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

From: Pim van Meurs <>
Date: Mon Sep 19 2005 - 22:10:58 EDT

Cornelius Hunter wrote:

> Terry, Douglas and David:
> Terry and Douglas :
> Evolution can explain:
> 1. Dramatic differences in otherwise highly similar species.
> 2. Dramatic similarities in otherwise distant species.
> In this "homology vs analogy" space, it is not clear what real limits
> there are to evolutionary prediction. In any case, the limits
> certainly cannot be drawn very tightly. This means that evolution can
> explain a wide range of outcomes. This means that any one particular
> outcome does not confer much increased confidence in the validity of
> the hypothesis. Terry, you write:

This does not make sense to me. Yes, evolutionary theory can explain
both. but they are very different in evidence. For instance, trees
inferred from for instance morphological data are largely substantiated
by the underlying genetic data. Remember that it is the genetic data
which should be of interest here.
As I understand it there are very few if any examples of convergence at
the sequence level, most are at the function level or the protein-fold
While some may confuse this 'flexibility' of evolutionary theory, I'd
say, having a theory which actually matches the available data in a
simple manner is what makes evolutionary theory such a strongly
supported theory.

One can quibble about the minor puzzles raised but to reject
evolutionary theory seems to be a little premature.

Cornelius: Without first assuming evolution, then the evolutionist would
have to reckon with all the negative evidence which is being ignored.

Interesting assertion without much supporting evidence. I'd say that
evolutionists are doing quite well with this 'negative evidence' and
have shown that it is hardly 'negative'.
Received on Mon Sep 19 22:14:10 2005

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