The evolution/intelligent design issue has been answered in favor of evolution, but why do doubters persist?

In forums and blogs, reasoning people respond favorably toward real science while religious fundamentamentalists and certain others just don't get it. Dogma is one thing, but can't they accept overwhelming evidence and modify their mindset?

11 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    There is a maxim I learned recently that applies:

    "You can't talk someone out of something they were never talked into in the first place."

    In other words, if somebody did not use reasoning to reach their current position, it is impossible to use reasoning to persuade them that their position is wrong.

    If a person's belief in creationism or ID is fundamentally inspired by religious conviction, then evidence doesn't matter, logic doesn't matter, education doesn't matter. Such things are already secondary paths to truth to that person. They can be used to support their position, but never to erode it. So if there is a fact A that *maybe* supports their position, and facts B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, and J that go against it, that person will *only* see fact A.

    ---- Addressing Steve's post ----

    For some reason Steve launched an attack on the word "proved", even though the asker didn't use that word at all. Asker said that the "issue had been answered in favor of evolution", which is true (based on the current evidence). But this is not to say that *any* scientist claims that any theory (evolution or otherwise) is ever "proved." There is always the possibility that some new piece of evidence can turn up that disproves the theory of evolution ... but the fact that it has stood for 150 years since Darwin without a single such piece of universally accepted counter evidence makes it increasingly unlikely.

    In other words, Steve's post illustrates part of the problem: People who don't understand science often end up attacking a position that no scientist holds.

  • 1 decade ago

    Your premise is false. Some people believe that creation is explained in the Bible, so they too wonder why doubters exist. Scientific reasoning is irrelevant to some folks, and it viewed as dogma since science does not prove what is true - it rejects what is false, leaving the truth to be dogmatic.

    The real irony about differences in beliefs and behavior is that much of the variation can be attributed to genetic differences in people. Recent research on DNA indicates that identical genes are expressed differently in different individuals due to the influence of satellite DNA which has numerous functions such as switching genes on or off, changing the nature of the proteins synthesized in cells, and changing the amounts of proteins synthesized. This phenomenon is offered as one reason why people have different likes/dislikes, different perceptions, different behavior etc. Evolution would not work if all the individuals in a population were similar - so evolutionary theory almost necessitates the existence of of people who doubt the existence of evolution.

  • 1 decade ago

    Ex nihilo nihil fit. Again the simple question of origin remains unexplained by the finest minds of science; from where did the primordial elements arise for the Big Bang?

    If I were to argue for intelligent design, I'd always come back to the question of origin. I'd say the idea of a magical explosion out of nowhere giving rise to all and everything is pretty religious in itself. This is why it remains in the realm of theory and not fact.

    As regards evolution, the human brain is itself an evolved feature, and remains within very limited boundaries of perception, enough to fuel the antics of a society convinced that what it does is all that is possible. Try touching your left elbow with your left hand. Can't do it? So what makes you think that a human mind has the capacity to figure out what brought about its own existence?

  • sixgun
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    It's the same reason that the big three questions in philosophy have never been resolved for thousands of years. There is never a perfect, solid link between either side and the empirical data we have now.

    There is a continuum between the two extremes. Some people believe that God used evolution to create the world, including Adam and Eve. (Inherit the Wind, for example). Some people believe that everything evolved except man and woman.

    I am guessing that it will be impossible to scoot all the people up to the evolution end of the continuum.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The problem with the evolution/intelligent design issue is that two different questions are being asked. With evolution, we are asking WHAT has occurred. With intelligent design we are asking WHY it has occurred. Micro-evolution has so much evidence stacked up that I think most accept it as scientific fact. Macro-evolution however, which is really what you are referring to, does not have near the evidence to support it that micro-evolution does. Macro-evolution is still a theory and is no more proven or disproven than intelligent design. There's a lot of good reading material that discusses this question, and there seems to be good logic behind both points of view, but, in fact, I think the more sound logic overall is in a few selected writings on intelligent design. For some real interesting logic challenges I suggest reading Mere Christianity by CS Lewis. He addresses a lot of key points that are involved in this debate and he uses cold hard logic to point out exactly WHY doubters persist, in answer to your question.

    Source(s): Mere Christianity- CS Lewis
  • 1 decade ago

    As there are many religions whose power is based on the Bible being the true word of God, they will deceive and lie till the ending of the Earth rather than concede that page 1 was just an interpretation of the world around them.

  • 1 decade ago

    Neither has been proved. You're the sucker, if you think evolution has. Using favourable evidence to "prove" a theory is a fallacy, based on an invalid Modus Tollens operation, known as "Affirming the Consequent".


    "Affirming the consequent is a logical fallacy in the form of a hypothetical proposition. Propositionally speaking, Affirming the consequent is the logical equivalent of assuming the converse of a statement to be true. The fallacy of affirming the consequent occurs when a hypothetical proposition comprising an antecedent and a consequent asserts that the truthfulness of the consequent implies the truthfulness of the antecedent. This is fallacious because it assumes a bidirectionality when it does not necessarily exist.

    This fallacy has the following argument form:

    If P, then Q.


    Therefore, P.

    This logical error is called the fallacy of affirming the consequent because it is mistakenly concluded from the second premise that the affirmation of the consequent entails the truthfulness of the antecedent. One way to demonstrate the invalidity is to use a counterexample. Here is an argument that is obviously incorrect:

    If P.G. Wodehouse wrote the Bible (P), then P.G. Wodehouse is a good writer (Q).

    P.G. Wodehouse is a good writer (Q).

    Therefore, P.G. Wodehouse wrote the Bible (P)."

  • 1 decade ago

    I think the mindset associated with those of a religious persuasion is so used to basing interpretations of reality on faith, they will continue to argue regardless of however much evidence is contradictory to their beliefs.

    It's sad, and a hindrance to civilisation.

  • 1 decade ago

    Religion is a good at blinding people with notions of unwavering faith and salvation. Fundamentalists are so consumed by mere concepts that they cannot accept scientific facts. And it is they who will slow the progression of technology and intellect in this world because of the fear or obedience that their religions instill in them.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Wishful thinking.

    On Christmas Eve, I'll be waiting up for Santa Claus with milk and cookies.

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