Friday, June 10, 2011

He Absolutely Nails It

I don’t understand why natural selection is a help when trying to acquire targets of high specific function. All natural selection does is end pathways; it doesn’t create them and it has no knowledge of where such targets might exist, nor any knowledge of the best path to get there.

Since many pathways that lead to highly functioning macroevolutionary targets might in fact go down roads that natural selection would prevent, it seems to me that adding natural selection to the system can’t do anything but decrease the chances of acquiring the targets.

Often people use strings of letters to represent the evolutionary process, as if the best pathway from random letters to “Methinks it is a weasel” is to simply change letter slots randomly until one locks in the sentence; but that’s not a valid way of looking at it, when those letters generate real-world, 3-D designs that can cause the organism to be selected against.

If there are X amount of pathways to achieve a macro-evolutionary feature, all natural selection can do is remove a set of those pathways from being operable. Those left may or may not even be able to reach the goal; the only availabe pathway might in fact be through an area censored by natural selection – IOW, “you can’t get there from here”.

If there was unlimited room, and unlimited resources, it seems to me that a random walk unhindered by natural selection would have a better chance at gaining macroevolutionary outcomes when one doesn’t know whether or not that outcome is even possible via steps that natural selection would allow.

Sure, we might have a bunch of organisms with malformed, dysfunction,non-functional wings that make it really hard for them to survive, but we’d at least have a better shot at acquiring “working wings” if evolution allowed every step to succeed,instead of only those that could be locally and immediately justified in survival terms.

He expresses this much better than the comments I left:
Meleagar (at comment 6),

You have nailed it precisely. The materialists would have us believe that natural selection is a probability enhancer, when, in fact (since all it is is death), it is a probability reducer.

After all, an ensemble of monkeys isn’t going to reach Hamlet faster if you continually machine-gun some substantial fraction of them.

It should be blindingly obvious, but there are many who do not want to see it.


Differential reproduction equates to differential destruction. Destruction is not construction.

The point is this: if one were to calculate probabilities of reaching a particular function via random variation based on no constraints of competition and no natural selection, where organisms are free to breed and reproduce their heart’s content, with no culling of the herd, those probabilities are going to be better, not worse, than if natural selection (i.e. death, i.e. differential destruction) were operating.

Again: obvious.


Ilíon said...

Ovbiously, you simply don't understand 'Science!' ;)

With 'Science!', when one sums a sufficient quantity of negative numbers, the result is positive.

Matteo said...

And what you just said nails it in a single sentence!

I guess the slogan is:

"Natural Selection: We make it up on volume."