February 17, 2013

THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS SPECIES:

The Blind Faith Needed in Evolution (Fr. Nikita Grigoriev, February 5, 2013, OrthodoxNet)

Adaptation is often confused with evolution. Adaptation is a fact and it's quite real. Evolution is a myth and does not exist in reality at all, only in fantasy. There is a fine line separating them. Adaptation is when an individual or a species collectively changes to adapt to their environment. Such changes can be subtle or very striking. The changes are physical (phenotype) and, in the case of an individual, can be brought about in a direct response to a stimulus from the environment. An example of this is a suntan, or the strong right arm of a blacksmith, to use Lamacrk's example. These are temporary adaptations of an individual and are definitely not inherited or passed on to the next generation.

The phenotype (physical characteristics) of the next generation individual are determined at birth by, and only by, the combination of genes that the individual received from his or her parents (genotype) at the time of conception. Now, in the case of a population (large number of individuals of a species), adaptation does have a genetic aspect. A population adapts to its environment by favoring those gene combinations within the species that produce individuals that are more adapted to their environment. This is like a special breed within a species. And this is a very important point: this group remains a breed within the species, not a new species.

The genotype (gene pool) of this breed is definitely skewed with a preponderance of gene combinations that produce the favored phenotype (physical characteristics) that is advantageous for surviving and thriving under these conditions. This is why St. Bernards and not Chihuahuas (both members of the species Canis - dog) are used for rescuing avalanche victims. Granted, dogs are bred "artificially" by humans to adapt them to special environments but they still remain dogs, and don't become a "new species".

This is observed naturally among different "breeds" of humans, who are all nevertheless human and not some other "species". Hence, aboriginal people who live in tropical areas generally have dark skin (high melanin for UV protection) and a higher surface area to volume ratio (tall and lanky - for easier heat dissipation). Conversely Inuits, the people of the Arctic regions, tend to have fair skin (low melanin - not much need for sun protection) but a considerably lower surface area to volume ratio (a propensity for portliness - for better heat retention).

So there certainly does seem to be a process in nature that also "breeds" species to adapt them to their environment. This is what Darwin called "natural selection". This is all still "adaptation" not "evolution".
This natural process tends to "concentrate" certain gene combinations within the species that produce individuals that are more adapted to their environment. But these concentrations of certain genotypes within the gene pool of the species are just that: concentrations. When the conditions that favor this particular concentration of genes are removed, the concentration disperses and the "special breed" eventually ceases to exist, its genes becoming gradually diluted and dispersed throughout the vast general gene pool of their species at large. So far - so good. This is all solid science.

But the next step is where Darwin's cart goes completely off its rails. Darwin then made a leap of blind faith and this is where he, and all those who followed him, went off a cliff. Darwin assumed (he didn't observe - nobody has ever observed this) that these physical changes due to natural selection add up and eventually result in the formation of an entirely new species. This idea is called "evolution." This is where it crosses over from "adaptation", which is true science and which happens all the time, to "evolution", which is not true but a fantasy based on thin air and pure speculation and never happens in reality.
Posted by at February 17, 2013 11:46 AM
  
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