Friday, 27 May 2016

Evolution: The Best Designer Of All Time?

Evolution did not produce this dog, but humans did change it a bit – through artificial selection, also known as animal breeding.

Joel Kontinen

"Evolution, to me, is the best designer of all time,” says Frances Arnold, Professor of Chemical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), who was recently awarded the Millennium Technology Prize for pioneering an approach Darwinians call directed evolution.

The name of this approach is an oxymoron. Darwin’s watchmaker is supposed to be blind, as Richard Dawkins would say.

The BBC explains what this is all about:

With her engineering background, Prof Arnold wanted to make new, useful, problem-solving proteins. So she took her cue from the way nature does the same thing.”

It’s a long way from nature to evolution. They’re definitely not the same thing. The amazing features we see in the animal kingdom look as if they are intelligently designed.

The obvious conclusion: they are.

But the BBC article goes on to quote professor Arnold:

"I looked at it and said, well, nature didn't actually design enzymes... How does this happen? You make mutations randomly, you look through a large number of things for the ones that have the properties you're interested in, then you repeat the process.

This is a bit problematic, as mutations are hardly ever beneficial. And they might not even be random.

Prof. Arnold continues:

And you iterate, accumulating beneficial changes over multiple generations - pretty much like we've done for cats, dogs, cows, chickens, you name it."

There is a name for this: it’s called artificial selection, also known as animal breeding.

It is neither random nor Darwinian.

What Prof. Arnold does might be very beneficial, but it is definitely not directed evolution.

Evolutionists have tried to squirm away from what is obvious by proposing more or less bizarre solutions, for instance, that natural selection is akin to predestination, evolution is smart, complexity just happens or evolution was experimenting.

None of them address the serious drawbacks of neo-Darwinism.


Webb, Jonathan. 2016. Evolutionary engineer Frances Arnold wins €1m tech prize. BBC News (24 May).