T Nation

What is Evolution?


I was wondering if anyone who responds to this thread could give me their definition of evolution in the sense of when ppl are arguing whether or not evolution "exists". Also plz dont look up a definition just put it in ur own words what ur thinking about when someone asks u if u beleive in evolution

I ask because i think alot of the disagreement between ppl comes from a few simple semantic misunderstandings



Not more of this please...I see another train wreck.


Why don't you just dig in the archives for some fun?


Awesome question. No one ever seems to define this term before attempting to either defend or persecute the theories therein.

In order to understand evolution one first must understand change as being a constant feature of the physical universe -- that time passes is enough to understand this phenomenon for if it did not there would be no ability to conceptualize change.

Evolution can be understood as a series of changes. There are many fields of evolution study from universal (cosmological) to organic (biological).

Many theorists direct their inquiry to the methodology of change; for example, the mechanization of inorganic to organic matters to life itself. They seek to understand the driving laws that predict change within whole systems.

Just my .02


Evolution is God in process. Just like you are in process while living, God is in process. The material expression of God is the world around us, including ourselves.

We'll never understand this completely, much like a cell in your body can't understand the whole body. But it CAN be aware that it is a cell, if it attained consciousness.

No proof for this, of course, but those are my thoughts at this ripe old age. :smiley:


lol i have read some of these threads before and its actually what prompted me to ask this question b/c from the get go everyone immediately has different definitions of the word.. because there are so many definitions for it


I am happy u said this because uve brought up some usages i hadn't really considered when asking this question


I am an agnostic with leanings more towards atheism, and this was not at all what i expected as an answer. Nonetheless this is probably the coolest/favorite non-scientific explanation that ive seen, and once again one that i wouldn't have considered


It is nothing more then that natural form of breeding. If anything breeding is forced evolution.

All those funny looking dogs. From chihuahuas to dachshunds to great danes, none of these are anything like the wolf they came from.

Now imagine this continuing for millions of years.

It is up to you to believe if this is guided by god, or nature. Or even set in motion, and left to run its course.

Or better yet organized by aliens. Oops that should have been on the conspiracy theory thread.


I believe that is a Law of Reality, HH. Very astute.

IMO, Evolution is a series of genetic drifts (mutation) from the original, that exploits it's environment better than aforementioned original. Survival of the fittest.

Is Homo sapiens today exactly like it's predecessors back in 1000 AD? No. Our brains are more developed, and our height is greater. We are evolving.


A really knowledgeable guy on here wrt religion is Pookie. For an atheist, he appears to have the Bible memorized (I once jokingly asked him if he was a defrocked priest!). I'm sure that my view is SOME religion, though I know not what...Deism maybe.


Personally, I've taken a liking to the term Christian Deist. And I agree that Pookie could pen a tome about religion(s). Something along the lines of Thus Spake the Spaghetti Monster.


I would agree with you except for the fact that the systems that allow or support life have not changed to the extent that they no longer allow life to exist (this is a mathematical miracle in terms of chaos theory, but that is another issue). So it would be more accurate to say that change is constant within a system that changes very little.


oh come on. Use the search feature. There are, I think, 2 threads where Pookie and some other people lay waste to all that oppose them. Makes for good bedtime reading.


im confused by the last two posts

Ren who are u suggesting use the search feature? I have read another of these threads and though it was both interesting and entertaining but i still didn't think this question got well addressed at least form what i read..

Lorisco i am not following what u are saying at all


First, you have a kickin Avatar hotcarl28!

Next, evolution occurs on earth. Earth is part of the solar system, which is part of the galaxy, etc. It is the solar system and beyond that allow, and have allowed, life on earth to exists. For example, if the earth was a little closer to the sun it would be too hot for life to survive. If it moved too far away from the sun it would freeze and again life would eventually die out. So it is the stability of the solar system that allows life to exist. There are also many subsystems like the weather, etc.

But my point is that the process of evolution is change and adaptation, but only within the confines of a very stable larger system; the solar system, which changes very little.


It happens everywhere. Evolution is merely change studied in specifically defined systems. These systems are not discrete they are contiguous and can be formed within each other.

What you are talking about is organic evolution -- the specific changes required to bring about life.

Evolution can be studied irrespective of timescale. Time is completely relative in terms of the age of the universe. The evolutionary study of the universe in general is called cosmology. Those who study the evolution of physical planets would call it geology.

I view evolution in a much broader and more generalized sense -- or try to.


I think perhaps a good question might be, what does "evolution" mean as the object of the phrase "believe in"?

i.e. I believe that relatively minor change within species caused by natural selection of random mutations occurs as a purely natural process absent special divine intervention, and is even reproducible in a laboratory setting. On the other hand, I am very skeptical as to whether higher primates could have evolved from micro-organisms by natural selection of random mutations in less than 5 billion years, as a purely natural process absent special divine intervention. So then, do I "believe in evolution" or do I not "believe in evolution"?


link me.


Yay! Lets have another evolution vs creationism thread. The last one was so successful !