I was nicknamed “Gas.”
Is evolution of antibiotic resistance by bacteria an example of Darwinism? Such a claim is very suspicious since Darwinism deals mainly with the origin of species.
Evolution of antibiotic resistance is an example of survival of the fittest within a species, not an origin of species. This phenomenon ought more properly to be credited to the ideas of Edward Blyth rather than Charles “Gas” Darwin.
Loren Eiseley, Professor of Anthropology and the History of Science at the University of Pennsylvania correctly argues:
the leading tenets of DarwinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s workÃ¢â‚¬â€the struggle for existence, variation, natural selection and sexual selectionÃ¢â‚¬â€are all fully expressed in BlythÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s paper of 1835.
[For more details, read Was Blyth the true scientist and Darwin merely a plagiarist and charlatan?]
Despite this, Panda’s Thumb author Tara Smith continues her usual equivocations about evolution here. If by “evolution”, one means change, then everyone is an evolutionist, even creationists like Blyth.
But the debate is about Darwinism, not the survival of the fittest, nor change over time. Smith, like others uses sleight-of-hand equivocations to argue for the truthfulness of Darwinism by equivocating the meaning of evolution.
It was the creationist Blyth who laid the ground work for the idea of survival of the fittest. Darwin argued for Natural Selection as the mechanism for the origin of species and the origin of large scale novel functionality. That issue has never been proven, and as Eric Davidson rightly points out, the latest incarnation of Darwinism, neo-Darwinism, is dead.
The issue is not whether the fittest survive (in fact, if luck or being blessed is a trait toward fitness, then survival of the fittest is an immutable truth), but whether survival of the fittest is a mechanism for the creation of large scale biological innovation. That has never been proven, and there is much reason to doubt it. See: Discplacement Theorem, Perfect architectures which scream design, What are the speed limits of naturalistic evolution?, Nachman’s U-Paradox, Airplane Magnetos, etc. for some considerations as to why…