Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Natural selection

Is there evidence for natural selection?

Otangelo Grasso: I am looking for comments, if my conclusion is sound, that evolution cannot be a theory. It cannot be tested, on how natural selection influences differential reproduction and the fitness landscape. Is there evidence for natural selection? Read More ›

Devolution in a flower is remarketed as “sudden evolutionary change”

If a lineage of peacocks lost the showy tails due to a transmissible genetic defect — but was thus better able to flee predators — that could also be marketed as “sudden evolutionary change.” But what question about the origin of complex life would such terminology engineering really answer? Read More ›

The Galapagos finches as fractured icons of Darwinian evolution

Wells: When the drought ended and the rains returned, however, food was plentiful, and the average beak size returned to normal. No net evolution had occurred. Nevertheless, “Darwin’s finches” found their way into most biology textbooks as evidence for evolution by natural selection. Read More ›

Everything is Coming Up “Non-Random”!

On January 12, 2022, Phys.Org had a PR on an article documenting “non-random” mutations found in wild tobacco plants, published by a team from UC Davis. Now, three weeks later (Feb 1, 2022), we have another paper, working with human populations in Africa, and which, according to a team from the University of Haifa, “surprisingly” turns up “non-random” mutations. From the PR on the first paper: The scientists found that the way DNA was wrapped around different types of proteins was a good predictor of whether a gene would mutate or not. “It means we can predict which genes are more likely to mutate than others and it gives us a good idea of what’s going on,” Weigel said. The Read More ›

At Evolution News and Science Today: Why C. S. Lewis doubted the creative power of natural selection

West: "according to Lewis, Darwin’s theory explains how a species can change over time by losing functional features it already has. Suffice to say, this is not the key thing the modern biological theory of evolution purports to explain." Read More ›

New Video Presentation on YouTube: Intelligent Design & Scientific Conservatism

I have recently posted a new video on my Intelligent Design YouTube channel. In this video I discuss several areas in the philosophy of science and modern evolutionary biology, and their relationship to ID. These thoughts were prompted initially by an interesting paper by philosopher of science Jeffrey Koperski ‘Two Bad Ways to Attack Intelligent Design, and Two Good Ones’. Koperski thinks that one good way to critique ID is to point out that it violates principles like ‘scientific conservatism’. Because there are several potential naturalistic mechanisms on the table, even if orthodox neo-Darwinism fails, ID is an unnecessary proposal. To turn to design explanations would be to adjust our theories too drastically. I argue against this claim, concluding that Read More ›

At New Scientist: Ancient comb jelly more complex than its modern relatives?

Well, it’s a good thing for “evolutionary theory” that it doesn’t “preclude” life forms becoming “simpler over geological time.” That’s called devolution and it is in fact very common. Read More ›

At Oscillations: Michael Ruse’s attempted takedown of evolutionary biologist Richard Lewontin (but read the story!)

Ruse appears to have been a relentless enforcer of Darwinian orthodoxy behind the scenes, including a blistering attack on philosopher Jerry Fodor, who questioned it. Read More ›