What does the theory of common descent forbid?

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In summary: RuleIn summary, the conversation discusses the concept of the theory of common descent and what it forbids. It is believed that certain cases, such as self-pollination of hermaphrodite flowers, mutations that cause the growth of certain traits in humans, and the appearance of new creatures with no ties to their predecessors, would falsify the theory. The discussion also touches on the idea of what is required to be impossible by the theory of common descent and the importance of delimitation in science. The conversation ends with a call for a consensus on what must be required by the theory of common descent.
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If proposition X forbids a specific type of case from occurring, then showing that case to be "the case" would falsify that proposition.

According to different websites, the theory of common descent suggests that the following are impossible:

Self-pollination of a hermaphrodite flower
Mutations that cause the growth of functional horns, hoofs or other traits that theory of common descent forbids will be found in humans
The appearance of a new creature with no ties to its predecessors

If cases such as decribed above occurs then either:
1) It was not a requirement of theory of common descent, or
2) The theory of common descent is falsified.

A testable requirement of theory of common descent is what is required to be impossible by theory of common descent (in the present and in the future), to point of being NON-NEGOTIABLE. With a requirement as defined here, any instantiation of a forbidden case would NON-NEGOTIABLY require proponents to abandon the theory of common descent. In physics, abandoment happens partially, since some less accurate theories are not abandoned (e.g. Newton's theory of Universal Gravitation). So this is not about abandoning the theory completely per se, but about what cases which if they occured, would render the "theory of common descent" inaccurate at the least.

The basic requirement of meaty science is not showing plausiblity, but rather showing that everything that MUST be forbidden by a theory has not occurred and that therefore, such a theory is a good delimiter, or explanation, of aspects of the natural world. Without delimitation, the argument may fly against face metaphysical naturalism and suspend reason with unsubstantiated "what if" explanations. Science needs theories (especially theories of theories) which are DELIMITING.

You can participate in this thread by achieving a consensus on what MUST be required (that is observable hereafter) by a theory of theories called the theory of common descent. Note that there may be multiple requirements because a single requirement would likely have further implications on what is forbidden.
 
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kmarinas said:
What does the Theory of Common Descent forbid?

"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian."
- Haldane
 
  • #3


The theory of common descent forbids the occurrence of cases that contradict the idea of gradual change and branching evolution from a common ancestor. This includes cases such as the sudden appearance of a completely new creature with no ties to its predecessors, mutations that result in the growth of functional horns or hooves in humans, and self-pollination in hermaphrodite flowers.

If any of these cases were to occur, it would falsify the theory of common descent, as they go against the fundamental principles of gradual change and common ancestry. This would require proponents of the theory to either modify it or abandon it altogether.

In addition, the theory of common descent also forbids the idea of a static and unchanging species. This means that the theory predicts that all species are in a constant state of change and adaptation, and that there is no such thing as a fixed and unchanging species. Any evidence of a species remaining unchanged over a long period of time would also contradict the theory of common descent.

Overall, the theory of common descent forbids any evidence that goes against the principles of gradual change, branching evolution, and the constant adaptation of species. This is what makes it a delimiting and testable theory, as any evidence that contradicts these fundamental principles would render it inaccurate.
 

1. What is the theory of common descent?

The theory of common descent is a scientific concept that states all living organisms on Earth share a common ancestor. It proposes that all species, both extinct and living, evolved from a single common ancestor over billions of years through a process of gradual changes and natural selection.

2. Does the theory of common descent forbid the existence of a creator or intelligent design?

No, the theory of common descent does not forbid the existence of a creator or intelligent design. While it provides a natural explanation for the diversity of life on Earth, it does not make any claims about the existence or non-existence of a higher power or intelligent designer.

3. Can the theory of common descent be applied to all living organisms?

Yes, the theory of common descent applies to all living organisms, including plants, animals, and microorganisms. It suggests that all life on Earth shares a common evolutionary history, regardless of their current form or complexity.

4. Does the theory of common descent forbid the possibility of separate origins of life on Earth?

No, the theory of common descent does not forbid the possibility of separate origins of life on Earth. While it proposes a common ancestry for all living organisms, it does not make any assumptions about how life originated on our planet.

5. How does the theory of common descent explain the similarities and differences among different species?

The theory of common descent explains the similarities and differences among different species through the process of evolution. As species diverge from a common ancestor, they accumulate genetic and physical changes that result in the diversity of life we see today. Similarities among species can be attributed to shared ancestry, while differences can be explained by the varying environmental pressures and adaptations each species has experienced over time.

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