Many Types of Evolution

How about just evolution as everyone here knows this to mean today’s understanding in the field of evolutionary science.

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I agree. If there is any confusion when discussing broader scientific concepts then you could always call it biological evolution to distinguish it from stellar evolution, for example.

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I for one wouldn’t understand it that way.

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So what do you call the present day understanding in the field of evolutionary science?

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He just wants you to qualify it as biological evolution, as opposed to chemical, cultural, stellar or cosmic evolution. Makes sense.

I would generally refer to it as mainstream evolutionary biology, or something to that effect. All these notions that propose new (and probably wrong) mechanisms of evolution are still evolutionary biology. All Eddie’s favorite fringe notions are still evolutionary biology.

(I don’t know who Swamidass means by “he” and “you” in the preceding comment, but neither of them seems applicable to me.)

I thought evolution was only about biological evolution on Earth since life originated? What is chemical, cultural, stellar and cosmic evolution? Are they not called chemistry, anthropology, nuclear physics, and astronomy, respectively?

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In the broadest sense, evolution just means the ontogeny or development of the world into what we see it today.

  1. Cosmic evolution is Big Bang Cosmology and theories like the Multiverse
  2. Stellar evolution is the evolution of stars and galaxies https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stellar_evolution
  3. Chemical evolution is what leads up to and includes abiogenesis (the first cell)
  4. Biological evolution is what gives rise to the diversity and complexity of life.
  5. Human evolution is a subset of biological evolution, and this is really where the conflict lies.
  6. Cultural evolution includes things like the rise of civilization and memes.

@John_Harshman want you to say “biological” when you are referring to “biological evolution,” to distinguish it from these other things. In general the primarily place becomes important is in cordoning off chemical evolution from biological evolution. Also by dealing with human evolution first, as we do here, we can undercut the silent defeaters directly.

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Because “evolution” has many different meanings.

As an example, Joshua doesn’t ask me if I affirm evolution, he asks if I affirm common descent. And depending on how you define it, even YECists affirm evolution. So in these conversations it is important to make these distinctions in order to avoid confusion.

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No, I’m not concerned about that at all. I’m pretty sure that the “biological” part is quite clear from context. It just happens that “evolutionary biology” is what the field is called.

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