Media in Trouble: All the news thats UNfit to print!: It's Evolution Baby!!

"The information of the people at large can alone make them safe, as they are the sole depositary of our political and religious freedom." --Thomas Jefferson 1810

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

It's Evolution Baby!!

The anti-Darwinists are making headway into their mission to make people stupid. This is just a small taste of what a summary of "the evolution controversy" can be like.

First and foremost, there is no controversy. Darwin was mostly right. Just like Einstein was mostly right. If they had it all wrong they wouldn't be accepted in the scientific community and they wouldn't be famous to the point that everyone knew who they were. This wasn't some crazy conspiracy the scientific community corroborated with the press back in the early 1900's to put Darwin's findings on front pages of newspapers. Remember, Newspaper real estate was much more valueable back then because there was no TV and the newspaper was the only way people could get to the facts. That doesn't mean there weren't revisionists back then but science is one thing a reporter can't muddle.

Take the science surrounding the green house effect a.k.a. global warming. Besides the weather patterns we have recorded recently, there are ice cores that serve as ecological records of weather patterns in the arctic, going back millions of years. There is no controversy here folks. That is why we call it Science.

Science is science because it is not debateable within the public mind. It IS debateable amongst people who know what the hell they are talking about. Can you imagine walking into a conference on Quantum Physiscs (better yet String Theory) and actually partaking in the discussion? Think of it, it would be like you debating pasteurization with Luis Pasteur. Whatever knowledge you think you obtained by watching NOVA while taking bong hits, I guarantee you, it pails in comparison to the ammount of scientific knowledge residing in the brains of people who read Scientific journals daily. If you think the headlines in the New York Times can be daunting at times, try this headline from Mollecular Cell:

"Structural Basis of Rho GTPase-Mediated Activation of the Formin mDia1"

or this one:

"Interaction of Era with the 30S Ribosomal Subunit: Implications for 30S Subunit Assembly"

I challenge any creationist or intelligent designers (as they like to call themselves these days) to know off the tops of their heads how to begin to dispute any of the headlines above. No help from Google either. I have a Masters degree in Biology and without any refreshing all I can tell you is that the 30S ribosomal subunit is one of the structures in charge of translating mRNA into proteins. I can also tell you that a GTPase is an enzyme that degrades GTP. As for the actual substance I couldn't dream of making an ass from an elbow out of these without either reading the article and many of its refferences, or without going to google and spending a couple of hours researching.

Whatever these articles are positing, I can assure you they are nowhere near being regarded as the "theory" of anything. No matter what the Implications that Era has on 30S subunit Assembly, these guys have a long way to go before reaching the coveted title of "Theory of 30S Ribosomal Subunit Assembly."

Before something becomes a theory that at the very least is regarded as a reflection of reality, it must be proven time and time again, be well documented, be superbly evidenced, backed by research on many different types of species, be they proteins, chemicals, etc. The coveted title of Theory is not easily attained. Whole conferences are dedicated to determining which Science is desrving of being termed "Theory".

Darwin didn't get to "man who has theory named after him" overnight. He put out his hypothesis, along with lots of evidence he himself gathered. Then the scietific community, using somethig called the Scientific Method, tested and tested and found out that he was more right than wrong. This took decades. It is still going on, however, the more they dig, the more they find that Darwin was more right than wrong. The basic premace is correct, and there is many many many tons of evidence to support it. I will venture to say that Darwin was 95% right with the knowledge we have at this time.

The problem with most creationists and ID believers, is that they refute science with questions. Questions that Darwin and many scientists after Darwin have failed to answer in one way or another. NO SHIT! What they forget is that dubiousness is what keeps something like Evolution at Theory (and not Law) status. Otherwise it would be Natural Law. Like Gravity. But demonstrating Law is extremely difficult. You have to be right in 100% of the instances your hypothesis is tested. Like Newton is right on the Moon, he is right on Jupiter, he is right on every planet and star in the Universe, even though we haven't gotten to actually sending men and testing the rest of the Universe. We can definitely say that there is gravity and it works the same way everywhere from the ultra big to the ultra small, gravity has an effect.

However, scientists still dont know what gravity is made of, they just know it is a force.

So the shrowd of doubt that hovers behind Darwin's theory pales in comparison to the body of science it can be used to explain. It works even at the molecular level. There is proof that molecules comming from the past to the present undergo changes in structure and function.

Let us take a cute example of bacteria. You expose a petri dish full of bacteria to penecillin. While it kills most of them maybe 1 little bastard makes it out of that dish alive. If you look under a microscope you can see a bunch of dead bacteria (well the messy goo that results anyway) and then you will see a lone ranger. He will multiply before your eyes, you can put more penecillin but neither he nor his kin will be affected.

This is survival of the fittest. The bacteria either has a gene or is missing the gene that reacts to penecillin by killing the bacteria. This is a result of a mutation, a freak accident in the DNA molecule of the bacteria. It is completely explained by quantum theory or just plain old chance. Its like rolling a dice. Whenever you make a copy of the DNA there is a chance of error. The intelligent designer should he exist would surely elliminate this chance, right? If I were designing bacteria and I were an intelligent designer, I would make them immune to this anti-biotic stuff right from the get go. I would not leave it up to chance, otherwise my work as a designer coudl be wiped out by a pesky bread fungus?!

So take that bacterial observation and apply it almost any environment. You will find the environment rules the life that lives inside of it.

As for the teachers having a hard time teaching evolution. Make a huge poster of the Scientific Method and put it right there in front of the classroom. Right next to the periodic table of elements. Whenever a student challenges you, point their explanation to the scientific method and find out if it holds up. If so encourage the student to start a research project and report on his findings.

However, if you are not yet convinced that evolution is indeed something that could explain most of our natural world and the origin of most of our species, then perhaps you should not take an antibiotic next time your sick. Just leave it up to the intelligent designer to cure you. After all if a design which allows a species to dominate the entireity of its liveable environment cannot withstand a measly bacteria, perhaps intelligent is not the qualifier that should describe its origin.