5 Comments on "Not Invented Here"


  1. Fence-sitting as ever, I do think that evolution is a nice, neat theory that attempts to explain something in the world, and is as open to challenge as any other nice, neat theory. (A nice, neat theory like “God create the world in seven days,” for example).

    I think anyone who pretends to have all the answers opens themselves to being disabused of this notion. In my personal experience, the best practitioners of any science do not claim this at all, and are the best people in their field precisely because they have their minds open to new ideas. (Like Mr Darwin was, some time ago). Unfortunately, I think a lot of fields have some rather average, humdrum minds claiming to know it all. To which I say, wearing both my academic-scholarly hat and my idealist-liberal hat: Pish.

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    1. I agree that evolution is open to challenges, but I don’t think it’s in the same category as “God dun it”, since it is a scientific theory open to mathematical analysis, making predictions and all that stuff. As such it is a useful theory, even though it doesn’t explain everything. Divine fiat seems less useful to me.

      I also think that Creationists misuse science by cherry-picking the bits of it they like. While the evolutionist camp is probably also motivated by their desire to advance materialism, in a sense I trust them more to tell me whether there are problems with evolution: after all, making a significant change to the theory that would really make someone’s career.

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          1. Ross is being very Ross-like and insisting on evolution as an undisputable fact. Pheobe challenges the notion that science is infallible. It all summarises to the rather dry proposition that Phoebe observes evolution is just one among potentially competing theories (she has one about aliens manipulating the fossil record, if I remember rightly), and that scientific theories can be disproven, superceded and replaced, and Ross is very bullish and unyielding about the whole thing. Until the end, when he finally concedes there may be other explanations available, and Phoebe says she preferred it when he at least had the courage of his convictions (!) I disagree with Phoebe’s final take.
            The episode is notable throughout for Ross’s use of the term “evidence” to denote something incontrovertible, rather than something that corroborates a certain theory. I find this stance rather questionable. (But then, I guess that’s me and my beloved MO…)

            Naturally, the episode itsef is rather funnier. Promise.

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