Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Intellectual Road is a Lonely Road

I just started reading Richard Dawkins Greatest show on Earth, and I must say it is one of the best books I have read on the subject of evolution. It is clear, concise, straightforward, and unquestionable, as facts go. However, there are some people in my job who choose not to believe in evolution. This makes me wonder if they also deny the holocaust, and the fact that the world is round.

I am not trying to insult their intelligence, or say that they are worth less than me because I believe in evolution, but I do feel like I am cast as an outsider because of my atheistic beliefs. Just because I believe I am normal because I stand perpendicular to the surface of the earth. I also consider myself average, because in most things I fall within one standard deviation of the mean. But still I am an outsider. Atheists are the least trusted group in america, below homosexuals, and trans people. I still fight for all of our rights, but I hate being cast as an outsider.
And the solution is not as easy as just waking up one day and believing in god. It is not as easy as just waking up one day and saying that Intelligent Design may be possible. Intelligent Design is impossible. Given the assumptions of intelligent design, there should not be so many breeds of dogs. The dog breeds evolved by macroevolution caused by artificial selection. And this has occurred within the time frame of recorded history. Dachshunds and Great Danes are reproductively isolated, and given the Biological species concept, should be considered different species. And they did evolve from a common ancestor, what we know to be the wolf.
And what about the German who domesticated foxes? This is important because it shows that wild animals can evolve to look and behave differently than their predecessors.
But this again does not disprove Intelligent Design. The fossil record disproves it alone. NEVER have we found dinosaur bones with the bones of modern man. And rarely do we find fossils of contemporary species deep within the history of the fossil record (like Ginko). If humans lived during the same times as the dinosaurs, why don't we see their fossils together in the fossil record? And why don't we see chicken fossils with mastodons? And why don't we see orchid fossils with Stegocephalia? It is because these species did not coexist!
What makes evolution elegant as a fact is that evolution can be proved without going into supernatural explanations. Science needs theories based on facts. Not on assumptions which cannot be proved! The existence of God is an assumption of ID which cannot be proved. So ID breaks down as a scientific explanation. Also ID does not leave us with many hypotheses which can be tested. And all the hypotheses which ID does come up with are quickly falsified. Here are a few examples.
Example 1- Fossil Record
Evolution hypothesis:
Since species are constantly evolving, we should be able to see different fossils at different periods in time.
ID hypothesis:
Since species have existed in their current form, since the beginning of life, the fossil record should contain species currently living at any given point in the fossil record.
In example 1, if we look at the data, we can quickly REJECT THE HYPOTHESIS from ID.
Example 2- New Diseases
Evolutionary Hypothesis:
Since evolution is at play, new diseases should evolve over time, from bacteria which were previously harmless, or from diseases which were not that deadly.
All diseases that occur today have always occurred, and no new diseases can ever come about, because all species that exist have always existed in their current form.
In example 2, ID fails as a hypothesis again. SARS, H1N1, and many other new diseases have come about within a human lifetime. Not to mention that Aids is a fairly new disease. Also diseases like tuberculoses can not get stronger in ID, because they would have to evolve into stronger diseases.
People who don't believe in evolution don't have a grasp on any explanation for life. Nothing in Biology makes sense except in the light of evolution. I guess that is why so few americans choose science majors. They don't understand basic concepts in life. This is sad, because they live life.
The staff where I work don't believe in evolution. I am alone. Ignorance has seperated them from me and from the true human condition. How sad.

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