The beauty of evolution. Why Intelligent Design sucks!


Why Darwin is the more intelligent choice. And why Intelligent Design is dumb.

The theory of evolution, of natural selection is beautiful, comprehensive, coherent, and RIGHT. And I am not at all passionless about it. Monika, rock on!

It is ridiculously obscene and inanely insolent how people like the Intelligent Design (ID) fan Michael J. Behe attempt to challenge others by claiming things like:”Prove that a wing/a vertebrate eye/ the immune system is NOT irreducibly complex. NOW. If you can’t, there must be an intelligent designer! Ha!” There are at least four answers to that.

# One: Because not everybody can explain complex biological facts off-handedly, doesn’t mean that the latter don’t exist. Just as much as there are laws, ALTHOUGH I cannot quote from them, because I am not a lawyer. But I still have to accept the laws of my country. And still a decent person has the right to agree as much as they can with Darwin’s theory of natural selection even though they are not necessarily biologists.

# Two:  ID people/creationists make ME their creator, because if I cannot explain everything to them right now, THEIR god comes into existence. Hurrah!

# Three: Science goes on every day. Yes really! Nope, scientists have not found answers to all the phenomena there are. But then, we haven’t DISCOVERED all the phenomena there are. But hey, good thing is: scientists are incurably curious. Just because some phenomena haven’t been fully explained doesn’t mean there is no scientific explanation.

# Four: Why do these people think that they are right if I am not right.

Alright! Good. So then let us find a nice way of tricking THEM.This is sooo cool because it is sooo simple. Ahem, clearing my throat: I hereby challenge all creationists/ ID fans to come up, off-handedly, with a fully explained example of one of god’s mysteries PLUS a list of all scientific attempts at explanation they have been able to exclude. NOW!

… Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Nope? Okay, then natural selection MUST be the one and only right answer. Oy! Stop whining. I love being a spoilsport. Stop getting on my tits.

But what does Darwin’s theory of evolution through natural selection mean? When you talked about it in school (IF you talked about it), did you understand it well? And did it put a big smile on your face because it is so beautiful and coherent? Well, if not, then my introduction to Darwin’s theory might be a good reason for a big, fat smile in a few minutes. Dig in. Enjoy!

Darwin’s theory of natural selection. An explanation for scientists and others. (I)

By the way, before I begin, let me tell you that the meaning of the term THEORY that we use in everyday life hasn’t much to do with the meaning of the scientific term. In every-day life it is often used pejoratively, which it most certainly is NOT in scientific contexts.

Let me give you an example. People often say things like “But that’s only theoretical. You have no idea if it works out if you put it to practice.” Strange, ey!?

In the world of science something has been put through a vast amount of tests before it has reached the status of theory. The theory of gravity is quite a good example, for most people can easily agree that they put it to the test successfully almost all of the time.

They agree so easily because they experience gravity somehow. But there is a problem there. Many people think that if they cannot see or touch or at least feel (experiencing gravity comes closest to feeling, especially if you stumble and fall on your face or if you drop a rock and smash your feet) something, it’s not there.

Which is a ridiculous misconception of our own senses. Is infrared radiation not there because I cannot see it? Well, certain snakes CAN. Is electricity non-existent because I don’t possess an electrical sense? But some fish do. Is the earth’s magnetic field a lie because I cannot detect it with my own senses? Lots of birds can.

Please, don’t mistake your own senses for the top of the senses pops. Yes, we human beings can smell, but there are large numbers of other creatures whose sense of smelling beats ours by far.

You want an example? Okay: 1. some sharks, whose sense of smell is plain massive: they can detect one “smellable” molecule in 10,000,000 (ten million) molecules of water. We can´t! 2. dogs, who can smell cancer cells.

3. And yes, we can hear, but could you hear a tsunami wave that is miles away like elephants can? Well, I couldn’t. But elephants neiter have a sixth sense, nor do they possess the long lost knowledge of the ancestors, they simple have an anatomically and physiologically  different hearing range.

And there are more examples, of course. And they are all of them NOT magic. For more look here:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/salmon-use-magnetic-fieldbased-internal-maps-to-find-their-way

Let us from now on use the term ‘scientific’ as an exclamation of happy, happy happiness in the face of scientific greatness, or whenever we come across anything as beautiful as the sense-abilities that are the products of the processes of evolution!

I promise that I will use ‘scientific’ frequently, at least once every day, from now on. Let’s practice our exclamation. SCIENTIFIC!!!!!!!

A good place might be a hospital, where you will most definitely come across patients whose lives have been saved thanks to modern medicine. Or whose broken bones can be seen on x-ray; or whose bacterial infection has been defeated by the use of penicillin. Shout “Wow, this is scientific!” Nudge others, make them shout it, too! Hug doctors, tell them what a good job they’re doing. Show your face on demonstrations that deal with the working conditions of doctors and nurses. We desperately need these people and we need them strong, well-paid, content, awake.

Write to the pharma industry and thank them for their research and their science. Did you know that the development of a new penicillin derivate costs between 500 million and 1 billion €?! No peanuts. But do you know how much you pay for them if you need them? Under ten bucks.

And you know why it is so fucking expensive to develop them? Because all those people involved in the process make damn sure that the new pills have been put through tons of tests, so that they really cure people. And do you know how much people like Behe do to heal others, to develop medication and treatments that work? That save lives?

I haven’t come across a single type of medication that can be used to cure cancer patients or to stop deseases like bacterial infections or that vaccinate millions of people developed on what´s written in the bible, or the muttered verse of the religious, or by god.

Okay. If Behe is so religious. Is he also a religious apologist? Mr Behe, why should I be interested in a god who very obviously doesn’t give a fuck about me? But scientists do. Doctors do. Whatever your answer is, it is definitely not prone to help you find an exit from the following dilemma.

If your god is almighty, it would be very easy for him to cure me, or rather to ensure that I wouldn’t become ill in the first place. As I became ill, this proves that he isn’t almighty, or, that on the other hand, your god doesn’t care about me, and then there would be no reason for me to care about him. And again. I have proven your god to be either an arsehole or completely irrelevant.

GOOOOAAAAAAL! Strike! I have scored.

Yippee!

The theory of evolution through natural selection (II)

By definition all life forms consist of cells. One is enough by the way, such as in bacteria.

Our bodies are made up of trillions of cells. Inside every single cell, each one of which is quite small, there is an even smaller structure called nucleus. And inside the nucleus there are genetic building blocks called DNA. Every day quite a few new cells have to be built because the old ones have been used up or damaged or done a good job but have grown old.

When new cells are made, they need a nucleus each. And in the nucleus they need the building blocks called DNA. New DNA is made by copying the DNA of another cell. As the DNA is bloody long, it is very probable that the copy contains slight changes, meaning that it is not an exact copy. A change in the genetic information is called mutation.

Mutations never have a direction, they happen accidentally, and it cannot be predicted in what part of a DNA molecule they may take place.

Mutations of the DNA of an egg cell or sperm cell cause changes in the individual that originates from them. Why is that so?

for two reasons.

# One: All the cells of the growing individual are made from the original sperm cell and egg cell after fertilisation. Thus, they all carry the same DNA.

# Two: The DNA is the blueprint for other molecules that are movable and can leave the nucleus. Their name is mRNA. The mRNA is translated into chains of amino acids that form proteins. These proteins either form small structures or larger structures throughout our bodies, or they form molecules called enzymes that help in biochemical and physiological processes inside and between cells.

A mutation of the DNA can lead to a more functional or a dysfunctional enzyme.

Or it can lead to more or less functional structures.

Some mutations are repaired by repair enzymes that constantly check the DNA for changes, but not all of the mutations become undone.

And this is the reason why evolution can take place at all. Because the slight changes that individuals carry in their anatomy or physiology or behaviour as a result of certain mutations may grant them an advantage in their given environment, so that, for example they can find the yummier food, date the hotter chicks and have plentier offspring.

And it is plain to see that only those who multiply will pass on their genes, whereas the less fuckable will die unfucked and just rot. To be continued …

For more fun and knowledge log on again next week when it`s time for “The weekly Minchin”.

Yours, evolutionary,

Maid Manu.


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