Most people who accept the evolutionary hypothesis do so because they rightly reject any mystic explanation for life and its species (e.g. creation or intelligent design) and evolution is the only other plausible explanation to the question of where life and the species came from they can imagine.
I have no interest in dissuading anyone from embracing evolution if they feel they absolutely must know were everything came from, or at least have an answer to the question. I have no such need. What is here is here and has the nature it has and would have the exact nature it has however it got here. Even if the evolutionary hypothesis were correct, it could only be known by studying what is already here. If one wants to learn about the nature of the real present world, that's the world that must be studied.
There are two things about the evolutionary hypothesis I strongly object to however: one is that it is called a science and the second is that it is used as the basis for explaining, always wrongly, human nature, psychology, ethics, society (politics), education, ecology (environmentalism), medicine, and almost everything else.
Evolution Not Science
In the article, "Science," I described the criteria for the scientific method as Observation, Hypothesis, Testing, Demonstrable, Repeatable, and Reliable (predictive). Evolution does not meet a single criteria for a legitimate science.
About observation I wrote: "All scientific enquiry begins with the observation of some physical phenomena, some entity, substance, or event that is not already identified or understood. The purpose of the scientific method is to discover an explanation for the observed phenomena." Origins are not an observed physical phenomena, they are a philosophical conjecture. Life is observable and the physical aspects of organisms can be objectively studied scientifically (biology and medicine for example). While fossils, some aspects paleontology, and DNA exist and can be studied objectively (and are), they are only physical evidence of what is, not how it got here.
Evolution is only a hypothesis and as a hypothesis it is invalid. It is invalid because there is no way for it to be proved and no way for it to be disproved if it is wrong. It is no more valid as a hypothesis than the creation myth. It is not as fantastic as the creation myth, and therefore more plausible, but as currently described it must be accepted on faith if accepted at all.
Not one thing evolution asserts can be tested.
Not one thing evolution asserts can be demonstrated.
Since there are no tests for anything evolution asserts, they obviously cannot be repeated.
No assertion of evolution can be used to predict anything.
Evolution does not meet a single criteria for objective science.
Not a particle of the evolutionary hypothesis can be established objectively. Not one major (fundamental) assertion of the evolutionary hypothesis has ever been observed or experimentally verified.
I do not intend to address every aspect of evolution, but must point out these fundamental assumptions for which there is no evidence whatsoever. Before I do, I must point out evolutionists often use something having nothing to do with evolution, as supposed evidence of evolution, which is adaptation. Within species there is the capability of broad variation to adjust to changing environments and circumstances. It is part of their nature as a species. When evolutionists point to such adaptations and call it "evolution" (sometimes micro-evolution) it is simply a lie. Such variations never involve the generation of either new genetic material or new species.
Major Evolutionary Fallacies
The following are assertions by evolutionists of a technical nature that must be true if evolution, as currently described, is to be true.
Life evolved from non-life. This is the foundation position of the evolutionary hypothesis, that somehow life just spontaneously came to be. Life from non-life is called abiogenesis. There is no evidence for abiogenesis, and no explanation for how it is possible. Evolutionists provide lots of possible (possible only if they actually happened) explanations for how life might have formed from non-life, but without evidence they are only stories. From the very beginning, evolution is without a foundation.
Prokaryotes to eukaryotes. Prokaryotes are single-celled organisms with a single strand of DNA. Evolution assumes the first life to spontaneously pop into existence must have been prokaryotes because they are the simplest forms of life. The cells of multi-celled organisms (all plants and animals) are eukaryotes. Eukaryotes are much more complex than prokaryotes, having organelles and a nucleus which contains the cell's DNA.
There are thousands of different kinds of prokaryotes which evolution regards as variations that evolved from whatever the first kind of spontaneously generated prokaryotes were. The question for evolution is, where did the eukaryotes come from? How did they get organelles and a nucleus?
Evolutionists have an answer. You may not find it very satisfying (I don't), but it's at least as good as any of Rudyard Kipling's. Once upon a time there were only prokaryotes. One day a prokaryote ate some other prokaryotes, swallowing them whole, and those swallowed prokaryotes took up residence in the prokaryote that swallowed them and became organelles and a nucleus, thus turning the prokaryote into a eukaryotes. Really. I didn't make this up. The evolutionists did.
The story does leave a question, however. Prokaryotes are all individualists, each one living or dying on its own. Eukaryotes are all collectivists unable to live on their own, only as members of a society called an organism. Their individual fate is not determined by their own action, but the action of the entire colony. Without the support of the entire organism, eukaryotes cannot survive. The question is, where did the first Eukaryote find an organism to support it?
Yes, the evolutionists have stories for how this happened as well, but none of them is as good as, "How the eukaryote got its organelles."
Of course, none of the stories are based on observation. No change of one prokaryote into a different kind of prokaryote has ever been observed, and no change of a prokaryote into a eukaryotes has ever been observed. However plausible the stories are, describing what has never been observed is not science.
Mutation the only answer.
Evolution claims to be the explanation for where all different forms of life came from. Though phrases like, "natural selection," and, "selection pressure," are frequently used to explain the variety of organisms that exist, they are irrelevant to the primary question, where did new species come from to be selected. "Natural selection," means nothing until there is something to select.
Natural Selection Has Never Produced Anything!
There is only one answer to the question of where new species came from: mutation.
A mutation is a change in the structure of DNA which affects some aspect of an organism determined by its DNA. It is supposed that a mutation can be harmful (deleterious, which almost all are), neutral (brown eyes to blue), or beneficial. No beneficial mutation has ever been observed.
There are four kinds of mutation:
1. Point mutation is damage to the DNA caused by radiation or cell aging. Point mutation is almost always deleterious.
2. Recombination occurs when DNA from one part of the genome moves and rejoins another part of the genome. It is common in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes and usually neutral, but occasionally deleterious.
3. Transposition is the movement of small fragments of DNA by means of transposons from one cell to another. Only eukaryotes and a few simple prokaryotes have transposons.
4. Re-assortment is the pairing of randomly separated genetic material from parents during fertilization.
Since for new species to evolve only mutations in germ cells (sperm and ova) have any significance to evolution. Mutation of any other cells in the body (somatic cells) would be irrelevant.
Since for new species to evolve only mutations that produced new genetic information would be relevant, all other mutations would be irrelevant. No mutation that results in a gain of new genetic information has ever been observed, and no mutation resulting in a new specie has ever been observed.
All of evolution is based on the premise that species evolves by means of mutations. No other means or mechanism is even suggested. Since there is no observational or experimental evidence for speciation resulting from mutation, the entire foundation of evolution is just made up. Even if it were true, without evidence, it is not science.
Evolution asserts that survival is a basic principle of evolution. Evolutionists do not explain why survival should be favored over non-existence by nature. As far as I know nothing about the physical universe explains why there is life or why it should evolve. If living organisms are nothing more than perfectly natural though unusual organic chemical/physical phenomena, there can be nothing like a natural preference for survival. Whether they survive or not, just doesn't matter to nature.
Anyway, the assertion that survival is central to evolution is self-contradictory. If survival were the objective, evolution should have quit after the prokaryotes. The prokaryotes are essentially immortal, everything since, except the turritopsis dohrnii, a small jellyfish found in the Mediterranean and in the waters of Japan, is mortal and has limited lifespan.
It is not clear when evolutionists talk about survival being the ultimate objective of evolution (does nature have objectives?), whether it is the survival of individual organisms or survival of species that is meant. If the natural world of living organisms is truly the product of evolution and the aim of evolution is survival, it cannot be the survival of individuals since nature regularly kills off most of the offspring of every generation of many organisms for the sake of the species' survival.
Ultimately this must be the view of evolutionists who make much of the fact that survival of individual organisms only needs to be long enough for them to reproduce.
Another assertion of evolutionists is the importance of natural selection. Some evolutionists regard natural selection as the whole of evolution and biology:
"In the biological realm, the fundamental factor is natural selection. Natural selection causes and explains the whole "tree of life." ... Note that natural selection is a necessary factor; without it, evolution would not have occurred." [Dr. Harry Binswanger, How We Know: Epistemology on an Objectivist Foundation, Page 301.]
I've already pointed out why natural selection cannot be fundamental because, if evolution is true, there first must be new species to select from. Natural selection has nothing to do with producing new species. The very idea becomes ludicrous once it is understood only mutations could produce new species. Natural selection can only mean, if there are new species, those that are better at surviving, survive; those that are not so good at surviving, do not survive. Nothing is, "selected." If evolution were true and there must be a central principle, it ought to be called, "natural serendipity."
Misuse Of A Non-science
The problem with all pseudo-sciences is not that they are mistaken and misleading about the main subject to which they pertain, but that they begin to infect all intellectual enquiry, including disciplines which have legitimate scientific or intellectual foundations.
For example, this from the Oxford Journals, BioScience, "Evolution and Today's Society:"
"Finally, there has been a long-term interplay between evolutionary theory and nonbiological fields such as statistics, economics, and computation.
"In addition to its centrality in biology and its contributions to basic science, evolutionary biology addresses a wide array of current and emerging societal needs, ranging from biomedical applications to conservation efforts. For example, it provides a solid scientific framework for understanding the emergence of antibiotic resistance in pathogenic bacteria and for analyzing the emergence and epidemiology of novel diseases, such as HIV. Evolutionary biology also provides a scientific basis for policy decisions concerning the conservation of rare and endangered species, the adaptive implications of invasive species or new genetic varieties (including genetically engineered organisms), and the genetic responses to human perturbation of the environment."
Here is more from Evolutionary Theory and Psychology Eight essays claiming the human psychological nature is determined by evolution. [All emphasis mine.]
"That evolutionary processes have sculpted not merely the body, but also the brain, the psychological mechanisms it houses, and the behavior it produces."
"The framework of evolutionary theory ... As the unifying theory of the life sciences, evolution by natural and sexual selection offers ... a powerful framework for understanding the complex patterns of causality in psychological and behavioral phenomena."
"Darwin’s principles have proved to be invaluable tools for mapping the structure of the modern human mind and linking it with our long evolutionary history."
"Nobody seriously denies that the mind is made of evolved traits, and, in combination with discoveries about animal behavior and psychology, archaeological findings, and anthropological data from hunter-gatherer studies, evolutionary theories can lead psychologists to develop plausible hypotheses about the nature of these evolved traits."
"Given these selection pressures on human ancestors, sex differences in behavior arise flexibly from a biosocial interaction in which sociocultural and ecological forces interact with humans’ biology as defined by female and male physical attributes and reproductive activities (Wood & Eagly, 2002)." [This last is hilarious, not because of what it says, but because anyone takes it seriously.]
Is Evolution Correct?
Quite frankly I do not know if evolution is a correct explanation of life and the species. Some parts are at least plausible, but the whole grand scheme, as it is currently described, cannot be true. Some parts of evolution must be explained before it can be considered true.
At this point I am usually asked the question, "how do you explain life and the species." My answer is that I don't explain them. I do not know how life came to be, if it came to be. I do not know the reason for all the different species either. I do know so long as one unproven hypothesis is simply accepted as the whole answer, if there is another it will never be discovered. I know I'm not going to simply accept someone else's guesses just because I cannot think of a more plausible one.
What I do know is that no science is the answer and explanation of almost everything, including ethics, politics, statistics, economics, computers, emerging societal needs, antibiotic resistance, epidemiology, policy decisions, the behavior it [the brain] produces, complex patterns of causality in psychological and behavioral phenomena, mapping the structure of the modern human mind, archaeology, anthropology, artificial intelligence, and sex. Most of these are from the above references or endless references on the WEB. You might notice some of these have an obvious agenda, like, "the behavior it [the brain] produces" and "complex patterns of causality in psychological and behavioral phenomena," both aligned against the volitional nature. If human behavior is simply "produced by the brain," or results from "complex patterns of causality," it is not consciously chosen behavior.
Whatever the ultimate result of "evolutionary research" is, as it is currently understood, it is used to put over almost anything, and is terribly dangerous. It is no better than creationism.