Thoughts on my doubt about evolution

Many years ago I used to believe in evolution.  It, after all, made sense.  Over the years I’ve begun to feel otherwise.  Something just doesn’t seem right with it.  For many years I struggled with this conflict with the fact that evolution seemed to make logical sense and a weird “feeling” that something was missing or not being said.  Not only that, there were claims of evolution that seemed so unbelievable to me, very far-fetched.  Something seemed to tell me that this was not the only explanation, though I cannot say what that other explanation is. 

Biology has so geared itself to the evolutionary perspective that it looks at everything that way.  As a result, biology has this weird “knack” at always supporting it.  I often had this thought that this “evolutionary bias” in biology has made evolution appear true because the bias makes them interpret it that way.  I often thought that, one day, this may be a good example of  how having certain preconceived ideas tends to make us distort observations and logic to support those preconceived ideas, even in “logical” science.

The other day I began to think about why I questioned evolution.  As I reflected on it some interesting things came out.:

The first thing that came to me is questioning the idea that all living things originated from one cell billions of years ago.  This seems so far-fetched to me.  When I was reflecting on this I happened to be hiking in the woods.  I looked around and saw all the myriad number of trees, plants, bugs, animals, and such.  What I saw, of course, is only a fraction of everything in the world . . . there’s so much more . . . and all these different things came from a single cell that, somehow, miraculously appeared one day?  All the different plants, and the fish, and the reptiles, and the insects, and the mammals . . . all from one cell that changed and evolved over millions of years to create all the different living creatures?   I don’t know . . .  that seems so unbelievable. 

I questioned the creation of DNA.  Miraculously, DNA was created in the great primal sea.  How is that possible?  DNA is a complex chemical strand that, as far as I know, has no comparison to anything else that is naturally created in nature . . . and it just “happened” to appear?  Not only that, DNA is a chemical strand that is so organized and complex that it has the capability to produce and maintain itself.  It is so complex, in fact, that it has a whole working system with it, that allows things to be made from the DNA strand, a self-contained automatic chemical reaction that perpetuates itself and keeps itself going.  And all this just “happened” to appear in the primal sea several billions ago?  That seems hard to believe.

I questioned the development and alteration of DNA.  All the changes in living things are supposed to be a result of random changes in the DNA over millions of years.  And so, lets just say that the first DNA strand that “happened” to appear creates a working cell that maintains itself.  Even with this, how can there be all the changes that follow?  Here’s a few thoughts about it:

  • How could random changes in the DNA create millions of different types of creatures, all with perfectly formed leaves, perfectly formed hands, perfectly formed organs? 
  • These perfectly formed creatures are totally different from the original DNA code, which means that the new changed random DNA codes had to create distinct and useful things in all these creatures. 
  • In addition, these changes to the DNA created living things that has qualities and traits that are incredibly diverse and different from one another, meaning that the changes had to be quite extensive.
  • Not only that, the changes that “happened” to take place tended to always be useful.  What are the chances that the changed DNA will create something useful to the living thing at all?  It seems like a “random change” would more likely create a deformed cell, like cancer, or kill the cell in some way, than help it. 
  • But, most certainly, a change could bring about good results. But how many random changes would have to happen to create a good and beneficial change to the living thing? 
  • Also, how many random changes would it take to create, say, a perfectly formed hand or an organ?  It seems to me that a “random change” to the DNA that would be beneficial to the living thing would be minimal, like a fraction of one percent.  The rest would create deformations in the living thing or kill it.  If this is the case, then there would be a strong likelihood of a multitude of deformed living things and death.  And where are all the deformed living things . . . wouldn’t we see many deformed trees, fish, and animals?  And if the change killed it then why are there not many dead living things as a result of “random change” of the DNA?  
  • In addition, the creation of an organ or a specific shape, such as a finger, would require a long strand of ‘codes’ in the DNA.  They would have to be perfectly ‘coded’ in order to do this, the correct chemical sequence that is very long.  How could “random change”, and natural selection, cause this long perfectly ‘coded’ strand to be created?  You’re telling me that, one day, “random change” took place that “happened” to change a long strand of DNA so that it “happened” to create a very useful, functional, and perfectly formed organ . . . and it did this billions of times over billions of years causing all the myriad and different living things with their useful, and functional, and perfectly formed organs and shapes? 
  • All that change also took place on the chemical level which is very distant from the practical and useful value of the living thing itself.  In other words, there is a tremendous distance from an actual working organ, for example, and its genetic code.  There is not a lot of means for feedback or ‘refining’ of the genetic code by the actual functioning of the organ, but yet that’s exactly what would be required to create all the perfectly formed living things. 
  • Also, if there are so many random changes, wouldn’t much of the DNA strand consist of nothing but random non-useful codes, some of which may be damaging to the living thing? 

I’ve also questioned why they would assume evolution follows certain pathways.  A good example is the discovery of man-like beings, such as australepithecus, cro-magnon man, neandorthals, and such.  Many people seem to think they are our ancestors.  They assume that because of evolutionary bias.  But why assume it? Couldn’t they be separate beings in themselves? 

Its always been my impression that the idea of evolution actually originates from the British class struggle.  In the 1800’s, when Darwin lived, the British Empire was at its height.  It was a world empire and the British were proud.  But it had problems.  The British class struggle was running rampant, working class people struggled while they watched the more wealthy have it easy.  But this class system originates with the older society, based in aristocracy and commoners, where the arisotocracy was looked at as a ‘superior’ form of person and commoners were ‘inferior’.  This mentality is very ingrained in British society, even down to today.  As a result, people who were ‘high up’ were looked at as “superior” or their “betters”.  The common people were looked at as being inferior.  With the rise of the middle class, especially after the Napoleanic wars, the inferior common people could rise up to the “superior” type of person, gaining wealth, prestige, and status.  It gave this sense of ‘moving up in the world’ in the 1800’s.  In other words, of going from poor conditions to better conditions, an ‘advancement’, a ‘progression’, an ‘evolution’.  In addition, with the growth of the British Empire they became exposed to primitive societies which seemed backward and poor.  The British, with their pride and achievements, saw themselves as “superior” to them.  That is to say, they felt that they had ‘advanced’ beyond these primitive societies and they saw these older societies as poor and backward without any ‘advancement’.  This gave them the sense that British society is in a more ‘advanced’ state.  These conditions gave, in the British mentality, a sense of an idea of a ‘progression’ or ‘advancement’ or ‘evolution’.  This is an attitude we still see in British society in general, including the U.S.  Darwin, being British, was brought up with this mentality.  As a result, when he looked at the animal world he used this same mentality and ‘projected’ it onto the animal world.  The result:  living things are “advancing” from a primitive state to an advanced state – evolution.  British society, inlcuding the U.S., naturally took to this point of view as it is very ingrained in the culture.  It became very easy for them to “see” evolution in everything.  It is, after all, a continuation of their social ideas.  This is another reason why I have questioned evolution.

Things such as these made evolution seem far-fetched to me.  I find it very difficult to believe.  But, as I said, it makes logical sense.  When I stood back, though, it changes and I began to see another image. 

I seem to have this belief that the bias toward the evolutionary point of view is actually hindering us from seeing the greater picture.  In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised that it is, ironically enough, actually crippling biology.  Not only that, the discovery of DNA and genetics has forced biology to lean toward that direction in its explanation of everything, of genetic code and chemistry.  Though there is importance there I seem to think it is far from the whole story.  Looking at things only from that point of view is like looking through a tube.

Despite all we have discovered recently, I still don’t think we have a realisitc explanation of life on earth.  It seems that we have been too busy being impressed with our discoveries and theories lately to see what is going on . . . we’re too busy congratuating ourselves.  It seems to me that there is another explanation out there waiting to be discovered . . .

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