Skip to comments.No Harm, No Foul — What If Darwinism Were Excised from Biology?
Posted on 12/04/2019 8:54:07 AM PST by Kalamata
Some biologists might shudder at the thought of eliminating Darwinism from their scientific work. A Darwin-ectomy sounds more painful than a tonsillectomy or appendectomy. To hard-core evolutionists, it might sound like a cephalectomy (removal of the head)! If Darwinism is as essential to biology as Richard Dawkins or Jerry Coyne argues, then removing evolutionary words and concepts should make research incomprehensible.
If, on the other hand, Darwinism is more of a narrative gloss applied to the conclusions after the scientific work is done, as the late Philip Skell observed, then biology would survive the operation just fine. It might even be healthier, slimmed down after disposing of unnecessary philosophical baggage. Here are some recent scientific papers in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) to use as test cases.
(Excerpt) Read more at evolutionnews.org ...
Seems like genetics is very real. But thats not the same as Darwinian evolution. Descent from a common ancestor? I consider that unproven and not really very useful for biology. Testing cosmetics on rabbits (for example) doesnt depend on our common ancestry.
Something happened sometime.
I’m reading a book called “Evolution 2.0” by Perry Marshall, where he makes the case (all based on current scientific knowledge) that organisms down to the cell level ACTIVELY change and mutate on their own in response to changes/threats from the environment, driven by their innate desire/need to survive and thrive.
Cells even intentionally reprogram their own DNA in order to survive.
The idea that random, undirected tiny mutations is the main driver of evolution is totally debunked, as is the idea that life began as a chemical soup.
I highly recommend it. Just discovering the incredible complexity of a cell is mind blowing.
We have observable evidence of adaptation WITHIN a species.
But NO EVIDENCE of transition FROM ONE SPECIES TO ANOTHER!!!
(under the traditional definition of "species")
Then you’ll have to start excising it from the minds of people who already have an inkling of what it is. And burn at the stake anyone who has the audacity to bring it up again.
All of a sudden animals can no longer evolve due to climate change. A theory based on flawed thinking without facts. This has been the basis of leftist dogma for 60+ years and its being tossed out the window.
Some biologists might shudder at the thought of eliminating Darwinism from their scientific work.
Why would they care when they rarely if ever use the term Darwinism?
However, try to eliminate comparative anatomy and comparative genomics, then they would really get upset.
It takes life to make life.
I have that book, and it is loaded with naïve statements like these:
"The [whale] genome didn't just delete lines of code and make the legs disappear entirely. It looked as though the adaptive program was trying to hang on to valuable inventory. It seemed almost... conservative. As though it knew it might need those legs some time in the future, and so resisted deleting them. Who knows? Maybe those bones still serve some unseen function now." [Chap.2]
"I read hundreds of conversations with people of all stripes, about things like whale feet and blind mole rats and pseudogenes and a hundred other things. Then, eventually, the remarkable discoveries of Barbara McClintock and Lynn Margulis. The evidence they offered slowly persuaded me that the case for some kind of evolution was credible." [Chap.22]
"Dawkins' software program was programmed to compare each new sentence to the goal sentence and either select it for continued 'mutation' or reject it based on whether it more closely resembled the goal than the previous mutation. But his very own '1.0' Darwinian evolution explicitly forbids preprogrammed goals! So Dawkins' 'Weasel' experiment had nothing to do with true Neo-Darwinism. His program does vaguely resemble what cells do. But don't forget Dawkins has always insisted that evolution is blind and purposeless. His program is anything but blind and purposeless; its goal is precisely defined from the beginning! What Dawkins actually proved with this experiment was: If you want to evolve, you have to start with a goal." [Chap.25]
"The Neo-Darwinists deny purpose, even though their language drips with purpose-laden terms like 'selfish genes.' They criticize Young Earth Creationists for insisting the Earth only appears to be millions of years old... yet they claim that living things only appear to be purposeful. What's the difference? When you allow nature to simply tell its own story, when you subtract randomness from the equation and replace it with the goal-seeking systems, evolution, in the form of Evolution 2.0, finally begins to make sense. You find that real-world biology doesn't support atheism at all. It speaks to a world that's even more amazing than most people dared to believe." [Chap.27]
"I said to Jeff, 'I appreciate what you're saying, and in theory that might be true. But if the universe was created 6,000 years ago, yet has the appearance of having an exquisitely detailed 13-billion-year history, that drags us into all kinds of freakish philosophical problems.' Paul nodded. He knew exactly what I meant. Some folks are untroubled by such questions, but people in the sciences are never content to shrug off such things. I admired Paul for his candor about his Young Earth Creationism. After all, he was right: It is not scientifically defensible. It runs into trouble with the speed of light and radiometric dating, plus astronomy, geology, archaeology, and a half dozen other disciplines." [Appendix 2]
[From: Perry A. Marshall, "Evolution 2.0: Breaking the Deadlock Between Darwin and Design." BenBella Books, Inc., 2015]
Frankly, Marshall seems confused about everything: evolution, intelligent design, creationism, . . . everything! But it doesn't seem to bother him. He is perfectly happy sitting on any number of fences.
One of the books he attempts to marginalize, "Darwin's Doubt" by Stephen Meyer, is one of the most scientifically-sound books I have read, and I highly recommend it.
The theme of the article wasn't on the use of the word "Darwinism" itself, but rather the obligatory "narrative gloss" of evolution buzz-words which serve no useful purpose except to kiss the ring of Charlie Darwin, or, as the article labels it, "unnecessary philosophical baggage":
"To hard-core evolutionists, it might sound like a cephalectomy (removal of the head)! If Darwinism is as essential to biology as Richard Dawkins or Jerry Coyne argues, then removing evolutionary words and concepts should make research incomprehensible. If, on the other hand, Darwinism is more of a 'narrative gloss' applied to the conclusions after the scientific work is done, as the late Philip Skell observed, then biology would survive the operation just fine. It might even be healthier, slimmed down after disposing of unnecessary philosophical baggage." ["No Harm, No Foul: What If Darwinism Were Excised from Biology?". Evolution News & Science Today, Dec 4, 2019]
Perry Marshall is an EE/businessman who is a system analyst. Dennis Noble, one of his supporters, is a true biologist who posits that biological systems use feedback to change their function. He says, with no real evidence, that this change goes all the way down to the gene level, a most Lysenko-type pronouncement. If he had stopped at change in gene expression due to outside pressure, I might agree with him.
well, the evidence is that you are wrong.
To learn, go into the field and study what you observe rather than argue points warmed over by those who speculate about speculation
Have you read this by Noble?
"A central feature of the Integrative Synthesis is a radical revision of the concept of causality in biology. A priori there is no privileged level of causation. This is the principle that I have called the theory of biological relativity. As Werner puts it, 'all levels have an equal contributing value'. Control is therefore distributed, some of which is inherited independently of DNA sequences. The revision of the concept will also recognize the different forms of causality. DNA sequences are best viewed as passive causes, because they are used only when the relevant sequences are activated. DNA on its own does nothing. The active causes lie within the control networks of the cells, tissues and organs of the body." [Denis Noble, "Physiology is Rocking the Foundations of Evolutionary Biology." Experimental Physiology, Vol.98, Iss.8; April 15, 2013, p.1241]
The gene regulatory network has been getting a lot of attention:
"When they proposed their theory in 1969, [Roy] Britten and [Eric] Davidson acknowledged that 'little is known... of the molecular mechanisms by which gene expression is controlled in differentiated cells.' Nevertheless, they deduced that such a system must be at work. Given: (1) that tens or hundreds of specialized cell types arise during the development of animals, and (2) that each cell contains the same genome, they reasoned (3) that some control system must determine which genes are expressed in different cells at different times to ensure the differentiation of different cell types from each othersome system-wide regulatory logic must oversee and coordinate the expression of the genome.
"Davidson has dedicated his career to discovering and describing the mechanisms by which these systems of gene regulation and control work during embryological development. During the last two decades, research in genomics has revealed that nonprotein-coding regions of the genome control and regulate the timing of the expression of the protein-coding regions of the genome. Davidson has shown that the nonprotein-coding regions of DNA that regulate and control gene expression and the protein-coding regions of the genome together function as circuits. These circuits, which Davidson calls 'developmental gene regulatory networks' (or dGRNs) control the embryological development of animals."
[Stephen C. Meyer, "Darwin's Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design." HarperOne, 2013, p.265]
This is Davidson:
"There is always an observable consequence if a dGRN subcircuit is interrupted. Since these consequences are always catastrophically bad, flexibility is minimal, and since the subcircuits are all interconnected, the whole network partakes of the quality that there is only one way for things to work. And indeed the embryos of each species develop in only one way." [Eric H. Davidson, "Evolutionary bioscience as regulatory systems biology." Developmental Biology, Vol.357, Iss.1; Sept 1, 2011, p.40]
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