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Karl Popper said Darwinism is not testable (Talk.Origins)

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Response Article
This article (Karl Popper said Darwinism is not testable (Talk.Origins)) is a response to a rebuttal of a creationist claim published by Talk.Origins Archive under the title Index to Creationist Claims.


Claim CA211.1:

According to philosopher of science Sir Karl Popper, a theory must be falsifiable to qualify as scientific. Popper (1976, 151) said, "Darwinism is not a testable scientific theory but a metaphysical research programme."

Source: Kranz, Russell. n.d. Karl Popper's challenge.

CreationWiki response:

It is hard to tell exactly what Popper meant because in the quote that appears in the claim, he says, "Darwinism is not a testable scientific theory but a metaphysical research programme.

  • Popper, Karl. 1976. Unended Quest: An Intellectual Autobiography Glasgow: Fontana/Collins.

In the paper where he is said to recant he says that Darwinism refers to all of evolutionary theory.

When speaking here of Darwinism, I shall speak always of today's theory - that is Darwin's own theory of natural selection supported by the Mendelian theory of heredity, by the theory of the mutation and recombination of genes in a gene pool, and by the decoded genetic code.

Yet in this same paper he says, “My solution was that the doctrine of natural selection is a most successful metaphysical research programme.” So in the ordinal quote did he use the term “Darwinism” to refer only to natural selection or was he actually referring to all of evolutionary theory?

If an error was made here it was an honest one since there seems to be an inconstancy in the use of the term “Darwinism”.

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