Monday, February 24, 2014

Answering Kirk Hastings: Ninth Question for Darwinists

This post is part of the ongoing saga to answer the questions asked by Kirk Hastings of the defunct Evidence 4 Faith podcast. This post addresses the fifth question of Kirk's "Top Ten Questions for Darwinists."

9) If the whole "point" of Darwinian evolution is increased complexity, reproduction and continued survival, then why do all living things slowly wear out, die, and disappear after a relatively short period of time? This makes evolution pointless, because it is seriously failing to achieve its goal (survival).
There are points where I wonder if Kirk is intentionally lying, or willfully ignorant. This question represents one of those times. Fortunately the fundamental flaws in this question make it trivial to answer. Kirk writes, "If the whole "point" of Darwinian evolution is increased complexity..."
I'm going to stop right there. The rest of Kirk's question is predicated upon the assumption that evolution has a point other than survival, and that point is increasing complexity. A more complex animal is not necessarily the best adapted to its environment and is therefore not necessarily more likely to survive. Kirk seems to be laboring under the precious delusion that humans somehow represent the end game for evolution. This absurdity was inherited from religion, which often places humanity at a corporeal pinnacle as a way of explaining a deity caring about us at all.
The simple fact if the matter is that we're not that special. Given the catastrophic damage we've done to the environment and the speed with which we make areas uninhabitable for our own kind it could be argued that we are in fact pretty poorly adapted for long term survival, an evolutionary dead end that will sort itself out in another 50,000 years or so.
There are plenty of examples of less complex animals being replaced by simpler ones. Remember, the point is survival, not some abstract concept of "complexity." Modern whales are less complicated that their predecessors that could walk on land. When the dinosaurs went extinct in a massive asteroid strike the small, simpler mammals were better suited to survive in the new environment. Cockroaches have changed little in millions of years largely because few mutations have arisen that gave the new cockroaches a reproductive advantage over their peers. Sharks are relatively simple creatures compared to younger aquatic species yes they persist with minimal variation.
The rest of Kirk's question is nonsense because it depends upon nonsense. You might as well ask Kirk how Jesus can be the Jewish messiah if he was a sentient badger. When a question is based upon a patently absurd base assumption, Jesus was a badger and the "point" of evolution is complexity, the rest of the question is moot.

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Tenth Question for Darwinists

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