googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: Natural Selection is the Opposite of Evolution!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Natural Selection is the Opposite of Evolution!

When I first wrote about the video, “What Every Creationist Must DENY,” I had not intended to make it a series. Now this is my 3rd post on the subject and I have at least 2 more posts planned so it has become a series regardless of my intention. Please bear with me.

If I had to reduce evolution down to its most fundamental essence, I would have to describe it as reproductive differential. Simply put, whoever leaves the most offspring wins. It doesn't matter how strong a creature is or how fast or how clever; if it doesn't leave any offspring then its advantages die with it. If a creature is a good enough hunter, fast enough to escape predators, and appealing enough to attract a mate, then it will hopefully have offspring that will inherit its advantages. The next generation begins the race anew. The fit will live to reproduce; the unfit will die. Eventually, all the characteristics not suited to a particular environment will be removed from the population and the species will become well adapted to its surroundings.

The judge that helps decide who lives, who dies, and who's genes will be passed along is a cruel mistress by the name of Natural Selection. She's an impartial judge and is only concerned with one question: does it work? Every detail of every creature is judged on how well it works: the shape of its teeth, the color and length of its hair, how fast it can run, how high it can jump, and even the shape of its eyes will be judged. If a trait passes the test, the creature lives to be tested again. Hopefully, it lives long enough to pass its traits on to the next generation. If a feature fails, its host dies. If the host died before leaving any offspring, then the unsuitable trait died with it. The trials continue unceasingly: what works lives – what doesn't work dies. Over time, natural selection works remarkably well and a species becomes very well adapted to its environment.

To help visualize natural selection, I like to use the example of dogs. Most people are familiar with dogs and know that they are a very diverse group. Dogs can have long or short hair, be a variety of colors, be sleek or muscular, and can range in size from the very large mastiff to the very small chihuahua. Dogs represent a kind that includes not only domestic dogs but also wolves, foxes, coyotes, and dingos. Suppose I took a pack of mutts containing dogs of all sorts, then released them into the wild. Natural selection would immediately begin her work. The dogs that lacked the instinct or ability to hunt would quickly starve. In a wooded environment, dogs with brown fur might be better camouflaged which would help them sneak up on prey or hide from larger predators (like pumas or bears). In a snowy environment, lighter colored fur might be more advantageous. Their hair must be long enough to give them warmth and protect them from sun burn yet not so long as to overheat them or harbor disease carrying insects. Their bodies should be large enough for them to overpower prey but not so large as to require more food than is available in that area. Everything about the dogs will be tested: their sense of smell, their eyesight, their hearing, even the shape of their ears. The dogs that have the features best suited for that environment will tend to survive longer and have more pups; the dogs not well suited to that environment will tend to die sooner and have fewer pups.

Over several generations an interesting thing occurs – the pups will all begin to all look alike having similar size, hair length, color, patterns, etc. When all the dogs possess enough traits in common that they can be identified as belonging to the same group, we could call it a new species.

When species are adapted to their environment, they become specialized and less diverse than their ancestors. While the dog-kind is very diverse, dog breeds (like Irish Setters) or dog species (like Canis lupus) all tend to look alike. Because breeds or species are specialized, they are less able to adapt to new environments. A snowy environment, for example, might prefer white hair. However, if I released only Irish Setters into a snowy environment, they will only have red pups and so could not adapt as well as a diverse pack with lots of colors could.

This is a limitation of natural selection. It can only test features already present in a creature. Suppose I had released my hypothetical pack into an environment containing a lot of blue. Blue is fairly common in nature: there are blue plants, birds, insects, reptiles, and fish. If the environment contained a lot of blue, a blue dog might have an advantage. However, there are no blue dogs and natural selection is not able to “add blue” to the features it selects. Natural selection works only by quickly removing the unfit from a population which allows the more fit to continue a while. That's all it ever does.

This is bad news for evolution. Evolutionists notoriously conflate natural selection and evolution as though they are the same thing. They are not. Here's a quote from Science Daily that I've used on my blog before:

Countering the widespread view of evolution as a process played out over the course of eons, evolutionary biologists have shown that natural selection can turn on a dime -- within months -- as a population's needs change

Did you notice how they shift from saying “evolution” to “natural selection” in the same sentence? Whenever I cite this quote, the correct response from honest evolutionists should be to say that Science Daily should have been more careful with its wording. Instead, they hem and haw and make excuses for Science Daily. Have they no shame? Even though I know they know the difference, they are so jealous of the term “natural selection” that they cannot bring themselves to draw a clear line between it and evolution. They prey on ignorance and want people to believe that natural selection over time necessarily leads to evolution.

For evolution to occur, a population must acquire traits. For something like a reptile to become something like a dog, you would have to add hair. The imagined first-ancestor-of-everything did not have hair. Neither did it have feathers, gills, scales, skin, bark, bones, blood, nor organs of any kind. Just think how many features one would have to add to a bacterium to make it into a bird or birch. So evolution demands that populations ACQUIRE traits while natural selection can only REMOVE traits. Natural selection is the opposite of evolution.

In a recent post, I talked about “microevolution” and “macroevolution.” In my example of dogs, there are some people who would call natural selection acting on the traits present in the pack, “microevolution.” If the pack eventually earned the moniker of species, some people would say that's “macroevolution.” It's a lie because these dogs have not evolved in the least since nothing was added to the population. Evolutionists would have us believe that evolution is “change,” these dogs “changed,” therefore these dogs “evolved.” What's more, they argue that over millions of years, these same types of changes could turn these dogs into something that is not a dog! It's nonsense. It's poppycock. It's foolishness! Creationists should not even give ear to such ridiculous ideas and we certainly should not participate in this lie by using these terms ourselves.

There are many things that have been associated with evolution that really have little to do with evolution. Evolutionists often invoke terms like “natural selection,” “variation,” and “millions of years.” While it's true that evolution requires these three things, by themselves they could never lead to evolution. The only leg upon which evolution could stand is “mutations.” Mutations is the real hero of the evolutionary fairy tale. Mutations could maybe turn a frog into a prince but natural selection and time cannot.

I'm going to talk about mutations more in another post. In the meanwhile, creationists need to recognize the difference between natural selection and speciation (which really occurs) and evolution (which does not occur). We need to correct evolutionists who place a false importance on some “change” observed in a population. And we need to stop calling natural selection evolution.



Further reading:


14 comments:

Steven J. said...

Yes, and gasoline is the opposite of internal combustion engines. If I point out that gasoline, by itself, will not move you across town (at least not in any way or condition you'd like to be moved), and then point out that a car engine is totally useless without fuel, these combined points do not constitute a proof that automobiles do not work. Yet that is exactly analogous to the argument you are presenting and planning.

You cannot argue that natural selection is very limited without mutations, and that mutations are even more limited without natural selection, and act as if this disposes of evolution. You need to consider what happens when both of them occur together.

You are, by the way, wrong that natural selection can only eliminate traits. Obviously, if a population is staying at roughly the same size (as individuals who fail to pass on their genes leave more resources for more offspring from individuals who succeed), then as some traits become rarer, others will become more common. Two traits that start off rare and occur in separate individuals will, as they both become common, occur more and more often in the same individual.

So natural selection can combine traits. Often, this will simply give individuals unrelated advantages (e.g. an arctic mammal will acquire both a heat-conserving stocky build and a camouflaging white color). But two traits that yield similar advantages may combine to produce a synergistic advantage that did not previously exist in the population (e.g. two mutations for resistance to a poison combine to yield a much stronger resistance to that poison: this seems to have been the case in quinine-resistant malaria parasites).

RKBentley said...

Steven J,

You said, “Yes, and gasoline is the opposite of internal combustion engines. If I point out that gasoline, by itself, will not move you across town (at least not in any way or condition you'd like to be moved), and then point out that a car engine is totally useless without fuel, these combined points do not constitute a proof that automobiles do not work. Yet that is exactly analogous to the argument you are presenting and planning.”

I did say that evolution requires natural selection but you're analogy fails because natural occurs very well WITHOUT evolution. In the famous example of peppered moth “evolution,” there were NO mutations. An engine must have gasoline to run but natural selection does not need mutations. What's worse is that evolutionists conflate the terms: that would be like saying the engine IS the gasoline and the gasoline IS the engine.

You said, “You cannot argue that natural selection is very limited without mutations, and that mutations are even more limited without natural selection, and act as if this disposes of evolution. You need to consider what happens when both of them occur together.”

I would not suggest that natural selection is very limited without mutations. Natural selection does a fine job and does not need mutations AT ALL to work. Still, I understand the evolutionists' need to conflate natural selection with evolution because natural selection is real and observed while evolution is not; therefore, you leverage what occurs to prop up what does not occur.

You need to consider that even though evolution requires natural selection, not all examples of natural selection are evolution. When I hear examples of “evolution” like the peppered moth, I realize all the more that evolutionists either don't understand how their theory works or they're lying about it.

You said, “You are, by the way, wrong that natural selection can only eliminate traits. Obviously, if a population is staying at roughly the same size (as individuals who fail to pass on their genes leave more resources for more offspring from individuals who succeed), then as some traits become rarer, others will become more common. Two traits that start off rare and occur in separate individuals will, as they both become common, occur more and more often in the same individual.”

If you have a diverse population of 100 critters where 50 are pink and 50 are blue, natural selection can only work to eliminate one color or the other. In the end, you could have 100 blue critters. Blue is more common but there are now fewer traits in the population. It is less diverse. This is why all the members in a species tend to look alike – they are less diverse due to natural selection. What natural selection cannot due is “add green” to my population of critters.

You said, “So natural selection can combine traits.”

“Natural selection” CANNOT combine traits. The traits must already be present in the population. In sexual reproduction, the offspring inherit features from both parents. Suppose there are 2 dogs – one with long brown hair and one with short white hair – their pups could have long brown, short brown, long white, or short white hair (actually, the dogs would also carry traits from their parents that could be expressed in the pups so more combinations are possible). The traits could combine in different ways due to genetics and only then can natural selection pick which traits are successful and which are not.

Evolutionists need to come clean about the difference between natural selection and evolution. You yourself have not lifted one finger to distinguish between the two but have done what I've seen all of your partners in crime do – you've worked hard to conflate the two even further. Repent!!

I'll get to mutations in my next two posts. God bless!!

RKBentley

Steven J. said...

In the famous example of the peppered moths, the black color morph was unknown prior to the 19th century, despite being genetically dominant, and appears to have originated as a mutation near the start of the industrial revolution (presumably, this mutation had occurred before but never persisted). Natural selection depends on variation ("variation" means "differences among individuals at any given time," not "population changes small enough for a creationist to believe in"), and variation arises through mutations. Present variation is like leftover gasoline in the tank, a product of mutations in earlier generations; new mutations are like filling the tank up at the pump again.

Or, consider Lenski's experiments with E. coli. These started as monoclonal colonies: each grown from a single bacterium, and genetically identical. Every change in the different cultures that subsequently appeared was the result of natural selection operating on mutations that appeared spontaneously as the bacteria fed, grew, and bred. Given the ubiquity of mutation (every vertebrate born or hatched probably carries, based on observed rates of mutations, dozens of mutations, mostly neutral and often to non-coding DNA), you really aren't going to have natural selection acting for very long on a population that isn't experiencing mutations.

Oh, and stop asking me to repent of not using words the way you do. You use them incorrectly and misleadingly, and have the chutzpah to project your own vices onto the scientifically literate.

Steven J. said...

“Natural selection” CANNOT combine traits.

When Gregor Mendel first described the genetics of pea plants, he picked seven traits that were inherited independently from one another (whether peas were green or yellow was not correlated with whether they were wrinkled or smooth), inherited simply (the famous 3:1 Mendelian ratio), and did not affect one another (a wrinkled green pea was the same color as a smooth green pea). At the same time, Mendel noted that some traits in his plants were not so simply predictable; he explained this by attributing these traits to the interaction of multiple "factors" (genes).

Modern geneticists agree with him. Many genes are "pleiotropic" (they affect more than one phenotypic trait), and many traits are "polygenetic" (more than one gene influences how they differ in different individuals). Skin color is a notorious example, but even eye color is not the simple result of "a gene for eye color" that is discussed in introductory biology texts.

I've mentioned quinine-resistance in Plasmodium falciparium -- there are at least two separate mutations that confer partial resistance and that can combine to produce much greater resistance. Take your blue and pink critters. Suppose that, among your fifty pink critters, there are one or two that have an allele (not shared, at first, with any blue ones) that has no effect on pink critters' color but combined with the gene for blue makes a green critter. This sort of "cryptic variation" is commonplace in nature; recombining genes even without new mutations can turn up traits that you couldn't see in the original population.

Take, for example, the silver-fox breeding program carried out in Russia for decades by Dmitry Belyaev. The original breeding stock looked like silver-grey foxes; the end result were mostly black-and-white splotched individuals with tails that, like those of dogs, curled up, and often folded ears. These were not traits that were occasionally visible in the wild foxes, nor do they appear to be the result mutations (even though mutations surely occurred). Such changes are seen in every mammal species humans have domesticated, and seem somehow to be side effects of the traits (willingness to abide human contact and accept human leadership) that were bred for (many seem to be a side effect of breeding for retention of youthful traits). Combining genes that had not previously occurred in the same organism, and getting rid of genes that had usually occurred alongside them, can have odd and counterintuitive effects.

RKBentley said...

Steven J,

It would not surprise me if the black color moth arose via mutation (though I'm not conceding that it did). Pigment is not novel among moths. If a mutation caused the overproduction of melanin, it could turn a light peppered moth into a dark peppered moth. It's just like the mutation in Jo Jo the Dog Faced Boy that caused the overproduction of hair. If hair arose among reptiles, I'd be impressed but too much hair on a mammal isn't novel and too much pigment in a moth isn't evolution.

If you want to be absolutely technical, every square square millimeter of the peppered moth is mutation just as every square inch of the human body is. According to evolution, every trait that has turned amoebas into us came about via mutation. However, in the peppered moth example of evolution, it was allegedly birds eating one color of moth that changed the ratio of light/dark moths. And birds eating one color moth will never create new colors of moths.

And are you saying that variation arises ONLY by mutation? Surely you don't mean that. Is the variation seen in a litter of mutts only the result of mutations or is it also the combination of genes already possessed in the parents?

I see that you're still standing by your failed engine/gas analogy. Like I said, I'm seeking to clarify terms and those of your stripe seek to blur them. You can call yourself “scientifically literate” if you'd like but you blatantly seek to conflate evolution and natural selection. Repentance is optional but if you want to save face as one who is scientifically literate, you might want to at least acknowledge that you know “natural selection” and “evolution” are different things.

I saw a PBS special about the selective breeding of foxes and, yes, the “foxes” ended up looking like dogs. That's because they are dogs. The traits they inherited from the ancestral dogs endured in the fox genes and became expressed again when selective pressures changed. Like you said, this wasn't due to mutation but was already present.

By the way, the fox to dog “evolution” occurred at an “astonishing” rate (the PBS documentary used some term along those lines). Rapid speciation is part of the creation model.. The video even claimed that creationists must believe in “super evolution.” This may not have been a new species but we still saw how rapidly the animals adapted to new selective pressures. The video suggests such “super evolution” doesn't exist so it's they who are in denial.

Traits that are present in the genes, even if they aren't expressed, ARE STILL PRESENT IN THE GENES. I'm not sure why you bring up these points because it's been my point all along. For evolution to be plausible, creatures must acquire novel traits. God created genetic potential in the various kinds. There can be a lot of variety among cats but a cat will never become a horse.

Thanks for visiting. God bless!!

RKBentley

Anonymous said...

Looks like you touched a nerve there with your heading :)
The truth shall set you free or put you on the defensive.

Good job, keep at it. It's a very simple concept, selecting from what is available, sometimes in abundance some times not. Evolution and natural selection are indeed opposites, not neccessarily mutual exclusives, but opposites nonetheless.

If evolution was possible, natural selection would only serve as a hindrance and even slow down the process further. That "new" trait that finally "evolved" after millions of years is suddenly not selected to be carried forward, and dies out again, resulting in only the previous already present traits to carry on, possibly, if it was to be selected.

-jjk

RKBentley said...

JJK,

Thanks for visiting my blog and for your comments.

Like you said, the idea that natural selection removes traits while evolution requires populations to acquire traits is a “very simple concept.” Yet no matter how simple or obvious, evolutionists still adamantly refuse to acknowledge it.

You also raised a very relevant point: the tendency of DNA is to suppress mutation. And given that the rare “beneficial” mutation is swamped many times by “harmful” mutations, the rate of evolution would necessarily be staggeringly slow. Keep in mind too that humans take more than a decade to reach sexual maturity and usually only have 1 child at a time. Even two million years since our supposed split from our common ancestor with apes doesn't seem like long enough to allow for the enormous differences between us and chimps.

Thanks again for your comments and your encouragement. Please keep visiting. God bless!!

RKBentley

ahmed khalil said...

Thank you for this very factual and entertaining Article! and I also enjoyed your replies! Do you have any facebook or Twitter pages? I need to keep up with what your writting.

RKBentley said...

Ahmed,

Thanks for your words of encouragement.

I do have a twitter account but I haven't yet started to tweet. You can follow my blog on FaceBook by clicking the "follow" button on the right, under "followers." Also, please help me get the word out and share my posts on your FaceBook page.

As it stands right now, I pretty much only write on my blog. I occasionally engage in other online discussions but nothing formal. I do have an archive of over 500 posts. If you would like to read more of what I've written, I invite you to stop there.

I really love comments so please feel free to add your thoughts on any subject.

God bless!!

RKBentley

Todd Williams said...

I don't understand the complete reluctance to scrutinize the ToE. It is truly a faith-based system, since evos are believing in something they have not observed.

They take observable phenomena such as rapid speciation and natural selection and extrapolate the concepts to form the theory of common descent. I admit as a high school student that common descent seemed feasable at first glance, but the more I studied it, the less plausible it seemed to the point now where it really does appear absurd. And the thing is, I was even open to it being true as a Christian, so I can say that I studied it with an open, objective mind.

But I understand, as a materialist, it's the only game in town. To those who don't believe in God, it really is a scary thing to say, "I really don't have a clue why we're here or how we got here."

RKBentley said...

Todd,

I have an employee who is a college freshman and whose intended major is pharmacology. She knows about my religious and scientific leanings. Though she doesn't share my views, she often asks my opinion on her school assignments. She was recently writing an English paper on natural selection and I gave her a thumbnail explanation of what I covered here, namely how natural selection is the opposite of evolution. She seemed very interested in what I said and could see how the selection of traits isn't the same as evolution. It seemed like a revelation to her.

A couple of weeks later, she came to me and told me she had since read several examples of “evolution” and had noticed that EVERY ONE of them was really an example of natural selection! I was very happy that she could see with her own eyes how the theory of evolution is perpetuation by intentionally conflating evolution and natural selection. Natural selection is observed and evolution is imagined.

Evolutionists purposely use the real phenomenon of natural selection as evidence for their untenable concept of evolution. They intentionally prey on the ignorance of young students to not understand the difference.

God bless!!

RKBentley

Todd Williams said...

Well, good for her! Evolution needs to be taught in the classroom for what it is, not what materialists want it to be. If it's so unassailable, then why is there so much reluctance to scrutinize it at the academic level? You get in more trouble than a Baptist asking for a beer.

Mr. Roberts blog said...

Hi, you have such a cool blog, on this one! Will you be so kind and give an answer to my question. Is it a paid blog theme that you purchase or a regular one?

RKBentley said...

Mr. Roberts,

Mine is a free theme available on Blogger. I've tweaked it a little by adjusting the widths and mixing one-column and two-column side bars. I've been through a couple of themes over the last few years but I think I'll stay with this one. Some themes are so busy that it takes away from the content.

Good luck on your blog. God bless!!

RKBentley