Thursday, October 22, 2009

Are All Anti-Science Nutters Out For Darwin?

Charles Darwin was a brilliant, religious man who meditated on his scientific proof and discoveries for decades before publishing Origin of Species. He knew the work would have huge implications for the worldview of the existence of life.

But his theories are irrefutable. The actual force of evolution is directly visible in hundreds of papers and tomes on how animals adapt and survival of the fittest. The Beak of the Finch is a brilliant read of evolution visible within a couple of generations. And I personally feel that the ignorance over "we're not monkeys" comes from a human mind that cannot comprehend the idea of thousands of years, let alone millions that would effect a change that profound. And because those people cannot imagine it, they collapse it and say that we're not monkeys and that God did it.

Which is why I laugh when I get emails from groups like The Conservative DVD Club (Through Human Events so I can see what the political right nutters are thinking and they spam their readership with books and DVDs) shucking me a "documentary" entitled "How the Cambrian Fossil Record Disproves Darwin."

Now, I've had my fair share of evolutionary biology and psychology in college, so hang with me here.

Darwin's basic idea was that, over time, traits more favorable to environmental pressures like food or weather or attraction would manifest themselves in future generations of their species because they would live to or be more successful in mating and having offspring. Take the finches for example. If there was a lack of rainfall for a season and water could only be found residing in deeper cracks, the finches with longer beaks could reach that water, survive, mate, and next generation the average length of a finch's beak goes up.

Flying in the face of gradual evolution is the Cambrian Explosion. So about 530 million years ago the fossil record was composed mostly of single cells or colonies of cells and then BLAMMO over the next 75 million years - give or take - we had the precursors to organized cellular construction of life in the fossil record.

Again, that's 75 million years. Uncomprehendable to most humans. But there it is. One of the ideas floating out there is referred to as Punctuated Equilibrium: everything's chillin' along, small changes taking place all the time and then w00t! - London calling! - and a huge change blows up in relatively short order, some say to radiation. Niches get filled. Life goes on.

So maybe Darwin wasn't 100% right. But evolution isn't wrong because of it. Evolution is just a little different than we thought.

But these asshats will provide the following, illogical argument: Darwin said this. Fossil records show this. Darwin was wrong. Since Darwin talked about evolution, evolution is wrong. God benevolently created the world 4000 years ago or some shit.

But what these assclowns should also keep in mind is how much Darwin devoutly reflected on God and Christ and Christianity. I guess all that's bullshit too?

1 comment:

Jennifer Hugon said...

Have you soon Flock of Dodos yet? It's a fun and multi-faceted look at the Intelligent Design/Evolution "debate" that I think you might dig.