Thursday, May 21, 2009

Origins: key ideas of evolution

Other posts are under the label Origins.

The evolution model has four key ideas pertaining to the origin of the universe, life, and diverse kinds:
  1. The world is changing; it is not static. (This was postulated to rebut the concept of fixity of species, a 19th-century Creationary idea that is not part of today's creation model. Here, though, is a brief AiG article explaining the confusion wrought by changing a word's definition midway through a historical period.) This is not disputed by creationary scientists.
  2. Evolution (lower-case e) is a slow, gradual, continuous process. (However, it may be accelerated by selection.) Again, creationary scientists do not dispute this.
  3. Common descent means that all form of life have various common ancestors. (To which a creationary scientist would reply: To an extent!)
  4. The mechanism for the origin of diverse kinds of life, and of life itself from chemicals, is natural selection - neo-Darwinism adds mutations to the mix. More on this later.
My comments: Although Darwin extrapolated from artificial selection to natural selection, there is a key difference between the two. The former is based on a primary cause (the intelligent agent doing the selecting), whereas there are only secondary (natural) causes involved in the latter. Neo-Darwinian evolution adds genetics (which was conveniently ignored for many years by Darwinists because of the laws of inheritance) as a component. Granted, sport mutations do occur. But the vast majority of "new" traits are recessive ones being expressed - they were already present.


Ed Darrell said...

Ow, ow! Ow! Ow!

"Creationary" scientists? Why are we inventing new labels now? What does that mean?

Do you mean creationists?

Creationists admit the world is changing? That's a few steps away from the traditional creationist view, especially as elucidated by William Paley in 1802 in Natural Theology. It's also very much contrary to most modern creationists of the latter half of the 20th century.

Creationists don't dispute slow evolution? If they have abandoned their roots on evolution, how can we consider labeling anyone at any point? What's the value in such an exercise when such tectonic shifts are occurring? Are you sure they are occurring?

Creationists accept some common descent, but not all?

Natural selection governs chemistry?

That's all just too, too far off the path of what science is working on, what can be justified by science, and as a consequence, far from what Christians should be doing.

There is no radical difference between natural and artificial selection. Where all the action takes place -- in the mixing of the sperm and egg and creation of a new, unique critter -- the processes are all the same, all natural. That was part of the genius of Darwin's inspiration, that he realized breeding was just using the tools that evolution uses, too.

Ed Darrell said...

[quote]But the vast majority of "new" traits are recessive ones being expressed - they were already present. [endquote]

"Recessive" carries a different meaning in genetics, I think. New traits probably are not recessive except in a very few cases. "Already present" is accurate -- but that doesn't imply "recessive."

Hannah said...

Thanks for the sarcasm. ;) I reply briefly below.

No, I did mean to say "creationary scientists." The creation model has existed for at least as long as the evolution model. "Science" here refers to all knowledge, including Bible-derived. As I will try to show in the forthcoming weeks, there is indeed a coherent, logical creationary model of origins that is at least as logical as the evolutionary model.

As for admitting the world is changing, it's a matter of the extent of that change. More on that later.

We don't dispute slow evolution (meaning simply "change" - don't try to equivocate on me!) either. We just dispute what that evolution can accomplish.

Common descent also tends to mean different things depending on which model one uses. In the evolution model, it refers ultimately to a single first form of life that branched over generations, and so on. In the creation model, though, there is a common ancestor for each kind (Hebrew 'bar') - for example, one dog-kind ancestor, one human-kind ancestor, and one or a few ape-kind ancestors, etc.

Unstable chemicals tend not to survive. Again, more later.

Recessive traits - I admit that I didn't explain myself fully in the post. Again, more later.