Statesboro, GA, USA
Actually Reb, abiogenesis IS a part of the evolutionary idea as a whole, whatever you may say. It just happens to be a part that involves a complete scientific roadblock. Are you suggesting that you don't believe molecules evolved into more complex molecules and then into replicating cells? Remember that the philosophical idea of evolution, or gradualism (which dates back to the pre-Socratic philosophers) is the impetus behind all evolutionary theory and assumption. The most famous evolutionary thinkers had already accepted this idea well before any scientific mechanisms were proffered.
And yes there is a distinction between micro-evolution and macro-evolution, though some would deny it. Micro-evolution involves observable changes within the genetic limitations of a species. Macro-evolution is attributing things like eyes, bones, organs, cellular systems, and species themselves to simple mutation, and principles of survival and reproduction. One can reasonably be called empirical. The other has more gap space than can reasonably lend to empiricism, especially if we are to take Darwin's own words seriously about small incremental changes which also have to be advantageous to survival. Microevolution is scientific. Macroevolution is Philosophic.
[This message has been edited by Stephanos (06-28-2007 04:02 PM).]