Monday, September 04, 2006

Silliness Pervades Textbooks

A close friend of mine, whose name shall remain anonymous for safety purposes, recently posted on a blog the following:

Do you want to read one of the silliest things to ever come out of a textbook?

...An existing adaptation may come under strong selective pressure for some new purpose, as did insect wings. These did not arise so that insects might fly, but rather as structures that were used to "row," and later skim, across the surface of the water. Later, the larger ones by chance proved useful for purposes of flight.

Insect wings happened to let insects fly... by chance? By lots of little evolutions over time? Insects just happened to have the right changes in the right places so that they could propel themselves through the air? I don't think so. I think natural selection is plausible in some ways, but not in this case.

Basically, evolution simply isn't logical. If professors and textbook authors can't see that, at least students can and, often times, do. Two thumbs up to my friend. Well done.


Cody said...

The insects with unusually large wings found themselves not only able to skim and row, but to lift themselves off the ground. Smaller wings couldn't manage such a task. It's entirely conceivable that genes could mutate to produce larger body parts capable of such tasks -- especially if precursors of said parts already exist, albeit with slightly different functions -- and it's even more conceivable for such a mutation to create a natural advantage.

"By chance" refers to the adaptations being unplanned or unintended, in the same sense that, by chance, my 6 cell Maglite works pretty well as a makeshift club.

Jim Sherwood said...

The problem with Darwinism is that although one can often dream up a fantasy about how chance and natural selection might possibly have accomplished some change, none of this is provable: and often it's highly implausible. And in many cases Darwinists are not even able to propose a fantasy about how various complex stucture "might" have evolved. As the great zoologist Pierre Grasse remarked in his book "The Evolution of Living Organisms" (1973,1977), Darwinism is not really science at all: it is "pseudoscience" and "daydreaming." And Grasse was not an intelligent design theorist: he thought that there must be some "laws" which impel the evolution of all species, but he couldn't say what they were.