[Marxism] Anthro 101 and Apes and Monkeys

Ken Ranney kranney at rogers.com
Thu Dec 30 18:26:36 MST 2004

Adam wrote:
>"Natural Selection" does not exclude supernatural intervention

I seem to recall that Darwin went to great lengths, in the Origin, to make 
it clear that Natural Selection did not involve the supernatural, but 
regret that I could not find supporting evidence just now.
I do not like to fall back on inference, but Darwin, who had theological 
training uses the word God only once.

In the place of God, Darwin substituted natural selection. Algeny, Jeremy 
Rifkin Viking Press, New York 1983 p 86.

Above all, Darwin had trouble with questions of agency. 'Natural selection' 
might still imply an active selector, albeit a selector called Nature, not 
God. p xxiv Origin of Species Charles Darwin Oxford Classics, 1996

Finally, Stephen Jay Gould in EVER SINCE DARWIN pp12-13 says that evolution 
has no purpose and no direction, both of which would be expected if Natural 
Selection were driven by some awesome entity.

Gravity is a great analogy for evolution. Gravity is the force where
>bodies of mass attract each other. That definition--admittedly
>simplified--doesn't exclude supernatural intervention, does it?

Indeed it does not.

Behe's--and others'--Intelligent Design is a pseudo-scientific cover on
>an old idea; if we (meaning scientists) don't yet know how something
>came to be, then God did it. Ultimately, that's what "irreducible
>complexity" (Behe's main thesis) boils down to.

My recollection of Behe's Darwin's Black Box is that he contends that 
because, in each cell,  there are so many molecular machines, each 
involving 6 or more complex protein molecules (50 to 1000 amino acids in 
each arranged in unique structures), all essential for life to begin, life 
could not have begun by chance.  Hence there is no mechanism for Natural 
Selection to work on. Once a single cell acquired life, Natural Selection 
could begin, though a serious problem immediately presents itself----the 
surface area of a two-celled organism, relative to the volume, is less than 
the surface area of a single-celled organism.  As such primitive organisms 
could nourish themselves only by diffusion of materials in the surrounding 
medium through their surface membranes, the two-celled organism would be at 
a competitive disadvantage compared to the single cell.  (Similarly, and 
even moreso, for multi-cellular organisms with too few cells to develop 
anatomical devices such as stomas.)  Natural Selection would run backwards.

>We don't know,
>therefore goddidit. That's not science.

Agreed. The impression I have is that We don't know, therefore 
evolutiondidit.  That's not science, either

> > Please note also that this site does not include metamorphosis in its
> > index.
>You have to search for it (this is the easiest way to find material on
>the site; it's rather large). Click on "Search the Archive," and type
>"metamorphosis" into the Google box. 19 results.

Thank you very much for this.  The first of the 19 states:
Because one does not understand how butterfly metamorphosis evolved does 
not mean it is too complex to have evolved. ???
The others I have yet to explore, but they look to be either largely 
tangential to the subject or attacks on creationists

Ken Ranney

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