Is Lamarck’s Theory Making A Comeback?

Theories in evolution are treated like no other, their dogmas are held on to as a result of  a belief in a particular philosophy that goes outside the realm of empirical science. Weismann’s experiments using his proposed germ plasm theory had falsified this theory long ago. But like many theories in evolution, it doesn’t get falsified enough to be replaced, it’s just a work (story) in progress. This is evident with recent publications. Nature published an article called; “Insight Perspectives” the author states…

“The nature-versus-nurture debate was one of the most important themes of biomedical science in the twentieth century.  Researchers resolved it by conceding that both factors have a crucial role and that phenotypes result from the actions and interactions of both, which often change over time.”

“Most ‘normal’ phenotypes and disease phenotypes show some degree of heritability, a finding that formed the basis for a series of molecular studies of genes and their DNA sequences.  In parallel to such genetic strategies, thousands of epidemiological studies have been carried out to identify environmental factors that contribute to phenotypes.”

“In this article, I consider complex, non-Mendelian, traits and diseases, and review the complexities of investigating their aetiology by using traditional – epidemiological and genetic ##e- approaches.  I then offer an epigenetic interpretation that cuts through several of the Gordian knots that are impeding progress in these aetiological studies.”

It’s difficult to conclude that environmental factors caused a disease but evoking traits are acquired characteristics through environmental means isn’t as difficult. Live Science suggests that Tibetans were able to inherited a trait for hemoglobin that allows them to survive at high altitude. Too much hemoglobin causes mountain sickness. What this research lacks and the previous article lacks evidence how an environment can change the genetics of future generations.  Where are those connections? And since these changes are slow, how could the ancient Tibetans survive till they got the inherited trait.

Thomas Kuhn once said when it came to a shift in an evolutionary theory, “handling the same bundle of data as before, but placing them in a new system of relations with one another by giving them a different framework.” Sounds like a story in progress ever shifting, stuffed, mixed, evoking but never being replaced by improved data.

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8 thoughts on “Is Lamarck’s Theory Making A Comeback?

  1. Still no anwers to our growing list of outstanding questions, Michael ?

    Still hiding ? Still pretending the questions will just go away ?

    Well, they won’t:

    (1) Blog readership numbers ?

    (2) Your qualifications to discuss any scientific subject, in response to the challenge to Olorin.

    (3) A substantive review of Signature in the Cell, promised for August 2009.

    (4) outstanding question from Upson Downes on mitochondrial Eve

    (5) the answers to Olorin’s quiz:
    A) …
    B) …
    C) …
    D) …
    E) …
    F) …

    And is Tim Cooley right in saying that it appears that Olorin is banned ?

  2. Michael, sorry to say this but you have to be one of the most ignorant bloggers I have ever come across.

    So I’ve always wondered: are you actually capable of having a real discussion, or are you just here to lie for Jesus?

  3. The truth is Lamark has long been known to be scientifically wrong. . . So, no. Lamarkism will not be making a comeback..

    If Olorin is banned, then you -Michael-, have failed at practicing what Creationists preach. Creationists always complain about Scientists being intolerant to their views. — Do I sence a double-standard?

  4. Michael,

    You, along with many Creationists, fail to understand the dangers of Creationism. — As a Christian, I consider Creationism dangerous to Christianity, and religion in general.

    You have every right to believe that the earth and universe was created in six literal days. This is America. You have every right to believe that. BUT, to attack science is the absolutely wrong approach.

    I know that many Creationists will argue that Evolution is a snare to faith in God. BUT I would actually argue that it is Creationism and Intelligent Design that is what REALLY endangeres belief and faith in God. . . What I mean is, you Creationists insist that God HAD TO HAVE CREATED DIRECTLEY, or else God doesn’t exist and the Bible is therefore not divinely inspired. That attitude is counter productive, and is dangerous to Christians who struggle with Science and faith. You are creating a stumbling block to then, so that if they become convinced that Evolution is in fact factual, that they will suddenly as a result believe that Atheism therefore follows.

    Though to be completely fair, many Atheists who use Evolution to argue against God are no less guilty, since a lot of them have the same sort of logic.

    It can be easily argued that Creationism has created more Atheists than Charles Darwin EVER did. When both Creationists make the argument that Evolution would rule out God, not only are they planting the seeds for Atheism. . . Like it or not, Michael, that is a fact. . . . . In fact, it was that mentality that ALMOST turned ME into an Atheist. . . But now, I know better, and I accept Evolution for the fact that it is, and I accept the existence of God.

    You do not seem to understand that it is possible to accept the divine inspiration of the Bible, and not take EVERTHING in it at face value. (I don’t, and yet I accept it as the divine word of God) — And it is possible to accept Evolution, and accept Jehovah God as the creator of all things . . though it would mean he used natural processes. . .

    So what if Jehovah and Jesus used indirect methods? So what? If that goes against your grain, then you should entertain the possibility that your preconception of God is what is wrong, NOT Evolution.

    If you did indeed ban Olorin, then God knows it. And he knows that you did it unjustly. All he ever did was point out your errors. And you never even actually engaged in a discussion. — Now, lets think. Is that what Jesus would do?

    If you did, then God will judge YOU on whether you did right or wrong.

  5. “then you should entertain the possibility that your preconception of God is what is wrong, NOT Evolution.”

    Absolutely.

    Creationism is to Christianity as terrorism is to Islam.

    Irrational extremism.

  6. Tim Cooley,

    — Yep. The religious tone used because I think it will resonate with Michael.

    — But, I could be wrong

  7. Theories in evolution are treated like no other, their dogmas are held on to as a result of a belief in a particular philosophy that goes outside the realm of empirical science.

    No, Michael. Theories in evolution are science precisely because they are within empirical science. Empirical science is founded upon the principle of methodological naturalism, and evolution partakes fully of that philosophy. When Darwin’s theory of “blended inheritance” disagreed with the empirical evidence, irt was discarded. When, after a lengthy struggle, Larmarck’s theory of inherited traits was shown to be contrary to the evidence, it was discarded.

    On the other hand, theories of creationism are not within empirical science for precisely the same reason. No amount of contrary evidence sways creationists. No matter what the detail of molecular biology or evolutionary pathways, creationists always demand more. This, if nothing else, demonstrates that creationism is apologetics, not science.

    Before creationists accuse science of dogmatism, they should examine their own position. No evidence whatsoever of an abrupt creation. Long-established physical laws—constant speed of light, continental draift, hydrology of sedimentation—all must be junked on no evidentiary basis whatever to accommodate their theory.

    This is unyielding dogmatism in its worst aspect.

  8. Thomas Kuhn once said when it came to a shift in an evolutionary theory, “handling the same bundle of data as before, but placing them in a new system of relations with one another by giving them a different framework.” Sounds like a story in progress ever shifting, stuffed, mixed, evoking but never being replaced by improved data.

    In quoting Kuhn, Michael makes his opponents’ case.

    Fitting different theoretical frameworks to the same set of data is exactly what science is all about. Any set of existing data can be fitted to any framework—for example, I can explain the motion of the Earth around the sun by the action of pink lawn flamingos. All I have to do is characterize the flamingos by certain combinations of attractive and repulsive properties. The problem is that my flamingo theory does nothing to explain or predict the motion of Mars around the Sun, or of the Moon around the Earth.

    The purpose of fitting different frameworks around the same set of data is to determine which framework best explains other data that lie outside the given set, and to predict which further data will be found.

    It is this which distinguishes science from creationism. Creationism cannot explain, from within its own framework, any data outside what is now known to exist. This is not from any specific shortcoming of the theory or lack of detail. Rather, it results from the very underlying premise of creationism—that an infinite being acted in an arbitrary and unknowable manner to create all that is in the form that it is. Like pink lawn flamingos, creationism can explain all that is known, but nothing else. This is WHY SCIENTISTS SAY THAT CREATIONISM IS ‘VACUOUS.’ Not because it is wrong, but because it is bereft of any use.

    .

    Here is a classic example of fitting different frameworks to the same data. Tycho Brahe amassed vast quantities of data concerning the motions of the planets. Working without a telescope, he compiled position data to astounding degrees of accuracy.

    Brahe then fitted a framework to this data. This framework had the Sun, the Moon, and the fixed stars revolving around the Earth, and the then-known other planets revolving around the Sun.

    Brahe’s contemporary Kepler fitted exactly the same data to a different framework, in which the Moon revolves around the Earth, all the planets revolve around the Sun, and the stars do not revolve. Kepler used this framework to explain the planetary orbits, and to predict that they would be found to be elliptical. Subsequent scientists employed this framework, with the same data, to develop a law of gravitation, and thence to discover new moons and planets that Brahe’s framework could not have predicted.

    Same data, different frameworks—some more powerful that others, because they reach further beyond the initial data. And that is what scientific theories are all about. Not explaining what is already known, but in discovering what is unknown.

    When Michael sneers at this, he sneers at the scientific nmethod that he purports to embrace.

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