I started reading a bit and I had more and more the feeling that it was a myth. A myth like Thor and Wotan. The theory of evolution does not meet any of the standards of a new theory because, first, it is not testable.
Evolution means you can not see what will happen unless you are going to live for seven million years. It can not be explained, it is completely impossible. If you tried to find facts that are true, evolution would vanish. No new investigations have been opened and it is not a testable theory.
I think that if people would stop studying the theory of evolution nothing would change in science. I think that’s the situation we’re in right now. We are slaves of a theory that has no consequences.
It is brave of Wolfe to say these things, given that Darwin’s followers could wreck his Cool. Unless, of course, events such as the Royal Society’s (rethinking evolution) meet mean that Darwin’s police are a diminishing force and rational evaluation of theories of evolution is now possible.
When Wolfe says that “evolution” is a fairy tale like Thor and Wotan, he means a myth that purports to explain how things came to be as they are, in a way that supports the value systems of the hearers.
Put another way, consider two cases:
1. The student asks, What is evolution? The teacher replies, Evolution is the history of life on Earth, so far as we know it. Far more is unknown than known but we continue to research. We have identified a number of verifiable causes of changes in life forms over time, and we will be examining these causes week by week.
Where does that lead except to homework? Well, okay, maybe in some cases, a career in science. A lifelong interest in science. Sure.
2. Natural selection acting on random mutation can account for how all life forms, including humans, came to exist, starting with the smallest cell. A science explanation is an explanation based on the workings of natural selection. Some religious people find the findings of science to be a problem, but theologians assure us that those people can go on believing in God anyway.
Note: This translation back into English was supplied by a fluent Spanish speaker. Wolfe doubtless spoke/wrote in English and the original wording as uttered will differ slightly.)
See also: Because we know the facts now, Rod, that’s why?
Tom Wolfe on “Evolution as a theory of everything
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Wolfe means by “fairy tale” that Wotan (Thor is his like-minded son) represent the way ancient northern Europeans understood the world. Such believes are not refuted by evidence so much as they are just replaced by other ones.