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ASU’s Michael Lynch’s new book takes aim at “natural selection” as a sum total explanation

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Friends regard Michael Lynch of the Arizona State U’s Biodesign Institute as one of the most thoughtful evolutionary biologists currently in the field. He’s putting chapters of his new book, “The Origins of Cellular Architecture,” online free here:

We have taken on one of the last uncharted fields in evolution: integrating evolutionary biology with cell biology. This sequel to The Origins of Genome Architecture brings evolutionary theory to bear on a diversity of observations on the functional and structural features of cells.

Surprisingly, the details of many cellular traits seem not to be simple products of natural selection, and in some cases can only be explained by an ability of selection to universally make certain kinds of refinements. The chapters provided are freely available for use in evolutionary cell biology courses as well as for more general subject review. The Origins of Cellular Architecture” (draft)

From the opening of Chapter 1: “…a pervasive problem in biology is the religious adherence to the idea that natural selection is solely responsible for every feature of biological diversity.

Inspired by this way of thinking and digging no deeper, many molecular biologists start with the dubious assumption that natural selection is the only mechanism of evolution at the cellular level, often asserting that even the most blatantly deleterious features of organisms must actually have hidden favorable effects.”

Thoughtful readers could correspond with him. There’s a lot of information out there to discuss.

7 Replies to “ASU’s Michael Lynch’s new book takes aim at “natural selection” as a sum total explanation

  1. 1
    AaronS1978 says:

    This is my hometown! Good to see since the expulsion of Krauss

  2. 2
    Borne says:

    From: https://biodesign.asu.edu/sites/default/files/new_centers/Origin-of-Cells.pdf

    “Unfortunately, the cumulative effects of nearly four billion years of chemistry, physics, and geology have erased all traces of precellular life.”

    Oh, but they still believe it anyway!

    “Precellular life”? There is absolutely no evidence that there ever was such a thing (he just said so) – except in the befuddled evolutionists’ imagination, traditionally the wildest imagination on earth. The whole enterprise of claiming life evolved is a farce if that sentence is true! But never mind. Darwinians are never slowed down by logic. They steamroll right on over it.

    “As a consequence, we will probably never be able to trace with certainty the earliest steps in the emergence of life from an inorganic world.”

    But don’t let that stop you from believing and swearing on your granny’s grave that it did happen, no evidence required. That is the very nature of Darwinism – no evidence required – imagination, speculation, conjecture and gratuitous extrapolation suffice. Darwinian “arguments” are the mother of all Gap arguments. The whole Darwinian edifice is built on circular reasoning, but don’t let the laws of logic stop them from blind faith belief! The completely incompetent Darwinian “logicians” have ignored the rules of logic since the start.

    You cannot beat blind faith evolutionists for never grasping the meaning of the word “empirical”. It is not in their limited vocabulary. No need for that old baloney. Just imagine a light sensitive spot, just imagine this and just imagine that, … and then go in leaps and bounds over millions of unobservable, untestable years of imaginary mutations and VOILÀ! All +/- 8 million perfectly adaptable and ridiculously complex and functional life forms magically arrive.

    Indeed, “I believe that one day the Darwinian myth will be ranked the greatest deceit in the history of science. When this happens, many people will pose the question: How did this ever happen?”
    – Dr Soren Lovtrup, PhD Embryology, Anthropologist, Biochemist, Historian, Embryologist. “Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth” 1987, p422.

    And yet Lovtrup himself could not bring himself to deny evolution. Go figure. Logic, empirical evidence, common sense, … all go out the window as soon as “evolution” raises its ugly head.

  3. 3
    BobRyan says:

    Evolutionists have no explanation for the laws of physics, mathematics and origin of life. They cannot show a single time that macro-evolution has been witnessed and replicated, both of which are required to move from hypothesis to theory. They are socialists believing it can work, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    As to:

    a pervasive problem in biology is the religious adherence to the idea that natural selection is solely responsible for every feature of biological diversity.,,,,
    Some have gone so far as to proclaim that virtually any nucleotide that is at least occasionally transcribed or bound to a protein must be maintained by selection (ENCODE Project Consortium 2012). Such arguments are inconsistent with substantial theory and empirical work suggesting that many aspects of gene and genome evolution are consequences of the limitations of natural selection (Kimura 1983; Lynch 2007). This raises the key question as to the level of biological organization above which selection can be safely assumed to be the only driving force of evolution.”
    – MIchael Lynch
    https://biodesign.asu.edu/sites/default/files/new_centers/Introduction.pdf

    MIchael Lynch is alluding to the fact that Natural Selection, via the mathematics of population genetics, is now known to be extremely limited, to non-existent, in its ability to fix mutations in a population.

    Kimura’s Quandary
    Excerpt: Kimura realized that Haldane was correct,,, He developed his neutral theory in response to this overwhelming evolutionary problem. Paradoxically, his theory led him to believe that most mutations are unselectable, and therefore,,, most ‘evolution’ must be independent of selection! Because he was totally committed to the primary axiom (neo-Darwinism), Kimura apparently never considered his cost arguments could most rationally be used to argue against the Axiom’s (neo-Darwinism’s) very validity.
    John Sanford PhD. – “Genetic Entropy and The Mystery of the Genome” – pg. 161 – 162

    Austin L. Hughes – The Neutral Theory of Evolution – Chase Nelson – 2016
    Excerpt: ORIGINALLY PROPOSED by Motoo Kimura, Jack King, and Thomas Jukes, the neutral theory of molecular evolution is inherently non-Darwinian.2 Darwinism asserts that natural selection is the driving force of evolutionary change. It is the claim of the neutral theory, on the other hand, that the majority of evolutionary change is due to chance.
    http://inference-review.com/ar.....evolution/

    In short,

    ,,, with Natural selection being tossed by the wayside by the mathematics of population genetics, (and by empirical evidence), as the supposed explanation for the ‘appearance of design’ that we see in life, Darwinists did not accept such a devastating finding from population genetics as an outright falsification for their theory, as they should have done, but are instead now reduced to arguing that the ‘appearance of design’ that we see in pervasively throughout life is, basically, the result of pure chance with natural selection now playing a very negligible role, if any role at all.
    To call such a move on the part of Darwinists disingenuous would be an understatement.
    – per – “Larry Moran’s Uphill Battle Convincing Scientists That Most Of The Genome Is Junk DNA”
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/larry-morans-uphill-battle-convincing-scientists-that-most-of-the-genome-is-junk-dna/#comment-698944

    The irony in Lynch pointing out the ‘religious adherence’ that many Darwinists have to Natural Selection is that Lynch himself has a ‘religious adherence’ to Evolution being true beforehand. That Natural Selection can be, for all intents and purposes, tossed to the wayside, and yet Lynch himself still unquestionably accepts Evolution as being true, is proof in and of itself that Lynch is not objectively questioning whether Evolution may be true or not, but that he is instead religiously committed to Evolution being true beforehand no matter what the evidence may say to the contrary.

    A few notes:

    The waiting time problem in a model hominin population – 2015 Sep 17
    John Sanford, Wesley Brewer, Franzine Smith, and John Baumgardner
    Excerpt: The program Mendel’s Accountant realistically simulates the mutation/selection process,,,
    Given optimal settings, what is the longest nucleotide string that can arise within a reasonable waiting time within a hominin population of 10,000? Arguably, the waiting time for the fixation of a “string-of-one” is by itself problematic (Table 2). Waiting a minimum of 1.5 million years (realistically, much longer), for a single point mutation is not timely adaptation in the face of any type of pressing evolutionary challenge. This is especially problematic when we consider that it is estimated that it only took six million years for the chimp and human genomes to diverge by over 5 % [1]. This represents at least 75 million nucleotide changes in the human lineage, many of which must encode new information.
    While fixing one point mutation is problematic, our simulations show that the fixation of two co-dependent mutations is extremely problematic – requiring at least 84 million years (Table 2). This is ten-fold longer than the estimated time required for ape-to-man evolution. In this light, we suggest that a string of two specific mutations is a reasonable upper limit, in terms of the longest string length that is likely to evolve within a hominin population (at least in a way that is either timely or meaningful). Certainly the creation and fixation of a string of three (requiring at least 380 million years) would be extremely untimely (and trivial in effect), in terms of the evolution of modern man.
    It is widely thought that a larger population size can eliminate the waiting time problem. If that were true, then the waiting time problem would only be meaningful within small populations. While our simulations show that larger populations do help reduce waiting time, we see that the benefit of larger population size produces rapidly diminishing returns (Table 4 and Fig. 4). When we increase the hominin population from 10,000 to 1 million (our current upper limit for these types of experiments), the waiting time for creating a string of five is only reduced from two billion to 482 million years.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....MC4573302/

    “Darwinism provided an explanation for the appearance of design, and argued that there is no Designer — or, if you will, the designer is natural selection. If that’s out of the way — if that (natural selection) just does not explain the evidence — then the flip side of that is, well, things appear designed because they are designed.”
    Richard Sternberg – Living Waters documentary
    Whale Evolution vs. Population Genetics – Richard Sternberg and Paul Nelson – (excerpt from Living Waters video)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0csd3M4bc0Q

    Defending the validity and significance of the new theorem “Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection With Mutations, Part I: Fisher’s Impact – Bill Basener and John Sanford – February 15, 2018
    Excerpt: While Fisher’s Theorem is mathematically correct, his Corollary is false. The simple logical fallacy is that Fisher stated that mutations could effectively be treated as not impacting fitness, while it is now known that the vast majority of mutations are deleterious, providing a downward pressure on fitness. Our model and our correction of Fisher’s theorem (The Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection with Mutations), take into account the tension between the upward force of selection with the downward force of mutations.,,,
    Our paper shows that Fisher’s corollary is clearly false, and that he misunderstood the implications of his own theorem. He incorrectly believed that his theorem was a mathematical proof that showed that natural selection plus mutation will necessarily and always increase fitness. He also believed his theorem was on a par with a natural law (such as entropic dissipation and the second law of thermodynamics). Because Fisher did not understand the actual fitness distribution of new mutations, his belief in the application of his “fundamental theorem of natural selection” was fundamentally and profoundly wrong – having little correspondence to biological reality. Therefore, we have reformulated Fisher’s model and have corrected his errors, thereby have established a new theorem that better describes biological reality, and allows for the specification of those key variables that will determine whether fitness will increase or decrease.
    http://theskepticalzone.com/wp.....rs-impact/

    The fundamental theorem of natural selection with mutations – June 2018
    Excerpt: Because the premise underlying Fisher’s corollary is now recognized to be entirely wrong, Fisher’s corollary is falsified. Consequently, Fisher’s belief that he had developed a mathematical proof that fitness must always increase is also falsified.
    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00285-017-1190-x

  5. 5
    Truthfreedom says:

    @2 Borne:
    Hello Borne. You have an excellent blog, very insightful and funny.
    I found it googling ‘naturalism is non-sense’.
    I have shared some parts of it here at UD.
    People, please, take a look! 🙂
    https://borne.wordpress.com/

  6. 6
    Truthfreedom says:

    @2 Borne:

    “Unfortunately, the cumulative effects of nearly four billion years of chemistry, physics, and geology have erased all traces of precellular life.”

    So this person knows that this ‘precellular life’ existed and got erased although there is no proof?
    Am I smelling poor reasoning here?

  7. 7
    Seversky says:

    From the opening of Chapter 1: “…a pervasive problem in biology is the religious adherence to the idea that natural selection is solely responsible for every feature of biological diversity.

    Are we to infer from this that Lynch is claiming that natural selection plays no role in evolution or just that it is no longer regarded as the primary engine?

    And it might be worthwhile emphasizing, for those who may still be confused about the issue, that evolution is a theory in biology. It offers an explanation of how life on Earth has changed and diversified over time. It was never intended to say anything about the origin of the universe or physical laws.

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