Evolution on the Campus

A brief recap for those who’ve been sleeping. I’m Christian, I think Intelligent Design is a very interesting conceptual attempt to explain where we came from. I tend to buy into some aspects of it in a big picture way.

ID is not a scientific theory and should never be taught as such. It doesn’t compete with evolution in the marketplace of scientific ideas; it can’t. The only proper place of ID theory in a science class would be to show why it isn’t science: it doesn’t make clearly falsifiable predictions; it doesn’t conform to the scientific method.

Evolution is an elegant theory that has been repeatedly challenged and has only needed very minor corrections (e.g. punctuated equilibrium) to remain a robust and viable scientific theory. It is my considered opinion and view that evolution explains how we came to be. Not why, but certainly how.

First off, here’s a quick hit on five critical things to know about evolution. I will paraphrase (and do them out of order, with the most important ones — to me — last).
-evolution isn’t instant;
-we may well not recognize it when it’s happening;
-a million years is a long, long time. And evolution has been running for a lot longer than that.
-evolution executes in parallel.
-a horrible solution is better than a dead solution.

The last seems obvious, yet is quite subtle. Even if all the answers are very bad, the one that doesn’t result in death is good enough to live on… and evolve, change. This doesn’t require gigantic leaps; it does require progress, even if only minor.

The second last is the other interesting aspect. A standard criticism by creationists of evolution is the question of the formation of the eye. I readily concede that a brilliantly complex device with separate components that can process movement, detect shapes, and recognize colors (all three are separate in the eye and in optic processing) might well … evolve in parallel.

In any event, there’s the background. The discussion will follow… time permitting -/.

-wolfe

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