Feature Article - January 1999
by Do-While Jones

Astrology and Evolution

Evolutionists are promoting a new definition of the term "science" that would make astrology a legitimate science. Of course this is not their goal, it is merely an unintended consequence of their actions. You see, the theory of evolution is not scientific in the traditional sense of the word. Therefore, evolutionists want to broaden the definition of science enough to make evolution scientific. But to do that, they have to make the definition so broad that even astrology qualifies as a science.

The Traditional Definition

According to Websterís Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, science is "knowledge concerning general truths or the operation of general laws esp. as obtained and tested through scientific method" where the scientific method is defined to be "principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses".

In other words, science is a way to determine truth using a particular method. That method begins when a scientist notices something interesting and begins to wonder how or why it happens. After giving it some thought, he proposes the reason for it. Then he devises an experiment that should produce a particular result if his reasoning is correct, but will produce a different result if it is wrong. Then he does the experiment and observes the results. If the results consistently turn out as expected, the reason is accepted as being true, until another equally credible experiment shows it to be false.

The key point is that truth is determined by a measurable result, not someoneís opinion.

Evolution is Not Scientific

The theory of evolution has not been validated by the scientific method. All attempts to do so have failed miserably. Stanley Millerís "spark in the soup" experiment is a notable example. He attempted to validate the hypothesis that chemicals can naturally come together to form living cells. His experiments, and others like them, have shown conclusively that this cannot happen. The idea that the first living cell evolved from inanimate chemicals is NOT scientific. It is a doctrine that must be accepted by faith.

There have been many well-known experiments using fruit flies, attempting to show that mutation and natural selection can turn primitive species into new, more highly developed species. These experiments have shown just the opposite. When fruit flies are subject to x-rays or toxic chemicals, they do mutate. But in the mutation process they lose genetic information. For example, the genes that control the development of eyes or wings might be damaged, resulting in blind fruit flies, or wingless fruit flies. One might consider these to be new species of fruit flies, but they are merely degenerate variants of an existing species. Nobody has ever bombarded a worm with x-rays and caused it to sprout wings. Mutations cannot add the genetic information necessary to make a worm fly. Experiments have shown that mutations certainly can cause a species to degenerate to a lower form, but experiments have never show a species can evolve to a higher form.

So, evolution isnít just unscientific, it is antiscientific. In order to believe in evolution you must believe things that experiments have proven to be false. You must believe that dead things can naturally come to life, and that mutations produce offspring with more genetic information than their parents had. Thatís why evolutionists want to change the definition of what science is.

The Secular Humanist Definition

Some secular humanist groups want to change the definition of "science" because they are disturbed that science teachers are realizing that the theory of evolution is not scientific, and not emphasizing it as much as they did 30 years ago. A recent article in Science magazine began with this emotional statement:

Whether itís a symptom of rotten science literacy or a triumph of conservative religious groups, evolution is ignored or downplayed in many classrooms these days. 1

The article goes on to quote a well-known militant anti-creationist, Eugenie Scott, who runs the National Center for Science Education Inc. in El Cerrito, California.

Teachers must be able to communicate that science is based not just on observation and experimentation but also on inference, says Scott, who claims there is a widespread misapprehension among the general public that if something is not directly observable, itís not science. 2

She says that if you canít actually see it, or canít demonstrate it, you can still infer it is true. This is why her definition makes astrology a science. There are constellations in the heavens; planets rise in different constellations at different times of the year; and good and bad things happen to people. One could infer that there is a connection, and therefore astrology is the truly "scientific" way to study the connection.

A common trick that evolutionists use to make their arguments seem reasonable is to use two definitions for the same word, prove the true definition, and then act as if the false definition has been proved. They used this trick in this article. See if you can catch it.

The report also offers instructions for conducting classroom exercises to teach principles of scientific inquiry in general and evolution in particular. One exercise, for example, challenges students to infer the behavior of two animals based on a pattern of fossil footprints. 3

In this case, they have used the word "infer" to mean "observe". For example, you could observe the footprints made by a bird walking along the beach. You could also observe the footprints a bird makes when it runs, lands, and takes off. Then you could note the differences, and see if these differences are consistent, and experimentally determine the characteristics that distinguish footprints made by the various behaviors (walking, running, landing, and taking off). This is the traditional scientific method, and is certainly valid.

Having done this, the evolutionists falsely claim that by analyzing tracks assumed to have been made by an extinct animal, one can infer (with the same degree of accuracy) the behavior of that animal, even though it has never been observed making any kind of tracks. Certainly one can make such inferences, and the inferences might be correct slightly more often than they are wrong. But this isnít science. It is speculation.

Just last month we read this in a respectable science magazine:

An analysis of small channels in fossil and modern skulls suggest that humanlike speech abilities arose more than 400,000 years ago. 4

They are inferring things about vocal cords, intelligence, and culture, based on someoneís opinions about the functionality of small channels in a skull. Then they infer age using other criteria. Thatís not science, itís speculation!

Inference is Not Reliable

Inference is not as reliable for determining truth as experimentation is. Inference is merely someoneís opinion. That opinion could be influenced by prejudice, a desire for fame, or the need to satisfy a sponsor to obtain more funding. One can infer just about anything, regardless of the truth.

Evolutionists have made some ridiculous inferences. For example, it can be shown experimentally that mutation causes genetic information to be lost. From that they infer that mutation causes genetic information to be gained, too. This is just as foolish as observing that a bomb placed next to a building can produce a pile of rubble, and inferring that a bomb placed next to a pile of rubble could produce a building.

It has often been observed that given enough time, living things naturally die. From this evolutionists infer that given enough time, dead things naturally come to life. Thatís not science. Thatís fantasy.

Evolutionists are always inferring that two creatures had an unknown common ancestor because parts of them look alike. Well, part of Mt. Rushmore looks like part of George Washington, but one should not infer they both had a common ancestor!

Who Infers?

True science is independent of political or religious bias. Experiments work or donít work regardless of who won the last election. The outcome of an experiment doesnít depend on whether the scientist goes to church or not. Inference, on the other hand, can be affected by the reigning political or religious powers. Thatís why inference should have no part in science.

The proposed new definition of science leaves it to the political bodies that control the public school science curriculum to infer what is true and what isnít. That is very bad policy.

Suppose that there is a conservative backlash in the next election, resulting in a religious-right president and huge Republican majority in both houses of Congress. Suppose that they clean house in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Suppose this new administration approves only science textbooks that say that since marine fossils are found all over the world, one must infer that Noahís Flood actually happened. Furthermore, science textbooks must say the Genesis account of creation is not "just a theory" but proven by the evidence of Noahís Flood. Suppose schools that donít use these textbooks lose accreditation and/or become ineligible for school lunch program funding.

Certainly it would be wrong for a Christian-controlled government to impose these restrictions on all the public schools in the United States. It would be equally wrong for the current humanist-controlled government to use the same methods to impose similar restrictions that require evolution to be taught as fact.

True Science is Objective

Science is an impartial and objective method for determining the truth. Since this method finds the theory of evolution to be false, there are people who are trying to replace the scientific method with another method that would make evolution true by decree. They claim that "inference by the enlightened" is, in fact, "science." It isnít, no matter what they say.

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1 "Academy Rallies Teachers on Evolution", Science, Vol. 280, 10 April 1998, page 194 (Ev+)
2 ibid.
3 ibid.
4 Science News, Vol. 154, December 19 & 26, 1998, page 402 (Ev)