Are Scientists Uncertain About Evolution?

As one Creationist put it,

"Many if not most eminent evolutionists admit that there is no absolute proof and that there are still many questions that evolutionists cannot explain."

This is true in the strictest literal sense. Yes, there is no absolute proof. Yes, there are things which have not yet been explained.

However, it is also false, in the sense that it conveys a totally incorrect picture. No scientific theory is ever proved "absolutely". That's not a meaningful concept, outside of mathematics. All scientific knowledge is tentative, and forever subject to reexamination when each new evidence arrives. So, of course evolutionary theory is tentative. But it isn't any more tentative than the idea that the Sun and Moon cause the tides. This isn't just my opinion. It was the unanimous opinion of every last Nobel Prize winner living in the United States in 1986:

"The evolutionary history of organisms has been as extensively tested and as thoroughly corroborated as any biological concept."
-- Amicus Curiae Brief of 72 Nobel Laureates, 17 State Academies of Science, and 7 other scientific organizations, to the U.S. Supreme Court

This evaluation of the evidence is still the consensus, and has been for a long time:

"We need not devote any time or space to fresh arguments for the truth of evolution. The demonstration of evolution as a universal law of living nature is the great intellectual achievement of the nineteenth century."
--The Origin and Evolution of Life, H.F.Osborn, 1917, page viii. Quoted from Fossil Horses, MacFadden, 1992, page 21.

It is true that Evolution has unsolved problems. But the scientific consensus is that none of them are inexplicable.

Last modified: 5 November 2000

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