Science and creationism

Doug Yanega dyanega at
Sun Aug 29 21:27:31 EDT 1999

>Nice comparison but people actually do see the San Andreas move in their

Aside from a tiny handful of people in the right place at the right time,
only as an accumulated thing, comparing how things look at time X with time
Y and time Z - and we can certainly do the same with evolution, though we
don't have a 200-year-old pool of genetic sequences as a standard of
comparison for every species on earth in order to SHOW this for every
species. For species for which we DO have data, allele frequencies do
indeed change over time, and we HAVE even seen new species crop up in our
lifetimes. 200 years from now, if we haven't wiped ourselves out, no one
will be arguing about this any more.

>and the breeds of dogs represent intelligently directed
>selection not natural selection. In other words regarding dog breeds
>there is intelligent action taking place external to the dogs not just
>plain old randomness.

Evolution is rarely random. Natural selection, by definition, is NOT
random. Some organisms leave more copies of their genome than others, and
if there is a heritable basis for this, then that will bias things in the
favor of individuals that possess that heritable feature, and it will
spread. That's like saying that someone who always draws at least one ace
and one king playing poker is going to win at random. Besides which, the
part of evolution which IS random is the same in dog breeding; new mutants
arise by chance, NO ONE can design them (yet). If I desire a dog breed with
plates like an armadillo, or scales like a pangolin (a better guard dog), I
won't be able to do anything about it until nature supplies me with one, by
random chance. I'd be just as bad off trying to breed armadillos or
pangolins that can bite a man's arm off.


Doug Yanega        Dept. of Entomology         Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California - Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521
phone: (909) 787-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
  "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
        is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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