Separating the ideology from the science

A charge has been made that evolution seems to be a popular religion here at TSZ and that it is difficult to separate the ideology from the science.

No specific example was given to support that claim. But as it’s an interesting claim in and of itself I thought it deserved it’s own OP, and perhaps some specific examples can be provided and then discussed.

The reason I think it’s interesting is that I don’t think that’s the case at all, I can’t see any examples of where evolution is treated like a religion at TSZ so I’m unable to provide any examples of such.

I’m hoping that those that do can provide examples.

226 thoughts on “Separating the ideology from the science

  1. Kantian Naturalist,

    1. The most important part of Darwin’s contribution is the role of natural selection in giving rise to new species.

    His evidence was that species with certain environment adaptive traits that allowed them to survive and have reproductive advantage. Finch beaks were an example. Do you consider Finches with different beak shapes different species? If not how did this evidence support adaptive advantage leading to a speciation event?

    2. which in large part is made possible by his conception of species as populations rather than as kinds,

    I agree.

    3. Universal common descent is a consequence of the idea that every species evolved from some previous species;

    I agree.

    4. and that could be tested very easily — by finding a species that has nothing in common with any other species on the planet.

    I agree this would falsify it but it is not a valid verification test because you can have something in common and still not be a descendent of something else. All matter has common atomic structure yet no one has yet claimed that matter shares a common ancestor.

    5. Darwin’s theories were not immediately accepted on publication because of two massive problems: there wasn’t enough time for evolution to take place, and traits were thought to be ‘blended.’

    Thanks for this. What does it mean for traits to be blended?

    6. The second problem wasn’t solved until the discovery of genes by Mendel — or better the re-discovery of what Mendel had discovered. (In fact Mendel sent Darwin a copy of his paper but Darwin never read it.)

    7. And it wasn’t until the rise of population genetics in the 1950s that we had a satisfying account that integrated Darwin and Mendel.

    I agree with both.

    8. And while we know that Darwin’s theory is importantly wrong in crucial respects, we have no reason to believe that it’s completely wrong.

    I agree the Darwin was not completely wrong. Species adapting to their environment is certainly demonstrated. Speciation events occurring would be dependent on how you define specie. As Dr Harshman defines species as reproductively isolated populations then certainly speciation events occur by definition.

    The question here is how much of the diversity of life can we attribute to this process?

  2. colewd: All matter has common atomic structure yet no one has yet claimed that matter shares a common ancestor.

    uh, yes it does.

  3. colewd: All matter has common atomic structure yet no one has yet claimed that matter shares a common ancestor.

    And no one with a thought in their head ever believed that free protons, which are exactly the same as all other free protons, exhibits anything like the derivative nature of life.

    Your analogy is as pathetic as your belief in design.

    Glen Davidson

  4. colewd: I agree this would falsify it but it is not a valid verification test because you can have something in common and still not be a descendent of something else

    It would be evidence for your position whatever that is.

    All matter has common atomic structure yet no one has yet claimed that matter shares a common ancestor.

    The Big Bang

  5. colewd: The question here is how much of the diversity of life can we attribute to this process?

    What is the evidence for another process?

  6. colewd:

    I agree this would falsify it but it is not a valid verification test because you can have something in common and still not be a descendent of something else. All matter has common atomic structure yet no one has yet claimed that matter shares a common ancestor.

    Bill,

    You still don’t know what the phrase “objective nested hierarchy” means, do you?

  7. Kantian Naturalist: 4. and that could be tested very easily — by finding a species that has nothing in common with any other species on the planet.

    Like archea?

    Or do you mean that is not carbon based?

    Was this meant to be a joke?

    Is naming a situation that would be impossible in a theory a test of a theory?

    Like I can say, the theory of black holes can be tested. If we ever find a massive hole in the sky, made of cheese, the theory of black holes is wrong.

  8. phoodoo: Like I can say, the theory of black holes can be tested. If we ever find a massive hole in the sky, made of cheese, the theory of black holes is wrong.

    That would be evidence for the theory the sky is made of Swiss cheese.

  9. newton,

    What is the evidence for another process?

    -the eukaryotic ribosome
    -the spliceosome
    -the nuclear pore complex
    -chromosome structure
    -the circulatory system
    -the skeletal muscular system
    -the feather
    -flight
    -the mammalian placenta
    -the ear
    -the eye
    -the central nervous system
    -the brain
    -taste

    Probably required more then isolation and reproduction to originate.

  10. colewd:
    newton,

    -the eukaryotic ribosome
    -the spliceosome
    -the nuclear pore complex
    -chromosome structure
    -the circulatory system
    -the skeletal muscular system
    -the feather
    -flight
    -the mammalian placenta
    -the ear
    -the eye
    -the central nervous system
    -the brain
    -taste

    Probably required more then isolation and reproduction to originate.

    Why yes, the kind of “evidence” that gets a pass in churches.

    Glen Davidson

  11. colewd: Probably required more then isolation and reproduction to originate.

    Please indicate how any these things came to be. Did the eye come fully formed? How did the designer manipulate matter to form something, when did they occur?

    What is /was the process of design?

    Thanks

  12. Mung: sure. but evolution can do it! have faith.

    Come on mung, what did it? Life exists ,what accounts for it?

  13. colewd: Probably required more then isolation and reproduction to originate.

    How do you come to this conclusion of “probably”? What evidence do you have for to enable you to make* an assessment of probability?

    ETA *clarity

  14. colewd: 4. and that could be tested very easily — by finding a species that has nothing in common with any other species on the planet.

    I agree this would falsify it

    I question how this would falsify anything. Why couldn’t an evolutionist just say, I guess life evolved more than once?

    I don’t even know what “nothing in common” would mean? I mean a tardigrade and a rose bush both have something in common, they are both smaller than Mars.

  15. Alan Fox,

    I think he means, if someone says, “there is probably life on other planets”, the evidence that an eye couldn’t be produced just by isolation and reproduction meets a much higher standard than this; so the word probably was an extremely safe one.

  16. Mung,

    sure. but evolution can do it! have faith.

    Once again your confuse your position with ours. It’s your position that requires faith, ours does not. If we don’t know we say we don’t know. You never need to say that. You have faith.

  17. Alan Fox,

    How do you come to this conclusion of “probably”? What evidence do you have for to enable you to make* an assessment of probability?

    ETA *clarity

    Because of the unlikely conclusion that, for example, a splicosome which takes north of 300k nucleotides to build can come about by cell division and random genetic variation.

    I think probably is a generous statement as many would say impossible.

  18. colewd:
    Alan Fox,

    Because of the unlikely conclusion that, for example, a splicosome which takes north of 300k nucleotides to build can come about by cell division and random genetic variation.

    I think probably is a generous statement as many would say impossible.

    Don’t leave us in suspsense. What specific cause was capable, and how did you demonstrate its existence and its capabilities?

    You must know something we don’t, unless you’re just pushing some baseless speculation.

    Glen Davidson

  19. colewd: Because of the unlikely conclusion that, for example, a splicosome which takes north of 300k nucleotides to build can come about by cell division and random genetic variation.

    An unlikely conclusion? How to assess that?

    I see Glen already raised that point.

  20. GlenDavidson: Don’t leave us in suspsense.What specific cause was capable, and how did you demonstrate its existence and its capabilities?

    I wonder if colewd has the personal testicular fortitude to even notice that you asked this question, much less attempts to answer it.

  21. OMagain,

    Once again your confuse your position with ours. It’s your position that requires faith, ours does not. If we don’t know we say we don’t know. You never need to say that. You have faith

    Are you making the claim that you don’t believe in the theory of evolution?

  22. Alan Fox,

    An unlikely conclusion? How to assess that?

    -We know there are more non functional DNA sequences then functional one’s
    -The lack of experimental success forming a functional protein sequence from cell division.

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