Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Hallquist easily refuted


Triablogue easily refuted
Triablogue has responded to my previous critique of them. (I won't link, because it seems that linking to opponents is contrary to Triablogue policy.) I'm replying immediately, becuase it's so easy to refute. They are admirably clear on micro/macro-evolution:

“After Darwin, the first phenomenon (changes within an existing species or gene pool) was named "microevolution." There is abundant evidence that changes can occur within existing species, both domestic and wild, so microevolution is uncontroversial.

The second phenomenon (large-scale changes over geological time) was named "macroevolution," and Darwin's theory that the processes of the former can account for the latter was controversial right from the start. Many biologists during and after Darwin's lifetime have questioned whether the natural counterpart of domestic breeding could do what domestic breeding has never done—namely, produce new species, organs, and body plans.”

As noted in my original post, new species can be produced. Ergo, macroevolution happens.

Then they complain I act as if the universe has been designed for man. Nope. I just think that if, as far as we can tell, a scientific procedure works, then we should use it. That's the only way to deal with the empirical world.



This “refutation” falls flat in several respects:

i) Hallquist acts as if speciation were an indisputable phenomenon. Linking to a popularizer hardly cinches the argument.

ii) Even if it were an established fact, there is more at issue than speciation. There is also the question of evidence, or lack thereof, for the macroevolutionary development of new organs and body plans. Hallquist is glossing over major transitions.

iii) Again, even if we were to observe speciation in nature, that is not a defeater for Gen 1 given the semantic range of a natural “kind” in Pentateuchal usage.

iv) Likewise, the question at issue is not whether the scientific method works, but its scope. Many things work. That doesn’t make them relevant to the question at hand.

v) Hallquist seems to be assuming that the empirical world is all there is. If so, he will need to account for consciousness and abstract objects consistent with his materialism.


  1. Hallquist tries to make himself out to be some kind of profound thinker. As always, he fails. I know Triablogue doesn't necessarily follow Dr. William Lane Craig's apologetic methodology, but Hallquist tried to refute Craig's book: Reasonable Faith. In the comment section of some of Hallquist's refutations, I squashed his trashy arguments against Dr. Craig. It wasn't heard, really.

  2. Re: microevolotion
    Paraphrasing Ann Coulter, Doug Wilson wrote: calling variation within species "microevolution" was like the Flat Earth Society pointing to the Sahara as a model of a "micro-flat earth."