What about Adaptation?
- James Goff:
"...George Gaylord Simpson, one of the founders of
neo-Darwinism, wrote that '(n)atural selection favors fitness only if
define fitness as leaving more descendants.' Also, Ernst Mayr,
foremost Darwinist of the 20th century, wrote that 'those individuals
have the most
offspring are by definition...the fittest ones.'"
Phil: "So just because you can come up with a couple quotes that
seem to imply that those who get run over by hit & run drivers by
happenstance are automatically less fit, and those who develope
disease on the island of Tristan de Cunha are more fit, you think
what darwinian evolution actually states about natural selection."
Huh? How do the words of Simpson and Mayr imply what you say they
The key words, here, are "those individuals that have the most
offspring...". That may include non-adaptive traits, like
Huntington's disease as a result of statistical accidents in small
populations (Tristan), environmental accidents (volcanoes / car
accidents) or personal decisions (whether or not to have a
vasectomy). These are clearly NOT what Darwin had in mind. He was
obviously refering to reproductive success only with respect to
adaptations to the environment. The key word, "adaptation", is what
Also, the phrase: "survival of the fittest" is not a complete
description of the process of natural selection BECAUSE it says
nothing about ADAPTATION. It's actually more of a definiton than a
description of a process, in that it defines the term, "fitness" in
terms of survival. Of course, definitions, as such, are tautological.
But a complete description of natural selection, which involves
adaptation to the environment as the cause of survival and
differential reproduction, is not tautological simply because it
identifies adaptation as the cause and leaving more offspring as the
result... not the other way around.
Phil: "Why are you trying so hard to believe that 'Darwinism'
states something it doesn't?"
Why are you trying so hard to deny that Darwinism states something
that it clearly states? Fitness is necessarily defined in terms of
reproductive success or natural selection can't do any evolutionary
If a heritable adaptation gives a zebra greater speed than other
the speedy zebra (and its offspring) will likely outsurvive, and thus
outreproduce, the slower zebras (who are more likely to become lion
than the speedy zebras). Natural selection favors the speedy zebras
they're the fittest. In Darwinian terms, they are the fittest because
they're more likely to survive and leave offspring, thereby advancing
Darwinian evolution of zebras. The fittest zebras will survive to
most offspring, the fittest zebras being the zebras who survive to
the most offspring. Differential reproduction is the essence of
selection, not a "caricature" of it.
Wrong again... Adaptation to the environment is the cause of natural
selection, differential reproduction being only a spinoff, or result,
of this - not the essence of it. Why are you constantly ignoring this
important aspect of darwinian evolution? I mean, if you want to
contest the evidence for, or tesability of natural selection, as a
mechanism, there would be more of value to discuss. The tautology
argument is starting to be abandoned by creationists & IDers. Why