Thursday, March 12, 2015

What does Evolution mean?

Casey Luskin, who is a proponent of Intelligent Design, isn't my favorite writer, but I think he makes the issue clear here:

"What does "evolution" mean? As we saw in my previous post, no one doubts the idea that I called Evolution #1 -- that is, the uncontroversial observation that small-scale changes can occur in populations of organisms. Evolution #1, or microevolution, is well-supported by a large body of evidence. Evolution #2 refers to universal common descent, which receives wide support in the current scientific understanding. Whether that support is justified is another question that I leave aside for now. However, as the Scientific Dissent from Darwinism List shows, when it comes to what I termed Evolution #3 -- the idea that an unguided process of natural selection and random mutation can account for the complexity of life -- there is major scientific controversy and cause for doubt. It is when we speak about Darwinian evolution in this sense that the scientific evidence turns decidedly weak, as the mainstream technical literature confirms."

ID proponents are divided on the question of Evolution #2 - universal common descent.  Michael Behe, for example, argues in his book, The Edge of Evolution, that the evidence for it is overwhelming.   But nearly all ID proponents would challenge Evolution #3 - that the complexity of life can be accountd for by an unguided process. 

1 comment:

Mike said...

I agree. The dysteleological assumptions of Evolution #3 are every bit as much of a faith commitment as a religious worldview. Occam's razor does not apply unless science can reasonably account for everything - which by design, it cannot. My personal hypothesis is that the divine commands spoken at creation determined the telos of each created realm and creature was to finally assume. Let there be sky, sea, land - lights, fish and fowl, and land dwelling creatures. These teloi are kind of like the pure forms in Plato. They are the ideals which we aspire toward. I don't find it problematic to thing we have a common ancestor with other living creatures - but we all have a different telos.