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When non-biologists talk about biological evolution they often get confused over several different meanings of the word "evolution." On the one hand, there's the question of whether or not modern organisms have evolved from older ancestral organisms or whether modern species are continuing to change over time. On the other hand, there are questions about the mechanism of the observed changes... how did evolution occur? Biologists consider the existence of biological evolution to be a fact. It can be demonstrated today and the historical evidence for its occurrence in the past is overwhelming. However, biologists readily admit that they are less certain of the exact mechanism of evolution; there are several theories of the mechanisms of evolution. Stephen J. Gould has put this as well as anyone else:

To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.

The Justice Department is investigating whether the nation’s largest credit ratings agency, Standard & Poor’s, improperly rated dozens of mortgage securities in the years leading up to the financial crisis, according to two people interviewed by the government and another briefed on such interviews.


 

Comments

One wonders if reasonable Republicans would get behind Huntsman, although one also wonders if there's any significant number of reasonable Republicans left (I've heard they're called "Democrats" now?).

I think they're called "independents" - after all, there are damned few "Democrats" who are Democrats.

Re: huntsman

Isn't it a little crazy to quit your job to run for the nomination of a party currently overwhelmed by it's extreme wing, while using the message, "I am the sane one."

And publicly saying you don't follow the teachings of the religious right and fox news.

Perfect, his bumper stickers can read, "The Last Sane Republican"

It isn't kidding when it describes itself as a "Talking Dictionary of ENGLISH pronunciation" is it? Though a better description might be 'of Southern English pronunciation'. It pronounces things after the fashion of the Southern English including the absurd 'a' in 'grass' and the inexplicable wh/w identity ('Wales' is pronounced as 'whales').

It's fine to think, contra- the view of most linguists, that there are right ways and wrong ways to pronounce certain words, but here's the thing; the Southern English have a large number of pronunciation idiosyncrasies such that their own regionalisms cannot and should not be used as a guide to how the language ought to be sounded. 'Whales' and 'Wales' ought NOT to be pronounced the same and it is only a strange historical accident that the dialect which did pronounce them the same came to have political dominance.

Sorry, Mr. Huntsman - those two positions alone come close to making you unelectable. I wonder how much mealy-mouthed backtracking Mitt Romney will have to do in order to satisfy the denier block of the party.

Re: Evolution is Fact and Theory

Does anyone know what the major competing theories are against Natural Selection? I found a couple on Wikipedia, like Orthogenesis but none of the theories I found seemed to have much modern support.

Also, somewhere along the way in my googling I found this silly video you may find entertaining: Prager University - Four Big Bangs

I don't remember having heard of Orthogenesis, but I was taught about Lamarckism in high school. From that wiki article, it's not a competing theory, it's as outdated an hypothesis as Lamarckism itself.

The debate between scientists is not whether natural selection works, but exactly how important it is. AFAIK what "competes" against NS are other kinds of selection like group, sexual, and others I don't understand very well. But all these mechanisms for selection are within the whole of the theory of evolution. That Darwin didn't know about them doesn't matter at all.

BTW, when your hypothesis denies freakin' common descent, you're in big trouble.

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