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Monday, May 25, 2009

Visual models of the various views on origins

Steve Martin has proposed a visual model of the relationship between various views of origins. You can see that model, and discussion, here. The springboard for that discussion was the publication of a more complicated, and, says Martin, somewhat flawed, previous model, produced by Eugenie Scott of the the National Center for Science Education (Click on Figure 1 to see a larger version of Scott's diagram). Martin begins his own discussion by making some improvements to Scott's visual model.

I think Martin's model is a definite improvement. I would, however, suggest that there is one rather serious problem with it, namely that he has not defined what he means by "evolution." Unfortunately, that problem is very common. In a non-blog web page, I have attempted to categorize the meanings of that word.

A careful reader who looks at Martin's model, or Scott's, may notice an omission. That omission is that Intelligent Design is not listed. In a way, that's too bad, as so many people claim to believe in this. But the omission is legitimate, because people who believe in Intelligent Design are divided in their belief in, for example, the age of the earth. Intelligent Design, as usually understood, does not provide a model for origins.

See here for some musings on evolution, here for my own visual representation of various views on origins (click on the chart to see it all) and here for my take on Intelligent Design.

Thanks for reading. Read Steve Martin.

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