Mario asked in Science & MathematicsBiology · 2 months ago

How can an educated person claim that Natural Selection is a process if nobody observed it?

All natural processes are some kind of physical or chemical interaction of matter resulting in a specific effect. Both the interaction and the effect are observable or identifiable. For e.g. A fire is an interaction of heat, fuel, and an oxidizing agent in the form of an uninhibited chemical reaction. The effect is transfer of heat to the surroundings. Or, sexual reproduction is an interaction of two individuals of different sexes. The effect is new organism.

In all these instances we can point to nature and show fire, heat transfer, reproduction and new organism. But what physical or chemical interaction is "natural selection"? And what is the effect of this "process"? Some say the fittest organisms. But this is an obvious nonsense. Organisms are always the effect of reproduction and growth processes.

In the Darwin's finches all that could have been observed were finches and seed. Nothing else. But seed is just something that was consumed by the finches. Seed is not a "natural process". When refering to Darwin's finches some use terms such as "the power of natural selection" or "natural selection in action". Given the above said, this is like saying: "the power of seed" or "seed in action". And this is again, an obvious nonsense.

So, natural selection is nonexistent in nature. Nobody can point to it. Nobody can observe it. Meaning, it exists only as an imaginary construct in the human mind. Hence, the question.

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  • CRR
    Lv 7
    2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    We can't directly observe or point to natural selection because it is an immaterial concept; but so is love and that's real.

    A more complete story of the finches is that during a sever drought the finches were forced to eat the remaining larger and tougher seeds they normally avoided. This led to a high mortality rate among the finches with smaller beaks and hence a larger proportion of large beaks in the next generation. This is consistent with natural selection.

    However natural selection can only select from existing traits. It has no creative power and can only lead to the loss of traits, not produce new ones.

  • 1 month ago

    Nonsense. We observe it all the time. You see young born to animals, and the weak ones usually die before breeding. You see it in plants--weak plants get diseases, insect damage and they die before seeding or producing new plants. You see it in human beings--defective children are borne all the time--but WE INTERFERE with the natural selection in many cases. Because we can. We can keep alive people for years who would have died off from birth defects or conditions in nature 50 years ago. Open your eyes. It's not INSTANT--but you CAN watch it happen. It has nothing to do with how "educated" a person is--it's just plain common sense. 

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  • Dan B
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    If you're still alive, you have survived the natural selection process up to this point.  That is true of all living things.  Natural selection does not apply to non-living things.

    • Mario1 month agoReport

      But I survived what exactly? Can you name the features of that process?

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  • Jim
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Natural Selection is not fact, nor a Theory, it is one of a few "Models".

    Scientists can 'visualize' natural selection, and it fits well. So much so they say it's a Theory.  But in essence, it takes millennia to observe unless we are very lucky.

    And "variance within a kind" is NOT evolution, but already in their dna. Evolution is major changes for one species to another...

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  • 1 month ago

    It can be observed.  For instance, there was a scabies epidemic in my city a few years ago which was treated using an insecticidal ointment on the skin.  Scabies only infest the scalp in babies and people with severe infestations.  After several months of it being treated this way, there was a new scabies outbreak which only infested the scalp, whether or not the skin was treated.  Observable natural selection.

  • 1 month ago

    I feel like you don't understand what natural selection is defined as. Natural selection is the process whereby organisms better adapted to their environment tend to survive and produce more offspring. Lizards with the ability to change color to blend in with their environment is a great example. The fact we have many extinctions demonstrates when natural selection fails to be adequate to promote survival. The reason is because natural selection is a process that happens over time and sometimes event occur that beat that time dead line.

    Natural selection is why we have a variety of life forms instead of just one, this is because we have a variety of environments to survive, where traits for surviving the cold are different than traits for surviving the heat. It is why we can look at a collection of species that are so similar in many aspects, such as primates, the cat family, dog family, etc that are closer to the same shared ancestor before natural selection caused the deviations to promote survival in a different environment.

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    • Ye1 month agoReport

      you are literally just throwing words you don't know the meaning of around, Mario.

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  • 1 month ago

    You are talking about science on a micro scale (i.e. miniaturized experiments that can be observed in a lab or a test tube).

    Science can be on a macro scale (i.e. on a larger level than molecules... even going all the way to a level of populations and societies).

    Here are examples of natural selection:

     on a micro scale:

    - mitochondrion being swallowed by a cell and eventually working in collaboration with it.

    On a macro scale:

    - Europeans being better at war, beat the Native Americans and became the dominant population.

    in both cases, the better adapted organisms (the cell and European Americans) survived and produced more offspring.

  • Cowboy
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    This question is a meaningless noise................

    • Ye1 month agoReport

      yes indeed it is

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  • 2 months ago

    You seem to know a lot of scientific words like "seeds" and "process" and "reproduction," but you combine them into totally meaningless sentences.  I suggest that you first obtain your GED, and after that we can talk again.

    • Ye1 month agoReport

      yeah Mario read a science textbook.

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  • Paul
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Actually we do directly observe it in the culturing of microorganisms. We don't directly observe it in the evolution of more complex species because it takes much longer to occur. However, we clearly observe it in retrospect by examining the fossil record.

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    • Paul
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      Sorry, but "debunking" natural selection makes no more sense than "debunking" oxygen.

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  • 2 months ago

    Given the starting conditions of the existence of genetic variation, competition for resources, differential survival/reproductive success, and time, please provide a plausible explanation for any possible way in which natural selection could NOT happen.

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    • Mario1 month agoReport

      Sure you are allowed to count, but that is not natural selection. I asked the definition of a process, and not how humans count alleles or offspring. Supposedly this process has "power". It "favors" things. It is in "action". It "finds new ways". So where is this powerful process? 

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