I have so much hate to give. (damonite) wrote,
I have so much hate to give.

Why science is pretty awesome.

I was reading through Talk Origins as I do when I have questions about evolution. It's basically the most comprehensive and easily accessible collection of evolutionary knowledge I've seen on the net to date. Specifically I was looking for information on Macroevolution as it's one of the key components of evolution you can't actually personally witness. Now the term is used in two different ways. Professionally/technically it's used to describe evolution at or above the species level. In the Creation vs Evolution debate it's used to describe one animal evolving into a wholly separate animal (Say reptiles into mammals.)

I was more interested in the latter since it's something I didn't have a solid enough grasp to adequately explain the process in detail. I understood that the process which gives a cat a slightly more orange coat is the same thing that may eventually transform it into a wholly different mammal in thousands of years, but I couldn't exactly explain that in any detail.

The interesting thing I found about this article wasn't necessarily its content, but that it was critiqued by a creationist and that that critique was responded to.

Specifically, these excerpts from the critique and the rebuttal.

From Ashby's critique: "NOTE: The paper critiqued in this article was subsequently changed by Mr. Theobald, who also published a criticism of this article—and changed it too, after Mr. Camp responded. Neither this article, nor Mr. Camp’s response to Theobald’s criticism, have been altered to accommodate Mr. Theobold’s on-going adjustments and modifications."

From Theobald's rebuttal: "I would like to thank Camp for his congenial criticism. It has given me the impetus to rework and expand the "29 Evidences," and the result is a more comprehensive, clearer, and stronger article."

This says a lot to me about the debate as a whole. While Ashby is not to be discredited for not wanting to continually modify a critique when the source of its criticism is changed, I found it pretty awesome that Theobald thanked Ashby for his criticism and used it to create a clearer, stronger article for macroevolution. Even though a significant portion of Ashby's criticisms were inappropriate or incorrect, his explanation of his problems with the article allowed Theobald to see where he could make his points clearer and more helpful to his audience.

Hooray for the process of criticism! Yay science!
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