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Listverse: “Evolution in action” – eight best examples turn out to be nothing much

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This Listverse list of eight examples of “evolution in action” had people writing to wonder if it is some kind of a spoof. It features stuff like this:

Studying evolution can take decades but occasionally change happens incredibly rapidly. The Blue Moon Butterfly (Hypolimnas bolina) of the Samoan islands was being attacked by a parasite which destroyed male embryos. This led to a gender imbalance whereby males made up only 1% of the butterfly population. However within ten generations (~1 year) males had returned to 40% of the population. This is not because the parasite has disappeared, it is still present, but it is no longer deadly to male embryos. This case shows how a mutation giving an advantage can rapidly spread throughout a population. Any male with the ability to survive infection would be able to mate with a great many females, due to the paucity of other males, and spread his immunity through the gene pool.

Okay … so they stopped being Blue Moon butterflies and evolved into … what?

Oh wait, they went back to the same old flutterby and did the same old Blue Moon business.

Yep, Darwinism. Just like we said. Not the way big changes happen.

By the way, Listverse was where a book by ID theorist Mike Behe, a Lehigh biochemist, was dubbed more dangerous than Hitler. Actually, both his Darwin’s Black Box and Edge of Evolution are good books  to read if you are serious about studying evolution – but not dangerous to a person with a working mind.

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10 Replies to “Listverse: “Evolution in action” – eight best examples turn out to be nothing much

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    OT; Majestic Ascent: David Berlinski on Darwin on Trial – Evolution News & Views

  2. 2
    gpuccio says:


    Thanks for the link. Berlinski has always been my favourite, and a constant source of absolute intellectual fun! 🙂

    A few wonderful pearls from his article:

    “Few serious biologists are today willing to defend the position that Dawkins expressed in The Blind Watchmaker. The metaphor remains stunning and so the watchmaker remains blind, but he is now deaf and dumb as well. With a few more impediments, he may as well be dead.”

    “By this standard, if the Archangel Gabriel were to accept personal responsibility for the Cambrian explosion, his views would be widely described as neo-Darwinian.”

    “To science, Gould assigned everything of importance, and to religion, nothing. Such was his theory of non-overlapping magisteria, or NOMA, a term very much suggesting that Gould was endowing a new wing at the Museum of Modern Art. Serving two masters, Gould supposed that he would be served by them in turn. He was mistaken.”

    “”Why not consider,” Johnson asked, “the possibility that life is what it so evidently seems to be, the product of creative intelligence?”

    The question is entirely reasonable. It is the question that every thoughtful person is inclined to ask.

    So why not ask it?”

    “Darwin’s theories are correspondingly less important for what they explain, which is very little, and more important for what they deny, which is roughly the plain evidence of our senses. “Darwin,” Richard Dawkins noted amiably, “had made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.””

    “At the Discovery Institute we often offer an inter-faith Prayer of Thanksgiving to the Almighty for the likes of P.Z. Myers, Larry Moran, Barbara Forrest, Rob Pennock and Jeffrey Shallit.

    For Donald Prothero, we are prepared to sacrifice a ram.”

    ” Living systems are more complex than ever before imagined. They are strange in their organization and nature. No theory is remotely adequate to the facts.”

    Wow! 🙂

  3. 3
    Robert Byers says:

    The big point creationists should make about these cases is that they are still sayiny that if they can prove 1001 like cases of selection on mutation and even have some change in a life thing then they can demand macro change is proved.
    In all this its just a line of reasoning. There is no “science” NO investigation with results behind the confidence for macro evolution.
    Let all biology have mutations and selection on them with the little results called micro evolution.!
    Evoutionary claims behind macro evolution are not scientific ones.
    however true or reasonable (neither) they are just lines of reasoning.
    In fact it seems to me my fellow genus of creationists likewise think micro evolution evidence is SCIENTIFIC evidence for macro evolution.
    It ain’t. Theres a logical flaw here behind the claim of evolutionary biology being scientific.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    gpuccio, Berlinski was indeed in fine form with that article!

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    gpuccio here’s another gem of a article by Berlinski:

    Darwin and the Mathematicians – David Berlinski
    Quote Excerpt: “The formation within geological time of a human body by the laws of physics (or any other laws of similar nature), starting from a random distribution of elementary particles and the field, is as unlikely as the separation by chance of the atmosphere into its components.” –
    Kurt Gödel, a preeminent mathematician!

  6. 6
    van says:

    Robert….I would argue that the microevolution claims are not scientific either.

    None of the examplse in this story prove conclusively that any mutations were of the random and spontaneous variety, as the theory calls for, or that natural selection is responsible for the proliferation of those variants throughout the population. Many of the so-called “examples” of evolution that I see evolutionists come up with actually turn out to be examples of phenotypic plasticity or epigenetic changes that involves no mutation at all and arise as a result of an interaction between the individual organism and the environment. In order for micro, macro, or any kind of evolution to be claimed, the aspect that needs to be proven is that the variant arose in a single, fortuitous individual and then spread because of increased breeding success. If the variant is not randomly spontaneous then no such claim of “evolution” can be made.

  7. 7
    Joseph says:


    Evolution need not be randomly spontaneous. Dr Spetner wrote “Not By Chance” and introduced his “non-random evolutionary hypothjesis”. Dr Davison has his “prescribed evolutionary hypothesis”- both reject the randomly spontaneous yet both pertain to evolution.

  8. 8
    Joseph says:

    Note to Robert Byers-

    Evolutionary biologists use macro-evolution = speciation- macroevolution:

    In evolutionary biology today, macroevolution is used to refer to any evolutionary change at or above the level of species.

    The point being is that Creationists define it differently and therefor confusion arises.

  9. 9

    No doubt there are some who use terms incorrectly, but it hardly begins with the “Creationists” (whomever you have in mind by that). Materialistic proponents regularly use the word “evolution” to describe everything from the obvious and the well-supported (change over time) to the outrageous and the wildly-speculative (new body plans, new structures, abiogenesis, all of course happening through purely naturalistic and materialistic means). Indeed, failure to properly define “evolution” in particular contexts is one of the grand rhetorical tricks of the trade.

  10. 10
    Mytheos says:

    Yeah, I saw some “Climate Change” today.
    This is a word that is abused here in Australia by politicians and the media in a similar way that the word “Evolution” is abused. Global warming would be like macro evolution while climate change would be like micro evolution. However both meanings have been lumped together in to one deceptive term.

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