RE: virus: The Kingdom...

=?iso-8859-1?Q?Andreas_Engstr=F6m?= (
Thu, 20 May 1999 15:39:45 +0200

"Snow Leopard" <> wrote:

>Also, I might add that I know evolution happens, as in variations within a
>species at a very slow rate. I don't believe that the big bang could've
>randomly produced a perfectly balanced life-supporting planet. It seems to

Not randomly. The only thing that is necessary for evolution is the very simple concept that things that survive longer survive longer, that things that multiply faster multiply faster and that things that replicate better replicate better. There will eventually be more of the things that survive longer and/or multiply faster and/or replicate better. That's all. Nothing else is needed (not even "life", evolution is a process that's far more general than that), except an assortment of different "things"
that have some sort of random variation between themselves.

Also, the ecology is not "perfectly balanced", not in any static way. It's in a state of chaotic changes that currently center around a certain strange attractor that is the current state. It could easily (with or without any discernible reason) switch to another state that would seem just as "perfectly balanced" if you didn't know about the previous state. Ask the dinosaurs. Ask the wooly mammoth.

>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

You're missing the mark. Division (replication) is a far older concept than the cell. The first replicating thing was probably a rather simple molecule,

born from the fact that it was more stable than other molecules, and able to make somewhat faithful copies of itself from molecules drifting around it. The
first part of molecular evolution is just a race to be more stable than other
molecules. More stable molecules will become more plentiful. Then one of these rather stable molecules produces other molecules that approximates itself
(a process that isn't very far-fetched or unlikely; it probably happened several
times during the first billion years of the planet's history), thus creating

an assortment of molecules that were like itself, only with random variations
created by "errors" in copying (the first replicator probably had a very high

>thousand times more complex than human technology, didn't make some fatal
>error before it divided. Of course, it already "knew" how to divide.

Yes, of course, since it was the descendant of millions of molecular ancestors
that divided.. take a few of them that have "learnt" to cluster together, some
of them building lipids to form a primitive cell-membrane that makes the cluster
more stable (and thus more plentiful than ckusters without protection) and you
have a proto-cell.

>Eventually, a mistake didn't kill one of tem, and this "new and improved"

On the contrary - billions of them were "killed" (became too unstable or unable
to reproduce) in the process.

>version survived, multiplied etc. This isn't even mentioning a fossil
>record about as error-ridden as the Bible. Examine your beliefs, as you

Please enlighten us. How can the fossil record contain "errors"? It's just there. Most likely there are lots of errors in our interpretation of it, though. None of them point to anything even close to making crationism likely. On the other hand the vast majority of findings definitely confirms that evolution definitely has had lots of time to act on living beings on this planet.

Please note that evolution per se doesn't need any corroboration from the fossil record. It's just a very simple, matter-of-fact process, and I defy anyone who understands it to deny it. It certainly would require lots of self-induced brainwashing.

>me to examine mine. Both of are stories are incredible.

No. One is impossible, the other just unlikely to happen during a period of time that the human mind can grasp. Luckily, a LOT more time than that has been available. I like the following quote very much:

"For example, how could children in religious education classes fail to be inspired if we could get across to them some inkling of the age of the universe? Suppose that, at the moment of Christ's death, the news of it had started traveling at the maximum possible speed around the universe outwards from the earth. How far would the terrible tidings have traveled by now? Following the theory of special relativity, the answer is that the news could not, under any circumstances whatever, have reached more that one-fiftieth of the way across one galaxy -- not one- thousandth of the way to our nearest neighboring galaxy in the 100-million-galaxy-strong universe. The universe at large couldn't possibly be anything other than indifferent to Christ, his birth, his passion, and his death. Even such momentous news as the origin of life on Earth could have traveled only across our little local cluster of galaxies. Yet so ancient was that event on our earthly time-scale that, if you span its age with your open arms, the whole of human history, the whole of human culture, would fall in the dust from your fingertip at a single stroke of a nail file." (-Prof. Richard Dawkins)