Posted: Jul 02, 2010 6:50 pm
by hotshoe
Not quite "hasn't taken ANYTHING we've said". He took in my suggestion about leaving his name off of each paragraph. By the way, thanks, CharlieM 8-)

Evolutionary science is hard. It's NOT hard to get the basics - variability of traits, differential survival in some population with respect to some environment based on the relative success of those traits, survivors having a chance to pass on their selected traits to offspring, who then repeat cycles of variability and survivorship. (It's so easy to get that I suspect the only reason we had to wait till 1850 for a valid ToE was because of the poisonous effect of religion and its static cosmology, but that's a subject for another thread.)

What's hard is the details. It's hard to work out the molecular basis for a process which was completed a billion years ago. It's hard to establish the correspondence between amino acid sequence and finished protein fold (even though we know it must be highly deterministic as it follows inert laws of chemistry). It's hard to work out the nature of "cellular machinery" when our dichotomous minds alternate between the extremes of "goo" and "machines", such that our perception of the "hook" is colored by the very word itself.

But failure (at this moment) to explain every molecular detail is not sufficient to disprove the basic theory outlined. That's just dumb, like saying I can't have gone to someone else's house, because you can't tell exactly which route I took. Maybe I couldn't just drive straight there; maybe I drove out of town, stole a horse, rode it across the river at a shallow ford, left the horse grazing under a tree and finished my route on foot. What's important is that I started there and ended here. Unless you claim that I was magically and instantaneously poofed from one to the other, we have to conclude there was a continuous physically-possible process in between (even if you don't know what the process was).

So, let's double check what should be the easy step. CharlieM, do you have a problem with the basic outline of evolutionary theory ? You accept common ancestry and descent with modification ?