Article says that evolution theory is not predictive
Biology certainly has a lot of experimental data on which we could build a unified foundation. We even have functional philosophies in the form of empiricism and the scientific method. However, we are woefully short on quantitative biological theories or logical or mathematical frameworks by which we could generate testable predictions in the way that relativity and quantum theory did.
There have been attempts to generate a theoretical framework for some aspects of biology, such as "metabolic theory," 1 but these tend to be focused on explaining a subset of biological phenomena based on underlying physical constraints. Evolution is the most general theory we have, but it serves mostly to explain how life arrived where it is today, rather than predict outcomes of our laboratory experiments.(emphasis added)
Many biologists feel that there never will be a theoretical biology that is predictive. The late and great Stephen Jay Gould alluded to this idea when he frequently stated that life is a "contingent outcome of history." In other words, if you replayed the history of life on earth multiple times, you would get different results. If evolution itself is not predictable, can we really create a biological theory that predicts outcomes from first principles?
Also, the article has none of that claptrap about evolution unifying biology or being central to biology or biology not making sense without evolution.
Labels: Evolution controversy (3 of 4)