Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Genetic Literacy Project objects to the term “living fossils” as applied to humans

Thumbnail for version as of 05:13, 4 June 2010
I saw no need to change for 350 million years. Does that make me a conservative?

So do they think that we humans will evolve into separate species as a result of migration and founder effects? If not, what does “evolution” mean? From David Warmflash at the Genetic Literacy Project:

The goblin shark, duck-billed platypus, lungfish, tadpole shrimp, cockroach, coelacanths and the horseshoe crab — these creatures are famous in the world of biology, because they look as though they stopped evolving long ago. To use a term introduced by Charles Darwin in 1859, they are “living fossils”. And to their ranks, some have added humans, based on the idea that technology and modern medicine has, for all intents and purposes, eliminated natural selection by allowing most infants to live to reproductive age and pass on their genes.

Warmflash disagrees:

Thus, while in the case of humanity, modern medicine and other technologies may indeed be reducing the impact of natural selection, migration and founder effects has been playing a major roles as transportation and other technologies have developed. And these phenomena may play a still more influential role if human colonization of the Moon, Mars, or free space becomes reality. In nature all phenomena that change the gene pool operate in concert, affecting the course of evolution, whether in tadpole shrimp, lungfish, or humans. More.

So, is Warmflash saying that we humans will evolve into separate species as a result of migration and founder effects? If not, what does “evolution” mean?

The entire article seems to be a useful and clearly written reprise of Darwinian doctrines to provide interpretations of a situation they cannot possibly interpret: Unlike animals, we humans consciously change our environment. Maybe Warmflash should reading up on “consciousness is an illusion, as he would need to establish that in order to make his point.

Note: We’ve objected to the term “living fossils” here at Uncommon Descent but for a different reason: Darwin’s oxymoron disguises the point: If they are living, they are not fossils and they demonstrate that evolution need not occur. We can call that stasis.

We held a contest some while back and came up with the term durable species as an alternative. But don’t bet on it catching on. It raises too many career-limiting questions.

See also: Finally, retiring the term “living fossil” is hot?


Stasis: Life goes on but evolution does not happen

polistra at 1: In some cultures, it is called divine judgment, in others fate. But the two are not distinct. News
Modern medicine has slowed down infant mortality, but abortion and contraception have more than compensated. Medicine lengthens the later years, but euthanasia is growing fast. Net result: Selection by fitness is even stronger than before, but fitness is defined differently. In the new mode, people with high abstract IQ and low moral talent are dying faster than birthing. People with lower abstract IQ and high moral talent are birthing faster. Our abstraction-loving elites find this condition unacceptable but aren't doing anything about it. I think Nature likes this result. Natural Law is spreading, "enlightened" secular monsters are dying. polistra

Leave a Reply