Tuesday, August 21, 2007

David Flanigan tackles the notion of evolution in Blog.Critic and largely gets the concept of "theory" wrong. He states:

According to the late Stephen Jay Gould — Harvard professor and leading spokesperson for evolutionary theory right up until the time of his death in 2002 — Evolution, while still a theory, is also a fact. Is it me, or is this approach faintly reminiscent of former President Clinton parsing the meaning of the word "is" in front of a grand jury?

Its nothing of the sort. A theory takes a large number of known facts that are related and tries to explain the relationship between them using scientific mechanisms. Gravitational theory does this, as does evolutionary theory.

He gets other things wrong as well. He states:

Supporters of evolution would argue that we have indeed observed this phenomenon, but there's a bit of bait-and-switch going on here. We can see micro-evolution in action, also known as "adaptation," but macro-evolution, the shifting of one species to a new and entirely different species has never been observed.

This isn't true. There have been numerous examples of observed macroevolution. Here is a good piece from Talkorigins that examines exactly that area.

He makes the statement "Has anyone ever observed the transition of any species into an entirely different and distinct one? The answer to this is a resounding "no."" This is facile, like Ken Ham's "were you there?" question. Has anyone ever watched the continental plates move? Of course not. But we know that they do.

Biological processes take time, just like any other natural processes. In the process of tackling the science of evolution, Mr. Flanigan makes it sound as if he does not understand the science involved.

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