I'm sure that you would agree that this in itself not prove that evolution is true and that creation is false. In fact the issue of origins could still be discussed with evidence appealed to.
Agreed. The only thing falsification proves is that a theory is worthwhile and helps us learn something. A theory that is not falsifiable could never be proven wrong, so there is no way to really tell if it is right.
Lets say that we have three options for origins:
Option # 1 Evolution
Option # 2 Creation
Option # 3 Other unknowns
Let us now say for the sake of argument that only option # 1 is falsifable. If scientific evidence were to show that option # 1 is indeed falsified, then by defalt one of the others must be true even though they are not falsifable. Thus a beliver in option # 2 or # 3 would not necessarlly have to first provide a creation mechanism in order to critique various proposed evolutionary mechanisms. Thus the idea that I have to fist prove "the theory of god" before I appeal to evidence which may possibly falsify evolution is not valid.
This is not correct. You have lumped a lot of stuff in #3 (Other unknowns). There are many possible falsifiable theories in that bunch. Here is just a short list of possible theories:
- Evolution (Neo Darwinism)
- Special creation by god
- Special creation by Invisible Pink Unicorns
- God assisted Evolution
- Evolution (Lamarkism)
In that list there are two falsifiable theories and three non-falsifiable ones. #5 has been falsified. #1 is falsifiable, but has not bee falsified yet. If #1 is ever falsified, we can only assume that there is another theory yet to be discovered that can be falsified. There is still no need to take the non-falsifiable theories seriously. If no such theory exists, the best answer is "we don't know yet". If the theory is not falsifiable then there is no way to rank it as more likely than any other. In the list above, numbers 2, 3, and 4 are just as likely. None of them help us learn anything more about biology or our universe because there is absolutely no way to prove whether they are true or false.
There are many non-falsifiable theories that exist. They are very attractive to many people because they can just come up with ad hoc explanations to counter criticism of their argument (Velokovski, Blondlot's N-Rays, Salem Witch Trials, Freud, John Edwards, etc.). You see this a lot in theories of ESP, UFO's, Cryptozoology, Astrology, Creationism, etc.
A very good book that explains the importance of falsifiability is Pseudoscience and the Paranormal, by Terence Hines. It's a great read.