Natural Selection- What is it and what does it do?

Well let’s look at what natural selection is-

 “Natural selection is the result of differences in survival and reproduction among individuals of a population that vary in one or more heritable traits.” Page 11 “Biology: Concepts and Applications” Starr fifth edition

“Natural selection is the simple result of variation, differential reproduction, and heredity—it is mindless and mechanistic.” UBerkley

“Natural selection is the blind watchmaker, blind because it does not see ahead, does not plan consequences, has no purpose in view.” Dawkins in “The Blind Watchmaker”?

“Natural selection is therefore a result of three processes, as first described by Darwin:

Variation
Inheritance
Fecundity

which together result in non-random, unequal survival and reproduction of individuals, which results in changes in the phenotypes present in populations of organisms over time.”- Allen McNeill prof. introductory biology and evolution at Cornell University

OK so it is a result of three processes- ie an output. But is it really non-random as Allen said? Nope, whatever survives to reproduce survives to reproduce. And that can be any number of variations taht exist in a population.

What drives the output? The inputs.

The variation is said to be random, ie genetic accidents/ mistakes.

With sexually reproducing organisms it is still a crap-shoot as to what gets inherited. For example if a male gets a beneficial variation to his Y chromosome but sires all daughters, that beneficial variation gets lost no matter how many offspring he has.

Fecundity/ differential reproduction- Don’t know until it happens.

Can’t tell what variation will occur. Can’t tell if any of the offspring will inherit even the most beneficial variation and the only way to determine differential reproduction is follow the individuals for their entire reproducing age.

Then there can be competing “beneficial” variations.

In the end it all boils down to whatever survives to reproduce, survives to reproduce.

Evolutionists love to pretend that natural selection is some magical ratchet.

So what does it do?

The Origin of Theoretical Population Genetics (University of Chicago Press, 1971), reissued in 2001 by William Provine:

Natural selection does not act on anything, nor does it select (for or against), force, maximize, create, modify, shape, operate, drive, favor, maintain, push, or adjust. Natural selection does nothing….Having natural selection select is nifty because it excuses the necessity of talking about the actual causation of natural selection. Such talk was excusable for Charles Darwin, but inexcusable for evolutionists now. Creationists have discovered our empty “natural selection” language, and the “actions” of natural selection make huge, vulnerable targets. (pp. 199-200)

Thanks for the honesty Will.

Chapter IV of prominent geneticist Giuseppe Sermonti’s book Why is a Fly Not a Horse? is titled “Wobbling Stability”. In that chapter he discusses what I have been talking about in other threads- that populations oscillate. The following is what he has to say which is based on thorough scientific investigation:

Sexuality has brought joy to the world, to the world of the wild beasts, and to the world of flowers, but it has brought an end to evolution. In the lineages of living beings, whenever absent-minded Venus has taken the upper hand, forms have forgotten to make progress. It is only the husbandman that has improved strains, and he has done so by bullying, enslaving, and segregating. All these methods, of course, have made for sad, alienated animals, but they have not resulted in new species. Left to themselves, domesticated breeds would either die out or revert to the wild state—scarcely a commendable model for nature’s progress.

(snip a few paragraphs on peppered moths)

Natural Selection, which indeed occurs in nature (as Bishop Wilberforce, too, was perfectly aware), mainly has the effect of maintaining equilibrium and stability. It eliminates all those that dare depart from the type—the eccentrics and the adventurers and the marginal sort. It is ever adjusting populations, but it does so in each case by bringing them back to the norm. We read in the textbooks that, when environmental conditions change, the selection process may produce a shift in a population’s mean values, by a process known as adaptation. If the climate turns very cold, the cold-adapted beings are favored relative to others.; if it becomes windy, the wind blows away those that are most exposed; if an illness breaks out, those in questionable health will be lost. But all these artful guiles serve their purpose only until the clouds blow away. The species, in fact, is an organic entity, a typical form, which may deviate only to return to the furrow of its destiny; it may wander from the band only to find its proper place by returning to the gang.

Everything that disassembles, upsets proportions or becomes distorted in any way is sooner or later brought back to the type. There has been a tendency to confuse fleeting adjustments with grand destinies, minor shrewdness with signs of the times.

It is true that species may lose something on the way—the mole its eyes, say, and the succulent plant its leaves, never to recover them again. But here we are dealing with unhappy, mutilated species, at the margins of their area of distribution—the extreme and the specialized. These are species with no future; they are not pioneers, but prisoners in nature’s penitentiary.

Not such a powerful designer mimic after all.

But there is one thing it can do- it can undo what artificial selection has done.

557 thoughts on “Natural Selection- What is it and what does it do?

  1. Joe G: Natural selection was “invented” to be a designer mimic- again your ignorance, while funny, means nothing…

    We can observe natural selection in action. It was not invented, it did not need to be. It was observed.

    Likewise Newton did not invent gravity….

  2. Joe,
    If everything you are asked is off topic, a quote mine or is “irrelevant” then what is your purpose here?

    Do you want someone to convince you of the power of NS? Why? Do you have doubts about your own position?

    Or do you just want a round of applause for clever Joe and how he annoyed the evos? To be honest, I don’t blame you. I doubt you get much appreciation in your real life.

  3. That’s another interesting X & ~X claim about NS; it supposedly promotes deviation from the norm and prevents it. IOW, NS does whatever is necessary, in any specific case, to validate the Darwinist concept that it is the only “sorting process” (even though, as Joe points out, it’s not a process at all, but the net result of random events) in action.

    If the results of otherwise “random events” pointed towards an organizing process, for it to be an “organizing process” there would have to be an organizational mean. What is the “organizational mean” of NS? Survival? If so, NS says absolutely nothing about the creation of wings, minds, hooves, skin, lungs, sight, etc., because none of that necessary for survival.

    This is the simple concept that reveals some more fundamental disconnect; if NS doesn’t necessarily predict more complex features, it is not any more of an explanation of those features than chance. IOW, if there is nothing inherent about NS that skews the process towards X, NS doesn’t explain X. That it allows X to come into existence, and doesn’t necessarily prevent it, is not an explanation.

    It seems to me that most darwinist, in their mind, confuse “possibility” with “explanation”; as long as X is possible, then it is explained. It’s possible that I can roll 20 7′s in a row with a pair of dice, but because it is possible is not an explanation for the occurrence. Because it is possible for RM & NS to build functional wings over hundreds of millions of years, and it is possible that those wings (and all proto-wing versions in-between) conferred some procreative advantage, doesn’t explain the emergence of wings. It just allows that it could have possibly happened.

  4. Joe G:
    The actual positive evidence for my claims is in the real world- the world you ignore as if your ignorance means something

    Which of your claims, joe? The Iraq war hero one? The all kinds of floors one? The falling out of tree one? The programming GAs one? The 300 pound bench press one? The ticks prefer watermelon one? The caek CSI can be calculated by counting the digits in the recipe one? The I’m not a religious muslim creationist one? The I am a muslim creationist one? The I’m a muslim but do not follow islam one? The I’ve engineered things and flown planes without a license one? The parking lot one? The internet tough guy ones?

  5. We can observe natural selection in action. It was not invented, it did not need to be. It was observed.

    You cannot observe natural selection any more than you can observe random events. You can observe selection; you can observe any event. The quality of naturalness or randomness (or artificiality or non-randomness) is inferred by examining the distribution of outcomes. You can assume what you are observing occurs without purpose or intent, but you cannot observe such a thing directly.

    This is demonstrative of the logical breakdown I’ve observed in many Darwinists that mistake their ideological assumptions as de facto reality.

  6. olegt: LOL WUT? What the hell does undo mean? And didn’t you write somewhere that Joe, you are awfully bad at hiding. Everyone can see you.

    Perhaps we can get him a thread where he argues with himself? It would be entertaining.

  7. William J. Murray
    It seems to me that most darwinist, in their mind, confuse “possibility” with “explanation”; as long as X is possible, then it is explained.

    Then your understanding is incomplete and seriously flawed. And it shows how disconnected you are from people who actually doing science.

    However there is one specific case where “possibility” is all that is required, and that is to refute “Irreducible complexity”. All that is required is to show that a pathway is possible in principle and Behe is refuted:

    “There is no publication in the scientific literature – in prestigious journals, specialty journals, or books – that describes how molecular evolution of any real, complex, biochemical system either did occur or even might have occurred”

    Job done.

  8. Here is Joe G elsewhere:

    I will tell you one thing natural selection is good at- undoing what artificial selection has wrought.

  9. Joe G: That text was not part of this thread.

    It is still completely germaneto the discussion and truthfully captures what you said.

    Great flip flop there. Do you just like to argue? Do you have a clue?

  10. William J. Murray: This is demonstrative of the logical breakdown I’ve observed in many Darwinists that mistake their ideological assumptions as de facto reality.

    In the real world we don’t preface words like “random” with “it could be angels, gods or demons doing it, it just looks random”.

    When there is evidence that a distribution is non-random then there will be evidence that it is non-random. Until then it is a reasonable assumption.

    So yes, you assume reality is reality until shown otherwise. What other way is there?

    This is demonstrative of the logical breakdown I’ve observed in many Darwinists that mistake their ideological assumptions as de facto reality.

    What have you, with your superior grasp of logic, discovered? What new data have you brought to the table William?

  11. Joe G:
    That text was not part of this thread.

    Yet you’re bringing up text that people said or allegedly said elsewhere. Strange that. Go figure.

    Please stay focused and on topic, joe.

  12. Rich: Awww, he’s confused. Bless him!

    For a man who is stuck like a broken record, Joe G has an awfully short memory.

  13. William J. Murray: This is demonstrative of the logical breakdown I’ve observed in many Darwinists that mistake their ideological assumptions as de facto reality.

    And I repeat, what have you, William, with your superior grasp of logic discovered that Darwinists would not have been able to?

    Unless you can name something tangible, then to me you are just another Joe, albeit one better able to express himself. But otherwise, Joe.

  14. In the real world, one never observes “natural” selection; what they observe is selection they metaphysically assume to be “natural”. On the other hand, we readily observe artificial selection as humans (intelligent agents) deliberately breed organisms towards a purpose.

    Therefore, we directly know that artificial selection exists; we can only assume or, at best, infer that non-artificial selection exists by extrapolated comparison. However, in order to support that non-artificial selection exists, one would have to provide a falsifiable theory about what does, and how one can distinguish it from known artificial selection. There is no such predictive, theoretical model for NS (to my knowledge); in fact, most Darwinists insist that no metric exists that can discern between what natural selection can do, and what artificial selection can do. If that is true, then natural selection can only be an assumption; it cannot even be a proper scientific inference.

  15. William J. Murray: If that is true, then natural selection can only be an assumption; it cannot even be a proper scientific inference.

    What have you discovered with your superior logic that Darwinism have not discovered?

    So far all you’ve said is that random numbers might not be random after all, if we knew every detail about how the universe operated and everything that operates in it.

    That’s trivially true. It’s not a revelation.

    Yes, it might turn out that “natural selection” is in fact being driven by a god of some sort who just makes it look as it it’s not only happening naturally but within expected boundaries.

    But so what? Until you have some positive evidence that it is it’s not an unreasonable assumption. That it can’t be “proven” seems to be more of a problem for you then the scientific endeavour.

    I’ve got a teapot to sell you!

  16. Creodont2: Yet you’re bringing up text that people said or allegedly said elsewhere. Strange that. Go figure. Please stay focused and on topic, joe.

    PotW!

  17. William J. Murray: In the real world.

    The real world? Are you sure about that? Don’t you mean whatever worldview you happen to be using today? As your worldview overrules the actual world, remember?

  18. William J. Murray: You cannot observe natural selection any more than you can observe random events. You can observe selection; you can observe any event. The quality of naturalness or randomness (or artificiality or non-randomness) is inferred by examining the distribution of outcomes. You can assume what you are observing occurs without purpose or intent, but you cannot observe such a thing directly.

    This is demonstrative of the logical breakdown I’ve observed in many Darwinists that mistake their ideological assumptions as de facto reality.

    Why don’t you join joe in that naked hike in Yellowstone? You’ll be able to observe natural selection.

    Hey, maybe your psychoplasmic worldview and a prayer can save you from being selected by a grizzly bear. You have faith, don’t you?

  19. Unless you can name something tangible, then to me you are just another Joe, albeit one better able to express himself. But otherwise, Joe.

    Joe’s more well-read than I when it comes to ID and is certainly a far more determined protagonist. I think that I would be considered pretty loopy when it comes to what most ID advocates argue, so while I don’t have an issue with such a comparison, it might not be a comparison Joe would appreciate.

    But, all the same, thanks for that comparison.

    Also, I don’t need to “name something tangible” when simple, direct logic exposes the underlying problems with the NS proposition.

  20. Yes, it might turn out that “natural selection” is in fact being driven by a god of some sort who just makes it look as it it’s not only happening naturally but within expected boundaries.

    But, that’s not what it looks like. It’s never looked like that, as many of the top evolutionary theorists throughout history have said, in effect: they must constantly keep in mind that the design that is apparent is not real.

    They must constantly remind themselves not to assume purpose and design, and to try to keep such language out of their papers.

    Darwin’s entire theory was generated to explain the apparent design in terms of non-design. So no, life has never appeared to be “non-designed” or “natural” until those following Darwin’s footsteps deliberately expunged that view. It is ironic that the view that life is not designed is an intentionally manufactured perspective that must constantly fight against against the inherent inclination to view life as designed and purposeful.

  21. Nope- you may have inferred I meant only one thing, but the OP was to find out what else it can do. And apparently it can’t do much of anything.

  22. Joe G:
    What factors? Weather, for one. And no, that was not an appeal to authority however I will take what Mayr says over what some anonymous butthead sez.

    And I have been in the woods, killed bear too. And I am still around.

    Strange that, but I don’t see where Mayr has posted any text in this thread. And yes, it is an appeal to authority, twice so far. Heck, go figure.

    Are you going to hike Yellowstone naked, covered with barbecue sauce, joe? Do you need a gun to make you a big man with black bears? Black bears are like cuddly kittens compared to grizzly bears. Come on joe, show what a man you are and that “nothing in nature selects” by hiking Yellowstone naked, with no weapons.

    Oh, and are you saying that the designer doesn’t design the weather? How about the origin of weather and the “factors” that determine it from minute to minute, day to day, or season to season? Did or does the designer design the “factors” that cause weather? Did the designer design and front load the software/programming/information/algorithm in weather in the beginning or does the designer intervene in the weather and design it from minute to minute, day to day, or season to season? If weather was not originally designed and there’s no intervention by the designer, where did weather come from in the first place and how does it occur? Is it natural? Is it random? Is it stochastic? Is it by chance? Does it evolve?

    Did the designer design the weather that caused the biblical flood? In your opinion, when did that flood occur?

  23. William J. Murray: But, that’s not what it looks like. It’s never looked like that, as many of the top evolutionary theorists throughout history have said, in effect: they must constantly keep in mind that the design that is apparent is not real.

    Oh, the design is real enough. But it’s attributed to natural “unintelligent” processes, which have been demonstrated to be sufficient in so many ways.

  24. William J. Murray:

    A theory which explains everything explains nothing.

    Fortunately, evolution is not an explanation for everything. It is, instead, merely an explanation for that subset of ‘everything’ which is actually observed. Does the phrase “rabbits in the Precambrian” ring any bells, wjm?

  25. William J. Murray: But, that’s not what it looks like. It’s never looked like that, as many of the top evolutionary theorists throughout history have said, in effect: they must constantly keep in mind that the design that is apparent is not real.

    They must constantly remind themselves not to assume purpose and design, and to try to keep such language out of their papers.

    Darwin’s entire theory was generated to explain the apparent design in terms of non-design. So no, life has never appeared to be “non-designed” or “natural” until those following Darwin’s footsteps deliberately expunged that view. It is ironic that the view that life is not designed is an intentionally manufactured perspective that must constantly fight against against the inherent inclination to view life as designed and purposeful.

    Are you’re claiming that every person who lived before Darwin saw nature as being intentionally designed, and that some people now see nature as not being intentionally designed only because they blindly follow Darwin’s “intentionally manufactured perspective”?

    “as many of the top evolutionary theorists throughout history have said”

    Name the “many”, and provide references to their exact words.

  26. WJM

    Darwin’s entire theory was generated to explain the apparent design in terms of non-design. So no, life has never appeared to be “non-designed” or “natural” until those following Darwin’s footsteps deliberately expunged that view.

    Like Joe, you have become a broken record. Both of those claims are factually, historically inaccurate.

    Darwin’s theory takes account of the natural fact that many more offspring are produced than can be sustained (after Malthus), and that they vary in their capacity to survive. That must lead to a reproducing population tending to become enriched in those qualities that helped the parents survive, and impoverished in those qualities that hindered. Do you deny even that simple fact?

    Forget what long runs of such generational change can do:

    1) is it an ideologically motivated metaphysical position to hold that this simple process will occur in nature, all by itself?

    2) Is it an ideologically moticvated metaphysical position to hold that this simple process, having happened in 1 generation, will also happen in the next?

    3) Is it an ideologically motivated metaphysical position to hold that this simple process, having happened in 2 generations, will also happen in the next?

    4) Is it …

    At what approximate point do our metaphysical blinkers come into operation?

  27. Joe G:
    The part of evolution that is designed to create things.

    Which part is that? Can you demonstrate it? Who or what designed that part? How, when, and where did the designer design that part? How, when, and where did the designer get the knowledge, energy, matter, and ability to design and create that part? And how, when, and where did the designer originate?

  28. Does the phrase “rabbits in the Precambrian” ring any bells, wjm?

    Another clear indication of the faultiness of the logic of Darwinists. If Rabbits were found in the pre-cambrian strata, it would do nothing – absolutely nothing – to prove natural selection not up to the task of having allowed the generation those rabbits, although it might force a reorganization of the timeline of common descent – as many unexpected fossil finds in history have done.

  29. William J. Murray: Another clear indication of the faultiness of the logic of Darwinists. If Rabbits were found in the pre-cambrian strata, it would do nothing – absolutely nothing – to prove natural selection not up to the task of having allowed the generation those rabbits, although it might force a reorganization of the timeline of common descent – as many unexpected fossil finds in history have done.

    This isn’t quite true, William. What it would do is cast grave doubts on common descent – to incorporate a mammalian fossil into the phylogenies that support common descent would be virtually impossible.

    And without common descent, Darwinian mechanisms would have no – or a much more limited – explanandum.

  30. What Joe – and William – seem to miss is that “natural selection” is not separable from the variance that is “selected”.

    There aren’t two separate parts to the Darwinian process, pace Monod. The are two sides of the same coin: heritable variance in reproductive success is natural selection. As Joe rightly says – it isn’t an agent, it’s a result.

    That doesn’t mean that it’s not a vitally important result, and what it’s a result of is the fact that some genetic variants confer phenotypic attributes that affect probability of reproductive success, in certain environments.

    In any system of self-replicators that replicate with variance, if the variants sometimes differ in their probability of reproductive success, the population will tend to adapt to its environment, the more successful genotypes becoming more prevalent, and successful variants accumulating.

    We know this happens. To make the case that it isn’t responsibility for the diversity and adaptation of life on earth, you need to show that it isn’t enough, not that it’s “not creative”. Clearly, demonstrably, it is.

  31. William J. Murray:

    It seems to me that most darwinist, in their mind, confuse “possibility” with “explanation”; as long as X is possible, then it is explained.It’s possible that I can roll 20 7′s in a row with a pair of dice, but because it is possible is not an explanation for the occurrence. Because it is possible for RM & NS to build functional wings over hundreds of millions of years, and it is possible that those wings (and all proto-wing versions in-between) conferred some procreative advantage, doesn’t explain the emergence of wings. It just allows that it could have possibly happened.

    Try applying that same skeptical scrutiny to the possibility that your chosen god exists and that it did or does all the things you believe it did or does.

    It’s funny to see you bringing up possibilities as though they’re a bad argument when much of what IDiots do is push intentionally manufactured improbabilities and impossibilities based on bogus calculations and bald assertions to attack evolution and the theory of evolution, and to push ID.

    There is a lot of testable, well established evidence that supports the claims of evolutionary scientists (biologists/paleontologists/geologists/etc.). Evolution is much more than a possibility. Do you have any testable evidence of the existence and deeds of your designer god?

    Do you have any testable evidence that shows that the god you believe in is any more possible than Zeus, the FSM, or Fred the giant frog god? Do you really believe that just because you believe in a designer god that that explains and substantiates its existence and the occurrence of its alleged deeds?

  32. William J Murray,

    William J Murray: “Also, I don’t need to “name something tangible” when simple, direct logic exposes the underlying problems with the NS proposition.”

    How can you, someone with a “free will” worldview that precludes logic, use logic?

  33. William J. Murray: Another clear indication of the faultiness of the logic of Darwinists. If Rabbits were found in the pre-cambrian strata, it would do nothing – absolutely nothing – to prove natural selection not up to the task of having allowed the generation those rabbits, although it might force a reorganization of the timeline of common descent – as many unexpected fossil finds in history have done.

    I have found a lot of fossils in my time and I can assure you that if I were to find rabbit fossils in pre-Cambrian (or Cambrian or Ordovician or Silurian, etc.) sediments (in situ) I would be amazed, excited, and very public about it. The theory of evolution would be in a world of hurt.

    I can also assure you that no rabbit fossils will ever be found in pre-Cambrian sediments (in situ). It just ain’t gonna happen. If you or anyone else can ever prove me wrong, I’ll eat my words.

    Can you point out any fossils that have seriously contradicted the theory of evolution? You do realize, I hope, that the ToE is adjustable as more fossils and other evidence is found. Scientific theories are subject to change. The ToE would not withstand something as extreme as rabbits in the pre-Cambrian though.

  34. Yes, there’s a difference between discarding a model and re-parameterising it.

  35. Yes natural selection happens. That is we do observe differential reproduction due to heritable random variation.

    We observe differential reproduction due to other factors also.

    And you need to show that natural selection or any other blind, undirected process, can actually construct protein machinery or produce the observed diversity. Clearly you have not done so.

  36. Joe G: Evidence Allan- we know the propaganda but we are still waiting for evidence.Strange, that…

    Are you talking about the DI, Joe? what is their ‘OP / press release’ to ‘peer reviewed article or experiment’ ratio?

  37. Elizabeth: Yes, there’s a difference between discarding a model and re-parameterising it.

    Something that even religion seems to have got to grips with..

  38. Joe G: No Rich, I am talking about evolutionism, which has zero peer-review support…

    In what? Your holy book?

    Again, dear child, Lenski.

  39. Joe G: And you need to show that natural selection or any other blind, undirected process, can actually construct protein machinery or produce the observed diversity. Clearly you have not done so.

    ID – no positive arguments, regressing as the gaps are filled. Poor Joe.

  40. Again, your ignorance, while amusing, is meaningless.

    However it is obvious that your position doesn’t have any positive arguments.

  41. Joe G:
    And you do not need a replacement model before canning a useless/ wrong model.

    I have often wondered about this. My experience has always been that there is a current default explanation of everything, however weak or poorly supported, which is ONLY heavily modified or discarded when replaced by something more strongly supported. There MAY be an instance where a tentative explanation has been replaced by “beats the hell out of me” but I’m not aware of it. Certainly “goddidit” is regarded as a powerful replacement explanation, perhaps the most powerful possible (since it can’t be improved on with mere evidence).

  42. Joe G: Again, your ignorance, while amusing, is meaningless.However it is obvious that your position doesn’t have any positive arguments.

    You’re just unconnected to reality at this point. Evolution has massive experimental and evidentiary support. There is no support for the intervention of a designer in it.

  43. Joe G: Again, dear ignorant one, Lenski supports baraminology

    Your creationist underoos are showing again, and it actually shows that in an changes can happen in timescales more than adequate for evolution. And baraminology is debunked by the fact, there just ain’t enough water.

  44. Joe G: Nice equivocation- there isn’t any support for evolutionism

    define evolutionism and what you’d consider support.

  45. Evidence Richie and your ignorance of baraminology is not a refutation.

    But again your continued equivocation is delightful…

  46. Evidence Richie and your ignorance of baraminology is not a refutation.

    But again your continued equivocation is delightful…

  47. Rich: Something that even religion seems to have got to grips with..

    Usually very reluctantly, and in some cases not at all it seems. Old habits die hard. It is interesting though to look back at some major religions and see that they have evolved somewhat. It would be real interesting to go a few thousand years into the future and see if religious beliefs are still around. I have a feeling they would be but not necessarily held by as many people as today.

  48. Joe G: And you need to show that natural selection or any other blind, undirected process, can actually construct protein machinery or produce the observed diversit

    What exact specific protein machinery were you thinking of?

    For example?

  49. Joe G:
    Nice equivocation- there isn’t any support for evolutionism

    Is evolutionism the same as natural selection? Please stay on topic.

    Is your “position” godism, jesusism, IDiotism, baraminism, designerism/creationism, psychoplasmism, immaterialism, supernaturalism, muslimism, allahism, mohammedism, religionism, caekism, CSIism, dembskiism, beheism, ghostism, alienism, stonehengeism, unrealism, irrationalism, tickism, projectile vomitism, or what?

  50. William J. Murray: That’s another interesting X & ~X claim about NS; it supposedly promotes deviation from the norm and prevents it.

    Variation causes deviation from the norm. Natural selection promotes advantageous variations toward fixation (positive selection), and holds disadvantageous variations back (negative selection).

    What is the “organizational mean” of NS? Survival? If so, NS says absolutely nothing about the creation of wings, minds, hooves, skin, lungs, sight, etc., because none of that necessary for survival.

    You clearly don’t understand the theory you want to attack. There’s a huge difference between positive selection for things being advantageous, and things being necessary.

    This is the simple concept that reveals some more fundamental disconnect; if NS doesn’t necessarily predict more complex features, it is not any more of an explanation of those features than chance.

    If variation produces an addition to the phenotype that improves function in the environment, then that will be selected for, so yes, the theory does predict increases in complexity would happen even though complexity is not itself selected for.

  51. I have a feeling that Joe is just a simplified version of ELIZA, picking up keywords and turning them around as insults.

  52. But seriously, has anyone ever heard of a tentative explantion being discarded without ANY alternative available? Even if this has ever happened, would it be a good idea? Even the most tentative (or most hopelessly incorrect) hypotheses can lead to further testing, whereas “beats me” suggest no further investigation.

    (Yes, I’m sure we all understand that JoeG’s claim to the contrary is as accurate and informed as everything else he says. But maybe the value of some testable hypothesis over none is worth noting. And of course, maybe it’s less entertaining than teasing the inmates).

  53. petrushka: I have a feeling that Joe is just a simplified version of ELIZA, picking up keywords and turning them around as insults.

    LoL! But your position has no evidence.

  54. Joe G:
    All it would do is cast doubt on our current time-line.

    There’s no “we”, “our”, or “us” where you’re concerned, joe. You aren’t a part of science in any way, and the support you imagine from other IDiots for your arrogant assertions is virtually non-existent. Your insecurities and over-compensation are obvious.

    By the way, when did your designer god allah design and create all of the kinds/baramins? 6,000 years ago? And which kind/baramin was designed and created first?

  55. because none of that necessary for survival.

    Digital photography wasn’t necessary for survival either, until it was. Corporations that lived on film are bankrupt.

    The necessities are constantly changing.

  56. Joe G:
    And you do not need a replacement model before canning a useless/ wrong model.

    In that case religious/creationist beliefs should have been canned long before the ToE and other aspects of modern science came along.

  57. Joe G:
    No Rich, I am talking about evolutionism, which has zero peer-review support…

    Who claimed that “evolutionism” has peer reviewed support?

    And didn’t you say that this thread is about natural selection? Please stay on topic.

  58. Elizabeth
    Whilst I think you are right to allow anyone of pretty much any shade of opinion, anywhere on the expert/ignorant spectrum, to start threads;
    May I suggest that you obtain an undertaking from the “applicant” that he/she will properly answer most if not all questions relevant to the topic? And simply close the thread if the undertaking is not reasonably honoured?
    This thread could and should be an interesting one, were it not for the non-answers, insults, and sloganeering of its starter.
    I realise that a very strict application of such a rule would eliminate most if not all IDists, but maybe they can be trained!

    Sorry, but having to scroll past such numbers of JoeG’s unsupported assertions, refusals to explain, self-contradictions, idiot repetitions, and insults, make me disinclined to read those threads in which he, or anyone like him, is prominent.

    Or is there a possibility of an “ignore poster” facility?

  59. damitall2: May I suggest that you obtain an undertaking from the “applicant” that he/she will properly answer most if not all questions relevant to the topic? And simply close the thread if the undertaking is not reasonably honoured?

    Yes please. Then we’ll get better quality posts.

  60. Flint-

    I didn’t say anything about any tentative explanation being discarded.

    I was talking about a model was that shown to useless or wrong.

  61. This thread is interesting- it is interesting watching evos do everything they can to avoid the reality exposed in the OP.

  62. Natural selection promotes advantageous variations toward fixation (positive selection), and holds disadvantageous variations back (negative selection).

    Yes and what is advantageous or disadvantageous changes.

    But anyway we are still waiting for positive evidence that natural selection can do what it is being claimed to do.

  63. It is VERY noticeable that neither of you two start any posts. It is also very noticeable that neither of you two can do anything but whine and lie.

  64. May I suggest that you obtain an undertaking from the “applicant” that he/she will properly answer most if not all questions relevant to the topic?

    I agree to do that.

    May I suggest that Elizabeth obtain an undertaking from the “responders” that he/she will properly ask questions relevant to the topic. First they have to demonstrate an understanding of the topic- still waiting for that.

  65. May I suggest that you obtain an undertaking from the “applicant” that he/she will properly answer most if not all questions relevant to the topic?

    Who gets to decide what “properly” means?

  66. Variation causes deviation from the norm. Natural selection promotes advantageous variations toward fixation (positive selection), and holds disadvantageous variations back (negative selection).

    You have no idea what “natural” selection can and cannot do, because you have no means by which to vet which selections are natural. You can only assume they all are natural outside of those made by man. Without a metric that can determine which selections are not artificial, or what results can be expected without artifice, you have nothing but the empty assumption of your ideology.

  67. William J. Murray: you have nothing but the empty assumption of your ideology.

    What are all the books full of then?

    If you want to call “our best effort at understanding” the empty assumption of the ideology that created it, so be it.

    Still waiting for that *single* thing that your unique worldview has generated that would not have been possible for a Darwinist to discover.

  68. Joe G:
    Flint-

    I didn’t say anything about any tentative explanation being discarded.

    I was talking about a model was that shown to useless or wrong.

    Yes, and if you read my question, you will notice I said “however weak or poorly supported.”

    So again, you raise what I consider an interesting question. You say “shown to be useless or wrong.” But to the best of my knowlege, nothing has EVER been shown to be “useless or wrong” EXCEPT in comparison with something else, which is shown to be superior in some way – make better predictions, explain more of the observations, use less special pleading, or whatever. I’m not familiar with anything being discarded without such a comparison. After all, “wrong” is a relative term – relative to some alternative explanation.

    Now, let’s not play pretend here; you’ve made it abundantly clear that you reject evolution for entirely theological reasons, and you find perhaps the most useful, well-attested theory in the history of science to be “useless or wrong” because you find it directly incompatible with your theology. And that means you have NOT rejected it in a vacuum, you’ve rejected it in favor of a theological alternative.

    And I will cheerfully admit that a model so solidly grounded on repeated observations and successful predictions is pretty well guaranteed to violate your particular theology. No matter what it explains.

  69. What Joe – and William – seem to miss is that “natural selection” is not separable from the variance that is “selected”.

    What Elizabeth continues to miss is that she has presented no metric that can be used to validate any selection she refers to as “natural” (non-artificial). Oh wait, I think I’m wrong. I think Elizabeth has even equivocated “natural” to include humans artificially selecting, so “natural” doesn’t even have meaning in her view (except maybe in contrast to the old “supernatural” canard). Which makes one wonder why she even uses the term.

    The fact is, the terms “natural” and “random” are baseless ideological claims – religious claims, as Dr. Hunter has repeatedly pointed out, masquerading as science but without any metric or means to verify.

  70. William J. Murray: You can only assume they all are natural outside of those made by man.

    Well, duh. What evidence is there to the contrary? Got any? Thought not, you just can’t help but being contrary. I could probably write you in Python with a suitable language processor. Just say you can’t prove a negative about whatever the subject is. Where would your free will be then?

    Honestly, I know Joe can’t help himself but really William?

    Conversations would take alot longer were we to preface everything we say with all our assumptions.

    If you want to get precise, try writing a scientific paper and you can define your terms how you will. Then, perhaps, you’ll get round to telling me that single thing your worldview allowed you to discover that Darwinists could not, what with their assumptions and everything.

  71. William J Murray,

    William J Murray: “Who gets to decide what “properly” means?”

    Here’s an example.

    Q: What colour are your shoes?

    Proper Answer: My shoes are black.

    Improper Answer: LOL!! You evotards have no evidence that colour even exists in a material world!

    See the difference?

  72. WJM:

    It seems to me that most darwinist, in their mind, confuse “possibility” with “explanation”; as long as X is possible, then it is explained. It’s possible that I can roll 20 7′s in a row with a pair of dice, but because it is possible is not an explanation for the occurrence.

    Well, it’s interesting that you should pull out a probabilistic illustration. The ‘modern’ theory includes a great deal of probabilistic mathematics. Now., Joe G will immediately chime in with some guff about wild populations – essentially, he sticks the middle finger at abstractions, which means, effectively, that all simple models of ‘wild’ processes are likewise tainted (ie most experimentation). Nonetheless, ‘real’ populations are finite and in principle countable, and hence can be subject to mathematical abstraction. And mathematics is simply a variant of logic.

    So …

    The BASIC process of replicating a population is indiscriminate – the only factor in operation is creation of offspring, and every member of a population has the same fundamental chance of being the parent of the next offspring born. If you pick randomly from any finite set, with replacement, some members will be picked more than others, due to random chance alone. This process, by itself, will cause evolution. For a steady state population, an average of about 0.367879441 of the total fails to breed. That is 1/e.

    Now, what you call an ideological bias stems directly from this – the mathematical logic is inescapable. Of course, generational elimination is never exactly 0.367879441. Populations fluctuate, and random effects (particularly in small populations) allow for departures from probabilistic expectation. But what they do not allow for are any old values that might suit your purpose. EVERY member of the ancestral population having the same number of offspring, for instance, is an equivalent of your ’20 7′s in a row’, unless additional factors supervene. The (strong, mathematical, non-ideological) expectation is that variation will be reduced, each generation, even in the absence of selection, in relation to this ‘attractor’, the mean loss of 1/e per generation in steady state. Reduction of variation equates to increase in frequency for survivors in the pool, ultimately to 100% (fixation). Without new variation (mutation), a population would eventually ‘freeze’. With it, it evolves.

    So your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to explain to the Darwinists why they are wrong. Why does the mathematical expectation not pan out in real populations? It is lazy, and insulting to someone’s intellect, to suggest that they only hold a position because of ideological blinkers. When they can demonstrate mathematically what is to be expected in a population, and you want alternative positions to be taught in schools, you have to explain why the maths is itself wrong, or has been incorrectly applied.

    This is the baseline. Before we get any further with selection, it helps to understand the process in operation when there is none. Given an input of new variation, sampling alone gives evolution, inexorably. Selection is a discriminatory layer upon this basic process. Only history makes us concentrate on Selection without recognising that it is part of a wider process: variant concentration by population sampling.

    So – what prevents this process from carrying on indefinitely? We aren’t talking particularly of major evolutionary novelties, which are comparatively rare, but the workaday processes that dominate the picture of cladistic branching. It is not just that we say ‘evolution is possible’, but that non-evolution (at the genetic level) is impossible! Indefinite genetic stasis is your ’20 7′s in a row’, in a finite reproducing population with mutation.

  73. William J. Murray: What Elizabeth continues to miss is that she has presented no metric that can be used to validate any selection she refers to as “natural” (non-artificial). Oh wait, I think I’m wrong. I think Elizabeth has even equivocated “natural” to include humans artificially selecting, so “natural” doesn’t even have meaning in her view (except maybe in contrast to the old “supernatural” canard). Which makes one wonder why she even uses the term.

    What a terribly mixed up person you are.

    William J. Murray: The fact is, the terms “natural” and “random” are baseless ideological claims – religious claims, as Dr. Hunter has repeatedly pointed out, masquerading as science but without any metric or means to verify.

    It’s you, isn’t it? I bet you are C.H. Must get ronely over there right? You want to have a discussion but all the supporters on Darwin’s God are, well, somewhat usual in their ability to converse.

  74. Joe G:
    It is VERY noticeable that neither of you two start any posts. It is also very noticeable that neither of you two can do anything but whine and lie.

    Thus neatly illustrating part of the point

  75. Well, duh. Well, duh. What evidence is there to the contrary? Got any?

    It’s not my job to prove the contrary, because I haven’t claimed the contrary. I’ve only challenged the Darwinist claim about NS. It is incumbent upon those who make a claim to support it, not to shift the burden to those who challenge the claim. When you use the term “natural selection” as being capable of X or that it does Y, you are asserting that the selections in question are natural and are categorically up to the task.

    But, as your “well, duh” indicates, you have no such evidence; you only assume such selections to be “natural”. You have no idea if “natural” selection is up to the task or not. That it is “possible” is enough to satisfy your ideological conviction – as I have already pointed out.

  76. William J Murray,

    William J Murray: “What Elizabeth continues to miss is that she has presented no metric that can be used to validate any selection she refers to as “natural” (non-artificial). ”

    What you miss is that your worldview does not allow you to make distinctions between anything.

    Since you are free to believe anything you want, your are also free to disregard any evidence which might make any one view more “valid” or “real” than the other.

    Therefore, if I was to accept your worldview, there is no argument you could make to me, that wouldn’t be acceptable for me to ignore.

    Have you taken a position, and if so, why were you not free to take the other instead?

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