Evolution is a Fact #28 - Something Darwin Didn't Say

by cofty 36 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • GodZoo

    Something else Darwin failed to address..


    Among the many problems with Darwinism that Bergson's theory tried to deal with was the fact that a multicellular organ is a "functional whole made up of coordinated parts" and if "just one or a few of the parts happened to vary . . . the functioning of the whole would be impaired" (Goudge 1967, 292). This concept, now known as irreducible complexity, is the basis of the modern Intelligent Design movement. Bergson also concluded that, due to irreducible complexity, at every stage of an animal's history and development

    all the parts of an animal and of its complex organs |must| have varied contemporaneously so that effective functioning was preserved. But it is utterly implausible to suppose, as Darwin did, that such coadapted variations could have been random. . . . Some agency other than natural selection must have been at work to maintain continuity of functioning through successive alterations of form (Goudge 1967, 292).

    Bergson also concluded that Darwinism had failed to explain why life

    evolved in the direction of greater and greater complexity. The earliest living things were simple in character and well adapted to their environments. Why did the evolutionary process not stop at this stage? Why did life continue to complicate itself "more and more dangerously"? (Goudge 1967, 292).
  • cofty
    Something else Darwin failed to address.. - godzoo

    Actually the thread is about something wrongly attributed to Darwin. Presumably you didn't take two minutes to read the OP.

    Thank you for your questions on so-called "irreducible complexity" and on diversity.

    The very brief answers are ...

    1 - There is no such thing as "irreducible complexity" and the ID movement is just good old fashioned creationism pretending to be science in an attempt to invade classrooms.

    2 - For exactly the same reason that modern armies don't go to war with stone axes and wooden clubs - competition and arms race.

    I am just in from work but I will get back to you with more detail soon.

    P.S. I replied respectfully to your impertinent PM

  • cofty

    Ok I'm back.

    Godzoo your post is 100% copy-paste but you fail to acknowledge that or provide a source. That is bad form.

    It turns out you got your material from an article by ex-Jehovah's Witness Jerry Bergman on the ICR website. The article is dishonestly titled "Creative Evolution: An Anti-Darwin Theory Won a Nobel".

    Bergman is referring to a book written in 1907 by Henri Bergson for which he won a Nobel Prize in 1927. The article dishonestly implies that the prize was for an anti-Darwinian biology paper. It was not. It was the Nobel Prize for literature.

    Bergson argued that the natural processes underlying evolution are supplemented by a nonmaterial élan vital. It was an idea that caught the imagination of some non-scientific academics for a while, but by the 70s it had completely been discarded. I am willing to bet SBF will resurrect the notion any day now.

    I will address so-called "irreducible complexity" in detail later in this series. Basically it is the vacuous assertion that some feature of living things has no use unless all its parts are in place therefore it could not have evolved. It is nothing more than "Paley's Watch" in a new disguise. There was a time creationists loudly proclaimed that the eye was so complex it must have been created; "what use is half an eye" etc. Often they would even quote-mine Darwin to make it sound as if he agreed. Now that the step-by-step evolution of devices like the eye have been explained in detail creationists have turned their attention to smaller things such as the bacterial flagellum.

    It is an argument from ignorance. Imagine coming across a stone arch for the first time. If just one stone is removed the whole arch will collapse, therefore it is clearly not possible to build an arch.

    Until I get around to a thread on this topic here is an article that describes how the bacterial flagellum could have evolved by a step-by-step process.

    Answering the Biochemical Argument from Design by Kenneth Miller ...

    As for the "Intelligent Design" movement it was thoroughly exposed in the case of Kitzmiller v Dover.

    Here is a video that provides proof of their rank dishonesty..


    You should also spend some time investigating the background at the NCSE website...

    Here is Kenneth Miller discussing his role in the Dover trial.


    I will get to your other question tomorrow.

  • cofty

    Hello again godzoo.

    I don't know if you have read my answer to your first question yet but when you do please let me know if it is helpful.

    Your second question was about why "Darwinism had failed to explain why life evolved in the direction of greater and greater complexity."

    This is an odd question since the entire theme of "Origin of Species" addresses this question in incredible detail. The short answer is that increased complexity is driven by competition for limited resources. It is very well illustrated by Lenski's experiment that I described in #12

    If resources - food and mates - were unlimited there would be no selection pressure for new features. In the real world resources are always finite. An individual who can do stuff that it's competitors can't do as well will have a better chance of leaving genes to the next generation.

    Look at the simple features of this water bear - or tardigrade. It is only 0.5mm long but it's simple limbs and mouthparts give it an advantage over its ancestors who were simple segmented organisms.

    Tremendous progress is being made in understanding how these changes occurred. Even the specific genes that initiate limbs and the differentiation of segments are being discovered.

    Thank you for your questions godzoo.

  • LisaRose

    At one time there were vast numbers of dinosaurs of many different species in North America, covering most of the center of what is now the U.S. Scientists are finding fossils of new species every day. This came about because at that time it was a subtropical rainforest, food was abundant and, since they were dinosaurs they didn't have to worry about larger predators. It was a good life for the dino. What drove the evolution into such an incredible variety of species was sexual selection. Since they didn't worry about food or fighting, what made reproduction more likely was simple sexual selection. Those genetic mutations that made a dino more attractive to or noticed by the opposite sex were then more likely to get them a mate and pass down that mutation. Things like ruffled neck frills came about, wildly different coloration, etc. Those genetic mutations that did not make them attractive did not get passed down.

    Since food was abundant they didn't have to move around much. That meant that changes tended to stay within a small group, because they didn't travel very far to mate. It didn't take long before groups changed enough from each other than they didn't recognize each other as the same species and stopped mating.

    All that variety and complexity driven by a single cause in this case, sexual selection. Is that such a hard concept to understand? It seems quite simple to me.

  • cofty

    Thanks Lisa Rose.

    Remember too that just as genes for ruffled neck frills were passed to little boy dinosaurs from one generation to the next, the genes to prefer ruffled neck frills were also passed to little girl dinos.

    A sort of arms race ensues when sexual selection takes hold. This series needs a thread on sexual selection.

  • rubbeng

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