Is it possible to ‘falsify’ Darwinism or neo-Darwinism? The ongoing confusion of S. Joshua Swamidass regarding ideology vs. science.

Computational biologist & MD Joshua Swamidass continues to misunderstand ideology. Whether he does so intentionally or not, it reveals a rather important social problem of pseudo-knowledge being presented as knowledge simply because it is being said by a natural scientist. Swamidass has multiple times claimed that “Darwinism was falsified by population genetics back in 1968” (https://discourse.peacefulscience.org/t/darwinism-falsified-in-science-long-ago/4325). Yet he still doesn’t seem to understand that one cannot actually ‘falsify’ Darwinism. That is the wrong language (likely based on an outdated view of Karl Popper’s notion of ‘falsifiability’) that is rather harming than helping the conversation.

One can only argue, strongly or weakly, visibly or invisibly, against Darwinism, whether or not one uses an alternative ideology to do so. Likewise, one cannot falsify Marxism. One can, however, argue against it. Indeed, non-Marxists and anti-Marxists do this often and regularly. Yet they haven’t ‘falsified’ or erased Marxism (or neo-Marxism) and likely won’t succeed in significantly reducing it for a long time, evidence that there are still many self-proclaimed Marxists & neo-Marxists in universities today, especially in the social sciences and humanities departments (cf. Jordan Peterson’s ‘corrupted universities’ hypothesis). Similarly, there are many people who still promote ‘Darwinism’ and ‘neo-Darwinism’ and who write ‘confessionally’ about ‘Darwinism’ as a kind of worldview today, regardless of the population genetics work of Kimura and others. Swamidass’ lack of understanding about ideology has led him to pretend that he can scientifically reject ideology, which is both myopic and simply wrong.

Darwinian evolution, i.e. Darwin’s natural scientific theory of evolution, however, and later, the ‘neo-Darwinian synthesis’ or ‘modern evolutionary synthesis’ (MES), could potentially be overcome with an alternative ‘strictly scientific’ theory of change-over-time in natural history. The so-called ‘extended evolutionary synthesis’ (EES) is being claimed as doing just that. Yet what one doesn’t see much in Swamidass’ writing that one finds regularly in the writings of IDists and of EES proponents, is legitimate push-back against specifically Darwinian evolutionary theory. No doubt the IDists would like to see Joshua write more about how he believes Darwinian evolutionary theory is now obsolete or how it has been improved upon such that a *different name* should be used nowadays to identify the current type of evolutionary theory that is most accepted in biological sciences. Yet Joshua’s ideology seems to hold him back from doing this, while he promotes evolutionary science and even sometimes evolutionist ideology in defense of his evangelical anti-YECist worldview.

“Darwinism rejects all supernatural phenomena and causations. The theory of evolution by natural selection explains the adaptedness and diversity of the world solely materialistically.” – Ernst Mayr

Gary Hurd is correct when he writes: “The generalization of of [sic] Darwin’s core ideas about natural selection, and common ancestry most certainly have not been falsified.” Thus, the term ‘generalized Darwinism’ was made (cf. Levit, Hodgson, Vromen, Knudsen, Thomas, et al.), usually for applications of ‘evolutionary science’ outside of biology. The ideologues are running amok in evolutionary biology as well as in economics! Let’s not even talk about ‘universal Darwinism’ (coined by Dawkins 1976/83?) as if that offers a sustainable or coherent view of reality, when it is merely a cover for ideological materialism, naturalism & usually either atheism, agnosticism or anti-theism.

However, there is no name associated with a post-Darwinian ‘synthesis’ (the late Lynn Margulis perhaps most well-known) that would give the EES ‘name brand’ credibility, which is likely in part why the EES has yet to catch on broadly among biologists.

When Swamidass writes the following, however, it should be treated as nonsense, not as a credible position or worth taking seriously: “Kimura replaced Darwinism in 1968. No need to make up a pseudo history. Neo-Darwinism as understood within science was falsified a long time ago.” People simply shouldn’t listen to Swamidass’ pseudo-philosophy when he wanders so far outside of his fields of competence, as he so often does nowadays on his PS website. Indeed, many IDists clearly understand this much better than Swamidass does, given that they have evidently paid more attention to philosophy of science than Swamidass has from his ’empty chair.’

TSZ’s Mung, however, also confuses the terminology, when he asks: “The question I have is, if Neo-Darwinism has been falsified why is it still the reigning paradigm in biology?” Sorry Mung, but neo-Darwinism always was and still is an ideology, while evolution is the reigning paradigm in biology. Dembski, Behe, Meyer, et al. get this wrong as well, since they treat ‘Darwinism’ as ‘strictly scientific’, and thus paint themselves into a unnecessary corner of incredulity involving evolutionary theories. Once one starts addressing post-Darwinian biology with appropriate terminology, more positive thinking on the topic can take place, which to their credit, IDists have actually tried to do, however, over against their predominantly negative arguments against ‘evolution’ and misnamed ‘Darwinism’.

To set the record straight, Darwinism is an ideology, neo-Darwinism is an ideology and ‘evolutionism’ is an ideology. Evolutionary theory is part of biological sciences. Let me therefore issue yet another warning about this ambitious ‘science vs. religion’ activist in St. Louis who is muddying the communicative waters with his misunderstanding of ideology. Be careful not to let people like Swamidass mangle the English language in order to suit their own neo-creationist, quasi-YECist ideologies as if this is ‘simply good science.’ It is not science. He is in fact just hawking his uninformed opinions as if they count as ‘scientific’ and showing obvious confusion about ideology, including apparently, his own. Will he correct himself or continue to misrepresent the conversation as a ‘fifth voice’ who claims to be bringing revolutionary ‘peace’?

Unfortunately, Swamidass’ scientistically pretentious strategy is simply not going to work. To Mung, he writes: “Yes, defer to the scientists here. That will resolve it.” This kind of ‘Me-Scientist-Man’ arrogant statement reveals just how much work is needed to be done to help natural scientists who are ignorant of ideology finally realise what they’ve been missing that makes all the difference in the conversation.

Let me try to be clear in attempting to be fair to Swamidass that I believe one of the biggest challenges to constructive dialogue with people in the science, philosophy and theology/worldview discourse broadly construed is the general lack of knowledge and understanding about ideology among participants. It is not only Dr. Swamidass who misses the mark, but rather a general condition in North America due to public school teachings that don’t address ideology and thus leave people almost entirely ill-equipped to deal with it, even when most required.

“[I]f we do not resist the idea of Darwinism as a universal principle, biology literally eats itself as it becomes like a racing driver who, to avoid friction, chooses tyres that are so smooth they offer no resistance.” – Connor Cunningham

387 thoughts on “Is it possible to ‘falsify’ Darwinism or neo-Darwinism? The ongoing confusion of S. Joshua Swamidass regarding ideology vs. science.

  1. Neil Rickert: The biologists who say that they are not Darwinists often point to the neutral theory as where they disagree with Darwinism and neo-Darwinism.

    Which is rather silly, as i have explained. Do people go around claiming classical (Newtonian) mechanics has been falsified because of Einstein?

  2. J-Mac: Larry Moran boldly proclaims that he is not a Darwinist because science has progressed…

    And he states that Dawkins and Dennett are Darwinists. 🙂

    According to his article one can both be a Darwinist and not be a Darwinist. So Allan seems to be on to something.

  3. Alan Fox: (*or the first to publish).

    It’s my understanding that his paper and that of Alfred Russell Wallace were read together such that neither should be accorded priority.

  4. OMagain: I suspect phoodoo lives near a farm and hears a cock crow many times a day.

    Pretty sure phoodoo has declared “not a Christian.” Do people just not pay attention?

  5. Neil Rickert: By contrast, I agree with Swamidass here. By itself, natural selection explains very little.

    Well, in one way, that’s fair enough. But all other processes are random with respect to fitness, the only bias comes from selection.

    Consider what I will call “the phoodoo model of evolution”. We randomly throw some atoms together, and then let natural selection take its course. I doubt that much will happen.

    Yet that is simplistically the process. Random change occurs in the genotype and whether that genotype proliferates depends on selection.

    What actually happens in biology depends very much on the pragmatic purpose driven behavior of the organisms. And reference to “natural selection” glosses over that.

    Well, all organisms will, if they can, grow and proliferate in the niche within which they find themselves. It’s the differential success in proliferating that shifts allele frequencies. No selection, no evolutionary adaptation.

  6. Dave Carlson: “Neutrally selected” is a not a term that makes sense.

    I am working on a paper on neutral selection. It seems rather obvious to me that there is a force at work in evolution to select certain mutations to be neutral rather than postive or negative. How else to explain why there are so many neutral mutations?

  7. Rumraket: I have very little patience for this kind of semantics waffling. If you don’t like the word mistake you can call them what you want.

    There’s no good reason to think they’re “intended” to happen by something that in any way understands or comprehends what is going on, or what their future effects on organismal function or reproductive success is going to be.

    Are that’s the problem. You don’t get that you are transferring into the natural world what happens in human activities and relationships. Mistakes are the result of intentions not turning out as expected.

  8. Gregory: It is highly likely that Darwin, and quite likely Alfred Russel Wallace as well, borrowed the phrase “natural process of selection” from Patrick Matthew.

    Well, not quite. The evidence I’ve seen suggests Darwin was unaware of Matthew’s ideas when he first published On the Origin of Species. Also Matthew did not develop or promote his ideas to the extent he had any proper hypothesis. And Darwin was gracious in acknowledging Matthew’s work whan it was brought to his attention.

  9. Neil Rickert: I agree with CharlieM here.It is a mistake (our mistake) when we assert that mutations are mistakes or copying errors.We should, instead, see the production of mutations as part of the ongoing processes.

    And I agree with your agreement that it is our mistake to call these processes mistakes 🙂

  10. Neil Rickert: I agree with CharlieM here.It is a mistake (our mistake) when we assert that mutations are mistakes or copying errors. We should, instead, see the production of mutations as part of the ongoing processes.

    But the changes that occur in the genome are random with respect to fitness. Sure, they are part of the process. Without new variation continually being produced, there would be no evolution. On the other hand, without selection, there is no mechanism that distinguishes between the changes and there would be no evolution.

  11. Alan Fox,

    . On the other hand, without selection, there is no mechanism that distinguishes between the changes and there would be no evolution.

    Without direction of which selection is one possible scenario.

  12. Mung: It’s my understanding that his paper and that of Alfred Russell Wallace were read together such that neither should be accorded priority.

    Wallace didn’t seem to have a chip on his shoulder. As he was an amateur he was grateful to be acknowledged and they remained on friendly terms until Darwin’s death.

  13. Neil Rickert:

    Allan Miller: The problem here is that this concession would be interpreted that, if it’s not a ‘mistake’, it’s deliberate.

    That would also be a mistake — our mistake.

    We anthropomorphize too much. We infer attributes of conscious reasoning such as mistake and deliberation, when there is no apparent basis for such attribution.

    Now it’s my turn to agree.

  14. Mung: Pretty sure phoodoo has declared “not a Christian.” Do people just not pay attention?

    Was anyone querying that? I picked up on his claim that

    What [is] a creationist? I have no idea what you mean!I have never even heard of that. I don’t know anyone who is that.

    pointing out that as Christians generally profess to believe their God created everything, that they would be Creationists. I was doubting phoodoo claiming not to know any Creationists, nothing to do with whether he himself is Christian. That’s her own business.

    ETA correction to messed up tags

  15. swamidass: Now, if someone in some group of people in a different field want to use “Darwinism” in a different way, go for it.

    What about how Ted Davis was using it, since you were setting out to correct him on the matter without even finding out how he was using the term?

  16. Neil Rickert: But natural selection does not explain adaptive change.It only explains how adaptive change spreads through the population.It fails to explain how adaptive change originates.

    How do you explain adaptations then???
    Via adaptive mutations? They would have to be discredited though? 😉

  17. Alan Fox: But the changes that occur in the genome are random with respect to fitness.

    Yes, I agree with that. I’m only objecting to calling them “mistakes” or “copying errors”.

  18. J-Mac: How do you explain adaptations then???
    Via adaptive mutations? They would have to be discredited though?

    Scenario 1: Some bears moved north. By some great luck, a mutation turned their fur white. This was a beneficial mutation that enabled them to adapt to the arctic region.

    Scenario 2: A group of bears experienced (and propogated) a mutation that turned their fur white. This was a maladaptive (deleterious) mutation. So they moved further north to compensate for the change.

    We cannot distinguish between those. Biological change is dynamic. We tend to either assume fixed behavior and changing genetics, or fixed genetics and changing behavior. But why cannot they both change concurrently?

  19. Alan Fox,

    Can you translate, Bill?

    Into french? 🙂

    Mutations need direction to have a chance of creating FI. Selection will provide this to a very limited extent as it only applies to some genes and sequences and probably can only find a close neighbor to where it started.

  20. colewd: Mutations need direction to have a chance of creating FI.

    No idea what [functional information] has to do with anything. What do you mean by direction?

    Selection will provide this to a very limited extent

    Just enough is, well, enough. How do you establish when it’s not enough?

    …as it only applies to some genes and sequences and probably can only find a close neighbor to where it started.

    What? Selection is the process that proliferates genes that enhance the phenotype’s success at leaving offspring. You are mixing this up with a claim about rarity of functional proteins.

  21. colewd: Mutations need direction to have a chance of creating FI.

    How does Intelligent Design provide that direction? Is this the hidden hand of your designer, finally, detailed?

    What % of mutations does your designer direct?

    1%? 100%

  22. Alan Fox,

    Just enough is, well, enough. How do you establish when it’s not enough?

    You model how the mechanism can generate a functional sequence. We know conscious intelligence can do this.

  23. colewd: Mutations need direction to have a chance of creating FI.

    This is a flaw in your way of looking at it.

    You need there to be a direction before you can say what counts as functional information. But both the direction and what you are calling “functional information” come from you. If you were to change how you are looking at it, you might see a different direction and different functional information.

    You would do better to try understand biological change in a way that is not built around direction and functional information.

  24. OMagain,

    How does Intelligent Design provide that direction? Is this the hidden hand of your designer, finally, detailed?

    What % of mutations does your designer direct?

    1%? 100%

    Send me a picture of the straw-man when you are done 🙂

  25. Neil Rickert,

    You would do better to try understand biological change in a way that is not built around direction and functional information.

    I agree as I think the whole Neo-Darwinian paradigm is deeply flawed. I don’t think we have a clue how speciation occurs that involves complex adaptions like an eye or a flight feather.

    On the other hand we are observing lots of new functional information added to the genome as we move though time.

  26. Alan Fox,

    People here are welcome to form their own opinion after reading about it for themselves. Sutton notes:

    “Matthew’s (1831) book was in fact (all pre 1858) cited by other naturalists known to Darwin/Wallace – including Loudon (who edited and published two of Blyth’s influential papers), Robert Chambers (who wrote the highly influential book on evolution – the Vestiges of Creation) and Prideaux John Selby (who edited and published Wallace’s Sarawak paper).” https://www.opnlttr.com/letter/dear-royal-society-have-you-changed-priority-rule-scientific-discovery-0

    This Sutton guy is a bit fanatical about it, accusing Darwin & Wallace of ‘plagiarism’. http://patrickmathew.blogspot.com/ I would agree that concrete evidence of direct borrowing has not been found. However, it’s not impossible.

    Either way, it doesn’t change the situation significant ideological commitments among many evolutionary biologists today. Most evolutionary biologists are atheists or agnostics, much higher than average among scientists & scholars.

    “Does Gregory associate Darwinism with atheism?”

    Patrick Matthew was an atheist. Darwin himself said he wasn’t an atheist; he was simply agnostic & refused to speak publicly about religion in his later years.

    Many, if not most proponents of ‘Darwinism’ (in contrast with Darwinian evolution) are either atheists or agnostics. ‘Universal Darwinism’ is indeed meant as a worldview, for many a kind of religion substitute. I do not know a single theist who promotes ‘Universal Darwinism’. The notion of ‘Christian Darwinism,’ however, which the DI has used rhetorically against people who support Darwinian evolution, is ridiculous & plainly meant as an insult by IDists towards people who accept theistic evolution &/or evolutionary creation.

  27. Bear scenario three: brown and white bears exist together in an area that is gradually becoming colder. As the snow line covers more and more of the territory, the populations have differential success, depending on the amount of snow coverage.

    Or perhap there are intermediate colors.

  28. Mung: I am working on a paper on neutral selection. It seems rather obvious to me that there is a force at work in evolution to select certain mutations to be neutral rather than postive or negative. How else to explain why there are so many neutral mutations?

    Haha. Yes, I would be very interested in this. It is indeed a mystery, what are the mechanisms that cause selection of the genotypes that aren’t selected for.

    Its like there is a mysterious hand at work, doing the selecting when selection is being halted. During periods of history when no selection was occurring, just who was doing the selecting?

    And what happens when something that isn’t selected has a positive effect on reproduction? What do we call this, positively neutral? Neutrally positive? Advantageous to a fault?

  29. Neil Rickert: Scenario 1:Some bears moved north.By some great luck, a mutation turned their fur white.This was a beneficial mutation that enabled them to adapt to the arctic region.

    Scenario 2:A group of bears experienced (and propogated) a mutation that turned their fur white.This was a maladaptive (deleterious) mutation.So they moved further north to compensate for the change.

    We cannot distinguish between those.Biological change is dynamic.We tend to either assume fixed behavior and changing genetics,or fixed genetics and changing behavior.But why cannot they both change concurrently?

    We can and do distinguish many mutations including MITF gene in dogs for example where skin cells lack pigment…
    In bears the mutation (s) could and probly do either affect the gene or gene regulatory regions…

    In other words Darwin Devolves…😀

  30. Mung: And he states that Dawkins and Dennett are Darwinists. 🙂

    According to his article one can both be a Darwinist and not be a Darwinist. So Allan seems to be on to something.

    Larry likes RANDOM genetic drift…and whoever has not accepted its miraculous, creative powers is either an IDiot or not a knowledgeable scientist, this includes Coyne, Dawkins, Dennett…

  31. Gregory: It is highly likely that Darwin, and quite likely Alfred Russel Wallace as well, borrowed the phrase “natural process of selection” from Patrick Matthew.

    ….

    and Gregory has also cited the arguments of Mike Sutton, that Darwin plagiarized both Wallace and Patrick Mathew.

    For an argument that comes to very different conclusions, see the examinations of this by Joachim Dagg: at his blog Weltmurksbude:

    https://historiesofecology.blogspot.com/2016/05/debunking-claims-about-citations-of_20.html

    and in a monograph on Matthew and Darwin, available and freely downloadable online:
    https://www.researchers.one/article/2018-09-13

    and in a paper on Wallace and Darwin’s theories of natural selection:

    Joachim L Dagg. 2018. Comparing the respective transmutation mechanisms of Patrick Matthew, Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace
    Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Volume 123, Issue 4, 30 March 2018, Pages 864–878.
    https://doi.org/10.1093/biolinnean/bly003

    Sutton has responded:
    http://patrickmathew.blogspot.com/2018/05/with-laughable-irony-dagg-fails-to-cite.html

    and further materials will be found at Dagg’s and at Sutton’s blogs.

  32. Joe Felsenstein,

    Thanks for these links, Joe. I haven’t been following this on-going saga of Sutton’s making (via ‘big data’ research) lately wrt Matthew’s role in the history of ‘natural selection’ / ‘natural process of selection’ thinking (the former a concept duo which Darwin somewhat regretted, though was resigned to promote as well).

    In one of the links, this is an interesting remark from Wallace:

    “Mr. Matthew apprehended the theory of natural selection, as well as the existence of more obscure laws of evolution, many years in advance of Mr. Darwin and myself.”

    The term ‘human selection’ by Wallace as well as his anti-Darwinist and anti-Darwinian evolution position following Darwin’s death I find more interesting based on my fields of research & work.

    In case it wasn’t clear already, I am most assuredly *not* a ‘Darwinist.’ Can we get an Amen for that, anyone?

    Is there actually anyone here who self-labels as a ‘Darwinist’ or ‘neo-Darwinist’? Doubtful, but doesn’t hurt to ask.

    IDists (& kooky internet generic theist eclectics) would of course, based on their ideological biases, label many people here as either ‘Darwinists,’ ‘neo-Darwinists,’ or both. But who that is credible really cares about IDism except for the targeted largely evangelical protestant audience the DI preys upon constantly, just like their YECist precursors & funders, with its PR ‘strictly scientific’ rhetoric?

    Swamidass, of course, wouldn’t ever plagiarize anyone or behave poorly on-line towards others who criticise his ideas & who aren’t non-mainstream evangelical protestants. Right? The concept of ‘genealogical Adam’ is something he made up on his own as a ‘fifth voice’ promoting ‘peace among scientists’, without any precursors *at all*, other than a retired ‘Reformed/ing/ational’ MD, who doesn’t know or care what ‘outing’ actually means, & a professor of law (the latter who is a nice guy & whom I’d been interacting with before Joshua had heard of him) by now largely removed from the conversation. It’s a concept duo to launch an ’empty chair’ upon, after all!

    Regardless of the fact that the term “Adam’s genealogy” was in use and every YECist today accepts “Adam’s genealogy” or ‘genealogical Adam’ already, shouldn’t Swamidass be credited nevertheless with the novelty of making the argument first? Or is it more appropriate to recognise that a ‘genealogical view of Adam’ was already long in play before Swamidass claimed it as his own? The answer doesn’t really seem debatable, does it?

  33. OMagain: How does Intelligent Design provide that direction? Is this the hidden hand of your designer, finally, detailed?

    What % of mutations does your designer direct?

    1%? 100%

    Having a heart attack yet with those miracles performed in the expanding universe by an unknown agent?

  34. Dr. Ann Gauger apparently sits with Alan Fox in her lack of awareness about the precursor to Darwin & Wallace’s use of ‘a process of natural selection’ in the work of Patrick Matthew.

    Gauger writes:

    “Darwin does get credit for the idea of natural selection operating on naturally occurring variation in the population.” https://discourse.peacefulscience.org/t/listen-gauger-on-the-limits-of-evolutionary-optimization/4420/18

    Oops? The priority rule in science would seem to suggest otherwise, Ann.

    The DI btw already touched on this:
    https://evolutionnews.org/2016/05/darwins_theory/
    https://evolutionnews.org/2016/11/you_thought_dar/

    Oh, goodness, just discovered I’m linked on Sutton’s blog! At least he didn’t quote me directly, only provided a link to what I wrote.

  35. To his credit, as loud & bothered as he often sounds about Darwin, Sutton sometimes has a way with words.

    His title “What if Darwin wasn’t first?” (delivered as a “Skeptics-in-the-Pub” presentation in Middlehaven, England/UK, Dec. 6, 2018) is as clever as Gauger’s (not Swamidass’) negative approach to “the received knowledge that of course we couldn’t have come from two.”

    Suggesting positively that ‘we could have come from two’ is likely almost as distasteful to some ‘skeptics’ here (read: anti-Abrahamic theists) as the suggestion that Darwin actually just borrowed his ‘originality’ from someone else & doesn’t deserve most of the credit accrued to him. However bold & for some people iconoclastic both of these claims are, there is indeed scientific & historical evidence for both of them.

  36. Gregory:
    To his credit, as loud & bothered as he often sounds about Darwin, Sutton sometimes has a way with words.

    His title “What if Darwin wasn’t first?” (delivered as a “Skeptics-in-the-Pub” presentation in Middlehaven, England/UK, Dec. 6, 2018) is as clever as Gauger’s (not Swamidass’) negative approach to “the received knowledge that of course we couldn’t have come from two.”

    Suggesting positively that ‘there could have been two’ is likely almost as distasteful to ‘skeptics’ read: anti-Abrahamic theists as the suggestion that Darwin borrowed his originality from someone else & doesn’t deserve most of the credit accrued to him. However bold & for some people iconoclastic both of these claims are, there are indeed scientific & historical claims for both of them.

    So… you’ve changed you mind about Swamidass? Or you need more attention?

  37. Gregory,

    Just an impression but Dagg comes across as fair and balanced yet Sutton describes him quite colourfully. I’m not convinced Matthew had developed his idea in print enough for it to have been much help to Darwin, even presuming he had seen it, which seems unlikely, given where Matthew published.

  38. Mung: Is everyone and no-one also a Neo-Darwinist?

    I hope you won’t object if I begin referring to you as Darwinist Allan Miller.

    You can call me what you like. It would make a change from ‘that twat’. 😀

  39. Mung: I am working on a paper on neutral selection. It seems rather obvious to me that there is a force at work in evolution to select certain mutations to be neutral rather than postive or negative. How else to explain why there are so many neutral mutations?

    Junk DNA, for one..

  40. colewd:
    Alan Fox,

    You model how the mechanism can generate a functional sequence.We know conscious intelligence can do this.

    One of the best ways conscious intelligence has come up with is to randomise then use selection.

  41. colewd:
    Neil Rickert,

    I agree as I think the whole Neo-Darwinian paradigm is deeply flawed.I don’t think we have a clue how speciation occurs that involves complex adaptions like an eye or a flight feather.

    So you’re happy with all speciation events within the birds, then? So not that deeply flawed.

  42. phoodoo: Haha.Yes, I would be very interested in this.It is indeed a mystery, what are the mechanisms that cause selection of the genotypes that aren’t selected for.

    That would be genetic drift, extensively covered in the ‘m&m’ threads.

  43. This post title, incidentally – way too long! It doesn’t need to be an essay in itself. We are not kairosfocus.

  44. Allan Miller: That would be genetic drift, extensively covered in the ‘m&m’ threads.

    In what way is selecting m&ms not selecting m&ms?

    This sort of reminds me how’s the most glaring case of evolutionists using teleological language when they mean the opposite is when they use the word selection. There actual meaning is nothing is selected, what they really mean is that everything just dies, but some sooner than others.

    I wonder why they co-opt words they don’t mean at all?

  45. phoodoo: In what way is selecting m&ms not selecting m&ms?

    No process is randomly selecting m&m’s by color and yet they all end up the same color.

    Most people would find that intriguing.

    phoodoo: This sort of reminds me how’s the most glaring case of evolutionists using teleological language when they mean the opposite is when they use the word selection.

    Sure. Propose your own word. However you should note that terms in common usage often have more specific meanings in scientific settings.

    phoodoo: There actual meaning is nothing is selected, what they really mean is that everything just dies, but some sooner than others.

    I think you meant “their” there?

    And why would some things die sooner then others? Just randomness? Meteor strikes, unlucky trips – that sort of thing?

    phoodoo: I wonder why they co-opt words they don’t mean at all?

    As noted above, in specific settings words can take on more specific meanings. As long as those meanings are agreed upon there is no problem.

    I wrote the m&m code used in the example on this site. There is no “selector”, unless you mean “pick one at random”. Is that what you mean by selecting? Pick one at random?

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