RE: [asa] Definition of evolution

From: Alexanian, Moorad <>
Date: Sun Nov 01 2009 - 07:10:46 EST

What you are saying in general is that there is time flowing forward and cause and effect. However, there is also irreversibility and miracles; and so one cannot uniquely determine the past in terms of the present. For instance, consider the miracle of water turning into wine. That is not the common way to make wine. Surely, one can think that that is the effect of watering a vine, but, of course, that is not what is meant for the miracle. So if someone gives us a glass of wine as asks us to work backwards in time to how that wine came to be, we would think of a winery and not Christ.

From: [] On Behalf Of Don Winterstein []
Sent: Sunday, November 01, 2009 1:07 AM
To: asa; Bill Powers
Subject: Re: [asa] Definition of evolution

Evolution is development over time where later stages are related to earlier stages.

Neither "process," "species" nor "millions of years" belong in a general definition. Just time, change and connection. "Connection" can imply "derived from" or "descended from" in a figurative (e.g., not necessarily genetic) sense.

IOW even those who believe in nothing but special creation should accept biological evolution if they are acquainted with the fossil record and accept geologic times.

Common descent and all other interpretations are special cases.

This definition accommodates not only those you mention but also people outside biology such as sociologists, astrophysicists and automobile manufacturers. It still won't do anything to attenuate the disagreements.


----- Original Message -----
From: Bill Powers<>
Sent: Thursday, October 29, 2009 8:42 PM
Subject: [asa] Definition of evolution

Some time ago I requested a definition of evolution, broadly construed.

What I am looking for is a definition that would encompass all brands of
evolution, including neo-darwinist, materialist, TE, ID, and perhaps

Here is one you might try on for size:

Evolution is a temporal process, taking place over millions of years,
whereby species arise in such a way that later species are correlated to
earlier species.

The definition is intended to describe the evidence with the least amount
of theoretical baggage.

What do you think?



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Received on Sun Nov 1 07:11:24 2009

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