A response to the furor regarding the teaching of evolution versus an argument for 'intelligent design'.
I believe there is a case to be made for explaining the 'missing links' described as 'problematic' when attempting to illustrate the migration from one life form to another, in a process loosely labeled 'evolution'. This discussion must accept certain facts as unassailable:
- life forms do exist (have existed, visa vie archaeological remnants) with marked similarities in structure and DNA;
- time line evidence suggests a correlative foundation, where a link is 'absent' between an earlier appearing species and the later appearing species;
- all evidence which is proffered relative to these 'proofs' is both publicly available and independent research can confirm the substance of fact pertaining to both similarities in structure and DNA.
What appears to be missing is the intermediate step, the 'link', between one species and the supposed next in sequence (based on the above referenced similarities). Further, the work of Charles Darwin (and others) has been faulted in lacking an explanation for this absent 'key to understanding'. In summary here, the intent is NOT to provide such a Key, but to propose why the availability of such a Key is impossible*: one does not exist.
Life in the physical world follows certain principles of cause and effect. When thus and such occurs, of consequence, thus and such is the result:
Our whole being is the result of a lifelong understanding of this principle of cause and effect.
- from throwing a ball into the air, we can postulate the return of the ball to the ground;
- from inseminating an egg, we can postulate the growth of an organism;
- from viewing ourselves in the mirror, we can observe the result of internal muscular commands applied to ourselves (wink, smile, etc. etc.).
And yet, we see not as through the eyes of another. We see only what our senses tell us, and we (may try to) comprehend the input of others, but only insofar as our own senses are educated can we truly understand these external inputs. We cannot see through the eyes of a grasshopper, nor of an eagle, nor a whale, nor a reptile. We cannot hope to understand the sensory world of these beings, nor of the time cycles inherent to their lives. The momentary events significant to them are of no consequence to us. And yet, on a far grander scale, we attempt to understand cycles of cosmic importance!
Given that a change to a species does not occur in a flash (as we measure flashes), change is nevertheless postulated to occur (the missing 'Key', remember). Provided that a change in genome occurs accidentally, and provides some benefit to the individual member of the specie in which the change occurred, and the benefit was further to have occurred in the cellular body capable of being transmitted to subsequent generations, the likelihood of finding the single specie (body) in which this change occurred reaches the realm of the impossible. Furthermore, since being able to locate this body would not reveal a transformation (this would have occurred at the cellular level, in such a manner as to make it impossible to have an observation to confirm), the search for a 'Key', a missing link, can therefore be understood to be both impractical and unnecessary.
Given the facts as we have them today, and understanding what must occur in order for a beneficial change to be procreated, it follows that our understanding and teachings, the world of cause and effect and the evidence we have which suggests an evolutionary process, all are corroborated by the very evidence we have before us. To attempt to find other 'proofs' is an effort to deceive and flies in the face of rational thought.
* impossible: that which violates a law of nature. (AJ Galambos)
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