Artificial Cultivation by Erasmus Darwin

Darwin's Artificial Selection was actually a concept lifted from Erasmus Darwin's Artificial cultivation.

On Apr 19, 6:59 am, Rolf Aalberg <> wrote: > Hi Ray, some input on the perennial problem of Natural Selection, > something not seen in nature. Which of course is 100% correct. There > ain't no such thing, it doesn't exist. > >

from the article: 5.) How does natural selection select? If something is not in the search space how does it find stuff that is not there? Or has everything always been there?

................... Well “natural selection” is a figure of speech. It is a metaphor .

...........“Artificial selection” is selection of traits by artifice – by human breeders who desire particular traits in their livestock or plants. .........

Inversion of logic, it is humans who select that are natural and nature's metaphorical competitive "selections" or preservations of the winning creature out-competing the loosing creature which is 'artificial' because nature has no intent. The state of intentionality and purpose is 'natural' , the inverse of 'artificial' the state of having no purpose. Our natural state of purpose , as being made in the image of God allows us to describe nature, nature can't describe itself.

Humans constructing a house is a 'natural(dissimilar term for intent)' outflow of their their design abilities, a tornado striking a mountain and somehow the rocks assembling into a house is 'artificial' meaning against nature's natural state of unintentionality.

"Artificial's" dictionary definition is a condition or occurrence that is against the natural state of something. For Adaptationists the natural state of something is acquisition of attributes while YEC it is the expression of apriori attributes.

Human's 'natural' state is that of design - the generation of patterns that represent something other than itself. Anything else is 'artificial' .

Darwin lifted AS from Erasmus Darwin's Zoonomia where he described the cultivation of plants as "artificial selection". His premise was that the present attributes of plants were not there in the distant past, with the conclusion that they acquired it via some mechanism. He considered the 'natural' state of affairs the acquisition of attributes as nature runs its course and the "artificial" or "contrived" state of affairs humans generating patterns with a purpose, such as the exploitation of plant attributes.

The Erasmus Darwin mechanism was Patrick matthews 'natural means of competitive preservation, cultivation or selection(no intent) ' in the Malthusian struggle for life which Darwin got while reading Matthews' book on the Beagle. He contracted it to the oxymoron 'natural selection' to avoid giving credit to Matthew and was outed as dishonest by Samuel Butler. Butler viewed Matthew's as summarizing the ideas of Erasmus, Lamarck and Buffon.

Samuel Butler, Charles Hodge and Fleeming Jenkin's concluded with their keen sense of perception that Darwin's mode of reasoning is to derive conclusions in such a way that it can neither be refuted nor verified. Popper defined this type or reasoning as untestable(unfalsifiability). Note the arguments Darwin used to derive his conclusion from his premise were unfalsifiable claims of logic that cannot be tested . Because any conclusion that derives from a tautology is a non-sequitur, the testability status of the conclusion as a standalone proposition must be derived elsewhere.

........So in “artificial” selection, the traits that promote successful reproduction are those that please the breeder, who then breeds from those individuals. In nature the traits that promote successful reproduction are simply those that facilitate breeding in the natural environment, hence Darwin’s use of the analogous term natural selection ......

Both YEC and Adaptationism uses "artificial" as synonym for contrived, or against the natural state of affairs , but their perceptions of what constitutes a natural state or uncontrived state differs. The Erasmus Darwin natural state of affairs is that all perception of design is an illusion and hence "artificial" or contrived. YEC is that all human design is a reflection God the Lord Jesus Christ's innate design and is thus "natural" and any seeming design in nature without an obvious mind is "artificial" or contrived.

......I think the “search space” metaphor has to be used with caution. There is no Mother Nature who is “searching” for an ideal organism..........

Adaptationists in denying God who is our natural designer cannot invent their own reality and thus their language is an exercise in semiotic necromancy and metaphorical infinitism. All of language functions as metaphor, God himself prevents infinite regress of metaphor but because the materialist does not believe in God or anything that has no explanation itself, his ideas spirals into infinity

..... Rather, traits that best fit an organism to reproduce in a specific environment are the ones that become most prevalent in a persisting population. This is so obviously true that some people think it is tautologous. It is not, but it is syllogistic.......

It is a tautology as shown at and is an argument that attempts to glue and underlying premise to a conclusion. The Adaptationist major premise is that all attributes in the present were not there in the past. This premise extends back to Aristotle , Democritus, Empedocles Ox faced man and is as old as mankind itself. What Adaptationism lacked was a mechanism to bind the conclusion - that the present attributes were acquired either Punk-eek or gradually - to the premise in such a way that the premise isn't merely restated.

The natural means of competitive preservation(selection) turned out to be the apparent mechanism or argument. But the competition Malthus argument turned out to be a claim of logic, which by the precepts of falsificationism means any conclusion is a non-sequitur.

A non-sequitur means does not derive logically.

Is ns all metaphor

Is natural selection all metaphor -

THE Duke of Argyll, in his reply to Mr. Herbert Spencer, says “in the Darwinian theory there is no selector” (NATURE, February 2, p. 317). Though we have not yet discovered a principle or factor which plays the part of the breeder in nature, it by no means follows that “natural selection” is “all metaphor,” nor yet, as has been often stated, an altogether misleading phrase. The rôle of the breeder or artificial selector is, I believe, often misunderstood. If we consider what the art of breeding mainly consists in, we may come to the conclusion that even the phrase “artificial selection” is, to a considerable extent, misleading and metaphorical. It seems to me the art of breeding consists mainly in two things, viz. (1) producing prepotency, and (2) preventing intercrossing. Prepotency is produced and maintained by inbreeding. The object of preventing intercrossing is to arrest, as far as possible, variation and reversion. If it can be shown that in nature prepotency often arises either as a sport or through inbreeding, and that prepotency by arresting the “swamping effects of intercrossing” plays the part of the fences of the breeder and the cages of the fancier, we shall be justified in looking upon prepotency as a “selector,” and in finding more than metaphor in the phrase “natural selection.” We already know that amongst insects a sport may displace the parent form; and if, instead of searching for evidence of intersterility as suggested by Romanes, we search diligently for evidence of prepotency, we may ere long discover the “selector”—the factor that in nature, under the control of utility, plays the part of the breeder.

random notes

In progress, this whole description could be wrong, I think AS is another example of Meaningless sentence:

we note a correlation in patterns and can exploit such intentionally as in pigeon breeding. With the collection of oysters there is an upset between the normal ratio of blue/brown oysters with such upset not desired . (... from HoWard1 post of the month on thread Automated Selection..) With both the pigeons and oysters we have a correlation in patterns that might divide AS into:

  • 1 Desired exploitation of correlation in patterns(pigeon breeding)
  • 2 Undesired side-effect of harvesting oysters, thus a correlation in harvesting and gene ratio modification.

In both 1 and 2 we have a correlation in patterns which doesn't give one the actual reason for the attributes at the gene level. In both 1 and 2 we can make a prediction. Prediction ,selection,decision all have teleological ,will or purpose implications. Thus I think we have a very subtle sneaking in of purpose,will ....

My description here is floundering around,which is I think is what happens when you try to force some meaning unto a Meaningless sentence. If we use decision <=> selection or decision as synonym for selection we wind up with Artificial Decision. Decisions can be neither artificial nor natural , a decision can though be preferential as in preferential decision.

Problem is as I interpret JohnWilkinsis that there is an attempt to use volitional type language in a paradigm that considers volition or purpose a side-effect matter itself or just an illusion. Note I said interpret, not that this is the verbatim view of Wilkins but how I read him.

Attempting to force meaning into AS

From the Preferential decision entry we have ns<=>ps. This same man is now forced to make a decision between sweets and spinach. He doesn't like either but is now forced to make a choice , since he likes spinach less than sweets he makes a decision for sweets but a forced selection or artificial selection.

Conclusion: Artificial Selection is a worse Meaningless sentence than natural selection.

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