Biologist William Provine on Natural Selection

"Natural selection does not act on anything, nor does it select (for, or against), force, maximize, create, modify, shape, operate, drive, favor, maintain, push or adjust.  Natural selection does nothing.  Natural selection as a natural force belongs in the insubstantial category already populated by the Necker/Stahl phlogiston or Newton's 'ether'...Having natural selection select is nifty because it excuses the necessity of talking about the actual causation of natural selection.  Such talk was excusable for Charles Darwin, but inexcusable for Darwinists now.  Creationists have discovered our empty 'natural selection' language, and the 'actions' of natural selection make huge vulnerable targets." [1]

Courage and Godspeed,

1. William B. Provine, The Origins of Theoretical Population Genetics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001), 199-200 as quoted by John Lennox in Seven Days that Divide the World, p. 180-181.


this should have infinitely more comments than it does, tyfys

reminds me of the comment an Italian biologist made around the same time to the effect that NS and specifically Dawkinsian "memes" are no better scientifically than medieval demonology lol
eddiethatvoguy said…
Literally, skipped over the paragraph that describes natural selection on page 199 in “The Origins of Theoretical Population Genetics." Here is the paragraph. Quote:
“Natural selection is the necessary outcome of discernible and often quantifiable causes. Some of these causes produce heritable differences between individuals of most populations, and between populations. The possible production of offspring is immense in any species and a “struggle for existence” occurs. A complicated demographic process follows, resulting in organisms adapted to their environments, as long as the environments don’t change too rapidly. Otherwise, the same basic set of causes results in extinction of the population. Understanding natural selection as the result of specific causes requires the researcher to understand ecological settings, life histories and development in relation to differential leaving of offspring.”