In Darwinian evolution, natural selection is the holy grail for replacing an intelligent designer which becomes something that acts like it, but is really a mindless process with a purpose (fitness). There has been a growing divide within evolutionary establishment where molecular geneticist, Robert James Shapiro describes the distinction from those who believe and his friend (Wilkens) who reviews his book and reiterates it, “that selection has a ‘creative’ and crucial role in evolution and, on the other, there is a growing body of scientists (largely those who have come into evolution from molecular biology.”
Wilkens who is very concerned with such an idea as self-organization rather than natural selection even though it still a natural cause, states…
“The arguments from paleontological evidence for the importance of natural selection largely concern the observed long-term trends of morphological change, which are visible in many lineages. It is hard to imagine what else but natural selection could be responsible for such trends, unless one invokes supernatural or mystical forces such as the long-popular but ultimately discredited force of “orthogenesis.”
I am curious to know what scientists think who believe in self-organization that are being told if they don’t accept natural selection they would have to invoke a creator? This is circular reasoning. What has happened is, the criticism comes from an argument against creationists but this is not the issue because self-organization is believed to be a natural cause. Is it the fear and reason which he believes along with many others that self-organization will lead people to creationism or intelligent design? Is this science where one follows the evidence to where it leads rather than structuring it a certain way because of what people may think?
In Wilkens closing statement, he writes…
“My final disagreement with Jim [Shapiro]’s general argument concerns a truly fundamental point, however: the dismissal of natural selection as a shaping force in evolution. Thus, it is stated, at the very start of the book (top of p. 1): “Innovation, not selection, is the critical issue in evolutionary change. Without variation and novelty, selection has nothing to act upon.” While all evolutionists would agree whole-heartedly with the second sentence, most would reject the first. The matter of selection is then virtually ignored until the final section of the book. There we read, as one of nine bullet-points that summarize the core message: “The role of selection is to eliminate evolutionary novelties that prove to be non-functional and interfere with adaptive needs. Selection operates as a purifying but not creative force.”
Both premises either self-engineering or natural selection require “stuff happens” where the organism from non-living matter acquires amazing abilities that enable them to come up with engineering miracles to create life and sustain life on various complex levels. It is nothing more as Wilkens demonstrates in his rejection of self-organization that random formation of replicating RNA is based on ideology rather than science! There has been no observation of a chemically or geologically plausible pathways to nucleotides or RNA strands. The modern intelligent designed movement answer to why Darwinism can’t work is because it doesn’t have an intelligent agent which they say solves the information problem and would allow a pathway to go from non-living matter to living cells to man. That too is an ideology!
Nature was engineered and creatively designed by one mind namely God, not some unexplainable intelligent agent nor natural selection or self-organization!