Monday, August 8, 2011

Microevolution as an Argument Against Macroevolution

    The limited nature of organic change has been common knowledge among farmers and breeders for centuries. You can breed for faster horses or larger apples, but eventually you reach a boundary that cannot be crossed, no matter how intensively you continue the breeding program. A horse will never be as fast as a cheetah, or an apple as large as a pumpkin. What's more, as you approach the boundary, organisms become progressively weaker and more prone to disease, until eventually they become sterile and die out. This has been the bane of breeding efforts since the dawn of time. Luther Burbank, possibly the most famous breeder of all times, suggested that there might even be a natural law that "keeps all living things within some more or less fixed limitations."
So wrote Nancy Pearcey in Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity, a passage that came to mind reading Daniel Nichol's post — Classic Plant Breeding Bests Genetic Engineering.

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6 Comments:

Blogger love the girls said...

"there might even be a natural law that "keeps all living things within some more or less fixed limitations"

I suspect its pretty much the same law where a man cannot sustain life with his head detached from his body.

Each living organism requires a minimum in order to sustain life so that if that minimum is breached the organization breaks down entirely.

10:15 PM  
Blogger love the girls said...

adding on.

It will be interesting to see how those limitations play out as the gene splicers are emboldened to create ever more radical chimeras.

10:23 PM  
Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

From what I have been told, the cimeras have not proven to be viable. They have been created (I was told this by a former Vatican diplomat I know personally, and he was speaking generally about reports he had seen while working at the UN).

7:41 AM  
OpenID Adrian said...

Why does Tradition need pseudo-scientific attacks on natural selection? Are we Protestant bumpkins? You're quoting 'Total Truth' Michele Bachmann´s favorite book. The horse, with time, could absolutely be as fast as a cheetah. Indeed, almost all felines are slower than horses. Diseases linked to inbreeding are consequences of the small gene pools involved in animal husbandry. Give me a savanna, a 30,000 horses and a million years and I will prove you wrong. Give me 80 million years and God will give you the Pegasus.

2:36 AM  
Blogger Iosue Andreas Sartorius said...

It is not only "Protestant bumpkins" who have problems with Darwinian natural selection, as a recent book by philosopher Jerry Fodor and cognitive scientist Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini, both agnostics, attests: What Darwin Got Wrong. You can read this by Fodor: Why Pigs Don’t Have Wings

7:12 AM  
Blogger seru39 said...

The following link

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speciation

gives many prominent examples on the currently observed formation of new species, or 'kinds', if your religion prefers it. This is probably one of the many pieces of 'macroevolution' you're looking for, not that there is a sound scientific basis in distinguishing it from 'microevolution'. These deviated species cannot breed fully with the original population, producing either an extremely low hybridisation rate and/or sterile offspring.

@love the girls

You are correct in saying that there is a natural law which orders all living things to be kept within limitations, but please recognise that any particular limitations only apply to one organism, and that these limitations change across organisms and generations. I could easily say that a professional scuba diver has a far higher chance of survival (and thus a much more different set of 'limitations') than the average person, and so, in an underwater environment for a prolonged period of time, the average person may as well have their head cut off; after all, what's the difference in the end?

Why is sickle-cell anaemia far more prevalent in malaria-ridden countries than others? Is it because god cursed them to be forever short of breath, or that the disease actually confers a survival advantage, helping the people resist malaria? For non-diseased people, malaria would be the survival limit, while for them, malaria is trivial to survive.

Darwin may or may not be wrong on many accounts. However, this signifies the actual progress being made in science, where it constantly tries to refute itself. It does not adhere to a millennia-old, rather ambiguous text which only changes through mistranslation and misinterpretation, branded as 'adaptation to a modern society' but with moral values common to other societies (and even some animals) at best and endorsement of genocide at worst.

11:49 AM  

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