Re: [asa] Predictive Power: Astronomy vs. Evolution

From: Ted Davis <tdavis@messiah.edu>
Date: Wed Dec 06 2006 - 13:56:44 EST

>>> "David Opderbeck" <dopderbeck@gmail.com> 12/06/06 12:56 PM >>>writes:
Second, it seems to me that evolutionary theory does make some general
predictions. The basic one is that organisms will adapt to environmental
and competitive pressures. This is a very general prediction, but it has
specific application in areas like disease resistance. This kind of
prediction may not have the granularity of predictions about the locations
of the planets based on Newton's laws of motion and gravity, but that is
just a matter of degree, not of kind.

The author of the original argument didn't really address my first point.
As to my second point, he accused me of dishonesty or ignorance. ID, he
said, recognizes the type of microevolution I described, so that doesn't
count as a prediction based on evolutionary theory. After some further
exchanges about this accusation of dishonesty, I was banned from the forum
(!).

So here is my question for this group: was my instinct about this
comparison of the predictive power of astronomy and evolution right? Are
there better ways to frame / address this argument?

Ted replies:
My sense is that you were dead on target, David. I would add the general
prediction that "transitional forms" would be found as more of the fossil
record is revealed. Darwin specifically predicted that, and he appears to
have been correct. This argument seems to defy closure, of course; every
time a good candidate for a transitional form appears, all of a sudden it
creates two new "gaps" to be closed rather than filling an existing one. Or
so it seems, as we all know. When a position -- that there must be "gaps"
in the fossil record -- is not falsifiable, it is not falsifiable.

However, there are many others on this list far more qualified than me to
respond to your comments. I don't know why microevolution doesn't count as
a prediction for Darwin's theory; the fact that ID (and YEC) both accept it
simply means that they agree that Darwin predicted at least some thing(s)
right! I wasn't there and don't know why you got tossed, but I got tossed
from a similar list once myself before I even had a chance to respond to
those who did the tossing. This issue can be pretty hot, obviously, and it
doesn't tend to bring out the best in people....

Ted

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Received on Wed Dec 6 13:57:51 2006

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