Is Evolution "Settled Science" or is Evolution Just Metaphysical Musing?
Is truth in the eye of the beholder?
image source: Evolution Sticker for iOS & Android | GIPHY
Chris From Hoax Busters Call has a great "evolutionary" conversation with Joshua from N.Y.
blog link: http://hoaxbusterscall.blogspot.com
The Theory of Punctuated Equilibrium: Ad Hoc Patchwork Is Not Real Science
Speculation is not science, is it?
"Stephen Jay Gould (/ɡuːld/; September 10, 1941 – May 20, 2002) was an American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and historian of science. ... Gould's most significant contribution to evolutionary biology was the theory of punctuated equilibrium, which he developed with Niles Eldredge in 1972."
source: Stephen Jay Gould - Wikipedia
The Theory of Punctuated Equilibrium
The Word Theory Means:
"1590s, "conception, mental scheme," from Late Latin theoria (Jerome), from Greek theoria "contemplation, speculation; a looking at, viewing; a sight, show, spectacle, things looked at," from theorein "to consider, speculate, look at," from theoros "spectator," from thea "a view" (see theater) + horan "to see," which is possibly from PIE root *wer- (3) "to perceive." Earlier in this sense was theorical (n.), late 15c. Sense of "principles or methods of a science or art" (rather than its practice) is first recorded 1610s (as in music theory, which is the science of musical composition, apart from practice or performance). Sense of "an intelligible explanation based on observation and reasoning" is from 1630s."
"Eldredge and Gould proposed that the degree of gradualism commonly attributed to Charles Darwin is virtually nonexistent in the fossil record, and that stasis dominates the history of most fossil species."
"Punctuated equilibrium (also called punctuated equilibria) is a theory in evolutionary biology which proposes that once species appear in the fossil record they will become stable, showing little evolutionary change for most of their geological history. This state is called stasis. When significant evolutionary change occurs, the theory proposes that it is generally restricted to rare and geologically rapid events of branching speciation called cladogenesis. Cladogenesis is the process by which a species splits into two distinct species, rather than one species gradually transforming into another. Punctuated equilibrium is commonly contrasted against phyletic gradualism, the idea that evolution generally occurs uniformly and by the steady and gradual transformation of whole lineages (called anagenesis). In this view, evolution is seen as generally smooth and continuous.
In 1972, paleontologists Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould published a landmark paper developing their theory and called it punctuated equilibria. Their paper built upon Ernst Mayr's model of geographic speciation, I. Michael Lerner's theories of developmental and genetic homeostasis, as well as their own empirical research. Eldredge and Gould proposed that the degree of gradualism commonly attributed to Charles Darwin is virtually nonexistent in the fossil record, and that stasis dominates the history of most fossil species."
see also: Darwinism - Wikipedia
Science, Fate and Religion source: UWTV
"In 1859, when Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species was first published, the fossil record was poorly known. Darwin described the perceived lack of transitional fossils as, "...the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory," but explained it by relating it to the extreme imperfection of the geological record. He noted the limited collections available at that time, but described the available information as showing patterns that followed from his theory of descent with modification through natural selection. Indeed, Archaeopteryx was discovered just two years later, in 1861, and represents a classic transitional form between earlier, non-avian dinosaurs and birds. Many more transitional fossils have been discovered since then, and there is now abundant evidence of how all classes of vertebrates are related, including many transitional fossils. Specific examples of class-level transitions are: tetrapods and fish, birds and dinosaurs, and mammals and "mammal-like reptiles". The term "missing link" has been used extensively in popular writings on human evolution to refer to a perceived gap in the hominid evolutionary record. It is most commonly used to refer to any new transitional fossil finds. Scientists, however, do not use the term, as it refers to a pre-evolutionary view of nature."
"Darwin, Eugenics, and the Demise of Human Nature"
"Transhumanists believe that they are heirs to Darwin but claim to do Darwin one better. According to Charles Darwin, all species, including the human species, are the result of natural selection acting upon random variations in individuals. In his famous Origin of Species, published in 1859, Darwin noted that domestic animal breeders were able to select for desired traits artificially, and direct the transformation of cattle, pigeons, horses, and dogs, creating all kinds of interesting, new domestic species within a relatively short time. Couldn’t this same kind of rational, artificial breeding be applied to human beings? Fearing public opinion, Darwin did not openly advocate the controlled breeding of human beings until the publication of his Descent of Man in 1871. By that time, his cousin, Francis Galton, had already coined the term “eugenics” to describe “the science of improving stock…especially in the case of man,” a science that would “give to the more suitable races or strains of blood a better chance of prevailing speedily over the less suitable than they otherwise would have had.”
For both Darwin and Galton, and the rest of the eugenic movement, the point of eugenics was to remove the production and maintenance of human nature from the hands of chance. The blind forces of evolution had given us a good start, but to progress yet further, we would have to take evolution into our own hands. For Darwin, that meant that we must “prevent the reckless, the vicious and otherwise inferior members of society from increasing at a quicker rate than the better class of men…” because progress “depends on an increase…on the number of men endowed with high intellectual and moral faculties…” Thus, we have the birth of two defining aspects of the Transhumanist movement in Darwinism. First, human nature is not a cosmic given, but represents a particular phase of continuing evolutionary transformation. Second, while human beings might through their own negligence sink lower on the scale of evolution, they could, through their own eugenic diligence, climb even higher, transcending the current givens of human nature."
"The publication by his cousin Charles Darwin of The Origin of Species in 1859 was an event that changed Galton's life (Forrest 1974, p. 84). He came to be gripped by the work, especially the first chapter on "Variation under Domestication", concerning animal breeding. Galton devoted much of the rest of his life to exploring variation in human populations and its implications, at which Darwin had only hinted. In so doing, he established a research program which embraced multiple aspects of human variation, from mental characteristics to height; from facial images to fingerprint patterns. This required inventing novel measures of traits, devising large-scale collection of data using those measures, and in the end, the discovery of new statistical techniques for describing and understanding the data."
"Galton invented the term eugenics in 1883 and set down many of his observations and conclusions in a book, Inquiries into Human Faculty and Its Development. He believed that a scheme of 'marks' for family merit should be defined, and early marriage between families of high rank be encouraged by provision of monetary incentives. He pointed out some of the tendencies in British society, such as the late marriages of eminent people, and the paucity of their children, which he thought were dysgenic. He advocated encouraging eugenic marriages by supplying able couples with incentives to have children. On 29 October 1901, Galton chose to address eugenic issues when he delivered the second Huxley lecture at the Royal Anthropological Institute.
The Eugenics Review, the journal of the Eugenics Education Society, commenced publication in 1909. Galton, the Honorary President of the society, wrote the foreword for the first volume. The First International Congress of Eugenics was held in July 1912. Winston Churchill and Carls Elliot were among the attendees."
source: Francis Galton - Wikipedia
The Divine Right of Kings & The Great Chain of Being
"The great chain of being is a religious concept believed by Christians to be a strict hierarchical structure of all matter and life decreed by God. The chain starts from God and progresses downward to angels, demons (fallen/renegade angels), stars, moon, kings, princes, nobles, commoners, wild animals, domesticated animals, trees, other plants, precious stones, precious metals and other minerals. The great chain of being (Latin: scala naturae, "ladder of being") is a concept derived from Plato, Aristotle (in his Historia animalium), Plotinus and Proclus. Further developed during the Middle Ages, it reached full expression in early modern Neoplatonism."
"Each link in the chain might be divided further into its component parts. In medieval secular society, for example, the king is at the top, succeeded by the aristocratic lords, and then the peasants below them. Solidifying the king's position at the top of humanity's social order is the doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings. In the family, the father is head of the household; below him, his wife; below her, their children.
Milton's Paradise Lost ranked the angels (c.f. Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite's ranking of angels), and Christian culture conceives of angels in orders of archangels, seraphim, and cherubim, among others. Subdivisions are equally apparent among animals. At the top of the animals are wild beasts (such as lions), which were seen as superior as they defied training and domestication. Below them are domestic animals, further sub-divided so that useful animals (such as dogs and horses) are higher than docile creatures (such as sheep). Birds are also sub-divided, with eagles above pigeons, for example. Fish come below birds and are subdivided between actual fish and other sea creatures. Below them come insects, with useful insects such as spiders and bees and attractive creatures such as ladybirds and dragonflies at the top, and unpleasant insects such as flies and beetles at the bottom. At the very bottom of the animal sector are snakes, which are relegated to this position as punishment for the serpent's actions in the Garden of Eden.
Below animals comes the division for plants, which is further subdivided. Trees are at the top, with useful trees such as oaks at the top, and the traditionally demonic yew tree at the bottom. Food-producing plants such as cereals and vegetables are further subdivided. At the very bottom of the chain are minerals. At the top of this section are metals (further sub-divided, with gold at the top and lead at the bottom), followed by rocks (with granite and marble at the top), soil (subdivided between nutrient-rich soil and low-quality types), sand, grit, dust, and dirt at the very bottom of the entire great chain.
The central concept of the chain of being is that everything imaginable fits in somewhere, giving order and meaning to the universe."