Sir Isaac Newton on Evolution

Shaft qmorrisREMOVE at indiana.edu
Thu Nov 12 17:21:02 EST 1998


Here here, Richard.

But let us not forget Jean Baptiste de Lamarck, who posited an earlier,
testable, and certifiably fallable hypothesis of biological evolution. And
although he never published coherent arguments on the subject,
Darwin's own grandfather Erasmus also had ideas about the mechanism
of biological evolution.

I think it is enugh to say that the first testable and coherent evolutionary
hypothesis came with Darwin. I believe Wallace came upon the
discovery later, in part because Darwin sat on his for a long time.
My point? It's all right to crown "The First". As long as others like
Dobzhansky, Mayr, and Kimura are recognized in the same sentence!

I really like the way you write, Richard.

-- shaft


Richard Hall wrote:

> All of which remains irrelevant.  To be certain, the idea of evolution
> precedes Darwin and Wallace, but the science of evolution begins in the mid
> 1850's when both men presented persuasive, documented evidence to support
> their ideas.  Evolutionary theory merely organizes fossil and now molecular
> biological evidence that life on earth has changed immensely over the last
> billion or so years.  Had Newton the opportunity to evaluate those initial
> works or better, subsequent discoveries and modifications of evolutionary
> theory, his views might well have been different.
>
> My reticence to continue this dialog grows as your sophisms increase.  The
> more involuted your arguments, the more tangential your resources, the more
> certain I become that you are wasting your considerable energies
> marginalizing the central, unifying theory of biological sciences.
> Evolutionary theory is valid because it works well with the available
> evidence with minimal assumptions.  Creationism has only one assumption,
> someone started this process.  As a scientist, I really do not care about
> the question of origins of life anymore than I worry about the proposed end
> of our universe some 5-10 billion years in the future.   Religion,
> spirituality, and compassion play an important role in the evolution of our
> social structures, but have little to do with understanding speciation,
> natural selection, and the genetic basis of phenotypic variations.
>
> rlh
>
> At 3:07 PM -0600 11/11/98, Geoff Casey wrote:,
> >                    Do you not know your history of science in general and
> >the history of evolution in particular?   [cut]
> >                   Newton knew about the theory of evolution because the
> >idea had been put forth by the ancient Greeks.
>
> Richard Hall
> Comparative Animal Physiologist
> Division of Sciences and Mathematics
> University of the Virgin Islands
> St. Thomas, USVI  00802
>
> 809-693-1386
> rhall at uvi.edu






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