@drlorentz put up a post called Leftism as Religion that I highly endorse. I started a branching thread within that about how I see Darwinism as being driven by similar (and very natural, of course) thinking.
Here’s what I said:
This matches the left’s penchant for Neo-Darwinism, too. At least, the version with all the happy talk about how things always just randomly, accidentally just get better and smarter and more complex and more ordered.
Followed by the doc’s:
I’m not familiar with such a version. I don’t think any biologist would agree with that characterization. Don’t confuse biological fitness with improvement. Cockroaches are neither especially smart nor complex but very fit biologically . The evidence is that they are c. 100 Myrs old and essentially unchanged in that time. Ferns are even older and simpler. Neither species seemed to require improvement.
You’re the first person I’ve heard who says things aren’t evolving – just staying the same. Odd.
It seems that cockroaches had to come from something, right? Was evolution not involved in the process that got us cockroaches?
And then this completely ridiculous comment in reply to my perfectly reasonable statement. (Hey, it’s my post.)
More Cathy Newman. Never said nothing is evolving. Some things are not evolving. See the difference? Cockroaches have not changed significantly in a long time. I quote myself:
The evidence is that they are c. 100 Myrs old and essentially unchanged in that time.
That doesn’t mean evolution was not involved before then. Emphasis on “in that time.” The Earth is about 5E9 years old: 50 times longer.
“So you’re saying…”
Edit: Please note the context of the original comment. It was in response to the assertion that biologists claim that “…things always just randomly, accidentally just get better and smarter and more complex and more ordered.” This assertion is manifestly false. Counterexamples were provided.
So, now we are up to date.
I think where we are presently differing is on the issue of what I meant by “always” (see immediately above). Always, to me, means that there is always pressure on the genome to change. For example, biologists tell us that cosmic radiation can cause changes to the DNA at the base pair level. This just means that it happens on a single rung of the DNA helix.
What drlorentz has noted above is that even if this is going on the species isn’t being changed. True, but that’s because there is a Spell Checker. This is my understanding as to why some parts of the genome are very stable over a long time. Either way (from the above link): “The difference is not in the number of new mutations but in the mechanism that keeps these mutations under control.” Cockroaches and sharks have locked the genome down evidently.
I would like to stop there and let the iterations begin. There’s no reason to go further on this until we are all on the same page.
[Background: drlorentz and I have met — it was at the Reagan Library Meetup with Peter Robinson and Pat Sajak. I consider him a good friend. If it seems that we are angry let me assure you all that this isn’t true. I’m completely comfortable with him and I’m quite sure that he and I will keep the heat to the medium level.
Also, @johnwalker and I have had many run-ins on scientific issues over the years and yet he is always cordial and gentlemanly to me personally.]