Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Is the theory of evolution stronger or weaker?
I thought you all might be interested in my response:
"The theory of evolution has only been improved upon and progressed since its conception."
Mostly by abdigating its original conception (i.e. the one that creationists originally opposed).
The idea of "change" is not counter to creationism, nor is the study of change. Not even Linnaeus believed in fixity of the species. So, if you are talking about creationism contrasted to _any_ theory of change, you are simply debating people who haven't lived for over 300 years.
Now, if you are talking about evolution as a notion of atelic change (i.e. not purposeful), then in fact evolution is somewhat on the ropes these days. While many biologists studying purposeful change in organisms will currently append some sort of Darwinistic mantra to the end (i.e. "we can see how a process of natural selection could lead to such functions") it is wholly without evidence, and fewer and fewer are appending those to their works. And Dembski, in his "Searching Large Spaces" paper, shows why such scenarios (Darwin leading to teleology) are even less credible than the purely Darwinistic approaches they are replacing.
Teleology is back with a vengeance, even in biological papers, it's just that it is politically incorrect to doubt that such teleology came by anything but naturalistic means.
It has been shown, that (a) natural selection does almost nothing except get rid of completely inept creatures. It does not prevent bad mutations from spreading. (b) adaptive change within an organism is NOT undirected. (c) everything within the cell is there serving a purpose. (d) cells are highly complex, with many interdependent parts which cannot change independently. (e) The genetic code is so complicated that the idea of a "gene" is not even really valid anymore, especially when looking at gene conversion, alternative splicing, and other fun that occurs within the genome. (f) horizontal gene transfer indicates that the whole biosphere is made to co-adapt, with specific mechanisms in place to facilitate that adapatation.
All of these point to creation, not a materialistic universal common ancestry. It is "evolution" in the sense that it is a science of change, but it is not evolution in the sense of a purposeless drift through time from one species to another by haphazard processes.
Likewise, Universal Common Ancestry is more of an assumption than a result.