Re: Is evolution really the central theory for all of biology?

From: Cornelius Hunter <>
Date: Mon Sep 19 2005 - 16:30:56 EDT

From: "David C Campbell" <>
> >Indeed, even as mere circumstantial evidence the pseudogene data become
> ad hoc and scientifically useless, since under common descent there
> must be convergent mutations to explain common nucleotides that must
> have arisen independently (eg, in the urate oxidase pseudogene). If
> mutations can be viewed as independent where common ancestry cannot be
> the explanation, the why can't all mutations be viewed that way? From a
> scientific perspective, it is special pleading to claim these are
> evidence for evolution.<
> Convergent evolution is strongly expected if evolution happens at all.
> A classic example comes from the similarly streamlined bodies of
> squids, active sharks, tuna, ichthyosaurs, and dolphins. All encounter
> the same basic hydrodynamic forces and the same sort of body shape
> works well for all of them.
[... Big snip ...]
> In short, convergence is not a valid challenge to the legitimacy of
> evolutionary explanations, though it is a challenge to the correctness
> of specific models for particular groups.
> ----------------------------------------
> Dr. David Campbell


Again, we're talking about evidence, not explanation. I did not present
convergence as a challenge to evolutionary explanations. I presented it as a
challenge to evolutionary evidence. Here is the general form of the
evolutionary claim:

1. Evolution claims similar designs as evidence for evolution.
2. Similar designs that cannot be ascribed to common descent are chalked up
as examples of convergence.

So evolution is having it both ways. This is special pleading when the
similar designs are claimed as evidence for evolution (as in #1), but not
when similar designs are used as mere explanations (eg, "ah, these designs
are similar because they arose from a common ancestor").

Received on Mon Sep 19 16:35:19 2005

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