Evolution does not make predictions and offers no laws.
I’m not sure where you are getting your information. I have to assume it’s from some very poorly informed people.
Hmm… I guess I must have badly misinterpreted your meaning here:
His point is that no matter what final state we get to, no matter what collection of biological features we have, each one will appear in retrospect to have been vanishingly unlikely. Or as SJ Gould would say, if you turned back the clock and re-ran the whole thing again, it’d be vanishingly unlikely to get precisely the biological features you see around you now.
As for the question of useful features ... again, what makes a feature useful is its particular environment, which includes its competition. A feature that might appear suboptimal in our environment (Down’s Syndrome, let’s say) might in fact be a “winning hand” in some other environment. Perhaps all the other humans are infertile, for example.
I took you to mean that it is impossible to predict what features will evolve, what features will be beneficial or what the evolutionary response will be to a given stimulus. I guess you must have meant something else…
What you have done here, Mr. Tweedy, is submit a classic straw man argument.
If so, I assure you it is unintentional. (I am, after all, one of the many victims of American public education.)
Charles Darwin predicted, using biogeographical arguments, that our species originated in Africa. Fossils and genetics both confirmed this long after Darwin died.
Well, that was more or less what I meant (be I right or wrong). One cannot predict a past event. One can predict that evidence of a past even will be found, but that is not the same thing as predicting the event itself.
The origin of humans is a past event. Deducing what probably happened in the past and making predictions about what will happen in the future are not at all the same thing. This is what I mean by evolution not having predictive power. It makes claims in the same vein as archeology. By studying ancient pottery, an archeologist may make deductions about what happened 10,000 years ago, but his findings will not amount to archeological laws that allow him to predict the outcomes of future events, as the laws of chemistry allow a chemist to accurately predict that salt will form when chlorine and sodium are combined.
Please explain how anyone can use thermodynamics to predict what will happen on the other side of the world, much less the other side of the universe.
If I heat an iron bar to 950 degrees, it will glow red. Iron bars heated in Toyko will also glow read. Iron bars heated heated to 950 in the dark of intergalactic space will also glow red. Because this is a fixed property of iron, I can predict with confidence that all iron bars anywhere in the universe will behave in this way if subjected to this stimulus.
(psychology is not science)
That is a comfort. I will continue to ignore the opinions of the APA with renewed confidence.
Like Newton, Einstein’s theories are merely descriptive, they do not include an explanation of the underlying mechanism behind gravity. In that way Darwin’s theory is even more complete than Einstein’s.
Einstein does not explain gravity? Newton’s theory was merely descriptive, but I was under the impression that Einstein envisioned space as a sort of 4-dimension mesh which is distorted by the presence of mass.
Apologies to everyone if it seems like I’m just trying to be difficult. If you see flaws in me, please chalk them up to honest ignorance and naivete, not belligerence or slyness. I’m trying to be as open as I can here.