I haven’t formally studied evolution in years now, but it has always been one of those topics that excited me so I do what I can to keep up with the most interesting (to me) literature. It has always been an amazing field of discovery about the origins of all living things we know that only gets more exciting every day.
What upsets me is how people can think they understand it by listening to their pastor, friend, or co-worker, and just take what that person says at face value because of trust or because the “facts” reinforce a particular worldview. Far too few people plead ignorance these days, and that is quite regrettable considering that any given person is incredibly ignorant of most things. So what makes people think that they can understand something as complex as modern evolutionary theory without ever having studied it?
Religion. Now, I’m not saying that ALL people who object to evolutionary theory do so because of their religion, but let’s be honest here, the overwhelming vast majority of people who reject it (whether they outright admit it or not) do so because of their religion. By doing this these people permanently cut off a way of understanding our world. They argue from personal incredulity by saying things such as “this structure/pathway is way too complex to have evolved!” Really?! How the fuck do they know? Have they tried to understand how it could have happened using known routes of evolutionary change? Of course those people haven’t because that would involve delving deep into decades of research that, lets be honest, they wouldn’t begin to understand. Then, they would have to come up with a decent experiment to test their hypothesis that whatever it was they were talking about couldn’t evolve.
Ah ha! But these people have heard about someone who has done (or at least proposed) such experiments. People like Scott Minnich and Michael Behe who have shown evolution to be false!
Oh, if only it were so simple. First, from the standpoint of any scientist, Minnich’s flagellum knock-out experiment was completely fucking retarded and showed absolutely nothing. Evolution 1, Creationism 0. Behe is even worse. He simply proposed a(nother) retarded idea and proposed it showed modern evolutionary theory to be incomplete. Unfortunately for Behe, his idea (that of irreducible complexity) could be shot full of holes by a 2nd grader with a finger up his nose. Even worse is that he didn’t even research the subjects on which he based his arguments (if you read the literature you’d see they actually COUNTER his retarded little idea) and he never even did a single freaking experiment to try and gather evidence for it.
It’s a futile effort to try and prove science wrong because THAT’S WHAT SCIENTISTS ARE TRYING TO DO. We aren’t here to sit around and do experiments, circle-jerking one another along the way. Fuck no, we’re here trying to figure out something no one has ever figured out before, and if that means telling a bunch of people that they’re wrong then so be it. The difference between us and them is that when we say “you’re wrong” we have to back it up with cold, hard data. If you don’t have that data then you have nothing and all the arguments in the world won’t change a real scientist’s mind. But those same arguments may change the mind of a religious person, because due to their very nature they have been shown to accept arguments without any evidence.