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Re: Theory of Evolution



On Tue, 25 Jul 1995, David Brez Carlisle wrote:

> The thread about the theory of evolution seems to me to show a 
> lack of infomation about Carl Popper's theory of science.  In his
> early wrtings he defined a "theory" as an idea which is 
> "falsifiable", i.e. something that can be tested by some prediction
> that could be true or false.   Only falsity has any value - truth
> could be just a coincidence.   

This THEORY of Popper's about how science operates is easily 
falsified by observing science and scientists at work.  :-)  


> On this basis  he claimed that evolution was not even a theory, 
> since it could not be tested, unlike relativity which has several
> possible tests, all of which hvae  co me up positive.  
> 
> He l ater revised his ideas, and decided that "evolution" was a
> valid theory of another kind.  It is so long since I read Popper
> that I can't remember the refs, but any of you who are interested
> in theories of evolution should read him.  He's well worth-
> while.

Another theorist of Science might take a Kuhnian interpretation
and say that was just patching up a bad theory with a bunch of
"Ptolemaic epicycles" 

> Down with those ill-informed  creationists.  They know n othing 
> about science.

Don't agree with your reasoning, but I agree with your conclusion!

  I think Freudianism is a bunch of baloney - but the 
"Popperian" critique of Freud is also all wrong . If one were
consistant in applying the same standard, one would have to
throw out an awful lot of real science with the Freudian and
Creationist bathwater. ( And Freudianism is a more borderline
case, as Freud clearly started out as a scientist, though at
some point it ceased being a science. I *WISH* there were a
more objective criterion to reject the creationists than
"I know what science is, and they don't do science" , but 
I'm not sure what it is, and Popper certainly doesn't provide it. )

[ I'm not saying Popper isn't worth reading - just that he 
  happens to be wrong - as in: "doesn't describe or account 
  for the observable facts". ] 


---|  Steven D. Majewski   (804-982-0831)  <sdm7g@Virginia.EDU>  |---
---|  Computer Systems Engineer          University of Virginia  |---
---|  Department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics  |---
---|  Box 449 Health Science Center    Charlottesville,VA 22908  |---
 [ "The grass is always greener, except at t=0" - Stan Kelly-Bootle ]