Up@dawn 2.0

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Week 8 - Essay 7 - Words mean things

Words mean things; that’s how we communicate. If we don’t have the same definition for the words and/or phrases we use in our communication there will inevitably be misunderstanding and miscommunication. Therefore, the definition of Darwinian evolution must be established before any meaningful discussion can occur.
Just exactly what is Darwinian evolution?
Simply put, Darwinian evolution is microbe to man evolution, a microbe changing into a human by very slow incremental changes over a long period of time. And this huge, monumental change had to occur without any intelligent input along the way. The process is totally and completely random and is not guided in any way. There is no design and, therefore, no designer. Would you agree with that definition so far?

I am not talking about theistic evolution or any other kind of spinoff to Darwin's theory. I am talking about classic Darwinian evolution.

Darwin begins with a single cell microbe, but he doesn’t tell us where the one cell microbe came from. Darwin ends up with a full and complete human being. Darwin’s evolutionary ideas theorize that man and every other living thing on earth evolved from a one cell lifeform. This would mean that the carrot is our cousin. Darwinian evolution depicts one kind of lifeform (microbe) changing, over time, into a different kind of lifeform (human) and not simply a variation of the same kind. At some point the single cell microbe had to become a two or more cell microbe for Darwinian evolution to work. In other words, the one cell microbe had to add new DNA in order to become another kind of lifeform and move to a higher and more complex state of being. This new DNA had to come from somewhere. A lifeform (microbe) changing into another kind of lifeform (a man) with millions of incremental changes and extremely large amounts of  DNA additions between the beginning and end points is Darwinian evolution.  Can you agree?


  1. I think Sandwalk Adventures is quite clear on "exactly what is Darwinian evolution." It's really very simple, but as profound in its implications as a simple truth can be: individuals vary, their variations sometimes are adaptive but oftentimes not, nature "selects" or supports the adaptive variations, and as Darwin once expressed it, most positively, "the healthy and the happy survive and multiply."

    "The process is totally and completely random" - no, variations and mutations in individuals are to some significant extent (though possibly not "completely," depending on what that means) random; but their selection or adaptive fitness is not at all random, it is the specific correlation between an organism and its environment that allows it to survive and multiply.

    "...he doesn’t tell us where the one cell microbe came from"-that's correct. The whole subject of ultimate origins, he said, is too large for the mind of man. Anyone who tells you they know where the first cell came from is lying or deluded. Darwin wrote "On the Origin of Species," not on the origin of life itself. But there's no reason to stop searching for that answer, is there?

    "the carrot is our cousin"-every organic life-form is our cousin. "There is grandeur in this view of life," in Darwin's view and in mine. We're not insulted by kinship with carrots and other living things, we're expanded and ennobled by it. I'm also wonder-struck by the fact that "from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved. Isn't it wondrous?

    "Darwinian evolution depicts one kind of lifeform (microbe) changing, over time, into a different kind of lifeform (human)" - wouldn't it be less paradoxical to say that it depicts one kind of lifeform antedating others, in the same way our grandparents antedated us? They didn't turn into us.

    1. You and I are demonstrating my point about being on the same page with regard to definitions and how words mean things. What does randomness mean?

      The dictionary defines random as: made, done, happening, or chosen without method or conscious decision.
      I would say there is no conscious decision (intelligent input) being made in natural selection. I believe you would say, yes, but there is a method.

      Nevertheless, natural selection, whether random or not, is limited to the available DNA within the species. If the parent animal doesn’t have the DNA, it cannot be passed to the offspring. The DNA that assisted the parent in survival is passed to the next generation. The DNA received by the next generation by means of natural selection is DNA that the parents of the offspring already had. In other words, natural selection does not create new DNA; it only passes the very best existing DNA forward.