Evolution Vs. Intelligent Design, Can They Be Reconciled Instead?
Feb 19 2010, 07:55 PM
Joined: 30-January 08
Member No.: 2,690
I am a committed Evolutionist who just watched a show about the hair pull in the Dover School District over whether Intelligent Design was a competing and valid scientific theory with a proper place in high school Biology text books. It led to a court decision that vindicated Darwin. For the sake of being a Devil's Advocate, and in the American spirit of fair play, here's an attempt fit Intelligent Design into Evolution and end the controversy by destroying the notion that they are mutually exclusive. I don't buy my own following theory myself. It's just an attempt to find the maximum amount of scientific merit that Intelligent Design could ever possibly have, and hope it gets kicked around real good like some kind of luckless football.
A. Stated most simply or as a slogan - Evolution Is Intelligent Design.
1. Intelligence uses logic. Evolution logically explains the development of species including man. Surely an intelligent designer would put such a logical system in place.
B. This "theory" knocks the pins out from under the key points that Intelligent Designers really want to make or prove.
1. You have to toss out the Book of Genesis and Bishop Usher's 4004 BC. It took 4 billion years with homo sapiens appearing what, about 250,000 years ago.
C. Evolution has practical value because it explains processes, results and in general everything that we can actually experience and observe. If Intelligent Design is part of it, then we do not experience and observe that part so it has, at best, very limited practical value.
There is an analogy here to Quantum Mechanics in general and its Uncertainty Principle in particular. My house is held up by a steel beam frame. Uncertainty tells us that we cannot determine the current location of the atoms that compose those beams, and at the same time determine their path (and thus their next location). Thus those beams' past, present and future qualities such as strength and location can only be determined to a degree of probability, not with certainty. That is interesting, but inconsequential. All I ask is for those beams to be in whatever location with whatever strength they need to keep this shack from falling on my head. That's all I have ever been able to see and feel them doing, what I perceive now, and what I expect in the future. Quantum Mechanics has no practical effect on anything large enough for us to perceive, which means just about everything..
But at least Quantum Mechanics has a few practical applications and uses in ways too small for us to perceive, such as the operation of the tiny silicon components in this here computer.
(1) Although the human brain is a product of evolution, we know very little about how it works. We do know that when its enormous capabilities are compared to every other evolutionary result, including our own bodies, the difference is a statistical aberration so huge that it passes understanding. To me, Evolution fails to explain why it started to give this one organ such excessive and exclusive favor say about 250,000 years ago. It may never be able to explain, because for several reasons, this adaptation seems more like something that occurred totally outside of evolutionary process instead as an exception within it.
(a) It went far beyond any improvement necessary for the survival of the species when self-awareness, abstract reasoning and long term memory were added. Every other species has survived without these brain powers.
(B) This appears to be a singular occurrence that has not been followed by any other species, in particular certain monkeys that are similar and well-positioned. One would think that there would at least be be signs that they are. Not only that, but the rest of our bodies, in particular the other organs, still generally resemble and function like other species, with no marked difference to make them better. It's the brain that allows us to live a relatively long life.
© All evolution seems to occur at a slow, regular pace, with the physical changes in appearance also being gradual and regular. This results in small increases in capability that bring with them a small comparative advantage that is proportionate to the timing and degree of the physical changes. On the other hand, our brain seems to have developed much quicker and did so in one spurt. The physical change was not gradual or regular because it added a unique and inordinate comparative advantage over all other species. Such big changes over short time is the opposite of the evolutionary normal relationship, which is small change over long time.
(d) Evolutionary adaptions are triggered by a specific problem or need. Their sole purpose is to solve that problem or meet that need. The quickest way to do that, while using the least amount of energy, is to only do what is specifically and strictly necessary for that purpose.
Predators depend on speed, camouflage and eyesight to catch prey. Prey depend on the same things to avoid predators. This drives a continuous cycle of specific eye, color and speed adaptations for the purpose of making theirs better than the competition's, which is also is the limit - an eye adaptation will not continue until the critter has the best eyes on the planet. They won't change their tails or kidneys too just for kicks. Although being smarter would surely make them better predators or prey, that is not a good enough reason for Evolution to provide more brain processing power.
(e) The explosion in human brain power was general, unfocused, and disregarded thes rules of Evolution that seem to require specificity, purpose, expedience and efficiency. While I am sure that 250,000 years ago homo sapiens had very specific problems and needs that centered on basic survival, Evolution hasn't assisted the survival of any other species by increasing intelligence. That's probably because basic survival is a very general problem composed of many smaller specific problems like bad eyesight or vulnerability to a certain disease, and Evolution requires specific smaller issues addressable in unique ways that will only serve that purpose but not others. Brain power itself is not such a solution due to an amorphous nature that defies all confinement, let alone a unique purpose. So this has to be the first and only time that Evolution took on a general problem and/or solved one with an adaptation that has general and unlimited uses. Then Evolution did not follow its pattern of doing the minimum amount needed to solve the problem, and doing so by some modest adaptation. Instead it went overboard in both respects. Homo Sapiens was probably already the smartest critter around, so a modest intelligence boost is enough to turn this existing competitive advantage into total dominance that assureds survival. Evolution always stops when critters obtain some single and slight competitive advantage over just their competitors, but in this case it first resulted in a brain that wasstill multi-use and best, now even better. The process didn't stop there like a normal adaptation should, instead it continued up till now, with no sign of stopping. The quantity of the improvement is 10 times more than we use or even understand today, while normal Evolution ends when physical change is just enough to produce a small comparative advantage. Finally, normal Evolution doesn't do surpluses, let alone tenfold ones.
(f) So the human brain developed in a pattern that is so inconsistent with evolution that perhaps it occurred outside of and independent of Evolution, or independently influenced Evolution from the outside in the matter. I think the explanation will be neither divine nor otherworldly. For example, perhaps a chance encounter with a chemical 250,000 years ago caused a reaction that produced a beneficial mutation which our science can explain.
)g) In the meantime, if the Intelligent Designers count this among their anomalies, I can accept is as such, but not as something that raises any serious question about the rest of it.
Mar 14 2010, 09:03 AM
Group: Extreme Forum Pilot
Joined: 13-December 06
Member No.: 315
here comes some disjointed stuff.
knowledge. what we think we know and what we really know.
thought experiment: what would be an appropriate comparison between what we really know to what there is to know? grain of sand to mt everest? do we even know that much?
starting to speculate based on some premise (and all it's inherent flaws) can be pretty dangerous. like marie and pierre curie body painting with radium. seems like a quaint thing to do at the time.....
the character 'q' took picard and the enterprise out to meet the borg to show picard that arrogance (hubris) doesn't lead down a happy path.
we don't know that the speed of light is the speed limit in the known universe, let alone the unknown universe. we don't know the byproducts of any/all 4th+ gen nuke/micronukes. we don't know the game of 9/11, anymore than being able to tell the structure of an iceberg by observing it's tip. and why is any of this? because we don't have an adequate and reliable fact gathering and retention mechanism.
everybody is entitled to their own opinion, not their own facts.
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