In the comment section to a prior post commenters “Joe” and “AVS” are having a tussle over whether Darwinian evolution is blind, mindless and unguided. It is fascinating and instructive. Let’s see.
First, Joe asked: “How does one test anything wrt unguided evolution?”
To which AVS responded: “The fact that you call it “unguided evolution” tells me everything I need to know about you. One of those things is that trying to talk to you about science would be like trying to talk to a wall.”
This is an interesting response, because some of the leading Darwinists in the world have noted that evolution is a blind unguided process. One would have thought that the proposition that Darwinian evolution is unguided was uncontroversial, and Joe responded as by posting the following quotes:
Natural selection is the simple result of variation, differential reproduction, and heredity—it is mindless and mechanistic. UCBerkley
Natural selection is the blind watchmaker, blind because it does not see ahead, does not plan consequences, has no purpose in view. Dawkins in “The Blind Watchmaker”?
AVS responds with the inevitable “quote mining” accusation when Darwinists are quoted to support a proposition: “SO you mash two quotes up from two unrelated people and repeat them completely out of context?”
Joe asks: “How are the quotes out of context?”
AVS responds to my question about why he believes Joe took the quotes out of context:
I’m saying that evolution has both random, or blind/mindless/unguided processes as Joe here likes to call them, as well as having non-random processes. You need both parts,and it’s the second part that you and your friends here like to ignore apparently. Maybe you can explain to Joe why he’s so clueless.
1. Joe says that Darwinian evolution is blind, mindless and unguided, and he quotes, among others, Dawkins, to back that up.
2. AVS says Joe does not know what he is talking about and that he mined the Dawkins quote.
3. When asked to demonstrate how the Dawkins quote has been taken out of context, AVS says that evolution is part random and part non-random.
Let’s evaluate AVS’s argument, such as it is:
He asserts that Darwinian evolution has a “random” component and a “non-random” component, and that is true enough. The random component is the random changes that occur in the genome through, for example, random genetic mutations. The non-random part is, of course, natural selection, which takes the random changes in the genome and “selects” for those that increase fitness.
Here’s where AVS falls overboard. He characterizes only the “random” component of Darwinian evolution as “blind, mindless and unguided.” Apparently, he believes that the non-random component (i.e., natural selection) is not “blind, mindless and unguided.”
But that is just Joe’s point. BOTH parts of the Darwinian evolution equation are blind, mindless and unguided. That is Dawkins’ point as well when he says that even natural selection (the non-random part AVS) is blind. By blind, mindless and unguided, Joe (and Dawkins) mean that Darwinian evolution does not have foresight. It cannot plan for distant goals. It has no purpose. They do not mean that it is entirely random.
To the extent that AVS denies that any part of Darwinian evolution is blind, mindless and unguided, he must mean that some part of it is seeing, mindful and guided. But that is obviously false. AVS has mistakenly equated “non-random” with “not blind, mindless and unguided.”
In summary, therefore, AVS owes Joe an apology on two counts: (1) for falsely accusing him of taking the quotes out of context; and (2) for ridiculing him when he himself is the one who is obviously wrong.
The irony, of course, is that even in his obvious error AVS plays the typical blustering Darwinist – serenely confident in his own intelligence and rectitude even when he is glaringly wrong. I will leave you with this: AVS compares his knowledge to Joe’s and says he, AVS, is the “person who has forgotten more biology” than Joe will ever know. Pathetic? Laughable? Both? I will let the readers decide.