Re: Evolution Statement

From: george murphy (
Date: Sat Dec 08 2001 - 20:22:41 EST

  • Next message: Michael Roberts: "Re: Evolution Statement (corrected)"

    "Moorad Alexanian" wrote:

    > I am sure that if we knew all the science there is to be known, evolutionary
    > theory would still have no ability to make forward in time predictions. First
    > and foremost the complexity of the problem is cosmological in magnitude.
    > Secondly, even knowing precisely all the basic laws of science, the derivation
    > of complex system out of the basic science would still be intractable. The
    > fundamental problem of a purely scientific approach to the origin of living
    > things is beyond human imagination. Even the simplest facts in physis---for
    > instance, the numerical value of the fine-structure constant---are extremely
    > difficult to solve and one has not hint of how to even approach it. How much
    > more difficult are the problems posed by the existence of life and its
    > historical development. Of course, it may be that the latter is not even a
    > scientific question but a purely historical one. Moorad

            1) Since evolution is highly contingent, it isn't possible to predict the
    future in the sense that one can say what the 10^5th generation of offspring of a
    particular organism will be like. But this doesn't mean that no predictions at
    all are possible. This is also the case with the predictions of mathematical
    physics. General relativity doesn't predict that there will be a planet in our
    solar system with the orbital characteristics of Mercury. But it does make the
    general prediction that the orbit of any body will precess according to a certain
    equation, one which gives the correct 43"/century when the parameters for Mercury
    are substituted.
            2) As I already pointed out, whether or not the predictions are "forward
    in time" are irrelevant.



    George L. Murphy
    "The Science-Theology Interface"

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