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..."