Darwinism Evolution

What’s Left of Darwinism?

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In a previous post, I indicated that Dr. Frances Arnold’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry points out that Artificial Selection is more powerful a force than Natural Selection.

In a new paper, the authors show that the idea of the ‘gradual’ evolution of foraminifera turns out to be wrong and that what actually happens is an “abrupt” evolution.

Neogene planktonic foraminiferal fossil lineages have been used to interpret gradualism (Arnold, 1983; Belyea and Thunell, 1984; Wei, 1987; Wei and Kennett, 1988), PE (Wei and Kennett, 1988), and punctuated anagenesis (Malmgren et al., 1983, 1996). However, the last decade has seen the emergence of sophisticated model-fitting techniques for time series that are ideal tools for testing the evolutionary tempo and mode (Hunt, 2006, 2008; Hunt and Carrano, 2010; Hunt et al., 2015). These advances call for a re-evaluation of the previously interpreted evolutionary patterns, and a consideration of understudied late Neogene lineages, such as Truncorotalia, examined here.

Recent truncorotalid diversity is related to the evolution of Truncorotalia crassaformis, an extant species that arose after the Miocene/Pliocene boundary from a contentious ancestral species (Hornibrook, 1981; Kennett and Srinivasan, 1983; Cifelli and Scott, 1986; Bylinskaya, 2004; Boudagher-Fadel, 2012; Scott et al., 2015). Notably, Arnold (1983) hypothesized a gradual transition from Truncorotalia juanai (=Hirsutella cibaoensis in Arnold (1983)) toward T. crassaformis across the boundary.

However, by using semilandmark geometric morphometrics and maximum likelihood-based time-series analyses (Hunt et al., 2015) we reveal an abrupt evolutionary transition along the Truncorotalia lineage after the Miocene/Pliocene boundary (Crundwell and Nelson, 2007). Our results therefore contradict previous theories and preclude the need for an intermediate form along the transition (sensu Cifelli and Scott, 1986).

So, Darwin’s notion that NS is much more powerful (over time) than AI, and the idea that all change happens ‘gradually’ (natura non facit saltus) are turning out to be wrongheaded.

So, what’s left of his theory? Extinction, which is tied to his Principle of Divergence.

And, of course, as Darwin’s “bulldog,” Thomas Huxley, brought up to Darwin on more than one occasion, breeders have not been able to duplicate this Principle of Divergence either; that is, you can’t turn a rat into a mouse, or vice versa.

So, what exactly is left of his theory?

And if Darwinian theory is collapsing before our very eyes, what will take its place?

22 Replies to “What’s Left of Darwinism?

  1. 1
    R J Sawyer says:

    In a previous post, I indicated that Dr. Frances Arnold’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry points out that Artificial Selection is more powerful a force than Natural Selection.

    But is any biologist suggesting otherwise? We have been doing artificial selection (animal husbandry) for a few thousand years. With remarkable outcomes. Who isn’t in awe of a weiner dog? Does anybody think that doing it for 3+ billion years wouldn’t result in amazing outcomes? Better than we could expect from natural selection? Whatever “better” means.

  2. 2
    Bob O'H says:

    We have been doing artificial selection (animal husbandry) for a few thousand years. With remarkable outcomes.

    (I’m not going to quote Tom Lehrer’s comment about someone practicing animal husbandry here…)
    Never mind dogs. Look at plant breeding and Brassica oleracea. Cabbage, Brussels sprouts (which are just small cabbages), cauliflower, broccoli, etc. etc.

  3. 3
    Nonlin.org says:

    For AS to be better than NS, there has to be a NS… or AS for that matter. But they’re both just fantasies of the same person: http://nonlin.org/natural-selection/

    Breeding requires a desired outcome, selection (just a minor step!) and isolation of successive generations of promising individuals, active mating or artificial insemination, optimization of growth conditions for the selected individuals, and/or other genetic technologies. Without most of these active steps nothing happens. Chihuahua and Poodle have no superior survivability to common dog or wolf, but happened anyway because humans worked hard to make them possible. But no one ensures all these active steps in nature. To take only one example, how could humans have “evolved” distinctly from chimps when no one separated each and every new generation based on a teleological model? Why did the proto-human not mate back with his/her regular chimp cousins to put an end to the split? Who and how could have separately optimized conditions for both chimp and human so both lineages survived in what looks like very much similar environments? ‘Selection’ of both “artificial” and “natural” type is thus the wrong word and should be phased out.

  4. 4
    Nonlin.org says:

    R J Sawyer, Bob O’H,

    Wiener dogs as well as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, etc. are not different “species” than the original. Furthermore, let all these fend for themselves in nature and observe how they disappear within a few generations at most. This clearly shows that breeding (which is much more than AS or imaginary NS) is impotent in creating new “species”.

    ALL adaptations REVERSE when the stimulus is removed with ZERO evidence of “divergence of character”. This includes epigenetic inheritance, the peppered moth color, the Darwin’s finches’ beaks, antibiotic resistance, and anything else you can think of as “proof of evolution”.

  5. 5
    ET says:

    Natural selection- Darwin’s alleged great idea- has been a total bust with respect to producing design without a designer. All it can do is eliminate the diseased and deformed that happenstance mutations create.

  6. 6
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Artificial selection is goal-oriented. Purposeful.

  7. 7
    Mung says:

    Our results therefore contradict previous theories and preclude the need for an intermediate form along the transition (sensu Cifelli and Scott, 1986).

    I’ve never doubted for a moment that evolutionists would be willing to discard the idea of a transitional form.

    Gaps? What gaps?

  8. 8
    PaV says:

    RJSawyer:

    But is any biologist suggesting otherwise?

    Yes, Charles Darwin.

    We have been doing artificial selection (animal husbandry) for a few thousand years. With remarkable outcomes. Who isn’t in awe of a weiner dog?

    I can honestly say that I’m not “in awe” of a weiner dog.

    Does anybody think that doing it for 3+ billion years wouldn’t result in amazing outcomes?

    Be careful. There was a study out yesterday that said the alleged “fossils” from Greenland were in fact just types of rock formation.

    Additionally, if, indeed, “stromatolites” are representative of ‘life,’ this means that it took a billion and half years to make any progress.

    What took so long?

    And, then . . . . . the Cambrian Explosion. How did that happen so fast?

    You see, nothing but problems for NS.

    Better than we could expect from natural selection? Whatever “better” means.

    Did you mean “artificial selection”?

  9. 9
    R J Sawyer says:

    PaV

    Yes, Charles Darwin.

    I don’t recall him saying this. Can you provide a quote?

    I can honestly say that I’m not “in awe” of a weiner dog.

    You aren’t in awe of the fact that we changed a wolf into a weiner dog?

    Additionally, if, indeed, “stromatolites” are representative of ‘life,’ this means that it took a billion and half years to make any progress.

    Just because fossil morphology remains unchanged for a very long time doesn’t mean that evolution isn’t going on.

    And, then . . . . . the Cambrian Explosion. How did that happen so fast?

    20-25 million years is a long time.

    Did you mean “artificial selection”?

    No.

  10. 10
    ET says:

    RJ:

    You aren’t in awe of the fact that we changed a wolf into a weiner dog?

    What if we didn’t? Does anyone know the genetics involved in the alleged transformations? Can breeding tame wolves really bring about dogs?

    That sounds like something that can be tested.

    Does anybody think that doing it for 3+ billion years wouldn’t result in amazing outcomes?

    No, not without direct genetic manipulation, as in genetically engineering the animals starting with existing populations.

    20-25 million years is a long time.

    That all depends on the context. With respect to accumulating chance mutations it seems 20-25 million years will get you 2 cumulative changes- Waiting for Two Mutations: With Applications to Regulatory Sequence Evolution and the Limits of Darwinian Evolution

  11. 11
    Bob O'H says:

    ET –

    You aren’t in awe of the fact that we changed a wolf into a weiner dog?

    What if we didn’t? Does anyone know the genetics involved in the alleged transformations? Can breeding tame wolves really bring about dogs?

    We’ve known for about a decade.

    Google and ye shall receive.

  12. 12
    ScuzzaMan says:

    There’s nothing (to the) Left of Darwinism.

    Like all Leftist ideas it is explicitly and consciously anti-reality.

  13. 13
    asauber says:

    You aren’t in awe of the fact that we changed a wolf into a weiner dog?

    Thanks for the link, Bob O’H.

    I followed to the abstract of the paper and it doesn’t say anything about changing a wolf in to a wiener dog. It just says:

    “short-legged”

    Andrew

  14. 14
    Latemarch says:

    asauber@13

    I followed to the abstract of the paper and it doesn’t say anything about changing a wolf in to a wiener dog. It just says:

    “short-legged”

    Andrew

    The other word in that abstract is “chondrodyplasia” which is not a good thing. Another loss of functional information.

  15. 15
    asauber says:

    Latemarch,

    Not surprised that Bob O’H didn’t bother to read the stuff he linked.

    Andrew

  16. 16
    ET says:

    OK, Bob, so we know what causes SHORT LEGs in DOGs but that doesn’t mean dogs evolved from wolves via artificial selection.

  17. 17
    john_a_designer says:

    RJSawyer: “We have been doing artificial selection (animal husbandry) for a few thousand years. With remarkable outcomes. Who isn’t in awe of a weiner dog?”

    PaV: “I can honestly say that I’m not “in awe” of a weiner dog.”

    I am amazed how DOGmatic naturalistic evolutionists (“Darwinists”) become when anyone challenges their sacrosanct world view. Notice how devoid of scientific evidence RJSawyer’s response are. His argument is basically, Darwinian evolution could be true, therefore, it is true. According to logic that argument is fallacious.

  18. 18
    R J Sawyer says:

    jad

    Notice how devoid of scientific evidence RJSawyer’s response are. His argument is basically, Darwinian evolution could be true, therefore, it is true. According to logic that argument is fallacious.

    Devoid of science? The artificial selection of dogs is a known fact. And in many cases, well documented. There have also been extensive DNA comparisons, showing that the gray wolf is the closest relative of modern dogs. This is supported by the fact that they can and do interbreed.

    What I find interesting is the obvious need by ID proponents to disagree with an ID opponent, regardless of what he says. Even when the ID opponent’s comment supports the ID argument. I have claimed that artificial selection is more powerful that natural selection. A claim that clearly supports the ID argument.

  19. 19
    ET says:

    RJ:

    There have also been extensive DNA comparisons, showing that the gray wolf is the closest relative of modern dogs.

    Those comparisons also support convergence and a common design.

  20. 20

    Someone above wrote: “20-25 million years is a long time.”

    In my lifetime of 74 years I’ve only observed that things decay and deteriorate over time: my body, all those cars of mine, all those cars in all those junk yards, trees die – even the Redwoods and Bristlecones, the mountains crumble and fall into the valleys, houses rot unless maintained.

    And they tell me the sun will burn out someday.

    Adding a word “deep” to time does nothing to stop the universal deterioration measured by time, let alone create the wonders we are able to see until our eye-sight goes south.

    But then perhaps you will get to live into this “deep time” and see what no one else has seen.

  21. 21
    Silver Asiatic says:

    “20-25 million years is a long time.”

    Selection pressure has to be constant and unidirectional over that entire span of time in order for a gradualist development to work.

    But environmental changes turn back on themselves even in a short span – sometimes it is cold, sometimes hot, sometimes dry, sometimes wet. The competitive landscape is also in flux due to random causes. Species move one place, then another. Exist for a while, grow, shrink or disappear.

    Random mutations multiplied by random environmental variables create a non-linear, non-progressive history.

    Darwinism is based on primitive and antiquated notion where history is linear so development is ‘progressive’.

    Instead, history is circular (or a wave-form trend) so stasis (which is evident) should be the predicted result.

    Natural history does not progress. A new feature appearing over a million years (if even possible) would need to revert to the previous condition as environment also reverts to the way it was.

    In dry years the finch’s beak is long. In wet years it is short. The end is a stasis that fluctuates around a mean.

  22. 22
    Silver Asiatic says:

    RJS

    I have claimed that artificial selection is more powerful than natural selection. A claim that clearly supports the ID argument.

    Very few evolutionists will admit that point – although I agree also that it is “clearly” a support of the ID position.

    In fact, still today artificial selection is used as an example of the “power of evolution” to produce new species/features.

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