May 3, 2022 | David F. Coppedge

Is Evolutionary Pressure a Thing?

Darwinists think that the environment drives birds to evolve wings
and worms to innovate eyes. This is balderdash, poppycock and hogwash.


In physics, pressure can be measured. We can measure atmospheric pressure with a barometer and describe it in units of bars or millimeters of mercury (mmHg). We can define fluid pressure as force per unit area, and measure it in Pascals (Newtons per square meter). We can take our blood pressure with a sphygmomanometer and use the numbers to evaluate cardiovascular health. These useful and precise definitions allow scientists to explain phenomena, make predictions, and build things. They can tell builders whether a dam can hold the amount of water expected, whether a plane will fly, and whether a patient is at risk of a heart attack.

But what is evolutionary pressure? Is it a thing? Or is it some nebulous term that, like a jinn, can shape-shift into anything to work whatever magic is needed to preserve a Darwinian belief? Let’s see an example.

Why it’s hard to maintain weight loss (Columbia University, May 2, 2022). In this press release, Michael Rosenbaum poses with a glum smile as if he is about to share something profound.

About 70% of U.S. adults are trying to lose weight. However, as a result of evolutionary pressures dating back to our most distant ancestors, our bodies are programmed to resist weight loss….

Early humans were subject to frequent periods of poor access to nutrition. People best at storing fat calories when food was available, and conserving them when it wasn’t, were most likely to survive and reproduce. Evolutionary pressures favor genes that enhance reproductive capacity, and the ability to store calories would clearly meet this criterion,” says Rosenbaum. “The tendency to gain weight and the difficulty in losing it and keeping it off is primarily a biological problem, not a reflection of sloth and gluttony.”

Let’s examine this explanation. First of all, weight maintenance as a “biological problem” has no necessary connection to Darwinian evolution. It could be a design feature. From history to the present, we know that many human beings have struggled to get enough calories for survival. If they were created with capacity to survive a wide variety of conditions of plenty and scarcity, it would make sense that they be able to hold onto fat easier than to shed it. What’s Darwinism got to do with it? Did Rosenbaum find some mutation for gluttony, and then show how it was selected in an actual observable ancestor? Did he show that it was so effective that everyone without the mutation died? Did he show how both the father and mother got the mutation? Did he observe starving cavemen get the mutation? Did he watch a mutation program the gametes to resist weight loss? No, no, no, no, and no.

Second, and more important, this “evolutionary pressure” (sometimes called “selection pressure” or “selective pressure” is imaginary. It is a false force. It cannot be measured. There is no formula. Rosenbaum cannot say, “Given 4.89 Pascals of evolutionary pressure, a creature will gain 1.5 Darwins of mutational variability in caloric maintenance, which will result in a 1.2 net increase in reproductive capacity.” Evolutionary pressure is a fictional entity, contrived to give the appearance of scholarship in a just-so story: “How the caveman got fat.”

A more accurate march of human evolution. Note: first figure at left is mythical.

Nor is the just-so story justified by the remainder of the article, which contains some useful tips on dieting. “There are no assumptions that one approach will work for everyone, but there are a lot of reasons to believe that we can design the best approach for anyone,” he says. So now he invokes intelligent design. If he were consistent, he would wait a few million years more for a random mutation to make it easier to lose weight. Or he should apply some “evolutionary pressure” on test subjects to hurry it up.

We, in turn, could tell him that evolutionary pressure made him imagine he could design a best approach for anyone. But that’s only the appearance of design. He doesn’t really believe this. He was programmed to tell just-so stories to enhance his reproductive capacity.



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Categories: Darwin and Evolution

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