Uncommon Descent is William Dembski’s blog. (Dembski, one of the princes of intelligent design propaganda). The target audience of his blog is “special”. What I mean by that is that Dembski and his guest bloggers stick to a script – a political / religious / social message – and the commetors lap it up like starving puppies. The “puppies” stick to their own script too, but they do it out of ignorance, stupidity, and laziness. Let’s look at an example.
A guy named Paul Nelson has written a little something called “Jerry Fedor: Natural Selection Has Gone Bust”. Clearly, it’s a work of fantasy about a work of fantasy, like The Wizard of Oz meets the Gandalf the Wizard. Jerry Fedor of Rutgers University argues that natural selection is in trouble, and the Uncommon Descent crowd loves the idea. But neither Nelson nor Fedor offer any evidence except cheap argumentation.
But what chaps my hide are the tired ignorant comments on the blog. Take number four which also captured the attention of Mathematician, Jason Rosenhouse at Science Blogs.com. Number 4, aka GilDodgen writes:
The notion that natural selection ever produced anything or has any creative power is simply absurd on its face. Natural selection throws stuff out. New things are not created by throwing old things out. Natural selection is death, and death has never created anything new.
It seems to me that this should not be difficult to understand — except, apparently, for those who are philosophically committed to a certain ideology.
Gee whiz. Does natural selection really throw stuff out? Tell us more, Mister. But what is so irritating about such flummery are the ommisions of fact. Does natural selection work alone?
No, it works on sexually reproducing creatures that have generation times. Each new generation is selected, and those selected to live get to pass on their genes to the next generation. Also, each new generation is a recombination of the old. And mutations are passed on to different degrees or they are eliminated completely.
If life on Earth were a giant pool of long living creatures (nearly immortal but not quite, like The Highlander) that never reproduced, then natural selection would be a process of death, one that only “throws stuff out”. But since it works along with the process of sexual reproduction, it isn’t. But I guess an Intelligent Design believer on an Intelligent Design blog isn’t interested in facts, only preserving an endangered world view.