RE: virus: The Kingdom...

Richard Brodie (
Wed, 19 May 1999 02:20:52 +0200

Snow Leopard wrote:

<<It seems to

take a lot more faith to say that a bunch of random molecules produced simple, protein structures that happened to be all together at the right place at the right time. Of course, that very “simple” cell, only a couple thousand times more complex than human technology, didn’t make some fatal error before it divided. Of course, it already “knew” how to divide. Eventually, a mistake didn’t kill one of tem, and this “new and improved” version survived, multiplied etc. This isn’t even mentioning a fossil record about as error-ridden as the Bible. Examine your beliefs, as you ask me to examine mine. Both of are stories are incredible.>>

I have a lot of compassion for your point of view since I shared it when I was your age and had taken only high-school biology. Dawkins calls this point of view the "argument from personal incredulity." It works in most facets of life, but in certain unintuitive areas, such as processes that take thousands or millions of years to occur, people's brains aren't wired to give good "gut feelings" about what is possible or probable. This is the same psychology that induces people to buy lottery tickets where their chance of winning is thousands of times less than their chance of being killed in an automobile accident in the next year.

You can educate yourself, since you are quite intelligent, to the point where it will make sense and should really not threaten your religious faith. Plenty of Christians understand biology. Once again I recommend reading The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins, which will explain to you why the evolution of species from simple molecules is quite probable given the time scales involved. None of this is any evidence for or against the existence of God, simply the best guess of intelligent people who have devoted lifetimes to studying the problem.

Richard Brodie
Author, "Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme" Free newsletter!