January 8, 2022 | David F. Coppedge

Evolutionists Still Blunder about Natural Selection

One of the greatest ongoing fallacies about Darwin’s
theory is that natural selection is a creative genius.

 

Evolutionists are delusional when they portray natural selection as a creative process. This is not a new big lie. It has been a criticism ever since Darwin published The Origin. He was besieged by scientific critics after the first printing hit bookstores. They pointed out that the actions of intelligent breeders cannot be compared with a mindless, aimless process. Even supporters of evolution recognized the flaw. Hugo de Vries coined the familiar complaint, “Natural selection may explain the survival of the fittest, but it cannot explain the arrival of the fittest.” That’s even granting it that much explanatory power. What is the fittest? The survivor. Why does it survive? Because it’s fit. There has never been a more malleable, vacuous theory in the history of biology than natural selection; that’s why we call it the Stuff Happens Law.

Behold the latest blunder. The culprit is Richard Holland, a professor of animal behavior at Bangor University [elite alert] in Wales, where Darwin studied geology under Adam Sedgwick, later an outspoken critic of his student’s theory. Let us prepare with a question: what is one of the most stunning feats of a bird? Is it not the ability to perform, with powered flight, accurate navigation across trackless wastes using celestial cues and the earth’s magnetic field? Holland knows how stunning this is, as is evident from his article’s title at The Conversation: “Nature’s GPS: how animals use the natural world to perform extraordinary feats of navigation.

If you expect to hear praise for the designer of such a marvel, you would be sorely disappointed. Holland, drunk on Darwine, says this right after describing a reed warbler’s remarkable ability to navigate by the stars:

Like a careful engineer, the evolutionary process of natural selection has built in a fail-safe to birds’ navigation systems, making sure there are backup orientation devices available for when the skies are cloudy.

Perhaps Holland can be partly excused for saying this after going through an entire educational and professional career during which criticisms of Darwinism have been censored. Perhaps it could be said that constant repetition of this lie in DODO School has drilled into his head the mystical powers of the Stuff Happens Law.

Cartoon by Brett Miller. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

But for any scientist, ignorance of the laws of logic is no excuse. It should be self-evident that an impersonal notion like natural selection has no engineering prowess (see Personification). It is self-evident that all the navigation systems and fail-safe systems that humans have observed coming into existence were the products of intelligent minds. Holland is supposed to know that “natural selection” has no mind, goal, or plan. It is hard not to attribute his statement to malice, but as the proverb goes, never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Limited Atonement: Bird Prowess

Gifted navigator: Eurasian reed warbler (Wiki Commons). Spectacular engineering is packed into that little body and brain.

For relief from stomach pains caused by calling natural selection a “careful engineer,” let’s give Holland credit for teaching us some facts about birds that are really amazing. He did some actual empirical work on birds. His team devised flight simulators that allowed his pet reed warblers to demonstrate their navigational prowess. Holland found that the birds were able to orient themselves to the correct magnetic alignment even when they had been displaced from their normal habitat and placed in an unfamiliar location. They could even do that when put into an artificial magnetic field they never could have experienced before.

What was even more remarkable was that the artificial magnetic field we created is not one that the birds would have previously encountered on their migrations. That means they weren’t reacting to magnetic field cues that they had learned. Instead, the birds had used their instinctive awareness of how the Earth’s magnetic field changes with distance to work out that they were northwest of their route. Not bad for those tiny bird brains.

So does Holland receive absolution? Not really. The credit goes to the birds, not to the evolutionary mindset that likens natural selection to a “careful engineer.”

Only one of many blunders of Darwinists.

Holland should take a sabbatical and get an engineering degree before saying anything else about natural selection.

This is what happens when students go through Scientism 101 classes (‘science is the only reliable path to truth’), learn a simplistic form of the Scientific Method, take Biology and Advanced Biology from Darwin bigots, and then go directly into grad school to learn the lab techniques of a narrow scientific specialization without ever hearing an erudite critique of Darwinism from a knowledgeable scientist. For any aspiring scientist, coursework in the History of Science, Philosophy of Science, Sociology of Science, Rhetoric of Science and Limitations of Science should be required. Some work in Formal Logic and Debate would be helpful. And exposure to the real history of Darwinism and to facts about the life of Charlie himself, and the evil fruit of his theory (eugenics, scientific racism, tyranny and genocide) might undercut some of the default awe heaped upon this scoundrel.

Some of Darwin’s premiere champions—the late Richard Lewontin, Stephen Jay Gould and W. Ford Doolittle (2 April 2018, 3 April 2018) cannot agree on what natural selection is. Recently, Stephen L. Talbott of The Nature Institute, in his online book “Evolution as it was Meant to Be” has advised “Let’s not begin with natural selection.” He points out and debunks the popular notion that natural selection acts like a purposeful agent (a “careful engineer” in Holland’s words).

It would be truer to say that the famously simple and compelling logic of natural selection, misconceived as the “foundation” of a powerful theory, has been a primary source of hokum in evolutionary thinking. It is a kind of blank template upon which overly credulous biologists and lay people can project their faith. As for the “genuine force” Gould refers to — a supposed causal power over and above those we find actually at play in biological activity — it is a magical invention borne of the refusal to recognize agency in the only place where we ever observe it, which is in the lives of organisms.

Ouch! From an evolutionist, that is something. Not that his own form of “magical invention” is any better in his conclusion, but it is certainly a rebuke to the likes of Holland’s statement. Talbott quotes numerous other leading biologists who have recognized the fallacy of ascribing agency to natural selection. Holland needs to learn these criticisms that nobody told him about. We need to keep calling foul when this fallacy appears in print.

So also our op-ed, “Time to Ditch Natural Selection?” (3 October 15) for a dozen other fallacies inherent in the NS concept.

 

 

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