Rebuttal to the Columbus Dispatch Article (10/08/02) Titled,
 "Darwin wasn’t only scientist with natural-selection theory".

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In another misguided attempt to promote their "evolution as fact" dogma, the Columbus Dispatch has published an article that utilizes biased journalism to exalt their point of view. This article, authored by Steve Rissing, attempts to- (1) demonstrate that Alfred Wallace, concurrent with Darwin, proposed the theory of natural selection and (2) propose the misguided notion that natural selection explains the origins of diversity and complexity in all life forms.

First, while Wallace proposed his theory concurrent with Darwin, Darwin never fully accepted natural selection as the only mechanism to explain the diversity of life. Darwin is on record as saying, "I admit… that in the earlier edition of my Origin of Species I probably attributed too much to the action of natural descent of the survival of the fittest (my emphasis)1." Darwin actually promoted his own variation of a theory called Lamarkianism first proposed by Jean Baptiste Lamark. Lamark believed that organisms had the ability to adapt and then pass these adaptations (called gemmules) on to their offspring. An example would be if parents got suntanned skin all their lives, they would be able to pass pre-tanned skin on to their offspring. Lamarkianism lost favor (for good reason) in the scientific community in the early 1900’s.

Second, this Dispatch article uses an old tactic called the evolutionary "bait and switch" to persuade people that there is overwhelming evidence for the theory of natural selection. The theory of natural selection is based on the observable fact that not all conceptions result in births -- only a certain percentage of animals that are born alive actually survive to adulthood and even less are successfully able to reproduce. The assumption of natural selection then proposes that species which survive to reproduce are better adapted to the environment and thus biologically superior. The proposed evolutionary mechanism for natural selection is mutations. The occurrence of these slight variations may further result in new traits and thus add diversity to the gene pool. This type of adaptation and variation within species is a well-documented observation where there is no argument between evolutionists and creationists.

The argument begins when evolutionists say there is no limit to the diversity achieved via mutations, and the mechanism of mutations can also explain the origin of new complex organs, simplicity to complexity, and high order animals from lower ones. The evolutionist Niles Eldridge said,

Natural selection per se does not work to create new species. The pattern of change in so many examples in the fossil record is far more a reflection of the origin and differential survival (selection extinction) of species than the inexorable accumulation of minute changes within species through the agency of natural selection2 .

Rosen said that "Although natural selection theory fails to explain the origin of evolutionary novelties, its greatest shortcomings in terms of evolutionary theory is that it fails to explain evolutionary diversity"3. The evolutionist, Stephen Jay Gould said "…although I wear the Darwinian label with some pride, I am not among the most ardent defenders of natural selection4."

Rissing’s Dispatch article states,

(Alfred) Wallace also diverged from Darwin on the evolution of human nature. Wallace thought human intelligence and other adaptations were designed by an entity other than God. Like similar arguments today, Wallace could never provide experimental evidence to support this design.

Likewise, macroevolution via mutations and natural selection has never provided experimental scientific evidence to support the mechanism. Evolutionists provide examples of simple adaptation and variation within species and then wave their hands saying there are no limits to the achievable diversity via the mechanism of random mutations.

The assumption that the complexity of life itself primarily owes its wide diversity to natural selection has been, and continues to be fundamentally supported by the fantasies and illusions of overactive imaginations. Mental apparitions may have logical explanations, however logical explanations per se have no scientific foundation if they cannot be experimentally validated.

Patrick Young, Ph.D.
Canal Winchester, Ohio 

References

1. Darwin, Charles. 1871. The Descent of Man Vol. 1. P. 152.

2. Eldridge, Niles. 1980. Natural History 89(7).

3. Rosen, D. 1978. Darwin’s Demon. Systematic Zoology 27: 372.

4. Gould, S.J. 1977. Ever Since Darwin. W.W. Norton. New York. p. 39.


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