Comment on Elliot Sober: Just Don’t Call the Designer “God” by Sean Pitman.
What this means is that the differences are clustered or nested because of the different functional needs of different organisms in different environments. – Sean Pitman
This suggested that you knew something about the designer that would enable a prediction. When I tried to draw out the consequence, you took it back. If you were honest, you would simply admit that your hypothesis does not make any empirical predictions, contrary to your earlier claims. You would also admit that all your talk about hierarchical patterns being the sorts of things designers naturally employ is irrelevant, since when you are threatened with evidence that clearly non-functional aspects of the genome also display these patterns you just throw up your hands and say that the designer could have done things that way for reasons we canâ€™t discern.
I only suggested that there could be possible reasons why an intelligent designer may choose to use a NHP. This is not to suggest that all intelligent designers would use a NHP to produce complex interacting machines nor is the production of a NHP a clear prediction of the ID-only hypothesis since NHPs can be and are produced by apparently mindless process of nature all the time.
Again, the only real scientific basis of supporting the ID-only hypothesis, as Sober himself argues (though inconsistently), is the demonstration that the phenomenon is within at least human-level creativity while being well beyond any known non-deliberate source of natural production. That’s it.
Thanks for the entertainment; you couldnâ€™t have misunderstood Sober more if you tried. You have not described the inverse gamblerâ€™s fallacy, which in this case is the fallacious inference from observing repeated double sixes to the hypothesis that many rolls had taken place before the observed rolls. By the way, the regularly gamblerâ€™s fallacy as standardly described is made by someone who by stipulation believes the dice are fair; and both fallacies are in fact independent of the particular hypothesis concerning the bias of the dice we choose for the sake of example. If you were taking my introduction to probability class, you would fail. In future, perhaps you should be a bit more cautious in supposing one of the leading philosophers of probability in the world to have made an elementary mistake of the kind you allege (and in a widely cited and twice-reprinted paper, no less).
Oh please. The fallacies are really the same in essence. The inverse gambler’s fallacy is the conclusion that a particular outcome of an apparently random process, like rolling double sixes ten times in a row, likely occurred in the past at a more common rate than would be expected given the assumption of fair dice. In other words, the gambler concludes that the dice are in fact loaded or biased given a certain unlikely pattern of outcome.
This is Sober’s mistake related to the topic of the design hypothesis: A gambler experiencing a seemingly biased series of rolls of the dice starts to make the hypothesis that perhaps the dice are not fair; that they are really biased. This hypothesis he holds not only for future rolls of the dice, but past rolls as well which he did not directly experience. In other words, his hypothesis could be challenged in two ways. Future rolls of the dice could falsify his hypothesis, and, someone with prior past experience that extends beyond that of our gambler own could also inform him of past rolls of the dice that falsify his hypothesis.
The point remains the same: Based only on the pattern itself the hypothesis of bias can be scientifically hypothesized to a useful, though never perfect, degree of certainty. Sober doesn’t recognize this point with his use of the “gambler’s fallacy”… and evidently neither do you.
For another interesting take on Sober’s argument that design cannot be inferred from certain characteristics of the phenomenon alone, but must have independent evidence of the existence of the designer (though Sober is not consistent with this argument), see Dembski’s counter-argument here:
This addresses yet another flaw in Soberâ€™s paper. Sober accuses IDists of appealing to the concept of â€œmodus tollensâ€œ, or the absolute perfection of the ID hypothesis. He uses the illustration of a million monkeyâ€™s randomly typing on typewriters producing all of the works of Shakespeare. He argues that while such a scenario is extremely unlikely, that it isnâ€™t statistically impossible. There is still a finite probability of success. While this is true, science doesnâ€™t go with what is merely possible, but what is probable given the available evidence at hand. – Sean Pitman
Yes, that is the simple point here, that the design theorist shouldnâ€™t say that non-design is impossible, just that it is unlikely. You agree with him, so this can hardly be a â€œflawâ€ in the paper.
The “flaw” in Sober’s argument here is to lump all IDist together into one boat. I personally do not know very many IDists or even informed creationist who make this particular mistake. Sober is using a simple debating tactic here to discredit all by associating everyone with the few who do not grasp this or that obvious concept.
If you agree that probabilistic modus tollens is invalid, then you had best not say that it had to be involved. Rather, the hypothesis is that it was involved. Soberâ€™s argument is that there is no evidence for this claim, since there is no independent evidence sufficient to ground the probabilistic inequality:
âˆ‘i Pr(the eye has F1 â€¦ Fn â”‚ Design & GAi)Pr(GAiâ”‚Design) > Pr(the eye has F1 â€¦ Fn â”‚ Chance).
The potentially falsifiable hypothesis is that only ID could have produced the particular phenomenon in question.
As I previously noted for you several times, I call this the ID-only hypothesis. The basis for supporting this hypothesis is the very same basis that Sober himself claims is a valid basis for SETI and is also the basis for other sciences that invoke ID – like anthropology or forensics.
The argument, as Sober explains, is that the phenomenon in question is known to be well within the powers of at least human-level creation while being, at the same time, well beyond the known powers of non-deliberate natural production.
That’s it. It is a very simple argument that Sober himself uses.
I apply the very same argument to certain features of living things – the very same argument. Sober disagrees with my application only because he thinks that Darwin has provided an obvious mechanism to explain what I’m claiming can only be done by at least human-level intelligence and creativity.
This is quite different from your argument where you are claiming to be able to support a mindless naturalistic process without any known viable mechanism. Remember, you said that you were “ambivalent” regarding the creative powers of RM/NS. Sober, on the other hand, is not. He is convinced of the creative powers of RM/NS. Therefore, given this starting premise, Sober is on much higher logical ground than you are.
For the record, here are my â€œthoughtsâ€ regarding what is â€œconvincingâ€ about the â€œargumentsâ€ in Sober. First, the arguments are valid. Second, I can see no reason to doubt any of their premises. Finally, I regard as convincing exactly those valid arguments formed from premises I can see no reason to doubt.
Incidentally, this whole exercise is becoming very tedious, since I am beginning to suspect that every single argument you have will end up depending on your in-principle argument regarding natural selection. Since I regard the probability of that argument succeeding as negligibly smallâ€”after all, you have no expertise in this area and have convinced exactly no-one who isâ€”these conversations look increasingly fruitless. Do you agree?
It depends. You seem to me to disagree with a core basis of logic which Sober himself is defending. By your own admission you do not recognize the clear creative potential of RM/NS which Sober defends – a mechanism with which you are “ambivalent”. You also don’t seem to realize that the basis of ID arguments aren’t an effort to prove God, but to support the ID-only hypothesis where all that is know of the intelligent agent is that he/she/it was intelligent to at least the human level. That’s all.
You also seem to think that if you find a particular pattern that can be explained by mindless naturalistic processes that everything associated with that pattern can be explained by the same. This is a logical fallacy on your part which is why I asked you to discuss the geometric granite rock problem – which you have yet to do.
As far as not convincing those with letters after their name, I’m not in this discussion with you to convince you or anyone else of anything. I’m in it for myself, to challenge my own ideas to see if they really can fly. And, its fine if you have lost interest and no longer wish to continue this discussion. No one is twisting your arm here.
If you do wish to continue, however, I suggest that your goal also should not be to convince me of anything. Your goal should be to speak to those who have not yet thought about these issues and have not made up their minds to the point of being so biased that they cannot see “rational” arguments for what they really are for themselves (without seeing if others of high academic rank are convinced first). There are many “lurkers” who frequent this forum, usually over 2000 per day, – not all of whom are completely blinded by their religious background and many of whom, I know for a fact, would preferentially favor your perspective if they were ever exposed to it.
Just something to think about…
Sean Pitman Also Commented
My understanding is that, historically, Adventist fundamental beliefs have shifted in ways that individuals holding one particular position, including Ellen White herself at times, could have been expelled from the Church by those holding another particular position. There was a time when those of the Church held different views on what 24-hour period of the day should be kept as Sabbath (it wasnâ€™t always sunset to sunset); the Godhead (we once rejected the trinity); and righteousness by faith (we once believed in righteousness by works).
These disagreements occurred before certain agreed positions were so settled in the minds of the founding fathers and mothers of the SDA Church that they became “fundamental” pillars of the SDA faith. The current list of fundamentals was not always as it currently stands. It grew and developed over time. It is only expected that as more information comes clearly to light that the list of important “fundamental” beliefs would also expand over time.
And, as the early Church founders soon discovered, without the maintenance of internal order, discipline, and government within the Church, as based on the concept of “present truth”, as understood by the organized body of believers, the organization soon begins to fragment towards chaos and irrelevance…
Sean, while I could agree with your statement on a prima facie basis, I think one needs to dig a bit deeper here. This statement basically says that we donâ€™t need the Bible or any type of falsifiable evidence or even beliefs to gain admission to heaven, which seems to contradict what you often state (not to mention the purpose of this website). I could be wrong, but I believe that God is able to claim souls who lack knowledge in Him because he can judge whether they would accept Him and Christâ€™s sacrifice if they had representative knowledge of Him.
It just goes to show that it is motive, not current knowledge or beliefs, that is important when it comes to judging if a person is or is not savable.
This idea does not contradict my efforts to uphold truth as I see it. Just because knowledge is not the basis of salvation does not mean that it isn’t important. Knowledge is the basis of the solid conscious hope of the Gospel message. While one can be saved without ever having a conscious knowledge of this future glory while here on Earth, it sure would be nice to have known while here – right?
Iâ€™m not convinced that God saves them because they have â€œlove;â€ after all, many animals give well-documented evidence of having love, which is an instinct written in the genes of many life forms, including most humans (Iâ€™ve met a few who could be exceptions). I suspect that He who knows us in the womb can discern much more than our love, and recognizes what our choice would be given an opportunity to know Him and serve Him.
Our moral choices are based on motive, not knowledge. While animals do express love and devotion to their masters, they cannot appreciate moral freedom as we humans can. They have not been given moral responsibility or choice as we have been given it. Free moral choices are based on the motive of love – of doing unto others as you would like to be treated because of your love for your neighbor.
Remember, it was Jesus who pointed out that all the Law and the Prophets were built on the single “Royal Law”, and James put it, of Love – love to both God and toward our neighbors. Matthew 22:39-40 NIV.
And, as Paul points out, those who love their neighbors as themselves fulfill the Law and are therefore savable – regardless of their knowledge or lack thereof regarding the particulars of God’s existence, the life and death of Jesus, His true character, or any other doctrinal truths while in this life. Romans 13:8-10 NIV.
Like the vast majority of readers here, I donâ€™t need a scientific basis for my faith, and I believe I can be saved by it however â€œblindâ€ it may be.
Salvation is based on love, not blind faith – or faith of any kind for that matter. It is for this reason that even those who have never heard the name of Jesus or had any real concept of God can be saved according to how they expressed the Royal Law of Love toward their neighbors – a law which has been written on the hearts of all. This is why I believe that there will be a number of very surprised atheists in Heaven someday…
Faith or belief is the basis of conscious hope, but not of salvation. If you have faith that can move mountains, but have not love, you have gained nothing… 1 Corinthians 13:2 NIV.
Recent Comments by Sean Pitman
Complex Organisms are Degenerating – Rapidly
As far as the current article is concerned, I know of no “outdated” information. The information is current as far as I’m aware. The detrimental mutation rate is far too high for complex organisms to avoid an inevitable downhill devolutionary path. There is simply no way to rationally avoid this conclusion as far as I’m aware.
So, perhaps your friend could be more specific regarding his particular objections to the information presented?
Complex Organisms are Degenerating – Rapidly
Look again. I did reference the 2018 paper of Basener and Sanford (which was the motivation for me writing this particular article). Of course, as you’ve mentioned, Sanford has also written an interesting book on this topic entitled, “Genetic Entropy” – which I’ve previously referenced before in this blog (along with a YouTube video of a lecture he gave on the topic at Loma Linda University: (Link). For those who haven’t read it or seen Sanford’s lecture on this topic, it’s certainly worth your time…
Evolution from Space?
I will try to do it someday, but lately I’ve been swamped by speaking appointments, my real job, and my two young boys 😉
However, 300-400 people do visit and read articles on my websites per day – which isn’t bad for now. I also get very encouraging E-mails on a regular basis from those who have been helped by these postings. Some of these are teachers and professors who use this information in their own classrooms throughout the country – but often without giving the source for their material in order to avoid the automatic bias that comes with it.
The reason that no competent scientist will date the “soft tissue” of dinosaur bones is probably because the techniques used to extract that material seriously contaminate the extract from a 14C perspective. I am checking on that with several biochemists, but I suspect that this is true.
If that’s the case, then how can radiocarbon dating be relied upon to date the remains of mammoths or other late Pleistocene animals? How can you have your cake and eat it too?
Beyond this, aren’t there supposed to be ways to detect and eliminate contamination and to harvest material without causing significant 14C contamination? – especially when it comes to very well preserved collagen and other original soft tissues (as well as bioapatite)? After all, we’re talking about a lot of contamination here – up to 10% of the total carbon within the dinosaur bone. What kind of source could explain such a high degree of contamination? Also, as an expert in radiocarbon dating, isn’t it basic procedure for those in your profession to be able to detect if not remove 14C contamination from specimens? – as part of the AMS testing process?
Correct me if I’m wrong, but if collagen and bioapatite fractions show concordant radiocarbon dating, then isn’t this taken as a valid radiocarbon date? free of significant contamination?
If so, this is what was done with the dating of some dinosaur bone specimens as well: “Collagen and bone bioapatite and/or total bone organics gave concordant C-14 dates after careful extraction and purification of those fractions.” (Link)
Is this not the proper procedure? Is this not what is also done when dating ice-age megafauna such as Siberian mammoths, saber tooth tigers, sloth dung, and giant bison?
All of the evidence presented by you and those who agree with you have been dealt with so many times by so many competent scientists that a reasonable individual would almost certainly say something like: Well, anyone who continues to dispute the scientific evidence on this point apparently just can’t bring themselves to admit the truth of the matter for some religious reason.
An argument from authority already? That’s the best you have? As long as it’s popular among the experts in a given field of science, even if one doesn’t personally understand it and suspects that something isn’t quite right, you’d recommend just going with the flow without question? – trusting that someone else must know the answers?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’d be the first to admit that the popular opinion of experts in a particular field of study should be taken into careful consideration. However, such “expert opinion” isn’t the end-all of science and has often turned out to not only to be wrong, but painfully wrong. I guess it’s Ok if I’m too lazy or don’t care enough about a particular topic to investigate it for myself to simply trust in the expert opinion of the day. However, let’s not confuse that with conclusive “science” or a valid scientific explanation. Such blind appeals to the authority of “experts” or the status quo within the scientific community, by themselves, are not at all helpful when it comes to answering valid questions in that they have no explanatory power in a discussion like this one. After all, don’t you realize that this is the very same tactic often used by those promoting some religious agenda? – who don’t have anything else beyond an appeal to authority to fall back on? – no reasonably understandable argument besides, “My holy book says so”? – or “most theologians agree”? I believe it was Carl Sagan who once said:
One of the great commandments of science is, “Mistrust arguments from authority.” … Too many such arguments have proved too painfully wrong. Authorities must prove their contentions like everybody else. – Sagan (July 6, 2011)
Consider also this humerus exchange between Socrates and Meno:
Meno: Is this true about yourself, Socrates, that you don’t even know what virtue is? Is this the report that we are to take home about you?
Socrates: Not only that, you may also say that, to the best of my belief, I have never met anyone else who did know.
Meno: What! Didn’t you meet Gorgias when he was here?
Meno: And you still didn’t think he knew?
Socrates: I’m a forgetful sort of person, and I can’t say just now what I thought at the time. Probably he did know, and I expect you know what he used to say about it. So remind me what it was, or tell me yourself if you will. No doubt you agree with him.
Meno: Yes, I do.
Socrates: Then let’s leave him out of it, since after all he isn’t here. What do you yourself say virtue is?
– Plato, Meno, 71c, W. Guthrie, trans., Collected Dialogs (1961), p. 354
So, I ask you again: In your own words, please do explain to me where, exactly, mainstream scientists have so clearly and reasonably dealt with some of the fundamental problems of Darwinian-style evolution that seem so difficult to me? You don’t even appear to understand the difference between Mendelian variation and the mechanism of Darwinian evolution (random mutations in the underlying gene pool combined with natural selection). You don’t seem to understand that animal breeding is based on phenotypic selection alone, as is natural selection, or that Darwin himself used animal breeding as an illustration of how natural selection is supposed to work. Where can any reasonable explanation be found as to how novel genetic information can enter a given gene pool, via the Darwinian mechanism, beyond the very lowest levels of functional complexity this side of a practical eternity of time? Also, where has any scientist produced a reasonable explanation as to how very well-preserved soft tissues, proteins, and antigenic fragments of DNA can be preserved for even 100k years? – at ambient temperatures? These are honest and sincere questions for which I have found no reasonable answers from anyone – scientists or otherwise. If you know the answers, if they are so obvious to you, why not share them with me here?
I’m sorry, but it seems to me, at this point in my own search, that you, and scientists in general, are not immune from personal bias or from philosophical/religious motivations – or from peer pressure (the fear of being unpopular in your community). In short, you’re human just like the rest of us. 😉
One more thing, your notion that religion and science do not and cannot mix is fundamentally at odds with the existence of a personal God who created the universe and died on the cross for the salvation of humanity. If such a God actually exists, He is the Creator of science and scientific thinking as well as everything else and His Signature can therefore be rationally detected in the things that He has made (Psalms 19:1-3). If this cannot be achieved, then your notion of “God” is essentially the same as atheism – for all practical purposes.
I’m sorry, but William Provine, late professor of biological sciences at Cornell University, makes much more sense here (in a speech he gave for a 1998 Darwin Day keynote address):
Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly.
No gods worth having exist;
No life after death exists;
No ultimate foundation for ethics exists;
No ultimate meaning in life exists; and
Human free will is nonexistent.
Provine, William B. [Professor of Biological Sciences, Cornell University], “Evolution: Free will and punishment and meaning in life”, Abstract of Will Provine’s 1998 Darwin Day Keynote Address.
Provine also wrote, “In other words, religion is compatible with modern evolutionary biology (and indeed all of modern science) if the religion is effectively indistinguishable from atheism.” – Academe January 1987, pp.51-52
It seems to me that Provine was right and was most consistent with the implications of accepting neo-Darwinian claims. Darwinian-style evolution is just one more argument for the philosophical position of “Philosophical Naturalism” – a position that suggests that everything within the physical world, everything that we can see, touch, hear, taste, or smell, is ultimately the result of non-deliberate mindless forces of nature. And, you yourself can’t tell the difference since, as you once said, you wouldn’t be able to give your own granddaughter any good evidence for the existence of God if she were to ask you for such evidence. Why then do you even pretend? – why even give lip service to Christianity?
I have checked with the director of the lab which was supposed to have dated a “soft tissue” extract and he wrote back almost immediately that what they had been given was a whole bone, not a “soft tissue” extract and the bone was badly degraded from the point of view of any organic carbon. The date they obtained was obviously contamination and they reported that fact to the submitter.
That’s hard to believe given that many dates on many different specimens where reported by The Center for Applied Isotope Studies at the University of Georgia, and others, without any mention of contamination – using the same procedures that they would for a portion of mammoth or mastodon bone (and no one claimed here to have submitted a “soft tissue extract”). After all, the youngest radiocarbon date for a mammoth fossil (3685 ± 60 yr BP) comes from the remains of one discovered on Wrangel Island off the north-eastern Siberian coast (Vartanyan et al. 2008). Yet, no one cites “contamination” when discussing such dates for mammoths. Also, great care was taken to prevent contamination when obtaining the dinosaur bone specimens that were dated. It’s hard to imagine, then, how these dinosaur bones could have been contaminated to the degree that you suggest – which would have had to be between from 1% (40kyr BP) to up to 10% (20kyr BP) of the total carbon within the bone (Plaisted, 2017).
AMS labs know this. You see, it wasn’t until the AMS lab at the University of Georgia discovered that the bone specimens they were analyzing were actually dinosaur bones that they recanted their own results and refused to do any additional 14C testing. Up until this point, they never suspected such a degree of contamination… a mechanism for which is quite difficult to imagine.
Note that both the whole bone and bioapatite in the dinosaur bone was dated. The bioapatite was C14 dated at 41,010 ± 220 years BP, having 0.61 ± 0.02 pMC (percent modern carbon). No mention of “contamination” is listed here. The very fact that they separated out the whole bone date from the bioapatite date is what makes me think they really thought they had original bioapatite from the bone sample.
A couple years later this was followed by:
Consider also that the triceratops horn was well preserved and had well preserved soft tissue within it, to include blood vessels and cellular structures (Link). The fossil’s bioapatite was dated (not the well-preserved soft tissue, which is interesting). According to a 2009 report in the journal Radiocarbon, bioapatite is actually preferable to soft tissue in many cases. Yet, it was also 14C dated by AMS at 33,570 ± 120 years. How is that explained?
Then, there is this report from John Fischer (2014):
Triceratops and Hadrosaur femur bones in excellent condition were discovered in Glendive Montana, and our group received permission to saw them in half and collect samples for Carbon-14 testing. Both bones were tested by a licensed lab for presence of collagen. Both bones did in fact contain some collagen. The best process (Accelerator Mass Spectrometry) was used to date them. Total organic carbon and dinosaur bioapatite was extracted and pretreated to remove potential contaminants, and concordant radiocarbon dates were obtained. They were similar to radiocarbon dates for ice-age megafauna such as Siberian mammoths, saber tooth tigers of the Los Angeles LaBrea Tarpits, sloth dung, and giant bison. (Link)
Notice here that both the bioapatite and the collagen within the bone was 14C dated by AMS with resulting “concordant radiocarbon dates” – which is usually used to support the argument that the dates obtained where not the result of contamination.
Now, is this conclusive evidence that dinosaur remains are not millions of years old? I wouldn’t say that this data is conclusive in and of itself – taken one test at a time. After all, a particular lab might not have been able to completely isolate a particular fossil’s original bioapatite – so a particular result may have contamination in it as you suggest. However, I do think that after a certain point of consistent results from multiple tests by multiple labs the weight of evidence starts to add up – adding credibility to the idea that perhaps dinosaurs are not millions of years old after all. When you also consider the fact that pretty much all dinosaur bones with residual organic material in them (and other things that are supposed to be millions of years old – like coal and oil and other “ancient” organic remains) have been consistently dated as only being 15k-40k years old, you have to at least conclude that there is something wrong somewhere. Either the 14C dating system is not as robust as some want to believe, or the fossils are not as old as some want to believe. This is particularly relevant given the existence of very finely preserved original dinosaur soft tissues, proteins, and DNA fragments that simply shouldn’t be there according to all known data on the decay rates of such things.
Here’s an interesting presentation 15-minute presentation (Link) that was given by Dr. Thomas Seiler, a German physicist. In it, he reports on the carbon dating of dinosaur bones, other megafauna (such as mammoths), and plants. In all cases, these materials are supposed to be millions of years old, but they all have detectable levels of carbon-14 in them. Of course, one possible explanation for these results is, yet again, contamination. It is possible that “modern” carbon has infiltrated into all these samples, and that’s what is being detected. However, Dr. Seiler presents several arguments that tend to cast doubt on the contamination explanation. First, all the standard treatment used to make a fossil ready for carbon dating was done, which is supposed to get rid of contamination. Second, in some cases, they were examining actual proteins, such as collagen. If “modern” carbon contaminated these fossils, how did it become incorporated into the original collagen? Third, there are some chemicals (like humic acid) that are common contaminants, and it was confirmed that the treatment done on the samples removed those contaminants. Fourth, the amount of carbon in the vicinity of the fossil decreased as you moved away from the fossil. This indicates carbon was “leaking out” of the fossil, not moving into it.
Here’s another interesting article on this topic written by Dr. Jay Wile (2012): Link
So anyway, again I ask you, why not run your own tests? Or why doesn’t Jack Horner or Mary Schweitzer do it with pure finely-preserved dinosaur soft tissues?
As far as breeding vs. natural selection, what’s the real difference if both select based on phenotype alone? You wrote:
It was clear to Alfred Russell Wallace, who, with Darwin, first came up with the idea of natural selection, that you could not use animal breeding experiments to simulate natural evolution.
Please do explain this to me. After all, as far as I can tell, there’s nothing special about the selective breeding of animals in this regard. Even a human breeder could never get one “kind” of animal to evolve into another “kind” of animal (where novel functional genetic options are produced within the gene pool) using breeding techniques with very high selection pressures alone. Why not? Because, selective animal breeding produces no novel information within the gene pool of the animal population in question. Breeding is based on a simple selection of pre-existing information as it is expressed in the various phenotypes of the offspring over time. Exactly the same thing is true of natural selection – which can also produce very rapid phenotypic changes, in the wild, in response to rapidly changing environments or the sudden realization of entirely new environments based on the very same underlying static gene pool of options (no genetic mutations required).
By the way, it was Darwin himself who coined the term ‘selective breeding’; he was interested in the process as an illustration of his proposed wider process of natural selection. Charles Darwin discussed how selective breeding had been successful in producing change over time in his 1859 book, On the Origin of Species. Its first chapter he actually discusses selective breeding and domestication of such animals as pigeons, cats, cattle, and dogs. (Link)
Wallace, on the other hand, argued that the development of the human mind and some bodily attributes were guided by spiritual beings rather than natural selection… (Link)
But please, do explain my mistake here regarding the fundamental differences between the selective breeding of animals vs. natural selection. I’d be most interested, because this concept is fundamental to my own understanding of the clear limits of Darwinian-style evolution via random mutations and natural selection.