Darwinism Evolution

String Theory vs. Neo-Darwinian Theory

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Moorad Alexanian makes an interesting comment here:

Lee Smolin wrote in his third book, The Trouble with Physics, “He sees string theory as not a theory–only a set of curious conjectures in search of a theory. True, it has great explanatory power, but a viable theory must have more than that. It must make predictions which can be falsified or confirmed.”

One can similarly say of Darwinian Theory of evolution, “I see evolutionary theory as not a theory–only a set of curious conjectures in search of a theory. True, it has great explanatory power, but a viable theory must have more than that. It must make predictions which can be falsified or confirmed.”

Ken Miller and Richard Dawkins would respond that evolutionary theory has made numerous predictions and has been overwhelmingly confirmed. But invariably they’re talking about small-scale evolutionary changes that do not address the massive build-up of complexity that neo-Darwinian theory is supposed to be capable of explaining but gives no indication of being able to explain.

13 Replies to “String Theory vs. Neo-Darwinian Theory

  1. 1
    Atom says:

    Let’s not forget all the falsified predictions made by Darwinism (vestigial organs, gradualism in the fossil record, non-existence of homologous genes and proteins*, junk DNA, and especially every time NDT scientists are forced to admit “…the evolution of this is much more complex than we had thought…” “…this feature appears to be much older than thought…” “…we were surprised to discover…”)

    Someone should write a full-length book on all the failed predictions of Darwinism. The public should know, because if not, the Darwinists turn around and claim the opposite, that this is what NDT expected all along.

    *See Behe’s EOE

  2. 2
    sinclairjd says:

    I understand your point here, but you must understand: despite Lee Smolin’s worthy advocacy, Cosmologists are going to drink the kool-aid on string theory. Leonard Susskind is going to win the debate because the “string landscape” is seen as a viable physical mechanism to produce a multiverse; hence account for cosmological fine-tuning. (If this happens, then comparing Darwinism to string theory will fall flat.)

    I suggest a different strategy. The direction of quantum cosmology is to deconstruct the notion of time, causation, or both. Hence these cosmologists deny the basic concept of evolution (things change with respect to time as described by reliable laws of physics). Given that biological macroevolution is a special case of capital-E Evolution, these cosmologists are essentially (but unknowingly) denying Darwinism.

    I suggest pitting the cosmologists against the biologists. If the cosmologists blink (and they will), they will vindicate the cosmological argument (Kalam version).

  3. 3
    Larry Fafarman says:

    As I have said before, physicists are much less phobic than biologists towards scientific ideas that have supernatural implications. This phobia of the biologists is caused by their inferiority complex resulting from the kind of attitude expressed by Lord Rutherford: “All science is either physics or stamp collecting.” As a result of this inferiority complex, biologists are waging a prestige war against other branches of science by boasting that biology has something that those other branches don’t have, a grand overarching unifying “theory of everything,” Darwinism. For something that the Darwinists regard as a stroke of genius, Darwinism is surprisingly mickey mouse — all that Darwinism tells us is (1) fitter organisms are more likely to survive than less fit organisms (duh) and (2) random mutations occur (duh again).

    Also, a lot of the “predictions” of Darwinism are not predictions at all but are just observations that discoveries are consistent with the theory.

  4. 4
    DonaldM says:

    There’s also the small problem of the double standard. Assuming Smolin’s assessment of ST is correct, I’ve not heard a single Dawinist claim that ST is not scientific. Yet, the same thing Smolin says about ST is precisely what Darwinists claim is wrong with ID — it doesn’t (so the claim goes) make predictions that can be falisfied or confirmed. Given that evolution suffers the same problem (as pointed out in the OP), then either ST, Evo and ID are all equally NON-science OR they are all on equal scientific footing. Claiming that only 2 out of the 3 are scientific and the other (ID in this case)isn’t gives a clear indication that there is an additional criterion that ID must meet that ST and Evo do not. I wonder if any Darwinist would be so kind as to illuminate what that ‘extra’ criterion might be and explain why it only applies to ID and nothing else.

  5. 5
    Peter says:

    How can any respectable cosmologist accept the cocept of a multi-verse? The universe is everything we can observe. Therefore, multiverses are not observable.

    Considering all the false claims of Darwinism it should be considered the greatest hoax in scientific history.

    I just wish that the great examples of ID, such as the bacterial flagellum, were as well know by the public as evolution.

  6. 6
    rrf says:

    Assuming Smolin’s assessment of ST is correct, I’ve not heard a single Dawinist claim that ST is not scientific.

    I distinctly recall seeing a Nova special about string theory, where at least one scientist (Neil Degrasse-Tyson, if memory serves) state specifically that String Theory does not yet rise to the level of science since it cannot be tested.

    DonaldM, I am curious if have you heard a biologist say anything at all about String Theory?

  7. 7
    Mathetes says:

    “Someone should write a full-length book on all the failed predictions of Darwinism. The public should know, because if not, the Darwinists turn around and claim the opposite, that this is what NDT expected all along.”

    I think Jonathan Wells’ “Icons Of Evolution” does this.

  8. 8
    Larry Fafarman says:

    DonaldM said (comment #4) —

    I wonder if any Darwinist would be so kind as to illuminate what that ‘extra’ criterion might be and explain why it only applies to ID and nothing else.

    What the Darwinists claim is lacking in ID is a non-supernatural “mechanism.” This is not an “extra” criterion, but the Darwinists claim that Darwinism satisfies this criterion whereas ID does not. But what good is Darwinism’s mechanism of evolution by natural random mutations if that mechanism is implausible and unproven? Also, many critics of Darwinism accept the mechanism of adaptation by natural selection, but adaptation by natural selection does not explain co-evolution, which is the evolution of mutual dependence of two different kinds of organisms, e.g., bees and flowers. In co-evolution, unlike evolutionary adaptation to widespread fixed physical features of the environment such as land, water, air, and climate, there is often nothing to adapt to because the corresponding co-dependent features in the other organisms are likely to be initially absent.

  9. 9
    lars says:

    (Alexanian:)

    True, it has great explanatory power, but a viable theory must have more than that. It must make predictions which can be falsified or confirmed.

    (atom:)

    Let’s not forget all the falsified predictions made by Darwinism

    If Darwinism has made predictions that have been falsified, then Alexanian is mistaken: Darwinism has made falsifiable predictions, and therefore is a viable theory, not just a “set of curious conjectures.” It happens to be a false theory, but still a theory.

    I agree with the sentiment, but we can’t have our cake and eat it too: Darwinism can’t be both unfalsifiable and falsified. Darwinists say the same about ID too (unfalsifiable, and falsified). Based on atom’s list, it sounds like Darwinism is falsifiable.

  10. 10
    Atom says:

    I think it is falsifiable, as long as they don’t pretend that they never made the predictions…

    The “unfalsifiable” charge comes from when Darwinists pretend they never made the contradicted-by-evidence predictions and even worse, when they act as if they had always believed the contrary.

    In this way, they render themselves immune to data and their theory retreats into unfalsifiable, Just-So land.

  11. 11
    Atom says:

    Darwinism has made falsifiable predictions, and therefore is a viable theory

    It is only a viable theory based on the predictions it has left (either “not yet confirmed” or “already confirmed”). Refuted predictions don’t count.

    Darwinism has few left that have not already been falsified, hence Alexanian’s observation.

  12. 12
    Mats says:

    (…) But invariably they’re talking about small-scale evolutionary changes that do not address the massive build-up of complexity that neo-Darwinian theory is supposed to be capable of explaining but gives no indication of being able to explain

    Yup, that’s pretty much it. When you point to a Darwinian believer that we cannot see dinosaurs changing into birds, nor can we see land mammals turning into sea mammals, they usually fall back to the old “we can see changes in biological forms“.

    Yeah, so?

    We don’t want to know how two black cats can breed, and give birth to a white cat. We want to know what is the natural, unguided, undiriectioned force that is able to produce cats in the first place

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    I don’t know much about string theory, But if string theory is a materialistic postulation that requires multiuniverses then it can be defeated by logic.
    For instance the materialistic postulation for the missing dark matter of the universe is necessary since materialism requires that all forces arise from matter. Yet they have no direct evidence for the missing matter. Whereas Theism would have postulated that Gravity arises from a higher dimension to enable matter to exist for the purpose of carbon based life being able to exist in this universe.
    The materialistic position has no direct evidence for the missing matter yet the theistic position is supported by the anthropic principle requiring gravity to be precisely as it is for life to exist in this universe. Thus the theistic position is the logically stronger position.
    The Quantum mechanics of sub-atomic particles has only two options. There is either the multiuniverse “array” postulation of materialism or there is the higher dimension postulation of Theism to explain how sub-atomic particles defy time and space. Yet materialism has failed in all of its previous predictions for what would be found in physics so logically the multiuniverse materialistic position should be the default position and the higher dimension position should be primary. Especially Since Theism always claimed the universe was created by God Who is not limited by time or space in the first place, and materialism was totally blindsided by the quantum mechanic revelation.

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