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  • Darwins +107/-15

Okay, internet aside for the time, I have a few questions/objections about evolution myself.  Here is the first.

Is this assumption correct?  Organisms evolve to survive.

When we say evolution we are talking about methods by which life forms evolve.  There are many such mechanisms to explain various observed natural phenomenon, not all of them are necessarily the same, but they do share a commonality with darwinian natural selection.

The actual 'process' behind darwinian natural selection isn't that a life form evolves to survive, but instead evolves a characteristic that allows it to procreate more efficiently.  Survival isn't really all that important, because even if a life form survives for a long time if it never procreates it will never pass down whatever inherited traits that helped it survive.  This is a little over simplistic, because there are some other detailed ins and outs.

Earlier you talked about speciation as if it were separate from the rest of evolutionary science, this is false.  There are no separate mechanisms for speciation as opposed to a life form just evolving, there are types of speciation categories where a kind of selective criteria gives rise to a new species, however darwinian natural selection occurs all the time above and below the level of species.  Sometimes you hear this worded microevolution vs macroevolution, these labels are just classifications of quantification of change ( how much ).  Creationist often treat micro and macro as if they were somehow evolutionary mechanisms unto themselves, but they are not.

Something else to point out about darwinian natural selection is that it doesn't mean that a life form just instantly 'poof!' and gives birth to something else.  Evolutionary changes may not even be apparent and often rely upon smaller gradual changes.  Those kinds of gradual changes do not even need to occur in the same lineage of an individual family, for example  two different organisms of the same species might evolve different traits separate from themselves, later on the descendants of those two organisms may interbreed and exchange the traits that they evolved separately unto themselves.  This kind of intermixing occurs all the time and evolutionary changes can arise out of it.

Another problem with failing to understand evolution is what it means when a speciation event occurs.  Earlier I mentioned several types of speciation, where individual kinds of selection events give rise to enough changes for scientist to identify an organism as a new species.  Creationist often treat this as if the arrival of a new species means that the species it came from no longer exists, this is simply not true.   A single species might gradually evolve as individual members in the species more efficiently procreate and spread their genes throughout the population, they procreate better than other members of the same species and eventually their genes become dominate.  Enough changes might occur that would require the species ot be classified as a new species or a sub species, etc.  In another example a single species may become divided, where one species is geographically isolated from another.  Their geographical isolation would prevent the exchange of genes and each species may evolve separately from each other into different species.  ( these are simple descriptions; there are more varied and detail specific kinds of speciation events )
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