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The Great Coincidence of Evolution and the Origin of Man?

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posted on Nov, 22 2006 @ 10:57 AM
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I was lying in bed last night running this over and over in my head so I recorded my thoughts around 1:30 a.m. and decided to post them here today. It’s my first post and I haven’t been around long so be gentle. LOL! I have to preface this all with some general info about myself. Like many of you in this forum, throughout life I have always been interested in science, whether it is Chemistry, Physics, Biology, etc. In High School a couple friends and I would always come up with crazy ideas or theories that we would run by our Chem and Physics instructors that would basically have them stumped and grasping to explain why they would or would not work. My mind is always working this way, hashing over life’s mechanisms, oddities, and unknowns. Growing up, it was easy to accept many of the scientific theories introduced to explain the world around us, but as you grow older you start to question these things more and more. It’s funny how life’s experiences and growing older can change you in this way.

That said, I’ve come to the conclusion that evolution is nothing but faith in a giant coincidence, or rather a multitude of giant, inexplicable coincidences. I will go into why I came to this conclusion, but please bear with me as we go along because I will be doing some broad generalizing to bring my point across as quickly as I possibly can. For my discussion, we’ll subscribe to the basic theory that life sprang from the primordial ooze pond after being jolted by energy, which then caused the combination of some bits and pieces of molecules to form a single-celled life form, or maybe multiple single-cell life forms. I realize there are other theories out there, but on the surface they are really quite similar so I’m going with the most widely accepted ‘Big Bang’.

Ok, so our first giant coincidence is over and our blast of energy has mixed things up properly so they could become biological. Let’s put evolution into effect now. If only one single-cell organism is created then I guess we better assume that it is able to replicate or reproduce asexually via mitosis right away otherwise it would have shriveled up and no further life would have developed. Oh, don’t forget, it has also developed DNA to store in it’s nucleus along the way. Good deal that happened, I guess.

Now I guess we can introduce meiosis so we can merge some of that DNA. Ok, so let’s say Mr. Protozoa happens to morph his way into trillions of other cells and they magically scientifically begin combining into a larger multi-celled organism. Over eons, these then turn into something more complex, let’s say a sponge. Oh, “How did they do this” you ask? Good question. Let’s think about this one. Let’s also say another clump of the cells eventually combined/recombined through genetic DNA to become a fish. (I’m generalizing again to move things along a couple billion years here. Never mind the coincidences and perfect circumstantial situations that had to play out just to get to the fish).

So our fish one day develops an extra set of fins that he decides might just be useful for walking up that sandy beach. Off we go up onto the beach one day and I guess the gills just decided they didn’t need water for extraction of oxygen. They could just pull it from the air directly. Awesome! Mr. Fish got tired of dragging his belly around since those fin-legs are so stubby, so he decided he would mate with Mrs. Fish and their offspring would eventually encounter genetic variations that would allow them to walk on all fours just like…a lizard! Alright!

(Character max reached, continued to next post)




posted on Nov, 22 2006 @ 10:58 AM
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Oh, wait a minute. I forgot another convenient coincidence. Let me back things up a bit for this portion. We had mitosis/meiosis to explain how reproduction was taking place earlier, but what happened when the first fish popped on the scene after the genetic recombination or mutation or…? Did it just occur that another fish appeared at the same time and happened to be the opposite sex? Hmmm. Ok, that must be it. She was probably on the east side of the pond when she decided to crawl on out and they happened to meet up a few miles away and did their thing out in the field. Wow, lucky thing they didn’t pass each other up without so much as a hello.

Anyway, the Fish family evolves into the happy lizard offspring one epoch and the lizards decide they’d like to have a family of their own too. Well, the fish reproduced and laid eggs and this is the way the lizards decide to do it as well. Oh wait, I guess some more creatures must have been popping up in the ocean at the same time as the fish. Maybe these could be the mammals, because we need something that gives birth to live offspring in the picture. (Again, I’m not strictly sticking to “biological timelines” here, not at all actually!)

Are you seeing my predicament here? We are told these things just happened gradually through evolution, but how do you gradually begin to be able to walk on up the beach, let alone breathe air on land instantly when you take that step? It’s just no longer realistic to me that it could happen this way. I know of one case in which this happens with irrefutable proof and you should all know what I’m referring to is birth. Live mammalian birth displays all of these processes in entirety beginning with meiosis to form the zygote which develops and grows via mitosis, and then miraculously, comes out of the water and instantly breathes oxygen from the surrounding air. Somehow, I don’t think that happened for Mr. Fish all of a sudden when he decided he’d become a land-dweller. I know one of us certainly couldn’t just decide to swim into the ocean and start inhaling water and live to tell about it. Maybe a million Mr. Fish friends kept committing suicide by trying to leave the water over and over again until it worked? It seems that is what science is telling us.

Well after a couple more billion years of these perfect coincidences, Homo sapiens arrive on the scene. From where did he/she evolve? Who the heck knows! Seriously though, it doesn’t matter. It could have been a mutation or some more of that genetic drift, natural selection, speciation, etc. The homo genus is distinctly separate from the pan genus currently, though very closely related. This is actually the one area where I can fully buy into evolution. I could see how a particular mutation could produce an offspring that is different, but similar (more intelligent or maybe looks a bit different due to a mixing of traits?). Where it falls apart for me once again is the fact that there couldn’t be just one of these unique offspring. There has to be a mate that is biologically, chromosomally compatible to continue the genetic trend.

This brings me back to the common theme I’ve tried to get you to think about through all this rambling. It’s almost ludicrous, if you stop and think of how many things had to fall perfectly into place, for all of the uncountable theories tied to the origin and “evolution” of life to be entirely proven. “How could they all be intertwined with the end result being us?” you should be asking yourself. I will admit, I do fully believe in biological evolution. There is so much proof for its existence, but it seems that proof is only evident mainly within and exclusive to individual species in my opinion. You only have to look around you to see that natural selection and adaptation are alive and well in nature, but are they the be-all, end-all?

(Character max reached, continued to next post)



posted on Nov, 22 2006 @ 10:59 AM
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I believe in evolution. I just no longer believe it can explain all life up to this point. The timing of all the factors, and what I’m calling coincidences, has to have been impeccable. I did not put these thoughts out here to influence anyone one way or the other. I’m not pushing a creationist or ID theory on anyone so hopefully it won’t come across that way. I’m only trying to sort through these thoughts in my own mind and I decided to solicit constructive feedback from others that like to ponder these vast subjects. I know I’ve oversimplified and generalized en masse, but I’m not looking for anyone to reply whose only objective is to critique the science involved or provide us a history lesson. I’m really just interested in feedback regarding how coincidental the entire process had to be to get us to the point we are at now, if evolution is in fact, a fact.


I’ll close with a bit of an analogy. It will be a comparison to a mother and father procreating to produce a child. When this takes place, as we all know, it takes a little bit of the mother’s DNA code and a little bit of the father’s in equal parts to form what, in their eyes, will be a perfect creation. This would be analogous to taking a little bit of Windows XP code (or Linux or whatever your ideal OS is), mixed with equal parts of Mac OS X, with the result being the perfect PC operating system. You’ve blended a little bit of software code from each of them to create perfection. Does this perfect offspring lead to just a little more evidence of evolution within a species? Is it more like a complete new sub-species if you joined the two operating systems?

Maybe you would hold the answer if you understood the code and were the programmer from the beginning.



posted on Nov, 22 2006 @ 11:13 AM
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Just look at pictures of a human fetus - tails and gills my friend.... That would tend to point to some sort of past that we came through - yes..??

Then again, the big G could just be playing a fine practical joke....



posted on Nov, 22 2006 @ 11:24 AM
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Good point. I totally agree about the developing fetus. What I'm questioning are the steps it took to get to this point. Doesn't it almost seem like the process is completely perfected with human reproduction? What brought us to this point if the entire process can now take place in 40 weeks? You have to admit it's amazing to say the least. If evolution, then at what point did these leaps of advancement take place and how? If we only had all the missing pieces to put in place.



posted on Nov, 22 2006 @ 11:58 AM
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So our fish one day develops an extra set of fins that he decides might just be useful for walking up that sandy beach. Off we go up onto the beach one day and I guess the gills just decided they didn’t need water for extraction of oxygen. They could just pull it from the air directly. Awesome! Mr. Fish got tired of dragging his belly around since those fin-legs are so stubby, so he decided he would mate with Mrs. Fish and their offspring would eventually encounter genetic variations that would allow them to walk on all fours just like…a lizard! Alright!


You seem to be missing a big point here. The fish decided nothing, the fish population just had adaptive mutations that gave an increasing ability to survive in air and on land.

It would not be a fish then give birth to an oxygen breathing amphibian because it felt it would be a good direction to go. Evolution really occurs at the populaton level.

You would have a population of fish that developed the ability to live in low oxygen water, for example, small muddy pools. The ability to use the higher oxygen levels above the water would be advantageous to survival. To do this they would need to be able to raise their gills out of water, thus it would be co-evolution of limb-like fins (used to move through vegetation under water) and rudimentary lungs, this would give the advantage of succesfully using the high oxygen levels in the air. Then the ability to actually use these limb-like fins as true limbs would enable movement out of drying pools to find new pools (the first limbs were not to move forward but up and down), escape predators, hunt more succesfully etc. These populations would then be in a position to make the true move onto land.

All these changes would be due to evolutionary mechanisms, at each point, those that can show minor survival advantages would survive to breed a new generation that again would show varying levels of adaptation to the environment and breed more successfully etc etc. They are also taking advantage of new niches with little competition, the benefits of taking advantage of this is great.

One living 'fossil' that demonstrates this is the lungfish - a fish with rudimentary lungs that can survive out of water.

[edit on 22-11-2006 by melatonin]



posted on Nov, 22 2006 @ 12:28 PM
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Originally posted by melatonin

You seem to be missing a big point here. The fish decided nothing, the fish population just had adaptive mutations that gave an increasing ability to survive in air and on land.

It would not be a fish then give birth to an oxygen breathing amphibian because it felt it would be a good direction to go. Evolution really occurs at the populaton level.


As I mentioned, I was over-generalizing things and I think you are over-analyzing these generalizations. I understand the adaptations that are involved with populations of species. The fish and lizard were only an example of which in reality there would have to be millions of the same situations happening at the same time. I'm only trying to provoke thoughts, working backward evolutionally speaking, on how many times these processes had to take place with no margin for error in the begninning for life to have truly originated and evolved to where we are now. If you reverse this idea and apply it to earlier periods, there would have been lesser and lesser numbers of organisms that would have had the chance to get this right. That's not even taking into account any situations where species are catastrophically wiped out and the resultant recreation or re-emergence of the same or similar speicies. How did the population of your fish living in muddy pools begin? Surely we have to decide whether one fish-like creature developed initially or did a million develop at once from a predecessor lifeform and have the ability to reproduce with the original? I know this is like the chicken/egg thing to an extent, but I'm just looking for people's thoughts on how they've arrived at their own conclusion. I thank you for yours! It's really mind-boggling when you stop to consider the implications, but I enjoy it anyway.(Hopefully this makes a slight bit of sense...lol)



posted on Nov, 22 2006 @ 12:45 PM
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Originally posted by windshield

As I mentioned, I was over-generalizing things and I think you are over-analyzing these generalizations. I understand the adaptations that are involved with populations of species. The fish and lizard were only an example of which in reality there would have to be millions of the same situations happening at the same time. I'm only trying to provoke thoughts, working backward evolutionally speaking, on how many times these processes had to take place with no margin for error in the begninning for life to have truly originated and evolved to where we are now. If you reverse this idea and apply it to earlier periods, there would have been lesser and lesser numbers of organisms that would have had the chance to get this right. That's not even taking into account any situations where species are catastrophically wiped out and the resultant recreation or re-emergence of the same or similar speicies. How did the population of your fish living in muddy pools begin? Surely we have to decide whether one fish-like creature developed initially or did a million develop at once from a predecessor lifeform and have the ability to reproduce with the original? I know this is like the chicken/egg thing to an extent, but I'm just looking for people's thoughts on how they've arrived at their own conclusion. I thank you for yours! It's really mind-boggling when you stop to consider the implications, but I enjoy it anyway.(Hopefully this makes a slight bit of sense...lol)


If you like to wind evolution backwards, read Dawkins' 'The Ancestor's Tale' - it does exactly that.

Well, think of a population of fish that half live in a high oxygen lake, half live in a lake/pool that can occassionally show low levels of oxygen. Over a million years, the two populations will be very different. Those that can survive and reproduce more successfully in the low oxygen environment will become the most adaptive and common form of the original population in that particular environment. At the million year point they may well not be able to interbreed, thus we have two distinct species. Give another million years, and two populations of this new low oxygen species in two different environments - muddy pools that tend to dry, larger pools that don't - natural selection and genetic change will again likely show divergence in the characteristics of the populations. Natural selection will filter the advantageous changes and cull the unsuccessful. Environments change - just like it is right now with climate change.

We would have a group of species all moving in the particluar direction. If we have one population that splits, one evolves new characteristics the other either doesn't or evolves different characteristics in different environments. The new population splits, they diverge and so on and so forth. Environment is an important factor and we would would have whole populations evolving rather than single individuals (they still are). If you have an adaptive mutation of some sort - protection against early heart disease, for example, it will give your descendents a reproductive advantage and with time, spread through the population.

So if one individual gains an adaptive mutation, this mutation will spread through the breeding population via reproduction, as the individuals with the mutation will breed more successfully then those without. There is the possbility of hybridisation between populations but it is not required. It is mind-boggling, but I think if you try to look at big leaps it looks more unlikely than it actually is. Given time, natural selection, genetic change, changing environments and new niches - I don't see an issue.

[edit on 22-11-2006 by melatonin]



posted on Nov, 22 2006 @ 01:05 PM
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.


IMO - the so-called "evolution debate" is just another industry-funded marketing campaign, generated by the Denial Industry.

The goal in this little synthetic strategy is just another cover-up:

Chemical and other now-common contaminants in our world are causing microbes, humans, and other animals to mutate - with ever-increasing speed.

The situation is critical - new diseases are popping up with regularity, and there are NO cures or treatments - chronic disease is pandemic with "early onset" of "age-related" diseases and disorders (you figure out that contradiction for yourself) - there is a pandemic of brain disorders in children - and the list goes on.


So the "evolution debate" was orchestrated to hide the facts, and avoid accountability and liability.

* Chemicals, drugs, and industry byproducts cause cellular and genetic mutations. And that's before we look at biotechnolgy and genetic engineering.

* Mutations are the first step in evolution. Microbes evolve WAAYYY faster than people.

* We are in deep doodoo, along with our planet.

It's all about evolution - and industry caused it.





posted on Nov, 22 2006 @ 01:17 PM
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Originally posted by soficrow
IMO - the so-called "evolution debate" is just another industry-funded marketing campaign, generated by the Denial Industry.


I certainly agree that there is a denial industry. I notice you mention climate change in the link, we had the same thing with CFCs and the Ozone layer in the early 80s, total denial and attack of the evidence from the likes of DuPont - a major maker of such chemicals. With time and science, they were forced to back down.

Not too sure about the industry link with the evolution debate, maybe if we see religons as industries I could agree (they certainly make a lot of cash and wield power)



posted on Nov, 22 2006 @ 01:25 PM
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Originally posted by melatonin

Originally posted by soficrow
IMO - the so-called "evolution debate" is just another industry-funded marketing campaign, generated by the Denial Industry.


I certainly agree that there is a denial industry.

Not too sure about the industry link with the evolution debate,




Chemical and other now-common contaminants in our world are causing microbes, humans, and other animals to mutate - with ever-increasing speed.

* Mutations are the first step in evolution. Microbes evolve WAAYYY faster than people - causing incurable and untreatable diseases, just for starters.

It's all about evolution - and industry caused it.



The "evolution debate" was orchestrated to hide the facts, and avoid accountability and liability - by the Denial Industry.

.



posted on Nov, 22 2006 @ 01:27 PM
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windshield,

Good thread,

A coincidence implies an effect without a cause. Therefore I dont think there are coincidences beacuse it violates the law of cause and effect.

As to your point of evolution there were to many factors that had to be exactly precise or otherwise it would have never happened. The chemical compostion of the atmosphere and the climate just to name a few.

And I dont think it was just mere coincidence that aligned all these factors precisly so evolution could occur.



posted on Nov, 22 2006 @ 01:40 PM
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Originally posted by etshrtslr
windshield,

Good thread,

A coincidence implies an effect without a cause. Therefore I dont think there are coincidences beacuse it violates the law of cause and effect.


A very good point and thank you for your contribution. This is what I want people to focus on. Not only did things coincidentally have to line up perfectly the very first time to form life, what then caused this lifeform to have it's own tiny, embedded "software code" which controls it's growth and reproduction? Where did this come into the picture and how did it mysteriously function properly enough that the organism could asexually reproduce right away, etc.? Baffling to say the least. Alas, I don't want it to sound like this is veering off onto an ID tangent so I'll stop there. I just want input from folks that will critically think about this and question if it's all really possible these complexities can begin by chance and ultimately lead to "Us".



posted on Nov, 22 2006 @ 01:50 PM
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Originally posted by soficrow

Originally posted by melatonin

Originally posted by soficrow
IMO - the so-called "evolution debate" is just another industry-funded marketing campaign, generated by the Denial Industry.

It's all about evolution - and industry caused it.


Um - no. Darwin's little finches did this long before we had impact on them and sadly the big evil industry was not around yet....



posted on Nov, 22 2006 @ 03:47 PM
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Originally posted by etshrtslr
And I dont think it was just mere coincidence that aligned all these factors precisly so evolution could occur.


If you have a universe with as many planets orbiting stars like we probably have, we will have many in the 'goldilocks' zone. If we have a billion planets with the ideal circumstance with a probability of 1/billion for replicating life-froms developing, probability suggests it will happen.

Obviously it happened at least once



I just want input from folks that will critically think about this and question if it's all really possible these complexities can begin by chance and ultimately lead to "Us".


Maybe conscious life-forms are a likely result of biological evolution, maybe they are unlikely - but again, if it was impossible, we wouldn't be talking about it. When we can travel the stars, maybe we will find it is more likely than we may think. At this point we have a single sample to work from.

Plus it is not just chance, evolution requires natural selection, which is not chance. At the abiogenesis level, it will be chemistry and physics, which again are more than chance. Maybe it was just inevitable, it's hard to tell at this point.

[edit on 22-11-2006 by melatonin]



posted on Nov, 22 2006 @ 06:24 PM
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Originally posted by UofCinLA

Originally posted by soficrow

IMO - the so-called "evolution debate" is just another industry-funded marketing campaign, generated by the Denial Industry.

It's all about evolution - and industry caused it.


Um - no. Darwin's little finches did this long before we had impact on them and sadly the big evil industry was not around yet....




You deleted the part explaining it's rapid evolution that industry contamination causes.

FYI, a bit of background:


How chemicals can speed up evolution





posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 02:08 AM
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Here's what's going on here: people are thinking in the wrong direction. Instead of looking at the situation from the beginning to the present and seeing the evolutionary march to humanity as a series of perfect coincidences, try looking at the present first and travel back to the beginning.

The reason why humans are able to look back and question the path life took to get to us is because we are here, right now. While the road we took to get here was certainly fraught with peril and filled with lucky situations, in the end we were one of the many products and there is nothing truly incredible about that.

A good analogy is to consider the situation that exists between yourself and your parents. Sit back and think about this: what are the odds that out of the millions of couples on earth, you would be born to your parents? Why aren't you a starving child in Africa? Why aren't you an oppressed North Korean? Why weren't you stillborn, or aborted? All of these options were just as valid, yet here you sit, the son or daughter of your exact set of parents. Meanwhile, to your parents, you are just their child. You are special in that you are theirs, but outside of that there is no great coincidences involved. They did the deed, then 9 months (give or take) later, unsuprisingly you showed up on the scene. No voodoo, no magic, no old men in the sky. The odds just lined up in your favor, and the only reason you are able to look back and wonder why you are who you are and not somebody else entirely, is solely because you are who you are. There is a numbers game involved to be sure, but rather than spend your life wondering why it was you out of millions who won the lottery, why not just get to spending the money?

How many millions of times in the universe has life come about, only to never produce intelligent life? We don't know for sure, but I'm willing to bet it happens with suprising frequency, and I think the first time we discover an extrasolar (or even intrasolar) planet that harbors life there will be quite a few people who realize that we are just a special consequence, not a spectacular coincidence. And they will, like many have already, find something very special in just that.




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