From: Richard Trott
To: All Msg #72, Oct-08-93 01:18PM
Subject: Re: Evolution
Organization: Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, N.J.
From: email@example.com (Richard Trott)
Hey kids! It's another anti-evolutionist playing the Popper quotation
game!!! Look how easy and fun it is!
Since all of Mr. Timmerman's quotes date from before 1978, I offer
the following 1978 quotation of Popper: "The fact that the theory
of natural selection is difficult to test has led some people,
anti-Darwinists and even some great Darwinists, to claim that it is a
tautology. . . I mention this problem because I too belong among the
culprits. . . I have in the past described the theory as 'almost
tautological,' and I have tried to explain how the theory of
natural selection could be untestable (as is a tautology) and yet
of great scientific interest. . . "
After the windup, Popper levels the punch: "I have changed my mind
about the testability and logical status of the theory of natural
selection; and I am glad to have an opportunity to make a recantation. .. ."
Then, the undeniable endorsement: "The theory of natural selection may
be so formulated that it is far from tautological. In this
case it is not only testable, but it turns out to be not strictly
universally true. There seem to be exceptions, as with so many
biological theories; and considering the random character of the
variations on which natural selection operates, the occurence of
exceptions is not surprising."
So Popper realized it's not a tautology, it's not untestable, it's not
a "metaphysical research programme" and it *is* science.