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Unread August 16th, 2006, 11:20 PM
Fred H. Fred H. is offline
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 483
Default Re: Battle Against Scientific Illiteracy

Carey: To take a basic example: how would you explain the existence of vestigial structures, without invoking natural selection as a process that steers populations along the shortest possible route to an adaptive peak?
Hey, even though “natural selection” is circular and ultimately doesn’t really predict or truly explain all that much (sort of like “emergence”), it currently seems to be about all you Darwinian biologists have come up with, and it does seem to be somewhat instructive, at least in a circular kind of way, so I guess I’d explain them their “vestigial structures” about the same way I’d explain testicles/ovaries on the issue of a mare and a jackass—shit happens, sometimes shit gets selected, and sometimes we’re just left with needless shit.

As I’ve noted previously, Ernst Mayr has acknowledged that, “biology is not the same sort of thing as the physical sciences,” and that the “philosophy of biology has a totally different basis than the theories of physics.” So maybe we won’t see a whole lot coming out of the “philosophy of biology,” that provides the predictive power, understanding, and coherence of the discoveries and theories that come out of the physical sciences, especially if those doing biology are actually convinced that their natural selection is in any substantial way comparable to, say, Einstein’s superb general relativity/theory of gravity.

I’d say that Darwinians need to be a bit more modest and circumspect regarding what they think they actually know and what the available science and the evidence actually tells us regarding the origin and evolution of life (and the universe too for that matter), and regarding the limitations and occasional circularity of their various theories/explanations/assumptions; and thereby avoid half-ass notions like “evolution”—or natural selection for that matter—being comparable in any substantial way to the superb theory of gravitation; and maybe also avoid making arrogant assumptions and decrees like Mr. Selfish Gene Dawkins’s, “The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose [blah, blah, blah].”
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