Darwinism can't be made into a science

In a 1989 essay titled “The Limitations of Evolutionary Theory” this eminent evolutionist admitted mutation can’t be measured.

It is possible to measure mutation rates in very special circumstances in some microorganisms…. But in most situations, mutation rates cannot be measured…

It not just mutation evolutionists can’t measure. They can’t measure “selection” or migration between populations (“genetic drift”). Of these Smith says:

Thus we have three processes which we believe to determine the course of evolution, and we have a mathematical theory which tells us that these processes can produce their effects at levels we cannot usually hope to measure directly. It is as if we had a theory of electromagnetism but no means of measuring current or magnetic force…. It means that we can think up a number of possible evolutionary mechanisms, but find it difficult to decide on the relative importance of the different mechanisms we have conceived…

“If the mutation rate is doubled, does this double the maximum rate at which a species can evolve?” The question has no simple and agreed answer, he says.

But my reason for raising the question….was to make the point that a theory of evolution which cannot predict the effect of doubling of one of the major parameters of the process leaves something to be desired.

Summing up he says,

It is rarely possible in evolutionary theory to think of a single decisive experiment or observation that will settle a controversy.

The Limitations of Evolutionary Theory" by Maynard Smith, John in "Did Darwin Get It Right?" New York: Chapman and Hall (1989).

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