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Monkeys Demonstrate Reflexive Adaptability

on January 13, 2007

The Stanford Daily: “Errant tee shots? Blame evolution

This light-hearted application of evolutionary theory aims to explain why it’s a challenge to consistently hit “picture-perfect drives” down the fairway (or repeat your best performance in nearly any sport or physical challenge). Stanford researchers trained rhesus monkeys to reach for different-colored spots at different speeds (red fast, green slow), then analyzed their success at repeatedly reaching for the red at the same speed, and repeatedly reaching for the green at the same speed. But the monkeys’ speed varied-as did their brain activity during the process.

The evolutionary explanation? “One … explanation … is that evolution favored predators who could improvise, as they never face an identical situation twice when hunting prey.” And certainly, that explanation makes sense, right? Improvising can help us discover new techniques and improve our abilities. But is this the accident of evolution or the foresight of a Designer?

Although some might suspect Churchland is a creationist of some kind, it is perhaps more likely that he is simply one of the latest to jump on the “evolution-as-designer” bandwagon.

Stanford student Mark Churchland, who coauthored the study, explained:

“The nervous system was not designed to do the same thing over and over,” said Churchland, a co-author of the study, to the Washington Post. “The nervous system was designed to be flexible. You typically find yourself doing things you’ve never done before.”

Wait a second-designed? Although some might suspect Churchland is a creationist of some kind, it is perhaps more likely that he is simply one of the latest to jump on the “evolution-as-designer” bandwagon. That is, since nature contains so many design features, evolutionists are being forced to adapt their semantics and pervert the concept of a designer. Apparently, according to an evolutionist, if my car were in a wreck, and that wreck bent the frame into an innovative new shape, that would be design!

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. (Romans 1:20)

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