From: Walter Hicks (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon Dec 02 2002 - 15:56:11 EST
I completely agree, Blake. I too agree with the data as we
see it and I suspect that God's nature is such that he
"pre-programmed" the entire sequence and did not have to
intervene. On the other hand, I can relate to those who
feel to the contrary. Until, and unless, a firm theory is
proposed and real data supports it (For example, scientists
induce circumstances which give rise to an evolutionary new
species) then it mostly a matter of philosophy and
"Dr. Blake Nelson" wrote:
> First caveat -- I have no problem whatsoever with
> Second caveat -- I think that "evolution" is an
> imprecise term that encompasses a lot of data from a
> vast array of biological science. In that sense, it
> is not a theory or a fact -- neo-Darwinianism,
> punctuated equilibrium, and lamarckianism -- are all
> theories regarding how evolution occurs. Data support
> or do not support those understandings of the
> mechanisms. Evolution becomes a broad term that
> overarches a set of facts -- genetic similarities
> among species, a fossil record which displays changes
> in types, numbers, and shapes of species, etc.
> However, evolution, is so broad that it, in and of
> itself, is not falsifiable. This does not make it
> non-scientific. But talking about "evolution" as such
> is not particularly useful, because evolution does not
> specify mechanisms or causal patterns, simply a
> general proposition that encompasses data. The
> underlying theories are constantly refined in light of
> new data. As described below, each of the
> "falsifications" proposed can be worked in or
> dismissed as need be. Of course, that doesn't mean I
> think biological science good science, I do. It also
> doesn't mean that I think "evolution" occurs, because
> I also think it does.
> --- Michael Roberts <email@example.com>
> > Evolution is easily falsifiable.
> > 1.) Find human fossils in the mid-Tertiary or
> > earlier
> With tongue only slightly in cheek.
> First response would be to claim there was error in
> the dating or otherwise discredit the results.
> Assuming widespread confirmatory fossils were found,
> the next step is to encompass this into existing
> knowledge of the fossil record, resulting in lots of
> articles and books and research grants on a reanalysis
> of the fossil record and development of life on earth.
> The quest would immediately begin for hominids before
> the mid-Tertiary or earlier, etc., etc.
> > 2.) Find palaeozoic mammals
> > 3) Precambrian vertebrates.
> These are just variations on no. 1. Essentially the
> response is the same. Assuming that the presence of
> such "more advanced" creatures at an earlier time
> could not be explained and remained anomalous, the
> answer of course would be that the fossil record is
> always incomplete and we are likely to find precursors
> to these animals if we had a complete fossil record...
> > 4) A young or a youngish earth i.e less than 100
> > million - consider what
> > Kelvin nearly did to evolution after 1860
> This just requires an assumption that the rate of
> mutation is faster than we necessarily believe. Good
> evidence shows that it does vary over time, so not a
> big problem.
> > 5)0 our DNA more like insects than rats
> More apt, that our DNA does not share any similar
> features with other creatures -- this would put a
> crimp in common descent, but I suppose we could always
> hypothesize and independent line of descent to man
> that did not involve any branching that survived at
> any stage during the line of descent.
> This challenge is where we actually get into something
> that is more empirical and thus seemingly scientific
> than the other assertions as to what would falsify
> > We could go on.
> Yes, indeed. But some are less troublesome than
> others. The underlying hypotheses regarding how
> evolution occurs, like any scientific hypotheses, are
> flexible and accomodate new data more or less easily.
> Biological laws certainly are not as rigid as laws of
> physics or chemistry. The phenonemna are more
> complex. Biology has always been a "softer" science,
> and hence these kinds of concerns. But general
> relativity is an approximation to reality. Hypotheses
> for how evolution works are approximations to reality.
> The game that is played on both sides is one of
> semantics rather than trying to portray the status of
> things accurately.
> > Hasn't anyone got the skill to falsify evolution on
> > these points
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-- =================================== Walt Hicks <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In any consistent theory, there must exist true but not provable statements. (Godel's Theorem)
You can only find the truth with logic If you have already found the truth without it. (G.K. Chesterton) ===================================
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