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Evolution And Creation

Both Scientific American and science writer Forrest Mims [Notebook: "Cast-Off Creationist Talks Back," The Scientist, Nov. 12, 1990, page 4; Opinion: "The Mims Case: Defending Science Or Persecuting Religion?" Feb. 18, 1991, page 11] may be innocent victims of the shell game being played with the meaning of "evolution" by polemicists on both sides of the creation/evolution pseudo-controversy. The basic problem is that the term "evolution" has evolved into a word of distinct multiple meanings, i

John L. Wiester
Both Scientific American and science writer Forrest Mims [Notebook: "Cast-Off Creationist Talks Back," The Scientist, Nov. 12, 1990, page 4; Opinion: "The Mims Case: Defending Science Or Persecuting Religion?" Feb. 18, 1991, page 11] may be innocent victims of the shell game being played with the meaning of "evolution" by polemicists on both sides of the creation/evolution pseudo-controversy. The basic problem is that the term "evolution" has evolved into a word of distinct multiple meanings, including (1) change over time, (2) organisms are related by descent through common ancestry, and (3) a particular explanatory mechanism (Darwinism) for the pattern and process described in the first and second meanings. "Evolution" also has at least three other meanings in common usage: (4) adaptation of populations to changing environments, (5) the history of natural things, and (6) man is the result of a purposeless and natural process that did not have him in...

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