July 9, 2005

THE DEVIL HAS HIS CHAPLAINS, GOD HAS HIS:

Leading Cardinal Redefines Church's View on Evolution (CORNELIA DEAN and LAURIE GOODSTEIN, 7/09/05, NY Times)

An influential cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church, which has long been regarded as an ally of the theory of evolution, is now suggesting that belief in evolution as accepted by science today may be incompatible with Catholic faith.

The cardinal, Christoph Schönborn, archbishop of Vienna, a theologian who is close to Pope Benedict XVI, staked out his position in an Op-Ed article in The New York Times on Thursday, writing, "Evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense - an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection - is not."

In a telephone interview from a monastery in Austria, where he was on retreat, the cardinal said that his essay had not been approved by the Vatican, but that two or three weeks before Pope Benedict XVI's election in April, he spoke with the pope, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, about the church's position on evolution. "I said I would like to have a more explicit statement about that, and he encouraged me to go on," said Cardinal Schönborn.

He said that he had been "angry" for years about writers and theologians, many Catholics, who he said had "misrepresented" the church's position as endorsing the idea of evolution as a random process.

Opponents of Darwinian evolution said they were gratified by Cardinal Schönborn's essay. But scientists and science teachers reacted with confusion, dismay and even anger. Some said they feared the cardinal's sentiments would cause religious scientists to question their faiths.


Gosh, wouldn't want them to question their Darwinism.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 9, 2005 8:26 AM
Comments

Like the MP in Canada who said his family has quit going to church since the priest refused him communion because of his vote on same-sex "marriage".

This is all so terribly unfair. I mean, how can anyone be expected to stand up for "principles" if there are going to be actual consequences?

Posted by: Randall Voth at July 9, 2005 9:33 AM

Evolution isn't a 'principle', it's science. If 'Social Republicans' want to be ignorant, then that just narrows the job market for those wanting to work in the Sciences or Academia.

Posted by: Adam at July 9, 2005 11:21 AM

That'll be news to all the scientists who are skeptics of Darwinism, which means most doctors.

Academia is as Darwinist as it is Marxist and for the same reasons.

Posted by: oj at July 9, 2005 11:25 AM

Must one believe the science to be good at it?

Posted by: RC at July 9, 2005 11:44 AM

Any idiot can ape the Darwinist line.

Posted by: oj at July 9, 2005 11:47 AM

"That'll be news to all the scientists who are skeptics of Darwinism, which means most doctors."

The majority of all doctors (40%) accept evolution rather than reject it. I wouldn't call them skeptics.

http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0605/medicine.men060305.php3

Posted by: creeper at July 9, 2005 12:21 PM

What part of Darwinism is there for the "scientists" to be good at performing? I'm not
aware of any lab work being done in this field,
no double blind experiments, etc. Sitting around
in an office waiting for a biologist to find something new, and shouting "Darwin was Right!"
doesn't strike those of us in the rank and file
as science. Maybe if you called it History(Natural)and left the lab coats to those who have earned them, most of the arguments would stop. I think the Darwinists claim to be hard science(biology, physics, etc) as opposed to soft(History, Social Studies, etc) is the biggest sticking point. I've been told that if you can't
duplicate an event in a lab, it's a Miracle, not
Science; Let's see a little more lab work before
we get on our high horse.....

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at July 9, 2005 12:47 PM

Robert:

Sitting around
in an office waiting for a biologist to find something new, and shouting "Darwin was Right!"
doesn't strike those of us in the rank and file
as science.

Thank you for that delightful image. If you will permit, can we also imagine them putting on their coats at the end of the day and saying: "Hey, Joe, did anyone come up with a competing theory of life based on natural,scientific principles today? No? Hot damn, then it's still a fact!"

Posted by: Peter B at July 9, 2005 2:04 PM

Sigh. This story is deeply silly, more or less due to the fact that science journalists typically know nothing about science (one might wonder why anyone thinks political journalists are any more knowledgeable about their field of "expertise").

"Evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense - an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection - is not."

There are really only 2 response available:

1) Accept that this is a proper characterization of contemporary evolutionary theory. If so, then it is obviously by definition incompatible with belief in God as ever understood by Christianity (i.e., one who certainly plans and guides things here on Earth).

2) Claim that this is a strawman characterization of evolution. Then the conclusion would be meaningless.

But there's no way that one can argue that he has correctly described evolution and yet gone astray in his conclusions.

Posted by: b at July 9, 2005 2:13 PM

Any idiot can ape the Darwinist line.

It takes an extroadinary idiot to misrepresent it.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at July 9, 2005 2:45 PM

Peter, that is one of my points. No one seems to be
looking for an competing theory. I'm just down the
road from CEBAF. There is work being done in Physics. I have driven past large Chemical plants.
Work is being done in Chemistry. I don't know of
any work being done in Evolutionary theory. No farms, no labs, nothing. There is work to be done;
"Darwin's Black Box" seems to have been completely
written off. irreducable complex systems are a problem for Darwin's theory. Isn't that how science works? Find a hole and start digging?
I haven't heard of any work being done.
If I am reading your response correctly, you
feel that until there is a competing theory on
your terms, we're stuck with this one. I will
buy that, but we seemed to have missed a step.
observe, formulate a theory, test theory. Have
I misunderstood? That's what I was how I was
taught science worked. Has that changed?
If step three is impossible for Evolutionary
theory then how is it science? It would seem to
be History. We observe, record the data, but have
no ablity to predict in a testable, repeatable way. I see the History. No one has shown any hard
science. Set up a lab. Prove them wrong! or be
proven wrong. It happend to Newton, it could happen to you. But please, enough pouting. Do
the work.

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at July 9, 2005 3:23 PM

RD:

No, as Harry will gladly tell you--for hours at a time--no one really represents it properly but him.

One of the beauties of Darwinism is since there's no science involved no two Darwinists mean the same thing, just like no two Christians understand Christianity the same.

Posted by: oj at July 9, 2005 4:40 PM

Robert,

You seem awfully certain that no work has been or is being done in this regard. What experiments would you suggest to confirm or refute evolutionary theory?

Posted by: creeper at July 9, 2005 4:41 PM

(That was addressed to Robert Mitchell Jr., not Robert Duquette - though I think the Duck had that figured out...)

Posted by: creeper at July 9, 2005 4:48 PM

ERNST MAYR: One of the surprising things that I discovered in my work on the philosophy of biology is that when it comes to the physical sciences, any new theory is based on a law, on a natural law. Yet as several leading philosophers have stated, and I agree with them, there are no laws in biology like those of physics. Biologists often use the word law, but for something to be a law, it has to have no exceptions. A law must be beyond space and time, and therefore it cannot be specific. Every general truth in biology though is specific. Biological "laws" are restricted to certain parts of the living world, or certain localized situations, and they are restricted in time. So we can say that their are no laws in biology, except in functional biology which, as I claim, is much closer to the physical sciences, than the historical science of evolution.

Posted by: creeper at July 9, 2005 4:50 PM

creeper:

Easy. Take two creatures that all Darwinists can agree are different species--say a whale and a dolphin--and try cross breeding them.

Posted by: oj at July 9, 2005 4:51 PM

Even horses and donkeys are the same species. Course, you get sterile offspring, so something doesn't quite fit.

Posted by: ghostcat at July 9, 2005 5:28 PM
What part of Darwinism is there for the "scientists" to be good at performing? I'm not aware of any lab work being done in this field, no double blind experiments, etc.

Actually, there is an immense amount of work being done, most using the methodology of molecular biology. Any comparison of gene sequences across species tests the predictions of Darwinian theory. However, it is certainly true that most modern scientific work is not designed to test Darwinian theory but rather does so incidentally, much as observational astronomy continually "tests" the theory that the earth revolves around the sun. It is not that anybody in biology seriously doubts evolution, or that the earth revolves around the sun, but rather that this knowledge is so fundamental to science, and used so ubiquitously in the design of experiments, that one would constantly be tripping over contradictions if it were wrong. Evolutionary theory is accepted almost universally by biologists, not because of some dogma, but because they use it as a tool every day, and they know from direct experience how reliable it is.

As for the Cardinal's pronouncement, I doubt if many scientists will see it as a grave problem for teaching of biology. He accepts the fundamental conclusions of evolutionary theory, such as the ancient origin of life and common descent with modification as an origin of species. Where the Cardinal takes issue is the view of evolution as a random, undirected process. This is a perfectly respectable religious view, and not necessarily at odds with any of the observational or experimental evidence for the theory of evolution--that which appears random from our human perspective is not necessarily random for God.

Posted by: tgibbs at July 9, 2005 5:44 PM
Even horses and donkeys are the same species. Course, you get sterile offspring, so something doesn't quite fit.

Not always. And no, horses and donkeys are not the same species. They are the same genus (Equus), but horses are species equus (i.e. they are Equus equus), whereas donkeys are species asinus

Posted by: tgibbs at July 9, 2005 5:53 PM

Mr. Creeper, in answer to your question, I think
I've made it clear I am a layman. I do read this
blog daily and I have followed and enjoyed the ongoing discussion on Evolution. While I find the
scholarly magazines too dry to follow with the
level of attention they demand, I'm sure that many
of those who defend the theory here do. They haven't in my memory talked of any work being done,and I can't imagine why they wouldn't bring it up. Second, I watched the ID theory get ignored by the scientific community because it could not be proven false, and so was not science.
A logical proof, and I can't fault it. It does follow, that Evolution can be proven false, but I've never heard a follower of the theory tell me how it could be refuted. If God were to place a hopping tree in full view of MIT, cameras running,
it would by definition be a Miracle, not science.
You understand Evolutionary Theory, it's not an moment of faith for you. What thought experiment
do you use to refute it? What would you have to see to stop using Evolution to understand the World? On the other side(since no scientific proof is conclusive unless it prove you wrong)if some scientests were to set up controlled breeding
locations and observe speciation(same species, or it's a Miracle, not science) that would go a long way to showing the validity of Darwin's theory.

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at July 9, 2005 6:12 PM

And since they can breed and the offspring aren't sterile the two aren't different species.

You've confused genetics, which is useful, and Darwinism, which isn't.

Posted by: oj at July 9, 2005 6:19 PM

tgibbs -

Thanks for the correction. Are there other same-genus/different-species hybrid mammals like mules? (Ligers?) How about sea mammals?

Posted by: ghostcat at July 9, 2005 6:21 PM

And since they can breed and the offspring aren't sterile the two aren't different species.

Actually, no. The scientific definition does not require that different species be completely incapable of producing fertile offspring--merely that they do not normally do so.

For example, a Great Dane and a Chihuahua, if found in the wild, would undoubtedly be classified as separate species. We consider them to be breeds of dogs, rather than distinct species, only because they have arisen by artificial rather than natural selection.

Posted by: tgibbs at July 9, 2005 7:29 PM

Let's say you're right, oj, in suggesting that the ability to produce fertile offspring would make horses and donkeys ... by definition ... the same species. What does it say about classifications and evolution that a few horses and donkeys are able to produce fertile mules, while the vast majority do not?

Posted by: ghostcat at July 9, 2005 7:30 PM
Thanks for the correction. Are there other same-genus/different-species hybrid mammals like mules? (Ligers?) How about sea mammals?

Here's a report of hybrid porpoises. I don't know if they are fertile.

Posted by: tgibbs at July 9, 2005 7:38 PM
It does follow, that Evolution can be proven false, but I've never heard a follower of the theory tell me how it could be refuted.

Evolution could readily be proven false by genetic sequence comparison. Darwinian theory makes quantitative predictions as to the level of sequence similarity among different species, and also among related genes within a species. With complete genomes available for a number of species, an immense number of such comparisons have been made, any of which had the potential to disprove evolution. All have supported evolutionary theory. There are other more subtle predictions, that also have held up, such as the origin of major protein families in short-lifespan organisms. Big creatures with long lifespans (like us) simply don't evolve fast enough to invent new protein families.

You won't often find anybody commenting on this in publications, because among practicing biologists, pointing out that a result confirms evolutionary theory is a bit like an astrophysicist pointing out that an observation confirms the theory that the earth revolves around the sun--it would come across as an insult to the intelligence of the reader.

Posted by: tgibbs at July 9, 2005 7:48 PM

t:

That's genetics, not Darwinism. We know you can construct everything from a limited amount of material, only the process is in question.

Posted by: oj at July 9, 2005 8:33 PM

ghost:

That they can but don't choose to. All Darwinism achieves is variation not speciation. we've no idea what intervenes to cause real change.

Posted by: oj at July 9, 2005 8:35 PM

t:

Yes, dogs prove the point.

Posted by: oj at July 9, 2005 8:36 PM

I may have misread you, oj: The offspring of horses and donkeys surely don't CHOOSE whether to be fertile or not. The fact that nearly all are not, yet some few are, suggests interesting complexities.

Posted by: ghostcat at July 9, 2005 9:07 PM

ghost:

No, it doesn't. It suggests that if they needed to they'd just interbreed and survive rather nicely. The differences that struck Darwin so forcefully, species, turn out to be minor and illusory.

Posted by: oj at July 9, 2005 9:11 PM

What we have here is a Hud moment, oj. I'm not arguing fer or agin Darwin. Just musing on the question of why nearly all horse/donkey mating fails to produce fertile offspring, yet a few do. Sounds like some genetic quirk there that I've never read about. Am I missing your point?

Posted by: ghostcat at July 9, 2005 9:32 PM

Yes, they aren't separate species.

Posted by: oj at July 9, 2005 9:41 PM

Creeper: "majority of all doctors (40%)." Traditionaly a majority is a number over 50%, although some Democrats appear to believe that 48% is a majority.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at July 9, 2005 9:50 PM

"Any idiot can ape the Darwinist line."

Or, Any ape can idiot the Darwinian line, or the darwinian line is that anyone who doesn't think he is an ape is an idiot, or something like that.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at July 9, 2005 9:53 PM

That's genetics, not Darwinism. We know you can construct everything from a limited amount of material, only the process is in question.

Darwinian theory makes strong predictions regarding genetics. Indeed, Darwinian theory predicted genetics. At the time when Darwin devised his theory, genes were not know (Mendel had carried out experiments that suggested the existence of genes, but they were not widely known). Darwin proposed that something like genes and mutation would have to exist, since his theory required them. So the discovery of genetics was in itself a dramatic confirmation of evolution.

Posted by: tgibbs at July 9, 2005 10:04 PM

"Take two creatures that all Darwinists can agree are different species--say a whale and a dolphin--and try cross breeding them."

The Federal Government is taking the position that Salmon from different rivers are different species, even though they are more or less identical genetically.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at July 9, 2005 10:06 PM


From the (1915)Catholic Encyclopedia's article on Mendel
:

"Mendel's experiments, on which his fame rests, were commenced while he was still a novice, and carried out in the large gardens attached to his monastery. Dissatisfied with the Darwinian views, then commencing to be known, he undertook a series of experiments on peas which occupied his spare time for eight years. The results of these observations were published in the "Transactions" of the Brunn Natural History Society in 1866, and a further paper on Hieracium appeared in the same periodical in 1869. ...
"The Brnn Society was not a wholly unknown organization, but its Journal was scarcely one which could be expected to give the widest publicity to a new discovery or theory. It is perhaps largely on this account that Mendel's views seemed for a third of a century to have been still-born. Bateson, however, thinks that this would not so long have delayed his recognition, but that "the cause is unquestionably to be found in that neglect of the experimental study of the problem of Species which supervened on the general acceptance of the Darwinian doctrines" ...
"It is a remarkable fact that Mendel's writings never appear to have come under the notice of Charles Darwin and many have speculated as to the effects which they might probably have exercised on that writer had he made their acquaintance. T.H. Morgan does not hesitate to say that Mendel's laws give the final coup de grace to the doctrine of Natural Selection, and others consider that his views, if finally proved to be correct, will at least demand a profound modification in the theories associated with the name of Darwin."

IIRC, Mendelian genetics and Darwinian Evolution were not reconciled until the 1930s.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at July 9, 2005 10:29 PM
That they can but don't choose to. All Darwinism achieves is variation not speciation. we've no idea what intervenes to cause real change.

One of the things that gene sequencing has revealed is that there is no qualitative distinction between "variation" and "speciation". At the genetic level, the differences that divide species are of the same kind as those that underly variation within a population. "Real change" is quantitative, not qualitative. Of course, under Darwinian theory, this has to be true; if it had turned out otherwise, the theory would have been in trouble.

Posted by: tgibbs at July 9, 2005 10:40 PM

except that, as you point out, nothing actually divides species.

Posted by: oj at July 9, 2005 10:50 PM

IIRC, Mendelian genetics and Darwinian Evolution were not reconciled until the 1930s.

It is more correct to say that they were not fully integrated. Darwin had two big problems with his theory--it required some way for traits to remain discrete as they are passed down through generations. The generally held view at the time was that parental traits were blended in the offspring. Darwin initially tried to incorporate this into his theory, but realized that this would not work as it would result in all variation being diluted out. The other thing his theory required was a method of generation of diversity, since otherwise variation would eventually be "used up" and evolution would stop. Darwin was aware that his theory required these mechanisms, but he didn't know how they might work. Mendel's work showed that traits were indeed passed down without mixing, as Darwin's theory required. The discovery of mutation provided the necessary mechanism for diversity generation. Subsequent gene sequencing studies revealed that differences among species were indeed due to the same kinds of genetic changes produced by mutation.

Posted by: tgibbs at July 9, 2005 10:54 PM

oj -

My question is, how can horses and donkeys be "separate species" (by our working definition here) in some cases, but not in others? What's the essential difference between those which produce fertile offspring and those (the vast majority) which do not? And what's the significance of that difference?

Posted by: ghostcat at July 9, 2005 10:54 PM

No, Darwinism just assumed particulate inheritance without understanding the exact mechanism, but it was well understood that a mechanism would be found. Of course, Darwin himself was quite inconsistent on the matter precisely because he couldn't figure out the mechanismn, leading him into periodic bouts of Lamarckianism. But his better moments certainly excuse such dubious ones.

Posted by: oj at July 9, 2005 10:54 PM

ghost:

An individual isn't a "species"--a population is. Think of them as two populations and the fact they can reproduce reveals them to be just one.

Posted by: oj at July 9, 2005 10:59 PM

Of course, the variation ends up being quite limited, as the failure to speciate demonstrates and even Darwinists are now reckoning with the notion that evolution has stopped, though they tend to dress up in some nonsense about how survival pressures have been relieved.

Posted by: oj at July 9, 2005 11:01 PM
My question is, how can horses and donkeys be "separate species" (by our working definition here) in some cases, but not in others? What's the essential difference between those which produce fertile offspring and those (the vast majority) which do not? And what's the significance of that difference?

It probably depends upon which specific sets of genes the mule passes on to the foal. Remember that the parent passes on half of his/her genes to the child. In the case of a mule, that would mean some horse genes and some donkey genes. Probably most such combinations do not work well together and are lethal, and only a few combinations are capable of working together.

What genetics demonstrates is that "species" is largely a human distinction, not a hard-and-fast line. Nevertheless, it reflects an important evolutionary mechanism for generation of diversity. When two populations of animals cease to mate frequently, whether it is due to isolation, environmental differences or mutation, they lose a genetic stabilizing force and tend to diverge more profoundly. The more they diverge, the less likely they are to be able to mate successfully if given the opportunity, because they are more likely to carry incompatible genes. The less they mate, the more they diverge. So it is a self-reinforcing mechanism

Posted by: tgibbs at July 9, 2005 11:05 PM
Of course, the variation ends up being quite limited, as the failure to speciate demonstrates and even Darwinists are now reckoning with the notion that evolution has stopped, though they tend to dress up in some nonsense about how survival pressures have been relieved.

No, if evolution had stopped due to variation being used up, then variation would be absent in populations. It is clear from genetic sequencing studies that this is not the case. Moreover, the existence of mutation provides a mechanism for replenishing variation. Nobody seriously believes that evolution has stopped.

Posted by: tgibbs at July 9, 2005 11:11 PM

Except that it turns out we can mate them quite easily. The divergence is rather minimal. It's a neat theory, just wrong.

Posted by: oj at July 9, 2005 11:12 PM

My question is one generation down from your point. I understand that horses and donkeys can reproduce. Let's agree for the sake of discussion that they are therefore one species.

What I don't understand is why their offspring are almost always sterile and, more interestingly, why a few are not. What does that say about the parents?

Posted by: ghostcat at July 9, 2005 11:12 PM

t:

No, the variation is a given. The point is that it doesn't produce evolution. That's why Darwinists are indeed speculating it's stopped:

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,644002,00.html

Posted by: oj at July 9, 2005 11:16 PM

ghost:

That they've become unaccustomed to interbreeding.

Posted by: oj at July 9, 2005 11:21 PM

He jumped so high. Then he lightly touched down.

Posted by: ghostcat at July 9, 2005 11:27 PM
No, the variation is a given. The point is that it doesn't produce evolution. That's why Darwinists are indeed speculating it's stopped

Wrong. The article you cite does not speculate that evolution in general has stopped. It reports a minority view by a few scientists who believe that modern technology is protecting humans from selection pressures.

Gene sequencing has revealed that all differences among species are due to exactly the same kind of genetic variation that occurs within a species, confirming another key prediction of evolutionary theory. That such variation in the presence of selection results in genetic change (which is the definition of evolution) has been demonstrated in numerous experiments and computer simulations.

Posted by: tgibbs at July 10, 2005 12:50 AM
My question is one generation down from your point. I understand that horses and donkeys can reproduce. Let's agree for the sake of discussion that they are therefore one species.

What I don't understand is why their offspring are almost always sterile and, more interestingly, why a few are not. What does that say about the parents?

It does not make sense to agree to something scientifically incorrect "for the sake of discussion." The definition of species does not require complete inability to reproduce--only that they do not do so at any appreciable rate in the wild. By this standard horses and donkeys are separate species.

The reason why mules are usually sterile is almost certainly genetic incompatibility between particular horse and donkey genes. Whereas the mule has a full set of horse and donkey chromosomes, the second generation will have a random mix, perhaps having only horse for some chromosomes and donkey for others. Most such combinations are apparently incompatible with life, so the offspring only rarely survives. The few that do will have a greater chance of being fertile. Hybrids between closely related species are believed to be one mechanism of speciation, but probably not a common one for large mammals with different chromosome counts, such as horses and donkeys.

Posted by: tgibbs at July 10, 2005 1:51 AM

Sheer hubris to claim that "speciation has stopped".

We don't have any idea of how many species of creatures there are, we find new ones all of the time, and every so often some creature believed to be extinct turns up alive.

Only after we've cataloged, classified, and monitered EVERY species on Earth for a few hundred years, without there being any changes, (extinctions are allowed), would we be in a position to claim that evolution has "stopped".
Even then it would only be a statistical argument, subject to a certain chance of being in error, until a few thousand years of observation of ALL species failed to show anything new.

Don't hold your breath.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at July 10, 2005 7:47 AM

Michael;

Yes, Darwinism, because it is not scientific, can rely on the fact that you can't prove a negative. But a hundred and fifty years on even the less fanatical Darwinist is disturbed by the failyre to ever find speciation as a result of Natural Selection.

Posted by: oj at July 10, 2005 8:49 AM

The definition of species did,m of course, require the complete inability to reproduce. Then it was discovered, to the consternation of Darwinists, that there'd be no such thing as species, so they retreated to their choosing not to rep[roduce together, It adds a whimsical touch of free will and intelligent design, but is obvious nonsense.

Posted by: oj at July 10, 2005 9:10 AM

Oh, right, humans are special and have broken free of evolution....

Posted by: oj at July 10, 2005 9:11 AM

1: OJ, did you?

2: Without going over the poll I do not know how the term evolution was defined. Was it the Full Richard Dawkins, or the mushy Cardinal Schnborn?

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at July 10, 2005 2:05 PM

The definition of species did,m of course, require the complete inability to reproduce.

This is kind of foolish. The classification of horses and donkeys as different species long predates Darwin. So do mules. Complete inability to reproduce was never required for a species distinction.

Posted by: tgibbs at July 10, 2005 3:14 PM

Yes, they aren't separate species.

Posted by: oj at July 10, 2005 3:22 PM
Darwinism, because it is not scientific, can rely on the fact that you can't prove a negative. But a hundred and fifty years on even the less fanatical Darwinist is disturbed by the failyre to ever find speciation as a result of Natural Selection.

Darwin is a scientific theory, in that it makes numerous testable predictions. The degree of confirmation of the theory is virtually unparalleled--it is one of the most extensively tested and confirmed theories in all of science. And by the way, a number of examples of speciation have been observed.

Posted by: tgibbs at July 10, 2005 3:24 PM

Common descent is common to all of the evolutions, including Creationism and I.D..

Those aren't speciation events, you can cross breed them with the originals easy enough. They're just varieties.

As you've pointed out, we don't consider ourselves to have speciated dogs just because a Great Dane is different looking than a chihuahua.

Taxonomy is an art not a science and quite politicized. For instance, no Inuit has ever bred with a Dinka, but even Darwinists, thanks to the complicity of their philosophy in the Holocaust, have had sense enough to stop pretending the different varieties of human are separate species.

Posted by: oj at July 10, 2005 3:33 PM
Common descent is common to all of the evolutions, including Creationism and I.D.

There are many variants of creationism and ID that hold that individual species were created separately, as per the Biblical story.

Those aren't speciation events, you can cross breed them with the originals easy enough. They're just varieties.

As noted before, it is not whether you can "get" them to crossbreed, but whether they do so effectively in the wild if given the opportunity. They meet the scientific criteria for speciation events. Species is a scientific term with a generally accepted meaning. It means what it means, not what you wish it meant. Of course, I am aware of the "hairier dog" tactic of creationists--when presented with examples of speciation, they invariably insist, "No, I meant a bigger speciation event" just as when supposedly absent intermediate forms turn up (as they do routinely), they invariably demand an intermediate between those.

The notion that there is a meaningful distinction to be made between "microevolution" and "macroevolution" has been pretty thoroughly demolished by genetic sequencing, which has revealed that the same kinds of mutational changes underlie all differences, whether you choose to call them "species" or "variants."

As you've pointed out, we don't consider ourselves to have speciated dogs just because a Great Dane is different looking than a chihuahua.

No, we don't consider them to be different species because they did not arise spontaneously, but were created by artificial rather than natural selection. However, they differ profoundly enough (including being effectively incapable of breeding with one another) that they would undoubtedly be considered separate species if found in the wild--so they demonstrate that selective breeding is capable of generating differences as large as those that separate species.

For instance, no Inuit has ever bred with a Dinka, but even Darwinists, thanks to the complicity of their philosophy in the Holocaust, have had sense enough to stop pretending the different varieties of human are separate species.

Since every time different varieties of humans have come into contact, they have crossbred enthusiastically and successfully, the notion that there are different human species has been pretty thoroughly rejected. If you wish to argue that, for example, Inuits and Dinkas would be unable to breed if give the opportunity, then the burden of proof is on you to provide evidence stronger than that they haven't gotten around to it yet.

Posted by: tgibbs at July 10, 2005 4:35 PM

The Bible describes common descent.

The rest just demonstrates that taxonomy is fiction. They're species when your ideology requires it--not when it would undermine it. But it's your fiction and you're welcome to it. We all have to have a faith.

Posted by: oj at July 10, 2005 4:42 PM
The Bible describes common descent

Really? In which passage does the Bible describe descent of all animal and plant species from a common ancestor?

The rest just demonstrates that taxonomy is fiction.

The notion of immutable, absolutely separate species may make sense from a Biblical perspective, but it does not make sense from an evolutionary perspective. At one time, it was possible to make a case that taxonomy is merely an arbitrary human construction. However, gene sequencing has confirmed that the patterns of of evolutionary descent inferred by the taxonomists were pretty accurate, placing the field on a firm and highly quantitative scientific foundation.

Posted by: tgibbs at July 10, 2005 5:38 PM

tquibbs

The notion that there is a meaningful distinction to be made between "microevolution" and "macroevolution" has been pretty thoroughly demolished by genetic sequencing

Actually, it's hard to resist the growing impression that the distinction between anything and anything in the theory of evolution isn't breaking down. You seem to think we around here don't believe in the hard facts of natural history. The issue isn't so much what happened, but the how and why, and particularly whether the account is complete. As Brother Cohen says frequently, it isn't that evolution is factually wrong, it's that it is philosophically banal. Stuff happens. Neo-darwinism is an after-the-fact effort to construct a framework for it. The framework keeps cracking, but we agree the stuff did happen.

Posted by: Peter B at July 10, 2005 5:54 PM
Actually, it's hard to resist the growing impression that the distinction between anything and anything in the theory of evolution isn't breaking down.

I suppose that might be how it appears to a nonbiologist. What is actually happening is that vague qualitative distinctions are being replaced with detailed quantitative information on species relationships at the genomic level, specific mutational mechanisms, mutational rates at specific loci, mutational pathways for the evolution of specific proteins, and so forth. Why worry about what a species boundary means when it is possible to talk about sequence differences at the genomic level and their effects on function and selection, and calculate with high confidence just how long ago two populations diverged from their common ancestor?

Posted by: tgibbs at July 10, 2005 6:14 PM

Humans are special, but they haven't "broken free" of evolution.

If Intelligent Design makes one a god, then humans ARE becoming gods, but they exist within the natural world, not outside of it, and so are subject to forces greater than themselves.

Thus, evolution.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at July 10, 2005 6:23 PM

Robert Mitchell, if you've been reading here, you must have forgotten my recommendation (made more than once, too) of Edis, 'Why Intelligent Design Fails,' a book which assembles a number of summaries of scientific papers that do just what you say isn't being done.

There is also Pennock's 'Tower of Babel' and his compendium of essays, pro and con, in 'Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics.'

And many others, though those are my favorites.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at July 10, 2005 6:40 PM

tqibbs:

I suppose that might be how it appears to a nonbiologist. What is actually happening is that vague qualitative distinctions are being replaced with detailed quantitative information on species relationships at the genomic level, specific mutational mechanisms, mutational rates at specific loci, mutational pathways for the evolution of specific proteins, and so forth. Why worry about what a species boundary means when it is possible to talk about sequence differences at the genomic level and their effects on function and selection, and calculate with high confidence just how long ago two populations diverged from their common ancestor?

Now, read that over again. Slowly...very slowly. OK? Now ask yourself why any ordinary stiff working his way through this vale of tears would pay any attention to you, let alone defer to you on the issue of how we got here and what it's all about. You guys give scholasticism-in-decline a good name.

Posted by: Peter B at July 10, 2005 8:21 PM

t:

And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
25: And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
26: And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Posted by: oj at July 10, 2005 8:53 PM

Michael:

So, if, as you propose, intelligent beings can become creators of Nature then why do you assume Nature has no Creator?

Posted by: oj at July 10, 2005 8:57 PM
So, if, as you propose, intelligent beings can become creators of Nature then why do you assume Nature has no Creator?

To avoid infinite regress, one must assume that something has no Creator. So the question boils down to whether you call that something "Nature" or "Creator."

Note, moreover, that evolution does not exclude a Creator, it merely argues that if such a Creator exists, He did not design living things individually. Nothing in science excludes the existence of a Creator who is smart enough to create a Universe as a whole in which all of Nature, including us, comes to exist, much as a human may choose to use a genetic algorithm based on natural selection to design a complex system.

Posted by: tgibbs at July 10, 2005 11:22 PM

Religion... what else do you expect?

Posted by: Sirkowski at July 10, 2005 11:23 PM

t:

Indeed, when you argue that there's some metadifference between two dogs humans bred and two that differentiated in the wild, even though there could be no biological basis for telling the difference between what you call Darwinism and what is clearly intelligent design, you've conceded the impossibility of ruling out an intelligent design to Darwinism.

On what basis can infinite regress be ruled out?

That the Creator no doubt has a Creator Himself doesn't make Him any less the creator of nature.

Posted by: oj at July 10, 2005 11:29 PM

Sirkowski:

Amen.

Posted by: oj at July 11, 2005 12:29 AM

Robert Schwartz:

"1: OJ, did you?"

He did indeed. Why would I cut and paste such a quote but then change a number in it to turn it into a lie and an absurdity that undermines my point?

For those who (understandably) don't know what this is about, Orrin has (twice) eliminated a comment of mine, which went as follows:

Robert Schwartz,

"Creeper: "majority of all doctors (40%)." Traditionaly a majority is a number over 50%, although some Democrats appear to believe that 48% is a majority."

Well spotted, and you are of course 100% correct. What you could not have known was that my comment had been falsified by Orrin Judd, who has of late taken to editing other people's posts whenever he finds he is unable to defend his position.

My comment above, for example -

"That'll be news to all the scientists who are skeptics of Darwinism, which means most doctors."

The majority of all doctors (40%) accept evolution rather than reject it. I wouldn't call them skeptics.

http://www.jewishorldreview.com/0605/medicine.men060305.php3

Posted by: creeper at July 9, 2005 12:21 PM

- was not what I posted. Here is what I posted:


"That'll be news to all the scientists who are skeptics of Darwinism, which means most doctors."

The majority of all doctors (78%) accept evolution rather than reject it. I wouldn't call them skeptics.

A recent poll by the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Social and Religious Research suggests an answer. The poll finds that 60 percent of doctors reject the mechanistic Darwinian belief that "Humans evolved naturally with no supernatural involvement - no divinity played any role." Only 38 percent of the doctors polled agreed with this statement.

Posted by: creeper at July 9, 2005 12:21 PM

Posted by: creeper at July 11, 2005 12:44 AM
Indeed, when you argue that there's some metadifference between two dogs humans bred and two that differentiated in the wild, even though there could be no biological basis for telling the difference between what you call Darwinism and what is clearly intelligent design, you've conceded the impossibility of ruling out an intelligent design to Darwinism.

Note that the "intelligent design" of dogs is not the design of the characteristics of dogs at a genetic level. Dog breeds are not designed in the sense that a watch is designed. Indeed, the breeders of dogs had no idea of how to achieve their goals, as they were completely ignorant of how dogs actually work at the genetic level--the intelligence was in the creation of a process that allows certain variants to reproduce while others do not. However, this is actually a more effective method than individual design. I think that it is reasonable to say that a Creator who invented natural selection as a method of generating species is more intelligent than one who designs species one by one.

One of the ways in which Creationists exhibit a profound ignorance of science is that they often feel that it is a virtue when a theory "cannot be ruled out." In science, however, the power of a theory lies in the ways that it can be ruled out. A theory that cannot be ruled out makes no predictions, and thus constitutes an intellectual dead end. Those who accept it make no further progress. And this is the real reason why Creationism and its variants such as ID have been abandoned by virtually all biologists. In the end, they proved to be scientifically sterile--all of the great modern discoveries in biology have been made by scientists who used evolution to guide their research. On the other hand, there are many, many ways in which evolution could potentially be ruled out. The fact that it has passed every such test is what has made biologists so confident that it is correct. Nevertheless, one can never exclude the possibility that a Creator chose, for incomprehensible reasons of His own, to individually create species in such a way that they appear to have been evolved. Alternatively, a Creator could create natural selection as a means for generating species, much as a human might use a genetic algorithm to create a solution to a problem, or an artificial selection procedure to create a breed of animal.


On what basis can infinite regress be ruled out?

It cannot. An alternate to a single Creator is an infinite regression of Creators, each created by a "meta-Creator." Similarly, there are models in physics in which Universes spontaneously give rise to other universes in an infinite regression of universes. Again, the assignment of the term "Creator" or "Nature" becomes rather arbitrary.

Posted by: tgibbs at July 11, 2005 1:46 AM
The majority of all doctors (78%) accept evolution rather than reject it. I wouldn't call them skeptics.

I'm not sure why anybody would poll doctors on the issue. Modern medicine is more of a technology than a science, and modern doctors receive only very limited scientific training. Most never carry out any scientific research at all. Medicine has become a huge field, and there simply is no room in the medical curriculum for a lot of general biology. A physician needs to know a fair amount about human physiology, not much about other creatures, and nothing about the origin of species. There is no reason to expect the average doctor to be any more informed about evolution than the average auto mechanic. Actually, veterinarians would probably be better equipped to think about evolution, since they at least have to learn about more than one kind of animal.

Posted by: tgibbs at July 11, 2005 1:56 AM

creeper:

Have you thought about looking at this another way? He helps you with your posts. He doesn't help any of the rest of us. Obviously he loves you more.

Posted by: Peter B at July 11, 2005 6:38 AM

t:

And doctors don't ever have any need for Darwinism nor necessarily a vested interest in it, so are likely to be nearly as skeptical as regular Americans., which is why majorities disbelieve.

Posted by: oj at July 11, 2005 7:11 AM

t:

Yes, that is why Darwinism, which similarly can not be ruled out, is properly considered what Ernst Mayr calls it, not science but Phiulosophy or historical narrative.

We may figure out what cases evolution eventually, but it's clear by now that it isn't Darwinism. However, as you point out, were we ever to observe Darwinisn there'd be no way to distinguish it from ID or Creationism in action.

Posted by: oj at July 11, 2005 7:14 AM

creeper:

I help out because you get so confused, especially by public opinion, as when you insist that those who believe God guides evolution are Darwinists.

Posted by: oj at July 11, 2005 8:09 AM
And doctors don't ever have any need for Darwinism nor necessarily a vested interest in it, so are likely to be nearly as skeptical as regular Americans., which is why majorities disbelieve.

Indeed. You might convince an auto repairman that drugs don't work, but you won't convince a doctor. He uses them every day and he sees how they work. Similarly, you might convince a doctor that Darwinism doesn't make sense, but you won't convince a biologist, who uses the theory routinely in his work, and sees the predictions of the theory tested successfully thousands of times a year.

Posted by: tgibbs at July 11, 2005 8:40 AM
Yes, that is why Darwinism, which similarly can not be ruled out, is properly considered what Ernst Mayr calls it, not science but Phiulosophy or historical narrative.

We may figure out what cases evolution eventually, but it's clear by now that it isn't Darwinism. However, as you point out, were we ever to observe Darwinisn there'd be no way to distinguish it from ID or Creationism in action.

I have to laugh when Creationists quote guys like Mayr. Yes, there was a time when some people doubted whether there were ways to test Natural Selection, just as there was a time when people had a hard time figuring out how to test General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, but it was a long time ago. Mayr didn't have the tools of molecular genetics at his disposal. Today, Natural Selection is a mature theory that has been tested, and continues to be tested in thousands of ways.

And yes, it is entirely possible that a Creator chose to create life in a way that perfectly matches the predictions of natural selection. But that is a scientifically useless theory, because a powerful Creator didn't have to do it that way. But with Natural Selection, it could not have turned out any other way. The products of natural selection have to match the predictions of the theory, so it can be used as a tool to guide research.

It may surprise you to learn that scientists aren't particularly interested in disproving God. Many biologists are religious, and believe that Natural Selection is the method by which God chose to design life. Science isn't about ultimate Truth, that is the domain of religion and philosophy. Science is about understanding of nature. And Natural Selection has been extraordinarily effective as a tool for advancing our understanding of nature. So scientists don't particularly care whether Natural Selection is "really" true, or whether God, for incomprehensible reasons of His own, chose to create life in a way that exactly matches the predictions of Natural Selection. It works, because it makes strong predictions. Creationism and ID do not.

Posted by: tgibbs at July 11, 2005 8:55 AM

Orrin,

"The majority of all doctors (78%) accept evolution rather than reject it." is a direct quote from the poll itself, which you can find here: http://wwwDOTjtsaDOTedu/research/finkelstein/surveys/evolution.shtml

To my mind, a skeptic is someone who rejects something rather than accepts it, not the other way around. The majority of doctors are not skeptical of evolution.

Posted by: creeper at July 11, 2005 9:01 AM

creeper:

As I said, I correct them because you don't grasp fact. Evolution guided by God is creationism, not Darwinism. in the future I'll just be delting them again.

Posted by: oj at July 11, 2005 9:39 AM

t:

It may surprise you to hear that Christians aren't particularly interested in disproving Darwinism. We just don't want it taught in public schools because it's a philosophy rather than a science and an evil one.

Posted by: oj at July 11, 2005 9:40 AM

t:

biologists don't ever use Darwinism--they do use genetics.

Posted by: oj at July 11, 2005 9:42 AM

Orrin,

the theory of evolution is not incompatible with the possibility of God's existence, and it is entirely possible to form a coherent world view that combines accepting the theory of evolution and God having created life to begin with, as millions and millions of people have apparently opted for.

"Evolution guided by God is creationism, not Darwinism."

creationism: Belief in the literal interpretation of the account of the creation of the universe and of all living things related in the Bible.

A literal interpretation of the account of all living things as related in the Bible is not compatible with the statement "Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process".

Posted by: creeper at July 11, 2005 9:59 AM

creeper:

We've been through all this before and I don't care to have to do it again. If you can't accept that any account of evolution that requires a Creator is in fact Creationism rather than Darwinism then feel free to give it a name of your own. The rest of us will call Creationism the theory that evolution requires God.

What's your chosen neologism?

Posted by: oj at July 11, 2005 10:32 AM

tqibbs:

Hey, what a trip down memory lane you are giving us. Natural selection, natural selection and more natural selection. Makes me nostalgic for the old "nature red in tooth and claw" days.

You guys are a moving target. Start assertively with robust old natural selection moving confidently upwards and onwards. When it is pointed out to you that it can't explain most of what's going on and has rather unpleasant social implications, shift to random mutation, that modest, touchy-feely ambiguity that explains the inexplicable and works super as a intellectual safety net. Then, when the ID types throw mathematical and probability challenges your way, bring back natural selection with a flourish to give a colour of purpose and direction to it all.

I guess you and creeper simply cannot accept that there are dissenters who don't buy literal creationism or ID either. It's the philosophy, not the fossils and DNA.

Posted by: Peter B at July 11, 2005 10:41 AM
biologists don't ever use Darwinism--they do use genetics.

Uh, you are talking to a biologist. We use Darwinian theory constantly in planning research. To a biologist, natural selection is as fundamental as gravitation is to an astrophysicist.

Posted by: tgibbs at July 11, 2005 11:30 AM

Again, you confuse genetics with Darwinism.

Posted by: oj at July 11, 2005 12:10 PM
Again, you confuse genetics with Darwinism.

To a biologist, this is simply a nonsensical statement, like accusing a physicist of confusing gravity with rocks. Natural selection makes predictions about genetics, and the methods of molecular genetics can be used to answer questions related to evolution, while natural selection can be used to design experiments using molecular genetic methodology.

Posted by: tgibbs at July 11, 2005 1:09 PM

t:

Yes, I agree it is an unexamined assumption. That's the problem. The scienve of genetics works fine, so you assume your philosophy is coherent too.

Posted by: oj at July 11, 2005 1:15 PM
It may surprise you to hear that Christians aren't particularly interested in disproving Darwinism. We just don't want it taught in public schools because it's a philosophy rather than a science and an evil one.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to honestly teach biology without teaching evolution, because it is central to modern biology. Teaching biology without evolution is like trying to teach physics without Newton. The notion that it is a philosophy rather than a science is absurd--it makes numerous testable predictions, which qualifies it as a scientific theory. Biologists for the most part don't care about people's religious views, which are a personal matter; we just don't want teachers lying to kids about what we do and how we do it.

Posted by: tgibbs at July 11, 2005 1:17 PM

Again you confuse evolution and Darwinism. We know life evolved. We know it wasn't by Natural Selection. Teach the science, not the ideology.

Posted by: oj at July 11, 2005 1:19 PM

Yes, I agree it is an unexamined assumption. That's the problem. The scienve of genetics works fine, so you assume your philosophy is coherent too.

There are no unexamined assumptions here. Natural selection makes numerous, highly quantitative predictions in the realm of genetics (among others). So far, they all have held up, which is why the theory is regarded as one of the most extensively tested and confirmed theories in all of science. This is also what has made it a reliable and routinely used tool of modern biology.

Posted by: tgibbs at July 11, 2005 1:25 PM
Again you confuse evolution and Darwinism. We know life evolved. We know it wasn't by Natural Selection. Teach the science, not the ideology.

Natural selection is the name of the modern theory of evolution. There have been other theories of evolution in the past, but all have been disproved. Natural selection, in contrast, has held up to an immense number of experimental and observational tests, which is what has led to its virtually universal acceptance and its wide current use by biologists.

Posted by: tgibbs at July 11, 2005 1:29 PM

Natural Selection too has been disproven, to the extent a non-science can be. As Mayr said, it isn't even amenable to scientific testing and experimentation and offers no scientific laws. Keep the evolution, ditch the Darwinism. No one uses it for anything other than philosophy anyway.

Only a tiny minority of Americans (13%) believe in it anymore and the Republic seems safe enough.

Posted by: oj at July 11, 2005 1:58 PM

tgibbs, give it up. Orrin is not nearly as stupid and ignorant as he pretends to be in these darwinism threads.

He knows he cannot engage the reality of modern biology, so he has created his own spoof version, which he then beats over the head with an inflated bladder.

It is comical but not serious, but his audience are not serious people.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at July 11, 2005 2:54 PM
Natural Selection too has been disproven, to the extent a non-science can be. As Mayr said, it isn't even amenable to scientific testing and experimentation and offers no scientific laws. Keep the evolution, ditch the Darwinism. No one uses it for anything other than philosophy anyway.

Only a tiny minority of Americans (13%) believe in it anymore and the Republic seems safe enough.

Science is not a public opinion poll. Ask biologists, who deal with the theory on a daily basis, and you will find that acceptance of natural selection is virtually universal. Early scientists can be excused for not immediately perceiving the many ways that the theory is amenable to scientific testing and experimentation. The methodology was more limited, and they had not had many decades to explore the predictions of the theory. Today, there is no excuse.

Posted by: tgibbs at July 11, 2005 3:04 PM

Far from being universal, it's not even a majority, though I note you even try to exclude doctors from biology.

Fitting for what honest Darwinists have no problem admitting is a philosophy or historical narrative, rather than a physical science.

Posted by: oj at July 11, 2005 3:13 PM

Harry:

It's been engaged and defeated, which is why you never bring up the "science" anymore. Like tgibbs it's all just we know evolution is true and genetics work so there must have been Darwinism. Two truisms don't prove a non sequitor.

Posted by: oj at July 11, 2005 3:16 PM

Here's a funny one, Harry's hero Roger Pennock's course on Applied Darwinism which makes little pretense that there are any biological applications:

http://www.msu.edu/~pennock5/courses/492Fall2003.html

Posted by: oj at July 11, 2005 3:37 PM
ere's a funny one, Harry's hero Roger Pennock's course on Applied Darwinism which makes little pretense that there are any biological applications

This is a pretty ridiculous distortion--it is specifically a course on the uses of Darwinian theory outside of biology. A course in the use of Darwinian theory within biology would be a bit ridiculous--it would be a bit like offering a course in "The use of addition in accounting." The context is that everybody knows how important the theory is in biology, but it is also important in other fields. Randomization/selection algorithms derived from Darwinian theory have turned out to be powerful methods of design.

Posted by: tgibbs at July 11, 2005 6:33 PM
Far from being universal, it's not even a majority, though I note you even try to exclude doctors from biology.

I exclude doctors because most of them don't do biological or research and do not receive broad training in biology. A Gallup poll in 1997 found that 55% of scientists (including scientists in nonbiological fields) believe in non-supernatural evolution. As for biologists, I am sure there must be some guys somewhere who don't believe in natural selection, but in my decades of work in the field, I've never met any.

Posted by: tgibbs at July 11, 2005 6:40 PM

[non-responsive--give us your neologism.]

Posted by: creeper at July 11, 2005 7:13 PM

t:

Correction, Adam Smith offered Darwin an innovative way of looking at evolution. It just didn't work. Of course, the problem is deeper than just the failure to produce evolution via Natural Election. In choosing free market economics as his model for Nature Darwin had opted for a system designed by intelligent beings and requiring innumerable instances of intelligent decision making. In effect, Darwinism assumes Design.

That's why Applied Darwinism is not about biology.

Posted by: oj at July 11, 2005 7:43 PM

Neologism for what?

Posted by: creeper at July 11, 2005 7:58 PM

Evolution directed by God.

Posted by: oj at July 11, 2005 8:32 PM

don't most doctors major in biological science ? wouldn't 4 years of university level biology give most doctors a pretty good grasp of the science involved ?

tq: care to reference just one prediction Darwinism can be used for ? blind us with your science.

Posted by: cjm at July 12, 2005 1:56 AM

"Again you confuse evolution and Darwinism. We know life evolved. We know it wasn't by Natural Selection."

How do we know that, Orrin?

"It's been engaged and defeated, which is why you never bring up the "science" anymore."

Where was it engaged and defeated exactly? The theory of evolution is still the best explanation we have, and it is far from disproven.

"Natural Selection too has been disproven"

Link?

Posted by: creeper at July 12, 2005 3:34 AM

"Evolution directed by God."

I think that phrase is sufficiently descriptive, as well as succinct enough, that no neologism is required. No need to alter the dictionary definition of creationism on this account.

Posted by: creeper at July 12, 2005 3:39 AM

creeper:

So, there you go. You have your phrase and the rest of us have Creationism. You just keep using it in conversation and maybe it'll catch on.

Posted by: oj at July 12, 2005 7:38 AM

It'll just have to be me and anyone who can read a dictionary then. Maybe your re-definition will catch on, but I kind of doubt it.


No entry found for "Evolution directed by God.".

Posted by: creeper at July 12, 2005 9:56 AM

"wouldn't 4 years of university level biology give most doctors a pretty good grasp of the science involved ?"

Probably more so than your basic man on the street, IMO. And 40% of doctors accept "evolution not directed by God" rather than reject it.

Posted by: creeper at July 12, 2005 9:58 AM

"No entry found for "Evolution directed by God."."

I was talking about the dictionary definition of creationism, but I'm pretty sure the words "evolution", "directed", "by", and "God" can be found in the dictionary. The phrase as it stands is sufficiently descriptive and since it is not an idiom, it requires no separate definition.

Posted by: creeper at July 12, 2005 11:27 AM

Ah, but that was your task since you object to Creationism, to come up with an idiomatic expression for those who believe that God directs evolution. We have Darwinist for those who believe it's just Nature. Creationist for those who believe its God. Intelligent Design for those who believe it's an unidentified intelligence guiding. You coined a new that is both awkward and unused, but we're all rooting for it to become the next big meme.

Posted by: oj at July 12, 2005 11:38 AM
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