1. Evolution happens. So what?
Some use "evolution" to refer to something as simple as minor changes within individual species that occur over short periods of time (Evolution #1). Others use the same word to mean something much more far-reaching, such as claiming that all living organisms are descended from a single common ancestor (Evolution #2), or that natural selection has the power to produce all of life's complexity (Evolution #3). Used one way, "evolution" isn't controversial at all (i.e. Evolution #1); used another way, it's hotly debated (i.e. Evolution #2 or Evolution #3). Used equivocally, "evolution" is too imprecise to be useful in a scientific discussion.
When you see the word "evolution," you should ask yourself, "Which of the three definitions is being used?"
Critics of neo-Darwinism today usually take issue with Evolution #2 or Evolution #3. But the discussion gets confusing when a Darwinist takes evidence for Evolution #1 and tries to make it look like it supports Evolution #2 or Evolution #3. Proponents of Darwinism, including PBS, commonly pull this "Evolution" Bait-and-Switch, using evidence for small-scale changes, such as changes in the sizes of bird beaks (Evolution #1) and then over-extrapolating from such modest evidence to claim that it proves Darwin's grander claims (Evolution #2 or Evolution #3).
Introduction | Slide 1 of 14 | Next
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