Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Evolution of Evolution

Back in April, I wrote a couple of posts about Evolution - since I continue to be astonished that there's a movement in America that refuses to accept Darwin's theory and still believes in 'Creationism' (as in, God invented it all over the course of a week.)

No, that's not the astonishing part. The fact that this movement hasn't been ridiculed into non-existence yet is the bit that boggles my mind!

One of the reasons 'Creationism' is still bantered about is because seemingly intelligent, reasonable people advocate it - such as blog friend and commentator CK.

Back in April, he had a few dissenting opinions on my appraisal of evolution - arguing that intelligent design was clearly a better theory since there were 'missing links' that had so far eluded scientists and prevented them from pinning down evolution as anything more than a theory.

As CK said: 'Intelligent Design: No need to see a fish turn to a bird, if a bird was designed as a bird and a fish as a fish. Animals adapt and evolve... but they don't change what animal they are in the process.'

He argued that God invented birds and birds, fish as fish and the rest of the animals started off as what they were and any 'evolution' that has occurred has been purely incidental.

It's a pretty logical argument, which makes sense since CK is a pretty logical guy. The flaw is that these 'missing links' DO continue to be discovered - reinforcing Darwin's theory and punching holes in the idea of Creationism.

In fact, last Thursday saw the discovery of the most convincing 'missing link' discovered yet. 'Ventastega' is a 100 million year old fish with tiny legs - currently the oldest discovered four-legged animal and concrete proof that the four legged mammals of today started their evolutionary journey as fish.

That's what is so comforting about theories like evolution. They start from the assumption that we don't know all the answers - but the more we find out, the more the facts back our theories. Creationism is the opposite - it stems from a belief that we DO know all the answers (or, at least, the Bible does) and it must be infuriating for 'believers' to see their doctrine hammered by reality each time a new fossil is unearthed.

3 comments:

ck said...

*Sigh*

But where are the transitions from this to, lets say a dog? Doesn't exist, why?

likely an evolutionary dead-end,

Sure you may find fish that have legs... but that doesn't mean they turned into dogs. It just means they were CREATED to have legs.

Micro-evolution happens. Dogs change. Humans change (average human is taller now than before).

Macro-evolution has not been proven. Dogs do not become bears. Monkeys do not become human.

To relate the two is to pretend that the missing links exist.

Anonymous said...

how is it that (according to the article) a more complex creature was found that supposedly is older? How do adaptations that create a new species get passed on? in the genes? I didn't think that was possible. I didn't think that changes that happen after birth could be passed on through the genes. I honestly don't see how anything like evolving from one species to another actually works in our real world, long time or no long time.

Reverse_Vampyr said...

Good post. I think that extremists on both sides tend to exacerbate the discussion (but then again, isn't that the case in practically any area?). Thing is, scientists have often found things they thought to be breakthroughs with the pro-evolutionists screaming "ah-HA, see?!" only to find later that they are hoaxes or mistakes. There is scientific evidence to support both sides of this debate. It boils down to what you want to believe. Ironically, both sides require quite a leap of faith.