“Natural selection from a critical (evolutionist) perspective”

This post is written against this page under the Biology tab on evolutionthelie.com.

This post concerns the “growing body of evidence within the scientific community” that opposes natural selection as the driving force for evolution. The main criticism of natural selection ties back to this website creator’s belief that the general public is brainwashed by the “evolutionist” way of thinking and worships Darwinist theories. The post does not deny that random mutations occur and that they affect evolution, but questions whether natural selection is explicitly the “driving force” of evolution. This evolutionist belief in natural selection, because it is taught in textbooks and because Darwin said so, is claimed to be built on false conclusions and belief in a man that did not have adequate evidence to support his theory.

There is a lot to criticize about this post, but first I should say that the theme of the post is perhaps one that should not be condemned. I think that there is value in critically examining conclusions so as to better understand the evidence that supports them and to ensure that they are worth believing. In this particular instance, though, I believe that the skepticism is not well-founded or supported by opposing evidence.¬† I am curious though–if natural selection is not the driving force of evolutionary change then what does this website claim is? There is no answer to that question within the post, though. The post refers to natural selection as if it is a conscious entity, a force that is constantly working and at play throughout history. I think that there is again a fundamental misunderstanding of what natural selection is–and the fact that it occurs naturally as the name implies.

Natural selection is the process of individuals with specific traits being better suited for their natural habitat and thus reproducing more effectively. An example of this would be a species of moths that have varying color schemes patterned on their wings. Moths with wing colors that provide better camouflage are more likely to survive and reproduce. This does not mean that well-camouflaged cannot be eaten, or vice-versa, merely that the population going forward is more likely to contain more moths with this trait who can reproduce and change the distribution within the gene pool. Criticism of Darwin should certainly exist throughout the scientific community, for Darwin did not even understand genetics during his lifetime. It is only reasonable to believe that there will be a multitude of flaws in his theories–though it is remarkable that a majority of the theory still holds up years later and upon further scientific discoveries.