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Theory of Evolution

Arguments Against Evolution

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Science Develops New Arguments Against Evolution,
and Philosophers Disagree on the Validity of the Theory:

The popularity of belief in evolution became widespread within a decade after the 1859 publication of Origin of Species.  But the public did not believe in Darwin's evolution, which was too materialistic, haphazard and had no supernatural or teleological force.  Darwin himself remained fairly open on the mechanism of evolution.  Darwin could allow a minor role to Lamarckian inheritance.  Darwin could admit an occasional new species that might arise rapidly.  (Audi 1999, 205)
 
Around 1900, Mendel's genetics became known.  Darwin's opponents said genetics were incompatible with Darwin's "blending" theory of "gemmules" from parents.  But the Neo-Darwinians realized Mendel's genetics was compatible with Darwin.
 
The Neo-Darwinians attempted a single synthetic theory.  (Audi 1999, 206)
1.  Natural selection was emphasized as the most important factor in evolution.
2.  Some other factors (small population, isolation) were admitted to affect evolution.
3.  No new species could arise in a single generation.
4.  Evolution is not directional or progressive in any sense.
 
The Neo-Darwinians had differences of opinion and never presented a united front.
Currently almost every aspect of the Neo-Darwinian paradigm is being challenged.  (Audi 1999,206)
1.  Opponents want a more important role for neutral change, since not every inferior species is eliminated and 95% of genes may not function at all.
2.  On what level does evolution operate:  genetic, organism, or species?
3.  What developmental constraints affect the evolutionary process?
4.  What enexpected elements can affect evolution, e.g., on the molecular level?
 
 
 
For active philosophical issues that are currently debated, you may use the following link to our sister Web Site with an emphasis on a living philosophy: 
 
               Philosophy Alive         http://philosophy4u.tripod.com/
 

Evolution has also influenced other branches of philosophy:
 
Philosophy of Mind  (Honderich 2005,276)
Evolutionary Politics (Ferraris 1993, 361)
Evolutionary Psychology  (Audi 1999, 295)
Evolutionary Ethics  (Honderich 2005, 275-276)  (Bunnin 2003, 338-339)
Evolutionary Epistemology  (Honderich 2005, 275-276) (Bunnin 2003, 336-338) (Audi 1999, 294-296)
 
 

Types of Philosophy of the Origin of Species:
 
 

1. Monistic Universal Transformation
2.  Theistic Universal Transformation
3.  Restricted Evolution
4.  Rigid Creationism
5.  Modified Creationism
 
 

Philosophers:

MONISTIC TRANSFORMATION:
Darwin: survival of fittest.
Weissman: by chromosomes
Neo Lamarckians: organs or functions
 
THEISTIC TRANSFORMATION:
Henri Bergson: internal vital force (elan vital)
 
RESTRICTED EVOLUTION:
Theilhard: evolution of human body
 
RIGID CREATIONISM:
Gregory of Nyssa
Augustine of Hippo
 
MODIFIED CREATIONISM:
Boyer: no transit to new species  (Boyer 1933, 186)

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Those who hold RESTRICTED EVOLUTION, like Theilhard de Chardin, require: 1) divine influx in original creation of plants and animals, and also creation of the human soul; 2) final causality; 3) an internal principle of evolution; 4) and evolution preordained and directed by God. 

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