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Sandy Rios, Knowledge and Evolution

Radio host Sandy Rios has spoken in support of Republican presidential hopeful Scott Walker having declined to state his position on evolution. Rios is reported as saying,

In the sense that Darwin taught about species morphing into other species, evolving into other types of species, that has not happened... There is no scientific evidence... Science has disproven so much of evolution... Evolution has become the religion of the elite.

Rios is claiming to understand biology well enough to speak of evidence and proof, but like many of us she is choosing between rival views with incomplete knowledge. She is a skeptic regarding evolution, and skepticism in general is something we shouldn't denounce. Skepticism is fundamental to science. But Rios is rejecting evolution as a rival alternative to her traditionalist view of how the world works. She rejects the view of people who have devoted their professional lives to the study of biology. She has an alternative to the view of biological change from simple to more complex organisms and creatures having offspring that have not been exact copies of themselves. Her view: creatures including humanity originated in the imagination of the god Jehovah and were created by His magic.

The world working by magic dominated European thought before Isaac Newton's physics came along in the late 1600s and pushed God's magic back a bit. But God's magic still hangs with many regarding the history of creature and human biology.

Pew Research in December 2013 reported 48 percent of Republicans disbelieving in human evolution, 43 percent of Republicans believing and 7 percent of US adults claiming they don't know. Only 7 percent suggests a lot of people are choosing between rival alternative ideas based on makes sense to us. Rios speaks of proof, but the issue is not who has the absolute proof. It is not who can prove that a rival theory is wrong. Proving a negative is something she won't be able to do, and mentioning the Piltdown hoax as Rios does isn't going to help her.

My advice to Rios: If you don't believe what biologists are hypothesizing, don't embarrass yourself by posturing that you know enough about it to refute what they believe. You best disagree by presenting as best you can the coherent alternative that you believe you possess.

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