Darwin’s Doubt: By Stephen C. Meyer
i just finished reading ( listening to it on my Kindle Fire ) Darwin’s Doubt;
Which is an Intelligent Designer’s Analysis of The PreCambrian Explosion of Life.
This ‘Explosion’ Occurred something like 544 to 530 Millions of years ago, & according to Stephen, It Took place in about 10 Million years, which is an astonishingly short amount of time for such things.
The most curious thing about This Explosion, which is The Central Pivoting Argument of this Book, is that There were essentially No Precursory Animals that led into The Amazing Diversity of Life that The Explosion Produced.
Indeed; All of The Modern Phylum ( some 35 Varieties ) which include The Most common divisions of Insects, Lobsters, Squids, Fish, Reptiles, Birds & Mammals, Were all created at this Flash Point.
There haven’t been any New Phylum since then. ( ! )
Just Prior to this; There aren’t any Animals at all except for some very primitive Tube Worms & Sponges.
The Urbilateria ( 700 Million Years Ago ) ( Not mentioned in The Book ! ) was a little more sophisticated, but its existence is mostly Presumed as Necessary, even though their fossils have not be found.
The Great thing about this Urbilateria is that it was a fully formed animal, with all of our usual internal organs & Eyeballs!, Which was The Great Grandmother of all The Other Phylum, which include Mollusks, Insects & Humans.
We know this to be ‘True’, because all of These Animals have The Same genes that are used in creating their Eyes, from The most primitive ones in Clams, to The Crazy ones in Insects & Octopi, And our own.
This point is mentioned a little in The Book, but from The Backside forward ( ? ) ( i.e.; Reached The Wrong Conclusion ! )
The Kimerella did leave some fossils, but it didn’t seem as sophisticated ( a slightly better jellyfish ) & may not be directly related to us.
And it’s not just a case of Missing Fossils that we haven’t found yet— No.
There seems to be plenty of soft bodied fossils from that era, But those layers of Rock don’t show anything that would have been The Parents of any of The PreCambrian Creatures, Which were Very Fully Developed.
They were Real Animals.
Very Well Developed, Very Crazy Looking Fishies & Such.
The Other Major point of The Book is that The Amount of Time it would take to Create any of The New Gene Sequences & Such, Pertaining specifically to New Species from Old, would take a very long time.
Very Long. Time.
A really long time.
Much of The Book hashes over this point, providing considerable ( Redundant ) Documentation by many researchers that their analysis & examinations of Gene Comparison Studies demonstrate that in any One ( 1 ) Case, this ‘Good’ & Viable Gene Mutation Process would take many times The Length ( Duration ) of The Visible Universe to Accomplish.
And of course; Millions & Millions, or Billions of these Break Points would be required, again & again to Account for Darwinian Evolution.
Unless of Course there was some ‘Other’ Mechanism involved.
Like An Intelligent Designer. ( just say’n )
There may be other more amazing possibilities; Like somekind of weird Self-Organizing Principle, which is entirely hypothetical.
Or something Else.
These Portions of The Book were so Long & Detailed that i eventually just handed over that point,
But i was also thinking —
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In The 12th Century or so; Many reasonable people would look around them & declare That The World ( Earth ) was Obviously Flat.
You don’t have to be Wagon Scientist to figure that one out.
But nowadays; Modern Hamsters have The Same Perspective when we Think about The Probability of our Universe.
Modern Parakeets go to Indian Casinos & they believe that our World ( Earth ) follows a perfectly reasonable statistical model that assures us that at every flip of a penny, it will come up heads about half The time.
Actually, if you flipped a penny 100 times & it came up exactly 50 times, that would be bucking The odds !
It should actually come up 48 or 52 times, or something like that.
But What if our Statistical Reality wasn’t Flat.
What if we’re not sitting on a nice even plain of Probability Neutrality ( ? )
What if We are actually sitting on a stupendously high Mountain-Top of Chance Implausibility ( ? )
This is an Infinite Universe & somebody ( Some Earth like World ) has to be sitting on such a mountain top somewheres
— Right ?
We’re The Ones on this Crazy World that has bucked all The Odds & Created Very Sophisticated Life Forms, Completely Accidentally.
It doesn’t look that way from where we’re standing.
It looks very flat around here.
With The Exception of Homer Simpson, Most people aren’t particularly lucky.
If it then seems entirely ( Reasonable ) that Evolution,
No matter how unlikely,
really can work,
Is that The ‘Reasonable’ thing to believe ?
What else can we consider ?
Let us allow that The Visible Universe ( According to The Big Bang Theory ) is Accurate & Finite in Size & Life Span.
If it’s Not; Then The Universe, Stars & Galaxies may be much Older, allowing for The Following Argument to become much Crazier.
As it is; A Very Finite Time Scale of some 17 Billion years, or so, puts a few constraints on our basic Assumptions.
- - -
Life; If it can occur ‘easily’, must have waited a few billion years after The Big Bang before it could have Started on our World or some other World.
When was The Soonest it could have Started ?
i have no idea.
Let’s be very conservative & suggest that it started on another world, on The Other side of our Milky Way Galaxy, At Exactly The Same Time it Started on Earth.
The Development of Life on our ‘Twin’ Earth followed us Exactly, Except that when it came time for The Dinosaurs to Reign over The Earth for 250 Million Years, Our Twin Earth Skipped that Phase.
They went right on to developing sophisticated Mammals, Monkeys, Apes & People—
So that their Version of Neil Armstrong Stepping on their Moon happened 250 Million years before our Neil Armstrong stepped on our Moon. ( if he did at all ? )
They also deviated a little from us in that they stayed on The Moon.
They developed Moon Colonies, Moon Factories, Moon Shopping Centers, Moon Barber Shoppes, Moon IceCream Parlors & so on.
Also; In case you’ve forgotten; In this Gedanken Experiment;
This was The First World.
The First Technological Civilization anywhere in The Universe !
They Then started building Big Ass, Aircraft Carrier Sized Spaceships in orbit around their Moon.
A Lot of them. Like a Car Factory.
These Huge Spaceships had Fusion Drives, but even with Constant Acceleration, they could never achieve a Velocity of more than 10% of The Speed of Light, & they had to Sacrifice that after they’d gone half way to The Their Stellar Destination, to Turn around & use their Engines to Slow Down.
This all assumes that The Distance from One Star to The Next is About 15 Lightyears, which gives A Traveling Time of 3000 Years.
And That The Milk way Galaxy is about 100,000 lightyear across.
100,000, as The Space Parasite Flies, Divided by 15 < 7000 Steps from Star to Star to Star.
Of course, The Actual Pattern would have been more Tree or Bush Like.
So that it took them a long time, a very long time to travel from their Home World to The Next Star(s over.
They didn’t go there to look around & come back, No, They went there to Stay, Forever.
They were Colonizing other Star Systems.
And Once they’d found an inhabitable Planet or Nice Moon or Whatever to live on, they’d make a Next Generation of Star Ships & Send them out on The Next Wave of Colonizations, & Send back lots of pictures to their Home World & The Other Colonies.
7000 x 3000 + 200 < 23 Million Years.
Even though this was taking a very long time to get from one star to The Next, & they’d have to wait about 200 years to really establish themselves on their New World before making The Next Wave of Spaceships; This Scheme still allowed them to Completely Colonize The MilkyWay Galaxy in Less than 23 Million years ( !!! )
If you allow that they were never able to go faster than 1% The Speed of Light; It would take them 50 Million Years.
Which means that they would have gotten to our Earth when The Dinosaurs were still preadolescents.
If you change The Variables all around; It’s much more likely that they would have gotten ‘Here’ much earlier, or if you allow that they had Faster than Light Spaceships, they could have started out from any Galaxy in The Universe.
Or if The Big Bang Theory is Inaccurate; They could have started out Billions of years ago.
Or if they Jumped to this Visible Universe from some other Visible Universe, that again would have given them a huge lead time.
We are The First Civilization.
There is a very good Argument to be made that Life is Very, Very Improbable, or if Not, Then rising to An Intelligent Species is Very Improbable, or if they get past that, Developing into a Technological Civilization & Not Destroying yourself before you begin Colonizing other Star Systems is very Improbable.
If Life is at all ‘Easy’, Then We most Certainly are not The First Civilization, & If we’re Not, then we are most certainly a Colony or Experiment of A Colony from The First Civilization.
That explains DNA very Elegantly.