Re: [asa] Definition of evolution

From: Bill Powers <>
Date: Sun Nov 01 2009 - 16:12:38 EST


I agree that evolution fundamentally entails connected change over time.

It seems, however, that biological evolution, in order to encompass the
salient features of the data, ought to prescribe that the change takes
place over a "long" period of time.

My intention really was to define biological evolution (that may not have
been clear given some of the recent posts).

Additionally, my intention is not to so much to attenuate the
disagreements as to sharpen and clarify them.

It seems to me, and here many will disagree, that the definition of
biological evolution provided by you, or my more specific version, would
be compatible with neo-darwinism, ID, TE, and with a
special creation by a single Creator. ID does not explicitly mention any
"connection" between species, but it could easily be inferred from it.


  On Sat, 31 Oct 2009, Don
Winterstein wrote:

> Evolution is development over time where later stages are related to earlier
> 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.
> Don
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Bill Powers<>
> To:<>
> 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
> others.
> 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?
> Thanks,
> bill
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Received on Sun Nov 1 16:13:31 2009

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