Article > Stub - Evolution &c
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It's not done, don't read it. :-(

Unlike other of my articles, I'm not trying to prove anything with logic here. This argument isn't from the mind, it's from the gut. I've heard plenty of arguments on both sides of the fence about evolution, and I think there are good points for both sides, but my gut tells me it's wrong. Why? Not because it's improbable. I'm sure you've heard people quote numbers like 1 in 10 to the 40,000 chance of man being formed through evolution. But really those are just SWAG (Scientific Wild-Assed Guess(es)). And it's not because it's incapable of explaining how, even on a very small and fundamental scale, structures such as flagella form. I'm sure you've heard arguments such as flagellum are formed of so many different parts, basically function as a motor-driven propulsion system at a ridiulously miniature and effient scale, and all of these parts are required to work together to function, but none of them have a purpose or evolutionary benefit on their own, and thus on their own would have been eliminated by evolution; so in order to function fully, all parts would have had to form simultaneously and interlink perfectly, and that's--you guessed it--highly improbable. It's also not for lack of missing links, and I don't believe the presence of some big fossils impact the equation overly much either way. I don't have all the facts, for either side, so I'm not going to argue from any of those vantage points. What I do know, however, is I've heard and read a lot of rhetoric on the topic, heard the passion in the voices of the proponents of both sides, and I know how I feel about evolution. I feel that the exact same arguments I've heard used against Christianity apply to evolution as well. There's the idea that believers in a god or gods invented that diety or those dieties for the express purposes of convenience and self-gratification. It's handy to have an answer in the absence of all other answers, something to fall back on, and something you can believe in when all other hope seems lost. In the same way, evolution is simply intellectuals intellectualizing their problems away. It's a theory of man, by man, for man. It lets man feel important and empowered, to believe that he's on top, the best, fittest, and supreme--a position he holds by right, earned by billions of years of one-upmanship. Man is teh awesome! Honestly though, I'd hope that after billions of years of such improvement, we'd be able to say something a little better than "Well, we don't suck as much as monkeys. Ha ha. Stupid monkeys." When it comes right down to it, both sides of the argument break down to a single, common point. We don't know. We really and simply--don't know. That's where the two sides diverge. The logically minded say "well if the facts aren't there, then we don't know, and not knowing, no truths can be determined. God cannot be proven, therefore is unknowable." The faith minded say "the facts are not there, and never will be because man wasn't made to understand the things of God. By faith alone shall ye know him. God cannot be disproven, therefore must exist." As much as I am a logical, rationally-minded person, I have to ask at this juncture: what are facts anyways? What does our science really know? Sure, there's plenty of proof-of-concept stuff out there--we obviously understand the nature of our environment well enough to split atoms--though destruction is a much easier undertaking than creation (and cloning doesn't count as creation; when we start with sand and get a man, I'll be impressed)--but all of our knowledge is relative to our own understanding. We describe the rest of the universe in relation to our own planet (distances, weights, and other measures), our own sun, our own solar cycle (time, etc.). Despite our best efforts in such things as string theory, we can't manage to codify all the laws that govern our universe, great and small, neatly. This is a good example, because the current theory is that if we look at all of those equations in a great enough number of dimensions, they'll start tying together. There's a branch of calculus that allows you to take any given set of points and create a smooth curve that passes through them all, and gives you the equation that does so. The resulting equation generally has variables to somewhat large powers, depending on the complexity of the original data. String theory is exactly the same thing--trying to determine a ruleset from a given set of data--working backwards--trying to reverse engineer reality. If you make the rules complex enough, yes, you'll eventually arrive at a solution that works. For now. But that proves nothing. I don't mean to be a nihilist. I don't believe all facts are bunk and everything is unknowable. Not yet anyways. I'm just not sure that the realms of science and religion were meant to overlap. I don't think God, something generally considered to have permanence, and an absolute can be proven or disproven with transitory things, relative to our own existence. I do think, however, that attempts to do so are more often driven by a dislike for the fact that the faith-minded have something the logic-minded don't (and they don't like it) than by an earnest desire to know the truth, whichever way it falls. I'm also not saying that all such attempts are vain, or in vain--I know what it's like to want a rational answer and not be satisfied until I have one. Just ... hmm.

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Owned by Insignis - Created on 10/17/2005 - Last edited on 10/18/2005
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