Sunday, 17 June 2012

A Mind of Sufficient Grasp

From the excellent Rosa Rubicondior;

Back in 1859, Darwin set out the formal logic of his theory in the first edition of "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life", popularly know by its later title "The Origin Of Species". It was: 
"If, during the long course of ages and under varying conditions of life, organic beings vary at all in the several parts of their organization, and I think this cannot be disputed; if there be, owing to the high geometric powers of increase of each species, at some age, season, or year, a severe struggle for life, and this certainly cannot be disputed; then, considering the infinite complexity of the relations of all organic beings to each other and to their conditions of existence, causing an infinite diversity in structure, constitution, and habits, to be advantageous to them, I think it would be a most extraordinary fact if no variation ever had occurred useful to each being's own welfare, in the same way as so many variations have occurred useful to man. But if variations useful to any organic being do occur, assuredly individuals thus characterized will have the best chance of being preserved in the struggle for life; and from the strong principle of inheritance they will tend to produce offspring similarly characterized. This principle of preservation, I have called, for the sake of brevity, Natural Selection." [Origin, p. 127] 
So, which Creationist is going to come forward and explain the fault in that logic. What statement of fact is wrong? What deduction does not flow inevitably from that fact? Because, if you can't you have absolutely no basis whatsoever for denying the fact of evolution by natural selection and the conclusion that it explains the present and past diversity of life on earth. 
No, I don't mean which Creationist is going to come forward and try to obscure the argument with quibbles over the meaning of words, or to assert that it can't be right because an old book says so, or that their 'faith' trumps logic and we should just believe what they say. I mean which Creationist is actually going to go through the logic, step by step, and explain why it is faulty.

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