Posted by: FLPatriot | June 5, 2009

What is the theory of evolution?

Ok, after talking with some evolutionist friends of mine and reading other blogs, I have come up with a project that I need your input on. Debates get off track and accomplish nothing when both sides are arguing against different subjects. As we have engaged in discussions and debates on this blog on the theory of evolution, so lets define what the theory of evolution is. Email me at coville(at)gmail(dot)com with your definition.

Once I get some responses I will put togther a definistion to post here and then we can discuss what is and what is not part of the theory. I hope veryone takes this seriously please. This will give us a better platform to further the discussion in a civil and proper way. I hop ealso that everyone that reads this participates, and let your friends know about this project so they can participate.



  1. This isn’t much of a project, scientists have (for a long time) been discussing evolution and what it is, and aren’t hiding any definitions or explanations.

    Check out Larry Moran’s What is Evolution? for a brief summary.

    Or you can read Douglas Futuyma’s textbook Evolution, Stephen Jay Gould’s comprehensive The Structure of Evolutionary Theory, or Ernst Mayr’s brief What Evolution Is.

  2. Hi, I was wondering if you’d be willing to tell me what you think about this:

    It’s about common misconceptions evolutionists make about Intelligent Design.

  3. Dan, great link and I will read that. And I am sure that some scientists have defined evolution, but my questions was how do you define it? If you want to stand by a particular definition, which one do you subscribe to?

    Krissmith777, I agree with a lot of what that article has to say. So many debates are stalemates because both sides are arguing different subjects because they fail to define the subject of the debate. I can not say that I stand by each point the author of that post makes, I would have to examine it more to do that, but over all I would say it is well done.

  4. Okay, which do I subscribe to? With the exception of changing a word here or there (semantically), I like the one arrived at by this group of biologists the best:

    Biological (or organic) evolution consists of change (modification) in the hereditary characteristics of groups of organisms over the course of generations. Such groups of organisms, termed populations or species, are formed by division of ancestral populations or species, and the descendant groups then change independently. Hence, in a long-term perspective, evolution is the descent, with modification, of different lineages from common ancestors.

    The key elements however usually refer to observations that (a) populations evolve, not individuals; (b) evolution is constrained by ancestral forms; (c) the further back in time one goes the greater the degree of change observed in geological eras, generally speaking; (d) evolution of life on earth as a whole (‘macroevolution’) is related to the splitting of populations; and (e), related to (c) and (d), nested heirarchies of common ancestors and grouped clades formed therein can be reconstructed.

    It’s kind of difficult to get all of that into one definition.

  5. Thanx Dan for your comment. I will be having a follow up post coming soon where we can discuss the definition.

    You did a good job of putting at lot into one definition.

  6. No problem. Upon reflection of my previous comment though, I might make some changes (I’m not satisfied with my earlier comment!). From Moran’s post on ‘What is Evolution?,’ there are this definitions:

    “In fact, evolution can be precisely defined as any change in the frequency of alleles within a gene pool from one generation to the next.”

    That nicely emphases the population aspect of evolution, but of only one population at a time. When people speak of evolution as an entity unto itself, they usually refer to the change over time of ALL life on Earth (I think) – i.e., all populations, known and unknown. That’s what I was trying to get at with my items ‘c’ thru ‘e’.

    … which fits rather nicely with the longish definition I blockquoted in my previous comment.

    You’re right, this is an interesting exercise, even if it’s been done by others before. I look forward to your forthcoming post on the matter.

  7. If I understand correctly, and I’m sure I don’t, I saw a film called “A Flock of Dodos.” Here’s the I.D. argument:

    A guy holds up a picture of a mountain range and says that nature made it.

    The same guy holds up a picture of Mt. Rushmore.

    From there, it descends into chaos. See, a designer made Mt. Rushmore. Now, you might be a naive babe in the woods who doesn’t live in the Real World and you’d say, well, Mt. Rushmore had a human designer. And technically, you’d be right. Gutzon Borglum did design it, and he was a human. But, my dear naive friend, you’d be met with “It had a DESIGNER.” Then, you’d say again, “Yeah. A human designer.” Only to be met with “It had a DESIGNER.” Repeat ad infinitum. Check it out. It’s a good movie.

  8. Is it any wonder that creationism came before evolutionism? Why are there still apes and hundreds of species of monkey that don’t drive Lexus’ cars and create grand symphonies? How can a baby come before an Adult human? No matter how many years are involved, there are no amount of genetic mutations that can fix that logistical problem. Yes, the chicken did come before the egg and everything in the sea was created very intelligently. Genesis 1:20

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