StlSluggers wrote:I think you hit my rather obvious lack of the grasp of the evolutionary and ID terminology. I understand the science/philosophies, but unfortunately, I often get the jargon mixed up.
Understood. This stuff ain't easy.
I'm definitely no expert either.
Microevolution - Believe it. Seen the proof. Hell, the proof is in my back yard every day.
Macroevolution - It is my understanding that this means evolution above the species level, and it is my understanding that this has not been proven beyond theory.
This is true and true. I'd have two answers to this. If you think of it in terms of scale, it doesn't seem quite so outlandish as a theory. Microevolution consists of minor genetic changes. Bacteria can adapt to antibiotics. Animals can adapt to scarce food sources. In both cases, these organisms are still the same species, but have developed some minor difference - be it a resistance to certain agents/antibiotics, or the ability to digest new food sources - that ensures survival.
These adaptations are in the genes. There are different ways that these changes can occur, but they all do occur, without doubt. Imagine you have some population of organism - say, squirrels - and over a period of years, their food options change, maybe from weak acorns to hard acorns. The squirrels with slightly tougher jaws/teeth/whatever, will gradually come to dominate the population. This is microevolution, you know about this. But then say the acorns are suddenly only located in harder to reach places. So the squirrels who are taller/longer/better climbers will win out again.
Now imagine these changes over millenia. You have periods in which the earth warms - perhaps the squirrels' fur becomes thinner and thinner over the millenia, until you have hairless squirrels. Perhaps the earth becomes more arid - you have squirrels who can travel long distances while storing water in an internal pouch who become dominant. Then a fox-sized predator is introduced - and gradually, the squirrels who are big enough to intimidate the fox win out. But now the squirrels are too big to climb trees and get acorns, so the squirrels with longer necks and legs rise to dominance, and get bigger and bigger, needing to store more and more water. Until suddenly, they're camels.
But my point is, macroevolution really is a short distance from microevolution. No, it hasn't been proven as fact - but there is an enormous body of evidence to suggest this happens as such.
But to get back to the point of the thread: The question isn't "is macroevolution true?" It has been the "natural selection" of science that has rendered it in pretty high status as theories go. Sure, there are holes. Swiss cheese has holes too, but people still eat it.
Science is what will close those holes, or open them wider, or completely obliterate the Darwinist school of thought. Now where is the science behind ID? Most of the time, it's rhetoric and hypotheses masquerading as science, benefiting from the public's misunderstanding of what science actually is. Either way, it shouldn't be taught in science class.
So, I'm not dismissing the body of evidence. I'm simply embracing only what has been proven, and looking at other theories in the areas where theory is all there is to go on.
See above. My theory is that aliens buried a Life Bomb on planet earth, and it then exploded like Noah's Ark hit by an RPG. How do I set about proving it? Well, I can't. Hence, I'm not a scientist just because I have a theory.
And that's really one of the two problems I have with macroevolution. Aren't we supposed to have evolved from some protein that got hit by lightning and became a protozoan (or something like that)? If the argument is that we started at one single point, and, given the above, then how did different families/genuses/whatever they're called come into existence? Furthermore, if these changes are occuring in small doses over long periods of time, why don't we see a more diverse sample on the earth now? Why is it "left side, monkey; right side, human" and nothing in the middle?
Good point, I should have qualified that. Over the LONGEST time frames, everything is different. I'll save the lecture on how RNA and DNA came from Amino Acids, but it has been shown via the scientific method that your basic chemical cocktail, which existed on Earth pre-life, could have produced the proper amino acids that later would become life's building blocks.
Another popular point of ID is simply a philosophical point that I find interesting. The "clock in the field" theory is a nifty, unscientific idea. I assume that, in this theory, the earth is the clock and the rest of the universe is the field, right?
I'm not sure what this means - are you talking about William Paley's watch/watchmaker hypothesis from a hundred years ago? If so, this is basically the "irreducible complexity" argument, which is interesting (it impressed Darwin) but doesn't hold water upon scrutiny. This also sounds like something dealing with relativity though.