This topic is in response to a poster at the topic, "Circular reasoning: Evolution is a fact," saying he "doesn't need to" when challenged to prove the theory of evolution using the scientific method.
I can understand his reluctance in light of the fact that the challenge did stray a bit from the topic of the thread. Now, I am openly challenging him, or anybody else, to answer a direct question in its own topic.
First, some parameters:
1. By evolution I mean the "macro" kind. No waffling or equivocation on this.
2. By new species I mean molecules-to-man. Entirely new species arising from an alleged ancestral species. Birds from dinosaurs, etc.
3. By scientific method I mean the commonly accepted process. Can we agree on the process as thus?
- Make an observation or observations.
- Ask questions about the observations and gather information.
- Form a hypothesis — a tentative description of what’s been observed, and make predictions based on that hypothesis.
- Test the hypothesis and predictions in an experiment that can be reproduced.
- Analyze the data and draw conclusions; accept or reject the hypothesis or modify the hypothesis if necessary.
- Reproduce the experiment until there are no discrepancies between observations and theory.
And agree on the following?
- The hypothesis must be testable and falsifiable, according to North Carolina State University. Falsifiable means that there must be a possible negative answer to the hypothesis.
- Research must involve deductive reasoning and inductive reasoning. Deductive reasoning is the process of using true premises to reach a logical true conclusion while inductive reasoning takes the opposite approach.
- An experiment should include a dependent variable (which does not change) and an independent variable (which does change).
- An experiment should include an experimental group and a control group. The control group is what the experimental group is compared against.
4. As we review the answers we will be watching for strict adherence to the steps as outlined in the scientific method. Be aware that terms such as, "we infer," "we think," "we assume," "perhaps," "maybe," "might," "best guess," etc., are red flags that might lead to an accusation of equivocation that invalidates your answer.
5. The challenge is purely a valid scientific question. There has been no mention of God, creation, or any other kind of alternative to the theory of evolution. Any attempt to deflect the question by addressing any such things will be noted as a failure to answer the question.
6. Did the challenge mention gravity or any other scientific theory? No. So please don't go down that rabbit trail. The question is about the theory of evolution and the process of proving it using the scientific method.
7. Finally, there are only two possible responses to this challenge: Show the theory of evolution being arrived at via the scientific process, or admit it can't be done.
Now for the challenge:
Show, step by step in detail, the process by which the theory of evolution, which introduces entirely new species, can be arrived at by using the scientific method.
If everybody keeps it clean and professional this should be interesting and educational for all.