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

From: Cornelius Hunter <ghunter2099@sbcglobal.net>
Date: Tue Sep 20 2005 - 23:26:47 EDT

> Cornelius Hunter wrote:
>
>> Terry:
>> It seems to me that to be compelling, an evidence should fulfill some
>> these criteria to some reasonable degree, and not fail on them:
>> A. The evidence should not include problems for the theory (obviously).
>> B. The evidence should be the fulfillment of a somewhat narrow
>> prediction of the theory. That is, if the evidence as well as several
>> other outcomes are all accommodated by the theory, then the evidence is
>> not compelling.
>> C. The evidence severely damages all alternative theories (need to be
>> careful not to misrepresent or ignore the alternative theories, of
>> course).
>> Make sense?
>> The fossil record suggests or reveals:
>> 1. Dramatically increasing complexity of life forms over time
>> 2. Many extinctions
>> 3. Rapid appearance of new species
>> 4. Stasis of species once they appear
>> 5. Rapid increase in biosphere diversity followed by winnowing of
>> diversity (reverse of the traditional evolutionary tree, if you will) due
>> to extinction. This occurs repeatedly.
>> 6. Lineages (ie, there is rapid appearance, but usually the design is not
>> radically different from earlier designs).
>> I think 1 and 3 fail on A but realize you may disagree. Setting that
>> aside then, I think that clearly 1-5 fail on B. None succeed on C. The
>> only positive is 6 which succeeds on B. So, with 5 evidences, of a total
>> of 6, failing on B and only 1 out of 6 succeeding on B, I don't see how
>> this can be compelling evidence for evolution. Can you explain?
>>

>
> Could you explain your reasoning why you believe 1 and 3 to fail on A or
> that 1-5 fail on B

Regarding A:
The question is, does the evidence present a problem for the theory? In #3,
if species appear rapidly (as though planted there as Dawkins put it) then
the evidence is a problem. What is needed is an additional hypothesis to
explain the missing evidence, such as the fossil record is lousy or the
punctuated equilibrium idea that evolution speeds up sometimes so the
chances of capturing it in the fossil record are small.

In #3, the arising of high complexity in life forms (DNA code, trilobite
eye, etc.) from unguided forces is not what science suggests to us about how
this universe works. This level of complexity is a long way from snowflakes
and crystals.

Of course I've heard all the arguments that these are not really problems
for the theory. After all, punctuated equilibrium is reasonable and given
all that time, who knows what levels of complexity could arise. It should be
obvious that these explanations are not compelling to someone not committed
to the theory. In other words, yes, these are attempts to explain the
problem, and maybe they are reasonable, but at this time we're nowhere close
to having good reason to think so. Ultimately, it is the "fact" of evolution
that solidifies such explanations. Evolution is a fact, so there is no real
problem here. Of course, this is circular.

Regarding B:
The question is, is the evidence narrowly predicted by the theory?
Observations 1-5,
>> 1. Dramatically increasing complexity of life forms over time
>> 2. Many extinctions
>> 3. Rapid appearance of new species
>> 4. Stasis of species once they appear
>> 5. Rapid increase in biosphere diversity followed by winnowing of
>> diversity (reverse of the traditional evolutionary tree, if you will) due
>> to extinction. This occurs repeatedly.

Hopefully even evolutionists can agree that all 1-5 fail here. Evolution
does not predict increasing complexity, extinctions, abrupt appearance of
species, stasis for eons, and diversity explosions. Evolution would be just
fine if there was no such complexity increase, no extinctions, a nice clean
gradual succession of species with ever so slight changes between each,
consistently evolving species, and gradual diversity increase (or no
diversity increase for that matter). None of these observations are
predicted by evolution. They are accommodated.

> I believe that even Darwin addressed the issue of extinction. Most of your
> arguments appear to be somewhat overly simplistic.
> Could you explain your reasonings in more details?

You are the one claiming the theory is a fact and the evidence is
compelling. "Addressing the issue" doesn't make the evidence compelling.

--Cornelius
Received on Wed Sep 21 02:19:27 2005

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