Essay 1 – The Illusion of the Word ‘Evolution’
An introduction to the many different facets of evolutionary thinking – scientific and philosophical – illuminating what evolution can mean within different contexts. Using references from the scientific literature and educational sources, this essay draws out numerous inadequacies and contradictions in Darwinian theory, and explains how Darwinism uses equivocal language to blur the boundaries between fact, theory and belief. These boundaries are further eroded when the idea of evolution becomes an adjunct to certain commonly held philosophical, religious, or anti-religious world views.
Topics: A Word Having Great Power – Everything Changes – Limits to Change – Evolution as Fact – Evolution as Theory – Evolution as Belief – Blending Fact, Theory and Belief – Blending Replacement and Transmutation – Speciation and the Origin of Species – Microevolution and Macroevolution – Merging Science and Philosophy – Cosmic Evolution – Atheistic Evolution – Theistic Evolution – Summary and Conclusions.
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Essay 2 – The Darwin-Tinted Spectacles
An all-science account that examines the explanatory limitations of Darwinism in greater detail. Evolutionary biologists repeatedly state that we can ‘see evolution’ in living populations, while paleontologists make similar statements about ‘seeing evolution’ in the fossil record. Through careful examination of the major elements of evolutionary theory, this essay contests the integrity of such claims and asserts that they are generally based on false extrapolation. Genetic change, natural selection and adaptation can indeed be seen in living populations; but if evolution is defined as the origin of new species, the vast majority of these observations do not come close to fulfilling that definition. In the fossil history of life, the ‘evolution of the whale’ is showcased as one of the best examples of large-scale transmutation seen across geological time. However, upon detailed analysis of the so-called ‘transitional forms’ of the whale, it becomes apparent that they fail to elucidate the most important part of the structural change: how a foot-powered mode of locomotion mutates into a vertical tail-powered mode of locomotion. The only place where evolution may be reliably seen is in the Darwinian imagination.
Topics: Visible Evolution – Places to “See Evolution Playing Out” – In the Light of Evolution – Evolution as a Preconception – Mutation – Natural Selection – Adaptation – Degeneration – Competition – Artificial Selection – Speciation – Mass Extinctions and Macroevolution – Stasis in the Fossil Record – Summary and Conclusions.
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Essay 3 – Deceptive Definitions
A further exposition of how the language and teaching of evolution eludes logic and immerses fact within fiction. Given that the term ‘evolution’ can be defined from so wide an angle of perspectives, and employed to describe so diverse a range of phenomena, the author makes the case that ‘evolution’ holds no precise or consistent meaning in scientific understanding. Accordingly, in the interests of scientific clarity, the term ‘evolution’ – along with ‘microevolution’ and ‘macroevolution’ – should be abandoned in favour of a whole vocabulary of terms that define more accurately and explicitly the observations, processes and principles to which they apply. The habitual insertion of ‘evolutionary’ and ‘evolved’ into written and spoken discourse adds no substance or meaning, and such terms serve only as code words for acceptance into the scientific community and allegiance to naturalistic philosophy. New definitions of ‘evolution’ expanded to accommodate epigenetic inheritance are so broad in meaning as to have no meaning at all. The challenges and controversies presented by the emerging field of epigenetics to orthodox Neo-Darwinian theory are examined, with the conclusion that the underlying controversy is not really about epigenetics at all, but about the adequacy of Neo-Darwinian theory. A more truthful and humble appreciation of the mysteries of the natural world is gained, this essay maintains, by studying life and the history of life without ‘evolution’.
Topics: Defining What? – The Original Meaning of ‘Evolution’ – Clarity and Confusion – The History of Life: Replacing ‘Macroevolution’ – A Gradual Process – The Fundamental Mechanism: Natural Selection – Descent with Modification and Common Ancestry – Focus on Species – Genetic Definitions and Microevolution – Post-Genetic Definitions: Epigenetic Inheritance – Evolution as Theory and Belief – What is ‘Evolutionary Time’? – Humorous Definitions – Life Without ‘Evolution’ – Summary and Conclusions.
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