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Monday, June 08, 2009

Oh, Evolution, what will we do with you?

Here's what I don't understand:

If we can witness adaptation and change in species over time, why is that not proof of evolution?

I mean, I understand that evolution means more than adaptation and change of a species, it means the rise of a new species from an old one, off-shooting successfully. But don't we have proof of this everywhere through genetics? We can see the relationships of all these animals to one another, how closely they're related, how closely the genetic code of all mammals are related. The individual mutated genes that cause the differences in two species. How is this not adequate scientific proof to support Evolution indisputably as a process which caused the diversification of life in the past, and continues to cause it in the present and future?

Is it simply that none of us were present at the beginning of time to witness the first single celled organism divide into two different single celled organisms? Is that what's holding us up? I'm just not sure I understand what the controversy is here. It only makes sense that adaptation of populations in different environments would produce different species of the same animal over time. We can SEE that in modern populations. As far as I'm concerned, evolution is proved by the selective breeding we engage in with domestic animals.

It isn't that I don't recognize the religious implications of Evolution. I distinctly remember sitting in my confirmation class in my small town church when someone asked our priest the question of what the church thought/what we were supposed to believe. And I remember our priest saying "Look, as long as you believe that God made the world, then that's all that matters." It isn't about the how specifically. It isn't about the step by step, day by day account. It's about the act of creation. I don't see how THAT can conflict with the theory of Evolution--maybe the big bang theory, although that too could be considered God's Hand, but not Evolution. Evolution explains the diversification of life, it doesn't dispute or disprove God.

So. What's the problem?
I wish I had a science council in my pocket that I could pull out and ask these questions to. Quick Reference Body of Scientific Intellectuals.
Wouldn't that be nice? Or wait--maybe that's what the Internet is for.

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