Does Natural Selection Work?

Natural selection is the second half of the evolutionary doctrine. It is the process by which beneficial heritable traits increase an organism’s chances of reproduction. Natural selection is a fact, but only within limited boundaries. But natural selection is, by definition, a loss of genetic information, so it can therefore never produce new organs or organisms. Here are a few of the real world problems faced by evolutionary belief that natural selection turned “simple cells” into Hollywood celebrities:

1. Selection is NOT via nucleotides/base pairs

Natural selection never sees individual nucleotides, only individual organisms. Selection via nucleotides instead of the individual is the great deception our culture has been told to believe in. Without this lie evolutionary theory unravels. Natural selection is actually like feeling for a pea (nucleotide) under a kilometre high mattress.

2. Selection IS via linkage blocks

Nucleotides that are close together are passed on together in linkage blocks averaging 30,000 nucleotides in size. Our 23,000 genes and chromosomes are larger linkage blocks. A single mutation will never be selected in or out unless it dominates the linkage block.  This means zero evolutionary advantage unless a mutation is monstrously positive. How rare is that!

3. Most mutations are nearly neutral

The smaller the mistake, the more likely it is to slip through. Most mutations are near to neutral. Near-neutral and minor mutations won’t stop that individual reproducing. They are therefore invisible to natural selection and impossible to remove from the population. Survival of the fittest thus becomes a relative term. Every generation is less genetically fit than the last.

4. Most mutations are recessive

Most mutations are genetically recessive. They do not show up every generation but only when an individual breeds with another individual with the same recessive mutation. They are usually passed on silently. Professor Michael Lynch estimates our genetic fitness is dropping at up to 5% per generation.

5. Rare beneficial mutations are unselectable

If all near-neutral and minor deleterious mutations are being passed on in linkage blocks and accumulating, then those one-in-a-hundred thousand (or million) beneficial mutations are also locked inside linkage blocks and cannot be selected. This means zero evolutionary advancement unless a mutation is both monstrously positive and adding to genetic complexity. The first is one-in-a-billion. The second does not exist.

6. The cost of culling

Selection always equals elimination. Selection means removing less fit individuals from the breeding process, either through death, weakness or disability. Therefore nature must always produce a surplus of individuals to account for those that do not reproduce. Humans have always had far less offspring than what is needed for selection processes.

7. Homeostasis counteracts selection

Homeostasis is our internal regulation system in response to our environment. Our internal environment counteracts external stimuli, again stunting natural selection pressures. Our genetic disposition can be masked by this ability to cope with our environment.

8. Epistasis also counteracts selection

The letters in this sentence, and in the entire essay are meaningless unless read in context. In genetics we call this epistasis. Any beneficial mutations will be drowned out and invisible to natural selection unless there were a group of them all occurring at the same time in the same place, another mathematical impossibility.

9. Selection counteracts selection

To select for any one visible trait, you automatically reduce the ability to select for any other trait. This is the dilemma of artificial breeding in plants and livestock. It’s give and take. Selecting for more than a few traits becomes a useless exercise. Selecting for every mutation in each human generation is clearly impossible. They will accumulate.

10. Epigenetics

Epigenetic is non-permanent changes to DNA. These changes are a response to the environment. They entail switching existing genes off and then on again several generations later. Epigenetics makes it even more difficult for natural selection to work because non-permanent changes act like a moving target for natural selection.

11. Biological “Noise”

Noise blocks the transmission of a signal. Biological noise includes environmental factors that determine 50% of all reproductive success and genetic/environmental susceptibility which is responsible for another 25%. For the remaining 25% you have all the additional problems mentioned above. Only 1% of genetic fitness is attributable to genetically heritable factors.

Conclusion

Natural selection is crippled by selection of individuals not nucleotides, linkage blocks, the non-selection of near-neutral mutations, the recessiveness of most mutations, the invisibility of beneficial mutations, selection costs, the impossibility of multiple selections, epistasis, epigenetics and homeostasis.  Genetically upward natural selection simply doesn’t work in the real world. In the real world natural selection is a design feature that stabilises a population that would otherwise die out rapidly. It cannot halt an ultimate genetic meltdown but it can slow it down considerably, enabling life to continue on earth for hundreds or thousands of generations longer than otherwise possible. Our genome was created perfect, is rapidly deteriorating, and we are heading toward extinction.