Where Is Evolution Going To End Up?

This a challenging question to answer because there has been a distinct pattern of evolutionary explanations that builds itself into the realm of complexity with its stories, some of which are well beyond from what Darwin himself envisioned (spontaneous variation and natural selection) while other evolutionary explanations are well beyond from even what neo-Darwinism envisions which as a result has sparked some angry feelings among some evolutionists…

A new phrase that sounds more like a car race than science, “mating between the quickest,” Physorg reports…

“Three Australian biologists, including lead author, Professor Rick Shine, from the University of Sydney’s School of Biological Sciences, believe they have identified a new evolutionary process based on their invasive cane toad research. Professor Shine said the process, which depends on “mating between the quickest” rather than “survival of the fittest”, challenges the long-held view that natural selection is the only driving force for evolution.”

Shifting gears to another speed, this time its survival of the slowest, reports Physorg

“In the study, the researchers investigated four genetically distinct clones of Escherichia coli clones, and sampled them periodically to look for the presence of five specific beneficial mutations.They discovered that after 500 generations all lineages had acquired beneficial mutations but two had significantly more than the others, which should suggest they were more likely to survive in the long-term than the other line of bacteria.  What they found instead was that after 1,500 generations the other two lineages had gone on to dominate.”

In another article, there was a call to depart from classical Darwinian evolution…

“In some cases, less fit organisms may out-survive their in-shape counterparts, according to a study reported in the March 18 issue of Science. The finding surprised researchers who assumed less fit organisms would be the eventual losers in evolution’s fight for survival.”

One of the team researchers made a comment about how this long-term evolutionary experiment which continues to “yield surprises,” and then using the unexpected result as an insight into the “richness and complexity of evolution.”  Keep in mind, all the bacteria were still members of the same species, E. coli. And beneficial mutations are in the eye of the beholder much like how fast this alleged evolution goes or if the fit or less fit survive better. Also, sometimes what appears beneficial in one context can have negative consequences in other parts.

On another front considered to be a war zone, there is a pretty big battle for fitness definitions. Nature came out swinging by defending the terms, “inclusive fitness” or “kin selection” in response to Martin Nowak, Corina Tarnita and Edward O. Wilson last August, which argued the idea should be abandoned while keeping classical evolution as the main explanation!

In science...”Online today in Nature, nearly 150 evolutionary biologists challenge Harvard University’s Edward O. Wilson, one of the world’s most preeminent scientists, and two colleagues. At issue is the usefulness of a 50-year-old theory about the role of relatedness in the evolution of complex social systems like those of ants, bees, and humans. Wilson, along with Harvard mathematicians Martin Nowak and Corina Tarnita argue that the theory, called inclusive fitness, does not explain how these complex societies arose; in a rebuttal today in Nature and in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, their critics say that the Harvard trio have misrepresented the literature and are simply wrong.”

“We argue that standard natural selection theory in the context of precise models of population structure represents a simpler and superior approach, allows the evaluation of multiple competing hypotheses, and provides an exact framework for interpreting empirical observations.”

The defenders of “inclusive fitness” or “kin selection” strongly disagreed and raised a concern that evolution was branching off into dead ends which had no compatibility…

“By opposing ‘standard selection theory’ and ‘inclusive fitness theory’, we believe that Nowak et al. give the incorrect (and potentially dangerous) impression that evolutionary thinking has branched out into conflicting and apparently incompatible directions,”  In fact, there is only one paradigm: natural selection driven by interactions, interactions of all kinds and at all levels.  Inclusive fitness has been a powerful force in the development of this paradigm and is likely to have a continued role in the evolutionary theory of behaviour interactions.”

Jerry Coyne released his angry mob mentality with venom (which he has done several times on creationists) because he is on the side of “kin selection”…In his blog he writes…

“The only reason this paper was published is because it has two big-name authors, Nowak and Wilson, hailing from Mother Harvard. That, and the fact that such a contrarian paper, flying in the face of accepted evolutionary theory, was bound to cause controversy.  Well, Nature got its controversy but lost its intellectual integrity, becoming something of a scientific National Enquirer.”

“Oh, and boo to the Templeton Foundation, who funded the whole Nowak et al. mess and highlighted the paper on their website. The lesson: if you’re a famous biologist you can get away with publishing dreck.  So much for our objective search for truth—a search that’s not supposed to depend on authors’ fame and authority.”

Nowak, Tarnita and Wilson remained adamant with their position“Inclusive fitness theory is neither useful nor necessary to explain the evolution of eusociality or other phenomena,” they said.

Science Daily came to the defense of “Inclusive fitness” with their story…

“Bees are probably the most useful group for studying why eusocial organisms have workers that do not reproduce, but the authors got a lot of their basic facts about bees wrong. For example, the authors argue that having defensible nests is the most important consideration for eusociality, but they ignore the fact that there are thousands of nest making animals that are not eusocial,” said Wcislo, a specialist in the biology of bees.”

And finally, evolution of the weakest! According to science daily only the weak survive…

“Conventional rules of survival tend to favor the strongest, but University of Pittsburgh-based researchers recently found that in the emerging world of self-healing materials, it is the somewhat frail that survive.”

Keep in mind, this particular article is not a story about evolutionary theory, rather it’s about a quest to mimic biology in creating flexible materials.  Still, the headline illustrates the pervasiveness of evolutionary lingo! But one could argue that this article is about a Creator with an amazing purposeful design, “In short, a little bit of weakness gives a material better mechanical properties.”

So where is evolution going to end up? It’s leading to nowhere but a dead end, it’s not a search for truth, but how nature could be manufactured without an intelligent mind, God. Yet, it’s a fact, the evidence points to His wisdom which has designed some of the most amazing things we observe in nature. The evolution ‘theory’ is nothing more than invented stories that only attempt to replace God. By so doing, the confusion increases, building faith in naturalism with a framework that has no direction nor a foundation!