The whats, the whys, the whens, and the hows.

The whole purpose of a scientific theory is to explain, on the basis of evidence.

What is gravity?  Why is the sky blue?  When did the Big Bang occur?  How do light waves work?

I must also note: In some cases the “whys” are not as important as the “hows”, because in some cases “why” questions imply that there must be a meaning for something’s existence, which is not always the case.  So instead of “Why is the sky blue”, try asking: “How is the sky blue?”  That’s more like science.

Astrophysics, anyone?

Science seeks to explain phenomenons, by using the scientific method.  What is the sun made up of?  How do bats see in the dark?  When did the Big Bang occur?

Answers are obtained by gathering evidence, doing observations, and by hypothesis testing.  (This means looking at contradicting evidence, too.)  Scientific theories are falsifiable.  They make predictions which can be proven true or false.

Stellar mass loss

Let’s put some theories to the test.  Let’s start with gravity.  What is gravity?  When did gravity occur?  How does gravity work?  Even though not all the answers have been proposed, it is clear that this theory of gravity seeks to explain something, and into a fairly good depth.

Acceleration of mass i due to gravity

What about evolution?  What is evolution?  It’s the change of frequencies in alleles over time.  When did evolution occur?  >3.5 billion years ago.  How does evolution work?  Well, there are some proposed mechanisms: natural selection, sexual selection, genetic drift, etc. 

Phylogenetic tree for the Crab Fly

But now put intelligent design on the hot seat.

  • What is intelligent design: “Assertion that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.”
  • When did the designing take place: …
  • How long did the design phase last: …
  • Who was the designer: …
  • How did the designing happen: …

Intelligent design is a theological notion, a hypothesis at best, and one which has not been tested, and never will be.  Intelligent design explains nothing through empirical evidence, and thrives upon gaps in the scientific knowledge (irreducible complexity does not equate to design).  It makes no predictions, and no contribution to science of which anybody is aware.

So we can hereby propose another “alternative” to the theory of gravity.  It’s called intelligent falling.  But guess what?  It isn’t falsifiable.  It isn’t based upon evidence.  And it isn’t science.