RE: Where's the Evolution?

Pim van Meurs (
Thu, 1 Apr 1999 08:38:19 -0800

> Of course the best example of nature creating complexity is
> evolution itself.

CumminsL No, that's a bad example because you're not using an empirical example,
you're using your own interpretation of circumstantial evidence as an

Not at all, one can observe how evolutionary processes create complexity. For instance the change from single cellular to multicellular organisms.

> You seem to be asking for an example of nature creating large amounts of
> complexity very quickly, but that's a strawman. There are 3 billion bases
> in the human genome, and only about 5% of them code for proteins. This
> complexity evolved over 4 billion years, which means it took nature about
> 27 years per base on the average.

Cummins: Scientists have worked with thousands of generations of fruitflies under
circumstances of increased mutation and selection rates without creating a
more complex creature.

Again that is incorrect. Unless your interpretation of complexity is different from the usual.

Cummins: And, when I say that the concept of increasing
complexity is foreign to nature, that isn't limited to biological evolution.
You're free to provide an example in a non-living system. I would be
satisfied even with a computer simulation that provided an indefinite
increase in complexity. In a very short time you could simulate millions of
generations of mutation and selection. However, all such efforts have been
completely failures.

1) Your need for indefinite increase in complexity has not been shown.
2) Computer simulations can show an indefinite increase in complexity

So on two counts you're out.

> Now I can understand if you want to say that the process has not been
> demonstrated, but you're making a much stronger statement. You're saying
> that "empirical science squarely demonstrates" that evolution is wrong.
> I don't see how you can possibly support that statement.

Cummins: Sandcastles don't form on beaches because of wave action. We don't observe
species increasing in complexity. Etc.

Strawman argument.

Cummins: Unless you believe there is a definite limit to how complex life can become,
you believe that complexity can increase indefinitely.

Error in logic. A belief that complexity can increase indefinitely is not the same as reality that there might be limits.

Cummins: And, the proposed
mechanisms of evolution have never been shown to increase the complexity of
organisms. Species, over time, are observed to become less complex (or even

Again erroneous. Your lack of understanding of evolution is remarkable.