Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Quantitative Evolution

Lee has been bugging me about the quantitative character of evolution. On further thought, evolution is very quantitative in its predictions. Most of the answers are either 1 or 0, or, more familiarly, yes or no. Did evolution predict a physical basis for inheritance? Yes. Prediction confirmed. Does evolution predict a continuity and homology of forms? Yes. Prediction confirmed.

There are, of course, millions of such predictions and confirmations. Some, like certain homologies, were already known to Darwin, so count as postdictions, but for every such there are a thousand others that confirm the theory and would likely have gratified Darwin though not likely would have surprised him.