The shore is an ancient world, for as long as there has been an earth and sea there has been this place of the meeting of land and water. Yet it is a world that keeps alive the sense of continuing creation and of the relentless drive of life. Each time that I enter it, I gain some new awareness of its beauty and its deeper meanings, sensing that intricate fabric of life by which one creature is linked with another, and each with its surroundings... There is a common thread that links these scenes and memories -- the spectacle of life in all its varied manifestations as it has appeared, evolved, and sometimes died out. Underlying the beauty of the spectacle there is meaning and significance. It is the elusiveness of that meaning that haunts us, that sends us again and again into the natural world where the key to the riddle is hidden. It sends us back to the edge of the sea, where the drama of life played its first scene on earth and perhaps even its prelude; where the forces of evolution are at work today, as they have been since the appearance of what we know as life; and where the spectacle of living creatures faced by the cosmic realities of their world is crystal clear.
A Oneness of all. An evolution in consciousness of us all that isn
Whereas the child is chiefly playful and experimental, the adult focuses on specific and conscious experiences. He practices selective inattention to the objects for which he has no immediate use and develops a kind of tunnel vision that helps him to move toward selected goals. This focusing on a limited range of experiences and goals is largely responsible for one's individual evolution and gives a deep and almost tragic significance to a statement made by Albert Camus in his novel La Chute: Apr
Evolution made civilization steward of this planet. A hundred thousand years later, the steward stood before evolution not helper but destroyer, not healer but parasite. So evolution withdrew its gift, passed civilization by, rescued the planet from intelligence and handed it to love.
Another force driving progressive evolution is the so-called "arms-race." Prey animals evolve faster running speeds because predators do. Consequently predators have to evolve even faster running speeds, and so on, in an escalating spiral. Such arms races probably account for the spectacularly advanced engineering of eyes, ears, brains, bat "radar" and all the other high-tech weaponry that animals display.
Despite the Great Chain of Being's traditional ranking of humans between animals and angels, there is no evolutionary justification for the common assumption that evolution is somehow 'aimed' at humans, or that humans are 'evolution's last word'.
Even if it were true that evolution, or the teaching of evolution, encouraged immorality that would not imply that the theory of evolution was false.
Evolution could so easily be disproved if just a single fossil turned up in the wrong date order. Evolution has passed this test with flying colors.
Evolution is a fact. Beyond reasonable doubt, beyond serious doubt, beyond sane, informed, intelligent doubt, beyond doubt evolution is a fact. The evidence for evolution is at least as strong as the evidence for the Holocaust, even allowing for eye witnesses to the Holocaust.It is the plain truth that we are cousins of chimpanzees, somewhat more distant cousins of monkeys, more distant cousins still of aardvarks and manatees, yet more distant cousins of bananas and turnips... continue the list as long as desired.
For more than three thousand million years, DNA has been the only replicator worth talking about in the world. But it does not necessarily hold these monopoly rights for all time. Whenever conditions arise in which a new kind of replicator can make copies of itself, the new replicators tend to take over, and start a new kind of evolution of their own. Once this new evolution begins, it will in no necessary sense be subversient to the old. The old gene-selected evolution, by making brains, provided the soup in which the first memes arose. Once self-copying memes had arisen, their own, much faster, kind of evolution took off. We biologists have assimilated the idea of genetic evolution so deeply that we tend to forget that it is only one of the many possible kinds of evoluton.
I suspect the reason is that most people... have a residue of feeling that Darwinian evolution isn't quite big enough to explain everything about life. All I can say as a biologist is that the feeling disappears progressively the more you read about and study what is known about life and evolution. I want to add one thing more. The more you understand the significance of evolution, the more you are pushed away from the agnostic position and towards atheism. Complex, statistically improbable things are by their nature more difficult to explain than simple, statistically probable things.
If only everybody would agree to be a dove, every single individual would benefit. By simple group selection, any group in which all individuals mutually agree to be doves would be far more successful than a rival group sitting at the ESS (Evolutionary Stable Strategy) ratio.... Group selection theory would therefore predict a tendency to evolve towards an all-dove conspiracy... But the trouble with conspiracies, even those that are to everybody's advantage in the long run, is that they are open to abuse. It is true that everybody does better in an all-dove group than he would in an ESS group. But unfortunately, in conspiracies of doves, a single hawk does so extremely well that nothing could stop the evolution of hawks. The conspiracy is therefore bound to be broken by treachery from within. An ESS is stable, not because it is particularly good for the individuals participating in it, but simply because it is immune to treachery from within.
If the history-deniers who doubt the fact of evolution are ignorant of biology, those who think the world began less than ten thousand years ago are worse than ignorant, they are deluded to the point of perversity. They are denying not only the facts of biology but those of physics, geology, cosmology, archaeology, history and chemistry as well.
Instead, what we find is that natural selection exerts a braking effect on evolution... This isn't really paradoxical. When we think about it carefully, we see that it couldn't be otherwise. Evolution by natural selection could not be faster than the mutation rate, for mutation is, ultimately, the only way in which new variation enters the species. All that natural selection can do is accept certain new variations, and reject others. The mutation rate is bound to place an upper limit on the rate at which evolution can proceed. As a matter of fact, most of natural selection is concerned with preventing evolutionary change rather than with driving it. This doesn't mean, I hasten to insist, that natural selection is a purely destructive process.
It isn't true that Darwin believed that evolution proceeded at a constant rate. He certainly didn't believe it in the ludicrously extreme that I satirized [in a parable that since it took the Israelistes 40 years to get to Palestine, they were only doing 24 yards a day]... and I don't think he really believed it in any important sense.
It seems to follow that there is no general reason to expect evolution to be progressive--even in the weak, value-neutral sense. There will be times when increased size of some organ is favored and other times when decreased size is favored. Most of the time, average-sized individuals will be favored in the population and both extremes will be penalized.
One way in which we seem predisposed to disbelieve Darwinism is that our brains are built - ironically, by evolution itself - to deal with events on radically different timescales from those that characterize evolutionary change. We are equipped to appreciate processes that take seconds, minutes, years, or, at most, decades to complete. Darwinism is a theory of cumulative processes so slow that they take between thousands and millions of decades to complete. It requires effort of the imagination to escape from the prison of familiar timescale.
Passion for passion, an evangelical Christian and I may be evenly matched. But we are not equally fundamentalist. The true scientist, however passionately he may 'believe', in evolution for example, knows exactly what would change his mind: evidence! The fundamentalist knows that nothing will.
People sometimes try to score debating points by saying, Evolution is only a theory. That is correct, but it's important to understand what that means. It is also only a theory that the world goes round the Sun -- it's just a theory for which there is an immense amount of evidence.
Sex brought into existence the gene pool, made meaningful the species, and changed the whole ball game of evolution itself.