February 4, 2020 | David F. Coppedge

Natural Selection Is Neither Natural nor Selection

Evolutionists keep failing to grasp the inherent illogic of their favorite explanation for everything.

Selection requires a selector. Darwin and his disciples, like Richard Dawkins 160 years later, commit the fallacy of personification by imagining that nature acts like a human breeder, winnowing out the random offspring to concentrate the desirable ones. But breeders use rational choice to reach a goal by foresight. Evolution has no foresight. If it’s selection, it’s not natural. And if it’s natural, it’s not selection. Whatever nature does is by chance or natural laws, and natural laws are mindless. Natural selection, therefore, reduces to the Stuff Happens Law, the antithesis of scientific explanation.

Treating nature as a selector is as superstitious as Baal worship and other forms of idolatry, says Dr Randy Guliuzza at ICR in his February article for Acts and Facts, “Gaia and Selectionism’s Nature Worship”—

Darwin reintroduced veneration of nature back into science through selectionism. Both atheistic and theistic selectionists embrace the view that environments can exercise agency in molding the diversity of life. This inherently mystical pseudo-agency animates all Darwinian explanations and, as we saw, is essential to superstitious Gaia beliefs.

Watch the fallacy of personifying nature expressed in recent news articles.

100 million years in amber: researchers discover oldest fossilised slime mould (University of Göttingen). A slime mold in amber looks modern but is 100 million Darwin Years old. This should be a problem for Darwinists, but Gaia is their all-purpose goddess:

The researchers were surprised by the discovery that the slime mould can easily be assigned to a genus still living today. “The fossil provides unique insights into the longevity of the ecological adaptations of myxomycetes,” explains palaeontologist Professor Alexander Schmidt from the University of Göttingen, lead author of the study.

“We interpret this as evidence of strong environmental selection. It seems that slime moulds that spread very small spores using the wind had an advantage,” says Rikkinen. The ability of slime moulds to develop long-lasting resting stages in their life cycle, which can last for years, probably also contributes to the remarkable similarity of the fossil to its closest present-day relatives.

Notice that the environment, a mindless entity, “selected” stasis for this creature because she saw it gave the slime mold an advantage. So she (Gaia as NS) helped the slime mold “develop long-lasting resting stages” to exploit the advantage.  Strangely, if the slime mold found an advantage in evolving quickly, or going extinct, Gaia would develop that, too. If NS were a law of nature, all creatures would exploit the advantage. But Darwin needed organisms to evolve and progress, not stay the same, so the evolutionists apply Darwin Flubber to hide the contradiction.

How colonial animals evolve (Simpson et al., Science Advances). This paper tries to sound sophisticated with heavy use of Jargonwocky. The bottom line, though, is that NS can easily explain opposite outcomes. Why? Because selection “favors” whatever stuff happens (there’s the personified Selector). The positive/negative “sign” is meaningless in a world where there is no up or down.

The advantage of using parent-offspring phenotypic covariance is that its sign (positive or negative) provides a qualitative measure of evolutionary potential that is fully independent of the pattern of selection. Positive covariance works with selection. Random covariance (those near zero) neutralizes selection. In addition, negative covariance opposes selection and leads to evolutionary outcomes opposite of those that selection favors.

Natural selection contributes to food web stability (PLoS One). This article claims NS contributes something good. Isn’t food web stability an observable proxy for the contribution of selection theory? Sure it is, in the same way that Gaia, Baal and the Greek gods contribute to food web stability. Being a vacuous concept, NS can explain everything. Within the Darwin pantheon of selecting deities you can find red queens, green beards and a host of lesser gods. Whatever happens, Selection did it! Darwinists like to throw in a lot escape hatches like “may” and “might” and “could” to dodge falsification.

The present computations suggest that intraspecific variations in multiple traits play key roles in stabilizing systems. Yet, alone, variations in interspecific interaction strength offer limited stabilizing effects on community dynamics. Although evolution of species interactions improves the fitness of the involved species, it causes Red queen coevolutionary cycles between species, albeit with a stable median state amid fluctuating cycles of selection. Under these conditions, inherently slow growing species remain unlikely to persist, resulting in decreased stability of the community. But because evolution of growth rates follows selection of the fastest growing genotype, it improves species fitness and the disadvantages for species interactions remain unchanged. Therefore, by mutual compensation, variations in both traits can improve fitness, thereby facilitating persistence of each species. Diversity of multiple traits may also be important for adaptation to diverse environments, although the roles of genetic architectures and correlations between multiple traits in community dynamics remain subjects of future studies.

Good grief; they’ve had 160 years to work this out. Why the futureware all the time? Selection may do this; it can do that; it might do nothing; but whatever happens, Selection did it!

By the way, people play roles; objects do not. Ever see a rock play a role? It might roll down a hill, but only people play rock & roll (even if they should select classical music for higher fitness).

Blind as a bat? The genetic basis of echolocation in bats and whales (Phys.org). Speaking of rock & roll, this article shares an interesting anecdote about bats: “Bat calls can reach 120 decibels, louder than a rock concert and above the human pain threshold. It is lucky for us that they are too high-pitched for us to hear.” The stuff on selection, though, is as repetitive as many rock song lyrics.

Through their comparative analysis, the researchers identified 34 genes involved in hearing or auditory perception that showed evidence for positive selection in echolocating species. This included 12 genes involved in bone formation that may help regulate the bone density of the cochlea to enable high-frequency hearing. It also included several genes with antioxidant activity that may help protect the ear from damage and hearing loss caused by chronic exposure to high-intensity noise.

It’s important to understand that in Darwinian theory, whatever exists is interpreted as a sign of “positive selection.” Got that? Otherwise it wouldn’t exist. Even when genes give them evidence of positive selection, that evidence is always qualified: it “may” help this, or it “may” help that.

Unidirectional response to bidirectional selection on body size. I. Phenotypic, life history and endocrine response (Renneville et al., bioRxiv). The 8 authors of this preprint confuse artificial selection with natural selection, and can’t tell the difference between the two. Fail.

Information change due to natural selection in populations with and without recombination (Wolfgang Tiefenbrunner, bioRxiv). If you can wade through this abstract, you see Wolfy using the same old selectionist fallacies. He thinks the Baal of NS knows what information is and wants to increase it so that it can overcome the huge barrier of entropy.

Though evolution undoubtedly operates in accordance with the second law of thermodynamics, the law of disorder, during billions of years organisms of incredible complexity came into being.

Stop right there and call foul on the argument by assertion (bluffing), reckless drafts on the bank of time, and circular reasoning. He goes on, wallowing further into inconsistency.

Natural selection was described by Darwin as a process of optimization of the adaptation to environment, but optimization doesn’t necessarily lead to higher intricacy. Methods of thermodynamics and thus of information theory could be suited for the examination of the increase of order and information due to evolution. Here I explain how to quantify the increase of information due to natural selection on the genotype and gene level using the observable change of allele frequencies. In populations with recombination (no linkage), the change of information content can be computed by summing up the contributions of all gene loci and thus gene loci can be treated as independent no matter what the fitness-landscape looks like. Pressure of deleterious mutations decreases information in a linear way, proportional to fitness loss and mutation rate. The information theoretical view on evolution may open new fields of research.

Call back when it does. Meanwhile, take a logic class, and read about information theory from an information theorist, Dr Robert Marks.

See also our 14 Nov 2019 and 15 Nov 2019 entries for Stephen Talbott’s take-down of natural selection (and he is an evolutionist).

 

 

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