Intelligent Design

On the Origin of Multi-level Selection

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More myth telling, this time by a famous Darwinian evolutionary biologist. The clear agenda is that this is a religion to replace other religions.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/24/the-riddle-of-the-human-species/

But note in contrast how poorly the story is supported by science. Yes, we observe that humans are complex social creatures. We also observe that groups that cooperate best together, do better together than other groups. But this is not evidence for Darwinism, this is the data that needs to be explained by evolution, otherwise Darwinism is not true  (note: here the word ‘Darwinism’ will be used in the popular sense of a grand design-free origin story).

What explanation does he give? Multi-level selection. And why do we believe in multi-level selection? Because of overwhelming evidence? No, its because someone recently proved that our previous favourite theory – kin-selection – doesn’t work. Hehehe!

But to be honest, ‘multi-level selection’ is merely a restatement of the problem. The real question is how can evolution overcome the short-sighted selfishness of natural selection acting at the individual level, that would tend to destroy any cooperation in a group. It may well be that the least selfish group will go on to succeed (that is the group exhibiting least evolution). But that doesn’t explain how a group can become less selfish. Looks like you would still need a miracle for that, or do I mean rational consideration?

3 Replies to “On the Origin of Multi-level Selection

  1. 1
    timothya says:

    andyjones posted this:

    We also observe that groups that cooperate best together, do better together than other groups.

    Do we observe this? What evidence do you have that this statement is a universal truth (which is what you are claiming)?

  2. 2
    Axel says:

    The kangaroo court of the received consensus on Evolution gives a whole new meaning to the term, ‘forensic science’. As in, ‘We want our own magic! Why should quantum mechanics have exclusive rights!’

    Well, children, it’s because that’s the way God made the world. Every bit as implausibly as if he made Adam and Eve with slugs snails, puppy-dogs tails and sugar and spice. But He can do that.

    Risibly nugatory evidence is ‘magic’ of a different nature though, in that far from being reality-based, the term really is meant disparagingly for the best of reasons. Its a billion conjectures too far.

  3. 3
    andyjones says:

    The elephant in the room is this: in order to have group selection and overcome individual selection, what is needed are chance effects that *overcome* the Darwinian mechanism (natural selection) at the lower levels. Chance effects like genetic drift, neutral evolution. Remember this the next time an Darwin-apologist tells you it is not about chance.

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