Evolution Issue of the Month: Adaptation to the Environment -- Does it Make Any Sense?

Darwin made adaptation to the environment the key property of evolved living creatures. That's all natural selection can do. But suppose the key property of living creatures is how independent of their environment they are. This is number 1 in a series of website articles casting doubt on the Modern Synthesis.

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"Save our Selves..." cover

Critique of natural selection by the author

Take a pebble, on a pebble beach. Won’t that pebble be better “adapted” to that beach than any living creature could be? Yet most living creatures on that beach won't have adapted to become anything like a pebble.

Rosendale, NY (PRWEB) May 29, 2012

In Darwin's theory of natural selection the key concept is "adaptation to the environment." All natural selection could do was identify which creatures in a species are better adapted to their surroundings, and make sure only they survived. Since only the better adapted members survived that species would eventually evolve into another species even better adapted. But suppose what's most important about evolution isn't adaptation to the environment. Then evolution must be driven by some other mechanism, and we're entitled to harbor doubts about natural selection.

What does it mean to say something's “adapted” to its environment? Take a pebble, on a pebble beach. Won’t that pebble be better “adapted” to that beach than any living creature could be? That pebble will shatter into smaller fragments like all the other pebbles, eventually becoming sand as they do. At all times it remains precisely adapted to its environment. Yet most living creatures on that beach won't have adapted to become anything like a pebble. They'll be very different. What most distinctive about those living creatures isn’t how much like a pebble they are, it's how they’re different. Sure, they can survive in that environment. But they're not just "adapted" to it. They actually become, to a surprising extent, independent of it.

To decide which is the correct evolutionary theory, a good test would be to ask how living creatures become so independent of their environments, so un-“pebble”–like. What gives them capabilities so unlike those of non-living matter? What's a good example? How about us being conscious and having free will? Darwinism can't account for that at all. Which theory can?

Like most terms associated with natural selection, the point of "adaptation" is to distract us from weaknesses in the theory. Because natural selection can do no more than adapt creatures to their environment, Darwin said that's all evolution consists of. But living creatures must be adapted to some extent else they’d be dead. It's a tautology. What's obvious is, they're much more than merely being adapted. Once we realize that we can start appreciating them for how much more than being merely “adapted” to their environments they are.

Read the complete article. It is first in a series of articles written by Shaun Johnston, publisher of the Take On Darwin website, that will draw attention to flaws in the arguments used to support the Modern Synthesis. Subjects to be covered can be seen here.