reply to post by SuperiorEd
Exactly what sort of "thoughts" is this provoking? From what I can see of the rest of your posts here, they're not likely high-end ones.
Let's start off with one "thought" presented by the narrator. That calling evolution a "settled fact" is a risky proposition in science. Thing
is... no, it's not. Populations of organisms change over time. That's irrefutable. it's easily demonstrable. That's all evolution is,
"populations of organisms change over the generations." Are you different from your parents? Your great-grandparents? Are the people of England
circa 2011 different from the people of Britannia circa 43 AD? Yes, of course.
Now the question in science is why
this happens. Darwin started it off with the theories of natural and sexual selection, and did a lot of work
on artificial selection as well. We've now also got such things as genetic drift in the mix, and a number of other theories on why evolution happens.
The fact that there are many causes is what keeps any of them from being one unified law of biology; Gigantic testicles and inflatable vulvas don't
help chimpanzees survive their environment any better, but they sure do make them sexy to other chimpanzees; thus these traits were acquired through
sexual selection rather than natural selection. basically the chimps with the biggest balls get hte girl chimps with the poofiest fanny.
Our paradigms of "truth" are in fact NOT being challenged; see, scientific truth is based off evidence. That's immutable. While religious "truth"
is based on a given cleric or congregant's interpretation of the opinion of a cleric or congregant's interpretation from several thousand years ago
with regards to what the tribal idol wanted at that time, scientific truth is determined by that which can be observed and proven. While the
collection of true things is always expanding, the system by which truth is determined is pretty much immutable in science.
The video then goes into a contextually hilarious condemnation of Aristotle's hypothesis on spontaneous generation. To its credit, the video does
point out that this hypothesis was shown to be false - at least in the examples given by Aristotle - by science
. The video also omits that
religious views on hte origin of life all hiunbge on spontaneous generation and even in the face of the admitted scientific evidence against it, still
maintain this belief after thousands of years. Aristole's excuse was that he didn't have a magnifying glass. Religion's excuse is that "it's
tradition." if Aristotle had seen flies laying eggs on putrid meat, he would have definitely known where maggots come from. Give the magnifying class
to religion, and it says that it's the devil's work and breaks the magnifying glass.
"What is evolution's stance on the origins of life?" - easy answer, it doesn't have
one. Evolution presupposes life; Might as well be
asking a marine biologist where water comes from. The field of abiogenesis borrows some notions from evolutionary theory, basically the concept of
selection as applied to complex replicating proteins; those protiens that replicated more easily would end up numbering more than the less efficient
ones - but evolutionary theory does not worry about where life came from, or where hte breaking point between life and nonlife is. It's the study of
change in organism populations; thus evolution only gives a damn about what was going on when the second organism came about.
The difference between abiogenesis and spontaneous generation is actually pretty easy to explain, too. Abiogenesis postulates that the origins of life
lay in chemistry. That complex protiens assembled and replicated (as to many other chemicals today; crystals are an aggregate form of this) and
eventually became complex enough to be what we consider "life". That is, through the process of chemistry, life developed. Spontaneous generation on
the other hand, held that complex life and whole organisms sprouted out of dross and offal; flies from rotted meat, mice from wheat, lawyers from
latrine ditches, and so forth.
Mice don't come from wheat, lambs don't fall from trees, and humans aren't formed from dirt. But proto-life cold very well have come from
semi-life, which came about from basic chemistry.
"Randomly" isn't quite accurate, either. Chemical X interacts with chemical Y in a predictable fashion under condition 2. That's not "random."
Create a replicating molecule, put it in a protien-rich but life-sterile ocean, and you'll almost definitely have something resembling life in a feew
thousand years. Sadly, we lack such an ocean to work with. Even the most inhospitable places are teeming with microbial life that woudl eat our
self-replicating molecules. Maybe if we find Mars to be totally lifeless, we can try the experiment on some of hte polar ice lakes out there.
I've actually got Richard Dawkins' "The Ancestors' Tale." It actually doesn't devote much time at all to origins. One chapter, out of over
forty. And it's the last chapter. I had to read the book twice before I even reached it, 'cause, goddamn it's a big book (informative, too, I would
heartily recommend it). The chapter in question - headed "Canturbury" (the book is a play on the Canturbury Tales, another one I'd recommend) -
doesn't so much argue for abiogenesis, as present the theories and methods being used in the vield. of course Dawkins finds it likely, but then,
that's probably because it IS likely. Life on earth originated from processes on earth, how droll.
The video closes off without having ever actually made an argument for or even against anything.
The only thought it provoked in me is "Boy, these creationist videos sure use a lot of soft guitar"