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Posted by bzrd on November 10, 1999 15:59:16 UTC

: Well, I've been boning up on various creationism cites and I disagree. Let me know if your point differs on what I believe to be true. What you describe as micro-evolution is essentially, natural selection, and agree that is a FACT. However, what you explain to be macro evolution is inaccurate. It would be better defined as abiogenesis (the origin of life from enert matter), and is in fact separate from evolution. Macroevolution is more accurately, speciation, or the sum of natural selection to the point of the emergence of a new species. You suggest microevolution to be fact, and evolution to be JUST a theory. This demonstrates a lack of understanding of fundamental scientific principles.

: This argument rests on a confusion between what "theory" means in informal usage and in a scientific context. A theory, in the scientific sense, is a proposed mechanism that explains observed phenomena in a rational manner. The term DOESN't imply anything about certainty. Generally, scientific theories differ from scientific laws only in that laws can be expressed more concisely. Being a theory implies self-consistency, agreement with observations, and usefulness. Scientific laws and theories are not steps in a heirarchy of decreasing certainty.

: The certainty of a theory is based on how well it makes predictions. If a theory makes an incorrect prediction, we are suspicious that the mechanism is flawed and needs to account for the discrepency. But if a theory consistently makes correct predictions, our confidence in the theory grows.

: (Creationism fails to be a theory because it makes few or no specific predictions. It is constructed, just as religion is, to be unfalsifiable).

: Evolution is supported by a wide range of observations throughout the fields of genetics, anatomy, ecology, animal behavior, paleontology, and is the cornerstone of Biology. Your assertion that observed phenomena need be directly observed to be true is unjustified. Did Mendel actually observe genes when he postulated their existence from pea plants? No! He extrapolated it from evidence. Have scientists actually observed those little strings in atoms proposed in the string theory?? No we can observe things indirectly. What you suggest is that just because we havent actually observed speciation (say, a cat turning into a leopard), that this is somehow a weakness in evolution. It's not. In fact, if we did observe this, I'd be strong evidence for your point of view (God intervenes in nature).

bzrd here: Can evolution be falsified? When Darwin postulated his theory he was aware that the fossil record of the time did not support it. However, he was confident, that in time it would. Well, over a hundred yrs later, "punctuated equilibria" was introduced to account for the lack of transformational forms in the fossil record [try falsifing punctuated equilibria]. In his book "Not by Chance" Dr. Lee Spetner, Ph.D. in information theory, systematically dis-assembles the notion of information increasing over time in the genome; it was as if he lifted the hood on the "Darwinian automobile" and found the engine missing. Micheal J. Behe, molecular biologist at Lehigh, coined the term "irriducibly complex" to describe the many bio-molecular sytems in nature that are not amenable to gradualistic development via evolution. One is left with the question of "what would it take?" for evolution to be falsified. I have absolutely no problem with inference as a tool in science. I do have a problem with evolution being presented as a dogma. It seems anyone who states otherwise, is labeled a heretic and subject to inquisition of secular science. You would disagree, that one could make a valid argument for intelligent design in nature, based on inference?

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