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Darwin’s aliens: Natural selection is magic


(a) A simple replicating molecule, with no apparent design. This may or may not undergo natural selection. (b) An incredibly simple, cell-like entity. Even something this simple has sufficient contrivance of parts that it must undergo natural selection. (c) An alien with many intricate parts working together is likely to have undergone major transitions./Helen S. Cooper
From ScienceDaily:

In a new study published in the International Journal of Astrobiology scientists from the University of Oxford show for the first time how evolutionary theory can be used to support alien predictions and better understand their behaviour. They show that aliens are potentially shaped by the same processes and mechanisms that shaped humans, such as natural selection.

The theory supports the argument that foreign life forms undergo natural selection, and are like us, evolving to be fitter and stronger over time.

Actually theories do not support arguments, they underlie them passively.

Sam Levin, a researcher in Oxford’s Department of Zoology, said: ‘A fundamental task for astrobiologists (those who study life in the cosmos) is thinking about what extra-terrestrial life might be like. But making predictions about aliens is hard. We only have one example of life — life on Earth — to extrapolate from. Past approaches in the field of astrobiology have been largely mechanistic, taking what we see on Earth, and what we know about chemistry, geology, and physics to make predictions about aliens.

‘In our paper, we offer an alternative approach, which is to use evolutionary theory to make predictions that are independent of Earth’s details. This is a useful approach, because theoretical predictions will apply to aliens that are silicon based, do not have DNA, and breathe nitrogen, for example.’ Paper. (public access) – Samuel R. Levin, Thomas W. Scott, Helen S. Cooper, Stuart A. West. Darwin’s aliens. International Journal of Astrobiology, 2017; 1 DOI: 10.1017/S1473550417000362

It’s easy work because we have not ever encountered any aliens. If we do encounter them and they do not conform to the claims, they would not falsify the claims. Darwinian claims cannot be falsified by evidence.

From the paper:

Natural selection is the only way we know to get the kinds of life forms we are familiar with, from viruses to trees. By familiar, we are not restricting ourselves to life forms that look earthly. Instead, they are familiarly life-like in the sense that they stand out from the background of rocks and gases because they appear to be busy trying to replicate themselves. A simple replicator could arise on another planet. But without natural selection, it won’t acquire apparently purposeful traits like metabolism, movement or senses. It won’t be able to adapt to its environment, and in the process, become a more complex, noticeable and interesting thing.

In other words, the theory is pure Darwinism, unbounded by reality— the notion that natural selection is a mystical but not intelligent creative force that creates complex, specified beings. We have never observed that but no matter, the theory fills a need: design without intelligence. Like magic, it just happens.

See also: Don’t let Mars fool you. Those exoplanets teem with life!

But surely we can’t conjure an entire advanced civilization?

How do we grapple with the idea that ET might not be out there?


Not only is earth one nice planet among many, but our entire universe is lost in a crowd

DonaldM @ 10
Darwinists forever talk about NS like its some kind of all-purpose super-duper mechanism that can account for all sorts of amazing things in biology. The reality is that NS is not a mechanism. At best its merely a descriptive term to describe certain observations after the fact! A mechanism by definition is something that does something or causes something to happen. NS doesn’t fit that bill
Darwinian adaptationism involves natural selection acting on mutations or variations that are random with respect to the organisms survival. It's been observed. Think of Lenski's long term experiment or antibiotic resistance or the bacteria that have adapted to eat the waste products from nylon manufacture. It's no longer thought to be the only process involved in evolution nor even the major one but it does happen. Seversky
Darwinists forever talk about NS like its some kind of all-purpose super-duper mechanism that can account for all sorts of amazing things in biology. The reality is that NS is not a mechanism. At best its merely a descriptive term to describe certain observations after the fact! A mechanism by definition is something that does something or causes something to happen. NS doesn't fit that bill. Denyse is right, its indistinguishable from magic! Maybe the Darwinists learned the spell at Hogwarts! DonaldM
@8 Is that a fact? Someone recently told me that, which I had suspected in the past but I couldn't find any evidence for it other than the world being in disarray...Is that enough to be convince someone? No me... J-Mac
According to some religions, aliens have been living among us for ages. They are called demons or evil spirits. In fact, some believe that the aliens are responsible for most of the nastiness we see in the world. FourFaces
When my son was 2, he kept saying aliens were living in his bedroom closet... I kept saying NO for obvious reasons... but those obvious reasons seem to have become a reality of some sort to some people... Everyone, in the right frame of mind of course, knows why I was so confident that aliens were not living in my son's bedroom closet... Some people here seem to believe that if I had checked my son's closet I had a chance of 1 to whatever to find an alien there... Well... the same chance applies to finding $1 mil , horse sh.. and a stupid materialists trying to pretend that he has a point... J-Mac
From 30 Dec 2005: Unified physics theory explains animals' running, flying and swimming:
The findings may have implications for understanding animal evolution, Marden said. One view of evolution holds that it is not a purely deterministic process; that history is full of chance and historical contingency. It is the idea purported by Steven Jay Gould and others that if you were to "rewind the tape" and run it again, evolution would proceed down a different path, Marden said. "Our finding that animal locomotion adheres to constructal theory tells us that -- even though you couldn't predict exactly what animals would look like if you started evolution over on earth, or it happened on another planet -- with a given gravity and density of their tissues, the same basic patterns of their design would evolve again," Marden said.
One thing is for sure any ETs will be carbon based*. That is because of carbon's unique structure that allows for large information containing macromolecules. *we may find silicon ETs but they would have been created by carbon based intelligent life ["The Privileged Planet"]. And those silicon ETs would be incapable of reproduction. ET
I have adapted for my niche. Mung
Aliens could be living amongst us now, engineered to look just like us so that we would never know the difference. Although I've had my suspicions about Mung for a while. Seversky
Mung at 2, I am laughing as I write this: We don't know that it ever did happen! It is difficult to calculate probabilities based on a sample of one, by the very nature of the case. That doesn't mean it's not true, just that normal methods of calculation of probabilities don't have enough to go on. Whatever we find out there, if anything, these people will say: Darwindunit And if we don't find anything? Darwindonethat too. News
Ah, the power of cumulative selection. Don't really know what happened or how it happened or why it happened? Utter the mystical incantation. Mung
I for one don't believe that nobody's speculated on Darwinian evolution on other worlds before. I even read a sci-fi story once in which geology produced some compex electrical phenomenon in volcanoes on the basis that the ones that didn't failed to survive. But the idea that a theory provides evidence for non-phenomena is somewhat of a reversal of what scientific theories are for - trying to explain phenomena. Jon Garvey

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