Can Science ever be a complete argument? : Logic and the Method

A query on the evolutionary thesis : problems and solutions

from www.the-scientist.com
from http://www.the-scientist.com

People will find fault with anything. The fault doesn’t have to be there, but the will to find it will find it. The evolutionary theory has offered much fodder to its detractors through the two centuries of it’s being. But it’s only now that we’re getting down to ridiculous arguments against it. It is only a theory. And that means it’s not really true. It might be a work of fantasy for all we know. This is a very stupid argument. Let me state at the beginning, there is no theory in the natural sciences that can be dismissed off hand as ‘just a theory’ for the simple reason that theory production in the natural sciences is a rigorous, technical activity that can only be disproved by following the same procedures which led to its development, simply put. So, the argument that ‘it is only a theory’ does not stand if you want to logically disprove any scientific argument. You can dismiss such an argument on the basis of belief, and in our postmodern age that is totally acceptable. But don’t give scientific arguments, of whatever sort, which do not follow the methods of science. It’s, to say the least, a futile arrangement as regards the possibility of dialogue.

Now let me get to the point of my essay. I believe there could be a logical flaw in the evolutionary thesis. I also have a logical solution to the flaw. I will get to that later. Yes, there can be logical argument for and against, but only if you are willing to engage science logically.

The logical flaw is : evolution pressures force an organism to select genetic propensities which favour maximum possibility of the inception and survival of offspring. So, why then, do organisms, become more advanced and complex with time? Surely, more complexity is recipe for more, possible and probable, weaknesses, lines of attack from other organisms in the future. Take the human species, which dominates the planet somewhat like a parasitical pathogen. The complexity, and dominance, of human beings makes them very vulnerable to attack from a multiplicity of directions, from the micro to the macro. From virus attack at the cellular to climate change at the global level. Why did human beings select evolutionarily to such levels of complexity, which would make them so vulnerable?

Now for the possible answer. Maybe, the problem is that I take a very anthropocentric view of evolution. As human beings, we dominate the Earth now, as we have for about 10,000 years since we learnt the art of agriculture. Even that is arguable. Maybe we think we dominate. Maybe, it is really the rats who are running the earth, like the Hitchhiker’s Guide told us a long time ago. Maybe it is wrong to assume, or presume, that human beings dominate the earth. We control and limit viral infections as a species to some degree of sucess, but if we pose the question : have we really found a long term solution to all possible viral attacks? The answer is no. Maybe gene editing, or similar technologies will make us invulnerable in the future. But viruses have their own evolutionary story. Their goal is to feed on us.

So, maybe, in the long run, the most successful form of life will be the simplest. The kind that can propagate without the hassles of consciousness, or even a body, come to think of it. I do not want to go further with this. I am not qualified enough. But please engage with this argument even if you feel it has the slightest bit to say.

What’s going on – really? We have to know. Science offers possible answers to the way things are. But, despite its success, they are not the most convincing, even logically speaking.

Maybe because science is not a complete argument, there are still many gaps, which time might fill. But if science is not a complete argument, is the intellectual hegemony science enjoys in our society justified? Religion has its terrorisms and science has its final solutions. Maybe a solution for the time being lies in both correcting each other. Or maybe I am not too qualified for such a question. Aye, therein lies the rub.

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