Nothing ceases to amaze more than the smugness of the semi-educated. In the media, on such television programs as “The Dailey Show”, and wherever one turns, the attitude is “imagine, those poor benighted savages who don’t believe in evolution”. Apparently they were only half awake in biology class when evolution and
were being discussed because they are blissfully unaware of the fact that that the “theory of evolution” and Darwin ’s theory of the “mechanisms that drive evolution” are far from being synonymous. Darwin
The “Theory of Evolution” goes back to at least the time of Aristotle and the ancient Greeks. No-one disputes the evidence from embryology, genetics, etc. that shows close relationships among similar life forms. That evolution takes place seems to be the case. The question is, “what is the mechanism by which evolution takes place?”
Anyone who has ever worked as an animal breeder knows that right from birth, any animal that is found to be weaker than or too different from its peers, will be attacked and killed. Any mutation that makes an animal significantly different from other members of its species will probably not make it to adulthood. If he does make it to breeding age, its chances of reproducing will be less than, not greater than those of its more “normal” peers. (Even among homo-sapiens there is a strong negative correlation between intelligence and reproductive success.)
As for speciation (the emergence of new species), this is almost an impossibility using
’s theory. According to Darwin , in order for a new species to appear, a chance mutation must affect a large number of animals in a relatively small area. Then not only must they survive to adulthood, they must be large enough in number to create a viable breeding population. Darwin
One last thought on random chance. Arthur Koestler points out that if one takes as a starting point the so-called cosmic soup, the amount of time it would take for the amino acids and proteins to form one DNA molecule by random chance is longer than the known age of the universe.
As for “intelligent design”, let’s look at homo-sapiens. As is well advertised we share about 99% of our genetic make-up with chimpanzees. What is less well advertised is that almost all the genes that differentiate us from chimpanzees are found on only one chromosome. If random chance were the overriding factor, one would expect these genes to be randomly distributed across all our chromosomes. Another point of interest is our neural structure. Our brains are not well-integrated units. The cerebral cortex sits on top of the rest of the brain and there are far fewer connections than one would expect if it had evolved naturally. Another interesting point is that there is a great deal of evidence indicating that our brains were meant to function in an atmosphere slightly richer in oxygen than our current atmosphere. Both Sumerian mythology and the bible tell us that we were created by some kind of genetic tampering. That sounds like “intelligent design” to me.
If the evidence settles this issue some time in the near future, I personally will be pleased to see “benighted savagery” win out over “politically correct” smugness.