One of the most confused claims made by Darwinists concerns
the randomness of evolution
by natural selection. It is obvious
that Darwin’s theory is about evolution by accident, but since the improbability of this
begins to demand some account we are given a revision in the works of Richard
Dawkins where it is said that while mutation is random, natural selection is
non-random. This odd way of restating Darwinian assumptions about chance is a
suspiciously convenient change in the original meaning of the terms used, and
seems little more than a rhetorical finesse designed to throw critics off guard.
As Dawkins notes in Climbing Mount
Improbable, “It is grindingly, creakingly, crashingly obvious that if Darwinism were
really a theory of chance, it couldn’t work. You don’t need to be a
mathematician or physicist to that an eye or a haemoglobin molecule would take
from here to infinity to self-assemble by sheer higgledy-piggledy luck.” But
it is quite as obvious that Darwin’s theory is one of chance, so we are done.[i]
Evolution We should consider that ‘non-random evolution
’ means, although not exclusively and open to further definition, and
requiring an exemplar instance, a driving process, associated with a force or
determinate principle of sufficient reason, operating, perhaps like a feedback
or other device, externally, and possibly acting to transcend continuity in
space and time (geographically or in discontinuous succession). Redefinition as
an internal or immanent process is also possible, but invokes something unknown
and unintuitive. References to ‘macroevolution
’ often invoke a variant of this thinking.
Eonic Effect gives us a stunning example of non-random evolution in a series
of beats or waves stretching over many millennia.
Dawkins proposes that the problem is resolved by the
accumulation of small steps, then bets his argument on a completely incorrect
analogy to computer programming. Again, as Hoyle observes, chance wouldn’t
even get a single polypeptide straight, and nothing in genetic programming has
ever solved this problem. Beyond the hype, it would cause a feeding frenzy in
the stock market if any computer program was found to do what is claimed. It
would revolutionize industry. We would certainly know that this was the case!
Instead we see a sheepishly heuristic wishfulfilment at work in the Darwinian
mythological fantasy world.
The simple fact is that Darwinism really is a theory about
chance! Dawkins proposes to embrace the theory’s fatal flaw by changing the
terms of discussion. The term ‘random’ has changed its meaning. The problem
is that while natural selection might be non-random in the sense of its
equivalence to the process of adaptation, it is still random in the sense that
there are no macroevolutionary or directional processes over and above the
incidents of random mutation and, yes, random, directionless, natural selection.
Detecting a teleological process behind evolution would immediately force us to
reconsider the whole question. The problem is that teleology is an abstraction.
We need to observe, or attempt to detect, the representation of teleology in
nature. But the very examples claimed, incremental small changes, might show a
directional representation of teleology.