[quote author=“equinox”]Having said that, I was under the impression that the kind (or mechanism) of evolution that we talk about concerning human origins is up for debate. Given Gould’s Punctuated Equilibrium which has gone out of fashion or other scientists who don’t agree with darwinian natural selection, how can we say there are not alternatives? But she only said that there weren’t alternatives to evolution…once again, how can I disagree with that statement?
This is not correct, equinox. Gould’s notion of punctuated equlibrium is not at odds in any sense whatever with Darwinian natural selection. It is a simple refinement of the theory, which says that evolution tends to occur in large jumps rather than as a slow steady process.
And while people do debate the percentages, many, perhaps most, evolutionary biologists accept that punctuated equilibrium can and does happen.
What is the picture in punctuated equilibrium? That a member of a small offshoot group of animals (say, rodents) has an advantageous mutation, while they are isolated on an island or in a remote valley. The mutation is advantageous so quickly rises to near universality in the small group. Then the small group rejoins the larger group of rodents OUTSIDE of the island or valley, and since they all have this advantageous mutation, they outcompete the other rodents, and replace them within a very short number of generations.
Since the fossil record is very rough, it cannot distinguish between events, say, less than several tens of thousands of years apart. This replacement might occur in substantially less than ten thousand years, so it would appear from the fossil record as if it had happened instantaneously. But of course it didn’t really happen instantaneously.
BTW, Darwin actually recognized this possibility, IIRC, in his Origin of Species.
The other so-called “problems” with Darwinian evolution are of precisely this kind. I.e. they are not problems with Darwinian evolution by natural selection, but rather various refinements of it.
[quote author=“equinox”]I believe that christians, humanists, other believers believe in the concept, law, theory of gravity; and the science that makes their computers work; and the science that brings them good medicine; and the science that launches rockets; and the science that informs us that the earth is round (interesting though that most of the present day flat-earthers are atheists); and the science that says two dogs breeding is evolution. Few people no matter what their religious or not-so-religious background agree on the science behind all of these things.
THIS site seems to claim that most flat-earthers are Biblical literalists, which makes some sense since the Bible does in fact claim that the earth is flat. (E.g., Daniel 2:35, 4:11, Revelations 7:1, etc.)
I don’t know what you mean about “two dogs breeding is evolution”; you are of course right that few people “agree on the science behind these things”, but that’s mostly because the vast majority of people are scientifically illiterate, as we established before.
[quote author=“equinox”]The disagreements seem to begin when the ideas that go beyond science get promoted as science or in the name of science. I don’t disagree with abduction in this case, but let’s lower the certainty level.
I am not promoting ID or any of that, I just wish Forrest would lower her certainty level when making pronouncements about what is science or what is not. Of course I am extrapolating from her comments because that is the only alternative.
Well, you’ll have to provide us with some examples of “ideas that go beyond science getting promoted as science”, because all the cases you’ve discussed so far (and all those discussed in the podcast) clearly don’t go beyond science.
Funny avatar, BTW!