On the mathematical impossibility of evolution (of any kind)

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I took thermodynamics early on in my physics education. I aced it. It was fun. Surprising, but fun.

One of the key takeaways from thermodynamics is the concept of entropy. Entropy is a difficult topic that sometimes confuses even professors of physics. However, there is a simple rule of thumb that always turns out to be true. That rule is “Total entropy always increases, or at best stays the same.” It is the ratchet of the universe, the thing that gives us a direction in time. It is why we know that the debris from a firecracker going off will never arrange themselves back into a firecracker. We can look at those two states and objectively and positively state that one happened before another.

This rule is enshrined as “The Second Law of Thermodynamics.” When physicists invoke that law, they know exactly what they are talking about.

Where does entropy come from? It comes from the simple fact that when you put a lot of small, random events together, you always end up with a random distribution. If you start off with an unlikely scenario, then you will end up with a more likely scenario as these random processes apply themselves. Entropy is a measure of how likely a given scenario is due to random processes. States of low entropy show high degrees of organization, such as the etchings on a microchip or the streets in a city, painted with distinct lines, with intersections with working stoplights, and cars neatly lined up one after the other, traveling more or less the same speed. States of high entropy don’t have distinct lines and order, and patterns that exist are simply due to the brain trying to hard to find any patterns at all. It’s like hearing voices in static or seeing faces in the snow we used to get in our TVs.

If you could violate the second law, then you have discovered a source of infinite energy. What you’ve done is you’ve found a way to cheat at randomness, to predict the unpredictable. Maxwell’s daemon gives us an example of what that cheating might look like. Suppose there was a chamber of gas divided by a wall. In that wall there was a tiny door that could let one molecule through at a time. A tiny daemon opened and closed that wall such that faster particles would be allowed to travel from right to left, and slower particles from left to right, but otherwise the particles were kept in place. The end result would be that the left side would heat up, and the right side cool. Just by moving this tiny door (which has a net cost of zero energy if you ignore friction) you can create that temperature difference, which can be used to drive a motor. Add in enough daemons and doors and you could create infinite amounts of energy in an instant.

This sounds like a really smart idea, and in today’s age of microchips and nanomachines, it may even seem possible to build one. However, there is the problem that calculating whether to open or close the door takes energy itself, and unfortunately, it has been proven that at no scale will you ever find that the net energy produced would exceed the energy consumed. Nature has a way of ensuring that the Second Law is always in place.

Which gets me to the idea behind evolution. I’m not just talking about the evolution of the diversity of the species or whatnot, but evolution as a general concept. People seem to have this idea that if you let random processes run their course, you will get order. This simply isn’t the case. Things don’t work that way. It doesn’t work in biology, it doesn’t work in economics, and it doesn’t work in any other field. You can never roll dice and somehow find that you start rolling all 6’s.  If you did, then there wasn’t any randomness to begin with, just pseudo-randomness like you might find in a computer program. (Pseudo-random means that it is fake random. It looks like random, but it really exhibits structure. This is a huge problem in cryptography because if you can predict random numbers, then you can break  encryptions. Since pseudo-random numbers can be predicted, they should not be used for cryptography.)

I ask you to question your own faith in evolution. Why do you believe that random chance can produce order? What mechanism is there that causes this to be? Keep in mind that thermodynamics, a seemingly simple field where we are only interested in how fast thing are moving, physics professors make mistakes all the time regarding randomness. How can you expect to do better?

I implore you to follow your calculations to their logical conclusion. If randomness can bring order, why one particular type of order rather than another? Who’s to say this or that is ordered and those other thing aren’t? How do you measure order or success or whatnot? Why would thing randomly evolve one direction but not randomly evolve a different direction? If there is a sort of ratchet effect, why does it work only one way and why can’t the ratchet ever be reversed?

When you examine a system that claims evolution in detail, I am sure you will find that there is no evolution at all, just randomness, and randomness leads to decay, to the most likely scenario. The most likely scenario is rarely the desired scenario. Sure, for a short time, you may have a less likely scenario, but that will only last for moments, inconsequential in the long run.

If you want order, if you want to move things out of a natural state, you need a Maxwell’s daemon to do that for you. The secret to Maxwell’s daemon is the mind. People who have been indoctrinated in the materialist philosophy seem to think that the mind is a manifestation of physical reality, but this is simply illogical. After all, physical reality is predictable. Even in Quantum Mechanics, even though we can’t predict which precise event will happen, we can predict the likelihood of each possible case. The mind must be beyond physical reality because the mind is inherently unpredictable. You cannot create unpredictable things with predictable things (ask people who are trying to generate actual random numbers for cryptography and they will explain this in great detail.) Either the thing created from the predictable universe is predictable itself (since it is part of the universe), or the universe is not predictable and thus there is nothing to understand or reason about. Physicists chose to remove the mind from the material world and insist that the material world is predictable. If we didn’t do that, we wouldn’t have modern physics at all, but we would be worshiping the gods of randomness, not unlike the ancient Greeks and Romans did. We would simply say, “That is random chance” and wouldn’t even bother investigating it.

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9 Responses to “On the mathematical impossibility of evolution (of any kind)”

  1. Jason Says:

    But we are here. There is clear evidence from the fossil record of life getting more complex starting at the Cambrian explosion.

    It happened. It’s irrefutable. Therefore the second law of thermodynamics, or your understanding of it, is wrong.

    • Jonathan Gardner Says:

      You’re arguing the Anthropic Principle. The Anthropic Principle can be used to argue any theory that has any likelihood of truth, no matter how small, based on observations we’ve had. It can be used to verify any set of theories that are completely at odds with each other. It is thus not a principle that can be used in real science.

      IE, suppose I run a program and it prints out the number “742”. On theory is that it is a random number generator, and we just happened to see it print out 742. Another theory is that it always prints out 742. These theories can both be justified by the Anthropic Principle. Even if we were to run the program several times and each time it prints out 742, we would really be not much closer to the truth. (Indeed, it is possible to randomly roll the same number several times in a row.) At some point, though, maybe after seeing 742 a thousand times, we would have to say that the theory that it rolls random numbers is incorrect. Indeed, we’ve long reached that point when it comes to evolution. The possibility of life even existing anywhere in the universe, let alone existing for as long as it has, let alone as diverse as it has, is so fantastically small I can’t imagine why anyone would consider it anything but 0.

      Really, we are well past thinking about where we came from it’s long time to consider why we are here, because we know there must be some sort of intelligence that has created this universe and populated it with us, for some reason we simply cannot understand with science.

      Moving on, the fossil record is not nearly so clear as people say it is. The story it tells me, when I read it the “proper” way is:

      1. There was no life.
      2. Suddenly, life appears in extraordinary complex forms. (The Cambrian Explosion.) These are not primitive forms, these are advanced fish with all the advanced features of modern fish, things like eyes and brains and such.
      3. Some life forms that appeared in the Cambrian explosion exist today, unchanged.
      4. Newer life forms appear out of nowhere. Other life forms disappear.
      5. We do not see gradual changes to any life forms over eons.

      Darwin made predictions about what we should see in the fossil record. All of them were wrong.

      Further, there is a problem with the so-called fossil record. It is not a record as we would see in the history books. There is no narrator. There is nothing to be read. All it is is a bunch of bones in the ground. The bones are not even buried as we are told they are. We find that bones are buried such that, according to geology, one tip would have been buried a million years before the other tip. We also find circular logic: We date geological strata based on the bones found there, and we date bones based on the strata they are found in. Indeed, it has been demonstrated that bones that are supposedly millions of years old have material in them that could not have survived for such a long period, not by a long shot, and also that fossils form far quicker than we were told.

      But what about radiometric dating? Here, things get strange. We are told that all the radiometric dating agrees with each other, but it doesn’t. One isotope says it is millions of years old, another says it is not nearly that old. I vaguely recall reading a paper that summarized all the various radiometric dating methods applied to a single sample, and how different groups of dates emerged. The author suspected that there was some dependency between some of the dating methods, leading to those dating methods giving similar dates. However, it still does not explain why the other methods were so far off. Regardless, the core assumptions of radiometric dating are: (1) That we know what the original composition was, (2) that we know what the decay rates were and that they did not change over time, and (3) that we know what the composition is now. It may surprise you that (3) is not nearly as accurate as you are told, and the inaccuracies have huge effects on the dating. But also it has been discovered that (2) does not seem to be constant. Radio decay rates seem to change over time. Indeed, don’t we build nuclear reactors with the explicit purpose of accelerating the decay of some particular isotopes? But let’s not ignore (1): How do we know what the original composition was? It surprised me to see that people in this field were using circular logic. We know how old this rock is, so we know what it was originally made of. We know how old the rock is because we know what it was originally made of. See the problem?

      My rule of thumb: When you are told the science is settled, it means there is no science there anymore. The moment you can no longer question theories and observations, that is the same moment it becomes religion. Indeed, you see the hallmarks of religion in geology and biology. It isn’t hard to identify the priests and the church, the sermons and the scriptures, along with the devout followers and the heretics. The fact that these sciences seem to more closely align with priesthood than science is all that I need to know about what they are really doing.

      As it is, there is no scientific explanation for the existence of life, its sustenance, or its diversity. According to all the scientific principles we know that govern the mechanics of the universe, life should not exist, it should not continue to exist, and it should not be diverse.

  2. Jason Gardner Says:

    Not really. It’s like saying that bees cannot fly mathematically so they don’t fly. Completely ignoring the fact that they do, in fact, fly.

    I take odds with this as well: “The possibility of life even existing anywhere in the universe, let alone existing for as long as it has, let alone as diverse as it has, is so fantastically small I can’t imagine why anyone would consider it anything but 0.”

    There is no basis for this assertion. We simply don’t know how life started and certainly don’t know how common it is. We do, however, know that it happened at least once in this solar system. So the best assumption is that it happened in every solar system.

    True, we don’t have a scientific explanation of why life exists or how it was created. Far from showing that it didn’t happen, it just means that the science is incomplete. It does not mean that we don’t exist.

    Science cannot explain everything. The lack of a scientific explanation just shows the limitations of science. Not the impossibility of the natural world.

    I think that if you read up on evolution ( The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature is a good one) you will find that it is incredibly consistent with mathematical logic and reasoning. In fact, its a logical certainty that evolution exists and is completely in line with science, math and reason.

    I will grant you that how the first cell is formed is currently a pretty solid mystery but after that it’s super logical and strait forward. Once life has started, evolution is manifestly one of the best theories humans have produced.

    As far as an intelligent being… We might be getting closer to how the universe started but no closer to the why. But we may, or more likely probably, never know.

    Let me give you another example: My dog does physics. She knows where the ball will go. She knows how high she can jump. She knows how to navigate her universe. Granted, the physics we understand is more complex than my dogs but my dog still does physics.

    We both more or less know that my dog does not have the ability to understand quantum mechanics. She just can’t. Or semiconductor physics. Or celestial mechanics.

    As for us… Why do we assume that we can understand where we came from? Why do we assume that we can understand the genesis of life? Why do we assume that science (a human method) will ever be able to figure it out?

    “Further, there is a problem with the so-called fossil record. It is not a record as we would see in the history books. There is no narrator. There is nothing to be read. All it is is a bunch of bones in the ground. The bones are not even buried as we are told they are. We find that bones are buried such that, according to geology, one tip would have been buried a million years before the other tip. We also find circular logic: We date geological strata based on the bones found there, and we date bones based on the strata they are found in. Indeed, it has been demonstrated that bones that are supposedly millions of years old have material in them that could not have survived for such a long period, not by a long shot, and also that fossils form far quicker than we were told.”

    ***** The above paragraph is just straight wacky. We know a shit ton about the fossil record. I’m in an industry that gets oil from knowing the fossil record in and out. In fact, that’s what we do.. Use the fossil record to make billions, scratch that, trillions. If you don’t believe we exist or we don’t make money or we are just a bunch of retards getting lucky with our magic holes in the ground…. Honestly man, I’m embarrassed for you.

    • Jonathan Gardner Says:

      The “life shouldn’t be happening” bit relies on the fact that when you look at any life form, from the simplest bacteria to “advanced” forms such as ourselves, we see an extraordinary level of organization and design that betrays any possibility of it randomly arising through any process. Inside each of our cells, for instance, are components and processes that surpass the complexity of a modern city. And we have only begun to understand what is going on in our cells. In Darwin’s days, cells were thought to be simple automata, tiny machines like levers or gears. We know now that that isn’t the case. We also know that DNA far surpasses our understanding. We can sequence it, but we have not begun to understand what it says or how it actually works. In short, there is a higher likelihood of a tornado striking a junkyard and forming a perfectly functioning modern airplane than even the simplest form of life existing anywhere in the universe. And the universe is a very, very large junkyard with a lot of tornadoes.

      I think we’re using two opposite definitions of science now. Science can be used to determine what it is we see, what the natural processes are, and how unlikely the situation we are in actually is, in any permutation. Science does explain all that. The next question: “Where did it all come from?” is also answered: not from natural processes. Thus, science does give an explanation, and the explanation is that we are supernatural in origin and status. We did not arise from any known or unknown natural processes, and we are not sustained by any known or unknown natural process.

      When Rene Descartes first formulated some of the most fundamental ideas that became modern science, he postulated that the traditional way of viewing the universe was incorrect. Up until his thoughts, humans assumed that the universe was composed of supernatural and natural elements, working together. If ever there was a strange occurrence, humans would attribute it to the gods or God interacting with the universe. Rene Descartes proposed that there was a materialist universe apart from the powers of God and man that would operate under certain circumstances when God and man were not interfering with it. This materialist universe is what materialists today believe to be the entirety of the universe, believing that non-material things do not exist. The reason why Descartes could even form this concept of a material universe, however, is because he assigned things like God and intelligence and perfect circles and such to a supernatural universe that isn’t bound by laws such as the material universe is. The true nature of the universe, according to him, was both natural and supernatural, with only the natural being bound by laws that could be determined through scientific inquiry.

      Having read up on evolution, as well as being intimately familiar with the various topics in physics, I find very little if any logic and reasoning other than myth-making and fairy tales in evolution and geology (as it concerns our natural history).

      Suppose we did allow life to spontaneously exist, eliminating any possibility of supernatural interaction in the material realm. Questions:

      1. Why would that life continue for more than a fraction of a second?
      2. How would that life reproduce?
      3. Why would its reproduction be more complicated?

      It is pretty easy to show that random chance is not enough to explain how the points above are overcome. This is the sort of thing that the parable of the monkeys banging on typewriters producing Shakespeare make clear. How do the monkeys know they are closer to writing Shakespeare than random gobbledy-gook? The arrow of time says the future is the state which is less ordered, not more.

      Regarding understanding, our assumption that we can understand the laws that govern the natural universe is what makes science possible. That, and the idea that by experimentation and observation we can discover the laws. See, there is a reason why devout Christians were the founders of modern science and not any other faith, certainly not atheism. Unique to Christianity is the concept that God and man are not as different as we might suppose. Not only can man become like God, but man is already in many respects similar to God. The other necessary component is that God isn’t silent on the questions we ask, and that we should seek and knock and ask because we are promised we will find, it will open, and we will receive an answer. These assumptions are critical for a person to even begin the process of science, and continue in the face of adversity. Thus, your dog is not doing physics. The dog is not seeking an understanding of the laws of the universe nor is the dog experimenting to discover them.

      Regarding geology and the fossil record: Understand what I am saying. I am not denying the existence of rocks or the patterns you find of types of rocks and such and oil deposits. What you are doing there is science. You are making up ideas about where the oil is, performing experiments, and adjusting your theories according to what you observe. That is science if there is any science.

      What I am objecting to is the mythical stories that explain why the rocks are the way they are. We have this same problem in physics, and we’ve given it a name to keep it separate from physics: cosmology and astrophysics. These are the red-headed step children of physics that we rightly assign to its own corner. We simply cannot know what happened or what things were like before we have observed them. Having a sample size of 1 is not enough to make any sort of determination about the past. Without being able to experiment with the past, and because our lives are so finite, there are simply things out there we will never observe nor deduce. (I should add, things like string theory and the multiverse also belong in this quasi-science realm and should not be regarded as physics.)

      A joke we tell in physics: There was a drunk man who lost his keys. He searched under the lamp post for his keys. When someone asked him why he didn’t look in the parking lot, he said, “I can only see where there’s light.” Let’s keep science focused on where we can see, and leave religion to its domain to explain things we can’t see. Let’s call things what they are, and avoid confusion between different modes of thinking and idea systems. Questions about where we came from and what life was like a billion years ago are the realm of religion and speculation. Questions about where we should drill for oil based on past observations is the realm of science.

  3. Jason Gardner Says:

    Why do you assert this?

    “we see an extraordinary level of organization and design that betrays any possibility of it randomly arising through any process.”

    “In short, there is a higher likelihood of a tornado striking a junkyard and forming a perfectly functioning modern airplane than even the simplest form of life existing anywhere in the universe.”

    “Thus, science does give an explanation, and the explanation is that we are supernatural in origin and status.”

    “We did not arise from any known or unknown natural processes, and we are not sustained by any known or unknown natural process.”

    — These are all blanket assumptions.

    We either:
    1) Don’t understand NOW but we will one day or
    2) We do not have the capacity to understand so we never will.

    Life, and the origin of life, is only supernatural in the sense that we don’t understand, much like airplanes would be supernatural to Moses.

    What is interesting and up for philosophical speculation is why the universe has the fundamental properties it has. Example: Why is the gravitational constant is 6.67408 × 10-11 m3 kg-1 s-2? Why are the other universal constants as they are?

    Some method set those values and those values undoubtedly resulted in what we are today. For example, if the universe was constructed with twice the gravitational constant you would probably not be writing this blog.

    “Thus, your dog is not doing physics. The dog is not seeking an understanding of the laws of the universe nor is the dog experimenting to discover them.”

    — Manifestly wrong. My dog is doing physics (sans pencil and paper) and my dog definitely sought an understanding of physics and my dog definitely experimented to discover them. (That’s why puppies are cute.) She’s just terrible at learning physics compared to us.

    Learning about life a billion years ago is speculation for sure. But so is all of science at its core. For religion to swoop in and fill in the hazy areas is a recipe for religious retreat because science is always expanding, meaning religion will always be contracting. This is not good for religion. The logical finishing point is that science utterly wins, and religion is relegated to the dustbin of discarded ideas.

    We see this going on now. No serious person consults religious experts anymore. Which is too bad but utterly foreseeable by religion and religious folks playing their cards badly.

    Which brings me to this… Here is the problem with the current state of the right. The country needs a strong counter argument to the left. The right is simply not providing it. The right shows up for war with a phalanx and javelin corps to face a modern, mechanized, information age army. The right has been losing every time, every battle for the last 40 years. Horribly getting butchered at every turn.

    The right can’t even keep tyranny weirdos out of the little girls room at Target. That’s how weak it is. Let that sink in for a minute…

    It’s time to acknowledge it and correct course.

    You will not win any battles arguing moot points. Evolution is the accepted best science. Deal with it. There is no sense fighting it. Anyone who earnestly educates themselves on evolution will invariably come to admire the completeness and cleverness of the theory. This happens roughly several thousand times every day.

    Pick battles you can win. The key to this is understanding what the right is correct about and what they need to discard. Senselessly throwing bodies (metaphor alert) at a machine gun nest only is brave for a little while, then it’s pathetic, then it’s murder.

    Spend time understanding where religion has a role. What the proper role relationship between the person and society. Why what you believe is correct and what points you need to strategically abandon.

    For example, if you argue that evolution is not real you are essentially doing a heroic but ultimately suicidal charge. You will not win that battle or convince anyone of the justness of your cause. The debate is over, only the details are left to flush out.

    If, however, you discuss why the universe is as it is (gravitational constant example) you are entering into an area that you can logically win. Everyone acting in good faith knows that we don’t know why the earth was created or why it is as it is. Was it designed so that humans would one day evolve? Is that the reason all the fundamental constants are they way they are? This is an interesting point that you can win with.

    Keep up with the latest science. Not “gee they invented a new faster widget” but “gee, all whites are 4-6% Neanderthal while all sub-Saharan blacks are not at all.” In short, keep up with the important stuff.

    If you are not fluent with the current state of human knowledge you can not effectively comment on it. You will win no converts and only inspire pity, or worse, scorn.

    If the right want’s to win, stay relevant.

    • Jonathan Gardner Says:

      The principles behind the second law are the same principle that show why the very idea of evolution is absurd on its face.

      The complexity of a 747 is much, much less than the complexity in a single bacterium. Even if there were a point in time when the building blocks of basic life were common elements in the environment, assembling them into a living creature is simply impossible. We could not do it today even though we can manipulate single atoms.

      The complexity of a living being far surpasses any machine we can build or even conceive of actually building. Living beings operate in a wide variety of conditions and exhibit traits that we can barely understand let alone duplicate. As far as machines go, they are so much more complicated than anything we know. And we know through experience that the more complex a machine is, the more fragile it becomes. Thus, random chance says that a machine as marvelously complex as any living organism should be extremely fragile, but it is not.

      Do I need to describe what needs to happen in order for a single beneficial genetic mutation to appear let alone propagate? It should be clear, even without running the numbers, that the chances of a single change let alone a combination of changes to the DNA yielding a beneficial change rather than a harmful one is infinitesimal. The chances of that change successfully propagating through the entire species or even a significant portion is also infinitessimal. Simply thinking about probability shows that the very essence of evolution has a critical flaw. That emperor has no clothes.

      This was my original point: If you theory is that “we got lucky”, then it’s a bad theory. Yes, one in a million people actually wins the lottery, but compared to the probabilities we’re dealing with, everyone will win the lottery every day for a billion years before we approach the degree of improbability of what we see in nature. If you happen to win that lottery then yes, you are lucky, but you’re not the vast majority of the human race. And you aren’t going to keep winning that lottery every day. Random chance will catch up to you eventually.

      The fine-tuning argument is absolute proof of God and creation. No one can explain using natural law why the numbers are the way they are. They are as if they were picked out of thin air by someone who knew exactly why those constants needed to be that way to cause something he wanted to cause. The only possible natural explanation is “we got lucky”, the Anthropic Principle, but as I already showed that can be used to prove anything. “God created us, we are here, QED.” is just as valid as “Life is extraordinarily improbable, we got lucky, we are here, QED.” when it comes to the Anthropic Principle.

      You’re wrong about science being speculation. Speculation might be the beginning of science or even an important part. Science provides for experiments to test our speculations against. When someone proposes a theory that cannot be tested, it isn’t science. It’s speculation and fantasy and religion. When it can be tested, then it is science. That’s the sole determining factor between science and speculation.

      In short, when someone tells you a story, even if it involves dinosaurs and millions of years, if you are scientist, you should always ask, “Show me the data.” Then you should take apart that data and construct 10,000 other possible explanations that fit the data. Only those explanations that fit the data are valid, and even then, who’s to say someone doesn’t discover a better explanation in the future? People who instead trust what they are told and believe it as an article of faith are not scientists: they are devout followers of that religion.

      Regarding battles: I’d rather be right than win. The search for truth means constantly fighting against error, no matter its source or its popularity.

  4. Jason Gardner Says:

    “Do I need to describe what needs to happen in order for a single beneficial genetic mutation to appear let alone propagate? It should be clear, even without running the numbers, that the chances of a single change let alone a combination of changes to the DNA yielding a beneficial change rather than a harmful one is infinitesimal. The chances of that change successfully propagating through the entire species or even a significant portion is also infinitesimal. Simply thinking about probability shows that the very essence of evolution has a critical flaw. That emperor has no clothes.”

    You have never heard of a kid that was smarter than their parents? Your are taller than your father.. In fact all of your brothers are taller than their father…. Hmmmm…. Totally perplexed by that…. Wait, WTF???… Your kid is taller than your father as well????????? Arrrrgggghhhhh!!!!! How is this possible??????

    It’s almost as if there was a beneficial change in the ol’ Gardner family Genes. (If you consider tall males beneficial.)

    I have a version of Klinefelter syndrome. It’s almost as if my DNA was changed…. Totally perplexed how that works… Not a whole lot of Klinefelter syndrome kids out there… Wonder why???

    I know people with Down’s Syndrome…. It can’t be that the genome changed, second law of thermodynamics prevents that…. Maybe it’s they don’t have the spirit properly? I’ll have to inform the Down’s kids that their mathematically impossible and they should just cease to exist.
    .
    Having fun here… I wonder if tall, smart, good looking and powerful men have had more babies than sickly, stupid and dead men? Or who had more kids, the people that died in the plagues of Europe or the ones who had slightly stronger immune systems and didn’t?

    Genghis Khan is thought to be the ancestor of 1 out of every 200 people alive today. Hum….It’s almost as if he had a ton of sex and propagated his genes better then the men he murdered. Like his genes were “fitter” in some key way and got passed on.

    I mean it not to attack you but to prod you as an older brother. You are smart and you can understand the world around you in sophisticated ways. You are held to a higher standard for that reason. You should be fluent in why evolution its certainty and beauty and not be fighting this crazy rear guard offensive. Don’t be Don Quixote.

    BTW, the answer to “Do I need to describe what needs to happen in order for a single beneficial genetic mutation to appear let alone propagate?” => No, I know the answer. It’s……..Sex! Sex has to happen for a single beneficial mutation to appear and propagate.

    Wir müssen wissen, wir werden wissen!

  5. Xerxes Says:

    So, I have a question…

    Let’s assume Noah is 100% true.

    Moses is around 2000+/- years from Noah. Let’s just say 5000 years to remove any wiggle room.

    Every living thing on earth but those in the ark died, no? Bible being accurate and all…

    Soooo. Where did the Asians and blacks come from? Is 5000 years enough time for a Jew to become a Bantu African? Or an Indonesian? Or a Korean?

    That proves the speed of evolution, correct? I mean how else could a Jew become a blonde Nordic so fast? It must only take a several generations (especially given that people lived hundreds of years) to go from Jew to black.

    In 5000 years (remember, the bible says it’s more like 2000) we got all the races from a single Jew family?

    Not only do we have separate races but they had to build complex civilizations as well, yes?

    I mean the Egyptians actually had to set up Egypt and evolve into ethnic Egyptians by the time Moses comes on the scene. How’d they do it so fast and still respect the laws of thermodynamics?

    • Jonathan Gardner Says:

      You’re assuming that the races of men are improvements upon the older model. That is certainly one way to view it, though you are right, it would make no sense from a mathematical and probability perspective. (I’m having a hard time understanding what pressure, volume and temperature has to do with this topic. Perhaps you can explain how thermodynamics and this topic is related?)

      My understanding is that each generation born has, at best, a perfect copy of their parent’s DNA. If there is a change, it is extremely likely that it is a bad sort of change. IE, white people have a hard time dealing with the sun, and red-headed people even harder still. Is that an evolutionary advantage, or did they lose some feature in their genetic code that black people still have?

      It doesn’t take long to breed a new breed of dog or a new breed of crop. I go to my family reunions and I can tell which branch a kid came from just by looking at them. Maybe most of that is the fact that their parents are different than my parents, but perhaps a part of that is that they are mutations of their parents, and their mutation has been passed down to their children. Indeed, we see from history that it doesn’t take long to develop substantially different physical features, like the Habsburg Jaw. That’s why marrying your cousins is such a bad idea for your kids.

      Regarding how long it takes to build a civilization: ~600 years ago Columbus landed in the Caribbean. ~250 years ago, the United States gained their independence. The industrial revolution didn’t really come into full force until ~150 years ago, and now we’re living in a society that is completely foreign to people living just a few decades ago thanks to technology. It doesn’t take long for innovation to happen and spread. We’re fed a story that it takes a long, long time for people to learn how to farm efficiently, but I surmise that you take any human and tell them they have to learn farming or they don’t eat, they’ll figure it out in a few years.

      Regarding numbers: If each generation has 10 kids, how many generations until you have 1,000,000 people? And how many more generations before you reach 1,000,000,000,000? Exponential growth boggles the mind. We’re just not wired to understand it. Here’s a good question to think about: If pond scum doubles every day, and you see that by day 10 the pond is full, how full was the pond on day 9? The fact that the answer is surprising is evidence that we don’t “get” exponential growth.

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