Friday, June 08, 2007

The Evolution FAQ

I was planning to write about Evolution FAQ for long. It's boring to fight against all apostates of Evolution visiting their own blogs. Rather, if I can prepare a platform at my own blog to fight those, I get a better opportunity pounce on them. By the way, let me first acknowledge that this particular piece is going to be mostly be compiled from various sources in Internet.

The evolution is best described as :
1. is a fact,
2. is also a number of theories,
3. is Science,
4. is also scientific,
5. is naturalistic and purely mechanistic,
6. is falsifiable,
7. is testable,
8. is predictive,
9. has been observed;
9a. in the field
9b. in the laboratory,
10. has occurred in the past,
11. is still occurring,
12. will continue to occur in the future.

Further, we can also note that evolution:

13. is not atheistic (nor Communistic, Marxist, Leninist, Stalinist, etc.),
14. is not evil,
15. is not mandated by law to be taught in US public schools,
16. is not a cosmological theory (i.e., "it don't do origins"),
17. is not a religion nor Religion,
18. is not determined by popular opinion (as can be said of any science),
19. is not a socio-political program or paradigm,
20. is not dependent on the supernatural,
21. does not claim that "Man came from apes",
22. is not progress,
23. has not, will not and cannot be proven (as can be said of any science),
24. Is not random nor relies on 'blind chance',
25. does not violate the second law of thermodynamics,
26. Does not deny (a) God(s), and finally,
27. Falsifying evolution does not prove Creation.

Sounds interesting? Continue reading ... By the way, my pick of the quote would be :

The honest scientist, like the philosopher, will tell you that nothing whatever can be or has been proved with fully 100% certainty, not even that you or I exist, nor anyone except himself, since he might be dreaming the whole thing. Th us there is no sharp line between speculation, hypothesis, theory, principle, and fact, but only a difference along a sliding scale, in the degree of probability of the idea. When we say a thing is a fact, then, we only mean that its probability is an extremely high one: so high that we are not bothered by doubt about it and are ready to act accordingly. The probability that evolution is the correct explanation of life as we know it may approach 99.9999...9% but it will never be 100%.

However I would like to pick up a few more so called technical questions to answer. The pick of the questions are :
1) What is the application of Evolution, or, in other words, can evolution predict anything?

A very good application can be the creation of hybrid species. These species are been created matching the environment they are going to live, so that they can maximize production. This is derived from the fact that nature does select. If everything were created, we would not be able to create new species.
Many predictions made by theory of evolution are proven true. Darwin predicted the existence of 'unit of heredity' that was proved to be gene. And, the genetic similarities the species share among them, are the living evidences of evolution. More recently, the same theory explains the existence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, who've mutated to resist antibiotic (e.g. penicilin), and 'selected' to become the majority and can resume attacks.

2) If humans are from monkeys then how does monkeys still exist?

Human beings did not evolved from monkeys. They share a common ancestor with monkeys. And a new species generally comes out of the other only if they are geographically isolated. So one can safely assume, that there were at least two groups of apes/hominoids, one evolved to become humans, the other became monkeys.

3) Even if we accept natural selection, what's the proof that it leads to speciation?

I should refer to the speciation events observed in the past in front of modern human eyes.

That's it from my side. I know I could have written a lot more than this, but somehow, I'm satisfied with this. If anybody else suggests me about any common misconception, I am ready to clarify him.
Further reference :
1) FAQ 1 A good technical one.
2) FAQ 2 brief but to the point.

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