Friday, June 28, 2013

My Views on the Evolution of Species

lifted from april93's blog
Mankind has been observing changes in various species our entire existence. In fact, mankind has caused much change both directly and indirectly. We have observed evolution in action.

Directly, we have caused the evolution of domestic animals. We selectively breed various animals to enhance their desirable traits, while minimizing less desirable traits. However, a dog is still a dog, whether it is a chihuahua or a rottweiler; and genetically speaking, they can still interbreed (although it might not be practical or likely).

Then there are spontaneous adaptive changes in response to changes in the environment. I call it Evolution by Cataclysm. Salt and pepper moths changing from being mostly light in color, to mostly dark in color with in a few generations is a famous example. They blend in with of trees to hide from birds and predators. Soot from factories during the Industrial Revolution darkened the tree bark, thus favoring the darker of their species. Unfortunately, this is a poor example of evolution, given that it was relatively sudden and in the face of near extinction, and most species die out instead of adapt to sudden environmental change. What's more, they are still salt and pepper moths, with no genetic change that would prevent darker moths from breeding with lighter moths.

Then of course is the classic view of creatures that started out the same, but split and migrated and became separated by vast distances, slowly adapting to separate environments and evolving over millions of years until they became so genetically distinct that they could no longer interbreed and became distinct species. This is what was taught to me as the Theory of Evolution (I had a habit of calling out my school teachers when they made the mistake of listing classic long term evolutionary theory as factual on tests, a habit that got me both punishment and commendation) As a theory it is not unscientific, in fact it's quite as an good alternative explanation if you want secondary opinions on the origin of species, besides Intelligent Design. The only problem I see is that, given the Earth's theoretically relative youth, it seems a statistical unlikelihood that such a large diversity of contemporary creatures had time to evolve.

I adhere to a Christian viewpoint of intelligent design, although I'm frequently first in line to question whether a day to God is literally our 24 hours. I also like to point out that while God spoke it and it was done, the scriptures are unclear as to the exact scientific or technological process. A belief in God does not necessitate a suspension of reason or science.

In a free society, we have the right to respectfully debate all ideas, whether they are Atheistic, scientific, Christian, well reasoned, crazy, or just stupid. The above is just my opinions based on what limited knowledge I have on the subject. Debate it if it pleases you. I know it pleases me and helps me learn something new.

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