Is evolution science?
Below is my paraphrasing of a conversation I had with a creationist. I present it for your comment.
Creationist: Evolutionists always complain when it’s pointed out that evolution doesn’t answer the question of where life came from. They claim that evolution isn’t about the origin of life, but unless they can say where life came from, their theory is meaningless.
Me: That’s like saying a historian has to explain where people came from before discussing American history, or that a physicist has to explain the chemistry of gunpowder before trying to calculate the trajectory of a projectile.
Creationist: Those are entirely different things. Evolution is all about origins, but it avoids the biggest origin of all. Intelligent Design doesn’t have this problem.
Me: From what I’ve seen, Intelligent Design isn’t good science.
Creationist: You’re going to try and say that Intelligent Design is religion, but that isn’t the case. It’s based purely on examination of the facts. Evolution is the one that you have to have faith in to believe — faith that something happened to make life and get evolution started.
Me: Intelligent Design posits that a designer created life. If that designer’s God, then isn’t Intelligent Design religion?
Creationist: Intelligent Design doesn’t say that God created life — that wouldn’t be scientific. We don’t have conclusive scientific evidence for who the designer was, so we have to leave those options open.
Me: But if you can’t say where life came from, then by your own reasoning isn’t your theory meaningless?
Creationist: I.D. does say where life came from. It was designed.
Me: Then perhaps evolution also says where life came from. It came from a natural process.
Creationist: But you don’t know what that natural process was. You’re just making up something to plug a hole in the theory.
Me: According to Intelligent Design, what process did the creator use to make life?
Creationist: An intelligent, thoughtful, loving process with forethought and planning.
Me: That’s pretty much just a rephrasing of your earlier statement, not an answer to my question. You still haven’t said who the intelligent designer is, and what physical process was used to create life. At least science has theories about natural processes that could lead to the formation of life, and scientists are attempting to find the truth.
Creationist: But none of those theories have been proven.
Me: That doesn’t mean that they are wrong. In fact, I’d say that a plausible but unproven theory is more scientifically rigorous than “something designed and created life somehow,” which is what you seem to be proposing. In fact, even saying that we just don’t know makes more scientific sense.
Creationist: Still, all you have is a lot of non-answers. If you can’t explain where life came from, evolution is just a bunch of blather.
Me: I completely disagree. And by your own argument if you can’t tell me who the designer was, then Intelligent Design is just religion pretending to be science.