Margulis' View of Evolution

Margulis was not speaking of single mutations, but of the entire process of mutations in the aggregate, acted upon by natural selection.
In the face of ideological dogmatism, it is enough for me to point out my skepticism that the fantastic coherences and convergences necessary to account for all developmental novelty in the history of life simply cannot be, statistically, the result of random genetic change, aggregated over time, selected for as a matter of enhanced survivability, without reference to some kind of purposeful intentionality --an aspect of cognition, which simply cannot be ascribed to biochemicals, or even in response to changing environments.
If you want to call that a matter of dogmatism on my part, feel free.
But it puts me squarely in the camp of hard scientists the world over who have studied the record, evaluated the possibilities of mechanism alone, and concluded the same. Life is far from inevitable in any conceivable universe --so much so, that even in “just right” one, it is still rightly called “miraculous” --as an adjective, without even ascribing any particular route of causality.
If you don’t agree, that’s your right.
My best bet is NOT, in fact, to agree there’s no “evidence,” but to point out that any given fact set can be variously interpreted given starting assumptions and ideological precommitments. The circle goes round and round. We cannot discover what we won’t even admit.

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One more "it’s too improbable!!’ advocate who can’t supply these statistics and/or calculations which show evolution to be virtually impossible. Ho hum.

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Believe it or not, I feel absolutely no obligation to entertain you. Sorry to be so boring for you, but you must be used to that by now. Like I said, you can’t discover what you won’t even admit as an explanation…

Yes, I am quite used to ID-Creationists making fantastic claims they can’t support.

Congratulations on breaking every Irony Meter in a 50 mile radius. :slightly_smiling_face:


And when they ask for the statistics and calculations that support the likelihood of evolutionary scenarios they are derided for asking for details when we all know that details are not required. Unless of course you’re asking for details from an ID supporter. Then, all of a sudden, details matter.

Evolution doesn’t offer statistics and probability calculations as evidence because evolutionary scientists are smart enough and honest enough to know there isn’t enough data to calculate such values with any accuracy or relevance. That’s the exact opposite of the professional ID-Creationist [persons] who routinely post their bogus "it’s too improbable!!’ numbers.

I’ll await you lying again and claiming you were not answered.

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Not my experience. I produce these statistics and calculations and they are largely ignored. There are some exceptions to be clear among ID, but I’m always surprised at how little this has been engaged.


Evolutionary theory (ET) is teeming with probabilities. Probabilities exist at all levels: the level of mutation, the level of microevolution, and the level of macroevolution. This uncontroversial claim raises a number of contentious issues.

Ad hominem is a sign of something else entirely.
And thanks, from a fellow student of irony. Later on today, I’m sure I’ll stop suddenly and worry: did I leave the irony on? : )
Of course evolution as properly understood is supported by statistics. In stable enough situations, that’s exactly what we’d expect. That still doesn’t explain why an awful lot of what we can calculate does, in fact, defy the odds, even when we carefully bring the fullest modern versions of evolutionary theory into play.
But, of course, we can’t discover what we’re unwilling to admit even still needs explaining.
Some people just have a simple, unquestioning faith in evolutions total adequacy.

Oh how cute. Mung Googled “evolution” and “probability theory” and posted the first thing he found. :grinning:

Yes some probabilities for specific things in biology can be roughly determined but the probabilities themselves are not offered as the evidence for evolution. No surprises “honest” Mung resorts to the same misrepresentations he’s famous for on all the other C/E boards he trolls.

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Some scientifically illiterate people just have a simple, unquestioning faith in bogus probability calculations and anti-science lies dreamed up by ID-Creationist charlatans.

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Round and round… the illiteracy is at least mutual!

How do you know? At any rate, given that correction, she’s still wrong. It would appear that mutation and selection are, for the most part, exactly how speciation happens. I invite you to check out Speciation by Jerry Coyne and H. Allen Orr, for good experimental and other evidence that this is the case.

But I see that you have confused speciation with the origin of novelty. They are not at all the same thing. Perhaps others you have read have been confused in the same way?

It does seem to be so. Your “skepticism” seems more than that; you seem to have a positive conviction that “purposeful intentionality” is necessary.

In what sense are these scientists “hard”? Anyway, you are squarely in the camp of a number of fringe thinkers who can’t even agree among themselves on what this extra factor in evolution might be. I also see that you have wandered away from evolution and into the origin of life, a distinct though related subject.

That’s exactly what the YECs say. Do you believe it when they say it?


Yes, I do. I just disagree with them about how much evidence has to be ignored in order to make their case from a few favorite subject areas.

Maybe I’m just not good at reading, but I frequently don’t know what you’re saying. I still don’t even know what you meant by your original claim, which in case you have forgotten was “affirm both ‘creation’ and ‘evolution’ as true together, being as they suggest two different things --enigmatic adaptive novelty, combined with stability and stasis”.

I don’t know what @Guy_Coe means but one can certainly affirm that God uses evolution to to create. In that sense evolution would be true, and so would creation.


Apparently not even Lynn Margulis can cut through the fog, here.
“New mutations don’t create new species; they create offspring that are impaired.”
God must exceed the mere processes involved in evolution in order to create.
Unpopular with this audience, but well in line with the research on the inadequacies of non-teleological conceptions of how things work. No; God doesn’t “create” by means of evolution alone.

You are apparently deploying Margulis only as a smokescreen; certainly her opinions had nothing to do with God. I’m pretty sure nobody has any idea what “research on the inadequacies of non-teleological conceptions” you are talking about, and you apparently won’t ever say. Why won’t you tell us what you mean?


Why should anyone listen to Margulis’ unsupported personal opinion? Margulis went off the rails in her later years and was an HIV / AIDS denier and a 9/11 truther.

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I can understand that you might not like what I am saying, but I’m hardly the only one saying it.
Maybe a Wikipedia article will help you get past your prejudices about this language.