Evolution and Our Culture
Errors and misconceptions identified in the disclaimer
The message from the Alabama State Board of Education about the adoption of the disclaimer has a number of errors and misconceptions. Therefore, learners are at risk of getting confused about science and evolution. Teachers also experience a lot of trouble since they will have to correct such propaganda for their students. From such statements, official reports by public officials will always be considered to be against scientific truth and good educational practice. The statement that some scientists show evolution as the description indicating the origin of species is not valid. This is because it expresses a fake sense of uncertainty concerning evolution theory. A viable statement would be to inform learners that evolution is not only acknowledged by a number of life scientists, but also American established scientific organizations and National academy of science, as the most excellent justification for the origin of species.
The statement that evolution should be taken as theory and not fact has a serious misconception of the scientific application of the term “theory” and “fact.” Scientifically, a theory is defines as a natural observable fact while a fact is defined as a confirmed observation. Theories are always used to provide more information of established facts, and contrary to the notion in the disclaimer, this implies that facts are less important that theories (Larson 202). The disclaimer will confound learners concerning the nature of science by meaning that science can only by carried out with directly seen observable facts. Arguably, a number of the scientific discoveries come out of directly seen phenomena. Additionally, the publishers of the disclaimer use scientific terms wrongly. According to evolutionary biologists “Microevolution” is the development that brings about evolutionary changes in groups of species. The publishers of the disclaimer have not only wrongfully used this definition, but also noted that such processes can be seen at work.
Authors’ understanding of the scientific process
According to the author, the scientific process has a number of challenges. For instance, the fossil evidence does not reveal the existence of the essential intermediate forms that should have taken place. Therefore, he expects to see an intermediate between mammals and reptiles since scientists believe that mammals originated from reptiles. Even though both reptiles and mammals have a long evolutionary history, came from a general ancestor, there is no proof that the species resembled the present animals. The author also believes that the creation of fresh species or groups has not been experimental. However, he acknowledges that selection can change characters within species, but cannot produce new species. Even though some people consider evolution as a conflict to their religious beliefs, the author believes that evolution can only deal with questions concerning nature and not spirits and divinities.
Why school boards only adopt similar disclaimers across the country for evolution
Similar disclaimers for evolution theory are adopted because they are not considered to be observable facts. For instance, the notion that human being evolved cannot be clearly proved. Conversely, theories on plate tectonic and gravity are considered to be observable facts. Continents and mountains are some of the clear proofs of the earth’s plate tectonics hence it is considered to be an observable fact and not theory. In addition, the force of gravity is observable and there is no debate about it. For instance, when an object is thrown up in the sky, it will eventually fall back to the ground due to the force of gravity.
Larson, Edward J. Trial and Error: The American Controversy Over Creation and Evolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. Internet resource.