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Curious layman

Was Darwin wrong?

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9 hours ago, Avy213 said:

I agree....but he failed in some areas like how variation among organisms occur...

That is because he didn't know about how genes work.

Not knowing all the mechanisms does not invalidate the theory. We still don't know all the mechanisms but the theory is still correct.

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Posted (edited)

In the late 19th century there were a lot of blanks to fill in and not enough experts to cover all the bases they had.  Automobiles and airplanes weren't even a thing yet.  Because of this rare supply-demand relationship many experts could afford to make a lot of gambles and guess alongside of their solid works of scientific research, many of them mixing guesswork with hard earned knowledge.  Nobody was going to fact check them either.  They knew this.  I'm willing to bet that Darwin knew it.  If a professor in this modern world took as many liberties and chances with their research as the classical ones did they would be harshly criticized.

How could someone truly know if life first formed deep below the surface on thermal vents or near the surface in stagnant pools of mineral rich water?  That would be a tough one to prove one way or the other.  Perhaps they formed in both manners simultaneously. 

Edited by Electron Nucleus

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1 hour ago, Electron Nucleus said:

In the late 19th century there were a lot of blanks to fill in and not enough experts to cover all the bases they had.  Automobiles and airplanes weren't even a thing yet.  Because of this rare supply-demand relationship many experts could afford to make a lot of gambles and guess alongside of their solid works of scientific research, many of them mixing guesswork with hard earned knowledge.  Nobody was going to fact check them either.  They knew this.  I'm willing to bet that Darwin knew it.  If a professor in this modern world took as many liberties and chances with their research as the classical ones did they would be harshly criticized.

How could someone truly know if life first formed deep below the surface on thermal vents or near the surface in stagnant pools of mineral rich water?  That would be a tough one to prove one way or the other.  Perhaps they formed in both manners simultaneously. 

0n the Origin of Species was published in 1859, after some 30 years in the making including round the world data gathering and study in the early 1830s.

Hardly the work of a late 19 century chancer (do you really know any ? You have provided no references to your claim.)

It is perhaps less well known that as well prominent male professors a number ladies carried out meticulous detailed observation recording and cataloguing of Natural World, every bit the equal of the tradition of Euclid. The names Marianne North, Mary Ward spring to mind.

Of course there were cranks and charlatans then, as now. But I rather wonder if the tradition of attention to detail is waning in modern times with the growing desire for instant gratification and results.

 

As regards the improbability of simultaneous occurrence of life in vastly different locations and environments think about it. You have the combination of two very low probability events that have to happen for this to come about. I think you really mean contemporaneously.

Which one led to widespread life on Earth?

Well consider the requirements. A supply  of nutrients and energy.

If an organism developed in hydrothermal vents and wandered away it would loose both and be a very long way from alternative sources.

An organism in a rock pool would still have both if it translocated.

So I favour the chances of the latter, but as you say I can't prove it. But then Science does not deal in 'proof', only consistencies with observation.

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7 hours ago, Electron Nucleus said:

experts could afford to make a lot of gambles and guess alongside of their solid works of scientific research, many of them mixing guesswork with hard earned knowledge. 

Darwin did speculate about questions that could not be answered definitively but I'm not aware of him claiming certainty for the hypotheses he mentioned or even favoured.

His speculations on any specific matter being wrong does not detract from the central thesis he is famous for being right. I do think that lesser thinkers that came after have made too much of those speculations - from both directions; some extending their defense of everything he said further than warranted and others making too much of the things he got wrong, as if that proved evolution through natural selection must be wrong.

I have had a long running interest in how humans came to be furless - initially aroused because I found assumptions or claims that appeared quite wrong to me, assumptions that seemed to originate with speculation by Charles Darwin, that were taken as definitive when they were speculative. Tracking down specific mentions of "nakedness" (as the "human hairless" trait was referred to) did not lead me to conclude Darwin was wrong about everything else or diminish my respect for his contributions to science.

 

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