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Natural selection

New Video Presentation on YouTube: Intelligent Design & Scientific Conservatism

I have recently posted a new video on my Intelligent Design YouTube channel. In this video I discuss several areas in the philosophy of science and modern evolutionary biology, and their relationship to ID. These thoughts were prompted initially by an interesting paper by philosopher of science Jeffrey Koperski ‘Two Bad Ways to Attack Intelligent Design, and Two Good Ones’. Koperski thinks that one good way to critique ID is to point out that it violates principles like ‘scientific conservatism’. Because there are several potential naturalistic mechanisms on the table, even if orthodox neo-Darwinism fails, ID is an unnecessary proposal. To turn to design explanations would be to adjust our theories too drastically. I argue against this claim, concluding that Read More ›

What Does It Mean To Be Human? Don’t Ask A Darwinist

“What does it mean to be human?” is one of the fundamental questions we all ask.  Every once in a while something happens to remind us that those influenced by Darwinism usually only answer the question with “not much”.   As a case in point, just today it’s being reported that the father of a son born with two rare diseases was trying to raise money for medical expenses.  He had put up signs at a local mall to raise awareness and funds.  “KC Ahlers said he posted six signs around the Franklin Park Mall in Toledo, Ohio to spread awareness about an upcoming fundraiser for his 4-month-old son, RJ. The father told WTVG on Friday that he discovered three additional Read More ›

Stephen L. Talbott: “Let’s Not Begin with Natural Selection”

Talbott: I can think of no fundamental question about evolution whose answer is suggested by the advertised formula for natural selection. Everything depends on what the amazingly diverse sorts of organism actually do as they respond to and shape their environments. Read More ›

Stripes confuse people but they do not cool zebras

From ScienceDaily: Susanne Åkesson, a biologist at Lund University in Sweden, refutes the theory that zebras have striped fur to stay cool in the hot sun. That hypothesis is wrong, she and her colleagues show in a study recently published in Scientific Reports. There has been an ongoing discussion among researchers, dating back to Darwin, on why zebras have their signature black and white stripes. One of several theories is that it keeps them cool in the sunshine. The black stripes get warmer than the white areas, and the theory states that this creates small vortexes when the hotter air above the dark fur meets the cooler air above the white fur. According to the theory these vortexes works as Read More ›

Tale of the Transmission

It finally happened. I’ve been nursing along my car’s transmission for several months (careful driving, changing the fluids, etc.), but last week it finally failed completely, with an accompanying whump! and a jerk, and the car had to be towed to the auto repair shop. The initial hope was that a regular tear-down and cleanout, along with replacement of the wearable parts, would take care of it.  That was going to set me back about $1,500, which I wasn’t happy about but could live with.  Unfortunately, it turned out that some of what the transmission guys call “hard parts” – in this case the planetary gear assembly – were broken, so they were going to have to order a whole Read More ›

Debating Darwin and Design: A Dialogue Between Two Christians

A couple of months ago, I agreed to take part in a written debate with a good friend of mine, Francis Smallwood. Francis, like me, is a commited Christian. Unlike me though, he is also a neo-Darwinist. On his blog Musings Of A Scientific Nature he writes on many different scientific issues, although his primary focus is on Darwinism. I encourage UD readers to check his blog out. As an enthusiastic ID proponent, I obviously think his embrace of Darwinian theory is profoundly mistaken, and equally I think his criticisms of ID are weak. However, he is at least willing to engage in debate with people of opposing view points and is not as dismissive as most Darwinists. Our idea Read More ›

Is nature really a struggle in which natural selection is the key factor?

British physicist David Tyler comments:

In a perceptive essay, Daniel Todes focuses attention on the reactions of Russian biologists to Darwin’s writings. Many of these naturalists “were evolutionists before 1859”, so they did not dissent from common ancestry. However, their experiences of the living world were quite different from Darwin and Wallace, who drew their inspiration from densely populated tropical forests and related habitats. They witnessed a struggle for existence that matched the description Thomas Malthus had given of human communities. Using the same logic, Darwin and Wallace were stimulated to think about winners and losers in populations of animals and plants. The Russian scientists lived in a different world.

[They] “investigated a vast under-populated continental plain. For them, nature was not an “entangled bank” – the image Darwin took from the Brazilian jungle. It was a largely empty Siberian expanse in which overpopulation was rare and only the struggle of organisms against a harsh environment was dramatic.”

The Russian response to living in a harsh environment was to develop “the language of communalism – stressing not individual initiative and struggle, but the importance of cooperation within social groups and the virtues of social harmony.” The analysis of Malthus did not match the biological communities in their part of the world, so Darwin’s metaphor of the “struggle for existence” was not, in their view, well grounded.

That’s always what bothered me. I see competition in nature, to be sure, but also lots of cooperation. Otherwise, life could not survive against non-life. There is much more non-life than life. That much should be obvious. For more, go here.

Tyler also points out that Read More ›