Evolution Concepts Expanded

What is Evolution?  --- generally: change though time
  • Darwin: Strong principles of inheritance, with variation and selection by resource limitations (fitness) MUST result in evolution
  • Blackmore: replicators, with variations and selection MUST evolve
  • conservation (inheritance), innovation (variation), selection => evolution
What is a specie?
  • At one time it was simply a taxonomic device for classification - human pattern matching of phenotypes
  • With clade diagrams and "evolution", as well as far more subtle distinctions it tended towards
    "critters that don't breed in the wild and/or create viable offspring"
  • with the gray scale of "viable offspring" (greenish warbler example) the above criteria do not apply 
    (or more accurately, the viability of offspring is not transitive as the window shifts east or west)
What is Science? -- science provides a methodical way to rationally explain 
  • Sir Francis Bacon introduces "empiricism" -- hypotheses must be tested in the real world, multiple times to establish a viable theory
    (empirical method then involves  developing useful, testable hypotheses, and one or more ways to test to confirm this)
  • Karl Popper is the advocate of falsifiablity as a requirement for testability
  • Some delightful observations from Brother Guy Consolmagno, Vatican astronomer in his book: God's Mechanics
    "Science is successful only as a way of approaching the truth asymptotically, ... getting closer and closer without every quite fully arriving there."
    "each bit of truth must be consistent with all others bits. It should be supported by many different lines of evidence..."


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