. This is from an article posted at Detroit Weekly, as I made clear in the beginning of this post.

The last bit (After the words "end quote") I added.