Natural selection
(np) 1. The differential reproduction and, thereby, transmission of alleles between generations, of individuals in a population, due to heritable variation in a trait or traits which they possess. This is one mechanism by which evolution(1) can occur. [den.] 2. Survival of the fittest. [conn., due to Herbert Spencer c. 1850] This oversimplification is perhaps the most widely held incorrect "definition" of evolution. Several people have spent much time and effort declaring that natural selection(2) is a tautology, although their intended target was apparently natural selection(1). The list of those making this strawman argument analysis includes such luminaries as Arthur Koestler, Tom Bethell, and Phillip E. Johnson.
acronym, "National Center for Science Education", publisher of the Creation/Evolution journal and NCSE Reports newsletter. (NCSE, P.O. Box 9477, Berkeley, CA 94709, (510) 843-3393. $20/year for membership and both publications.)
? Nebraska Man
(np) 1. An instance of misclassification of fossil teeth as hominid when they were actually those of an extinct peccary. Osborn did the original misclassification and also organized the field work which uncovered evidence that the fossils were misclassified. Total elapsed time between misclassification and correct classification was about five years. 2. Evolutionary hoax which proves that scientific evidence cannot be trusted [conn. SciCre, TAE]
? Nebraska man
(n) 1. A peccary's tooth which was misidentified as human and for a time led researchers to believe primitive hominids had been present in the Americas. Despite initial enthusiasm about the find (particularly among American paleontologists -- "As we always thought, mankind originated in America", oh say can you see et cetera), further examination correctly identified the tooth, and the Nebraska man now serves as a fine example of science's self-correcting properties. 2. An error which shows how everything evilutionist scientists claim to known about man's origins is wrong [conn, SciCre].
Neutralist hypothesis
(np) 1. The hypothesis that most variation in genotypes is phenotypically neutral in affect (that no or insignificant selective pressure operates upon heritable variation), and that the major mechanisms of heritable change in populations are genetic drift and gene flow. Propounded most forcefully by Kimura. [den., science]
Non sequitur
(np) 1. A response which does not address the main issue in contention. An artful use of non sequitur allows one to divert attention from a disastrous train of discussion at the modest expense of one's intellectual integrity. From the Latin, "It does not follow." 2. Improper inference based on premises necessary, but not sufficient, for justification of the conclusion claimed. The conclusion is asserted to follow without the specification of the complete line of logic needed to establish the implication. See fallacy.