A) Through many small changes, living thing change over time in response to their environment.
That’s a pretty good theory; in fact, it comes close to being self-evident.
How do you leap from that to “There is no God and all that matters is matter?” Those are two statements that are completely outside the realm of science, as any honest scientist will admit.
B) These changes are linear and progressive; that is, they are heading somewhere in a straight line. How do we know that? Maybe they are more circular, maybe they are heading toward more simple, rather than more complex organisms. Maybe simpler organisms have a better chance of survival. After all, bacteria and viruses are pretty tough.
We don’t know the changes are linear and progressive, but that was sure the worldview in Victorian England when Darwin published his book. They were an optimistic, goal-directed lot. They were also a very hierarchal society. Some were on top, some on bottom and that is the way it should be. So we got hierarchies of species heading in a straight line to a definite goal. Funny how much that resembled the mindset of Victorian England.
It didn’t take long to apply this mindset to the “races of man.” At the top was-guess who-white people! Just like the folks in Victorian England. Not just that, but the fittest were-guess who-upper class white people! The same people who promoted upper class Darwin.
What a co-inky-dink!
We can possess no completely objective scientific truth, because whatever we study has to pass through human beings and our many mind-filters. There is no way around this. It doesn’t mean we stop looking-we are innately curious critters and have made some very helpful discoveries. What it DOES mean is that we never stop asking questions.
When a theory becomes unquestionable it has passed beyond science into the realm of a religious belief.
Example: Science operates on induction-this has happened repeatedly, so the theory is: it happens every time.I have studied one million buffaloes and they are all brown. My theory is that buffaloes are brown.
Other buffalo-studiers repeat my observations. Yup, brown.When I launch out into my imagination and say that buffaloes are brown because they sprang from the dirt long ago and offer as supporting evidence the presence of minerals in the bodies of buffaloes-the same minerals found in the dirt-I may have strayed into story-telling, another trait all human beings share.
What can I do about the white buffalo? Cram it into my theory, ignore it, suppress it, barbeque it-and/or mock anyone who brings it up. Maybe call them Brown Buffalo Deniers?