Science explains effects in terms of causes. Since causes and effects are different things, they cannot have the same causal explanation. In a tautology, however, the cause and effect are the same, so no explanation is actually given, only the impression of one. When a doctor says, "Your father's hearing impairment has caused his deafness," that is a tautology. The doctor is offering no explanation at all of your father's deafness. The sentence contains two parts that appear to be cause and effect, but actually mean the same thing. One does not explain the other.
In addition to failing to explain anything, tautologies cannot be regarded as scientific because they cannot be tested and can never be refuted.
A tautology is a statement that appears to provide information, but actually does nothing of the sort. "All hats are hats" is a simple example of a tautology. This is a true statement, but one which provides no information.
Natural selection is also formulated as a tautology by evolutionists. Natural selection is the survival of the fittest, and the tautology appears in the expression "of the fittest." "The fittest" are defined as those which survive. When we ask "Who are the fittest?," we are told "Those which survive." The answer to the question "Who survives?" is "The fittest." This means that natural selection is "the survival of the survivors." This is circular reasoning.
Some evolutionists maintain that natural selection is not a tautology, and that this is a misinterpretation by the proponents of Creation. The fact is, however, that prominent evolutionists also accept that natural selection is a tautology. That is why we feel the need to devote some space to statements by prominent evolutionists maintaining that natural selection is indeed tautological.
For example, the British geneticist J.B.S. Haldane accepts the tautological nature of natural selection by saying: "...the phrase 'survival of the fittest' is something of a tautology." 7
Professor of Ecology R.H. Peters from Canada's McGill University also states that theories of evolution are tautological and that they cannot be regarded as scientific:
I argue that the "theory of evolution" does not make predictions, so far as ecology is concerned, but is instead a logical formula which can be used only to classify empiricisms [theories] and to show the relationships which such a classification implies. These theories are actually tautologies and, as such, cannot make empirically testable predictions. They are not scientific theories at all. 8
Professor Steven Stanley of Johns Hopkins University has this to say about natural selection in his book Macroevolution: Pattern and Process:
I tend to agree with those who have viewed natural selection as a tautology rather than a true theory. 9
Karl Popper, regarded as one of the major philosophers of the twentieth century, cites evolutionists such as Ronald Fisher, J.B.S. Haldane and George Gaylord Simpson as examples, and says:
Some of the greatest contemporary Darwinists themselves formulate the theory in such a way that it amounts to the tautology that those organisms that leave most offspring leave most offspring. 10
Clearly, if someone wishes to learn how a bacterial cell could turn into a fish, a fish into a bird, and a reptile into a human being, it is no answer to tell him that "organisms which leave the most offspring are those which leave most offspring." Natural selection cannot prove anything about the claim that species evolve. Despite being aware of this, evolutionists play word and logic games and attempt to portray natural selection and evolution as a logical-sounding hypothesis.
Despite being the person who suggested natural selection and the theory of evolution, Darwin said, "I shall know that the theory of Natural Selection, is, in the main, safe; that it includes, as now put forth, many errors, is almost certain, though I cannot see them." (Charles Darwin to C. Lyell, October 11, 1859).
Some evolutionists, such as Gould, are undecided when it comes to defending natural selection. Gould expresses that unwillingness in the words: "I, although I wear the Darwinian label with some pride, am not among the most ardent defenders of natural selection." 11 Despite being the person who proposed the theory of natural selection, Darwin himself offered a rather prescient analysis: "I shall know that the theory of Natural Selection, is, in the main, safe; that it includes, as now put forth, many errors, is almost certain, though I cannot see them." 12
It is most surprising and thought-provoking that evolutionist scientists should keep repeating this circular reasoning and regard natural selection as a force with the capacity to cause evolution. Many people believe in the theory of evolution without really knowing what it is they believe in. The philosopher of science Arthur Koestler expresses this fact:
In the meantime, the educated public continues to believe that Darwin has provided all the relevant answers by the magic formula of random mutations plus natural selection-quite unaware of the fact that random mutations have turned out to be irrelevant and natural selection a tautology. 13
Evolutionists' Errors in Regarding Natural Selection As a Conscious Mechanism
It is suggested in Science and Creationism that "Although the genetic variation on which natural selection works is based on random or chance elements, natural selection itself produces "adaptive" change-the very opposite of chance." (Science and Creationism, p. 10). The evolutionist authors of the book are employing misleading expressions here. They seek to give the impression that no matter how random the mutations selected by natural selection may be, since natural selection selects those that are best adapted, the overall result is not random. It is as though a conscious mechanism entered the equation.
However, anyone examining the subject a little deeper will see through the deception here: Natural selection is not a conscious mechanism capable of planning or foresight. This is most clearly revealed in the study of irreducibly complex organs: these structures only provide any benefit to an organism when they are fully formed. For instance, during the transition from water to land, which evolutionists so fondly dream of, natural selection would not select changes in a fish that might have produced only a few components of a lung. A structure that lacks any of the characteristics of a perfect lung is of no benefit to a land creature. Since natural selection is also unable to calculate that a fish might shortly emerge onto land and would therefore need a lung-and that the lung would therefore need to undergo many intermediate stages waiting for the accumulation of alterations-it would not select those changes. In this way, an animal with only a few of the necessary changes would be eliminated.
As the world-famous historian of biology William Coleman indicates:
The organism, being a functionally integrated whole each part of which stood in close relation to every other part, could not, under pain of almost immediate extinction, depart significantly from the norms established for the species by the first anatomical rule.
Richard Dawkins and his book The Blind Watchmaker.
A major change, for example, a sharp increase in the heart beat or the diminution by half of the kidney and thus a reduction in renal secretion, would by itself have wrought havoc with the general constitution of the animal. In order that an animal might persist after a change of this magnitude it would be necessary that the other organs of the body be also proportionally modified. In other words, an organism must change en bloc or not at all. Only saltatory modification could occur, and this idea was to Cuvier, as it is to most modern zoologists, but for very different reasons, unverified and basically absurd. Transmutation by the accumulation of alterations, great or small, would thus be impossible. 14
Evolutionists also accept that natural selection is an unconscious, blind process. Richard Dawkins, for example, one of the most passionate proponents of the theory of evolution, defines natural selection in these terms in his book The Blind Watchmaker:
Natural selection, the blind, unconscious, automatic process which Darwin discovered, and which we now know is the explanation for the existence and apparently purposeful form of all life, has no purpose in mind. It has no mind and no mind's eye. It does not plan for the future. It has no vision, no foresight, no sight at all. If it can be said to play the role of watchmaker in nature, it is the blind watchmaker. 15
It is impossible for an unconscious, blind mechanism to have created the complex information and design in living things. Evolutionists, who seek to portray natural selection as a divine creator of all living things, are no different from worshippers of idols and totems-pagans who ascribe divinity to natural events such as thunder and lightning. They are merely the twenty-first century version of such pagans.
1- Stephen Jay Gould, "The Return of Hopeful Monsters," History, vol. 86, July-August 1977, p. 28.
2- S.J. Gould, Scientific American, October 1994, p. 85. (emphasis added)
3- Science, 1982, no. 217, pp. 1239-1240.
4- Noble, et al., Lea and Febiger, "Evolution of Parasitism," Parasitology, sixth edition, 1989, p. 516.
5- S.J. Gould, Ever since Darwin, New York: W. W. Norton., 1977, pp. 40-41
6- Pierre Paul Grassť, Evolution of Living Organisms, 1977, s. 124-125
7- J.B.S. Haldane, "Darwinism Under Revision", in Rationalist Annual (1935), s. 24
8- R.H. Peters, "Tautology in Evolution and Ecology", American Naturalist (1976), Vol. 110, No. 1, s. 1
9- Steven Stanley, Macroevolution: Pattern and Process (1979), John Hopkins University, s. 193
10- K.R. Popper, A Pocket Popper, ed. David Miller, Fontana, London, 1983; s. 242
11- Stephen J. Gould, Ever Since Darwin, W. W. Norton, NewYork, 1977, s. 39
12- Francis Darwin, The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Cilt.II, New York:D. Appleton and Company, 1888, s.10
13- Arthur Koestler, Janus: A summing Up, Vintage Books; 1978, s. 185.
14- W. Coleman, Georges Cuvier:Zoologist, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass, s. 172-173
15- Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1988, p. 5.