Evolution is a scientific fact. Science sets the standard for what qualifies as a fact, and the theory of evolution satisfies that standard with plenty of room to spare.
Scientific facts are useful because they are both consistent and predictable in the realm of other scientific facts. It’s good to know that A + B = C if you want to make a new batch of C. But is a scientific fact the same as being true?
Sometimes a scientific fact is falsified by newer and better science. That’s how science works. So while we assume it is rare, a scientific fact can be false in reality, especially in the short run.
Thinkers through the centuries have pointed out that human brains are not suited for interpreting reality. Our five senses can detect only a few forms of energy fluctuations in our general vicinity, and every person interprets the same inputs differently. If ten people witness a crime, you can end up with ten different descriptions of what happened.
Our memories become even less reliable over time. Do you remember your actual 12th birthday, or do you only remember the photograph of it that you saw in the photo album? There’s no way to know.
It’s a scientific fact that most, if not all, of our major decisions are made independent of logic. For example, if one of the major religions is “true,” it means that 70% of the world, or more, are living their lives based on a hallucination – they picked the wrong interpretation of God. And the people who are wrong are no less certain of their rightness than the people who are right, if indeed anyone is right. Certainty is a poor guide to truth.
Human brains perceive time as linear, and space in three dimensions. But it’s a scientific fact that reality is far more complicated. Perhaps there are ten other dimensions. Gravity is a bending of space-time, whatever that means. How about the forward arrow of time? Is it a feature of reality, or just a point of view? How would a human brain sort out the difference? It’s like trying to fit the ocean in a teacup.
You can distinguish the front of your dog from his back because we all agree that the front is the part with the face. But dogs have no natural front and back. It’s just our point of view that they do, because it’s useful to think of things that way. Time is similar. We favor the here-and-now because our senses can’t interact with the past or future. Our perceptions of truth are built around what is practical, not what is true. Even the smartest human brain doesn’t have the capacity for discerning true facts. That’s why so many of us settle for scientific facts. It’s the best we can do.
Some of you will say that I’m inventing a phrase “scientific fact,” and that’s right. But you know what I mean in this context. You also know that it’s a scientific fact that scientific facts don’t need to be true.
Evolution is a scientific fact. Truth is unavailable. Hallucinations fill the void.