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Re: The Wallace Question

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  • t
    FDO: I asked you what possible bearing it has on any scientific ... No, you asked: What possible bearing does this...have on the dispute between science
    Message 1 of 138 , Jun 1, 2010
      FDO: >I asked you what possible bearing it has on any scientific
      > controversy.

      No, you asked: "What possible bearing does this...have on the dispute between science and creationism?" The dispute you asked about is not a scientific controversy, rather it is a cultural and political dispute. "Creationism" is not science in the modern conventional sense. In any case, the issue is historical and by extension cultural and rhetorical.

      FDO: >Not much of an error, except perhaps in those shallow minds that don't
      > really study the history of their ideas.
      >

      The error or lie is in the way Darwin's actions are painted up so that he appears noble, generous, etc. It is a frequently repeated lie.
      So, some lies make one the son of Satan, and others are "not much of an error..."?

      > I found it rather easy to research him both this morning and back when I
      > first studied the history of evolutionary thought.

      Drop his name at a party...no one will have any idea what you are talking about...then mention Darwin...

      >And, regardless of
      > who first thought of it, natural selection either stands or falls on the
      > evidence, not on popular presuppositions.

      I have not said otherwise, and I quite agree.

      >So I ask again, why are you
      > devoting so much energy to an irrelevant issue?
      >

      I answered this question above.


      Timothy E. Kennelly



      --- In creationevolutiondebate@yahoogroups.com, Dave Oldridge <doldridg@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > On 30/05/2010 8:31 PM, t wrote:
      > > 1. The dispute between Creationists and evolutionists is full of falsehoods. I am addressing in these posts a lie which evolutionists have been repeating for a century and a half. It should be corrected. Aren't you fond of calling liars "children of Satan" ? Well, here we have a chance for you to reveal whether that is just empty posturing on your part, or a position you take seriously. Good luck with that.
      > >
      > I asked you what possible bearing it has on any scientific
      > controversy. Apparently, you know of none.
      >
      > > 2. I hope to correct the error, at least in the minds of some.
      > >
      > Not much of an error, except perhaps in those shallow minds that don't
      > really study the history of their ideas. Wallace is the author of
      > several books, some still in print.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > > 3. If your point is that there are more Wallaces than Darwins - well sure, but "Darwin" is always understood to be a reference to Darwin, unless otherwise indicated. Wallace on the other hand is almost completely unknown.
      > >
      > I found it rather easy to research him both this morning and back when I
      > first studied the history of evolutionary thought. And, regardless of
      > who first thought of it, natural selection either stands or falls on the
      > evidence, not on popular presuppositions. So I ask again, why are you
      > devoting so much energy to an irrelevant issue?
      >
      >
      > --
      > Dave Oldridge
      > Skype: daveoldridge
      > Ham Radio: VA7CZ
      >
      > ----------
      >
      > Scanned with AntiVir MailGuard v10.0.1.27 AVE 8.2.1.242 VDF 7.10.7.204
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
    • t
      ... species into existence every couple of million years or so, then change in allele frequencies does not explain the origin of the variety of life, that
      Message 138 of 138 , Jun 30, 2010
        On 25/06/2010 9:17 PM, t wrote:
        > Eric:
        >
        >> The fact is that change in an allele frequency in a population IS
        >> evolution by definition. It is one concrete, empirical, absolutely
        >> inconctrovertible way of measuring evolution. And since such things ARE
        >> measured, then the reality that evolution does indeed occur IS a fact.
        >>
        >
        > This kind of argument is hopelessly confused.
        > "Change in allele frequencies" is only evolution (an explanation of the origin of the variety of life which has developed on Earth over the past 3.5 billion years) if tacit presuppositions and inferences are assumed. For example: if there is an active deity running about "poofing" new
        species into existence every couple of million years or so, then "change in allele frequencies" does not explain the origin of the variety of life, that is, evolution; or if saltations play an essential role in the origin of new species, then ordinary "changes in allele frequencies" do not explain the origin of the variety of life, that is, evolution.
        >
        >DO
        Except there is no evidence for deities poofing things into existence
        >beyond some ancient writings that were not even intended to be science.

        All existing evidence might be the result of a poofing deity. The strongest thing we can say as scientists, or students of science, is that our experience leads us to regard all phenomena as natural and to doubt the poofing deity. One might say more by suggesting that our experience lead us to doubt the existence of other invisible creatures, but there is no demonstration of the necessity of natural cause or the nonexistence of deities.
        As a theologian I suppose you might say that you believe God does not lie, and that would be a fair point, but not a proof.

        >
        > The argument you are making is based on facts - a wide range of facts: biological, geological, genetic, paleontological, etc. - but you can not separate the facts from the theory in a way that makes the theory necessary. The theory is reasonable, I believe it to be essentially correct, but it is not necessary. It is an inferential construct. Properly understood, inferences are not necessary, rather they are likely or unlikely depending on the evidence. Evolution as understood in its modern form is very likely, but the theory of evolution is, at the same time, almost certain to change in the coming years in ways that we can only guess at.
        >
        > I am sure it feels good to speak of evolution as if it were a concrete fact, but with such an approach we confuse the real particular facts that support evolution with the construct that is evolution.
        >
        DO:
        >The thing is, creationists argue that they are doing science when, in
        fact, they are doing apologetics for their particular religious
        beliefs. They do this because the founders of their movement set out to
        do an end run around the US constitution by pretending their objections
        to the science of evolution (and geology and astronomy and much more)
        are SCIENTIFIC objections. Yet they object strenuously when asked to
        produce the scientific evidence upon which their positive assertions are
        based. They end up lying, not only about their own motivation, but also
        >about the science they critique.

        Your comment above might well be true in every detail, and I cetainly agree with the your first two claims and will admit that many Creationists likely have the motives you describe, but none of this makes the claim that "evolution is an absolutely certain fact" reasonable. Evolution is an inferential construct, and it is well supported by evidence and likely true, but it is neither a fact nor certian. We should be honest about this and avoid playing equivocal games in the effort to make the case for evolution appear stronger than it is - it is already very strong, but it is inferential and empirical, not absolute or certain.

        Timothy E. Kennelly
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