Thursday, May 8, 2008

Ya Oughta Know, Part Deux

Tom Gilson at Thinking Christian posted this video from What You Ought to Know a few days ago. A substantial amount of comments went off topic and turned what was supposed to be a thread about open-mindedness into a good ol' debate on evolution. I know this because I was personally guilty of steering the comments off-topic, and for this, I apologise to Tom.

However, the back-and-forth I had with a commenter named Paul was informative and enjoyable. Therefore, I propose that this discussion continue in this thread.

To briefly sum up:
  1. I allowed for the possibility of plant macroevolution (MEvo) due to polyploidy.
  2. I remain unconvinced that the examples of speciation given represented evidence for animal MEvo; rather, the speciations listed are good evidence of animal microevolution (mEvo).
  3. A discussion took place over the effectiveness of historical sciences (which was started by this article by Dr. Massimo Pigliucci). I criticised evolutionary biology, paleontology, and anthropology for not paying attention to the fine details.
  4. Paul took mild exception to my "selection" of gradualism (which I believe is the standard paradigm of MEvo) over saltation (i.e. punctuated equilibrium), stating that gradualism does not represent the "current thinking". I mentioned I was very interested in the particulars of this "current thinking".
  5. I asked for, but never received, the mechanisms of MEvo (I have seen a comprehensive list of about 40+ mechanisms listed at a blog, but I can't recall where I have seen them. Help anyone?).
I found Paul to be one of those rare defenders of evolution that don't utilise ad hominem (name calling) attacks. He was the one who helped me fine tune my argument and consistently challenged me respectively. I look forward to continuing the discussion here with Paul and anyone else who has something constructive to contribute.

"Keep your stick on the ice"
Red Green

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