In creationism[ edit ] The concept of a crocoduck was used by young-Earth creationists and certain other creationists to claim that the absence of any half-crocodile, half-duck creature disproves evolutionan argument that quickly became a meme used to ridicule a common misrepresentation of the theory of evolutionnamely, that the theory predicts forms intermediate between any two currently living organisms. Kirk Cameron held up composite pictures of what "we imagined would be genuine species-to-species transitional forms. They called one a 'crocoduck' and another was called a 'birddog'.
Evolution as Fact and Theory by Stephen Jay Gould irtley Mather, who died last year at age ninety, was a pillar of both science and Christian religion in America and one of my dearest friends.
The difference of a half-century in our ages evaporated before our common interests. The most curious thing we shared was a battle we each fought at the same age. For Kirtley had gone to Tennessee with Clarence Darrow to testify for evolution at the Scopes trial of When I think that we are enmeshed again in the same struggle for one of the best documented, most compelling and exciting concepts in all of science, I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
According to idealized principles of scientific discourse, the arousal of dormant issues should reflect fresh data that give renewed life to abandoned notions. Those outside the current debate may therefore be excused for suspecting that creationists have come up with something new, or that evolutionists have generated some serious internal trouble.
But nothing has changed; the creationists have presented not a single new fact or argument. Darrow and Bryan were at least more entertaining than we lesser antagonists today.
The rise of creationism is politics, pure and simple; it represents one issue and by no means the major concern of the resurgent evangelical right. Arguments that seemed kooky just a decade ago have reentered the mainstream.
The basic attack of modern creationists falls apart on two general counts before we even reach the supposed factual details of their assault against evolution. First, they play upon a vernacular misunderstanding of the word "theory" to convey the false impression that we evolutionists are covering up the rotten core of our edifice.
Second, they misuse a popular philosophy of science to argue that they are behaving scientifically in attacking evolution. Yet the same philosophy demonstrates that their own belief is not science, and that "scientific creationism" is a meaningless and self-contradictory phrase, an example of what Orwell called "newspeak.
Thus creationists can and do argue: If evolution is less than a fact, and scientists can't even make up their minds about the theory, then what confidence can we have in it? Indeed, President Reagan echoed this argument before an evangelical group in Dallas when he said in what I devoutly hope was campaign rhetoric: It is also a fact.
And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data.
Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air, pending the outcome.
And humans evolved from apelike ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other, yet to be discovered. Evolutionists make no claim for perpetual truth, though creationists often do and then attack us for a style of argument that they themselves favor.
In science, "fact" can only mean "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent. Evolutionists have been clear about this distinction between fact and theory from the very beginning, if only because we have always acknowledged how far we are from completely understanding the mechanisms theory by which evolution fact occurred.
Darwin continually emphasized the difference between his two great and separate accomplishments: He wrote in The Descent of Man: Hence if I have erred in. I have at least, as I hope, done good service in aiding to overthrow the dogma of separate creations. The fruitful theoretical debate that Darwin initiated has never ceased.
From the s through the s, Darwin's own theory of natural selection did achieve a temporary hegemony that it never enjoyed in his lifetime. But renewed debate characterizes our decade, and, while no biologist questions the importance of natural selection, many doubt its ubiquity.
In particular, many evolutionists argue that substantial amounts of genetic change may not be subject to natural selection and may spread through the populations at random. Others are challenging Darwin's linking of natural selection with gradual, imperceptible change through all intermediary degrees; they are arguing that most evolutionary events may occur far more rapidly than Darwin envisioned.
Scientists regard debates on fundamental issues of theory as a sign of intellectual health and a source of excitement. Evolutionary theory is now enjoying this uncommon vigor.
Yet amidst all this turmoil no biologist has been lead to doubt the fact that evolution occurred; we are debating how it happened. We are all trying to explain the same thing:In creationism.
The concept of a crocoduck was used by young-Earth creationists and certain other creationists to claim that the absence of any half-crocodile, half-duck creature disproves evolution, an argument that quickly became a meme used to ridicule a common misrepresentation of the theory of evolution, namely, that the theory predicts forms intermediate between any two currently living.
Praise for Spiritual Evolution “George Vaillant is a poet, a visionary, and a scientist. This book is the culmination of a fifty-year project that revolutionized our view of human development and now may revolutionize our view of religion and spirituality.”.
Evolution as Fact and Theory. by Stephen Jay Gould. irtley Mather, who died last year at age ninety, was a pillar of both science and Christian religion in America and one of my dearest friends. The simplest and easiest to understand of all the arguments ever offered by believers is the Argument from Design.
The argument is remarkably simple. Many evolutionists point to allegedly imperfect structures as ‘proof’ of evolution, although this is really an argument against perfect design rather than for evolution.
But many allegedly imperfect structures can also be interpreted as a deterioration of once-perfect structures, for . A Theological Argument For Evolution. GEORGE L. MURPHY. St. Mark Lutheran Church North Avenue, Box Tallmadge, Ohio From JASA 38 (March ): After a brief look at theological responses to biological evolution, some fundamental themes of .