PaV’s recent post Darwinn Step Aside – Survival of the ‘Quickest’ got me thinking again about natural selection and the role it supposedly played in evolution. The conventional wisdom among Darwinists, including Darwin himself, is that NS is a mechanism. The very title of Darwin’s famous tome suggests as much – On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection . The clear implication is that NS is some sort of mechanism. A mechanism by definition is something that does something. Consider the simple dictionary definition of the term “mechanism”
a : a piece of machinery b : a process, technique, or system for achieving a result
: mechanical operation or action : working 2
: a doctrine that holds natural processes (as of life) to be mechanically determined and capable of complete explanation by the laws of physics and chemistry
: the fundamental processes involved in or responsible for an action, reaction, or other natural phenomenon
Note how every use of the term implies a process or operation….some thing doing something. So, how does NS fare as a mechanism? What does it do? What is the process of NS that achieves a certain result? Looked at this way, it seems pretty difficult to describe exactly what this process called NS is, let alone how it operates to achieve some result. Worse, unlike most mechanisms with which we’re familiar, we can’t even say with any certainty when we’re seeing this process actually working. Rather, it is after the fact we say “Oh, look what NS did!” (what was that masked mechanism?)
So the point for discussion on this is this: Is NS really a mechanism, or is it merely a descriptive term applied to certain observations after the fact? If it is a mechanism, then what does it actually do…what is the process of NS that achieves a result?