Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hardly Random: Part 1

This will be an ongoing series in which I post my impressions of The Origin Of Species: 150th Anniversary Edition Sadly I am just reading this classic work for the first time, and because I have been out of school for so long find it a bit rough going.

Chapter 1: A lot about pigeons, dogs and sheep. It is obvious that Darwin is struggling with explaining his theory without knowing the exact mechanism (genetics) which makes it all work.

Chapter 2: A pet theory of creationist is to compare the chances of spontaneous evolution to a tornado ripping through a salvage yard and creating a 747 airplane. Obviously they have never read this book. On pages 59 and 60 of my copy Darwin states, "Almost every part of every organic being is so beautifully related to its complex conditions of life that it seems as improbable that any part should have been suddenly produced perfect, as that a complex machine should have been invented by man in a perfect state." In other words the forms of life we see today have become what they are only through change just as the 747 airplane of today barely resembles the airplane the Wright Brothers created just over 100 years ago.

Wright Brothers glider.

Modern 747.

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