The Atheist’s Built-In Assumption

Posted in Evolution, Religion, Responses, Science on  | 6 minutes | 3 Comments →

Kwon Mega inquires,

Wondering if you saw Is The Christian Evolutionist An Oxymoron?, by Bruce Charlton, and your thoughts on the matter.

We recently touched on this at Dangerous Idea. The answer depends on what one means by “evolution.”

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False Arguments #23 & #24: The Sufficiency Of Microevolution Tropes

Posted in Atheism, Creationism, Evolution, False Arguments, Science on  | 8 minutes | 12 Comments →

There are two equal but opposite errors I see again and again in ostensibly educated discussions about evolution, and both of them involve ignorance about what scientists mean when they use the words macroevolution and microevolution, (hereafter Ma and Mi, respectively).

The creationist or believer who maintains that Ma is impossible or unproven shows an ignorance of science paralleled only by the atheist or skeptic who maintains that such is untrue because Ma is just cumulative Mi. These are what I call the sufficiency of microevolution tropes, and both of them distort scientific accuracy concerning the facts of evolution.

As genuine thinkers, we need to know what to look out for here, so first let's discuss the terms.

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On Homology

Posted in Biology, Evolution, Science on  | 4 minutes | 2 Comments →

The phenomenon of homology refers to things that are corresponding or similar in position, value, structure and purpose. For example, many mammals share a common limb design that is versatile and lends well to a number of different functions. In Origin, Darwin notes in great detail the similar expressions of pentadactyl limb design as utilized by man for grasping, moles for digging, horses for movement and bats for flying. Further considering monkey and man, coyote and wolf, or fir and pine, the fact that different types and kinds of organisms share similarities in physical structure, biochemistry and embryonic patterns of development is argued as evidence that life must have descended from a common ancestor. Darwin cited the phenomenon of homology as the strongest evidence for his general theory of evolution. In the same vein, Miller and Levine also feel that homologous resemblance amongst organisms is compelling evidence: “The structural and biochemical similarities among living organisms are best explained by Darwin’s conclusion: living organisms evolved through gradual modification of earlier forms – descent from a common ancestor.”

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Eugenics

Posted in History, Legislation, Science on  | 4 minutes | 4 Comments →

Aside from its ability to explain differentiation in the Galapagos finches, the idea of natural selection also carries implications for the future of any species. Defined neutrally, eugenics is the study of human betterment through means of gene manipulation and control, and the movement’s scientific reputation was forever tarred and feathered when Ernst Rüdin began incorporating eugenic rhetoric into Nazi propaganda and racial policy. 

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