Friday, December 24, 2010

Evolution - According to Darko Festin

Once upon a time there was nothing. No air, no water, no atmosphere, not even a universe. Then for no apparent reason .. out of this nothingness there occurred a big bang. The big bang made all kinds of things happen, Suddenly, out of nothingness, the universe came into existence; complete with rocks, and dust, and suns, and nebulae and worm holes and all kinds of cosmic stuff that would eventually form into galaxies, solar systems and planets.

Now out of this conglomeration, one solar system formed that was different from all the others. This solar system contained a planet that was truly remarkable throughout the entire universe. This planet was positioned at exactly the right distance from its sun. It was tilted in exactly the right axis to enable seasonal changes. It rotated on its axis at exactly the right speed to allow for it to not over heat or over cool. It rotated around the sun in such an exact manner to assist in seasonal changes. This planet had clouds made of hydrogen, and oxygen. Not only that, these clouds were trapped in an atmosphere containing even more complex components like  Nitrogen (N2) 78.084%, Argon (Ar) 0.934%, Carbon dioxide (CO2) 0.0383 %, Neon (Ne) 0.001818 %, Helium (He) 0.000524 %, Methane (CH4) 0.0001745 %, Krypton (Kr) 0.000114%, and Hydrogen (H2) 0.000055. Simply amazing… All of these complex gasses out of nothing more than a big bang. 

Now as remarkable as all this is, we’re just getting started. You see what happened next is that these clouds started depositing their gasses, in the form of liquid, upon the rocks of the planet. This happened over billions and billions of years … until at one moment in time there was a lightning strike. Oh, lightning .. well, we will come back to that one at another time. Anyway, this lightning excited the some of the elements on the rocks, causing them to form a cell. Now I might mention that cells are very complex things, requiring a specific ordering of amino acids which form proteins which then determine the function and type of the cell; all controlled by instructions contained in the cell’s DNA. Oh, DNA … well that's another one we will have to come back to, since it’s extremely complicated to understand and explain. Nonetheless it's incredible isn’t it? But wait … there’s more. Cells survive only if they have a means of sustaining themselves. So that very first cell, let’s call him #1, was quite resourceful and eventually found something to eat. Don’t ask me what #1 found, because as far as we know he was all by himself. Now, not only did #1 survive, but he managed to replicate himself by dividing. Of course the food supply, whatever it was, had to be shared with #2. 

Well, this process of cell division continued to occur over billions and billions and billions and billions of years until one day a descendant of #1 decided that he was tired of being a one-celled organism. So he started changing his form, and in fact changed into many different cells which had vastly different functions. For up until this point, the purpose of #1's descendants was strictly to survive. These various cells now joined forces to form an entirely new organism. We'll call him #1.1. Amazing that a one-celled organism could change its DNA in such a way that it could turn into an entirely different organism.  Damn, there’s that pesky DNA again. 
Now, after millions of years of being a new organism, #1.1 eventually faced an ominous decision: To become plant or animal. Now I wasn't there, but my guess is that #1.1 first became a plant, for his descendants would need something to eat after he changed into an animal. Now as I have it figured #1.1 remained a useless conglomeration of cells while his descendants turned themselves into plants ... all kinds of plants ... millions upon millions of species of plants that included grasses, grains, bushes, trees, and cacti.  

 #1.1 got tired of just being a useless conglomeration so he found its way to the ocean, and jumped in. Now the ocean proved to be very hostile, and #1.1 found himself  quite unable to cope. He needed a way to swim, so he decided to form a new set of cells that would form fins. With this accomplished the organism could swim against the current and increase its chance of survival. But as the organism swam around, it kept bumping against rocks and other obstacles. It became apparent that it needed something more than fins. Eyes, maybe? Yes. That’s exactly what it needed. So the organism started producing cells that would form eyes. Of course this was a very complex process and took a lot of energy, necessitating the need to consume more food, so the organism also started producing cells that would form a mouth and throat and stomach and digestive system that would accommodate larger quantities of food. I guess it consumed other organisms that were attempting to do much the same thing. And on a side note, I think it was at this point where competition, and survival of the fittest was introduced.

Jumping ahead now … #1.1 became obsolete at some point and was replaced by a variety of  different fish forms through manipulating their DNA into differing types of devices to allow them to compete with the other fish-like organisms. Amazing how resourceful these organisms were ... possessing the ability to change their own DNA into something entirely different. Anyway, some of them adapted by growing larger teeth, others adapted by increasing their ability to swim faster, still others adapted the ability to camouflage themselves to hide or lay in wait for their prey.  Anyway, thousands upon thousands of different adaptations occurred until one day one of them decided that he didn’t want to compete any longer, so he crawled upon dry land and sprouted himself a set of legs and called himself a reptile. Of course he had to find another creature similar to himself, but different, in that replication among reptiles required two sexes. He was fortunate because he met a creature that was doing the exact same thing he was doing, at exactly the same time with exactly the same intent. Except this creature was a she. Well as soon as he/they accomplished that, some of those fishes he had been competing with decided that they’d do the exact same thing. It wasn’t long after that survival of the fittest and competition was being played out on dry ground, just as it was in the ocean. After several millions of years of adapting and surviving and competing, and sexual reproduction, one of these land-based creatures decided he'd had enough. So, he crawled back into the water and exchanged his legs for fins. So, now he was back to where he started .. sort of.

Meanwhile, back on land, the reptiles were busy adapting into insects, birds and mammals and searching for compatible mates. Incredibly, there were other adaptations taking place at exactly the same time. For instance, while the reptiles were adapting all their cells into monkeys, there were ferns and things adapting all their cells into trees. As it turns out, one of these monkeys really needed that process to occur because it needed a specific type of fruit to survive. Ironically, one of the trees, being adapted from ferns, needed the monkey to eat its fruit, for the only way the tree could replicate was for the monkey to eat the fruit, thereby germinating the seeds inside its digestive system. Now get this: That process was occurring among hundreds of thousands of other organisms at the same time. We call these processes symbiotic: the dependency of two organisms upon each other to survive. Wow ... simultaneous adaptation multiplied by hundreds of thousands. Now, that's simply amazing.

I know this is getting really complicated so let me jump ahead a few million years. The monkeys, already a highly adapted life form, decided that they wanted to take the adaptation process to the ultimate level, so they discarded their tails, and grew larger brains. Not only that but they traded their arms for shorter ones and legs for longer ones, and started walking upright on the longer legs. The earliest creatures of this adaptation were called neanderthals, who adapted into homo sapiens.

Taking into account the fundamental concept of survival of the fittest, it’s amazing that these creatures endured, since they were not nearly as strong as the larger predators, could not run faster than other animals, and their off-spring needed constant care for several years. Nonetheless, they managed to not only survive, but thrive. It took only a few million years before they developed the ability to communicate with words and symbols, and eventually invent the Internet.

Alas .. the process of cells adapting into different organisms  ended, and they had to invent ways to fly without growing wings. They had to find ways to swim without fins and move fast without growing more efficient legs. Finally, they had to find a way to explain the reason of their existence and source of their significance by contriving a religion that dismisses the acknowledgment of a creator.

Darko Festin 
Darko: Sir, could I convince you that the Morse code, S.O.S.,came about by itself?

Evolutionist: No. S.O.S is the code for help. It is predicated on a common understanding of a specific language and requires a sender and a receiver to be useful.

Darko: Can I convince you that nobody wrote this computer's operating system?

Evolutionist: No. The OS for computers is very complex. Somebody had to write it.

Darko: Then, could I convince you that the most complex code known to man, the DNA code, somehow exists without being written by someone?

Evolutionist: I think you made your point at S.O.S.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Look Back

 I look back on this past year, and I'm not very encouraged. I'm not seeing real progress. The parliamentary government, headed by Barak Hussein Obama, has done little to improve our status in the world. They have done little to improve the unemployment rate. They have done much to reduce American's trust in government and have concurrently inflicted great damage to the general psyche of the nation.  Notwithstanding the damage these idiots have inflicted, they have managed to maintain much of the Bush doctrine as it pertains to terrorism. Nonetheless, I've never been more fearful of our nation's economic and security related prospects. I’m not alone. How many people do you know that are singing the praises of the 111th Congress?

Darko Festin