Charles Darwin introduced his General Theory of Evolution (GTE) as an alternative to popular Western ideas of Christianity. In this biological sense, the "General Theory of Evolution" includes two major tenets or axioms, both of which are unfalsifiable (meaning they are not capable of being tested): Abiogenesis and Common Descent. Although scientific methods are used to promote both belief and disbelief in these two concepts, the concepts themselves are outside operational science: As axioms, they cannot be proven or disprove; axioms are foundational, unquestioned by supporters.
Distinction Between Microevolution and GTEEdit
Microevolution is a general concept describing common types of variation that develop in a population; it includes speciation (development of new species) but does not include the GTE concept of increased-information development. In contrast, the General Theory of Evolution (which is even more general) includes common ancestry, which requires that simple ancestors developed, over generations, new biological structures that were absent in the earliest ancestors.
Mechanism of Darwinian EvolutionEdit
Cellular biology was poorly understood in the 19th Century. Darwin, and his contemporary followers, had a simplistic idea of the mechanical operations of a biological cell. They believed that the environment and/or activities of an organism caused cellular changes which were passed on to descendants. By the early 20th Century, this idea (sometimes called original Darwinism) was found to be incorrect. It was replaced by ideas about mutational changes in the cell (sometimes called Neo-Darwinism).
Philosophy of Darwinian EvolutionEdit
When the mechanics of Darwinian evolution were found in error, his philosophy (Naturalism, which led to Darwin's ideas about universal common ancestry) had already attained great popularity among Europeans in general, including scientists. Therefore, another mechanism (mutations) replaced the original ideas of mechanism, allowing Darwin's common ancestry concept to continue until it became a standard model. Nevertheless, being unfalsifiable, the naturalistic explanations for the origin of life have a distinct philosophical nature, being capable of living (as philosophies can live) outside of operational science.
Conflict with ChristianityEdit
Although some Christians accept standard models of evolution, the basic philosophy of Naturalism is opposed to Creation philosophies. The General Theory of Evolution is founded on Naturalism.