Logic and evolution: current Darwin theory debate (Introduction)

by dhw, Thursday, May 16, 2019, 08:26 (9 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: There is not much left of the Darwin Theory

dhw: I do not think there is anything in this article that we have not covered in our own discussions. You and I have agreed that random mutations are out as an explanation for the complexities of evolutionary innovation, and we also agree that Darwin was wrong in his insistence that Nature does not make jumps. What is left is the enormously important theory of common descent and the influence of environmental factors, plus natural selection, which determines what innovations survive (this being a passive process that creates nothing). In other words the concept of evolution itself remains untouched, and the controversy is over the mechanisms which have enabled it to take place.

DAVID: What I see left of Darwin is the concept of evolution of life from common ancestors. Environment and competition influence what survives and influences modification, nothing more. What drives evolution in starting life and driving complexity is not known. Some of us insist design is required.

You have repeated my own list (see the bold), we agree that the driving force is not known and that some sort of design is required. (Darwin himself in later editions repeatedly refers to the Creator – but his theory does not cover the origin of life anyway.) The only disagreement here is that you say there’s not much left of his theory, and I say what is left is extremely important. And I remain discouraged by the fact that some critics focus only on the unknown mechanisms that cause evolution as if somehow that discredited the whole theory.

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