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Is there an alternative to evolution?

  1. Aug 22, 2008 #1
    hey folks,

    i'm just curious. are there any biologists who don't accept the theory of evolution? if yes, how do they scientifically explain the diversity of species (other than believing in Intelligent Designing stuff)?

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 22, 2008 #2


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    There really is no viable alternative to evolution. Evolution isn't just a theory, it is an observed phenomena. So it is like asking if there is an alternative to gravity. Evolution, the theory, is based on evolution, the observed phenomena. So while there is still quite a bit of room to figure out exactly how evolution, the theory works, the fact of the matter is that evolution, the observed phenomena exists. If you replace the word "evolution" with the word "gravity" in that sentence, it works the same...
  4. Aug 23, 2008 #3
    There have been alternative hypotheses in the history of science. Look up Lamarckism and Lysenkoism for two particularly notorious examples.
  5. Aug 23, 2008 #4

    Andy Resnick

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    I think its also reasonable to state that "The Theory of Evolution" has also evolved- how traits are passed down, what traits are selected, how traits are selected, etc.
  6. Sep 2, 2008 #5
    There really is no viable alternative to the theory of evolution itself. With that said, there is definatly room for development in the theory of evolution. Evolution is an observed fact, falsifiable and testable to a certian degree (microevolution of bacteria, for instance). I think the only "alternatives" might be within the theory itself, not the fact of it. Abiogensis, which is not evolution, is not fully understood and many new theories explaining it may arise in the future.

    And, for your first question.. no, biologists all accept evolution. There are, however, a few psudo-scientists who might call themselves a biologist and not accept evolution. These are generally ID proponents.

    "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution." - Theodosius Dobzhanky
  7. Nov 20, 2008 #6
    The theory of evolution in this century is now actually a series of theories (called the sinthetic theory of evolution). This theory is an alternative to evolution as Darwin thought of it as it has other forces of speciation (change in genetic frequencies that lead to new species) a part from natural selection wich was the only force proposed by Darwin; Some of these forces include genetic drift, endogamy, gene flow and mutation.

    It is true however, that even though Darwin did not mention these forces there is no logical way to prove that these are independent of natural selection; ie. Are not in some way controled by it.

    More information on the Synthetic theory of evolution here
  8. Nov 21, 2008 #7
    While these may be alternatives to Darwinism, they are still theories that deal with the concept of evolution. Therefore they wouldn't be an alternative to the theory of evolution.

    AFAIK, there is none except creationism...or perhaps some wierd cultish type of theory involving aliens or something. :wink:
  9. Nov 26, 2008 #8
    fair enough. I thought it was fairly clear that the original poster was referring to evolution by natural selection (Darwin-inspired)
  10. Nov 26, 2008 #9


    Staff: Mentor

    There have already been several posts pointing out the fact that "evolution" refers both to a bunch of facts and the theory used to explain those facts. It is confusing, but once you are aware of the confusion you can usually figure out from context if someone is talking about the theory or the facts.

    Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory because it is not falsifiable.
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