Evolution, Photosynthesis, and The Bill Nye Challenge
If evolution is true, then the process of natural selection should be explainable like the process of photosynthesis.
We’ve all heard of photosynthesis. We all “believe in” photosynthesis, even if we cannot quickly describe what it is or what, exactly, it does. And there are no people, organizations, or websites devoted to denying that photosynthesis is part of a true explanation of how plants change over time.
Photosynthesis is simply one of many biological processes that scientists have identified in nature related to how living things change over time. In particular, photosynthesis describes how plants and other organisms change light energy into chemical energy.
The process of energy conversion in plants could be termed “energy conversion by photosynthesis.” If one were to ask what photosynthesis does to convert energy, a biologist could answer easily and concisely. Although at some level the answer could be extremely complex, the question can nevertheless be answered simply in one or two sentences.
In fact, a quick search yields this simple explanation of what photosynthesis does: Photosynthesis “chemically converts carbon dioxide (CO2) and water into food (sugars) and oxygen.” A bit more involved answer is still simple: “During oxygenic photosynthesis, light energy transfers electrons from water (H2O) taken up by plant roots to CO2 to produce carbohydrates. In this transfer, the CO2 is "reduced," or receives electrons, and the water is "oxidized," or loses electrons.”
More importantly, the question of “what does photosynthesis do in the process of plant energy conversion” would not be misunderstood. Neither would such a request to explain the change over time of the organism be seen as odd, misplaced, or fraudulent. And the person asking the question would never be labeled an idiot, a flat-earther, stupid, or a science-denier.
Evolution by natural selection is another biological process that scientists deem present in nature. The process of evolution by natural selection also relates to how things change over time. Rather than describing something as mundane as energy conversion in plants, however, evolution by natural selection is said to explain the entirety of all the diversity of life on earth!
Evolutionists tout natural selection, in fact, as the key process step that acted throughout every generation in the evolutionary history of all current living things. In the theory of evolution by natural selection, we are told, it is precisely the process of natural selection that did something to or for every ancestor in the unbroken evolutionary lineage from sea sponges to human beings.
Are we allowed, as we were with photosynthesis, to ask what natural selection does? What did natural selection do for all of our human ancestors?
We have a bit of a head start in asking what natural selection did because we know with certainty what it did not do. Natural selection did not kill, starve, or otherwise “reject” any of our ancestors, like it did the light-colored Peppered Moths. Each ancestor, by definition, arrived—like the dark-colored Peppered Moths—in the world adapted to survive and pass on their genes to the next generation. Thus, every one of our ancestors lived and reproduced blissfully unaware of natural selection killing or starving other organisms all around them. Generation after generation of genetically adapted survivors arrived on earth and—like living links in an unbroken chain—slowly built the evolutionary line linking sea sponges to human beings.
We are the dark-colored Peppered Moths all the way down.
Are we allowed to ask the very logical next question: What exactly did natural selection do for all of our genetically adapted and reproducing ancestors? Can we go all the way back to that first sea sponge couple that survived to produce the next adapted organism and ask what natural selection did for that organism, which also survived to reproduce an adapted organism, and the next, and the next? You get the idea.
What would happen, for example, if one were to ask the simple question, “What did natural selection do for any ancestor in the lineage of current human beings?"
We presented this exact question in our recent post entitled, The Bill Nye Challenge. In response to a question that Bill Nye posed, and we answered, we formulated our question back to Bill Nye in the form of a challenge. We also posted The Bill Nye Challenge on our Facebook Page (Creation Reformation World).
The response to The Bill Nye Challenge question on Facebook has been enlightening. Note that the question is no different in kind than the question asking what photosynthesis does. But once posted, the Challenge generated many, many responses that show two things: (1) most people find the question confusing; they cannot even fathom the question as legitimate; and (2) even asking the question leads many people to launch into ad hominem attacks and spurious allegations toward us.
We can take the heat. But what we found truly illuminating is that very, very few people even attempted to answer the question. Most answers amounted to the logical fallacy of “begging the question” in which the “answer” simply stated a supposed result of natural selection (lactose intolerance, lack of hair, brains, etc.).
And many commenters could not even comprehend the question being asked. Most such people did not even try to answer the question but simply deemed the question “malformed,” “evasive,” “nonsense,” and they labeled us “gullible,” “anti-intellectual,” “superstitious,” “disingenuous,” and the list goes on and on.
What we find fascinating in all this is how evolution by natural selection is treated entirely differently than any other biological process, such as energy conversion by photosynthesis.
One question (photosynthesis) would be met with sincere, helpful, kind, and generally short, correct answers.
The other question (evolution) is met with insincere, unhelpful, unkind, and no correct answers.
Why is this?
Think about it.
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