A Leauki's Writings
Since too many people don't know...
Published on May 13, 2009 By Leauki In Biology

Evolution is not about and has nothing to do with:

1. Theism or atheism.

2. The origin of the universe.

3. The origin of life.

4. One species turning into another.*

5. Christianity.

6. Religion.

7. Politics.

8. Abortion.**

9. Morality and ethics.**

10. Eugenics.***

11."Micro-evolution" and "macro-evolution".****

Any article mentioning any of those as having anything to do with evolution is not about evolution.

 

*Species branch, they do not turn into. Evolution of life works like evolution of languages. English and German have a common ancestor but that common ancestor at no point in time "turned into" English or German and never was another language, meaning that there is no point in time where proto-English-German became English or proto-English-German became German.

**Added in June when I noticed that there are people who found a way to confuse those subjects with Darwin's theory.

***To be precise, eugenics is the opposite of evolution. Evolution is how animals develop without a plan. Eugenics is how animals develop with a plan. Eugenics is a form of "Intelligent Design", not evolution.

****Added in May 2010 when I remembered that I wanted to add this much earlier. Darwinian evolution does not recognise "micro-evolution" and "macro-evolution" as two distinct mechanisms nor is there, in nature, any kind of border line that would even allow to differentiate between the two. There is no natural border that "micro-evolution" could cross to become "macro-evolution".

 


Comments (Page 1)
on May 13, 2009

...

on May 13, 2009

Very true.

Well said.

on May 13, 2009

Thanks.

 

on May 13, 2009

Indeed, well said.

on May 16, 2009

I think I should add that evolution also has nothing to do with the concepts of "microevolution" and "macroveolution" as Creationists understand them.

 

on May 16, 2009

I have no problem with this. I do have a problem with common descent, which when I went through High School was referred to as "Evolution". Sorry, that's what they called it, and it's usually what is brought up in discussions to try and disprove what we believe. While I do understand their thought process it is something that they cannot prove or disprove.

on May 17, 2009

I do have a problem with common descent, which when I went through High School was referred to as "Evolution". 

Yes, that is evolution.

And all the evidence points to it being the true explanation. We also don't have a better one that remains compatible with the evidence.

It doesn't matter if you have a problem with it though. It remains the best explanation.

What is your problem with common descent?

 

I have no problem with this.

Rather, Judaism in that case would call upon its adherents to give even greater reverence than ever before to the one, sole God Who, in His boundless creative wisdom and eternal omnipotence, needed to bring into existence no more than one single, amorphous nucleus and one single law of "adaptation and heredity" in order to bring forth, from what seemed chaos but was in fact a very definite order, the infinite variety of species we know today, each with its unique characteristics that sets it apart from all other creatures. 

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, Collected Writings, 1880s

 

on May 17, 2009

Yes, that is evolution.

And all the evidence points to it being the true explanation. We also don't have a better one that remains compatible with the evidence.

It doesn't matter if you have a problem with it though. It remains the best explanation.

What is your problem with common descent?

The biggest problem I have with common descent is that it is portrayed as fact by many rather than the best explanation as you said. As for the theory behind common descent as I said somewhere else it goes against what we know as fact about genetics, however they say that it must be true because of mass mutations which they have no proof of other than it seems that a certain set of creatures don't have fosils after this point and another set of creatures don't appear to have fosils before this point. While I have no problem stating that it is possible, it isn't the only possibility and for me personally I don't believe it to be the right conclusion. It fits the circumstances, but that doesn't mean it's the only possibility and it definately shouldn't be portrayed that way. If they can show proof for it rather than just the lack of proof against it I'm all for it.

*EDIT* Sorry if I repeated myself in there, got distracted a couple times while writing this. *sigh* *Goes off to grab some kids.*

on May 17, 2009

The biggest problem I have with common descent is that it is portrayed as fact by many rather than the best explanation as you said.

As long as there is no other possible explanation, it is as good as a fact. And so far the explanation we have has been confirmed by every experiment.

 

As for the theory behind common descent as I said somewhere else it goes against what we know as fact about genetics,

Actually, what we know about genetics confirms that there is a single common ancestor of all life on earth. Darwin's theory predicted it and modern genetics confirmed it. All life forms do indeed use the same type of code. If we didn't have a common ancestor, there would be no reason why the genetic code looks as it does.

 

however they say that it must be true because of mass mutations which they have no proof of other than it seems that a certain set of creatures don't have fosils after this point and another set of creatures don't appear to have fosils before this point. While I have no problem stating that it is possible, it isn't the only possibility and for me personally I don't believe it to be the right conclusion.

If you rule out the impossible (and in the case of scientific research the impossible is that which cannot be tested), what remains is the fact. (I don't know what "mass mutations" are.)

The fossil map is not the proof we have for evolution. Fossils merely support the theory.

Let me give you an example of an evolution that is not biological. We know that modern German and modern English have a common ancestor. And we do have "fossils", namely written examples of modern German, modern English, and some of the ancestor. And indeed modern German and modern English don't have "fossils" before a point. But the reason for that is not that the two came to be just before that point but that not everything that was ever said in those languages was ever written down.

Similarly fossils merely tell us that one of millions of creatures did and happened to fossilise. But that is a rare event and the theory of evolution does not rely on fossils for evidence.

 

on May 17, 2009

As long as there is no other possible explanation, it is as good as a fact. And so far the explanation we have has been confirmed by every experiment.

There is no other explanation that science is willing to accept. That doesn't mean that there won't be one found in the future or that there isn't other possibilities.

Actually, what we know about genetics confirms that there is a single common ancestor of all life on earth. Darwin's theory predicted it and modern genetics confirmed it. All life forms do indeed use the same type of code. If we didn't have a common ancestor, there would be no reason why the genetic code looks as it does.

Genetics confirm that all living organisms on Earth share certian traits which defined by their genes. What exactly these genes do and the possibility of what else genes could mean isn't known yet. In reality all that we know that this means for sure is that all living organisms share the ability to live and grow. It's like when the atom was thought to be the smalles possible thing, however they found out there was even smaller pieces to it. Therefore all atoms must be related somehow, right, but when we tried to find out how we found out there were even smaller parts to atoms. There's nothing to say that there's not a bigger classification to DNA than what we currently know. The earth was considered to be the center of the universe for centuries until it was proven wrong. Just because it can't be proven wrong, however, doesn't prove it right.

If you rule out the impossible (and in the case of scientific research the impossible is that which cannot be tested), what remains is the fact. (I don't know what "mass mutations" are.)

The fossil map is not the proof we have for evolution. Fossils merely support the theory.

Let me give you an example of an evolution that is not biological. We know that modern German and modern English have a common ancestor. And we do have "fossils", namely written examples of modern German, modern English, and some of the ancestor. And indeed modern German and modern English don't have "fossils" before a point. But the reason for that is not that the two came to be just before that point but that not everything that was ever said in those languages was ever written down.

Similarly fossils merely tell us that one of millions of creatures did and happened to fossilise. But that is a rare event and the theory of evolution does not rely on fossils for evidence.

When you rule out the impossible you have the posibilities that are currently known. As I said above, just because it can't be disproven doesn't mean it's fact. God's existance can't be proven or disproven, according to your theory then science should be able to see it as a possible fact, yes? There are plenty of things that point to the possible existance of a higher spiritual being and nothing that disproves it.

on May 17, 2009

There is no other explanation that science is willing to accept. That doesn't mean that there won't be one found in the future or that there isn't other possibilities.

...I don't think many scientists would disagree with you there.

Anyone who claims that the theory of evolution is fact is incorrect... the data that supports it is, but evolution is both "theory and fact" in that the fact of evolution (the changes we can demonstrate have and do occur) and the theory of evolution (the explanatory framework for the data) both go by the same name.

Evolution is not "truth", it's "best, most useful explanation". It won't be "proved" in the mathematical sense because science isn't mathematics. However, it does a damn fine job at what it does and for the time being it serves our purposes and helps us understand the world a little better. If a better explanatory framework that better explained the data existed, we should use that. However, I doubt that a theory that is radically different from evolution will be uncovered in the near future... revolutions in scientific fields are rare, usually the changes to theories to accomodate anomalous data are... well, evolutionary.

God's existance can't be proven or disproven, according to your theory then science should be able to see it as a possible fact, yes?

Nope! It is unverifiable and unfalsifiable, so science should have no opinion on the subject... it's out of it's scope! God is not a possible "fact" in the scientific sense of the word: "fact" in science is empirical data... and we'll never have facts on the unknowable.

on May 17, 2009

Anyone who claims that the theory of evolution is fact is incorrect... the data that supports it is, but evolution is both "theory and fact" in that the fact of evolution (the changes we can demonstrate have and do occur) and the theory of evolution (the explanatory framework for the data) both go by the same name.

Evolution is not "truth", it's "best, most useful explanation". It won't be "proved" in the mathematical sense because science isn't mathematics. However, it does a damn fine job at what it does and for the time being it serves our purposes and helps us understand the world a little better. If a better explanatory framework that better explained the data existed, we should use that. However, I doubt that a theory that is radically different from evolution will be uncovered in the near future... revolutions in scientific fields are rare, usually the changes to theories to accomodate anomalous data are... well, evolutionary.

Exactly my point.

Nope! It is unverifiable and unfalsifiable, so science should have no opinion on the subject... it's out of it's scope! God is not a possible "fact" in the scientific sense of the word: "fact" in science is empirical data... and we'll never have facts on the unknowable.

It is currently unverifiable to scientific standards, but that like evolution, may change in the future. I'm not saying that science will ever prove or disprove God, but you never know what a breakthrough might bring to light. There a lot of things that science still can't explain, times where things happen that aren't supposed to. Scientists refer to these as anomolies, however they might not be. I was just trying to point out that if you're going to give common descent the status of a fact because it can't be disproven then you should give God the status of a fact. Neither can be disproven and both have evidence that can be provided in their favor.

on May 17, 2009

It is currently unverifiable to scientific standards, but that like evolution, may change in the future.

No, the existence of a god is forever unverifiable to scientific standards.

Gods are by definition supernatural beings and scientific standards are by definition for testing events in nature. Using science to prove or disprove the existence of a creator of the universe is by definition impossible.

 

on May 17, 2009

 I'd point out that the evidence for or against the existence of god are philosophical in nature, not empirical, where they'd need to be to be the subject of scientific inquiry.

on May 17, 2009

What people believe God asks of them is philosophical, that is very true, however we may one day find evidence of a supernatural being that can be proven. There are many things that were once thought impossible that became possible. I'm not saying that it's very probable, but then again, like I said, it's not very probable that science will prove common descent either. There are a lot of people, even some in scientific circles, that say that the shear complexity of all that is around us is evidence of a supernatural being. I'm just saying that we don't know what advances science might come to one day, but whether God or common descent, the likelihood of what happened being proven concretely is very slim.

Meta
Views
» 528
Comments
» 19
Category
Sponsored Links