Professor Dendy's favorite quote:

"If it dies, it's biology; if it blows up, it's chemistry;

if it doesn't work, it's physics!" - John Wilkes

As quoted from grafitti on a bathroom wall.

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Friday, January 8, 2010

The biggest argument against Evolution?

I, as a biologist, can't stay away from this topic for long. I had an epiphany today regarding evolution and man's origins, etc, etc. Well, here goes! Many scientists claim that the earth and man's origins date back billions of years. They say that living things originated from "pond scum" and that as evolution occurred over hundreds of thousands of years, new species formed, and eventually Homo sapiens in all his or her glory evolved!

Well here is a thought to ponder… If man is the latest and greatest species evolved, and we in all our wisdom are hell bent on destroying each other through war, words, divorce, lawsuits, jail cells, insane asylums, etc., etc. then how can we evolve to the next level if we are participants in our own annihilation?

Now, I want you to really think about this. How many people do you think died today as a result of human technology… be it guns, cars, drug overdoses, suicide, war, carcinogens, etc., etc? Now consider this… how many animals died today when a had a gun battle killing each other and wounding lots of innocent bunnies, and bear cubs, and foxes? And how many squirrels do you think climbed up to the highest tree today and jumped to their death because they just couldn't take the pressure anymore? How many chickens do you think died in Australia today because they just couldn't kick their habit for smoking crack cocaine and it led to their demise?

Come to think of it, a sea lion commandeered a sheriff's boat in Southern California earlier this year… maybe it was determined to kill some cops?

Your thoughts are always welcome!

4 comments:

  1. For some reason, this post seems to be duplicated. I commented on the other version, where the comment is awaiting moderation. I'll repost here, since I ran into the other post from a search engine and it might not be the official one. This is what I wrote:

    There are several misconceptions here. I’ll skip over the ‘pond scum’ comment as a gross oversimplification and head straight to the following:

    “If man is the latest and greatest species evolved”

    This is not a claim of the theory of evolution. It doesn’t claim that Homo sapiens is either the latest or objectively the greatest species. Many species evolved later than humans. Many are better at lots of things than humans are. It’s hard to believe that anyone who understood the theory of evolution would claim that humans are ‘greater’ than other organisms. Just better at some things, worse at others.

    In fact, the statement seems to reveal a fundamental but common misunderstanding of evolution: the assumption that there is some kind of progression over time which inevitably leads to mankind, with that species somehow at the ‘top’ of the evolutionary heap.

    This is not the case. There is no direction in evolution, except in the trivial sense that modern organisms are necessarily more complex than the first ones because there was only one direction to go in; and tend to be more complex than earlier ones because evolution works by tinkering with existing organisms rather than starting from scratch each time.

    Let me say that again: the theory of evolution categorically does NOT state that Homo sapiens is either the latest or greatest species.

    Given that your entire point rests on this claim, I think we can safely ignore it. However, there are some more misconceptions to deal with:

    “Isn’t the whole premise of Evolution that new species are better suited than the species from which they evolved? ”

    Not at all. It is not true to say that later species are ‘more evolved’ or ‘better adapted’ than earlier ones. Better adapted to what? Humans are adapted to a different environment to the one our common anscestors with chimps were adapted to. This doesn’t make us more evolved or better adapted, just adapted to different things. Indeed, since we share a common anscestor with chimps, we are necessarily just as ‘evolved’ as they are and it’s likely that we are similarly well adapted to our environment (if not a little worse) than chimps are to theirs.

    Besides, just because we find violent behaviour abhorrent, that doesn’t mean it is mal-adaptive. I’m not arguing that such behaviour is adaptive in humans (in fact, it seems more likely to be at least partly a symptom of the fact that our current environment is quite different to the one we originally adapted to, due to the large population, close proximity in cities, technology etc.) I’m just saying that the fact that we dislike some behaviour doesn’t necessarily mean that it is mal-adaptive, which you seem to assume.

    Finally, you are aware that humans did not evolve from any of the other animals you mention, such as dogs, squirrels, canaries….right? In fact, we share a common anscestor with each of those animals and in almost every case, no modern animal is descended from any other modern animal.

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  2. My mistake - I see that Professor Dendy has a wordpress blog as well as a blogspot one and the post appears in both.

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  3. Still no answer to these points by Professor Dendy, although he's responded to some footling points elsewhere.

    Disappointing, Professor Dendy.

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  4. "I, as a biologist..."

    You are a biologist? What are your qualifications?

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