January 4, 2024 | David F. Coppedge

Evolution vs Climate

Let global warming come. There’s
nothing we can do about it.
Evolution will take care of it.

 

For believers in genetic determinism, there’s nothing we can do. Why worry? Outcomes are determined by forces beyond our control.

Evolution might stop humans from solving climate change, says new study (University of Maine, 2 Jan 2024). Oh boy, a new study! —from academia, no less! Everyone salute!

This study is rather strange. It might pit climate alarmists against Darwinists. “Central features of human evolution may stop our species from resolving global environmental problems like climate change,” according to Tim Waring, evolutionary biologist at the University of Maine.

The project sought to understand three core questions: how human evolution has operated in the context of environmental resources, how human evolution has contributed to the multiple global environmental crises and how global environmental limits might change the outcomes of human evolution in the future.

Since humans have exploited resources for over 100,000 years, Waring thinks, there’s little hope they will do better if global climate is at risk. He says that cultural evolution, moreover, has outpaced biological evolution. Mankind has not understood the need for global governance (read: communism) to solve the climate crisis in time.

The other problem is much worse, Waring says. In a world filled with sub-global groups, cultural evolution among these groups will tend to solve the wrong problems, benefitting the interests of nations and corporations and delaying action on shared priorities. Cultural evolution among groups would tend to exacerbate resource competition and could lead to direct conflict between groups and even global human dieback.

But isn’t that the essence of Darwinism? Struggle for existence and competition are what endowed us with big brains and complex neural connections, according to the theory.

“This means global challenges like climate change are much harder to solve than previously considered,” says Waring. “It’s not just that they are the hardest thing our species has ever done. They absolutely are. The bigger problem is that central features in human evolution are likely working against our ability to solve them. To solve global collective challenges we have to swim upstream.

Wait a minute. Has Waring just stepped outside of his evolved brain? Who is he to say that we “have to swim upstream” against the inexorable will of natural selection? Is he trying to let Will out of jail? (see 25 Dec 2023). Is he suffering from a Yoda complex?

But if the general outline proves to be correct, and human evolution tends to oppose collective solutions to global environmental problems, as the authors suggest, then some very pressing questions need to be answered. This includes whether we can use this knowledge to improve the global response to climate change.

There is hope, of course, that humans may solve climate change. We have built cooperative governance before, although never like this: in a rush at a global scale.” Waring says.

Hurry! Abandon your evolved free will, and declare the U.N. a global dictatorship! Is that what he is saying? No. He doesn’t know what he is saying. His conflict-riddled brain doesn’t even understand the questions.

As for whether humans can continue to survive on a limited planet, Waring says “we don’t have any solutions for this idea of a long-term evolutionary trap, as we barely understand the problem.” says Waring.

He doesn’t understand, and he has no solutions. Why did we even pay attention to his claptrap about evolutionary traps? Perhaps for the entertainment value of watching a contortionist tie himself in knots. See footnote for a selection from his paper.*

Coast redwoods

Coast redwoods (photo by David Coppedge)

The mighty coast redwoods are born to change. But can they evolve fast enough to survive climate warming? (Los Angeles Times via Phys.org, 2 Jan 2024). LA Times reporter Daniel Lewis adores Darwin’s theory, except for one thing: it’s not fast enough.

Oh, Evolution created 18 animal phyla in the geological blink of an eye at the Cambrian explosion; sure. It created Popeye (see 17 Aug 2019). It decorated the fossil record with abrupt appearance of complex plants and animals, and it equipped the coast redwoods—tallest trees on earth—to withstand all kinds of climate change. But it is too slow to help them now.

At one point, Lewis sounds like a creationist:

Redwoods, like all trees, are engineered marvels. People don’t tend to think of natural things as “structures,” leaving that term to stand in for buildings, bridges, and dams. But although trees were not built by humans, they didn’t just happen.

Is he disavowing Darwin’s Stuff Happens Law? Not on your life. His engineer—his creative god—is Darwin’s Tinkerer, the Blind Watchmaker, Natural Selection.

They have come into their own through the inexorably turning wheels of natural selection and evolution, responding to environmental pressures, genetic drift, and mutation (they even have two kinds of leaves that help the trees adapt to both wet and dry conditions). They are born to change, just as humans are born to change.

Apparently natural selection needs some unnatural help. Like Darwin, Daniel Lewis confuses natural processes with mind-directed, intentional, purposeful processes.

Evolution is usually a very slow process, although sometimes it’s surprisingly quick. New, intense pressures of a warming and changing climate are speeding things up and forcing researchers and horticulturists to examine approaches to climate change resilience and technologies like geographic information systems.

If Lewis were consistent, he would simply wait for enough beneficial mutations to appear. Nature would select them, and all would be well. Or the world would go extinct. Either way, evolution is as evolution does, so no tears need be shed. Humans just need to keep their purposeful, intentional, logical minds from interfering. Who expected evolution to be logical?

How can otherwise intelligent people fail to see the contradictions in their evolutionary logic for centuries? Romans 1:18-22 explains how, and in II Corinthians 4, Paul introduces another agent who keeps them in the dark: “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (II Cor. 4:3-4). Systemic censorship of Darwin skeptics makes it easier for the victims to feel comfortable with their blindfolds on.


*Footnote: Tim Waring published his logical contortions in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B along with evolutionists Zachary T. Wood and Eörs Szathmáry. In the “study” the e-word “evolution” appears no less than 180 times, but “mind” and “rationality” are absent.

The paper does mention “logic” as follows, where “ETII” stands for a hypothetical concept of “evolutionary transitions in individuality” from individuals to “the emergence of a population of cultural superorganisms” (italics theirs).

The logic connecting human domination of the biosphere to the ETII is simple. The evolution of human societies has been typified by positive feedback between the adaptive capacity of human groups and their growth and proliferation (ETII ratchet, figure 1,A). These dynamics entail positive feedback between the scale and intensity of environmental resource use and the adaptive benefits human groups extract from those resources (environmental ratchet, figure 1,B).

Logic, however, is an operation that depends on the premises. Flawed premises lead to flawed conclusions. If the ETII ratchet is evolutionary, then it is amoral, mindless and deterministic. If a “cultural superorganism” evolves (sounds like 1984), there is no guarantee that it will care about solving climate change. The “hypothetical ETII” could favor a cultural elite who use all the remaining resources for themselves, leading to “global human dieback” and environmental collapse. Nobody would care. Despair, and die.

Or choose life.

 

(Visited 381 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply