Was Life Created?Page 4: The living planet. You claim that a remarkable set of coincidences allow us to exist on
If the conditions favourable to life were not present on Earth, then we would not be here on Earth to
wonder about it. The very existence of minds capable of debating this necessitates these conditions.
Life appears in a place where life is possible – this is not a coincidence.
Secondly, the universe is unimaginably huge. These conditions were bound to appear somewhere
within it.Page 11: Who designed it first? You're assuming that complexity implies deliberate design.
Not true. Complex patterns do emerge from simple starting conditions without intelligent
Example: The Mandelbrot set
Example: Conway's Game Of Life
Example: Langton's Ant
Look them up on Wikipedia or Google, they're interesting. In all cases, a very simple set of rules
coupled with a simple initial condition results in emergent complexity. No design goes into it other
than programming those rules and initial conditions. As for applying that to evolution, natural
selection already provides a plausible mechanism by which such natural complexity and beauty
may emerge from more humble beginnings.Page 18:
Myth 1: You claim that disappointing early experiments into mutation breeding disprove the notion
that mutations drive natural selection.
Firstly, Lönnig is a known proponent of Intelligent Design. His papers take the default position of
Intelligent Design being correct, and that evolutionary phenomena need to appear to falsify it. This
is not scientific. No hypothesis should lack a burden of proof.
When these early mutation breeding experiments were done, the field of genetics was still in its
infancy. Since then, many beneficial mutations have been observed, both in the wild and in
captivity. See: http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB101.html
.Myth 2: You claim that the beaks of Darwin's finches reverted back to small beak dominance once
the period of drought was over.
This is exactly what natural selection predicts would happen when conditions go back to favouring
small beaks. This helps my argument, not yours.Myth 3: You claim that the fossil record does not show macroevolutionary changes.
The fossil record gives us snapshots of what animals used to look like. Demanding that it show you
the transition between one form and another is akin to having two photos of a tree, taken decades
apart, and demanding that these photos show you the transition between them. However, the fossil
record is remarkably complete, and intermediate forms for many species have been documented.
Example: Great apes → Australopithecus → Homo Habilis → Homo Rudolfensis → Homo Erectus
→ Homo Heidelbergensis → Homo Sapiens (modern humans). Homo Neanderthalis aren't
included in that list because they actually coexisted and interbred with Homo Sapiens. So, you need
a missing link between man and ape? There's five right there.
As for “sudden” changes and appearances of species, there's nothing in the theory of natural
selection that prevents that. Indeed, if the environment changes suddenly (such as during an
extinction event like that which wiped out the dinosaurs), then you would expect relatively rapid
evolution among the survivors of the catastrophe to adapt to the new environment. This evolution
would still occur on timescales which dwarf a human lifespan, of course.Page 24: Science and the Genesis account: The Bible's account of creation doesn't actually
contradict a 4.5 billion year old Earth or a 13.7 billion year old universe.
Excellent. We finally have some common ground. However, finding one thing the Bible is not
wrong about does not mean it's correct about everything. And it speaks volumes that that part is
written so vaguely that the fundamentalists with whom you disagree are able to interpret it in such a
way as to conclude the Earth is only a few thousand years old.
As for Moses being right about the universe having a start and animals appearing in stages, lucky
guess. If you state something vaguely enough, then the chances are high that someone in a future
generation will read about it and interpret it is being prescient.Page 29: Does it matter what you believe?: Wouldn't it just be nice if God existed?
This is wishful thinking. Just because you want a thing to be true, doesn't mean it is. As for our
lives having meaning, I think we make our own meaning. Mine is simply to leave the world a
slightly better place than it would have been had I never existed, and to learn as much as I can about
the world I find myself in in the time that I have. Your examples of past chaos, conflict, and
corruption could be taken more as a sign that God does not exist, or at least that He does not
intervene. If He did, would He not have done something to alleviate it? In the erudite words of
Eddie Izzard, “why didn't He just flick Hitler's head off”?
The Abrahamic God described in the Torah, Bible, and Koran strikes me as a tyrant. He's a
telepathic father figure who tells His children that “love” means “kneeling before Him”. That can't
be healthy, for an individual or a species. There might still be a creator of some kind – I can't
disprove it, but the one presented by the world's organised religions is utterly implausible for this
very reason. It would be like me building an ant farm in my bedroom and then demanding that the
ants acknowledge me, fear me, worship me, and love me.
I look into the night sky and I see a galaxy of 200 billion stars, in a universe of 100 billion galaxies.
To think all this was created for humans is implausible and slightly arrogant. And throughout
history, no matter how religious he may have been, no physicist has ever needed God to balance any
equation. There are still things we haven't worked out yet, but that doesn't mean the answer to those
mysteries is a deity holding things together or zapping things into existence.