Evolution gives rhyme its reason
A letter to the editor published in the paper a few weeks back caught my attention and made me feel a need to respond to some misinformation.
The letter focused on the upcoming solar eclipse and the writer’s belief that there is a higher power involved with such a perfect event. I have never had an issue with an individual’s beliefs involved with religion or any other out-of-this-world assumptions. Instead, the driving force for my response is based clearly on the facts that were tossed to the side as if they were never true to begin with.
Here is the statement word for word, which falls into a logical fallacy known as begging the question:
“How can evolution explain how everything in our universe simply evolved from nothing and then set itself in such order we can now time events to the second? It can’t.”
Let’s start at the beginning of this statement with evolution and evolving from nothing. This is where I first noticed the incorrect portions of the writer’s comment.
To begin, evolution is not the belief that the universe evolved from nothing. This is a common misconception that comes from those who think evolution is a myth.
A simple definition I found for evolution is that it’s the “gradual development of something, especially from a simple form to a more complex form.” The basic definition itself points out that evolution literally has to start with “something” and not “nothing” as the writer wanted to argue.
Also, the basic denying of evolution has never really sat well with me when this gets brought up as the thousands of peer-reviewed articles and research papers have proved this is a fact and cannot be denied.
Those who want to argue that it is a theory need to take on a clearer view of definitions as our everyday use of the word gets mixed in with the scientific term. For something in science to become an actual theory it takes many, many years of research and peer-reviews to confirm empirical evidence of such claims. It’s not just a guess like some of us may use the word in everyday life.
What the writer might be looking for instead of evolution is the term abiogenesis, which is the natural process by which life arises from non-living matter. Although it’s not literally coming from nothing, sometimes these ideas get mixed up when trying to shortcut the information laid out.
By the way, abiogenesis has been proven and is a basic understanding to the origin of life on Earth.
The second part of the original statement focusing on how the universe set itself up in a way that allows timed events to the second is just as easily explained. The answer is math. That’s really it. The idea of tracking the sun and stars has been around for the majority of human civilization.
In all honesty, people hundreds of years ago could have calculated the solar eclipse almost as accurately as we can, the only real difference is that little help from our trusty computer friends.
I wouldn’t be doing the statement justice if I didn’t also focus on how things are in such “order” as well. Since there are too many examples I’ll just be as honest as I can, we have order because there has to be.
If the laws of physics weren’t the same every time we tested them, in the same environment, then we wouldn’t be here today. In addition to that they wouldn’t be called “laws” if there wasn’t some type of permanency attached.
Without order, the universe wouldn’t be the way it is and it would honestly never become anything at all. You can start with something small like water and if two hydrogen molecules didn’t always become water with one oxygen molecule then life just couldn’t exist which includes humans.
The reason people see this “order” as creation and not a natural process is because we are living in the results of life and not the precursor of it. When we look back at evolution it’s easy to see that the journey to where we are now had a lot of specific stopping points that all fell into place, which put us where we are today.
If we look at it on the other end of the spectrum, at the beginning of life, the possibilities are endless and where we are is just many of those little possibilities coming together to create an intelligent life form ready to learn about the ways of its own existence.
TRAVIS BLASE can be reached at email@example.com