Re: Science Education and the Church

From: bivalve (
Date: Wed May 22 2002 - 15:49:15 EDT

  • Next message: Jan de Koning: "Re: Science Education and the Church"

    >I did not make up the notion that random mutation plus natural
    >selection was the evolutionary theory. That was Darwin's idea, not
    >mine. In talking about the secular world, I like to use secular
    >documents. They are ones that are used to teach our children in
    >public schools. Here is a quote from an encyclopaedia on the web:
    >" Darwin's theory of the evolution of species through natural
    >selection starts from the premise that an organism's traits vary in
    >a non-deterministic way from parent to offspring, a process called
    >"individuation" by Darwin. This theory does not make any specific
    >claims as to how this process works, although more recent scientific
    >discoveries in genetics explain several mechanisms that occur in
    >the process of reproduction: in the case of both asexual and sexual
    >reproduction, random mutation (including DNA transcription errors);
    >in the case of sexual reproduction (which mixes the DNA of two
    >parents into an offspring), gene flow and genetic drift are also
    >important mechanisms. Competition (typically among males to
    >impregnate females) for mates produces sexual selection - a process
    >which Darwin considered secondary to ecological in most species."
    >Note the term "random mutation".

    Note also a lot of other things that are various selective factors.
    This makes evolution highly nonrandom.

    >The fact that Christians disagree is no surprise. <

    Yes, but it is because bad theology is so common. There is nothing
    that should evoke theological complaint in the above definition, even
    from someone opposed to evolution (as it says nothing about the
    extent to which evolution has occurred). Randomness in a
    scientifically definable sense cannot be used to justify the claim of
    metaphysical randomness. Flipping a coin does not disprove God.

         Dr. David Campbell
         Old Seashells
         University of Alabama
         Biodiversity & Systematics
         Dept. Biological Sciences
         Box 870345
         Tuscaloosa, AL 35487 USA

    That is Uncle Joe, taken in the masonic regalia of a Grand Exalted
    Periwinkle of the Mystic Order of Whelks-P.G. Wodehouse, Romance at
    Droitgate Spa

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