Re: Darwin a has-been?

David Froehlich (
Sun, 5 Nov 1995 19:23:29 -0600

On Fri, 3 Nov 1995, CHARLES F. YOUTHER wrote:

<re. evolution as fact>
> One small observation: Things don't become facts; they are either facts or
> they are not. If something wasn't a fact before, it's not a fact now.
> Rather, we sometimes change our understanding of which things are facts and
> which are not. Evolution is either a fact or it isn't; it hasn't become fact.
> While I'm sure Mr. Duncan is well aware of this, some readers of this newgroup
> appear not to be thus.

One point, mostly semantic. If you define evolution as descent with
modification, or change through time, then indeed it is a fact. We can
and do observe changes in populations of organisms through time. Where you
appear to disagree with Alex is not at this point, rather on the mechanisms
and the utility of those changes. At least with my definition (and
the definition I think you would find in most texts and among most
evolutionary biologists), evolution is a fact.

David J. Froehlich Phone: 512-471-6088
Vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory Fax: 512-471-5973
J.J. Pickle Research Campus
The University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712