How To Refute Phoebe On Evolution

Remember the scene when Ross and Phoebe argued about the evolution, and Ross got trap by Phoebe’s argument?

Ross&Phoebe argued on evolution and gravity

Ross&Phoebe argued on evolution and gravity – picture from

Ross couldn’t response to what Phoebe said something about even science could go wrong after many years, the example Phoebe gave was that our earth was believed to be flat but turned out to be spherical, her point is science could be wrong in a way and there is a chance that the evolution is all inaccurate. At that very moment, Ross as a paleontologist and a doctor who worked at museum couldn’t figure something out to refute P’s insistence.

Before I continue, I should claim I am a big fan of Friends and love the six boys and girls equally. but I have to say when I watched this particular scene, I was in a kind of angry and embarrassed, and a little sad. How so? The angry part of emotion was for Phoebe, the embarrass feeling was for Ross, and the tiny sad sentiment is for the human’s stupid. Besides, I don’t know what the editors’ thoughts, I mean why they even shot this story between R’s and P’s, they tried to reveal something or not, I really don’t have a clue, whatsoever, shame on Ross and pity to Phoebe.

What do I mean by that? First of all, you must clear about Ross and Phoebe are not real person, second, Ross as a scientist guy didn’t how to respond is really unexpected, third, Phoebe literally was uneducated and lacked of critical thinking.

OK, enough for chit-chat, here is the answer corresponding to this post’s title:

  • Science is a common knowledge of every human beings, what you observe, ask, think, prove and so on are all the way you seek for the ultimate truth, and that’s science. Science is not fancy stuff we create, but as a connatural information and methods about the universe and is really not dependent on only humans.
  • Science is a knowledge that can be proved and also can be disapproved over time, part of them. Because the major science can not be wrong, otherwise we can not make any computers or cell phones out, not to mention those successful manned spaceship and landing on moon.
  • Evolution as a part of science, created by Darwin, is a theory of describing how human formed in the past and the possibility of future development. This theory was not just there out of blue, instead it took the biologist dozens of years to form it gradually and eventually came with a whole system, via observing the birds in different islands, collecting archaeology bones and fossils and thinking.
  • There is a methodology called inference to the best explanation, the name indicates the cases that some of phenomenons and mechanisms that current sciences and technologies can not explain. Be that as it may, we have to try thinking and arguing about those unexplained and even unexplored things, or we should stop all human activities. So with that being said, we choose the best explanation as our major study direction, then to prove it, to use it for explaining existed and unknown things, to connect it to other subjects.
  • So evolution is our first choice other than anything else, because it is partly a whole system with some reliable evidences and arguments, that makes more sense to us instead of just giving a simple assumption.
  • And there biologists keep working and studying, they found more and more evidences to evolution and so as the gaining of reliability over time. And of course there might be tiny flaws inside the theory, but scientists can fix them and refine them, even replace them, but not the whole system. This works for all the science, like relativity theory and quantum mechanics.

After you read all the list items, if you are smart, you already know how to refute Phoebe. So where Phoebe was wrong?

  1. The example per se, the change view of earth sharp is just the improvement of science’s view rather than science can not work at all, not to say the spirit of methodology science is using.
  2. There is one thing that is eternal, that is logic, and with the gaining of experience and knowledge, we can be more and more precise on some very basic level of fundamental. At the age of ignorance, it is not a big deal that even the smartest guy think earth is flat, purely because they are lack of enough knowledge, and with that insufficient, they hardly can prove anything. So it is not a good example and argument.
  3. Phoebe was lack of thinking ability, she did not even think this thing through then just jump to conclusion, maybe it is not her fault, I mean, she barely had attended school and finished the education, she lived in street during the important time of a teenage who shall be at school. So basically in my opinion, she got a bad influence from streets and her broken family.

Why Ross was stumbled? The reasons I can think of are:

  1. First, Ross was a geek, not a speaker. He could not debate with the girl who once lived in streets.
  2. Ross was tripped into a logical error, and he knew but failure to say it out.
  3. The writer’s intention, maybe they were also the same type of Phoebe, no offense. But it also could be bazinga or ironic way of expressing something that most of people are foolish. It makes me think of the quote from Albert Einstein: “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.

This is a personal post to express my feelings on this special scene, not try to assault anyone rather speak the right things out, for the right people. I don’t expect to convince anyone too, but true things should not be unsung and even be killed by wrong things. Anyway, Friends is a great show, I am a big fan. Ross may not be a perfect guy, but he is a good pal. Check the best moments of Ross on YouTube.

Response to Bone of Contention


One thought on “How To Refute Phoebe On Evolution

  1. Mack says:

    Firstly, I am not sure if you have ever studied science before in your life, because a lot of the things you have mentioned about it are misleading and incorrect.
    Science is the study of the physical world based on experimental designs and interpretations, both of which are conducted by imperfect human beings, which can and do make mistakes.Thus science cannot prove anything. Although the world may operate and exist in a certain, definite way science is just an attempt by humans to explain this existence and method of operation. And once again, as humans are imperfect, no matter how much evidence we gather to support our theories, those theories all have a chance (however small) of being completely wrong. Yet often scientists develop too much of an ego to believe that there is a chance (however slim) that they may be wrong, and as a result they, or their followers, punish those who question them. In the ancient days such punishment involved murder, but today it’s more inclined towards verbal abuse and chastisement. Punishment of people who question scientific theories (i.e. who question how the world works) goes against the essence of what science actually is – the search for a greater understanding and new knowledge of the world. If no one in our history ever questioned how the world works then we would have none of the scientific knowledge that we do have today. By treating people like they are stupid and punishing them for raising such questions (like Ross did to Phoebe) we would discourage/prevent future scientific investigations in the area of interest. How many times in the past has the arrogance of the majority slowed the development of scientific knowledge? Probably too many to count! The point Phoebe was trying to make is that it is not acceptable (not to mention counter productive) to force your beliefs unto others (no matter how much scientific evidence you have to support them) if they choose not to agree with you. And her argument that there is a possibility that evolution is not true can not be refuted, no matter how hard you try. BECAUSE science can’t prove anything – it can only support man made theories, which are exactly that – ‘man made’ and hence imperfect. And, as has occurred so many times in the past, previously believed scientific ‘fact’ can be uprooted as our knowledge about the world grows – an example being the ‘fact’ that the atom was the smallest particle possible (believed only a couple hundred years ago), which turns out to be totally false.
    And I won’t even bother arguing the point you made about ‘At the age of ignorance, it is not a big deal that even the smartest guy think earth is flat, purely because they are lack of enough knowledge, and with that insufficient, they hardly can prove anything’ because at that age of ‘ignorance’ there were philosophers who were smarter than you and I combined. People like Pythagoras and Galileo lived during the times of thinking the earth was flat, and people like Issac Newton lived during the times of thinking the atom was the smallest particle possible. Such people formed the basis of our scientific knowledge on the physical world as well as mathematical theories we still all use today – how arrogant is it of you to say they were ignorant or devoid of knowledge!

    P.S. I actually believe in natural selection (and hence the basis of evolution). HOWEVER, I also believe that it is possible that I AM WRONG and that there is a possibility that animals don’t/haven’t evolved in the way we believe they have! And this is the point of my whole (and Phoebes) argument – science can’t prove anything and in order to maximize the future progression of society we can’t have closed minds and be set in our beliefs on how the world operates, rather have to keep open minds and be supportive of those who question current beliefs (AS THIS IS HOW NEW KNOWLEDGE ARISES WHICH MIGHT VERY WELL LEAD TO NEW DISCOVERIES AND TECHNOLOGIES)!

    Okay, rant over!

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