Yet another weird SF fan

I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Evolution, Facts, Theories, and Circular Reasoning

We have to distinguish between evolution and Darwin's explanation of it. Evolution is a fact. Darwin's explanation of it is the leading theory.

The really odd phenomenon is that the “reality-based community” (both the barking-moonbat wing and the RINO/neocon wing) is less inclined to make the above distinction than the supposedly-irrational Intelligent-Design advocates. It's common, in response to people advocating teaching the Intelligent-Design theory, for opponents to accuse the proponents of trying to smuggle in the Fundamentalist belief that each species was created separately 6000 years ago. This is sometimes combined with comparing the teaching of the Genesis creation myth to teaching other creation myths.

We might have a case of circular reasoning here. We know the ID advocates are idiots because they believe in a young Earth and we know they believe in a young Earth because they're idiots.

On the other hand, Intelligent-Design advocates usually don't mention that Darwinism is the leading theory to explain evolution and that there is no good reason to doubt it. If they want to teach the controversy, they might recommend courses in the origin of life instead. In that case, there is no clear leading theory.

On the gripping hand (can I use two Motie references in the same week?), there might be a leading theory a century from now.


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