mm112: Daily Kos: Evolution is, in fact, a theory, not a fact.

August 22, 2007

MUDGE’S Musings

Due to the nature of my employment, and the extraordinary nature of my specific role that requires me to venture out of the safe confines of the introverted world of gearhead IT types, and into the dangerous confines of wild-eyed intellectual activity, I meet more than a few scientists. Not daily, or even every week, but several times a month.

It’s quite bracing, actually. I keep myself (comparatively) young by encountering smart people on a regular basis. Quite tonic really.

They wouldn’t have any trouble with this material; do you?

dailykos

Evolution is, in fact, a theory, not a fact.

by Dan Quixote
Sat Aug 18, 2007 at 10:47:11 AM PDT

I’ve decided to start my diarying with a couple of entries about evolution. I’m working on my PhD in evolutionary biology, and while I can tell most people here understand that there is no logical way to reject evolution, I thought it might be helpful to clarify a few important points about evolution. Those who reject evolution often use the inconsistencies in the understanding of those they argue with to “prove” that evolution does not make sense. So I’d like to see us all on the same page.

For those of you who reject evolution as a matter of faith, it is not my goal to convince you of anything. If you were open to being swayed by facts, reasons or logic, it would, by definition not be faith. If you like, imagine this was written in a fantasy realm in which evolution is real and your genetic code is 95% identical to that of a chimp. I don’t want the comments section to turn into an argument about whether evolution is real or people on the other side are questionable. No one is going to change his mind on the topic.

I found this story at the top of the heap at Daily Kos Saturday; not a lengthy read, but as cogent a discussion of a complex, button-pushing topic as I’ve encountered in some time.

[Per L-HC’s reformed process, please click the link below for the complete article — but then please come on back!]

Daily Kos: Evolution is, in fact, a theory, not a fact.

As the wonderfully appellated Dan Quixote states, he’s hardly likely to change any hearts and minds wedded to so-called “creation science” (ha!).

But he provides some ammunition to those among us who encounter the sincere but scientifically ignorant; hasn’t happened to me lately, but that’s because I don’t usually lead with my liberal chin in the HCA (Heart of Corporate America, not the real name of my real employer).

And, I gained a new perspective reading this article:

The popular view of evolution is a progression from bacteria to squiggly guys to fish to lungfish to amphibians to reptiles to mammals to primates to great apes to Neanderthals to cavemen to us us US, the pinnacle of God’s design! But wait, we are talking about science here, no supernatural explanations need apply. If we overcome our religious biases and our anthropocentrism, it becomes clear that the world’s organisms are not striving to be us. Some populations evolve to be bigger, others to be smaller. Brains get bigger and smaller. Number of limbs increases and decreases. There is no direction to it. Every population just drifts towards whatever happens to encourage survival and reproduction in their peculiar environment at that moment. There is no force driving things towards being human like.

Ow! Now I’m all bruised from being knocked off my pinnacle. But, I’ll heal.

No more than was D.Q., I’m not here to pick a fight (and, as you’ve probably sorted out by now, I don’t have the horsepower to mount much of a defense). But, fearless reader, let me know what you think of this. Kansans need not apply.

It’s it for now. Thanks,

–MUDGE

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