Yet more logical problems with the Darwinian model

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I believe I’ve come up with another philosophical weakness within the Darwinian model, this one having to do with adaptive mutation.

Let’s take an imaginary creature, a species of reptile for instance. And let’s imagine that somewhere along the evolutionary pathway a mutation occurs in one of these creatures, a mutation that is a precursor to the reptile’s eventual form of a bird.  The mutation involves small, stump-like growths on its sides that will eventually turn in to wings.

There are several problems here.  For natural selection to take root, the mutation must give this particular reptile an advantage over its brethren.  But this mutation gives no advantage.  Indeed, they seem to be a hindrance.  And not only is the mutation a hindrance, it will be a hindrance for thousands and thousands of years, until finally and eventually enough mutations occur to produce wings.

It seems that many people who believe in Darwin’s theory look at an advantageous aspect of an animal and forget that in order to reach that point, an animal would have had to endure thousands or millions of years of disadvantage.

Now, there are of course certain traits in some animals that we can imagine as being progressively more advantageous.  A giraffe’s long neck for instance.  With each mutation the neck gets longer and longer and each mutational generation has an advantage over the prior.

However, even in the case of the giraffe, there is a problem which heaps yet more mathematical improbability onto the case.  In order for Darwinism to be true, a species that experiences a mutation that gives it a slightly longer neck such as the giraffe, must experience the same exact mutation over and over until its neck reaches the length now seen in giraffes.  If there is an infinitesimally small chance that the first mutation occurs and is beneficial, how much less the chance that the giraffe experiences a series of mutations that extend its neck? The Darwinist may argue that each generation of giraffes with longer necks has an advantage and therefore outlasts other generations.  But why should an advantageous mutation continue to elongate the neck?  There is a seemingly infinite number of imaginable mutations that could give giraffes an advantage.  The longer neck is not a necessary aspect of survival, since there are other herbivores that don’t have such long necks and still survive.  And yet the Darwinist must believe that for some special reason, evolution chooses to give giraffes longer and longer necks,  and yet does not choose to give antelopes necks which are close to the length of the giraffe’s.

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3 thoughts on “Yet more logical problems with the Darwinian model

    Bill said:
    July 26, 2012 at 3:58 am

    I was brought up Catholic and although Darwinism doesn’t attempt to describe how we got here, I grew up with a weird dichotomy – parents were both strong believers in evolution while school taught vehemently that it was ‘bad’. The issue is really hard to come to grips with for me. Evolutionary changes happen – I don’t think anyone really doubts that. but it almost seems like things were already essentially in place and through observable history, we’ve just seen small mutations of the essential form. I’ve been fascinated with great apes and monkeys since I was a kid and I can totally see how, given a few million years, we could get from ape to human. It’s not an easy thing to imagine but looking at the DNA sequencing and realizing recorded history is only a tiny fraction of a million years (and the split was much longer than that), I can buy that. Given a million years, I’d expect that current form humans would be way faster, smarter, stronger etc. I could even see how we could end up fundamentally look much different especially when you consider the convergence of all of the races. That leap isn’t hard for me. But getting from Fish to Human – I just am not seeing it. How would the transition from gills and breathing in water get you to breathing air happen? What would the initial mutation look like? I’ve heard the hypothesis for Supercanes that happened when the big dino killer asteroid hit, that it droves many creatures underground and we had tons of radiation – so I could see that radically affecting DNA. And b/c we’re here, we don’t see all the species that didn’t make it – I can get all that – but I still don’t see how that transition could happen. Same holds for Amoeba to Dog – or any other common animal. Even when we look at prehistoric animals, we’re still talking about creatures in essentially the same form they are know (from what I understand, Great White Sharks are pretty much identical to what they were a zillion years ago). If you start at a basic structure to animals, mammals, reptiles, amphibians – then it’s not hard to see how evolution could get us from there to here. But that leap is absolutely nothing compared to getting from amoeba to T-Rex. And that’s if you can somehow get around life starting from non-life.

    Which is where I’m going to get kinda weird. But if you look at what’s happening right now in AI and robotics, I totally believe within 10 years we’ll have automated customer service systems that will end up being better than the average human respondent is. AI is getting amazing right now and it’s in its infancy. So the evolution of both Robots, in terms of both physical structure and ability and intelligence, will be pretty amazing. But from the start of man until late 20th century, there was absolutely no movement in AI – none, zero, zilch. And if computers weren’t invented, another zillion years wouldn’t have yielded it. That really makes me wonder (and think) that something clearly put us here. It’s not hard to imagine that robots will be smart enough to have self-awareness as well. When you look at being in love as something you can specifically cause by manipulating neurotransmitters, you can see how a robot could even feel love and every other emotion in the spectrum. You could even have “Good” and “Evil” – basically, early on a program gets positive feedback from something ‘bad’ and that progresses over time. This whole world could be easily explained then if you believe that a more intelligent being came here and let loose very basic models of beings that had the ability to learn and change to meet the environment. If you’re religiously inclined, you could grant that God was the one that put that in motion. But no matter how you slice it, it seems that something fairly sophisticated had to put it all in place. A fish didn’t murphy into bird, there was a basic ‘flying creature’ that then morphed into other birds, same for mammal to dog, cat, giraffe, ape and human. No matter how I look at it though – seems something pretty sophisticated had to be the starting point – and if you look at where robots are starting, it’d be the exact same sort of phenomenon – there was nothing until a fairly sophisticated model came out.

    At the end of the day, it really seems like Darwinism is the right answer, but its the answer to a totally different question than what is usually attributed to.

    magus71 responded:
    July 26, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Bill,

    No one questions adaptive changes, ie survival of the fittest. If one cat has a genetic speed advantage over another cat and they are both being chased by a fox, the fastest cat will survive to pass on its advantage. But this is not Darwinism. Darwinism primarily speaks to changes of species from one to another. And there are huge problems with this. Please see another post on “Speciation” problems.

    https://soldiercitizen.wordpress.com/2011/10/15/darwinism-and-the-problem-of-allopatric-speciation/

    In summary, the above linked article askes how a newly formed species could mate given that it is the first of its kind?

    And yet another issue is deciding what is truly an advantage and what is not. What is considered a genetic advantage in one instance is not an advantage in others.

    magus71 responded:
    July 26, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Bill,

    I highly recommend “The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and it’s scientific pretensions.” by David Berlinski; PHD in mathematics and philosophy and expert on Darwinism.

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Devils-Delusion-Scientific-Pretensions/dp/0465019374/ref=la_B000APXFS4_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1343314466&sr=1-1

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