Evolution versus the Theory of Evolution

Marmoe’s Questions #2

MarmoeMarmoe 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

  • http://en.gravatar.com/pascvaks Pascvaks

    It was not unusual to “reconstruct” this Rex with that Dino. We just didn’t know and we were guessing. If people would just accept that there’s a whole lotta’ stuff we just don’t know and we’re running as fast as we can to answer all the questions, maybe they’d be a little more tolerant of each other. Nahaaaaa… never happen. Oh well, no harm in dreaming. Right?

    Yeh, the spaceman thing is probably too weird for most. Maybe there really was a burning bush?

    Life’s a beach. If you spend two weeks trying to figure out how it got there, you’re going to have a terrible vacation. First thing first, right? ;-)

  • http://www.dehavelle.com/ Keith DeHavelle

    An interesting notion. If an alien had shown an early shepherd a movie of how the solar system and life were formed, there would have been no way to judge the immense times involved. It would have been a very strange dream, and could have been days as easily as billions of years.

    I don’t think that’s how it went, but one could make a story out of it.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  • http://en.gravatar.com/pascvaks Pascvaks

    PS: It’s not that we know so much that’s incredible, it’s that we know so little and think we know so much that’s so very, very incredible.

  • http://en.gravatar.com/pascvaks Pascvaks

    “3. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.”

    We usually look at this verse as the beginning of creation as told by the Torah and the Christian Bible. The first act of creation. Why light? Why not something else? It’s really “funny”, in an incredible sort of way, that the first bibilical act of creation was an explosion of light. (I know, it doesn’t say anything about an explosion; that’s the way I read it;-) And it took a whole day. That’s all that was done “In the Beginning” on the very first day. Weird Man, Weird!

    Sound like a “Big Bang”? It does to me. So I have to admit that there’s something in that book that’s much more than a little coincidental. And that’s just “In the beginning”.

    Not a “Thumper”! But I was raised one. So there’s the Bible, Evolution, the Theory of Evolution (Darwin/Wallace/et al), and ID. This verse in all it’s incredible simplicity is the root of the controversy. How did they come up with that verse? Why did they put it first? Why did it take a whole day?

    PS: Bet an Alien from another Solar System or Galexie landed, had a nice meal of something, told the folks a story via some computer language/speech thing, and made a rather BIG impression on the natives. Well what other explaination is there, people weren’t that bright way back then, were they? Of course not, everbody knows that.