Patrick Matthew coined the terms natural means of selection and natural competitive selection, by which he meant the natural means of competitive selection. His ideas were both grammatically correct and meaningful, but still tautological. Matthew's(1831) and JamesHutton(1792)'s ideas were a formulation of De Rerum Natura, MalThus. Darwin credited MalThus as the inspiration for his theories. (MalThus came after JamesHutton)
Darwin lifted Matthew's ideas and contracted natural competitive selection to Natural Selection, formulating grammatically correct but meaningless sentences. This made it even more difficult to spot the underlying tautological idea construction, which in turn was a reformulation of Democritus Atomism.
Darwin himself struggled with Natural Selection this and thus preferred natural preservation to try and deal with his meaningless sentence construction. What Hutton and Matthew's wrote , were trivially true banalities: obviously the strong survive and weak die, but this doesn't explain where the weak and strong came from in the first place nor the actual reason for survival. JamesHutton and PatricMatthew reformulated Democritus, who believed the universe had no beginning. Democritus atomism therefore doesn't need to explain where the competing atoms came from in the first place.
The story of Gods/seamonsters, animals , atoms or alleles competing against each other in a game of *natural competitive selection* to see who would dominate are as old as the myths of Thor, Yin/Yang, Osiris itself. Each generation retold the myth and codified for it using various terms. Prof. Owen called it Doctrine of Derivation. Around 1852 it seems the volitional terms 'evolution' was used to codify for the mythology.
James Hutton 1792 formulated the concepts in a treatise he wrote spanning 2000 pages, recently discovered at Edinburgh University where he was a graduate. Hutton didn't magically conjure up his ideas in a vacuum, it was in print and each author reformulated the mythology, many give credit and cite sources, many like Darwin give credit but not enough. In effect Darwin rewrote the ideas of others verbatim.
Note how the section below from Hutton is the same essential variation as that by Matthew's.
- .....This wisdom of nature, in the seminal variation of organised bodies, is now the object of our contemplation, with a view to see that the acknowledged variation, however small a thing in general it may appear, is truly calculated for the preservation of things, in all that perfection with which they had been, in the bounty of nature, first designed. Now, this will be evident, when we consider, that if an organised body is not in the situation and circumstances best adapted to its sustenance and propagation, then, in conceiving an indefinite variety among the individuals of that species, we must be assured, that ... those which depart most from the best adapted constitution, will be most liable to perish, while ... those organised bodies, which most approach to the best constitution for the present circumstances, will be best adapted to continue, in preserving themselves and multiplying the individuals of their race....
- .....We can get the gist of Matthew’s ideas from the following passage quoted from On Naval Timbers by Wallace: As the field of existence is limited and preoccupied, it is only the hardier, more robust, better-suited-to-circumstance individuals who are able to struggle forward to maturity, these inhabiting only the situations to which they have superior adaptation and greater powers of occupancy than any other kind: the weaker and less circumstance-suited being prematurely destroyed. This principle is in constant action: it regulates the colour, the figure, the capacities, and instincts; those individuals in each species whose colour and covering are best suited to concealment or protection from enemies, or defence from inclemencies or vicissitudes of climate, whose figure is best accommodated to health, strength, defence, and support: in such immense waste of primary and youthful life these only come forward to maturity from the strict ordeal by which nature tests their adaptation to her standard of perfection and fitness to continue their kind of reproduction....
Darwin's version in OoS:
- ....It may be said that natural selection is daily and hourly scrutinising, throughout the world, every variation, even the slightest; rejecting that which is bad, preserving and adding up all that is good; silently and insensibly working, whenever and wherever opportunity offers, at the improvement of each organic being in relation to its organic and inorganic conditions of life. We see nothing of these slow changes in progress, until the hand of time has marked the long lapses of ages, and then so imperfect is our view into long past geological ages, that we only see that the forms of life are now different from what they formerly were......
Darwin restated for meaningful paragraph:
- ...From the Adaptation premise , it may be said that by a natural competitive selection process the good attributes is preserved and acquiredAdaptation , the bad not acquired enabling the discplacement of others for the domination of an ecological niche...... In other words the Adaptation conclusion was derived from the adaptation premise and is rhetorical circularity.
This is both grammatically correct and meaningful , distilling the Popper unfalsifiable essence of Hutton, Matthew , Democritus, Lucretius , MalThus - Milton Wain collection of pre Darwin authors and Darwin's Predecessors. Note Gilson's commentary on Darwin's usage of good/bad - Gilson From Aristotle to Darwin.
Selection in natural competitive selection process can be replaced with preservation or survival(HenryFairfieldOsborn).
Hegel, Kant, Eduard Zeller, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:19th-century_philosophers etc. either incorporated Aristotle's tautologies or failed to notice it in their commentaries. Reading Aristotle without a grasp of Popper falsifiability, poisons the mind, embalming it in a lithium of tautological banalities.
Only with the concept of Popper falsifiability did the logical fallacious reasoning of Heraclitus, Aristotle become clear. Hegel, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Nietzsche and others before Popper incorporation of Aristotle's ideas suffered from the same unfalsifiability. By the time academia understood the brilliance of Popper, it was to late.
The mythology has led to our scientific establishment confusing cause with effect. Nothing that is in existence(horses, rocks, pots,cars,robots,birds etc.) are adapted to its environment or condition of existence, it only expresses its attribution description. Water doesn't cause corn to grow and corn isn't adapted to its environment(condition of existence), it only expresses its attributes. Water is but a needed element that must be there, before the corn gene gives the 'grow' instruction. Princeton University mathematicians derived complex equations to describe the movement of insects in a project where engineers build machines based on the research. In the same way that dense partial differential equations existed first and described the Japanese walking robot, the abstract math equations existed first in the mind of Jesus Christ before he said: Let there be insects. Neither the walking robot nor cockroach are adapted to their environment(condition of existence), they only express their attributes, which are invisible math equations that have no physical location.