Are there Anti-Darwinism theories

  1. We've been learning about Darwins Evolution and Natural Selection theories in Class... And what Ive wondered was if there were any Anti-Darwinism theories since I've seen some before yet I cant seem to find none online.. Any help will be appreciated thanks:)
     
  2. jcsd
  3. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    At a basic level, there really aren't any scientific alternatives because evolution isn't "just" a theory, it is also an observational fact. Ie, it is the name given for the observational fact that the species that exist today are not the same as the species that existed in the past. But there are a whole host of general and specific theories exploring the particulars of how, exactly, evolution works - how the different species of today came to be.
     
  4. There aren't any scientific anti-Darwinist theories around.

    There is anti-Darwinist rhetoric around, and it relies on bad logic and pseudoscience. Funny thing is, they keep using the same phony arguments that were debunked decades ago.

    The ones commonly repeated are:

    life is too complex
    there's no way for an eye to evolve
    2nd law of thermodynamics says that things can't get more complicated
    radiometric dating doesn't work
    nobody was around back then, so we don't know what happened.

    There are a few others, but basically every anti-darwinist argument is just a variation on those.
     
  5. chroot

    chroot 10,427
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    Evolution is a scientific "theory." (The word "theory" doesn't mean its validity is unknown; a very successful theory may have enormous amounts of evidence in its favor.)

    Scientific theories can be disproven in two distinct ways. The first is to find contradictory evidence. If I theorize, for example, that bricks float on water, my theory will be disproven by an experiment which demonstrates that bricks do not float on water.

    The second way a theory may be disproven is by finding some internal inconsistency. If my theory involves adding apples to oranges, then my theory will be disproven if it is later found that it is non-sensical to add apples to oranges.

    There is no such thing as an "anti-theory." There can be many competing theories, each with a varying amount of experimental (empirical) evidence. One can find contradictory experimental (empirical) evidence that suggests a theory is wrong, and I suspect that's what you're asking for.

    Are you therefore just asking what is the known empirical evidence which suggests evolution is not correct?

    - Warren
     
  6. The funny thing is, a recent Gallop poll showed roughly 50% of Americans believe in creationism over evolution. People don’t generally reject evolution because of little or no evidence in support of it, they reject it because of their religious convictions, and because it’s not obviously intuitive, there is an illusion of design which people find hard to comprehend, so why bother with scientific evidence showing evolution to be wrong when you can simply refuse to believe in it out of a rigid mindset which rejects the possibility of accepting design without a creator?
     
  7. selfAdjoint

    selfAdjoint 8,147
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    The illusion of design misleads even very smart, educated people. Lots of engineers, for example, will quote you the eye as something that is "obviously designed". Werner von Braun, father of both Hitler's and Kennedy's rocket programs, was of this opinion and was not shy about saying so.
     
  8. People will always look to some part of the human body and say “This organ is so complex that evolution can’t have been involved in its design”. But even as complex as the eye was, it too was shown to have evolved and now we have mountains of evidence to show that it did. No smart, educated person today would use the eye as an example of intelligent design, and so what we’re left with, is arguments for the brains complexity and evolution. But because the brains evolution is still not well understood, people think they have the right to say “look here, your fancy theory can’t explain the complexity, intelligence and moral attributes of the human brain” even theologians who say evolution can coexist with religion will almost always fall back on the human brain with disbelief and claim there was some divine intervention in its creation.
     
  9. There have been numerous theories of evolution besides natural selection over the years. These include Mutationist evolution (which says that mutations are the driving force of evolution and there is no need for selection), Lamarckian evolution (the idea that organs a creature needs will develop through greater use and these changes will be passed on to offspring), orthogenesis (that evolution is goal-oriented and each species is evolving toward a set future form) and others. In the early part of the 1900s these theories were competing against each other and against Natural Selection. Of course, Natural Selection won out as the best theory, and grew into the Modern Synthesis.
     
  10. Phobos

    Phobos 2,020
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    As nipwoni notes, the modern Theory of Evolution is not just "Darwin's Theory". There has been well over 100 years of research since Darwin's time and the theory has grown to include a lot more information and insight. (The new theory is the Modern Synthesis or "NeoDarwinism".) For example, Darwin knew nothing about genetics...something that is now a key aspect of the theory.

    Anyway, as others noted above, there's no alternative scientific theory (although there are many competing scientific theories WITHIN the overall theory of evolution...regarding different aspects on the mechanisms and history of evolution, etc.) If you search the internet, you'll find a ton of websites arguing against the scientific theory and, even though they try to sound scientific, they are not.
     
  11. EnumaElish

    EnumaElish 2,481
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    Are there ANTI-Darwin theories? Yes, there are such theories. Creationism, Intelligent Design, and the Sphagetti Monster Theory are just 3 examples. "Are there any SCIENTIFIC theories?" is an altogether different question. From a purely philosophical point of view, answers to the second question will depend on the defintion of "science." According to the widely accepted, dominant definition of Science, these theories are not scientific and each is an affront to science.
     
  12. I get annoyed when people lump together microevolution (bird's beak size changing, color changing, size, proportions, etc.), which has been proven to occur, and macroevolution (i.e. mouse to elephant/cell to starfish, etc.). I find it interesting that the 'old' theory describing this, predicted within a few dozen generations you should be able to turn a mouse into an elephant. That theory sort of died when they killed all the mice and more 'evidence' of the increased age of the earth came around, so they conveniently expanded the timescales so that no matter what experiments they did, they should not see such a change.

    I would say that modern evolution theory (marco and micro) is based around the idea that mutations accumulate over generations and change the creature into another completely different form. These mutations are thought to drive the natural selection process, by providing the variety necessary for selection. However if you just take a look at simple gene recombination, you can see that variety comes from this mechanism, not gene mutation. The critical part of this argument is this, this mechanism cannot start on its own, and does not lead to macroevolution. As a result it has been ignored.

    One example of simple gene recombination leading to variety is in the large number of breeds of dogs there is now, with selective breeding over thousands of years. Sure gene mutations (which are almost always deletions, and almost always harmful) contribute to this variety, but the genetic information for the variety is already in the DNA. I find it very interesting that as scientists probe the human genome, there was much less 'junk' DNA (if there is truly any) than originally thought, which is predicted by modern macroevolution.

    So to sum it up, macroevolution has not been proven, and cannot be proven until something like an insect turning into a mammal is observed. Macroevolution cannot have the same status as microevolution until something like that is observed.
     
  13. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    This type of thing is observed by hundreds of thousands of people a day at natural history museums all over the world.
     
  14. If you accept that life started as unicellular organisms and evolved into all the diversity on earth today, which the prevailing body of scientific evidence supports, then you must accept macroevolution. Are we to not believe sub-atomic particles exist simply because we lack the ability to see them? Sometimes indirect observation is all that is available to us, but that does not mean those observations are therefore insufficient.
     
  15. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    The Spaghetti Monster is a joke started to make fun of creationism and Intelligent Design and was aimed at the Kansas school board's idiotic decision to allow ID to be taught in public school and re-write the definition of science. It helped bring awareness of this travesty to thousands of people. It helped, everyone on the schoolboard that ok'd Intelligent Design lost their jobs at the next election.
     
  16. Mr. Watters,

    Really? I just was in the New York Museum of Natural History just the other day, and all I saw was fish, some BIG :bugeye: geckos, and a couple of mammals. :smile:

    If marcoevolution has occured, why can't it be replicated in some form. As I mentioned before several individuals attempted to drive mice evolution in a radically different direction, but all they did was to kill the mice. Come on after thousands of generations of fruit flies, we should have managed to make them into something entirely different.
     
  17. Only a few thousand generations of directed selection will result at best in a new species - though more likely in a new subspecies, as even different breeds of dog are still the same species as they can all sill interbreed. Major macroevolutionary change of the type you are demanding to see would take much, much longer.
     
  18. My point with the dogs is that simple interbreeding creates diversity, which drives microevolution. However if this is the main mechanism, no significant change will occur in the creature despite a very long time, even much, much longer. The information for all of these versions of the same species is not created by mutation but is already contained in the DNA.

    Mutations which are passed on from generation to generation, most commonly involve deletions and the loss of genetic information (i.e. turning off inhibitors, w/ antibotic resistant bacteria, high blood oxygen levels in a few athletes with extra hemoglobin, etc.). This cannot lead to macroevolution. The same classes have simply existed from the beginning and have changed as times changed.
     
  19. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    Must be a crappy museum - I've never been there.

    edit: Hmm, not sure what you were looking at when you missed this: http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/permanent/humanorigins/?src=e_h
    I don't sit around watching grass grow and paint dry either... That doesn't mean it doesn't happen. It takes a long time. You, of course, already know this, so this is just a smokescreen argument.
    So what? How many generations were they able to observe?
    Really? For how many generations have humans been around in roughly their present form?? How 'bout sharks?

    Evolution is not a phenomena that is reasonable to demand must be demonstrated in a lab. Kinda like all of astronomy...
     
  20. Uh huh. So at the beginning of all life on earth, just *pop* we had complex mutlicellular organisms? The mammals, the insects, the fish...this is starting to sound like a creationist argument to me. Which is completely non-scientific and not even worth addressing.
     
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