Re: transitional fossils

From: Cornelius Hunter <>
Date: Sun Dec 04 2005 - 11:30:41 EST

"Please name one falsified prediction of the general theory
  of evolution (ie. common descent)."
  There are many falsified predictions of evolution that are well known and in the literature. I'm happy to provide one, but I think a more systematic approach is needed. There are evidences for evolution, and evidences against evolution, all with varying degrees of strength. I think theory evaluation is subtle, and requires careful thought. There is no single evidential case that is going to falsify (or confirm) evolution. We need to look across the board at what science it telling us. Most falsified predictions can, taken individually, be tolerated (as I think is the case for my example below). There are some, though, that are less easily tolerated. In any case, they need to be lined up against the positives. Unfortunately, the consensus amongst evolutionists--that there are no evidences against evolution and that evolution is a fact--is so far from the mark that we are not close to serious engagement of the science. Here is my example falsified prediction, this one having
 to do
 with the fossil record since that is what we've been discussing:
  Prediction 9: The fossil species should form an evolutionary tree.
  Falsification: The fossil record reveals a series of "big bangs" followed by a thinning of the ranks by extinctions. In each "big bang" new species appear, and then they remain unchanged until they reach extinction. If anything, it appears more like an inverted evolutionary tree. Rather than the prediction of a single trunk leading to many branches and twigs of diversity, what we actually find is the opposite: the rapid appearance of species followed by a narrowing as species reach extinction.
  "Also please provide any non-evolutionary theory
that explains the fossil evidence that common descent effectively
  This is ambiguous. For instance, what does "non-evolutionary" mean? Darwin made it clear that the main purpose of his theory was to overthrow special creation, and that NS was merely a subhypothesis that could be traded for Lamarckism, etc, if need be. Likewise, later evolutionists have been quite flexible in considering a wide variety of mechanisms outside of the traditional RV/NS (saltations, etc). The only hypotheses that are clearly outside of evolution are supernatural ones.
  On the other hand, perhaps by "non-evolutionary" you mean to include naturalistic explanations that fall outside of the NS subhypothesis, such as Lamarckism, environmentally-induced changes, etc.
  Second, what do you mean by "theory"? That is, are you asking from an IBE perspective, operational perspective, Cartesian "useful fiction" perspective, rationalist / realist perspective, etc.? For instance, what if you asked this of an empiricist, and they answered "Theory? Gee, I don't have a theory for that." ? What would that tell you?
  Third, are you concerned about the fossil evidence that common descent did not effectively predict? When evolutionists ask this "What's your theory?" question it is difficult to know how to answer, since the evolutionist has already accepted a theory with so many problems, and yet denies there are any problems. What is the sense in debating which theory is better when there is a monumental difference of opinion in how to evaluate the evidence, to begin with? If we cannot agree on the basic interpretation of the evidence, then there is no point to discussing alternative theories. I think the important first step is to try for some reasonable level of concurrence on the evidence. If there is no evidence against evolution, and it is a fact, then there are no reasonable alternatives.

Keith Miller <> wrote: > Yes, that is true. However, there are so many other predictions of
> evolution that have been falsified that it is not clear how much value
> there is in pointing to those predictions that were successful.
> Geocentrism has many successful predictions to its credit as well.

Please name one falsified prediction of the general theory of evolution
(ie. common descent). Also please provide any non-evolutionary theory
that explains the fossil evidence that common descent effectively


Keith B. Miller
Research Assistant Professor
Dept of Geology, Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506-3201
Received on Sun Dec 4 11:33:15 2005

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Sun Dec 04 2005 - 11:33:15 EST