Re: [asa] FYI: Arrogance, dogma and why science - not faith - is the new enemy of

From: Lawrence Johnston <>
Date: Thu Aug 23 2007 - 20:51:39 EDT

I'd like to ask a question of the Bio types on our List:

What has happened to Steve Gould's "Punk EEK" revelation that the fossil
record shows that when a new animal type shows up, it continues essentialy
simple descent for a few million years, and then goes extinct, without
showing Darwinian gradual change. I remember he took hits from some big
time professsionals, for this revelation.

Lawrence Johnston

Lawrence H. Johnston home: 917 E. 8th st.
professor of physics, emeritus Moscow, Id 83843
University of Idaho (208) 882-2765
Fellow of the American Physical Society ==============

Date sent: Thu, 23 Aug 2007 12:24:51 -0500
From: David Campbell <>
Subject: Re: [asa] FYI: Arrogance, dogma and why science - not
faith - is the
        new enemy of
To: AmericanScientificAffiliation <>

> Moorad correctly noted that a definition of evolution is needed;
> likewise ID must be defined. Also, there's some confusion about
> exactly what should be predicted.
> In the present context, universal common descent and abiotic origin of
> life without supernatural intervention is a reasonable description of
> the evolutionary option, though of course one might accept any portion
> of that without accepting all of it.
> The more ID claims I see the less sure I am about its definition.
> Behe specifically claims that there is extensive common descent but
> significant intervention.
> As Michael noted, evolution's predictions of continuity make us to
> expect that, within the vagaries of the fossil record, we should see a
> sequence of organisms making a chain of relationships. The patterns
> of molecular and anatomical similarity likewise match the expectations
> of evolutionary continuity. I have not found any evidence of an edge
> of evolution that separates one organism from another when the
> branches are traced back along an evolutionary tree, though the branch
> tips may be widely spaced. On the other hand there are clear external
> constraints on the tree from the laws of physics, etc.
> To some extent there's a half empty/half full component-there's a lot
> we don't know about complex molecular systems. However, ID rhetoric
> tends to claim that a half-full glass has been proven scientifically
> to be empty, whereas in reality evolutionary explanations keep being
> developed for additional systems.
> Evolutionary theory does not predict the exact historical contingent
> path taken by organisms, just as gravitational theory does not tell us
> how many planets to expect in any part of the galaxy, but they both
> predict the types of patterns that we do see .
> --
> Dr. David Campbell
> 425 Scientific Collections
> University of Alabama
> "I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of clams"
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Received on Thu Aug 23 20:51:08 2007

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