Controlled breeding is much more than "artificial selection"

Plant and animal breeding is not the “artificial selection” described by Darwin and has nothing to do with any natural process. Breeding requires a desired outcome, selection (just a minor step!) and isolation of successive generations of promising individuals, active mating or artificial insemination, optimization of growth conditions for the selected individuals, and/or other genetic technologies. Without most of these active steps nothing happens. Chihuahua and Poodle have no superior survivability to common dog or wolf, but happened anyway because humans worked hard to make them possible. But no one ensures all these active steps in nature. To take only one example, how could humans have “evolved” distinctly from chimps when no one separated each and every new generation based on a teleological model? Why did the proto-human not mate back with his/her regular chimp cousins to put an end to the split? Who and how could have separately optimized conditions for both chimp and human so both lineages survived in what looks like very much similar environments? ‘Selection’ of both “artificial” and “natural” type is thus the wrong word and should be phased out.


This site is not about atheists and unguided evolution… so chill.

Most of us hold to god guiding creation… no matter which method he uses

As you can see, I do not mention either of those two topics you bring up.

Oh really?

“To take only one example, how could humans have “evolved” distinctly from chimps when no one separated each and every new generation based on a teleological model?”

This is not the topic of choice for @Swamidass’ focus. Every time somebody argues over Evolution – WITHOUT ACKNOWLEDGING that God DOES have the ability to teologically guide evolution – that somebody is throwing a wooden shoe into the gear works!

I"m not sure you have made your point.

  1. You have not shown this conflicts with what Darwin thought.

  2. You have not shown this has nothing to do with natural processes, just that in some ways it is different.

Do you remember why artificial selection is important?

Humans did not evolve from chimps, but from a common ancestor with them. There a large number of well understood mechanisms that can do this. Do you know about them yet?

What do you mean? Are you saying all should have the same viewpoint? If so, what’s there to discuss?

How so?

Why is “artificial selection” important? You disagree that controlled breeding is much more than “artificial selection”?

What “large number of well understood mechanisms”? A link to a summary would be useful. Human “evolution” has been debunked.
This fossil looks much more like a chimp than a human.

I don’t see why humans can be the only source of barriers to gene flow between populations. Chimps and bonobos are the poster children for natural causes of speciation. Those two populations started to diverge from one another when the Congo river split their ancestral population and placed a physical barrier between the populations on either side of the river. We also have the apple maggot fly which now has two different populations that infest two different species of trees that fruit at different times. This results in a temporal barrier between the populations since the flies that infest one species mate at a different time than the flies that infest the other tree species.

So again, I really don’t see why humans are the only possible barriers to gene flow given all of the examples we have in nature.


Controlled breeding is artificial selection.

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Only when abusively redefine ‘selection’ - “science” by diktat.

Look, I am making a very simple point about nature not resembling in any way the controlled breeding incorrectly used as an example by Darwin. Feel free to comment on that if you disagree. Thanks.

Read again - controlled breeding is more than a simple barrier. Without getting into the “speciation” debate, I would point out that controlled breeding has done much more in a few generations than the Congo in 3Mil yrs. Yet we still can’t get a dog to use the toilet.

Populations are even less meaningful than “species”.

No, NonLin. Search on the terms ‘selective breeding and artificial selection’. In English and many other languages there are compound nouns that mean distinct things than how one might interpret the meaning if the component words were parsed or translated individually.

Among native English speakers or those with some knowledge of the subject it is well known that selective breeding is controlled breeding is artificial selection.

Plant and animal breeding is precisely the same thing as what Darwin described as ‘artificial selection’. He was a scholarly naturalist and he was definitely familiar with plant and animal breeding.


This is interesting! Does the comment in the original post:

… have any effect this significance? I read the original post and was thinking, “What if there is selective breeding with no outcome in mind… just experimentation?”

Let’s think how “just experimentation” would look. As dog breeder, you wouldn’t know you will get a Chihuahua after x generations, but you would probably know you want a small size, thin, shorts haired, pointy ears, etc. Or at least you target a few of those and in time you decide to go in one direction more than the others. Just like painting or art in general. Makes sense?

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I am pretty sure there was no “artificial selection” prior to Darwin for the simple reason that there was no “natural selection” either.

And what do you know: "Renowned scientist Charles Darwin is credited with coining the term artificial selection in his book “On the Origin of Species,” "?

I’m not sure what point you think you’re making here. Do you realize that the reference you provided had the following in the title: “Artificial Selection: Breeding for Desirable Traits.
Charles Darwin invented the term, not the process

Edit: FWIW… Darwin did breed pigeons and used to hang out with pigeon breeders & fanciers.This was so he could acquire working knowledge of breeding practices. And this worked into his book, “On the Origin of Species”.

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To experiment…must have at least a hypothetical outcome.

Otherwise test creatures are just pets.

Fruit flies have been raised in labs for decades. The breeding is selective in that they are intentionally raised to be an UN-adulterated stock of fruitflies…with no new genetic strains introduced.

1 Like… there may have been no term “natural selection” as a term … but both kinds of selection can be identified long before Darwin.

And laboratory experiments have been done which would be called artificial selection to demonstrate NATURAL selection:

A] 3 Aquarium with several generations of fish, labeled LARGE, SMALL and Random-Sizes.

B] Regular removal of adults from each tank according to the labels.

C] After a year, scientists find that the ratio of alleles has changed in 2 of the 3 tanks… the randomized fish removal leading to randomized effects.

I think all scientists would agree that artificial selection can cause much more rapid change than natural selection. Artificial selection uses drastic population bottlenecks and line breeding to quickly drive traits to fixation, something that doesn’t happen very often in nature.



Doesn’t happen at all. You’re missing the original point intentionally or otherwise.