Evolution versus the Theory of Evolution
Marmoe’s Questions #2
Marmoe had also asked other questions which I think the previous post addressed, but not this one: P.S.: What’s your definition of “evolution” vs. “Theory of Evolution”? I guess, I am missing U.S. nuances of the debate here.
There is indeed a distinction between evolution and the Theory of Evolution, and I think you will complete agree with that distinction:
Evolution is the pattern we see in the evidence on Earth. The fact that life on this planet changed over a timespan of billions of years is supported by massive amounts of evidence from many different fields.
The Theory of Evolution was Darwin’s (and Wallace’s) attempt to explain this pattern; what caused it and what the mechanisms were. There had been other explanations, Lysenko and such, which did not fare well over time.
Darwin’s theory (we’ll just use his name as is traditional) has been adapted extensively since 1859, to include our understandings of DNA and the rest of microbiology, but the core is still recognizably the Darwin/Wallace concepts of random variation and natural selection.
As an aside, Alfred Russell Wallace did some excellent work, and there are features around the planet named for him as a result. He independently came up with essentially the same theory, and believed that all parts of the human evolved — except the brain. That part was divinely created, he thought.
For the last century and a half, the Theory of Evolution has been shown to predict new finds, to explain well what we’ve already found, and to be refined but never overturned by new discoveries.
If one proposes to come up with a replacement for the Theory of Evolution, as Intelligent Design is proposed to be, one must still explain evolution as evidenced in the life around us and its long history of change over time.
ID attempts to explain this, but twists the data to support an ideology. I think that examining this critically in science classes would be very helpful, in fact, and would tend to backfire on the ID supporters.
The catastrophists — those ascribing to the religion of Global Warming as a Man-Made Crisis — have more control. The idea that global warming is a “crisis” is taught in schools as the only theory, and no other approaches or evidence is tolerated. The same thing happens at a government administrative level; no other view is allowed. That, to me, is actually more problematic.
The ID folks are not nearly as harmful as the catastrophists, it seems to me. Certain core catastrophists want to replace Western civilization with a Marxist global government, and many of them are no longer even remotely shy about saying so. And they are already costing the US (government, businesses and individuals) trillions of dollars already, with plans to make this much worse.
===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle