A few years ago, I went to The Denver Museum of Nature and Science with my cousin, although truth in advertising ought to render the name The Denver Temple for Naturalistic Humanism. In the evolution corner of this temple, they had a computer running a game that was designed to teach Natural Selection. The game was simple: you start with about a dozen moths. Some of the moths were slow, some were fast. Some were dark and some were bright. These moths fluttered around the screen and the person who played the game got to be the predator “eating” moths.
Most people caught the slow bright moths. After about half the population was “eaten”, the remaining population randomly bred and the characters were passed on based on Mendel’s genetic theories. Then a new generation came forth and you got to eat more moths.
After a time, the slow bright moths went extinct and you’d be left with a bunch of fast dark moths. This would prove Natural Selection.
Except that my cousin and I knew that this was what the game wanted, so we purposely killed the fast dark moths. By the end of the game, we were left with a bunch of slow bright moths. But have no fear. Our version of events proved Natural Selection too.
How’s that? Because we, as predators, selected against the fast dark moths just as much as the average predator selected against slow bright moths.
There is a problem with this kind of “proof” for a theory. A theory that “proves” everything really proves nothing. It becomes an irrelevant factor.
For a simple example of this, consider the equation: x + n = y + n. In this case, we have a “like term” in both sides of the equation. As anyone familiar with algebra knows, we can cancel like terms out because they are irrelevant to the rest of the equation. If the left side has a “+ n” and the right side has a “+ n”, the “+ n” gives us no meaningful information for determining the answer to the problem. If we subtract “+ n” from both sides, we get the simple x = y.
Now suppose that “x + n = y + n” represents a theory that I was going to argue was valid. If my argument consisted of proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that “+ n” was true, does my argument provide any meaningful substance? Obviously not. The “+ n” factor is trivial. It can be true (or false for that matter) and it has no impact on the rest of the theory, because in the end “+ n” cancels itself out.
The reason I bring this up is to make what is a rather obvious, yet easily missed, point. Darwinists are quick to point to Natural Selection as their explanation for what drives Darwinism. However, the way they use Natural Selection renders the term trivial. We return to my original example of the moth program. It is true that selection occurs when the average person kills off the slow bright moths. But it is likewise true that selection occurs when I kill off the fast dark moths. In both sides of this equation, selection occurs. But the fact of selection is irrelevant to which species lives and which dies in that computer program. It does not matter if a choice is made; it matters what the determining factors of that selection are.
This game was supposed to analogize natural functions by using human selection as a pattern of natural selection (no one can fault the programmers as Darwin used the same analogy). But the issue of selection is not relevant, for if it were then it would be impossible for me to go against the outcome. That is, if Natural Selection were not trivial, we would be able to say “The slow bright moths will go extinct” and no matter what they would go extinct. But because I can choose to kill off the fast dark moths, this result is not guaranteed. To then say, “That’s Natural Selection too” is to stretch the term to the point of breaking.
If we use Gould’s concept of “rerunning life’s tape” a second time, we see that Natural Selection is trivial in nature too. If Natural Selection is a viable theory, we must be able to predict beforehand which populations will survive any specific event, and which will not. It is not enough to slap the label “Natural Selection” after the fact. To be a meaningful experiment, we must be able to predict. (This is basic science and should not be controversial.)
But we cannot predict which species will survive and which will not. Even in theory, we cannot determine which fossils would survive and which would not given a “do over” at a cataclysmic event. To say, “No matter what result occurs, that process is called Natural Selection” is to relegate Natural Selection to a completely irrelevant term. This doesn’t necessarily make Natural Selection false, it just makes it trivial.
Put it this way. Darwinists use Natural Selection as an explanatory theory. That is, the reason that one organism lives and another dies is because of Natural Selection. But in the above we have seen that if this were true, we could use Natural Selection to predict which would live and which would not. But that is not even possible in principal. Therefore, Natural Selection cannot be explanatory for it is claimed true regardless of which organism lives and which organism dies. If it is not explanatory, it can only be definitional (that is: “The process by which an organism lives while another organism dies out is known as Natural Selection”). But definitions are tautologies, not explanations.
In the end, Natural Selection cannot be an explanation for why any organism survives. It becomes the “+ n” in the equation, for it is tautologically true regardless of anything else. Natural Selection therefore may be true, but it will remain trivial. Indeed, under this process Natural Selection is true in Creationism and Intelligent Design as well as Darwinism. Since Natural Selection is not explanatory under this system and instead is a definition that those organisms that survive are those that survive, it remains trivial.
Perhaps the greatest evidence of this lies in the fact that while a Darwinist may often claim, “Darwinism is just as proven as Einstein’s theory of Relativity” you will never hear a physicist say, “Einstein’s theory of Relativity is just as proven as Darwinism.” The reason? A physicist can say, “If Einstein is true, light will bend when it passes through a gravity field; and it will not bend if it is false.” There is only one possible outcome, and we can see that light does indeed bend in gravity. On the other hand, the Darwinist says, “If organism X lives, it is Natural Selection; but if it dies it is Natural Selection too.”
There is a world of difference between the two.