Re: [asa] Definition of evolution

From: David Clounch <>
Date: Fri Oct 30 2009 - 17:28:13 EDT

Bill's attempt is...well, at least its an attempt.

In asking for qualifiers on the word evolution I was attempting to ask for
an end of equivocation by usage of clarity and precision.

But here we go now with another equivocating term, "theory".

String theory is only a theory but it not science. Anthropic principles
are theories too - but they are not science either. There is more than one
meaning to "theory". The degree of experimental verification is not
intrinsic to the word theory. Verification is a qualifier. Arthur
Strahler, in his book, made an attempt to suggest a figure of merit for how
reliable a theory is. Do any of the arm-chair giants pay any attention to
him? No.

Can someone tell me which of the theories of mutations I posted earlier has
been experimentally or empirically shown to be the root cause of
speciation? Of all of the thousands of words exchanged on the list about
macroevolution, I don't recall any discussion on theories of mutation.
Its almost like philosophers just cannot get to the point - they prefer
equivocation to clarity.

So - its difficult to tell if the disagreements on the list are real
disagreements, or just obtuseness and confusion caused by lack of precision
in the language. Yes, precision gets tedious. But lack of precision and
the resulting equivocation and confusion gets even more tedious. Does
anybody have any suggestions as to how to improve clarity without
definitions or adjectives in front of equivocal words?

Thank you,
signed, Grumpy. ;)

PS, Remember, I'm only one of the seven dwarves. The rest will get you.

On Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 11:43 AM, Dave Wallace <>wrote:

> Jim Armstrong wrote:
> Stateside, this particular usage of "supposed" has a dismissive or
> belittling nuance. It says essentially that an assertion you may make with
> confidence is only a less unsubstantial supposition in my view. JimA
> [Friend of ASA]
> Or as anti evolutionists would put it, 'Only a Theory'. To which I reply
> that Ohm's law and Maxwell's equations etc are only a theories upon which a
> lot of the modern world of electronics is built.
> Dave W
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Received on Fri Oct 30 17:28:46 2009

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