Theory In Chaos: Forget Finding Natural Laws About Evolution?

The article opens with a letter from Charles Lyell who wrote to Charles Darwin in 1856.  Lyell didn’t know what to make of  various types of mollusc which abruptly disappeared from the fossil record, then all of a sudden reappear 2 million years later according to the evolutionary time frame with their structures being completely unchanged! Lyell asked Darwin to explain the observation, but he never did.

According to Keith Bennett of New Scientist, there has been no viable explanation to this day on why that happened and there isn’t one, he said.

“Because of the way evolution works, it is impossible to predict how a given species will respond to environmental change. That is not to say that evolution is random – far from it. But the neat concept of adaptation to the environment driven by natural selection, as envisaged by Darwin in On the Origin of Species and now a central feature of the theory of evolution, is too simplistic. Instead, evolution is chaotic.”

Many across the land dispute there is no controversy over evolution, it’s an absolute fact like scientific law. In fact, they interchange “evolution” with the term “science” to confuse people while attempting to make it more convincing with no avail. Keith Bennett points out…

“There is still huge debate about the role of natural selection and adaptation in ‘macroevolution’ – big evolutionary events such as changes in biodiversity over time, evolutionary radiations and, of course, the origin of species.”

Is Keith Bennett lying in his statement? Many across the United States have asked public schools to “teach the controversy” about the ‘theory’ of evolution and time after time again the public was told there was none! Bennett proposes chaos which in his mind has more flexibility in dealing with falsifications of evolution with better scientific data. He proposes a theory that advocates evolutionary changes are unpredictable, individualistic, highly sensitive to initial conditions, nonlinear, and fractal.

Bennett points out in the Quaternary period with its ice ages have many populations which did not adapt to the changes while others adapted in unpredictable ways, and many went extinct. He summarizes his proposal this way…

This view of life leads to certain consequences.  Macroevolution is not the simple accumulation of microevolutionary changes but has its own processes and patterns.  There can be no “laws” of evolution. We may be able to reconstruct the sequence of events leading to the evolution of any given species or group after the fact, but we will not be able to generalise from these to other sequences of events. From a practical point of view, this means we will be unable to predict how species will respond to projected climate changes over next century.”

It’s been the main focus to bring evolution under natural law since Darwin but Bennett’s statement reinforces there are no laws for evolution. What would that mean? It means, no predictions and no predictions means evolution could never be falsified under that particular framework of story telling. This is why Bennett has embraced such a concept so much otherwise his admission would be considered selling out evolution completely! Although a theory in chaos also brings no understanding about what goes on in nature.


6 thoughts on “Theory In Chaos: Forget Finding Natural Laws About Evolution?

  1. Many across the land dispute there is no controversy over evolution, it’s an absolute fact like scientific law.

    Sigh. Yet more evidence of Michael’s utter lack of qualification to pontificate upon science. Or, in the alternative, he does know what he’s talking about, and is deliberately lying in the above statement. He refuses to back up his challenge in this regard.

    Michael, just for grins, you might spend a few minutes looking up the definitions of “fact” and “law” in science. You may be amazed to find that one cannot turn into the other.

    No, wait. You could more profitably spend those few minutes backing up your challenge to Eelco concerning readership numbers. Or, if you have a lot more time, you might wish to write or plagiarize your promised review of Signature in the Cell.

  2. Once again, Michael utterly fails to grasp a scientific principle. In this instance, it is the mathematical theory of chaos. He seems to understand “chaos” only in its popular sense of a condition or place of extreme disorder or confusion, such as a teenager’s sock drawer.

    Mathematical chaos is something else entirely. Like quantum mechanics, it has its puzzling aspects. For example, a chaotic system is perfectly deterministic, yet its detailed behavior cannot be predicted. That is, a chaotic system does indeed obey natural laws. However, those laws can be shown unable to specify the state of the system within any given error bound at some given future time. Perhaps the simplest chaotic system is one governed by the logistic equation, x[n+1]=Rx[n](1-x[n]). For low values of R, the system is entirely stable. As R increases, the system assumes a periodic trajectory. Then the period doubles, then doubles again and again. At a certain R value, an infinite number of periods ensue. This is the threshold of chaos, where unpredictability occurs.

    If Michael understood this concept at all, he would not make stupid statements such as that “Bennet proposes chaos” implies that evolution is “a theory in choas.”

    The elementary logical fallacy here is equivocation—the use of the same word in two different meanings. This fallacy is certainly a perennial favorite of creationists. Stephen Meyer employs it copiously with “information” throughout his book Signature in the Cell. Just one more reason that scientists laugh at creationists.

  3. –Endorsing every word Olorin says above. Right now, too lazy to write my own refutation…

    But Michael, just so you know…Olorin is right. A fact is not the same as a law. The earth being round is a scientific fact, but it is not a law… It is a fact that the earth circles around the sun, but that same is not a law… It is a fact that the continental plates move, but that is not a law…

  4. While Eelco is here, there is a recent paper that might be interesting. Azulno, the speed of light has always vexed creationists. But now, creationist luminary Jason Lisle has overcome this stumbling block, making the cosmos once again safe for the Bible.

    Dr. (yes, Dr!) Lisle focuses upon the definition of simultaneity in his paper in Answers Research Journal on 22 September 2010: “Anisotropic Synchrony Convention—A Solution to the Distant Starlight problem” Dr. Lisle contends that everyone accepts Einstein’s choice of simultaneity, which assumes that the speed of light is the same in all directions. However, there are other possibilities, and Einstein himself considered an “asymmetric” convention, wherein light speed is infinite in one direction and slower than c in the opposite direction.

    While neither of these conventions can be tested or falsified, Lisle claims that his asymmetric convention accords with the biblical account, and is therefore to be preferred.[1] That is, he claims that Genesis uses this convention.

    While we need Eelco’s help in assessing the darker corners of this hypothesis, a layman such as myself (or Michael?) might make an observation. Ahem: If both conventions are merely assumptions, and neither can be tested, then, while we can’t demonstrate that the Einstein convention is “correct,” the creationists can’t show that their convention fits “reality” either. Or that is is more than merely one of an infinity of noses of wax that can be bent to fit any desired hypothesis. So what? Seems to me it’s similar to the geocentrist crowd devising a consistent coordinate system in which the universe does revolve around the Earth. However, such a system leads to problems beyond its mathematical complexity, such as the orbital speed of Pluto exceeding the speed of light.

    Now, Lisle does advert to possible criticisms, but he claims that there is other evidence. Eelco may be interested in some of these points. For example, Lisle claims that blue giants have such short lifetimes that they could not have existed billions of years ago, and that spiral galaxies could not last for anywhere near a billion years without wrapping their arms into their cores and sputtering out.[2]

    So, dig in and let us know. That is, if you can take the time away from real science.


    [1] Even though he admits that the Einstein convention has simpler math, and is to be preferred fro calculations. Lisle compares this to preferring metric measurements over English—both are valid, but one is easier in calculations.

    [2] He also trots out the standard canards about the young rings of Saturn, the moons that spout plumes into space, etc.

  5. Interestingly, no one of above commented on Keith Bennett’s statement that “There can be no “laws” of evolution”. Regardless of quoting mark around the word laws I found it rather interesting. But obviously for them it was more interesting to go about does Michael understands word chaos or not.

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