In a YouTube conversation that I am having, I have been discussing Stephen Law's chat with Alvin Plantinga on Premier Christian Radio's Unbelievable.

The poster stated this: "To return to the frog example. Why should natural selection care about the frog's beliefs? If you design a robot to catch flies, it can do so beautifully without having true beliefs - or false beliefs - or any beliefs. So why should natural selection bring beliefs into the equation? All it has to do is design neurology." 

 Now, it seems obvious to me that Natural Selection will obviously favour truths since this will lead to success in catching food, survival and higher rates of reproduction. For example, if you had frog A and frog B and frog A believed an untruth that catching a fly at point X, it would need to fire its tongue to point Y, then frog A would not catch any food. The genetic predisposition to believe this incorrect belief would lead to it staving and dying and not continuing its genetic line.

On the other hand, frog B has a true belief that to catch a fly at point X it must fire its tongue at point X. As a result, it successfully eats, survives and reproduces, thus continuing the predisposition for believing a truth through heredity.

Natural Selection, in simple beliefs, favours truth, it seems, thus invalidating Alvin Plantinga's Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism which states, broadly speaking, that evolution has no interest in truths as beliefs so we have no reason to believe that naturalism is true I have stated this in a very simplified way). Although NS does not actively 'search out' truth like some kind of agent, it will land a species more often then not with true beliefs, especially less complex creatures. When we start getting to complex language, sociability, interaction, philosophy and so on, things change somewhat. Here is a quote from my latest book talking about the descriptive process of evolution:

<blockquote>It is worth looking at evolution in light of what is necessary for humanity, or any living organism, to exist. First of all, there must be a cycle to life. We must reproduce. Any life form that simply existed as a finite number would have to be impervious to danger, immortal, in order to sustain their population. Organisms will die from natural causes, and as a result, they must reproduce in order to keep populations stable, or grow populations (in other words, to exist). Once we establish that reproduction is essential, we can then establish other necessary conditions required for existence. It is a simple formula. In order for a species to exist, and to continue existing, the organism(s) must survive to reproductive age, and must be able to effectively reproduce. For example, if humans could only reproduce over the age of one hundred, and we lived, on average, to seventy-five, then we would die out as a species. This is unarguable. Even Creationists cannot argue against this, given that it is logically coherent, and evident in every organism around us. Put simply:

1)       Life must undergo reproduction, since finite numbers of organisms would die off in time.

2)      Therefore, organisms must reach reproductive age to exist as a species.

3)      Upon reaching said age, organisms must reproduce effectively to survive as a species.

Now, taking this into account, we also know, incontrovertibly, that organisms, on conception, join the male genome and female genome of their parents together to make the new genome of the newly conceived organism. This itself can be a source of evolution, combining new variations of genes, particularly if the two parents have a wide variation in their genomes.

In another source of evolution, when cells reproduce, the DNA in them (the coding mechanism) is copied (replicated). Sometimes, these replications are faulty. A part can be lost, added or swapped. In 99% of cases, though, this is corrected by cellular DNA checking mechanisms. In 1% of cases, the change stays. This change can be split into roughly three characteristics. The change can produce a trait or physical change that is problematic for survival or reproduction (points 2 and 3 above). The changes can also be neutral, or beneficial to these needs. If, for example, an organism mutated a weakness whereby it could not cope with cold temperatures anymore, and reproduced so that this trait was prevalent across the species, and there was a very cold winter that year, then the species (or members with that trait) could die out as a result of that mutation. If, on the other hand, the mutation created a mechanism that was beneficial to coping with the cold, and an ice-age came about, then that organism and its offspring would be more likely to survive (exist) through that time. Mutations are happening all the time, and organisms change, and react to their environment (or don’t) so that they survive (or don’t). This is a very simplistic view of evolution, and it is far more complex, with additional mechanisms and areas into which I will not delve. Suffice it to say, it seems to me to be a rather self-evident and simple process whereby very simple organisms gradually, over billions of years, have morphed into more complex and more varied species. Et voilà, homo sapiens sapiens arrives, via a common ancestor that we share with other primates (no we are not evolved from the apes on earth now, as is often cited, but we are all evolved from a common ancestor, for which there is much proof[1]).

[1] The oft cited Creationist mantra that we have evolved from monkeys / chimpanzees etc. makes me very angry. It is incorrect and espoused by utter dolts.