This missive simply reinforces every prejudice I have 1] You have …

Comment on The Basis of Biblical Credibility by Sean Pitman.

This missive simply reinforces every prejudice I have

1] You have no criteria for scientific evidence. Your ideas completely lack rigour. You seem to equate history the bible and anecdote with scientific evidence. You seem completely impervious to S Schillers insightful comments on tools and process.

The criteria I have for scientific evidence is the scientific method itself. For instance, my ideas are testable and potentially falsifiable – while yours do not seem to be (at least not to me). After all, you’re the one arguing that future discoveries will support your position even if the required evidence isn’t currently in hand. How is that a scientific position? You also appear to argue that if a conclusion is “blindingly obvious” then it really isn’t a scientific conclusion. How is it that simple conclusions cannot be achieved scientifically? Where in the scientific method are “blindly obvious” conclusions not allowed?

As far as history is concerned, are you suggesting that the study of history cannot be approached in a scientific manner? Or, am I misreading you here?

Also, where did I argue for anecdotal science? What I argued for is historical science – the same science used to determine the credibility of stories about historical figures like Alexander the Great or Genghis Khan. Do you wish to argue that these stories are based on “anecdotal evidence”?

2] With profound hubris you cite yourself as the authority on the non-eolian origin of the coconino sandstone and completely dismiss the scientific publications cited on the wiki entry
and the consensus embodied in the USGS description.

Did you actually read what I wrote? I don’t dismiss the arguments for the eolian origin of the Coconino Sandstone at all. I address these arguments in some detail in fact. What do you have to say for why all the trackways within the Coconino, including very finely preserved and very detailed trackways, are headed uphill? and why this sandstone is so pure? – without the preservation of plant or animal remains or significant burrowing or bioturbation? – and why the horizontal horizons are so smooth and flat over huge areas?

3] You seem so devoid of original thought that you can only react in 4 of the last 5 post to what I have said.

I’m sorry, but I don’t follow your point here? Also, what does original thought have to do with an idea being right or wrong? A lot of non-original ideas are none-the-less true.

I do feel sorry that you cannot see that there is a world of unexplored scientific questions and knowledge and you can do no more than doggedly defend an insignificant part of that terrain with arguments and positions that I and most scientists would think anachronistic.

The same thing was said of Einstein by many scientists when he first presented his theories. Who cares if you and the majority of scientists disagree with me if you cannot answer very simple questions regarding the very mechanism of Darwinian evolution? You admit that you have no idea how random mutations and natural selection can create anything beyond very low levels of functional complexity. Yet, you are confident that this mechanism, or some other mindless natural mechanism, did the job and that future discoveries will demonstrate this reality. Again, call me crazy, but that’s not science. That’s your own personal philosophy which happens to be popular right now among most scientists.

Be open. Truth can afford to be scrutinized. God can defend Himself he doesn’t need you to fight against reality in His name. He remains even if life is billions of years old.

I agree. By all means scrutinize my position. Please show me where I’m wrong. Don’t just list off a bunch of references and tell me that someone else knows the answer. Present the argument to me yourself. Show me how easily random mutations and natural selection can create beyond very low levels of functional complexity. Show me how the detrimental mutation rate can be overcome by natural selection for slowly reproducing creatures. I’ve been waiting a very long time for you to present an actual argument in response to these simple questions that doesn’t depend upon some future discoveries. Where is the science that is currently in hand to support your position?

You ask me to be open to the possibility that I’m wrong. I am open to this possibility. I most certainly could be wrong. But, why should I admit error that I do not yet see? And, what about you? Are you open to the same possibility? – to the possibility of being wrong? I know that someone who favors fideism doesn’t like to consider even the potential of being wrong. Why then is it Ok for the thoughts and ideas of others to be scrutinized? – but not Ok for Neo-Darwinism to be scrutinized?

Is it possible for God to hide Himself from empirical detection by scientific methodologies? – methodologies that could be used to detect a truly artefactual radio signal or a granite cube that is a “blindly obvious” product of intelligent design? Sure. God could hide Himself from us is He wished. However, if God does exist, it is also possible that He wishes to reveal Himself in a clearly detectable manner through the works of His own hands. And, who are you to say that this is impossible? That God cannot reveal Himself in such a manner?

To argue that the Christian faith is not logical, that one must believe despite the evidence based one one’s own personal internal experience, is a fideistic position that makes no sense to me beyond wishful thinking and warm fuzzy feelings. But, perhaps you’re right. Perhaps I’m simply too “left brained” to get it? I guess God is only able to speak to right brained people? leaving the rest of us out in the cold? I think not…

Sean Pitman Also Commented

The Basis of Biblical Credibility

Your argument that evolution cannot work because Paul Cameron or anyone else lacks a precise mechanism to overcome your declared barrier (1000 fairly specified amino acid residues) is based on the fallacy of ignorance.

Then I suppose SETI science, forensic science, and anthropology are all based on the “fallacy of ignorance” as well? – since these scientists can’t think of any mindless natural mechanism to explain certain types of radio signals, murder victims with certain unnatural features, or pieces of rock with artefactual features?

I’m sorry, but there is no fallacy with the argument for the detection of intelligent design behind various kinds of artefacts – like the origin of a highly symmetrical polished granite cube. It isn’t that these scientists are ignorant of how the phenomenon in question could have been produced by intelligent design. They know how the features they’re considering could have been produced by many different intelligently designed methods. What they don’t know is how the artefact in question could have been produced by any known mindless mechanism of nature. That, my friend, is the very basis of all sciences dealing with the detection of true artefacts of intelligent design.

The very same thing is true of the biomachines within living things that I’m presenting. Clearly, these machines very closely resemble machines that we know were produced by intelligent design. We known and understand how such machines could be produced by various means by intelligent design. What we don’t know is how they could be produced by any mindless natural mechanism this side of a practical eternity of time (i.e., trillions upon trillions of years). This means, of course, that the very best scientific conclusion, the theory with the best predictive power, is that any such biomachine was almost certainly produced by intelligent design.

Now, does the intelligent designer of these biomachines have to be God? No. Not at all. Omnipotence is not required to explain something like a bacterial flagellar motility system. However, even though omnipotence is not required to explain the origin of such machines (to include things like a wrist watch or a granite cube), intelligence of some kind is required.

Does this therefore mean that God did not make something just because God-like power is not required? No. God can make simple stuff just as easily as you and I can make simple stuff. If it just that a God-like creative power is not required to explain everything that God can make. For example, is it possible for God to make a loaf of bread? – the same type of loaf of bread that your mother can make? Sure it is.

It’s funny, don’t you think, that you don’t argue against SETI radio signals or highly symmetrical granite cubes as being anything other than obvious artefacts of intelligent design. Why then the double standard for biological machines that are even farther beyond any known mindless mechanism while being at least closely approximated the creative powers of known intelligent agents?

Sean Pitman

The Basis of Biblical Credibility

You obviously can declare anything you want in terms mutation rates and how many SNP indels and genes were present in the 2 mythical pigs but how many can really be present in the original haplotypes. You have said before that copy number variation was not at all the basis for the genetic richness of the original 2.

I see no reason to argue for a significant difference in past mutation rates as compared to today’s rates. Consider that the pig genome is similar in size to the human genome, ~3 billion bases (haploid). The two pigs on the Ark could easily have had a 0.3% difference in genome sequences to start with (with regard to SNPs). Also, in each family line novel SNPs are produced in each generation for each individual at a fairly high rate (up to 100 per individual per generation). And, the generation time for pigs is ~1 year. A comparison between hundreds of pigs from different family lines, even within the same breeding population of average size, would yield a huge number of SNPs in very short order. So, I don’t see why this is an appeal to “magic”?

As far as “unique genes” are concerned, much of this can be explained by a loss of genetic information by one population vs. the other after the split. This is one of the reasons for the “hybrid vitality” already mentioned. Producing such hybrids gives the hybrid offspring access to genes that are missing from each separate gene pool, but were originally available in the ancestral gene pool.

Of course, the production of novel alleles is also a factor. And, in an average population, any beneficial allelic variation would become fixed in relatively short order.

The differences in indels is interesting, but I see no need to invoke magic to explain a few hundred thousand indels in a comparison of hundreds of pigs – especially since muticharacter mutations are quite common as well and would already have existed within the first pair on the Ark to begin with. For example, there are thought to be thousands of conversion mutations per individual in each generation. Combine this with what is generally assumed to be a high rate of inversions/translocations, ~10 duplications/insertions/deletions (changing up to 20 times the number bases that point mutations change per generation), and >100 satellite mutations, and you have yourself a very high overall mutation rate that adds up to many thousands of nucleotide changes per individual per generation.

The Basis of Biblical Credibility

“The discovery of the Cit + mutants in Lenski’s experiment has been a mote in the eye for those suggesting that major phenotypic innovations cannot be explained by micro-evolutionary (gradual) processes…

Do you know anything about the experiment where Lenski’s produced Cit+ E. coli bacteria?

What Lenski did was to grow E. coli under oxic conditions in citrate-rich media. E. coli bacteria are generally unable to use citrate under oxic conditions as a source of energy. However, they can use it under anoxic conditions. In other words, they already have the gene for citrase in their genome. It is just that it is normally turned off under oxic conditions. How is it turned off? Well, the promoter for the gene that transports citrate into the bacterium is not active under oxic conditions. So, all that needs to happen is to move the citrate transport gene close to a promoter that is actually active under oxic conditions. Once this is done, citrate will enter the bacterium and be used for energy.

And, this is exactly what happened. Nothing structurally new needed to be evolved. After about 31,000 generations, in a large population of bacteria, there was a single genetic mutation in a bacterium that ended up moving the citT gene and placing it under the control of a promoter (rnk) that is active under oxic conditions. The fact that just this single translocation mutation took so long to achieve should clue you in to how difficult it is to achieve even such low-level changes in function via random mutations. The protein product, however, remained the same – i.e., <500aa with no required amino acid changes to achieve a selectable effect. All that was required was to move a pre-existing gene close to a promoter to turn it on during oxic conditions. That's it. The protein itself didn't need to be changed for a useful advantage. Now, at this point, multiple copies of the gene were rapidly produced in some colonies. However, having just one copy was enough to produce a selectable advantage in the citrate-rich environment. It doesn't matter if there are 1 - 9 copies of the gene - the same function is realized to different levels - i.e., the cit+ function can exist, to a selectable degree, with just one copy of the gene producing the the very same protein. Additional "refinements" are easy once at least a minimum useful level of a particular type of function is realized - not a problem at all. Again, this "unicorn" of yours is a very low-level example of evolution in action where nothing structurally new was produced to achieve the function in question. The only thing that happened was a mutational move from one location to another within the genome. That's not a statistical problem for Darwinism at all...

Pubmed still does not have any reference to novel structure composed of 1000 amino acid residues. But indeed there is refence to uinicorns so your 100FSAAR is rarer than unicorns in the biomedical literature. Perhaps you should publish your obvservations.

Tell me, what is the minimum number of specifically arranged amino acids required to produce a rotary bacterial falgellar motility system? Is it possible to reduce it to less than 1000 specifically arranged residues? – without a complete loss of the motility function?

Again, the concept of functional complexity has been published and is well defined in literature, to include the minimum size requirement. I’ve already given you the references a couple times now.

Sean Pitman

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.

Most Species the “Same Age” with No “In-Between” Species
You wrote:

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?

    Socrates: Yes.

    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?

Most Species the “Same Age” with No “In-Between” Species

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.