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  • Cashew Explainey
    April 24, 2014 - 03:12

    What is the dividing line between natural, and 'unnatural' selection? What is the criteria for unnatural? How far back in the past must we go before Homo Sapiens activity are still considered natural. There is food for thought here, and I would love to read a follow-up piece that explains how we, Homo Sapiens, are able to perform unnatural acts, to induce unnatural selection. The writer did not coin this term, but he is spending it around capriciously with little to indicate he was ever a philosophy student. Unnatural, in the context of a exposition about pure scientific research seems absurd. What is this, that is outside nature, to drive 'unnatural selection'? "unnatural selection can become a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy" Indeed it can, as a term. The real-time, space-time mechanism Wangersky likens to a "self-fulfilling prophecy" is evolution. Quite the opposite of a prophecy, this theory of Darwin would seem to me. "the fishing was not intensive...the larger conch were filtered out in a fishery that spanned some 1,500 years: it was a far more gradual change, but a significant, specific man-made change just the same." If a man-made influence on fish evolution is unnatural, would the fishing habits of bears & dolphins, also lead to unnatural selection? Even if we drop a 40 megaton Nuclear bomb in the middle of the North Atlantic, and scoop up all the dead fish and sell them to Bill Barry to feed minks (in farms, on Mars…), no laws of physics are broken, the effect on evolution is still a natural process, and nothing unnatural has taken place at all. It is remarkable that the Religious Fundamentalists have elevated man above nature (only to suppress him as needy & sinful), and the Fundamental Materialists have exiled man below nature (and admit the interconnected godhead within). I choose to remain in nature, thank you, and in the scientific method. “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Doesn't this famous statement on equilibrium negate the idea of an isolated 'action', and reinforce the concept of relativity in our perception? What is an unnatural action, or effect, or a selection then, but pseudoscience smelling its own brain-farts, and bragging about it? The concept of something as unnatural should be reserved for the credulous & dull, not the curious, thirsty proponents of quality in science.