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Author Topic: Is evolution only a theory?  (Read 9131 times)

Offline PmbPhy

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Re: Is evolution only a theory?
« Reply #25 on: 19/06/2015 19:06:19 »
Quote from: alancalverd
I think that's a fairly robust definition of magic.
Not at all. Consider the strong force before it was discovered. Physicists didn't know how alpha nuclei were being held together. It was merely an unknown force at that time. Only later was it discovered. The same thing could still be happening today with all particles even today with another type of force. We simply don't know what it is ... yet! In fact that's exactly what's going on if there is a God. But there's no reason to call it magic. That's what individuals in a tribe of people who have never been exposed to science might conclude had they been shown a Van de Graaff generator. They'd call it magic, would they not? But would it really be magic?

You can't call the unknown supernatural in my opinion.

In fact, in my opinion, not only does the supernatural not exist but it can't exist, by definition. All that exists is the known of nature and the unknown and the unknown doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. For example; a virtual photon might exist but if it does it can't be observed.
« Last Edit: 19/06/2015 19:10:59 by PmbPhy »

Offline Ophiolite

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Re: Is evolution only a theory?
« Reply #26 on: 28/06/2015 11:55:11 »
Admittedly I'm being very pedantic, but intellectual rigour is the best defence against ignorance and superstition. No creationist can argue that he has not evolved from his parents, and all that Darwin's theory assumes is that the process of evolution, whatever the mechanism, has been going on for a long time.
Exactly. And that is why it is so important to use precise terms. Your examples are observations of the consequences of evolution, not of evolution itself. The distinction is not pedantic. It is essential.

For example:

You observe evolution every time you look in a mirror: you do not look exactly like both of your parents. Everyone has observed it, for ever.
Nonsense. We observe the consequences of evolution. It required a sequence of progressive insights, followed by the genius and dedication of Darwin to interpret what they were observing.
« Last Edit: 28/06/2015 11:57:25 by Ophiolite »

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Is evolution only a theory?
« Reply #27 on: 28/06/2015 21:58:58 »
So how would you define evolution, if not "the phenomenon of variation between generations" or something similar?

And I'm going to be strict here: I want a definition of "evolution", not of the theory, mechanism or consequences of evolution. And your definition must be sufficiently robust to cover the demotic use of evolution to describe intentional changes in the design of artefacts.

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Re: Is evolution only a theory?
« Reply #27 on: 28/06/2015 21:58:58 »


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