a magazine article contained the following statement: the discovery of a DNA sequence in all great apes that is identical to the same sequence in humans has proven humans evolved from lower primates. read the statement carefully, and then comment on its validity
i thought the statement
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Hi again Neveen;
In the field of law, the word proof has many definitions. If we are talking about a criminal prosecution, the prosecutor must prove such case beyond a reasonable doubt. If we are talking about a civil case, the plaintiff must prove such case to a preponderance of the evidence, 51% degree of certainty. The difference between criminal and civil is that the penalty for the former is jail time and/or probation, whereas that for the latter is a monetary fine or other form of compensation.
The word evidence also has many definitions. For example, direct evidence is that which requires no further consideration to be conclusive. Circumstantial evidence requires some reasoning especially since it is not an eyewitness account. A fingerprint is circumstantial evidence. It can be used to place an individual at the scene of an unlawful act. However, this is not an eyewitness account that the individual was present at such scene. Direct evidence would be a high definition video-tape of an individual at such scene.
There are many other concepts of evidence: demonstrative evidence, tainted evidence, etc. Let me explain by example. A car accident occurred. There is no video-tape of the accident. Such video would be direct evidence. However, there are photographs after-the-fact. This is demonstrative evidence. We also have a police report claiming that an empty beer can was found in the driver's seat of one of the cars involved in this accident. This is circumstantial evidence because no one saw such driver drink it shortly before the accident, and because it is not testimony to the blood-alcohol level of such individual. According to such individual, it is tainted evidence because it was originally in the back-seat and the fingerprints on it were altered.
In the field of evolutionary theory, we are not reconstructing last year's car accident, but rather the events of millions of years ago. Obviously, we cannot do this beyond a reasonable doubt as we struggle to execute such task to a preponderance of the evidence. The DNA evidence at issue would likely be considered demonstrative evidence.
You informed me that your assignment is to issue a commentary. May I suggest inventing a new concept of proof? Perhaps evolutionary proof?
The matching DNA sequence does not constitute proof, it only constitutes evidence. So on a logical basis, the statement is false.
By the definition of "valid" at http://www.thefreedictionary.com/valid, the statement is not valid. The premise is neither necessary nor sufficient for the conclusion.