Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Misssster. Cosmos

So i started watching Carl Sagans Cosmos.. and i' not sure I can go any farther... it took me 2 episodes to realize it, but the guy sounds like Agent smith from the Matrix.

Though he does answer a good question to throw a wrench at creationists that use that stupid (and over used) tornado in a junkyard making a car bit. Berkley in just about 2 hours through controlled experimentation with the Gases present at the beginning of our world have created massive amounts of basic Nucleic acid... 2 hours! and the planet had 2 billion years to go at it.

I personally subscribe to Darwin's and Robert J. Gould's beliefs on the matter. "Life began and progressed through the evolution and Natural Selection through a means that we may call chance". Gould and Darwin (though poor Darwin's words are largely forgotten in hyperbole) stress heavily the "That we may call chance" part.
The universe looks like a massive ball of happenings that occur in such marvelous randomness that we may attribute to pure and simple % or in musings of the divine hand of a god or maker. Which side of the argument you are on rest solely upon "what you may call faith".

A nit pick that irked me in Cosmos was during his second episode (nothing wrong with the show, just what he's saying). A while back I read a article about evolution that went far and beyond the lengths of its purpose to hammer home a point about a common mistake in many evolutionary speeches. The speech may be correct, but wrong at the same time. May people say (or subscribe to) the saying that a fish learn to crawl onto land. (fish example is just one of the examples).
This is technically right, and wrong! Yes the fish did learn to crawl onto land, but! Only because of a genetic defect, that the one time it was washed up onto shore, its new flaw allowed it to survive. Then once surviving it used this to breed more in a safer means, thus preserving the trait.
To say a fish learned to crawl onto land and thus began to live on land starts down a very slippery slope to Lamarikism (a theory of evolutionary thinking that has been totally thumped, but keeps coming back like a retarded B-movie zombie).
Lamarkism can more easily be summed up with this simple story.
  • Leafs are high
  • giraffe grows long neck to reach leafs
  • Longer neck, means giraffe survives to breed more giraffe
Wrong! Darwin would be rolling over in his grave. its supposed to go.
  • Random horse has long neck
  • Reaches higher leaves
  • More abundant food means him and his genetic offspring survive more.
  • Through progressive breedings his trait is passed on thus creating the breed of giraffes.
Lamark the dork mister screwed up evolutionary thinking even today. I ran smack dab into it at work a year ago with a co-worker who thought just like example 1.

If Lamarikism is true then All men would have 20 foot penis's and all women would be D cups blonds with sultry voices.
Wish as hard as you want to be able to touch the top of the basketball rim, and spoon feeding your children that dream, does not mean in 7 generations you will have the ultimate basketball player!

If I claw my eyes out and the eyes of my son, and the eyes of my sons, son... do you think in 9 generations they will have no eyes? No they will have normal eyes, and think we are a bunch of fucking loonies!

Evolution does not work like that.

Simple sense to us.... but there are people out there with half a brain, and they go Bahhhhhhh allot.

Not saying Cosmos got it wrong, he just walks on the line that that article I mentioned warned about. You have to say clearly to one side, or Lamarikism will creep back like a bad fungus.

Still... Sagans speech patterns of sounding like Agent Smith is kinda creepy. I'd have to claw my eyes out if he in the last episode puts on a set of shades and looks at me. "We are just a virus on the earth, Mr. Watcher!"

Think about my decendents... we'd have no eyes!


mike said...

Something commonly, and possibly intentionally misinterpreted about Darwin's Thoery, or evolution in general is that one fish washed ashore and started a new evolutionary paradigm. Evolution is more of a crap shoot than that. Millions of fish had hundreds of variations of the mutations that allowed them to live on the surface, but only a couple species actually survived. The rest were weeded out by weather, starvation, other walking fish eating them (humans are the only creatures that war, eh?), disease, and so forth.

Bear in mind it takes at least 40,000 distinct genetic families for a species just to effectively breed without recessive genes rendering it unviable after a few generations. That's not 40,000 unrelated fish within a species, that's 40,000 families, meaning closer to 120,000 fish left to breeed without being killed by disease, weather, hunting, and the other harsh realities of feral life. To survive all that you probably need 1,200,000 fish, and even then it's not a sure thing. See homo sapiens neanderthalensis.

Ramage said...

Yup, for example that "example" fish was like
"Fuck yeah I'm like on land now!"
and his like 400 brothers are like
"jesus! (thats the fishes name btw)We have like the same shit he does, maybe we can to?"
Then a meteor takes out the whole lot.
A few ponds over two fish are talking and their like.
"Mo you hear what happened?"
"The pond with that fucked up weird looking bunch of fish got like hit by a falling rock!"
"Serves em right. Look Allah over theres fucking ugly, but do you see him crawling on land? No!"
"Pssh I know, crazy people eh"

(All names and fish are purely fictional, any similarities with living or fictional characters is purely horse hockey)

So many Creationists that I have arguments/debates with on the subject are so badly misinformed about evolution that its painful. You spend the first 90% of any such debate correcting the errors someone else put in their head before you can actually have a real debate on it.

Your right one fish being able to go on land doesn't make a new speices it takes a lot more than that. Time, stock, opportunity, reason why (or impetus)
So many creationists or bad evolutionists miss that.
But I am more worried about the core movement of the process, and that slippery slope I mentioned.

A squid with a mutation to walk/survive on land might never try it if it has no reason to do so.