If scientists were trying to explain certain phenomenon as a freak of nature or a freak of natural law, how sufficient is this particular explanation? In TalkOrigins it tries to refute the idea in response to intelligent design proponents in particular (Michael Behe’s Black Box) who refer to evolution that way…
“…the recurring attacks on evolution comes from those who find the notion of random change distasteful…Genetic changes do not anticipate a species’ needs, and those changes may be unrelated to selection pressures on the species. Nevertheless, evolution is not fundamentally a random process.”
One wonders if talkorigns thinks it’s “distasteful” for proponents of evolution to do the same thing? New Scientist has been running a series called, “Cosmic Accidents” which says…
“The countless simple cells living in many different environments on Earth have had over 3 billion years to evolve complexity. It could have happened repeatedly – and yet it appears to have happened just once, perhaps 2 billion years ago. All complex life is descended from a single common ancestor.”
“Why is that so? Because, says Nick Lane of University College London, natural selection normally favours fast replication, keeping simple cells simple. Then a freak event occurred: an archaeon engulfed a bacterium and the two cells formed a symbiotic relationship. That transformed the dynamics of evolution, leading to a period of rapid change that produced innovations such as sex. The incorporated bacterium eventually evolved into mitochondria, the energy generators of complex cells.”
Le Page then added, “it seems there was nothing inevitable about the rise of the complex cells from which we evolved.” At the very core of Le Page’s explanation is pure chance because in his opinion, prokaryotes were trying to evolve complexity for a billion years, but were unable to do so. TalkOrigins statement was meant to minimize intelligent design which means a “freak accident” is ruled out. Which also means, the big bang is ruled out, the origin of consciousness is ruled out, the origin of language is ruled out. For example, if an environment itself was able to create language, every organism in the environment would end up talking!
TalkOrigins seems to suggest exploratory power in accidents lacks greatly, rather it’s core argument has to do with experience rather than accidents or anticipation of needed mutations to enhance life as some intelligent design proponents would suggest. In other words, an experience of a animal trying to catch fast prey is transmitted to create mutations that natural selection can then choose which would eventually make future generations fast enough to catch that particular prey in order to survive.
But as such things as the fruit fly experiment demonstrates by showing after so many generations the fruit flies start to degrade instead of showing promise of improving through mutations. So this explanation also lacks explanatory power as well as “freak” accidents.