To: All Msg #72, Oct0893 01:18PM Subject: Re: Evolution Hey kids! It's another antievoluti

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From: Richard Trott To: All Msg #72, Oct-08-93 01:18PM Subject: Re: Evolution Organization: Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, N.J. From: trott@gandalf.rutgers.edu (Richard Trott) Message-ID: Newsgroups: talk.origins Hey kids! It's another anti-evolutionist playing the Popper quotation game!!! Look how easy and fun it is! Since all of Mr. Timmerman's quotes date from before 1978, I offer the following 1978 quotation of Popper: "The fact that the theory of natural selection is difficult to test has led some people, anti-Darwinists and even some great Darwinists, to claim that it is a tautology. . . I mention this problem because I too belong among the culprits. . . I have in the past described the theory as 'almost tautological,' and I have tried to explain how the theory of natural selection could be untestable (as is a tautology) and yet of great scientific interest. . . " After the windup, Popper levels the punch: "I have changed my mind about the testability and logical status of the theory of natural selection; and I am glad to have an opportunity to make a recantation. .. ." Then, the undeniable endorsement: "The theory of natural selection may be so formulated that it is far from tautological. In this case it is not only testable, but it turns out to be not strictly universally true. There seem to be exceptions, as with so many biological theories; and considering the random character of the variations on which natural selection operates, the occurence of exceptions is not surprising." So Popper realized it's not a tautology, it's not untestable, it's not a "metaphysical research programme" and it *is* science. -- Rich Trott trott@gandalf.rutgers.edu

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