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PoE 1.4.2. "Evolution" is defined so broadly it *cannot* be false"

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  • Stephen E. Jones
    Group Here is section 1.4.2., Evolution is defined so broadly it *cannot* be false. Comments and criticisms are welcome. I have fallen behind due to
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 2, 2005

      Here is section 1.4.2., "Evolution" is defined so broadly it *cannot* be
      false." Comments and criticisms are welcome.

      I have fallen behind due to postings on CED and things in the real world,
      but I will try to keep up with my timetable of posting a section of PoE as
      day from now on.


      Problems of Evolution (draft)
      Why the evolution controversy is not going away
      By Stephen E. Jones, (c) 2004-2005
      Chapter 1. Introdution [...]

      1. Introduction [...]
      1.4. What *is* "evolution"? [...]
      1.4.2. "Evolution" is defined so broadly it *cannot* be false
      A common tactic of evolutionists is to define "evolution" so broadly that it
      *cannot* be false. We have already seen one example, the definition of
      "evolution" as "changes in gene frequencies within a population." Another
      example of evolutionists defining "evolution" so broadly that it *cannot*
      be false, is their equating it with change itself. For example, Carl Zimmer,
      in his companion book to the USA Public Broadcasting Service's TV
      series _Evolution_, defines "evolution" as "change, nothing more or less"
      (Zimmer, 2001, p.135). A former leading biology textbook defined
      "evolution" as: "The process by which the characteristics of organisms
      change over time" (Mader, 1990, p.5). Ernst Mayr called "the idea of
      change itself, of change over long periods of time ... evolution" (Mayr,
      1978, p.39). Neo-Darwinism cofounder Julian Huxley on more than one
      occasion defined "evolution" as "all reality" (Huxley, 1953, p.12; Huxley,
      1964, p.78),

      The problem with these broad definitions of "evolution" is that
      *everyone*, including the strictest creationists, would then be
      evolutionists" (Ratzsch, 1996, p.88; Lubenow, 1983, p.34)! While there
      are undoubted tactical advantages in evolutionists defining "evolution" so
      broadly that even their opponents could not disagree with it, "evolution"
      then would not be even *worth* disagreeing with. "Evolution" then would
      be, in the words of the great physicist Wolfgang Pauli, "not *even* wrong"
      (Weinberg, 1992, p.257). But as we shall see, evolutionists don't *really*
      think that "evolution" is *merely* something as innocuous as "change of
      gene frequencies within a population," or "change over time." [...]

      "If evolution is defined simply as shifts in gene frequency within a
      population, then most creationists accept evolution. ... `By this definition,
      all of us are evolutionists' (Lubenow M.L., "From Fish to Gish," Creation
      Life: San Diego CA, 1983, p.34, in Ratzsch D.L., "The Battle of
      Beginnings: Why Neither Side is Winning the Creation-Evolution
      Debate," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1996, pp.88, 209)
      Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol.) http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones
      Moderator: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreationEvolutionDesign
      & http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ProblemsOfEvolution/ Book: "Problems
      of Evolution" http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones/PoE/PoE00ToC.html
      & http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones/pe00cont.html)
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