Re: That (not so) idiot Darwin

From: Technotranscendence (
Date: Thu Jan 18 2001 - 09:09:23 MST

On Wednesday, January 17, 2001 7:51 PM John Marlow wrote:
> If you're referring to this link, I don't follow. Obviously anyone
> attacking evolution is going to attract creationists, fanatical and
> otherwise, but the guy is referring to works such as Stuart
> Kauffman's.

It's not usually a problem in _certain_ circles. The problem here is,
perhaps, as Damien stated. The thread started off soiled with creationism.
Of course, I should've known any discussion over it here would go in that
direction, since most people here only understand the issue in terms of
"creationism vs. evolution." (Not that this is all that bad. We can't all
be evolutionary biologists.:)

Also, I don't consider offering explanations such as genetic drift or
orthogenesis for the evolution of some particular biological thing (whether
species, behavior, body part (e.g., eye), digestive process) as "attacking
evolution." It might be attacking a particular explanation of evolution,
but none of the aforementioned explanations go against evolution as such.

Also, someone mentioned in an earlier thread that Darwin claimed that the
eye could've evolved in so many generations. It's been a long time since
I've read Darwin. Now, I don't mean to diss him either, as he is one of the
best exemplars of the scientific and dialectical methods. He not only
demonstrates his views, but considers alternatives in detail.

However, this solution to the problem of the eye's evolution is just
speculation. What we need is evidence. now, I don't doubt the eye came
about by an evolutionary process, BUT which one and how? To find out, we
need to test various hypotheses -- not just assume them. This is why I
wrote "Testing Evolutionary Explanations" (at While such speculations
might be a good way to get at the truth of the matter, they must be tested.
They are also weak arguments and not the final word.

One can't, after all, just offer a story that fits with one's pet theory
and, say, "Voila! I've solved all problems and answered all criticisms!"
(I'm NOT claiming Darwin did this, but I AM claiming others do this.) This
is no different than any other mythology. In order not to be myth, science
must rely on rigorous testing...


Daniel Ust

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