quote:I want a real debate, where the debate will be directly about the evidence and what it shows in regards to evolution.
I have tried to read through the thread so I hope I donâ€™t just end up restating what has already been said. Iâ€™ve mainly three things to add and I hope they can be to some avail.
1. â€œEvolutionâ€ like any word used in a discourse need to be equally defined by all parties if a meaningful exchange of opinion shall be possible. I myself have some difficulty grasping what exactly is contained in the word â€œmacroevolutionâ€ thatâ€™s not contained in the word evolution. My guess would be that â€œmacroevolutionâ€ signifies the transition from one species to another whereas â€œevolutionâ€ signifies changes in the genotype within a species. A species then is defined by common usage as a group of organisms that can naturally interbreed. 2. A proof of this process, i.e. macroevolution, is found in the dog. The pedigrees of dogs are well established and we can trace most of the types back to a proximate common ancestor. We also know that the different types of dogs are a result of selection. So the crucial question is then if this selection has caused different types of dogs to become different species? The answer to that question is yes! There are types of dogs that cannot interbreed due to physiological differences brought about by selection. An example of this would be Grand Danois and Chihuahua. The fact that different dog types are not colloquially talked about as different species does not change the fact that they, in the biological sense of the word, are.
The third point Iâ€™d like to make is a more general one. Itâ€™s common among creationists to have a far too wide scoop in their approach to the subject. They often want a proof for, say, that Iâ€™ve descended from a single cell organism. The problem with this approach is that there is not a single proof for that but a long and often rather technically complicated chain of evidence that is needed to even get half way.
Darwinâ€™s classical theory of evolution is not a proof for my lineage of decent; itâ€™s just a theory that explains changes in phenotypes over time. It does not say that I originate from an ape; it just says that I originate. Once this is established the question â€œfrom where?â€ arise. But this question is a different one! The fact that science canâ€™t give a precise answer to from where Iâ€™ve descended does not change the fact that I have!
The logical fallacy creationists commit over and over again is to think evolution as a phenomenon is disproved if every single evolutionary change from one cell organism to mammal canâ€™t be put under their noses.
The question if evolution does occur is easily proved (just take a look at domesticated animals or bacteria!). The question how it has worked its way from the first self replicating molecule to man is partly a puzzle. Sure we have quite a few pieces, DNA, fossils and embryonic development but we donâ€™t have all the data and thus cannot have all the answers.
But the important point is this. If evolution can be established creation is disproved. It doesnâ€™t matter if scientist have got every single branch in the tree of evolution all mixed up. Evolution will still be the correct answer.
Re: Evolution ... macro ... micro ... what's the diff?
peppered moths are a good example of that.
My expertise on peppered moths hangs in a doubtful scale but at least I can pass on the information that the example of this classis study is represented in Swedish schoolbooks as well. But the main examples are concerned with bacteria since itâ€™s easier to demonstrate evolution in the making in a classroom setting with a strain of coli bacteria than it is with a population of moths. ïŠ
But not all beliefs are invalidated by these either.
My point was simply that if evolution as a process can be established there is no need for the Deus ex machina of the genesis account to explain how we came into being, and that the detail of a singular example such as that of the mouth varieties doesnâ€™t really matter for the case of evolution as a phenomenon.
If one argues against evolution one most suppose that the shift in the moth population have been brought about by supernatural means and not a gradual change of the phenotype. Now, few would be ready to defend such a position so instead one goes on attacking details in how the research on the moth was carried out. But the details are unimportant, either you have a gradual change or you donâ€™t. If you do itâ€™s just at matter of getting the details right. But if you donâ€™t, well then you got a whole lot of explaining to do.
Yes, I know, there is of cause the third option of migration that presupposes neither evolution nor creation but very intelligent moths!
It was not my intention to raise the question of prima causa! That is, I think we all agree, a question well outside the scoop of evolutionary biology.
just because one is proven (or falsified) doesn't make the other automatically right
Perhaps I should clarify what I meant by â€œcreationâ€. I was referring to the Genesis account and not a more general idea of a prima causa. In the case of the former we have an either or relationship with Darwinian evolution, i.e., either an instantaneous creation or a gradual formation. You just canâ€™t have both at the same time, in the same manner as you canâ€™t walk fast slowly or talk loud silently. There is just no such thing as instantaneous gradualism!
There are good reason to discard creation as a meaningful ontological concept but Darwinâ€™s theory is not one of them and I believe that this is not the thread they ought to be presented in. *smile*
Holy books just like the moth is subject to evolution, thus the surgery in the elohist account and the more strict six day version of the priestly account.
Indeed, I understand your Swedish and it is not bad at all. Totally intelligible though some spelling errors but not more than my English without Word! Lund is a city in the south-western part of Sweden in Skane. It houses the countries second largest university and has a population of about 100 000. I came here in the mid nineties to study theology and have been here ever since. Totally worth a visit if you ever go to Sweden!
We should try to be specific of the types of creationists being discussed.
Thanks for the tip! Iâ€™m afraid that the theological technicalities of different creationist movements are quite beyond the horizon even for a Swedish theologian such as me. Here we have liberal deist (50%) atheist (45%) and traditional believers of different denominations account for the rest so the debate tends to be much of an either or here.