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Re: [creat] Re: Todd: Darwin right, or wrong?

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  • Susan Cogan
    ... it s an interesting little detail from the history of science but it doesn t really have much to do with the science of evolution. Darwin obviously knew
    Message 1 of 10 , Dec 1, 2004
      At 10:58 PM 11/30/04, you wrote:


      >Susan's article provided this link:
      >
      >http://www.thedarwinpapers.com/oldsite/Number2/Darwin2Html.htm
      >
      >To browse that page in light of the TalkOrigins article and Dr. Bert's
      >article leads one to the conclusion that there is quite some little
      >controversy regarding Blyth's status as a "creationist" and/or
      >"evolutionist" and his association with Darwin and Darwin's
      >interpretations of "natural selection".
      >
      >Maybe we can get some more informed input regarding that. Those in the
      >know might be able to help the rest of us determine whether or not there
      >is any continuing controversy. The TalkOrigins article appears to claim
      >the above link and Dr. Bert's implications regarding Blyth's influence
      >on Darwin have been successfully rebutted.
      >
      >I'm now wondering which it is.
      >
      >Sincerely,
      >Robert Baty

      it's an interesting little detail from the history of science but it
      doesn't really have much to do with the science of evolution. Darwin
      obviously knew this guy. If Darwin felt their ideas were similar enough he
      would have shared credit with him just as he did with Wallace. Darwin was
      an English gentleman before he was anything else.

      Susan
    • rlbaty50
      ... For those of us not so adept at the science , such details provide some insight into the simpler controversies and how they are dealt with. I suspect that
      Message 2 of 10 , Dec 1, 2004
        >
        > It's an interesting little detail from the
        > history of science but it doesn't really
        > have much to do with the science of evolution.

        > Darwin obviously knew this guy. If Darwin felt
        > their ideas were similar enough he would have
        > shared credit with him just as he did with Wallace.

        > Darwin was an English gentleman before he was
        > anything else.

        For those of us not so adept at the "science", such details provide
        some insight into the simpler controversies and how they are dealt
        with.

        I suspect that the Blyth factor is not being that well represented by
        the "young-earth, creation-science" movement now that I have browsed
        a number of their promotions regarding Blyth.

        Sincerely,
        Robert Baty
      • randy_crum@datacard.com
        Robert, ... In my view the topic of whether Blyth had any influence on Darwin is somewhat esoteric. The indisuptable fact is that Darwin is credited with
        Message 3 of 10 , Dec 2, 2004
          Robert,

          >> The TalkOrigins article appears to claim
          >> the above link and Dr. Bert's implications regarding Blyth's influence
          >> on Darwin have been successfully rebutted.

          In my view the topic of whether Blyth had any influence on Darwin is
          somewhat esoteric.

          The indisuptable fact is that Darwin is credited with developing the theory
          of natural selection; specifically it is the publishing of "The Origin of
          Species" that initiated scientific discussion and study of that topic.
          That year - 1859 - is generally considered the date that evolution became a
          scientific area of study because that book clearly described a mechanism
          for natural selection that could be studied scientifically.

          Darwin himself could very well have died without letting anyone know his
          views about natural selection. He wrote a 230 page "notebook" describing
          his ideas which he put into a desk drawer and left there for 15 years. He
          might died without published anything at all if Alfred Russell Wallace
          hadn't sent Darwin a short summary of something he was planning on
          publishing that very nearly matched Darwin's ideas. That created the
          impetus for Darwin to publish his book. If Darwin had not read that letter
          from Wallace he may have never published. In that case it is likely that
          someone else would have discovered the idea and been credited with
          evolution years later. Darwin's notebook, if discovered at all, would have
          then been a mere scientific curiosity.

          Darwin was very magnanimous when offering credit to others. He even gave
          Wallace equal credit for natural selection when Darwin's ideas were first
          presented in public.

          If Blyth had influenced Darwin's ideas, I believe that Darwin would have
          said so. I'm not aware of any such credit.

          Randy
        • rlbaty50
          ... I think it much more than esoteric , whatever that means. I would like to know more about certain aspects of the issue, though I haven t had the time to
          Message 4 of 10 , Dec 2, 2004
            --- In creationism@yahoogroups.com, randy_crum@d... wrote, in part:

            > In my view the topic of whether Blyth had any
            > influence on Darwin is somewhat esoteric.
            >
            > The indisuptable fact is that Darwin is credited
            > with developing the theory of natural selection

            I think it much more than "esoteric", whatever that means.

            I would like to know more about certain aspects of the issue, though
            I haven't had the time to seek out the best sources.

            I did notice that there appears to be a lot of YEC promotion of the
            idea that Blyth influenced Darwin. Dr. Bert's exposition on the
            subject may merely reflect what he picked up from his YEC fellows
            without adequately researching the topic for himself. It may be
            quite like his Maury promotions. Some must think it quite worthy of
            consideration, for the T.O. folks have an article up that claims to
            rebut the notion promoted by certain YEC folk regarding Blyth and
            Darwin.

            I am also wondering if it is the case, as one report claimed, that
            Blyth and Darwin became good friends and that Blyth accepted Darwin's
            ideas about "evolution". Now, wouldn't that be a kick to the YEC's
            who are promoting Blyth and the idea that a "creationist" came up
            with the notion of "natural selection". Kinda like the kick Dr. Bert
            got when he found out Maury was no "young-earther".

            Of course, "natural selection" is a term of art. I got the
            impression from my little reading on the subject that "natural
            selection" was the well-accepted idea about how things changed, long
            before Darwin. What Darwin gets credit for is making the concept
            creative (positive) in the now-popular evolutionary sense.

            In hindsight, it probably should be obvious that folks knew and
            accepted "natural selection" for as long as men were breeding
            themselves and other things; they just didn't know how far to take
            it; and Darwin took it a bit further than was common at the time.

            Am I on the right track here, you think?

            Sincerely,
            Robert Baty
          • randy_crum@datacard.com
            Robert, ... Esoteric means more or less something of specialized knowledge. In general it may not be important to the mainstream. I believe that to be the
            Message 5 of 10 , Dec 2, 2004
              Robert,

              > I think it much more than "esoteric", whatever that means.

              Esoteric means more or less something of specialized knowledge. In general
              it may not be important to the mainstream. I believe that to be the case
              here.

              > I did notice that there appears to be a lot of YEC promotion of the
              > idea that Blyth influenced Darwin. Dr. Bert's exposition on the
              > subject may merely reflect what he picked up from his YEC fellows
              > without adequately researching the topic for himself. It may be
              > quite like his Maury promotions. Some must think it quite worthy of
              > consideration, for the T.O. folks have an article up that claims to
              > rebut the notion promoted by certain YEC folk regarding Blyth and
              > Darwin.

              > I am also wondering if it is the case, as one report claimed, that
              > Blyth and Darwin became good friends and that Blyth accepted Darwin's
              > ideas about "evolution". Now, wouldn't that be a kick to the YEC's
              > who are promoting Blyth and the idea that a "creationist" came up
              > with the notion of "natural selection". Kinda like the kick Dr. Bert
              > got when he found out Maury was no "young-earther".

              Certainly there seems to be no particular evidence to believe that anyone
              other than Darwin (and Wallace) came up with the idea of natural selection.
              Without doubt he was the first to put the idea into the public
              consciousness. THAT is the important thing.

              We don't know who invented the wheel, but the concept is in the public
              consciousness and we certainly use it!

              I appreciate your sentiments regarding the YEC here, but I certainly think
              that efforts on topics like this are futile unless you can come up with
              some specific statement from Blyth saying that he believed in evolution.
              Even then the YEC would argue against it.

              > Of course, "natural selection" is a term of art. I got the
              > impression from my little reading on the subject that "natural
              > selection" was the well-accepted idea about how things changed, long
              > before Darwin. What Darwin gets credit for is making the concept
              > creative (positive) in the now-popular evolutionary sense.

              > In hindsight, it probably should be obvious that folks knew and
              > accepted "natural selection" for as long as men were breeding
              > themselves and other things; they just didn't know how far to take
              > it; and Darwin took it a bit further than was common at the time.

              Breeding is "artifical selection" rather than "natural selection".
              Breeders make the selection on which individuals should mate based on their
              preferences for particular characteristics. In nature the selection is
              based on ability to survive and be attractive to possible mates.

              The first part of "The Origin of Species" discusses artifical selection in
              pigeons. The two types of selection are a little different but surely
              related to each other.

              Randy
            • Todd S. Greene
              Hi, Robert. Randy Crum s comments seem on target, and I think you guys are getting somewhere. I ve been quite busy with programming work this week, and haven t
              Message 6 of 10 , Dec 3, 2004
                Hi, Robert.

                Randy Crum's comments seem on target, and I think you guys are getting
                somewhere. I've been quite busy with programming work this week, and
                haven't had much time to dig into this, though I've looked at a few
                things. I did notice that the Apologetics Press article that you
                linked to was quite lengthy, and actually had several rabbits in it
                scattering in all directions, the Blyth/Darwin misrepresentation being
                only one of the many rabbits. Apparently creationists feel they are
                under pressure to challenge the recent issue of National Geographic
                about evolution, and I see that at least the Bert Thompson/Brad Harrub
                attempt is pretty lame with the typical worn-out YEC/anti-evolutionist
                canards.

                One thing that I can say about Edward Blyth right now with respect to
                how the Thompson/Harrub article portrays him is that Blyth was NOT a
                young earth creationist, and I specifically checked to see if
                Thompson/Harrub pointed this out, and they did NOT. So in this case
                it's lying by omission, typical Thompson tactics. (You are quite
                correct to question Thompson/Harrub's representation of Blyth.) With
                respect to how Blyth's views developed in later years (post-1859
                publication of *Origin of Species*) I don't know yet, and I'll have to
                dig into more details.

                I'll also mention here that oddly enough Buff Scott Jr.'s *Reformation
                Rumblings* began showing up in my email again a few weeks ago, and his
                Dec. 1, 2004 issue contains some of his typical silly nonsense about
                evolution. But my comments on that are for another post.

                Regards,
                Todd Greene
                http://www.geocities.com/greeneto
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