It still isn’t random

This is apparently some confusion over my post about why natural selection is not random. It’s a fairly elementary issue at hand, but it evidently needs to be addressed. One reader mentions,

Natural selection is a product of selective pressures. Those selective pressures are random in that they do not try to produce anything specific (ie: original appendages, limbs, organs, organ systems, body plans, etc… or the DNA that codes for them).

This user is right so far, even if the language is a bit dicey. A particular environment produces conditions to which a population then responds. A research job from a biology professor of mine will do fine here: there are two species of fish in a stream, one small, one large. This stream is divided into two sections: an upper area and a lower area. The division is due to a small waterfall. Now, the small fish in the top section of the stream tend to be vibrant in color while the lower small fish are a more gray color. The hypothesis is that the large species of fish is unable to traverse the waterfall so thus unable to eat the upper small fish, hence their vibrancy. So the research team takes some large fish and introduces them into the area with the vibrant fish. Sure enough, the fish lose their vibrancy pretty quickly. Conclusion: The hypothesis was not falsified because a correlation between color vibrancy and survival was shown upon introduction of the large fish species to the upper stream.

So now here’s where the user goes awry.

Hence, natural selection is random.

He concludes that because the selective pressures happen without regard to a particular species that the reaction of the species is thus random. Do you see the inane logic? This is like saying that because what particular rocks, gas, and space junk goes into the making of a planet can be called random that the force behind the accretion process – gravity – is random.

It’s all very simple. Natural selection is the process of differential survival of organisms based upon how they respond to a given environment. That means that natural selection happens with regard to adaptability. And maybe this is the kicker for this silly creationist. That’s really all “non random” means – with regard to adaptability. That’s why any aspect of genetic drift or mutation is considered random. It happens regardless of whether an organism will do better, worse, or the same in its survival. Were natural selection random then we should expect to see a number of vibrant fish swimming around the upper stream which is in comparable proportion to the number swimming around prior to the introduction of the large fish species. Of course we do not see anything like that. What we do see is differential survival based upon the response of the organism to a particular environment – the fish which survived were less vibrant, on average, than the fish which were quickly eaten.

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34 Responses

  1. Yes, it does seem to be a rather odd bugbear in certain people’s minds that Evolution is a process based on randomness; when the exact opposite is true.

  2. In the thread you posted in on Crosswalk where you claim to have ‘run across’ this blog someone posted the definition of random:

    “lacking any definite plan or order or purpose;
    governed by or depending on chance”

    Is that the sense by which you are using the word, or do you have an alternate definition?

  3. That person has no idea what “random” means in a biological sense. It indicates that something has happened without regard to adaptability. Being that natural selection only occurs with regard to adaptability, it is not random.

    Beyond that, his definition, at best, would define natural selection has stochastic, not random. But he would also be defining gravity, at least insofar as it applies to accretion, as stochastic. The disconnect in logic needs no further examination.

  4. “That person has no idea what “random” means in a biological sense. It indicates that something has happened without regard to adaptability. Being that natural selection only occurs with regard to adaptability, it is not random.”

    You aren’t actually defining the word here; lots of things happen ‘with regard to adaptability’ but that isn’t the definition of a random event.

    And comparisons to gravity actually show how this isn’t so; I can start with an object at a particular altitude and then describe precisely what effect gravity will have on it as it falls – and I can do this repeatedly and get the same results every time – thus the characteristics of gravity are governed by a definite set of ordered events, i.e. the result is not random.

    So when we consider the incidental modification of a gene, and how an environment might act on an organism that is expressing that gene, in what way are the confluence of events not ‘random’?

    Considering particularly that there is no way to predict that such an event might occur, or what the outcome might be?

  5. Exactly, the gravity isn’t the random effect in the situation. What object you pick, however, is independent of gravity. In this sense, that object is random. When gravity acts upon it, however, that action is not random. So we are back at calling this a stochastic process at best (though that’s still grossly inaccurate) or a non-random process with the acknowledgement of random elements.

    So when there is a mutation which is, say, deleterious to the reproductive well-being of an organism, natural selection acts to weed that out. Should the mutation be advantageous, natural selection will maintain the mutation, much in the case of heterozygotes who are carriers for sickle cell disease. In time, such a mutation may become less deleterious to homozygotes or it may simply be maintained in a population through said heterozygotes.

    “Random” and “non-random” in biology have no meaningful connections to making specific predictions.

  6. “1. Exactly, the gravity isn’t the random effect in the situation. What object you pick, however, is independent of gravity. In this sense, that object is random. When gravity acts upon it, however, that action is not random. So we are back at calling this a stochastic process at best (though that’s still grossly inaccurate) or a non-random process with the acknowledgement of random elements.”

    I am not sure that makes a lick of sense; gravity acts on all objects in the same way, natural selection does not.

    “So when there is a mutation which is, say, deleterious to the reproductive well-being of an organism, natural selection acts to weed that out. Should the mutation be advantageous, natural selection will maintain the mutation, much in the case of heterozygotes who are carriers for sickle cell disease. In time, such a mutation may become less deleterious to homozygotes or it may simply be maintained in a population through said heterozygotes.”

    Sure; but the set of circumstances which cumulatively lead to this would be said to be the result (from a naturalistic view) of any number of random events; the existence of Plasmodium, the structure of hemoglobin and the effect the mutation has on that structure, the existence of malaria bearing mosquitoes in the vicinity where a human population exists. None of this would be predictable, only understood in retrospect.

    ““Random” and “non-random” in biology have no meaningful connections to making specific predictions.”

    Well I think you then are using ‘random’ in a very non-standard way, which essentially denudes it of any useful meaning at all; again I would encourage you to try to develop an objective definition of random and then attempt to apply it.

  7. You’re obscuring the first point. I am taking issue with this notion that because there is a component of randomness in something that an entire process is random. This was the original point. Let’s stay on that for a moment. It simply is a disconnect in logic. One thing being random (what object you drop) does not entail another process being random (gravity). This also addresses your second point.

    I’ve defined “random”. It actually has more than one definitions in biology, but for purposes here it has one – without regard to adaptability. Nothing in genetic drift or mutation occurs with regard to adaptability. Natural selection is explicitly the opposite of this. It builds upon itself to form complex features, structures, and characteristics. (In the other main sense of “random” within biology has to do with random and nonrandom mating. This can be grouped with the previous definition, though it’s more specific. Random mating is where every organism of the same species and opposite sex is an option for reproduction. Nonrandom mating is often the intentional infiltration of one group into another – i.e., mating with women across the river to spread the genes of one tribe. In this case, random maintains much the same definition, but nonrandom does not necessarily entail natural selection. Random mating [and all the other random components of biology] are important for the Hardy-Weinberg principle.)

  8. “You’re obscuring the first point. I am taking issue with this notion that because there is a component of randomness in something that an entire process is random. This was the original point. Let’s stay on that for a moment. It simply is a disconnect in logic. One thing being random (what object you drop) does not entail another process being random (gravity). This also addresses your second point.”

    Why would the object I drop be random, particularly as I chose to drop it?

    But even if we make the object random, it does not then follow that natural selection if like gravity; gravity is a single consistent readily identifiable force, natural selection is not.

    “1.I’ve defined “random”. It actually has more than one definitions in biology, but for purposes here it has one – without regard to adaptability. Nothing in genetic drift or mutation occurs with regard to adaptability. Natural selection is explicitly the opposite of this. It builds upon itself to form complex features, structures, and characteristics. (In the other main sense of “random” within biology has to do with random and nonrandom mating. This can be grouped with the previous definition, though it’s more specific. Random mating is where every organism of the same species and opposite sex is an option for reproduction. Nonrandom mating is often the intentional infiltration of one group into another – i.e., mating with women across the river to spread the genes of one tribe. In this case, random maintains much the same definition, but nonrandom does not necessarily entail natural selection. Random mating [and all the other random components of biology] are important for the Hardy-Weinberg principle.)”

    That is quite a mish-mash.

    Selective processes are as indifferent (without regard) to genetic changes as the changes themselves are to adaptability. Natural selection simply kills things; it just so happens that it kills some organisms in certain circumstances more readily than others.

    Then through no intention or regard to any organism that process favors the reproduction of the organism it didn’t happen to kill. Sometimes it kills a select few; sometimes it causes mass extinctions, either way the process is about as random as it gets.

  9. There’s a lot wrong here, Jack. I’m wondering if you’ve ever actually read a college-level biology book? Perused the Wikipedia article? I’m not trying to attack you, but you’re making some very basic mistakes.

    Natural selection does not simply ‘kill things’, that’s a gross oversimplification that some may find artistic, others useful for propaganda. It operates via organisms’ varied ability to, in general, propagate themselves, through heredity and longer life + benefits to their gene pool. Natural selection doesn’t merely kill things, it is the result of less able organisms dying and *more able* ones surviving (the aspect that’s ‘positive’ in terms of selection).

    It seems you’ve picked an inane definition of ‘random’ as well, seemingly synonymous with ‘unplanned’, as you keep using telic language 9 “no intention”, “[no] regard”, etc. Natural selection is nonrandom, almost by definition, as it is explicitly contingent upon environmental conditions which are then predictors for which organisms will be ‘selected’. Unlike mutation, which is largely random (various mutations can happen in many different ways all over a genome), organisms will repeatedly adapt to environmental conditions which don’t lead to extinction.

    Now, this doesn’t mean the entirety of evolution is specifically predictable. First, natural selection is by no means the only thing which impacts a gene pool’s changes through time. Second, even if the environmental conditions are complicated, the specificity of natural selection as a concept explicitly tells us that the concrete beginning conditions are what we are considering as the determinant in adaptation. A determinant is not ‘random’ in any useful biological sense and to say so would be grossly misleading.

    I think if I went any further I’d just kill this point. Read a textbook, understand that the word ‘random’ can have many meanings and that using it sloppily leads to confusion and misunderstanding.

  10. Alright, I’ve come up with a simpler example.

    Jack, can you reliably tell me which mutations and where are going to happen in a gene pool?

    Can you reliably tell me if mutations which allow an organism to better pass on its heredity and have a better metabolism (etc) will be more likely to survive and pass on its genes than others without such benefits?

  11. There’s a lot wrong here, Jack. I’m wondering if you’ve ever actually read a college-level biology book? Perused the Wikipedia article? I’m not trying to attack you, but you’re making some very basic mistakes.””

    Actually, I was a biology major; and I have discovered whenever an evolutionist wants to sound like they know what they are talking about they pretend anyone who disagrees with them doesn’t.

    “Natural selection does not simply ‘kill things’, that’s a gross oversimplification that some may find artistic, others useful for propaganda. It operates via organisms’ varied ability to, in general, propagate themselves, through heredity and longer life + benefits to their gene pool. Natural selection doesn’t merely kill things, it is the result of less able organisms dying and *more able* ones surviving (the aspect that’s ‘positive’ in terms of selection).”

    Well, I don’t feel compelled to make myself act like I know what I am talking about by saying in many words virtually the same thing as I can say with a few.

    In saying natural selection results in “less able organisms dying and *more able* ones surviving” you are saying exactly what I said; simply doing so inefficiently. I have never understood why people think education should make one verbose.

    “It seems you’ve picked an inane definition of ‘random’ as well, seemingly synonymous with ‘unplanned’, as you keep using telic language 9 “no intention”, “[no] regard”, etc. Natural selection is nonrandom, almost by definition, as it is explicitly contingent upon environmental conditions which are then predictors for which organisms will be ’selected’. Unlike mutation, which is largely random (various mutations can happen in many different ways all over a genome), organisms will repeatedly adapt to environmental conditions which don’t lead to extinction.”

    My simple point, which you seem not to grasp, is that selective factors (for example ‘environmental conditions’) are themselves random; indeed, perhaps more random than mutations since environmental conditions are not constrained by the structure of a genome, or the need to reproduce in order to change drastically. This point is so simple, it flummoxes me that someone would contest it.

    “Now, this doesn’t mean the entirety of evolution is specifically predictable. First, natural selection is by no means the only thing which impacts a gene pool’s changes through time. Second, even if the environmental conditions are complicated, the specificity of natural selection as a concept explicitly tells us that the concrete beginning conditions are what we are considering as the determinant in adaptation. A determinant is not ‘random’ in any useful biological sense and to say so would be grossly misleading.”

    Well, evolution is not only not specifically predictable, it would be even a short range of time entirely unpredictable; indeed, unless the specific conditions are known, and the specific needed variations are understood, even the manner ordinary biological variation isn’t predictable, much less he imagined impact of changes in deep time.

    “I think if I went any further I’d just kill this point. Read a textbook, understand that the word ‘random’ can have many meanings and that using it sloppily leads to confusion and misunderstanding.”

    Oh, I agree wholeheartedly, as you seem to be confused.

    “Jack, can you reliably tell me which mutations and where are going to happen in a gene pool?
    Can you reliably tell me if mutations which allow an organism to better pass on its heredity and have a better metabolism (etc) will be more likely to survive and pass on its genes than others without such benefits?”

    Of course not; can you tell me what particular set of selective factors will occur in the future to impact the propagation of any particular mutation?

  12. The fact that the laws of gravity turned out to be what they were, if materialism is true, is a product of chance. There is no inherent reason why those laws should be what they are.

    People also seem to confuse predetermined with non random. Something can be predetermined and that which is predetermined could be “random” in that there is no reason why the predetermined event has to be predetermined (and why past events have to be such that a future predetermined event is what it is).

    Natural selection is as random as tossing an unbiased coin. One can toss an unbiased coin 100 times and the chances of getting 100 heads in a row are very small, but whatever it does get, it got there randomly. While it maybe true that the outcome of the tosses are predetermined by the laws of physics, that’s not to say the outcome is non – random. The same is true in the case of natural selection. Just because something maybe predetermined by physical laws doesn’t mean that which is predetermined is non – random and it doesn’t mean that the physical laws themselves are non – random.

  13. “Is that the sense by which you are using the word, or do you have an alternate definition?”

    “lacking any definite plan or order or purpose;
    governed by or depending on chance”

    The definition of random has always been this. What darwinists are trying to do, for the sake of confusing the issue, is change its definition. As I have already pointed out, this is a sign of bad science.

    “No, what we do not do is play defintion games (that is something comitted naturalists do becuse they can’t overcome the problems with their nonsense). What we could do is add new termonology (like what Behe did when he came up with the termonology Irreducable complexity) but, for the sake of consistency and being able to express existing ideas, you do not change existing termonology. That’s a sign of bad science.”

    http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/many-worlds-maybe-easier-to-make-pay-than-make-sense/ (post 57, though I seem to be banned or indefinitely suspended from uncommondescent for no reason).

  14. “lacking any definite plan or order or purpose;
    governed by or depending on chance”

    When I use the word random, this is the definition I’m going to refer to. This is what random has always meant, if you want a word with a different meaning, use a different word (ie: make up a new word if you have to, instead of trying to confuse things by changing the definition of existing words to suite your purpose).

  15. Also, there is no inherent reason why the laws of physics should be consistent and non – changing (or why they shouldn’t randomly change). The fact that they turned out that way is also a product of chance, if materialism is true.

  16. “Being that natural selection only occurs with regard to adaptability, it is not random.”

    Natural selection “occurs with regard to adaptability” is true by definition. Whatever is selected is adapted and whatever is adapted is selected. This is a tautology, but it doesn’t tell us whether or not that which is selected is selected by chance or whether or not that which is doing the selecting is selecting it randomly or intentionally. Artificial selection is non – random. For instance, when humans specifically breed pets for certain traits, that’s non random, the traits are being selected with intent. In the case of natural selection, there is no intent to select for or against any trait, whatever trait is selected for or against is selected that way by chance.

  17. When humans breed for particular traits in pets or livestock, they are indirectly selecting alleles which best suit their purpose. How do we know the alleles best suit their purpose? Why, because they selected them, of course! Why did they select them? Because they best suited their purposes! My goodness, what a tautology! Or not.

    Natural selection is the biased survival of alleles based upon which ones predispose an organism to better propagate its genes on the whole.

  18. “Natural selection is the biased survival of alleles based upon which ones predispose an organism to better propagate its genes on the whole.”

    It’s random.

  19. “When humans breed for particular traits in pets or livestock, they are indirecting selecting alleles which best suit their purpose. How do we know the alleles best suit their purpose? Why, because they selected them, of course! Why did they select them? Because they best suited their purposes! My goodness, what a tautology! Or not.”

    Nothing you said negates the notion that natural selection is non – random.

  20. (or rather, nothing you said negates the notion that natural selection is random).

  21. (and don’t dwell on the typo, I know darwinists have a bad habit of dwelling on typos because they can’t deal with the real issues).

  22. ““When humans breed for particular traits in pets or livestock, they are indirecting selecting alleles which best suit their purpose. How do we know the alleles best suit their purpose? Why, because they selected them, of course! Why did they select them? Because they best suited their purposes! My goodness, what a tautology! Or not.””

    The point, which you seem to overlook, is that the tautology that, “natural selection happens with regard to adaptability” says nothing about the random (or lack thereof) nature of natural selection.

  23. If you have a definition of “random” that is so broad (and what creotard doesn’t?) then everything is random–

    and you get to pretend like you understand something.

    (It must suck to have your salvation hinge on your own ignorance, eh? What’s the evidence for your alternative creation story? Did god go “poof “or Allah.? And was it Xenu or Turtles, a pantheon or Zeus? Talking snakes, invisible saviors, demons or long dead ancestors? I guess it doesn’t much matter, if you can convince yourself that it makes sense to call natural selection is random, then you can convince yourself that any invisible unevidenced alternative explanation is better! Who needs evidence when you have the arrogance/ignorance that can only come with faith.)

  24. “If you have a definition of “random” that is so broad (and what creotard doesn’t?) then everything is random– ”

    From a materialistic perspective, everything is a result of randomness. There is no reason why nature should have made things turn out the way it did, it did so by random, not that there should be a tendency for it to come out this way.

  25. “and you get to pretend like you understand something.”

    Oh please, if evolution could stand up to scrutiny, it wouldn’t need to resort to the censorship of anything that criticizes it in public schools. It could simply present the counter arguments and refute them. Unfortunately, it is unable to do that, so it censors anything and maintains itself through tax dollars and by disavowing anything that criticizes it.

    “It must suck to have your salvation hinge on your own ignorance, eh?”

    It must suck that you are unable to defend your position.

    “Who needs evidence when you have the arrogance/ignorance that can only come with faith.”

    You mean the faith that nature could produce everything it did randomly?

  26. The Theory of Evolution stands up to scrutiny each and every day; it’s the time proven process called peer review.

    The evidence for it is there in spades; from DNA analysis, geographical dispersion of species, variation within species due to environmental factors, fossils and so on.

    And where is this censorship that you speak of? Every case of so called censorship I’ve ever encountered have been shown to be a load of hooey (particularly those showcased in that ‘Expelled’ project).

  27. All this talk of randomness isnt a particularly useful conversation to have in my opinion… the creationists/IDists and scientists simply talk past each other. The scientists are simply trying to more precisely refine the understanding of natural selection and evolution, while the ID/C simply wants to impugn the whole process in the minds of believers… people who are attached to a ‘purpose driven life’, so-to-speak. Random is a bad word to believers.

    The conversation that needs to take place is that “random” (or stochastic etc) shouldn’t be a bad word to those of faith, not that there isnt there at all.

    The Christian theist (as betta and jhud) cannot escape randomness even in theological arguments… either God’s character is totally arbitrary and random, or there is some sort of platonic idea of goodness that is external to God to which he conforms… the latter disproves the Christian God as they typically envision him, and the former makes God more random than any natural process.

  28. To expand on what I said, using the word random is simply a way for the creationist to demonize evolution and science in general.

    By playing along and quibbling over the definition of random and its precise applicability in the process of natural selection, the argument is already lost… at least to the core audience of such an argument…. people of faith. Any randomness at any part of the process is enough for them… and the arguments simply further aid the cdesign proponentists who, like a defence attorney in the OJ trial, want to muddy the waters beyond recognition.

    To a person of faith who buys the fine-tuning argument, the universal constants could have been any random values… but because the values are what they are, there was unmistakable intent behind them… in order to allow for life. Natural selection could be thought of the same way… could be anything, but there was intent behind the path it took, to allow for this life. As an atheist, I certainly don’t believe any of that, but if the goal is to market evolution to people of faith, it should be done in a way that speaks to them. Miller has done a lot in this regard though, even though I think the point in the OP isnt the most effective.

    So Betta.. and Jhud… is apparent randomness incompatible with God?

  29. “By playing along and quibbling over the definition of random and its precise applicability in the process of natural selection, the argument is already lost… at least to the core audience of such an argument…. people of faith.”

    It is not us that’s playing games with the word random. The word random has always meant, “proceeding, made, or occurring without definite aim, reason, or pattern: the random selection of numbers. ”

    Only in the case of evolution do you want to re – define it. It is you who are playing definition games. When I use the word random, I mean, “proceeding, made, or occurring without definite aim, reason, or pattern: the random selection of numbers. ” Evolution is as random as tossing an unbiased coin. Yes, the coin follows the laws of physics, but there is no reason for the laws of physics to select anything in particular. Anything it selects it does so randomly, by chance.

  30. “The Theory of Evolution stands up to scrutiny each and every day; it’s the time proven process called peer review.

    The evidence for it is there in spades; from DNA analysis, geographical dispersion of species, variation within species due to environmental factors, fossils and so on.”

    Just because you assert something doesn’t make it true.

    “And where is this censorship that you speak of? Every case of so called censorship I’ve ever encountered have been shown to be a load of hooey (particularly those showcased in that ‘Expelled’ project).”

    Evolution is introduced to students in public (tax funded) schools and yet criticisms and opposing views are censored. Evolution is funded by tax dollars and criticisms and opposing views are not. Evolution stands entirely on tax dollars.

  31. “The Christian theist (as betta and jhud) cannot escape randomness even in theological arguments… either God’s character is totally arbitrary and random, or there is some sort of platonic idea of goodness that is external to God to which he conforms…”

    Who said anything about God’s character being totally arbitrary and random? There is no reason that both of these statements can’t be false.

  32. Just because you assert something doesn’t make it true.

    That is true.
    However, all evidence including peer reviewed research and all the other things I have already mentioned do.

    Evolution is introduced to students in public (tax funded) schools and yet criticisms and opposing views are censored.

    Evolution is taught in Biology because it is the only scientific model which has been able to adequately explain the evidence. There are literally no other hypothesis and/or theories that are accepted by science.

    Evolution is funded by tax dollars and criticisms and opposing views are not.

    The only alternative view point (which doesn’t match the evidence, let’s be clear on that) is religious in nature and therefore has zero place in a science classroom of any type. Just like, for example, in a theology class you don’t have Scientists demanding that it’s pointed out that archaeological/geological/historical evidence strongly indicates the Bible is hopelessly inaccurate.

    Evolution stands entirely on tax dollars.

    I’m not even sure what that is even meant to mean.

  33. Betta wrote:
    “It is not us that’s playing games with the word random. The word random has always meant, “proceeding, made, or occurring without definite aim, reason, or pattern: the random selection of numbers.

    Only in the case of evolution do you want to re – define it. It is you who are playing definition games. When I use the word random, I mean, “proceeding, made, or occurring without definite aim, reason, or pattern: the random selection of numbers. ” Evolution is as random as tossing an unbiased coin. Yes, the coin follows the laws of physics, but there is no reason for the laws of physics to select anything in particular. Anything it selects it does so randomly, by chance.”

    Creationists regularly argue against evolution in terms of it’s randomness, which in part, is why scientists address it and try to be very specific about it. Generally a typical line of reasoning follows from the creationist: “If we are the product of random forces, life is meaningless, and if life is meaningless, nothing matters, if nothing matters, there is no morality, if theres no morality people will do whatever they want etc… and we can’t have that”.

    There’s plenty wrong with that whole line of reasoning, but we shouldn’t even get that far…. because there is another buried claim in the creationist ‘randomness’ argument that needs to be addressed. That claim is that ‘apparent randomness’ is incompatible with God or more specifically that: If life evolved by way of a process that is random (or random from our perspective), than it is not ‘of God’.

    Its that statement that is completely bogus, and unsupportable in any way… and why the whole ‘randomness’ argument is simply a poorly devised distraction. In fact, the creationists usually contradict themselves, as I pointed out earlier, when they talk about fine tuning of the universe as a sign of a creator. Many point out a great many things in the universe that are the products of some process that are fully or in part random to us, yet claim they are a sign of God’s brilliant design, the cosmological constants included.

    I don’t think any philosopher in this day and age would say that God cannot work through a random process, or that just because a process is random, that it is meaningless.

  34. FYI, the point of these sort of posts is to counter the ‘evolution is too unlikely to have occurred’ argument. It is fully wrong – more than that, there is a desire to reason against it by getting creative with words.

    But we can take Betta’s particular definition because natural selection does work in a patterned way – building in a cumulative process with full regard to adaptability and no concern for the future, only basing its ‘choices’ on the fitness of the current generation.

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