Fairy tales for adults (long)

Richard Lightman richard at nezumi.plus.com
Wed Feb 12 10:52:55 PST 2003

* James Drabb <JDrabb at darden.com> [2003-02-12 17:15]:
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Ian Molton [mailto:spyro at f2s.com] 
> > Sent: Wednesday, February 12, 2003 11:40 AM
> > To: lfs-chat at linuxfromscratch.org
> > Subject: Re: Fairy tales for adults (long)
> > 
> > 
> > On Wed, 12 Feb 2003 15:37:42 +0000 (UTC)
> > JDrabb at darden.com ("James Drabb") wrote:
> > 
> > > I majored in biology in college and I was never convinced of
> > > evolution.  There needed to be just to many "perfect situations"
> > > for things to happen.  The human eye is so complex, that I find
> > > it hard to believe this organ evolved from a single cell in a
> > > pool of primordial soup.
> > 
> > You're looking at it wrong. it had MILLIONS of years to reach that
> > state.
> <snip>
> I sat through hours of lecture on the subject.  None of it overly
> convincing.  Sure it may seem logical and seem like common sense.
> But science is about provable facts. 

No it is not.
There is not one theory in science that can be proved true.
The scientific method is to use experiments to prove theories
As I said before, the best theories
1) make useful predictions
2) have not been proved wrong despite out best efforts.

> Evolution is not proven nor
> can it be proven. 

Just like everything in science (but not mathematics ;-).

> Yet it is taught in schools and biology classes
> as if it were scientific law. 

Unfortunately some really basic science is not taught at all.

Many years ago I did some part time tuitition. One of my students
wanted some help with biology, and I was unhappy about this
because I do not consider myself competent to teach biology at
the level she required. She had an experiment to perform, which
was supposed to prove something - I forget what, but the design
she had been given for the experiment did not include a control.

How can you draw any conclusions from a biology experiment
without a control?

> I personally don't care if every
> scientist in the world jumps on the evolutionary bandwagon.
> Until it has been proven scientifically, I won't buy evolution
> as what gave rise to human life on earth. 

How can anything be proved scientifically?
Please learn some really basic science - the scientific method.

> Evolution, is suppose to
> create diversity, yet within humans there is almost no genetic
> diversity.

[richard at urusai richard]$ ldd /bin/arch /bin/dmesg
        libc.so.6 => /lib/libc.so.6 (0x4001a000)
        /lib/ld-linux.so.2 => /lib/ld-linux.so.2 (0x40000000)
        libc.so.6 => /lib/libc.so.6 (0x4001a000)
        /lib/ld-linux.so.2 => /lib/ld-linux.so.2 (0x40000000)
[richard at urusai richard]$ ls -l /bin/arch /bin/dmesg /lib/ld-2.2.5.so /lib/libc-2.2.5.so
-rwxr-xr-x    1 root     root         2656 Oct  2 17:46 /bin/arch
-rwxr-xr-x    1 root     root         3948 Oct  2 17:46 /bin/dmesg
-rwxr-xr-x    1 root     root        92156 Sep 27 20:12 /lib/ld-2.2.5.so
-rwxr-xr-x    1 root     root      1351014 Sep 27 20:12 /lib/libc-2.2.5.so
[richard at urusai richard]$

arch requires 1445828 bytes and dmesg requires 1447108. At least
1443170 of those bytes are common to the two despite their very
different functions.

The same sort thing to the genetic code. Many of the fundamental
processes that go on in a cell are the same in humans as they are
in fruit flies. Both have sections of DNA that are not very different.
A small change to a fruit fly's DNA will give it legs on its head
instead of antennae. A small change to human DNA will make brown
eyes blue.

Why should there be a large amount of diversity in human DNA?
There is evidence that humans almost became extinct a few thousand
years ago from a massive volcanic explosion. Under the circumstances
it is not suprising at all that there is not that much variation in
human DNA.

> Why didn't some humans evolve with three eyes and three legs?  They sure
> would have come in handy. 

There are conjoined twins with three legs, or four eyes. They have
a pretty rough life - if they survive at all. These examples have
not proved to lead to an obvious advantage in any ecology.

> There is also no evolutionary need for
> intelegence to the extent that humans have. 

What on earth is an 'evolutionary need' ?

Humans live in every environment on the surface of the earth because
our intelligence allows us to modify those enviroments to our needs.
No other animal comes close to humans in terms of the variety
environments they can live and breed in. Our intelligence is a massive
advantage that has caused the extinction of many species that competed
against us. This is evolution in action - much as we may now regret
the extinctions.

> There is also no
> evolutionary
> need/reason for a monkey to evolve into a human. 

What on earth is an 'evolutionary need' ?

> And if that was the
> case
> then why didn't all monkeys evolve into humans?  Did they fail evolution
> school?  We still have plenty of monkies around here : ) 

Some hominids lived in an environment (such as forests) that suited
brachiating. Others lived in environments (such as marches and plains)
where an upright posture was an advantage. This is why the species

> We are going into the
> realm of
> philosophy, which is an never ending debate.  I think the important
> thing is to
> agree that we will disagree and to respect one anothers opionions. 

I science doubt and scepticism are vital. Please do tell me about
any flaws you find in modern theories. So far your critisms have
have heard and dealt with many times before, but you might find
something new that really does invalidate the theory of evoltion.
You would do the world a great favour if you found it.

> On
> one side
> of the track you have people pushing evolution that has not nor cannot
> be
> scientifically proven. 

Are you really a biology major? You seem to have real difficulty
with the very basics of science.

> On the other is those who believe in Creation,
> this
> as well has not nor cannot be scientifically proven. 

Predictions from creationalist theories have been proved wrong
again and again throughout history.

Would you please present a creationalist theory that makes some
predictions that can be tested by experiment.

> Respect for each
> camp
> of belief is what is important.
Something we can almost agree on.

I really do not understand religion, which is why I seriously ask
how you can tell which (parts of) religions are true.

Please ask about any part of science you do not understand - I
do not know it all, but I am sure somebody here can explain. There
are certainly bits of science that have been explained to you badly,
possibly with the intent of 'proving' science is false when it
disagrees with your religion.


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