Monday, August 18, 2008

Evolution proved!

Of course, evolution has been proved well enough. But wrapping my brain around the actual science doesn't always work. This has nothing to do with any kind of intelligent design BS, but there's a reason why I teach history and not science. However, I'm smart enough to be able to read to a point of understanding so that I can see that scientific explanations work far beyond any religious explanations.

Now as to many specifics of topics such as evolution, I'm a lay person for sure. But for the first time, the general idea of why evolution works was put into words for me. Read this:

The notion that eyes had to be an example of "intelligent design" is flawed because it cannot imagine an eye evolving toward what it cannot conceive. But sight has evolved independently dozens of times on this planet, growing more complex not because it what it was evolving into, but because of what it was evolving away from: less perception of light and movement. Those few creatures who because of chance mutation gained an advantage were of course more likely to survive.

There's the idea I needed for it to all click in my head - the idea that evolution is actually moving AWAY from something bad rather then toward something good. I don't know about you, but these few lines cemented something in my head. It was that last click into place. I want to reemphasize that this wasn't changing my mind about anything, just reinforcing previous ideas. And who do I have to thank for that paragraph? Which great scientist was it? Was it Darwin? Dawkins? Nope. Ebert.

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