charles-darwinEvolution is a theory. A theory. You don’t “discover” a theory, you create it.

To say that a theory was “discovered” is nonsensical.

Now if by “evolution” you mean micro-evolution (development of a species within itself), a scientific reality which is observable and repeatable, then it would be accurate to say that it was “discovered.” But then it wasn’t Darwin who discovered micro-evolution.

But if by “evolution” you mean macro-evolution (the development of one species into another species), you are dealing with a theory that has never been observed, cannot be repeated, and which is questioned by a significant portion of the scientific community.

Darwin can be credited with “discovering” some things, but evolution is not one of them.

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About Jason Harris

Dr Jason Harris is a writer, pastor, and academic. He has authored multiple books, articles, and papers including his book Theological Meditations on the Gospel. Jason has a PhD from James Cook University as well as degrees in theology, music, accounting, and research. Jason has lived in Cairns, Australia since 2007 and serves as pastor at CrossPoint Church. You can contact Jason at


  1. Kez 14 February, 2009 at 11:16 am - Reply

    Hey, cool post – thanks Jason! Keep up the good work!

  2. Nathan Zamprogno 15 February, 2009 at 11:12 am - Reply

    Of course! And things were *so* much more inconvenient before Newton “invented” (not discovered) the “Theory of Gravity”, Maxwell “invented” (not discovered) Electromagnetic Theory, and Leeuwenhoek “invented” (not discovered) the Germ Theory of Medicine.

    Also, Macroevolution is indeed demonstrable (agreement between disparate branches of science from paleontology, comparative anatomy, biogeography and genetics), repeatable (multiple transitional forms between major groups such as fishes->amphibians, reptiles->birds, artiodactyls->cetaceans, etc.

    And, if by “questioned by a significant portion of the scientific community” you *actually* mean “Overwhelmingly supported, on the basis of centuries worth of evidence, by all Scientists except those with a theological axe to grind”, then just perhaps you are right.

    I know another “theory”. It’s called “Poe’s Law”. It states that many displays of fundamentalism are so ignorant; so riddled with obvious error, that they are indistinguishable from parody. If so, consider yourself “invented” (or is that discovered?).

  3. Alen 15 February, 2009 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    You have begun with a strawman and then proceeded to attack it. At no point you actually truly attacked his assertion. Every other theory you have mentioned has been observed and hence ‘discovered’. The theories are just explanations of how observed phenomenas like gravity occur. Macro evolution on the other hand is basically saying this is the “crime scene” so let’s figure out what happened. It is not active nor observable.

    Macro evolution has never been observed and hence cannot be “discovered”. Going off Cladistics, Molecular Phylogeny and fossil evidence one may arrive at the conclusion that evolution has occurred but cannot readily argue that it occurs like gravity for example. Once again it is fitting together the pieces rather than looking at something that is ongoing observable and testable. Beginning with a faulty premise will arrive at a faulty conclusion.

    Your premise in life or your “world view” shapes how you interpret the ‘crime scene’ around you. If your premise is there is no God and therefore no Creator you obviously cannot arrive at the conclusion that ‘intelligent design’ occurred. You would then obviously have to arrive at the conclusion that something else occurred. All your inferences and conclusions cannot possibly arrive at any conclusion that is in complete disagreement with your premise.

    Therefore if you are a Christian (from what I can see from your blog) and a evolutionist you have 2 different premises in life constantly colliding with each other. One is that God is real and He has revealed Himself in His word and 2 that evolution is true and that is how we got here. If you fail to see how they collide let me summarize it as thus:

    The first premise states that you must interpret your surroundings through God’s special revelation (His word) and this is what you may call your “measuring stick”. It is your final authority. If however you hold onto evolution then it becomes you final authority and everything else must be interpreted though its lens. Therefore if the Bible disagrees then the Bible must be reinterpreted. With current thought much of the Bible must be “reinterpreted” and taken as allegorical or poetic and stretched beyond its proper context and abused by bad hermeneutical principles. Therefore it obviously begs the question: Which of these premises are true as both cannot be?

    It is a logical fallacy to believe both, it is one or the other.

    In the end even if one believes in evolution one cannot argue against the obvious stated here in this post. Evolution is a proposition based on an interpretation of evidence left behind. It is not as other theories based on ongoing and currently observable evidences.

  4. Jason Harris 15 February, 2009 at 1:38 pm - Reply

    Hey Nathan,

    Thanks for your comment. Since the eTrilobite “ridicule” was not really directed to me directly, I chose not to respond to it though it didn’t hold water. But since you’ve commented here, I feel I should give you a response.

    Saying that, I want to clarify that this is not a “Creationist blog.” In fact, I can’t remember ever doing another post on origins. I am not a scientist and have very little interest in science in general.

    I am a Christian fundamentalist and by that I simply mean that I believe in the Christian God of the Bible and I believe that He has given direct and discernible revelation to us. In spite of your condescending comments, I have a rational and coherent worldview.

    In response to your comments:

    1) Gravity is not a theory. It is a force. Newton didn’t invent gravity. Not did he discover it. He did invent a theory of gravity which, while still instrumental in our understanding of the universe, has undergone some revision as our understanding of other forces and gravity’s interaction with them has expanded. This is particularly true at the subatomic level.

    The people to whom I linked did not say that Darwin discovered a theory. They said that he discovered evolution. They made no admission that evolution is merely a theory. My point is that it is merely a theory and as such cannot be treated in a way which is parallel to, for instance, gravity (a definite force which we can see the effects of on a daily basis).

    2) You say that macroevolution is demonstrable. That’s not true, but it is also not what I said. I said it needs to be observable. True scientific conclusions need to be observable and repeatable. We learn this in primary school.

    a. Evolution is not observable. There is not one case of one living species bearing another living species or even a transitional species, in recorded history. Even in the fossil record, there is not one fossil which is conclusive evidence of a transitional creature. None. There should be millions of fossils which demonstrate transitional forms, but there are not.

    b. Evolution is not repeatable. Your point here is illogical since alleged transitional forms would demonstrate observable phenomenon, not repeatable phenomenon.

    3) Your third paragraph is a clear ad hominem attack. Religious convictions do not disqualify one from studying science. If it did, Newton’s science would be illegitimate and so would yours, for you clearly have a strong faith in something that is neither observable nor repeatable.

  5. Glendon Mellow 16 February, 2009 at 4:30 am - Reply

    It is true that evolution is a theory. The idea of evolution predates Darwin’s lifetime, and the beautiful idea he discovered/figured out/compiled evidence toward is called evolution by natural selection.

    It is not a hypothesis, it is not a “what-if” idea or half-baked thought. It is a scientific theory proven by multiple lines of evidence in many different disciplines. It is not “merely” anything.

    May I ask: do you think plate tectonics is observable? Saying macroevolution is not observable is somewhat disingenuous considering the length of time it has taken each species to become our contemporaries.

  6. Nathan Zamprogno 16 February, 2009 at 8:49 am - Reply

    You’re talking out of your hat, and I’ve long determined that protracted debate is futile with your sort.

    Of course evolution has been “observed”. Your attempt to escape this does not hold water; all you are doing is playing with semantics.

    Your ploy is identical to that of serial fraud, Ken Ham, who repeatedly claims that Scientific proofs for the great age of the earth are refuted merely by saying “Were you there?”

    It’s even ironic that you choose to use the metaphor of a “crime scene”. Many crimes have no eyewitnesses. We piece together the evidence from what’s left behind. Such evidence is routinely accepted in court. What would you do? Let murderers go because there *had* to be someone that saw it first hand? Do you accept that Columbus landed in the New World in 1492? Were you there? Do you accept that Vesuvius erupted in AD79? Were you there? If your definition makes a nonsense of the legitimate study of history, then so to for Science.

    Look, if you must have first hand proof, look outside. Right now. Any animal you see is likely to be a “transitional kind”. Dogs, Dolphins, Cows, and even you, Jason, are half way between what has gone before and what is yet to be. Let’s hope your descendants have more sense than you do.

  7. Jason Harris 16 February, 2009 at 10:02 am - Reply


    I have to admit I was surprised when Alen pointed out that you consider yourself a Christian on your blog. I had just assumed based on your attitude and approach that God had no place in your thinking. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

    I appreciate your input and will leave it at that. But you can be sure of one thing. I come from Adam who was specially created by God out of the dust and in the image of God Himself. That is what God’s Word teaches and I have submitted myself to the Word as the revelation of a Being Who is far more knowledgeable about origins than I am.

  8. Jason Harris 16 February, 2009 at 10:11 am - Reply


    Thank you for granting my premise. I agree with you that evolution by natural selection is not just a half-baked theory. It is a well-thought out, adjusted, and time-worn theory. I agree with that.

    But none of that precludes the possibility of a better theory being proposed. In this case, the theory which I believe is better predates evolution by natural selection by thousands of years. I’m happy for the debate to continue to rage and since I have little interest in science, I’m happy for it to rage somewhere else.

    But the bottom line is, evolution is a theory. You don’t “discover” a theory. To say that you do discover a theory is to admit your predetermined bias for the correctness of that theory and to make it little more than a religious belief.

  9. sasha 20 February, 2009 at 10:27 pm - Reply

    Don’t forget the germ theory of disease

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