Culture Genetics Intelligent Design

Jerry Coyne jumps into the Dawkins eugenics row

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Almost like he must:

Artificial selection will work if a trait has any positive heritability, that is, if any proportion of the total variation in a trait among individuals in a population is due to genetic variation—what we specifically call “additive genetic variance” in the trade. And virtually all morphological or behavioral traits have some positive heritability.

Look at domestic dog breeds, for instance. All of them descend from the wolf, yet all the huge variety of their traits: the variation in their size, their shape, their color, and even their behavior (retrievers, border collies, etc.) have come from selecting on traits that have a positive heritability. As Darwin said in The Origin, “Breeders habitually speak of an animal’s organization as something quite plastic, which they can model almost as they please.”

That happens to be true. And it would be true of humans as well if we were able to select on them.

Jerry Coyne, “Dawkins makes a tweet” at Why Evolution Is True

Actually, eugenics wouldn’t work in humans because reason and personal choice can frustrate efforts at programming.

Another issue was raised by a reader who reminds us that, in any event, dog breeding is devolution for dogs. It usually works that way, as Michael Behe points out in Darwin Devolves. Dogs are bred by humans at the expense of their genetic health. Some call it “malgenics.”

That’s quite correct. Domestic dog breeds often have serious inbred problems that the feral cur never knew. He stays alive despite all those who want to kill him. The pampered pedigreed with the fashionable but costly features might expire despite the vet’s best efforts to save him. – News

See also: Richard Dawkins says eugenics works because he assumes we are just like animals At one fell swoop, Dawkins exposes another frequent weakness of naturalist atheism: direct conflict with facts. Eugenics does not work for humans. Unlike animals, we make personal choices, which could be based on reason and free will or on the apparent lack thereof. And those choices confound the ambitions of others.

35 Replies to “Jerry Coyne jumps into the Dawkins eugenics row

  1. 1
    Truthfreedom says:

    That happens to be true. And it would be true of humans as well if we were able to select on them.

    Again, the atheist evolutionist contradicts himself.
    “We are able” implies we know something is not ok and then we choose not to do it.
    But according to coyne
    (the dim-witted biologist), we do not have free will :

    “The concept of free will is incompatible with the theory of evolution. According to Darwin’s theory, we came to be what we are by passing on genes that proved useful in the struggle to survive. If human actions (e.g. eating and mating) were freely chosen, then we couldn’t explain our evolution in terms of natural selection.” https://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksdaily/2019/11/are-my-beliefs-about-free-will-freely-chosen.html

    Any materialist explanation, please?

  2. 2
    EugeneS says:

    Our numerous anti-ID interlocutors have nothing better than to suggest that a Peircean triple can crystallize from aqueous solution. As if all of a sudden, matter decided to control itself. What a mess they have in their heads!

  3. 3
    Truthfreedom says:

    dawkins and coyne, the pigeons need to be feed.

  4. 4
    AaronS1978 says:

    Nooooooooooooo Jerr Bear Don’t join Richard Dawkins on that sinking ship

    Taps plays softly in the background as two atheists no longer could be heard as they sink below an ocean of their own stupidity

    I love it when smart people throw their careers away

  5. 5
    Ed George says:

    I really don’t understand the antipathy toward these statements. Neither are saying that we should apply selective breeding to humans. They are just saying that if it was applied, it would work. And it would.

    The argument that selective breeding of dogs has resulted in traits that would be negative in nature are irrelevant. We breed them for traits that are beneficial to us. In a dystopian future, is it impossible that some authoritarian ruling sect of humanity couldn’t treat the rest of humanity as breeding stock and produce “breeds” of humans that have traits that are beneficial to the ruling sect? Sadly, this is not biologically or scientifically impossible.

    But let’s flip this around. Are our efforts in medicine also not an attempt at selective breeding? Not in the sense of selecting for specific traits, but in that we exert great effort to keep “negative” traits in the breeding pool.

  6. 6
    ET says:

    From Ernst Mayr in “What Evolution Is”:

    Do selection and elimination differ in their evolutionary consequences? This question never seems to have been raised in the evolutionary literature. A process of selection would have a concrete objective, the determination of the “best” or “fittest” phenotype. Only a relatively few individuals in a given generation would qualify and survive the selection procedure. That small sample would be only to be able to preserve only a small amount of the whole variance of the parent population. Such survival selection would be highly restrained.

    By contrast, mere elimination of the less fit might permit the survival of a rather large number of individuals because they have no obvious deficiencies in fitness. Such a large sample would provide, for instance, the needed material for the exercise of sexual selection. This also explains why survival is so uneven from season to season. The percentage of the less fit would depend on the severity of each year’s environmental conditions.

    Selective breeding selects for specific traits. What “Ed” is referring to works to get around the mere elimination of the less fit.

    So no, “Ed”, our efforts in medicine clearly are not an attempt at selective breeding. It is the opposite of selective breeding.

  7. 7
    Truthfreedom says:

    @5 Ed George

    The argument that selective breeding of dogs has resulted in traits that would be negative in nature are irrelevant.

    So we humans are not part of nature. Good to know it.

  8. 8
    Ed George says:

    TF

    So we humans are not part of nature. Good to know it.

    Not if we take them out of nature and dictate who they breed with.

  9. 9
    Truthfreedom says:

    @8 Ed George

    Not if we take them out of nature and dictate who they breed with.

    We can not take anything “out of nature”, because everything is nature.
    We humans are part of nature, our houses are part of nature, our farms are part of nature, our labs are part of nature. We are just another species.

  10. 10
    Truthfreedom says:

    @8 Ed George

    Not if we take them out of nature and dictate who they breed with.

    How can we take anything “out of nature”?

  11. 11
    Ed George says:

    TF

    How can we take anything “out of nature”?

    Ultimately we can’t. But we can take it out of the normal progress it would go through without our influence. That is what we are generally referring to when we say it isn’t “natural”. But you know this. Or, intelligent people know this.

  12. 12
    Truthfreedom says:

    @11 Ed George

    Ultimately we can’t.

    Exactly.

    But we can take it out of the normal progress it would go through without our influence.

    Lol. So the evolution of our species was not “normal”. How funny.

    That is what we are generally referring to when we say it isn’t “natural”.

    You mean “parroting”.

    But you know this.
    Or, intelligent people know this.

    Intelligent people do not say stupid things like: “the interaction of humans (just another animal) with other species on Earth is unnatural”.

  13. 13
    AaronS1978 says:

    ugh do we really have to argue, yes as long as we have a biological body we will have traits we can breed for, It will never be 100% but it is possible at the exact same time it’s entirely wrong to do it I don’t exactly like the fact that we do it to animal breeds.

    That does not take away from human exceptionalism in any which way shape or form nor does it take away from our ability to have free will

    Genetics is just simply potential

    Now can we all just relax and bask in the soft glow of both Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne career going up in flames

    As they are about to directly challenged the monsters they have created and more than likely be eaten by them

  14. 14
    AaronS1978 says:

    By the way twins that are genetically identical Make different choices using reason so if we bread clones and if we bread genetically identical people like twins they will still exercise reason and personal choice

    This has nothing to do with whether or not you don’t want to have blond hair in the population or if you want large noses in the population

  15. 15
    Truthfreedom says:

    @13 AaronS1978:

    That does not take away from human exceptionalism in any which way shape or form nor does it take away from our ability to have free will.

    Atheist evos deny human exceptionalism and after that, they start their litany of non-sense and contradictions:
    – we alter the “normal course of nature”(!!??) (yes, our biology is not “normal”!)
    – we do not have free will but we can “choose” this or that
    – our interactions with the rest of species on Earth are “unnatural”
    Etc, etc, 150+ years of the same “arguments”.

  16. 16
    Seversky says:

    What makes me very uncomfortable is that presumption of human exceptionalism is too close to the racial or cultural exceptionalism which allowed the more favored races or cultures to treat the “savage” races as badly as they did.

    What happened in Africa, Southern and Central America, Australia and New Zealand to the indigenous peoples or to the Native Americans in the US under the doctrine of :manifest destiny is happening today. We are wiping out other species of living beings at a prodigious rate often because, like those indigenous peoples, they are in our way.

    Are we morally justified in being exceptionally good at killing off all life but our own?

  17. 17
    AaronS1978 says:

    To answer your first question it absolutely doesn’t justify any needless destruction or abuse of power in the attempt to make somebody less exceptional

    I view these as an absence of human exceptionalism, Any predator parasite are capable of doing such feats, even to the point of causing its own extinction through excess

    They are perfect examples of a lack of foresight compassion and inability to think of better solutions for any given problem

    For example part of being exceptional is also being able to exercise good judgment for the better of all things as we are all intertwined

    I’ve said this multiple times here on the site and many others but we have been charged with being good stewards of this planet

    To not do so will result in the destruction of our entire species in an obvious example of how an exceptional we really are

    We need to be able to take care of all the creatures of the earth and the earth itself and if we can’t do that not only will we not be exceptional but will be all dead

    And is there really any honest way to truly justify another race is being inferior, I don’t think so, and the other thing is that runs contrary to the idea of human exceptionalism as if you are human you are exceptional

    The type of human you are matters very little which is to be honest with you quite nice

    But you were human nonetheless and you’re capable of exercising capacities that are entirely you need to be human that are capable of shaping and sculpting the entirety of the world

    And we have done just that

    My viewpoint would be is that we are now abusing that and every time we abuse it we become a little bit less exceptional

    By the way even though I do not agree with a lot of your points of view, especially when it comes to religion, you are still an exceptional human being that is very intelligent And I most certainly cannot think of you as anything less than a human no matter who or what you are

    Doesn’t mean I have to like you though(Budumcha kidding)

  18. 18
    Ed George says:

    Ignoring whether or not we are “exceptional”, don’t you think we are better served by assuming that we are not? If we take that approach don’t you think we would be more unlikely to make profoundly stupid decisions?

  19. 19
    Ed George says:

    AaronS1978

    … if we bread clones and if we bread genetically identical people like twins they will still exercise reason and personal choice…

    What breading do you recommend for clones and identical twins? Panko? Cracker? I prefer panko, it keeps the meat tender and moist yet has a very crispy skin.

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist. 🙂 🙂 🙂 the devil made me do it.

  20. 20
    AaronS1978 says:

    I do not believe that we are better served thinking that we are not, at first it seems like the humble approach, but there is a problem in convincing something that is different from everything else, that it is no more different or any better than anything else

    A great deal of research into Freewill has shown that convincing those that they don’t have it does have a negative impact sometimes profound on the individual

    They’re only a few studies that show that the impact isn’t so profound but in the vast majority of them they found that it was

    It weakened the autonomy of the individual, made it easier for them to cheat, have more power to the idea of your actions can’t be helped, and it impacted directly their performance at work and other tasks.

    In a way justified the idea that nothing really mattered

    I believe the same principle would be true by making some thing like us no different than all the other life forms

    We stop caring, we’re not important and there’s no reason to do anything.

    Creatures like us are extremely egocentric
    Part of removing our exceptionalism is removing our identity. Removing one’s identity has profoundly negative effects on the individual

    Yet even though the identity is removed the persons abilities remain the same but will now be motivated by more negative causes

    This is only hypothetical, but from a psychological perspective especially somebody that deals with deep depression constantly I do have a particular viewpoint about the possible impacts and what they may bring

    Identity is everything (hence the craziness in today’s culture)
    Now food for thought, Do you ever wonder why there’s show much push back against certain forms of science, particularly evopysch, here is my opinion on way bare with me

    The HUMAN scientists view the humans they are studying as nothing more than objects, the human scientists retain their identity as scientists and the authority on they subject they study, while the subjects remain the objects of their study and have to except their conclusion as the scientists are the authority on the subject

    The subject becomes the object and the authority gets to explain why the subject does anything at all. The power remains entirely in the scientists hands, retaining their identity of authority, subject loose and have no identity until defined by the former

    And there have been cultural implosions that occurred in communism when people lost their identity and were made to feel like they were worthless

    But that’s a general overview of how I feel. people still have their abilities and capabilities regardless of whether or not you convince them that they are exceptional or their unexceptional, what’s important is what motivates them to use them and how they use them

  21. 21
    AaronS1978 says:

    @19
    I hate you >:)

  22. 22
    AaronS1978 says:

    Lol

  23. 23
    AaronS1978 says:

    And this is why AI sucks Talk text

    Now food for thought, Do you ever wonder why there’s show much push back against certain forms of science, particularly evopysch, here is my opinion on way bare with me

    What it should’ve been

    Now food for thought, do you ever wonder why there’s so much push back against certain forms of science, particularly evopysch, here is my opinion on why, please bare with me

    My bad for not proofreading

  24. 24
    Ed George says:

    AaronS1978, my apologies for the “breaded” comment, but it was too good to resist. More so because we have all been victims of the one-thumb texting auto correct.

    But with respect to your comment at 20. I think we are talking apples and oranges. There is a far different psychology at work if we believe that we have no free will than if we believe that we are not exceptional. For the former, we have no hope. If we have no free will, nothing we do makes any difference. But that is not the case if we are not exceptional. Believing that we are not exceptional does not deny us the possibility of being so. Believing that we have no free will removes all incentive to become exceptional.

  25. 25
    Truthfreedom says:

    By “exceptional” I do not mean: “oh, we are so good, let’s do whatever, we are gods made out of flesh!”

    I mean: if we are ‘just’ another species, our interactions with the rest of the biosfere are perfectly ‘natural’. We are just using our brain, the result of natural processes, to explore our environment and profit from it. Nothing out of the ordinary.

    That is why expressionss as: “we are taking other species out of nature”/ “changing the course of their history” make zero sense, because if we are just another species, 100% physical components, we are totally embedded in Nature.

    Only if we are creatures with free will can we really “choose”, “alter”, or “bypass” part of our constraints. But that requires a “transcendent being”, nature can not give what nature does not have (free will).

  26. 26
    AaronS1978 says:

    You’re right about them being two different psychology’s but I was using the studies of free will as an example of how something like that could effect us

    TF hit it right on the nose on the connection between the two

  27. 27
    AaronS1978 says:

    And no need to apologize I laughed my ass off at 19

  28. 28
    BobRyan says:

    Seversky @ 16

    The words you use in regards to savage races comes right out of Darwin’s, Descent of Man. Racism is deeply rooted in his theory and will always bring about poisoned fruit. According to Darwin, and those who believe in macro evolution, man is nothing more than another animal and any experimentation on humans is every bit as justifiable as any other animal.

    Evolutionists must believe some races of man are superior to others, since you can point to any number of examples in nature. Darwin believed the civilized races, of which he included himself, had a duty to destroy the savage races. The savage races held us back, and anyone who believes in macro evolution must accept the belief.

    There are six steps to the Scientific Method. Half of the steps have never been done by anyone to prove macro evolution as a valid scientific theory. It is has never been observed and never been replicated.

    Since macro evolution cannot hold up to scientific scrutiny, no matter how smart a Darwinist may be, can macro evolution be a legitimate theory? If macro evolution did not occur, what remains?

  29. 29
    Bob O'H says:

    Ed George @ 5 – you might find Tom Chiver’s take on this helpful.

    AaronS1978 @ 27 – I didn’t laugh my arse off, but it did give me a rye smile.

  30. 30
    JVL says:

    BobRyan, 28: Evolutionists must believe some races of man are superior to others, since you can point to any number of examples in nature.

    Just curious . . . what examples were you thinking of?

  31. 31
    BobRyan says:

    JVL, @ 30

    Chimpanzees are a good place to start. They kill and cannibalize each other on a daily basis. The strong prey on the weak, as is the case with nature. The stronger are considered superior.

    https://www.livescience.com/47885-chimpanzee-aggression-evolution.html

  32. 32
    JVL says:

    BobRyan, 31: Chimpanzees are a good place to start. They kill and cannibalize each other on a daily basis. The strong prey on the weak, as is the case with nature. The stronger are considered superior.

    Okay . . . but you did say races of MAN.

  33. 33
    ET says:

    There isn’t any presumption of human exceptionalism. There is overwhelming evidence for it.

  34. 34
    BobRyan says:

    JVL @ 32

    According to Darwinists, man is no different than any other animal. Chimpanzees kill chimpanzees and remove the weaker genes from the pool through survival of the fittest. The civilized races of man is expected to do the same to the savage races, at least according to Darwin’s own words in Descent of Man. Humans killing humans should be seen as no different than chimps killing chimps. It’s about survival of the fittest and ensuring the stronger genes of the civilized kill off the weaker genes of the savage.

  35. 35
    JVL says:

    BobRyan, 32
    Okay . . . so you think evolutionists have to believe that some races of men are superior to others because some other species kill themselves? Do you think chimpanzees attacking members of another tribe or clan is equivalent to races of men deciding which is ‘superior’?

    Obvious humans kill other humans all the time but it’s usually not about stronger genes. It’s usually about power, resources, politics, etc. Humans are sometimes really bad at getting along with other clans, tribes, countries, etc.

    And, no one is obligated to agree with Darwin’s value judgements. No one HAS to believe or agree that some races of men are superior to others since it’s clearly not true. Darwin got some things right and he said some things that no sensible person would agree with today. We can update our views because we have new data and are more enlightened. Which is a good thing surely.

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