We didn’t evolve by adapting
Natural selection supposedly works by you adapting
to the environment. But then you’d end up being just
like the environment, and you’re not. In fact, the
longer evolution goes on the less dependent living
creatures are on any one environment. Dandelions,
cats and humans do fine just about anywhere. So
adaptation to the environment can’t be how they and
Why bad science
By “Darwin” I mean “the modern
synthesis” of two physical mechanisms:
While wondering how to account for evolution
Charles Darwin fell under the influence of
Auguste Comte, the founder of Positivist science.
Fundamental to Posivitism is reductionism: you
account for any discovery or theory in terms of
more fundamental sciences, psychology in terms
of biology, biology in terms of physics and
chemistry. The mechanism Darwin arrived at,
natural selection, was pure physics.
We get “genetic mutation” from Ronald Fisher.
He was primarily a statistician. Also a eugenicist. In
the heyday of eugenics he wanted a theory to
make eugenics more impressive. He came up with
a source of variation for natural selection to work
on: random damage to genes. Natural selection,
only 1% efficient, would work on them to remove
all the harmful damage, leaving only those that
were improvements! Duh! I don’t think so.
For more critiques of natural selection see:
Gertrude Himmelfarb, “Darwin and the Darwinian
Revolution,” Part V. Analysis of the theory [in
Darwin’s “Origin”], (W.W. Norton & Company, 1959).
Review in “Evolution for the Humanities.”
“Origin of species, 6th edition,” review by Shaun
Johnston, in “Evolution for the Humanities.”
Improvement through damage
Imagine, you’ve a blueprint for a combine harvester.
But you really want a submarine. What are you going
to do? You’ll throw darts at your combine harvester
blueprint, damaging it until it’s changed into the
blueprint for a submarine! Seem ridiculous?
Welcome to genetic mutation.
Genetic mutation is random damage to creatures’
genes. Some will make no difference, some will kill
the creatures, but most will just be harmful. That
harm, accumulating generation by generation, will
rapidly drive the creatures into extinction.
What more is there to say? Well, according to Fisher,
the laws of chance dictate that every so often
random damage could be beneficial! And if so,
natural selection will favor those beneficial genes
over the harmful genes. And if natural selection was
100% efficient it would get rid of all the harmful
mutations, leaving only those that are beneficial.
However, even Fisher can’t justify natural selection
being more than 1% efficient. So harm accumulates
1% slower, and the creatures go extinct again, just a
little bit slower.
Leave out the harmful mutations
Now Fisher pulls another trick. He leaves out the
critical equation that would sum up the effect of a
1% efficient natural selection on both beneficial and
harmful genes. Instead he applies it only to
beneficial mutations, that naturally show a slow
increase, which he claims is a new source of
variation. He declares his mutations plus natural
selection account for how evolution actually works.
Was this wishful thinking by a eugenicist? Or absent-
mindedness? Richard Dawkins called Fisher the
greatest evolutionist since Darwin. One thing you
can be sure of, though, is that no evolutionists read
Fisher. His book is all maths, and anyway it’s out of
print. Safely buried.
By normal standards of science, Darwinism is
suspect. There is abundent evidence for evolution,
but none that Darwinism is its mechanism. And it
can’t account for mind. Look for alternatives.
Artists and business people don’t say,
“We’ve no free will, we’re all determined.”
Natural selection can work only by sorting among
existing genes, such as those for the shapes of
birds’ beaks as the food supply changes. It’s
adjustment rather than real evolution. It can turn
races into species. But that’s about it. For the
creation of new genes, you need something else.
Proteins can’t evolve by natural selection.
Adaptation is just the environment giving yes or no
answers to suggestions--variations--living creatures
come up with. A typical protein is 500 amino acids
long, and for each amino acid there are 20
candidates. For a protein like that to evolve, guess--
how many individual suggestions would you have to
present to the environment? 20x20x20 and so on five
hundred times. The entire universe isn’t big enough
to write all the zeros in that number. No way proteins
could evolve that way, through natural selection. And
we’ve 18,000 proteins coded for in our genes. We’ve
someone a lot smarter than natural selection to
thank for our proteins. Hmm! Maybe viruses!
Genes are not the same as characteristics
To natural selection, we’re each just a bundle of
separate characteristics. Of each characteristic it
asks us, does your version of it make you fitter? If it
does, natural selection says, we pass. But what
actually varies between generations isn’t
characteristics, it’s genes. And genes, in most cases,
don’t correspond, one to one, to characteristics--
each gene may help code for dozens, even
hundreds of characteristics. So evolution isn’t about
selecting for characteristics. We evolve as whole
creatures, not as set sof separate characteristics.
The variation problem
Darwin based his natural selection on breeders’
“artificial selection.” That works by reducing
variation. But as they evolve creatures don’t
become less varied. So natural selection can’t be
how they evolve.
Copyright 2021 Evolved Self Publishing
Author, publisher: Shaun Johnston (Mr.)
Evolved Self Publishing
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