Re: Regarding the IDEA website

From: Jonathan Clarke (
Date: Sat Jan 05 2002 - 05:08:45 EST

  • Next message: John W Burgeson: "Re: views of scientists-help needed"

    Hi Casey

    I am glad you were able to respond to all of these comments. Welcome to the
    ASA list. You mentioned that you studied earth sciences. Are you still active
    in this field?

    I'll let the other people comment on your responses to their comments, but
    will take up a couple of your points with respect to uniformitarianism. You
    wrote in part:

    > I'm not so much critiquing Darwinism as I am critiquing the uniformitarian
    > assumption with regards to origins in general. Generally speaking, my
    > definition of Darwinism encompasses the science which says that purely
    > natural processes are solely responsible for the origins and evolution of
    > life on earth.


    > Uniformitarianism is a hypothesis, though often unstated, which says that
    > only natural processes created life. Evolution and origins of life
    > scenarios are theories which fit under the uniformitarian hypothesis.

    Not only are you using an unusual definition of "Darwinism" you are using an
    unusual definition of "uniformitarianism" as well. Uniformitarianism strictly
    should only be applied to the 19th century geologists who believed in the
    sufficency of present causes to explain the geological record. Extreme
    uniformitarianians belt that those processes operated on the scale scale and
    intensity in the past as they do at present. No modern geologist is
    uniformitarian in that sense of the word. There is nothing in
    uniformitarianism "which says that only natural processes created life".

    > I think that the uniformitarian hypothesis is sometimes testable, but where
    > it isn't, it is still taken as true. And where evidence seems to fit with
    > the uniformitarian hypothesis, it often is weak or circumstantial evidence
    > at best. For this reason I call it a philosophy as well, and where the
    > evidence is lacking, uniformitarian hypotheses are still taken as true.

    So what you positing that researchers do? Let us say there are a sequence of
    events in earth history A-Z of which B, D-E M, N , S and V cannot be
    explained by natural processes while the rest can. How do you propose we
    study these unexplained events?

    Some further questions. You seem to single out the formation of biological
    systems as being inexplicable by natural processes. Why is this? Do you
    except that natural processes are adaquate to form stars, galaxies, planets
    and rocks? If so, why? If not, again why?



    The "true outsider"

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