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Pure chance can't create new structures

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Claim

Complex structures could not have arisen by chance.

Source

Responses

  1. The driving force behind evolution is not chance (as this statement seems to imply), so this argument constitutes a Red Herring fallacy.
  2. Structures are simply persistent manifestations of patterns. Patterns can and do arise out of chance. Selection ensures that meaningful patterns are more likely to remain.
  3. A genetic algorithm can create new structures. For example, a 2D block bridge has been created by evolutionary methods. [1]
  4. There is no such thing as pure chance - it is a meaningless hyperbole. If events have causes, those causes are what drive evolution. On the other hand, if events have no causes then both science and religion are meaningless.
  5. Evolution is not driven by chance, it is driven by natural selection, which is driven by evolutionary features that either do not work, thus enter into extinction, or do work, thus getting passed on to the next generation. Over time these evolutionary adaptations are compounded over thousands or millions of generations, eventually giving rise to new structures or radical changes to existing structures. Examples include the elongation of elephants trunks and giraffes necks, the migration of whales and dolphins nostrils to the top of their heads as well as the disappearance of their legs in place of the flattening and broadening of their tails.
  6. add more responses

References

  1. Davidson, Clive, 1997 (Nov. 15). Creatures from primordial silicon. New Scientist 156. [2]
  2. Lipson, Hod & Pollack, J.B., 2000 (31 Aug.). Automatic design and manufacture of robotic lifeforms. Nature 406.
  3. Maxygen, 1998 (Nov. 18). When genes "breed" in the lab, a suprising number of their offspring are supergenes. (Press release) [3]
  4. Pollack, Andrew, 2000 (28 Oct.). Selling evolution in ways Darwin never imagined. New York Times, Business section. [4]
  5. Thompson, Adrian, 1996. An evolved circuit, intrinsic in silicon, entwined with physics. [5]

Further Reading

See Also

Acknowledgments

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