(Originally titled “Let’s Select Out Natural Selection” on 23 October 2007)
“Natural selection” is a vital (perhaps the most vital) premise upon which evolution depends. In their own words: “Natural Selection: applies to all organisms but insects provide perhaps the best model.” (college science class lecture http://ucdnema.ucdavis.edu/imagemap/nemmap/ENT10/slides1.htm)
The change in coloration of peppered moths, to use a phrase from Dr. Jonathan Wells, is an “icon of evolution”. That "icon" is just a stick figure with no substance. For comprehensive information about peppered moths see my article “Moth Marathon”.
The observable phenomenon of insect development of resistance to various chemicals was probably the first argument I heard supporting evolutionism. It was presented by an individual in an audience of intellectuals at the University of Charleston in one of the first engagements of my local creation group (the Kanawha Creation Science Group). The “intellectuals” were mostly evolutionists who thought the creationists would be humiliated if given an opportunity to present our case. The fellow who spouted this attempt to rebut us “ignorant” creationists probably had read something like this: “Insects become resistant to chemical insecticides very rapidly. This can happen in as few as five generations – natural selection at work.” (http://www.biotechnologyonline.gov.au/foodag/concernresistance.html)
It doesn’t take much to respond to this “major proof” of evolution. We start out with a particular insect (a grain beetle for example) and you end up with a grain beetle that is immune to the effects of a particular insecticide. Let me say this s-o-l-w-l-y for the benefit of evolutionists. It...was...and...is...a...grain... beetle.
It works like this. A few of the original beetles have a gene that is resistant to the chemical. The next population of insects will have those individuals and some will be more resistant than others. The third population will have those that are the most resistant and so on.
Evolutionists preach the doctrine of “natural selection” in all kinds of scenarios. Following are two examples that could easily be placed in my article “BWAH HAH HAH HAAAA!”.
“By moving some insects from their customary host plant and protecting others from predators, Nosil found that colour pattern alone could initiate speciation, while natural selection on other traits (like the ability to detoxify host-plant chemicals) were needed to complete the creation of a new species.” (http://www.science.ubc.ca/news/95)
“When a blood-sucking insect 'bites' a sensitized host it must, if it is to survive, depart before the host is alerted by the irritation that accompanies or precedes the 'immediate' reaction. There is a safety period between initial salivary injection by the insect and onset of irritation in the host during which the insect's meal must be completed; immunity from attack by the host must, therefore, depend partly on the speed at which the insect can tap the blood supply and complete its meal, and partly on an adequate delay in the onset of irritation in the host. In mosquitoes, and other insects that depend on a blood meal for egg production, only those that complete the meal within the safety period can lay a full complement of eggs; the others will either be killed or injured by the host before egg development begins, or they will be disturbed before completion of the meal and so lay fewer eggs. Thus, fast feeders and those producing a delay in the onset of irritation will tend to lay more eggs, and these two properties will be maintained by natural selection, with the onset of irritation in the host acting as the main selection force.” ( http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1967RSPSB.167..316G)
Poor old Charles Darwin used insects as a major explanation (using his immense imagination) of natural selection in the evolutionist bible, Origin of Species. In Chapter IV Darwin wrote, “Thus I can understand how a flower and a bee might slowly become, either simultaneously or one after the other, modified and adapted to each other in the most perfect manner, by the continued preservation of all the individuals which presented slight deviations of structure mutually favourable to each other…Natural selection acts only by the preservation and accumulation of small inherited modifications, each profitable to the preserved being; and as modern geology has almost banished such views as the excavation of a great valley by a single diluvial wave, so will natural selection banish the belief of the continued creation of new organic beings, or of any great and sudden modification in their structure.”
Actually, the evidence supports a “diluvial wave” (i.e. Noachian flood) and there is no evidence for evolution—even by chanting the magic words “natural selection” three times while standing in the middle of a pentagram.
In Chapter VII Darwin is at his best at spinning yarns, but makes some telling admissions which I have placed in bold print in the following quotation. “I have now explained how, I believe, the wonderful fact of two distinctly defined castes of sterile workers existing in the same nest, both widely different from each other and from their parents, has originated. We can see how useful their production may have been to a social community of ants, on the same principle that the division of labour is useful to civilised man. Ants, however, work by inherited instincts and by inherited organs or tools, while man works by acquired knowledge and manufactured instruments. But I must confess, that, with all my faith in natural selection, I should never have anticipated that this principle could have been efficient in so high a degree, had not the case of these neuter insects led me to this conclusion. I have, therefore, discussed this case, at some little but wholly insufficient length, in order to show the power of natural selection, and likewise because this is by far the most serious special difficulty which my theory has encountered.” (See my article “Ants Make Evolutionism Sterile”.)
Darwin is dead and the concept of “natural selection” needs to die a natural death.
In "Going to Extremes: The Design Question" (http://www.science-spirit.org/article_detail.php?article_id=148) a leading apologist for evolutionism, Michael Ruse, attempts to debunk Paley's argument for design Ruse says, "So much for tradition. Darwin exploded a bomb right under it. Not so much thanks to evolution per se but rather because of the mechanism of natural selection." "Selection shows why it is that you have teleology (Ruse defines teleology as the "distinctive aspect of organisms — that they invite a form of forward-looking thought") in the living world without the need for recourse to supernatural origins."
Then he quotes Richard Dawkins, arguably the most prolific evolutionist propagandist, from The Blind Watchmaker: "Natural selection, the blind, unconscious, automatic process which Darwin discovered, and which we now know is the explanation for the existence and apparently purposeful form of all life, has no purpose in mind. It has no mind and no mind's eye. It does not plan for the future. It has no vision, no foresight, no sight at all. If it can be said to play the role of watchmaker in nature, it is the blind watchmaker."
After sharing Dawkins' thoughts about adaptation ("the appearance of design"), Ruse states unequivocally, "You cannot get adaptive complexity without natural selection."
Ruse offers support for a theistic evolutionist (TE) position by claiming, "If you do not want to believe in the existence of God, then natural selection shows that you are not compelled to do so on grounds of design." Then he explains how Dawkins would counter a TE: "Natural selection is a mechanism dependent on the struggle for existence — and this means pain and despair. How then could it be that the Christian God — all loving and all powerful — makes the world in a way that necessarily causes evil?"
That opens up the always used atheist argument of "The Problem of Evil" to which Ruse uses Dawkins' conclusion (based upon natural selection) that "The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.
He says Dawkins has argued, "that adaptation is the mark of the living and that the only way to bring life about was through natural selection. In other words, since God cannot do the impossible, the only way in which God could have created the living world — including us humans — was through natural selection, that is to say through a process causing pain and misery."
In his concluding remarks Ruse clearly equates Natural Selection and Darwinism. "Natural selection (Darwinism) (bolds are mine-KCP) is pertinent, showing that (if anyone ever would claim this) you simply cannot say that such teleology in itself necessitates a belief in the Christian God (or a god with some of the Christian attributes). However, it does not make belief in such a god impossible, and there are Christian traditions (the Augustinian particularly) which might welcome the evolutionary approach." Ruse's thesis is wishy-washy, but that is not the subject of my argument.
In "Rebelling Against Our Selfish Genes" (http://www.beliefnet.com/story/136/story_13698_1.html) Dawkins adds weight to my argument that Christians should avoid using the term "Natural Selection". He says, "As Darwin clearly understood, blindness to suffering is an inherent consequence of natural selection..." Then goes on to elaborate, "A process of trial and error, completely unplanned and on the massive scale of natural selection, can be expected to be clumsy, wasteful and blundering." Dawkins stresses that "natural selection is the dominant force in biological evolution...As an academic scientist I am a passionate Darwinian, believing that natural selection is, if not the only driving force in evolution, certainly the only known force capable of producing the illusion of purpose which so strikes all who contemplate nature."
Even some evolutionists have taken issue with the concept of Natural Selection. In The Great Evolution Mystery (Gordon Rattray Taylor Harper & Row 1983) we find the following.
135: "In an earlier chapter we came across cases where new structures seemed to have appeared before they were needed. If this really happens it completely explodes the theory of natural selection and we need no further evidence to undermine it. What we need is a new theory."
142: "The word 'adaptation' is therefore ambiguous, since it is cheerfully used to mean fitting better into a niche and, on the other hand, modifying, to fill some different niche as when we say, for example, that the mole is adapted for a life underground."
182: "Such cases must mean one of two things, either fatal to the concept of a slow accumulation of variations. Either the same mutations occur repeatedly (in which case they can hardly be due to chance), or the genes are there all the time, but are unmasked in appropriate circumstances."
Pierre P-Grasse' (Evolution of Living Organisms-For A New Theory of Transformations, Academic Press. 1977)devoted an entire chapter to Natural Selection. From that chapter I found the following criticism of Natural Selection.
107 “Directed by all-powerful selection, chance becomes a sort of providence, which, under the cover of atheism, is not named but which is secretly worshiped.”
109 “Natural selection remains the foundation of Darwinism, which postulates its universality and makes of it the agent responsible for the evolution of all living organisms.”
115 “In some environments and for some species it takes a great deal of imagination to discover selection at work”.
121 “Natural selection acts as a regulator of the genotype, performing a function of genetic hygiene. As to its role as effective agent of evolution, this is not certain. In fact, if it had the full power attributed to it, it would soon stop evolution.”
128 “Assigning to natural selection the effective execution of evolution means explicitly and implicitly attributing to it a meaning and end.
138 “If selection consciously oversees evolution, how is it possible that, through the ages, so many lines have taken paths which endangered them?”
Someone on the Creation Research Society listserv (CRSnet) once proposed that we avoid the use of the term "microevolution". A good summation of that argument is in the article "Avoid Using These Terms" (http://creationwiki.org/Macroevolution#Avoid_Using_These_Terms under the theme). The author points out, "While either use of microevolution or macroevolution by creationists might be true for some specific examples, as a general rule, the use of these terms should be done with care. Many creationists caution against using either term on the grounds that they detract from the real issue, the gain or loss of information, and are misleading in talking about the size of the change instead of the direction of the change...many evolutionists argue that there is no real difference between the two terms." (There is much more on this subject at the aforementioned link and Answers in Genesis supports this strategy.)
I concur with the need to avoid the use of "microevolution" and add that we now should follow the same strategy with "Natural Selection". (Note: I capitalize "Natural Selection" because it is actually the deity of evolutionists.) But, using Natural Selection as an adjective, I propose that Natural Selection is to Supernatural Creation as atheism is to theism.
Two November 2005 Live Science articles reveal just how important Natural Selection is to evolutionism. Under the title "Behind the Controversy: How Evolution Works" (http://www.livescience.com/othernews/051109_evolution_science.html) Ker Than asserts “Darwin's theory of evolution by Natural Selection is one of the best substantiated theories in the history of science, supported by evidence from a wide variety of scientific disciplines, including paleontology, geology, genetics and developmental biology.”
Mr. Than elaborates that in order to “understand the origin of whales, it's necessary to have a basic understanding of how natural selection works: It is the process by which organisms change over time as a result of changes in heritable physical or behavioral traits. Changes that allow an organism to better adapt to its environment will help it survive and have more offspring.”
Mr. Than points out the obvious observation that organisms have variations (“Natural selection can change a species in small ways, causing a population to change color or size over the course of several generations. This is called "microevolution.") and provides support for my argument that “Natural Selection” should suffer the same fate as “microevolution”.
Not willing to stop with a semblance of scientific rationality, Mr. Than proceeds to make an incredible claim: “But natural selection is also capable of much more. Given enough time and enough accumulated changes, natural selection can create entirely new species. It can turn dinosaurs into birds, apes into humans and amphibious mammals into whales.”
In a separate article ("Darwin's Natural Selection Still at Work in Humans" http://www.livescience.com/humanbiology/051102_natural_selection.html) Mr. Than personifies the concept of Natural Selection by claiming “Darwin's natural selection is the process by which nature rewards those individuals better adapted to their environments with survival and reproductive success. It works at the level of genes, sections of DNA that encode for proteins serve as the software of life.” Finally Mr. Than attempts to bolster Natural Selection with a quote from a Cornell biologist who says, “"Our study suggests that natural selection has played an important role in patterning the human genome."
Dr. Joseph Mastropaolo, in private correspondence with me, provides the fatal blow to the need to use the term Natural Selection. I provide Dr. Mastropaolo’s reasoning verbatim and heartedly say, "Amen!” to his final sentence.
“There is no natural selection because the environment has no effect on the hereditary material. The hereditary material produces vast variation, no two are the same, and that provides for some always surviving.”
“God designed the DNA (and other genetic material) to yield a population with vast variation for each life form. Each individual carries the blueprint for the whole population so that if even one breeding pair survives, the whole population may be reconstituted. It does not matter whether conditions favor big dogs for several decades, then small dogs for several decades, then repeated in any pattern whatsoever, because every dog carries the plan for the entire population.’
“There is no 'natural selection' that comes from what the environment does and supposedly directs the "evolution" of the life forms. The plan is in every life form and it could care less what the environment will do because some individuals will survive and from them the whole vastly variable population will survive.”
“This is proven by the definition of lethal, which is the demise of 50% of the population. It takes too long to try to kill 100%. Besides the vastness of the variation in the population, the reason is that each individual is dynamically designed. If the environment turns hot, then unmanifested heat shock proteins will be synthesized from built-in genetic reserves to permit survival in the heat. As the environment changes, the individual appropriately manifests new proteins from its genetic reserves because it is dynamically, not statically, designed."
“All of the above can be experimentally verified with commonplace observations and only God could even conceive of such engineering, let alone make one iota of it work."
"Natural selection is all evolutionist brainwashing." (See pp. 6-20, Biology for the 21st Century.)”
Let’s squash “natural selection”.
1. Sincere Young Earth Creationists and Intelligent Design Advocates fear they will be maligned by scientists if they (YEC’s and IDers) express doubt about the purported powers of Natural Selection (As stated above, I capitalize the term because Natural Selection is deified by Darwinists.) First of all, the two groups (who represent real science verses the anti-science of evolutionism) could hardly be mocked much more maliciously than they are already. Secondly, YEC’s and IDers need to realize that compromise leads to confusion and continues to collusion. For example, the original Methodists would never have imagined how far the denomination has slide since their first compromise with standing for truth.
(Radar note: We creationists view natural selection as a description of the speciation that is provided for by the design of the cell by a Creator, who allowed for both contingencies and redundancies to keep kinds able to reproduce and survive in varying circumstances. Not a power.)
2. The rationale for believing in Natural Selection is that a great Christian scientist, Edward Blyth, is the one who first proposed the concept. But, did he? If he did, does it help the creationist cause?
The evolutionists could easily embrace Blyth as having first described the basis of Darwinism. One already has, as reported in the Institute for Creation Science article “ Natural Selection - A Creationist's Idea” (http://www.icr.org/index.php?module=articles&action=view&ID=412). “According to Loren C. Eiseley, Benjamin Franklin Professor of Anthropology and the History of Science at the University of Pennsylvania before his death, ‘the leading tenets of Darwin's work — the struggle for existence, variation, natural selection, and sexual selection — are all fully expressed’ in a paper written by creationist Edward Blyth…Eiseley, not a creationist, wrote that ‘Blyth is more than a Darwinian precursor, he is, instead, a direct intellectual forebear. . . ." In Eiseley's estimation, Blyth ‘belongs in the royal line . . . one of the forgotten parents of a great classic’…Darwin for some reason chose not to credit creationist Blyth with the key element in his theory — natural selection.”
Blyth “never actually used the term ‘natural selection’” (Dobzhansky, Theodosius 1959. "Blyth, Darwin, and natural selection". The American Naturalist 93 (870):204-206). Other evolutionists try to separate Blyth’s view of selection from Darwin’s. "Blyth's theory was clearly one of elimination rather than selection. His principal concern is the maintenance of the perfection of the type. Blyth's thinking is decidedly that of a natural theologian..." One prominent evolutionist claimes that Blyth “became a strong friend and supporter of Darwinian evolution”. (John Wilkins (2003). "Darwin's precursors and influences:
4. Natural selection" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Blyth) Even if the last claim is false, there is still no reason for creationists to compromise with a tenet so vital to evolutionism.
Then there is the argument that “William Wells had actually written of natural selection in 1813…(but), the basic concept of natural selection had been around since ancient Greek time.” http://www.thedarwinpapers.com/oldsite/Number2/Darwin2Html.htm)
It is unfair to saddle scientist Blyth with laying the foundation upon which anti-scientist Darwin built.
Blyth was talking about the same thing as Dr. Mastropaolo was quoted at the conclusion of the above article. Consider how Blyth referred to the Creator.
Blyth’s concept of what he observed was the antithesis of Darwin’s. What Blyth saw pointed to “design , which so clearly and forcibly attest the existence of an omniscient great First Cause”.
(Bold and italics are mine. KCP)
3. I propose that creationists quit playing into the hands of evolutionists. We need not prop up the false science that props up the anti-science of evolutionism.
Dr. Joseph Mastropaolo coined (To the best of my knowledge he is the originator.) “omniscient originality”. That is the correct creationist and scientific term to describe the observations of the survival of living things.
The following are some snips from Dr. Mastopaolo’s explanation of “omniscient originality”.
“The law of omniscient originality states that each living organism is an original. No living organism was identical to it in the past and no living organism will be identical to it in the future. Further, each of its parts is an original. Furthermore, each entity in the nonviable universe is an original and each of its parts is an original.
“The only question remaining may be the source of the omnipresent bounded omniscient originality fact. Evolution cannot do it. It has no brain and omniscient originality requires mega-intelligence. Nature can't do it because it has no brain either and every event devolves, degenerates, the opposite of what is wanted. What is wanted is continual unlimited novelty that is constrained and functional not only for the individual but also for its population and for the byproduct sharing requirements for the survival of the interdependent biosphere.
“There is only one candidate omnipresent omniscient originator.”
4. More evolutionists see problems with Natural Selection.
Dr Pagel said that the research shows speciation is the result of rare events in the environment, such as genetic mutations, a shift in climate, or a mountain range rising up. Over the long term new species are formed at a constant rate, rather than the variable rate Pagel's team expected, but the constant rates are different for different groups of species.
The work suggests that natural selection may not be the cause of speciation, which Pagel said "really goes against the grain" for scientists who have a Darwinian view of evolution. The model that provided the best fit for the data is surprisingly incompatible with the idea that speciation is a result of many small small events, Pagel said.
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