Wednesday, February 18, 2009

For those who wish to convince me that evolution is scientific:

     Leave the ridicule and the mockery at the door. Thank you very much. I find a great deal of similarity between supporters of evolution and supporters of creationism. One of the similarities is that both groups like to mock and ridicule those who disagree or question. If you resort to saying "sometimes you have to combat nonsense with ridicule" or something similar, I will think that you do not have a case.
     Do not presume to tell me what I think. I will tell you what I think. You can tell me what you think.
     Do not refer me to 29 Evidences for Macroevolution. Its claims of potential falsifications are wanting. This is an example of why I think large-scale evolution does not qualify as a scientific theory. All of the "tests" I see have been "safe bets." For example, it claims that mammals with feathers would have falsified evolution. However, if you at its discussion about cladistic vs. phenetic classification, you will find that such similarities can be dimissed as superficial. If there were mammals with feathers, it would only be asserted that it was not a shared "derived characteristic."
     Do not tell me that I need to conduct an exhaustive search before I can make a comment. I will reject attempts to keep me busy just to quiet my dissent.
     Should I reject a "potential falsifer," do not tell me it was "good" without addressing my specific rejection. For example, if I say that the observation was made before the prediction, you may endeavor to show that the prediction, in fact, came first. If I say that the prediction was hedged with "may" or "might" (chromosome 2, anyone) you may attempt to show that there was no such hedging.
     Do not give me an experiment designed to distinguish potential paths for evolution but which "confirms evolution" for all possible results. It's the first thing I will check. I am looking for something that put the overall idea of large-scale evolution on the line -- not something that ruled out one of the competing mechanisms.
     If you have it, do present me with a prediction made that could not be made without assuming evolution, such that a failure to confirm could not be excused and that a confirmation was not subject to interpretation, together with its subsequent confirmation. Some concepts are vague. If you expect to find a transitional form, you are more apt to interpret something as a transitional form.


     Elsewhere someone has claimed that post means that I think evolution is specificly false. This is not the case. I am uncommitted on evolution (although it looks plausible enough.) I just say that it hasn't been put through the rigors normally required of scientific theories. Evolution (and large-scale evolution in particular) is an idea that fits existing data. However all "predictions" are protected in some fashion. It cannot be falsified. Chromosome 2 was taken as a confirmation of the prediction that they might find a fusion of chromosomes. But, had no such confirmation been found, it would mean nothing against the idea. It was a "confirm or inconclusive" test.

(I have also corrected some spelling above.)


Reynold said...

Ok, I mis-spoke (mis-typed?) when I that you didn't think evolutionary scientists were right at all.

As for your basic premise though, I guess you can figure where I stand...

Reynold said... should read: "when I wrote that you didn't think evolutionary scientists....etc"

Pvblivs said...

     "As for your basic premise though, I guess you can figure where I stand..."
     And if you have evidence to challenge my basic premise, the floor is yours.

Reynold said...

Look at the history of science...The first people who came up with, and heard of the theory of evolution were creationists. Do you really think that those people would have wanted to "protect" the theory of evolution, even subconsciously?

If evolution was false, those people would have been glad to find that out.

Besides, you should realize that if science worked the way you seem to think it works, then no theory would be discarded, because they'd all be "protected from falsification".

Geocentrism, for instance would still be accepted, as would the phlogiston theory of heat, etc.