Science and Creationism

John Grehan jrg13 at PSU.EDU
Fri Apr 5 08:35:11 CST 2002


 deducible. The only thing historical science can do is to (1) declare that
patterns are "traces" of the historical processes and then (2) generate
different models of the past and eliminate those of them that directly
contradict the observed patterns.

I would respectfully disagree with this assertion in that Croizat was
demonstrably not constrained in this way. As a historical scientist,
working with a historical science (panbiogeography) he was clearly able to
predict the existence of patterns that were then unknown. The fact that he
was able to predict these patterns (since empirically corroborated) lends
credence to those historical processes he identified as being involved with
the formation of the pattern (in this case he predicted tectonic/geological
formations, then unknown to geologists, using animal and plant
distributions on the basis of a 'theoretical' model of biological evolution
derived from geographic pattern analysis).


Still, several models can "explain" the observed patterns equally well.
What this "well" means depends - in the absence of falsifiable hypotheses -
more on the social-scientific context than on any logical procedure. This
is probably also the main weak point of evolutionary science when arguing
against creationism.

Which is why I would not favor arguing evolutionary science in this way. I
look to evolutionary science as a research methodology rather than
doctrine, and the effectiveness of evolutionary 'theory' is in its ability
to make novel predictions about the empirical world. Physicists routenly do
this for physics, so why not have the same standard for evolutionary biology?

John Grehan




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