Darwinism Intelligent Design

Access Research Network question of the month: May

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Access Research Network

ARN will be giving away a $50 VISA gift card for the best answer to this question:

In the Introduction to his Origin of Species Charles Darwin admitted, “I am well aware that scarcely a single point is discussed in this volume on which facts cannot be adduced, often apparently leading to conclusions directly opposite to those at which I have arrived.”

What directly opposite conclusions could Darwin have meant?

How could natural selection inhibit major evolutionary change from occurring on a gradual step-by-step basis?

Send your answer to arn@arn.org.

Previous questions.

See also: See March’s question here.

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4 Replies to “Access Research Network question of the month: May

  1. 1
    ScuzzaMan says:

    In these enlightened times few realise that Darwin was not the inventor of the concept of natural selection. It had in fact been around for quite some time prior to him, and it had from the beginning been held to be a conservative force in nature, because if you understand that nothing is free (“TANSTAAFL!”) then you understand that a half-formed organ is a cost without a benefit and any kind of selection based on fitness will weed the carrier out, not promote them.
    And this is indeed how natural selection works; all mutations represent loss of information and therefore ultimately of function, and thus all mutations are subject to natural selection (in whatever guise one proposes it operates today, be it at the phylogenic, genetic, or what-have-you level).
    So natural selection, understood prior to Darwin, stabilises a species around its norms – it does not change it from one species into another.
    Darwin’s innovation was to propose natural selection as half of the engine of speciation when it had hitherto been assumed to operate in the opposite manner.

  2. 2
    timothya says:

    Scuzzaman:
    “In these enlightened times few realise that Darwin was not the inventor of the concept of natural selection. It had in fact been around for quite some time prior to him, and it had from the beginning been held to be a conservative force in nature, because if you understand that nothing is free (“TANSTAAFL!”) then you understand that a half-formed organ is a cost without a benefit and any kind of selection based on fitness will weed the carrier out, not promote them.
    And this is indeed how natural selection works; all mutations represent loss of information and therefore ultimately of function, and thus all mutations are subject to natural selection (in whatever guise one proposes it operates today, be it at the phylogenic, genetic, or what-have-you level).
    So natural selection, understood prior to Darwin, stabilises a species around its norms – it does not change it from one species into another.
    Darwin’s innovation was to propose natural selection as half of the engine of speciation when it had hitherto been assumed to operate in the opposite manner.”

    A wonderful series of unsupported assertions. Each of which is demonstrably and factually wrong. Well done!

  3. 3
    ScuzzaMan says:

    That’s not an argument.
    It is not even an attempt at an argument.
    Anyone having an argument would have made one.

    Hope springs eternal …

  4. 4
    EricMH says:

    An idea from Salvador Cordova: fatal mutations become exponentially more likely as the genome length increases, therefore natural selection will inhibit increase in genome length.

    I created a number of simulations and mathematical equations to demonstrate the concept over at Cordova’s Creation Evolution University forum:
    http://creationevolutionuniver.....#038;t=169

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