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Old 08-25-2006, 04:52 PM   #44
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PanAtheist wrote
Selection is a conscious action that humans and animals do!
And it is extremely misleading to use it as a label for a concept which includes the "blind forces" which partake in the differential salvation and destruction of different genes! It needs to be retained only in terms like "mate selection" and "prey selection", in which it is used correctly!
Darwin addressed this kind of objection himself, almost 150 years ago.

Several writers have misapprehended or objected to the term Natural Selection. Some have even
imagined that natural selection induces variability, whereas it implies only the preservation of such
variations as arise and are beneficial to the being under its conditions of life. No one objects to
agriculturists speaking of the potent effects of manís selection; and in this case the individual differences
given by nature, which man for some object selects, must of necessity first occur. Others have objected
that the term selection implies conscious choice in the animals which become modified; and it has even
been urged that, as plants have no volition, natural selection is not applicable to them! In the literal sense
of the word, no doubt, natural selection is a false term; but who ever objected to chemists speaking of the
elective affinities of the various elements? Ė and yet an acid cannot strictly be said to elect the base with
which it in preference combines. It has been said that I speak of natural selection as an active
power or Deity; but who objects to an author speaking of the attraction of gravity as ruling the
movements of the planets? Every one knows what is meant and is implied by such metaphorical
expressions; and they are almost necessary for brevity. So again it is difficult to avoid personifying
the word Nature; but I mean by Nature, only the aggregate action and product of many natural laws,
and by laws the sequence of events as ascertained by us. With a little familiarity such superficial
objection will be forgotten.

(bold emphasis added, Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species: By Means of Natural Selection Or The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life, The Modern Library, 1998, p109)
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