Groktruth wrote:In order to test the validity of the hypothesis of evolution by natural selection, we need to make predictions from it, especially predictions that contrast with alternative hypotheses (see strong inference http://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~markhill/scie ... erence.pdf).
Groktruth wrote:Now, the hypothesis of evolution is a hypothesis presented by a member of the species Homo sapiens, and applies to that species. Hence, if the hypothesis is true, it ought to have consequences on the behavior of the species commensurate with the "human nature" of the species.
No, not necessarily. That would be the naturalistic fallacy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalistic_fallacy
Evolution explains our behavior and our human nature. It makes predictions about how humans might behave in certain situations. But it doesn't make predictions about how we ought to behave. We use condoms, that's evolutionarily suicide, but certainly that doesn't mean that condoms are bad.
Groktruth wrote:We might assume that any idea that is closer to 'truth" would increase fitness, which is why we have evolved a brain that does this work. That is, we suppose that our brains have evolved to form and retain truer ideas about the way things really are, because having such ideas in the brain makes the body directed by such a brain do better, be more fit.
Wrong inference. It is certainly the case that in general, having true beliefs had adaptive value in the environment our ancestors evolved in. But this doesn't mean that all true beliefs increase fitness.
If that were the case, one could argue that the fact that education in third world countries decreases the birth rate would disprove evolution. That's obviously ridiculous.
Groktruth wrote:So, anyone want to deduce a prediction about how "evolutionists" ought to live a more fit life, because they have a truer idea in their brain? In contrast to non-evolutionists, of course.
This is a bad idea for the reasons I mentioned above. The basic thing about predictions is important though, there have been dozens of stunningly successful predictions based on evolutionary thinking. Some examples include human chromosome 2 being a fusion of two ape chromosomes (researchers had noticed that other great apes have one more chromosome pair than humans, and they predicted that we should find molecular evidence indicating a fusion); retroviral remains being at the exact same locations in both humans and other primates; DNA and anatomical comparisons leading to nested hierarchies -- something you wouldn't get with ID; predictions regarding the social and reproductive behavior of animals, including humans, based on evolutionary reasoning; fossil records being "progressive": no rabbits in the Cambrian; specific geographical distribution patterns of closely related organisms, convergence; ring species; mistakes in design (such as the blind spot in the human eye, flat fishes with distorted skulls, the laryngeal nerve etc.), and so on.
Evolution has passed, all these predictions, and many more, came true.