Certain commentators seem surprisingly agitated about pursuing the idea that there is no ‘theory of evolution’. Some mean there is no single theory, although on examination the things they see as separate are frequently simply different components of the same broad process. Or, alternatively, they are referring to evolution in other senses, or in non-biological contexts. Others say there is no theory at all, as if that against which they argue does not even exist.
A theme has emerged that TSZ is somehow suppressing their concerns. So, in the spirit of suppressive dictatorships everywhere, here is a thread for people to say whatever they want about this vital topic. Hopefully without pasting in vast swathes of something already posted elsewhere – a link will suffice.
Here, for my part, is my very broad summary of ‘the’ theory of evolution: Genetic changes (mutation, recombination) are subject to a sampling process, correlated to a greater or lesser extent with their effects on survival and reproduction. This process leads to a simultaneous increase and decrease in frequency for the variants in the population, through to, in the limit, extinction or fixation of a variant. This process proceeds indefinitely, subject to the fuel of new variation. All commonly accepted*** ‘theories of [biological***] evolution’ of which I am aware place emphasis on different components, influences and consequences of this basic process. None, so far as I am aware, are at odds with it, which might be expected if there really were ‘different theories’.
*** The caveats are inserted to try to head off anticipated ‘gotchas’, in a possibly forlorn attempt to reduce opportunities to make semantic capital out of a phrase whose intent should be easy enough to understand without them. This is not ‘biologism’: the ToE which upsets people is (are?) the generally accepted biological one.