There is no "try" in evolution

Stephanie Keep over at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) writes at:

“ … In a recent edition of Science News (subscription required, but you can see the problem in the preview), Stanford University geologist Donald Lowe was interviewed about his new study about the effects of ancient asteroid impacts on the evolution of early life. He was quoted as saying the following (emphasis added):

“These impacts would have a profound influence on any life trying to evolve into more complex, low-temperature organisms [emphasis in the original]…they’d keep getting whacked by these giant impactors and driven to extinction or near extinction.”

So a person reading this article—even just the first few paragraphs of the article—would get the impression that organisms try to evolve. That is a big problem. This idea, that evolution is somehow a self-directed march toward complex perfection, is a fundamental misunderstanding. It’s not only wrong, it’s dangerous, because it has potential to feed into a common creationist argument that scientists believe in evolution because they don’t believe in God. With no Creator to explain how humans came to be, the argument goes, scientists had to invent evolution, whereby simple organisms turned themselves into more complicated organisms, and eventually, into humans. On this reasoning, evolution is no longer an elegant explanation for the diversity and complexity of life, but a series of “just-so” stories to explain impossibly unlikely outcomes. How could a fish try to evolve into a reptile, one might ask? Poor, silly, atheistic scientists—they don’t realize how ludicrous they sound. …

My critique: If this central dogmatic tenant of evolution  … that evolution is a random (at least insofar as mutations are concerned) and  undirected purposeless process …  and is responsible for all life forms on planet earth … is true, then I would pose a question to Ms. Keep and other Darwinists:

Given that evolution ‘created’ all life on earth, and all life development activities on earth, and given that evolution has no purpose — then how do you explain the migration capabilities of a large variety of animals? Migration is a clear example of a directed purposeful activity on the part of salmon, birds, turtles, whales, butterflies and other animals … and it is not just a random movement  of animals from one place to another. No … migration is directed navigation — navigation in which the animal must know, in real time, where it is now, and where it ‘plans’ to go.

Migration takes the animal to a specific place – the place of its birth, for a specific purpose – to breed and thus continue the species. Further, it is becoming more evident that the main, if not exclusive, method of this navigation is via the magnetic fields of the earth. The animal has within it, the means of interfacing with the magnetic fields and thus is capable of real-time navigation through vast landscapes of ocean and land masses and return to precise geographic locations … even to the very nest it vacated months or even years prior.

This navigational scenario has design written large all over it, and shows 1) that evolution does indeed “try” and is goal oriented — if you subscribe to an evolutionary world view, or 2) the migratory animals and the earth’s magnetic fields together exhibit a purposeful system design, quite similar to GPS navigation,  that is far removed from any random and accidental basis.

If the salmon or turtle in its present form as an animal is the result of a long decent from a previous (unknown) common ancestor, then how is its navigational behavior explained (not away) and compellingly proven to be the results of random mutations selected for fundamental change in the specie?   

Design is the better inference.

 Don Johnson – June 2015


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