They Don’t Know What I’m Saying Because They Don’t Know What They’re Saying

The Unknown Scientist:

“Mr. Behan reaches new heights in ignorance of evolution when he reworks the creationist lament, Why ain’t monkeys turning into humans?” He puts his own spin on it by asking:

“why then haven’t domesticated versions of foxes and coyotes, not to mention other dump scavengers such as rats, bears, raccoons, skunks, crows, ravens, seagulls, etc., etc., been domesticated through the same process that tamed the wolf?”

In simple terms, once an organism takes an evolutionary path in any direction, it’s hard to do a U-turn. No do-overs.  And even under identical environments E.coli will evolve into different strains.

“Even from so simple a beginning, small happenstances of history may lead populations along different evolutionary paths. A potentiated cell took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” (Lenski  2008)

The same is/was true for dogs.”


KB: The Unknown Scientist doesn’t know what I’m saying because The US doesn’t know what she/he’s saying. The Russian Fox breeding experiment is cited as evidence that the domestication of the dog occurred through selecting for the trait of approachability. When humans began living in settlements and concentrating waste in one spot, those wolves that were the last to leave when humans approached, and the first to return, evolved into the domesticated dog.


In short, friendliness is the defining variable of the domesticated dog. I discount this interpretation that approachability is the defining factor even though it can still be true that scavenging human refuse sites may prove to be the catalyzing event in the domestication of the dog (although the most recent evidence is trending in the opposite direction, see Mark Derr “How the Dog Became the Dog” for the counter argument). In point of fact dogs are far more aggressive than wolves and are able to perform far more complex work in service to human beings than can other domesticated animals. Meanwhile The US says that once an organism takes an evolutionary path in a certain direction, it can’t do a u-turn, and therefore my point is nullified because foxes, coyotes, raccoons and sea gulls were on a different evolutionary track from wolves so that they couldn’t self-domesticate even given the selective pressure toward approachability from the largesse of human waste dumps. But this is actually a restatement of my thesis. In other words, the defining principle of a dog derives from the evolutionary track of wolves so that it could benefit from the largess of human dump sites. What makes a dog a dog remains its heritage from the wolf as a group hunter of a large dangerous prey animal, and so that’s why the scavenging theory cannot account for the nature of the dog.


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Published July 21, 2013 by Kevin Behan
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2 responses to “They Don’t Know What I’m Saying Because They Don’t Know What They’re Saying”

  1. Elektrik Skeptik says:

    It would be more accurate to say “You don’t know what you are saying because are making it up as you go along”

    And no the Fox experiment isn’t cited as evidence that it’s how it happened. It’s evidence that it could have happened that way. Science is about making the kind of subtle distinction you seem incapable of making.

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Books about Natural Dog Training by Kevin Behan

In Your Dog Is Your Mirror, dog trainer Kevin Behan proposes a radical new model for understanding canine behavior: a dog’s behavior and emotion, indeed its very cognition, are driven by our emotion. The dog doesn’t respond to what the owner thinks, says, or does; it responds to what the owner feels. And in this way, dogs can actually put people back in touch with their own emotions. Behan demonstrates that dogs and humans are connected more profoundly than has ever been imagined — by heart — and that this approach to dog cognition can help us understand many of dogs’ most inscrutable behaviors. This groundbreaking, provocative book opens the door to a whole new understanding between species, and perhaps a whole new understanding of ourselves.
  Natural Dog Training is about how dogs see the world and what this means in regards to training. The first part of this book presents a new theory for the social behavior of canines, featuring the drive to hunt, not the pack instincts, as seminal to canine behavior. The second part reinterprets how dogs actually learn. The third section presents exercises and handling techniques to put this theory into practice with a puppy. The final section sets forth a training program with a special emphasis on coming when called.
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