Just One Big, Happy Family?
By: Patti Bankson
Last weekend I watched a Science Channel program moderated by an intelligent, articulate, well-educated man (a physicist) whose goal was to answer questions about â€œTimeâ€. Example: In near death events, people report that everything happens in slow motion. Simulating near death (supposedly), he â€œdeterminedâ€ that time actually does slow down. Interesting, but still… a single test, only done twice using the same, single test subject. Both times there was some fudging, without which the results wouldnâ€™t have â€œprovenâ€ the theory.
The moderator also looked at aging, immortality, and spirituality. He didnâ€™t get much closer to spirituality than saying that somewhere, sometime in history a monk had determined the age of the earth, but the earth is many millions of years older than the monkâ€™s estimate. No problem. Until he put forth another â€œBig Bang Theoryâ€; one Iâ€™d never heard before: There was a big bang on the ocean floor which produced sea creatures, which in time produced… us… human beings. I think the idea of our world being created by a big bang – whether in space or underwater â€“ is pretty bizarre. Even more bizarre is the idea behind Darwinâ€™s Theory of Evolution and Natural Selection: All of life has descended from a common ancestor and all – fruits, flowers, birds, fish, animals, people â€“ are related. Why is it so easy for people to believe either of those theories, but so difficult, if not impossible, for them to believe in a Creator… God. Hereâ€™s another question: If, indeed, one can start out as an ape, then turn into (evolve into) a human being, why do we do that? And why do only some evolve, so that we still have apes? In wide variety, I might add. Is it because some apes suspected that life as a human might be better than life as a gorilla, chimp or orangutan? Or were those who didnâ€™t evolve into humans simply lazy, preferring a life just hanging out in trees? And what about those fish that live in water and on land? Did they decide that being able to live in both places would be more beneficial for their kind? If so, why didnâ€™t their friends and family do the same thing? Was it because some were happier as water â€œpeopleâ€ and some were happier as earth â€œpeopleâ€? Silly questions, I suppose. But not any sillier than it is to think that any kind of ape – or whatever – can discard, change or step outside its DNA to become something thatâ€™s not already in their DNA.
People are free to believe whatever they want about our beginnings, but DNA and its part in deciding who or what we are, and how we function… animal or vegetable… is irrefutable.
â€œTo suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.â€ Charles Darwin, “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life,” 1859, p. 162.
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2007 Patti Bankson
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