Friday, February 12, 2010

A Challenge to Evolutionary Theory?

Cairns Post has a review of a book by Henry Gobus called Human Ascent, in which some very peculiar things are said. The article, by Daniel Bateman, relates the following from the author:
"So, evolution is a holistic process rather than divided from the dinosaurs, mammals and the human era, which Darwinists see as separate events and not linked together."

Using the saltwater crocodile as an example, Mr Gobus said the predators originated during the age of the dinosaurs, about 240 million years ago.

"With such a significant time period to their credit, and a history in which they must have had innumerable environmental experiences, why haven't crocodiles developed concepts of electronics and the like?
Well, for starters, the fact that the question is being asked in this way makes me suspicious that Mr. Gobus does not understand evolutionary theory. There are very few animals on the planet as well adapted as the crocodile. It has a streamlined body, long snout, extremely powerful jaws, rows of jagged teeth, and a generally nasty disposition. The fact that it has not changed in millions of years ought to be an indication to Mr. Gobus that it is remarkably well adapted to its environment. It hasn't evolved to need electronics because you don't need that kind of thing in the swamp. Evolution acts with what it has and the precursors to crocodiles and alligators were basal reptiles that evolved during the Cretaceous. It never occurs to evolutionary biologists that evolution proceeds differently depending on whether you are a dinosaur or a mammal. I have not read the book and should probably suspend too much judgment but what the author is quoted as saying above is daft.


  1. Anonymous4:30 PM

    You said "It hasn't evolved to need electronics because you don't need that kind of thing in a swamp."
    Nothing NEEDS electronics, not even humans ! There is also no NEED to read and write books yet humans have learned to do so, and only humans ! Why is that ?? Why are the other apes, chimps, gorillas, orangs, so retarded if evolution is so great?? If evolution is so great why have so many species gone extinct ?? Why didn't they just keep getting better and better ??

  2. The article posted by Daniel Bateman in the Cairns post is incomplete. hat is more my friend you are thinking like a Darwinist -You are reasoning like a Darwinists on a process that is not at all as Darwin explains it. Therefore perhaps before you make any comment - you should read the book first - but in the very least least read the introduction and the chapter summary on
    Kind regards

  3. No I am not thinking like a "Darwinist," I am thinking like an evolutionary biologist, someone who views the entire biological world as being interrelated, with gene flow, drift and mutation all producing variation, which selection then acts upon. They are not separate processes. My comments stand. There is no reason for the crocodile to evolve beyond what it needs to survive in that environment. You might as well be asking about other animals that lived for millions of years, such as the theropods.

  4. alas, yon5:37 AM

    Most animals actually do NEED electronics and the ability to read. How else will they survive against humans? Okay, the ones that go on hamburgers will survive. And the ones that are tiny and fly around will probably survive. And, yes, there are other exceptions. But as a rule, they do have a need for increased intelligence. Come to think of it, so do humans.