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. Influenced by what these authorities say, 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. My solution was that the doctrine of natural selection is a most successful metaphysical research programme. . . . [Popper, 1978, p. 344]
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. . . . [p. 345]
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 occurrence of exceptions is not surprising. [p. 346]
No matter, Popper did admit he was fucked up in his letter of 1978
I just meant that we were going astray and I wasnt too interested anymore
Duane Giosh did much as you are doing, tery to supwrpose things from what Popper said EARLIER and try to fit them so that he APPEARED TO recant his recant.
It was in Dialectica 1978, a short response .
Thus we may conclude (as Popper did) that evolutionary theories or historical hypotheses about origins are no different than other scientific theories as far as their logical features are concerned and are just as falsifiable as hypotheses in the form of general laws and theories.
Youre being quite a bit disingenuous about what Falsifiability is all about. First and foremost, it must be truthful, not an untrue assertion about what one philosopher really was saying.
Try to use the concept of timelines to at least recognize Poppers own words. You seem to wish to not allow him to have his own words live on.
I realize that this suggestion subjects me to the ever-present risk of you concluding that I am a fundamentalist Christian with a creationist agenda. But, honest, it aint about that.
Quote:Fil Albuquerque wrote:. . . We don't have true proof of anything unless we agree to it socially, what we usually call sufficient reasoning reviewed by peers and specialists....
Interesting observation. And, I would agree.
But, don't we risk ad populum conclusions?
...in some cases, such as the famous phenomenon known as "industrial melanism", we can observe natural selection happening under our very eyes, as it were.
IT was the story that was supposed to prove Darwin right. It began in England, during the Industrial Revolution, when foul black smoke began to pour from factory chimneys....
The experiments made their way into all the evolution textbooks, many of which reproduced a now famous pair of seemingly indisputable black-and white photographs....There it was: natural selection in action. Darwin was right. End of story.
In recent years it has become clear that the evidence on which the story hangs is as flimsy as a butterfly's wing. Kettlewell's experiments proved nothing. The most famous example of evolution in action must now become the most infamous.
What is evidence? It is an event entangled, by links of cause and effect, with whatever you want to know about. If the target of your inquiry is your shoelaces, for example, then the light entering your pupils is evidence entangled with your shoelaces. This should not be confused with the technical sense of "entanglement" used in physics—here I'm just talking about "entanglement" in the sense of two things that end up in correlated states because of the links of cause and effect between them.
Not every influence creates the kind of "entanglement" required for evidence. It's no help to have a machine that beeps when you enter winning lottery numbers, if the machine also beeps when you enter losing lottery numbers. The light reflected from your shoes would not be useful evidence about your shoelaces, if the photons ended up in the same physical state whether your shoelaces were tied or untied.
To say it abstractly: For an event to be evidence about a target of inquiry, it has to happen differently in a way that's entangled with the different possible states of the target. (To say it technically: There has to be Shannon mutual information between the evidential event and the target of inquiry, relative to your current state of uncertainty about both of them.)
Entanglement can be contagious when processed correctly, which is why you need eyes and a brain. If photons reflect off your shoelaces and hit a rock, the rock won't change much. The rock won't reflect the shoelaces in any helpful way; it won't be detectably different depending on whether your shoelaces were tied or untied. This is why rocks are not useful witnesses in court. A photographic film will contract shoelace-entanglement from the incoming photons, so that the photo can itself act as evidence. If your eyes and brain work correctly, you will become tangled up with your own shoelaces.
This is why rationalists put such a heavy premium on the paradoxical-seeming claim that a belief is only really worthwhile if you could, in principle, be persuaded to believe otherwise. If your retina ended up in the same state regardless of what light entered it, you would be blind. Some belief systems, in a rather obvious trick to reinforce themselves, say that certain beliefs are only really worthwhile if you believe them unconditionally— no matter what you see, no matter what you think. Your brain is supposed to end up in the same state regardless. Hence the phrase, "blind faith". If what you believe doesn't depend on what you see, you've been blinded as effectively as by poking out your eyeballs.
Are you saying that industrial melanism IS NOT a tool within natural selection? Same thing for INDUSTRIAL MELANISM . It IS a mechanism of natural selection.
The case of the peppered moth is one of melanism being used in crypsis (dark moths were harder for birds to find against soot-blackened trees), but there are many other reasons for being melanic
Faced with a variable environment, organisms frequently evolve local adaptations that confer a fitness advantage in their local environment. However, a population may also adapt to a variable environment, not through geneticchange, but through phenotypic plasticity. Phenotypic plasticity is a change in an individual’s behaviour,morphology or physiology induced by the environment.
(Price et al., 2003).