Non-ID criticisms of evolution have a big advantage. With no design, there is no supernatural designer. With no supernatural designer, there is no religion. With no religion, there can be no violation of the establishment clause in public schools. Beautiful.
Sometimes I wonder -- would Darwinists emphasize the religious aspect of ID so much if they were not trying so hard to keep ID out of the public schools? I think that otherwise they would focus more on the scientific issues.
One example of a non-ID criticism of evolution is criticism concerning co-evolution. Co-evolution is defined as the mutual evolutionary influence between two kinds of organisms that become dependent on each other -- e.g., flowers and bees. Criticism concerning co-evolution is my favorite criticism of Darwinism, and one of the reasons is the simplicity of this criticism -- for example, criticism concerning the propagation of beneficial mutations in sexual reproduction requires a good knowledge of genetics. It has been several months since I last discussed co-evolution and I think that it is time to revisit it. Co-evolution presents the following problems:
(1) Unlike the kind of evolution which is adaptation to widespread fixed physical features of the environment, e.g., land, water, and air, in co-evolution there is often nothing to adapt to because the co-dependent trait is likely to be initially absent in the other organism.
(2) Where the co-dependent traits in both organisms are harmful in the absence of the corresponding traits in the other organism, co-evolution is virtually impossible. Even where the traits are not harmful when the corresponding traits are absent, there is no selective advantage when the corresponding traits are absent.
(3) Often, co-dependent organisms can interact only in large numbers -- e.g., a bee visits many flowers and a flower is visited by many bees. Hence, it may be necessary for large numbers of both kinds of organisms to simultaneously appear in the same place at the same time.
(4) Often a co-dependent relationship consists of an "irreducibly complex" combination of pairs of traits rather than a single pair of traits -- e.g., a flower must both produce nectar and have colors and/or scents that attract pollinators, and the pollinators must be able to both consume the nectar and have the ability to detect the colors and/or scents. This compounds the problems presented by co-evolution and irreducible complexity. In some cases, the irreducible complexity involved in co-evolution could involve multiple organs, e.g., bees' digestive systems that process nectar and bees' sensory organs for seeing and/or smelling the flowers.
(5) Even if the problems of co-evolution and irreducible complexity or a combination of the two do not prevent evolution from occurring, they might slow it down. This slowdown could be a problem because some major evolutionary changes have at most just a few million years to take place.
The mechanisms of Darwinian evolution are natural genetic variation and natural selection. Intelligent design primarily raises questions about natural genetic variation whereas criticism of co-evolution primarily raises questions about natural selection.
Darwinists just talk in vague, nebulous terms like "mutual evolutionary pressure" instead of looking at the nitty-gritty details of co-evolution.
Co-evolution is a very important part of evolution and IMO has not gotten the attention it deserves.
Here are some references on co-evolution, from my first post on the subject:
One kind of pollination by insects is so specialized that the resonant vibration of the insect's wingbeating shakes loose the pollen -- this is called "sonication pollination" or "buzz pollination." See -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buzz_pollination
The following reference describes -- among other things -- what I can only call "masturbatory pollination" -- a male wasp mistakes a flower for a female wasp:
The reward offered is not always food. There is a tropical orchid with flowers that look and smell like females of a certain species of wasp. Males of this species emerge a week before the females. A male who smells a flower of this orchid, think it’s a female wasp, gets closer and the flower looks like a female, lands on it and it feels like a female, tries to copulate, gives up in frustration, and goes on to the next thing that smells like a female, and ends up transferring pollen. -- from http://biology.clc.uc.edu/courses/bio303/coevolution.htm
The following reference describes co-dependence between deep flowers and long-nosed insects:
Labels: Non-ID criticisms of evolution