A topic that (in 1997) was largely the province of one lonely ID philosopher of biology, namely, How would we know if the theory of universal common descent were false? began to bubble away in the literature. Carl Woese published his broadside “The universal ancestor” in PNAS in 1998, saying there never was such an organism, and then the hydrant opened.
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W. Ford Doolitle, Michael Syvanen, Elliott Sober, Malcolm Gordon (at UCLA), and others said, in major publications, “Hey, what if there never was a single Tree of Life? What then?” And the genomics revolution turned up an array of anomalies wholly unanticipated when I started on my dissertation (e.g., the appearance of widespread lateral gene transfer, and so-called ORFan sequences). Back to the computer keyboard. – Paul Nelson
Before you can ask ‘Is Darwinian theory correct or not?’, You have to ask the preliminary question ‘Is it clear enough so that it could be correct?’. That’s a very different question. One of my prevailing doctrines about Darwinian theory is ‘Man, that thing is just a mess. It’s like looking into a room full of smoke.’ Nothing in the theory is precisely, clearly, carefully defined or delineated. It lacks all of the rigor one expects from mathematical physics, and mathematical physics lacks all the rigor one expects from mathematics. So we’re talking about a gradual descent down the level of intelligibility until we reach evolutionary biology. – from Expelled April 18 2008 29.33
Professor: We cannot know whether a thing is true if we cannot know if it is false.
Parent fighting nonsense on school curriculum: But prof, there is a third category that is neither true nor false: What all the “in” people believe. It’s a bigger handicap to education than illiteracy.