Gary Chiang

Developing an Integrative Approach
to Science and Christianity

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Ghost of Gould

Stephen Jay Gould died a number of years ago, but his legacy lives on.
In the previous post, Monk has asked that I consider three known facts, and believes that if I should agree these facts are true, then I must accept evolution as a scientific fact.
What Monk has done is to provide a variation on the reasoning proposed by Gould - a thinking that sounds logical, but is overwhelmingly flawed.
The argument Gould makes starts off with 3 postulates: 1. animals produce more offspring than they need to (many will die off), 2. offspring will vary in appearance to each other, and 3. the environment will select for the offspring that are best fit. Gould states that these 3 postulates are obviously true (it's a matter of common sense), and therefore evolution is a fact of life.
But unfortunately for Stephen, he made an error in logic.
Can anyone tell me what that error is?


At 10:53 AM, Blogger gary said...

Gould's mistake:
He has taken three "facts" that apply to variation in the frequency of genotypes in a population, and assumes that when taken together, these facts make another fact.
According to basic logic, this cannot be done.
When facts are taken together to support a theory, they do not (they CANNOT) produce another fact!
Even if these facts are right, they do not make "evolution" a fact. It remains a theory because that is what it is - a theory.
So Monk, that is the mistake you are making. Your "so-called" facts do not make evolution a fact.
In addition, your third fact, that the environment selects the best fit, is now being challenged by legitimate evolution-believing scientists. It's not as factual as you may have been led to believe.
Oh, by the way Monk, please clarify what you mean by evolution since none of your facts actually support "macroevolution." It is meaningless for me to respond to your queries until we start talking about the same thing.

At 10:31 AM, Blogger Monk of Miletus said...

Um, Gary? Those were NOT the three facts I stated. Please be honest in the future. You creationists love to misquote the supporters of evolution, but Christ ordered you not to beat false witness. If I were you, I'd listen to him.

At 5:09 AM, Anonymous abtruth said...

dear mr monk

new to this blog so you might be known to everyone but i would like to ask you some seemingly basic questions

are you an athiest or a theist

and can you define the difference between ID and Creationism for me



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