The evidence of science, p.1
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       The Evidence of Science, p.1
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           Vernon W. Wilson
The Evidence of Science
The Evidence of Science

  By Vernon W. Wilson

  Copyright © 2015 Vernon W. Wilson

  The views expressed in this work are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher.

  ISBN: 9781311000385

  The Evidence of Science

  “A belief is not true because it is useful” – Henri-Frederic Amiel (1828-1881).

  Introduction

  It is over a hundred and fifty years since Charles Darwin published his book on the evolution theory. Many people regardless of religious affiliation do not accept the theory.

  Even as more and more discoveries continue to support the theory of evolution it is still viewed as unproven and therefore unacceptable. It is very likely that even if the theory was irrevocably proved to be true many would still reject the theory as it conflicts with their religion’s view or the biblical version of life on Earth. Reason has no advantage and sadly no value against emotional belief. Traditional beliefs and human social fabric has developed over many thousands of years. It is not easy for most to change their inbred or traditional beliefs. It is difficult to risk the possibility of being rejected by society or family or friends by embracing new ideas based on fact. Sadly, when religious or cultural or traditional beliefs take precedence over verifiable facts, it devalues education.

  The brilliant Oxford University scholar Roger Bacon (1214-1292) believed that priests were against education because it made it more difficult to impose their views and to control the minds of men. He was a major supporter of experimental science as a means of establishing the truth. Although a religious man himself (he studied theology at Paris University and was a Franciscan friar), he spent many years imprisoned because of his enlightened religious views. ‘The charge made against him was that of magic, which was then frequently brought against those who studied the sciences, and particularly chemistry. The ignorance of the clergy of that time as to mathematics or physics was afterwards described by Anthony-a-Wood(1674), who says that they knew no property of the circle except that of keeping out the devil, and thought the points of a triangle would wound religion.’ And ‘there has always been honest belief in the wickedness of knowledge.’ Extracts from a book published in 1845 by Charles Knight & Co., London; ‘The Cabinet Portrait of British Worthies’, and recently published as a free ebook by Gutenberg.org.

  The Evidence.

  Evolution is a theory supported by millions of facts. Millions of life forms have been identified and catalogued over the years since Darwin’s Book was published in 1859. Eternal fame and significant financial reward are likely to be the prize for finding a life form on earth that does not fit the evolution theory. Millions of scientists and laymen have worked on myriads of life forms since 1859 (it is estimated that there are more than 8 million life species on earth!) and all conform to the theory of evolution. There has not been one exception discovered to date. Perhaps it is more significant to express this result as 8 million in favour of evolution, zero against evolution. The unravelling of DNA structure, the way it controls life and the way it traces the history of life forms is the conclusive testament to the theory of evolution. Each new fossil discovery creates excitement as it is placed in the gaps of the history of life on Earth. It is like the last few pieces missing from a gigantic jigsaw puzzle. We have an idea of what the completed picture is, but sometimes we are surprised by the wealth of detail the new fossil unravels. There is no sensible reason for conflict between people’s faith or their belief in God and the undeniable evidence for evolution. On the contrary, it reinforces the concept of a higher being. In fact even the most ardent atheist can only marvel at the incredible structural complexities that have evolved from four simple bases, human life.

  The most complex computer programs on earth written by teams of computer scientists that number in the thousands over a period of several years are really just combinations of two digits, 0 and 1. If one could only program with four simple compounds, the mind boggles at the infinite possibilities. Evolution did it and it will not stop.

  Creationism, a religious following has the belief that life and the universe are the creation of God. Essentially they do not believe in human evolution. There are variations of creationism. Examples are intelligent design and creation science.

  Intelligent design was developed by creationists who wanted to get around an earlier court ruling in the USA. Creationists tried to introduce intelligent design into biology classes at school as a science. USA courts ruled that intelligent design was not a science and its introduction at school violated the First Amendment to the US Constitution because it was coupled to religious beliefs.

  Creation science supports the biblical book of Genesis view on the creation of life and the universe (whether it only took six days or not). It more or less does not accept scientific facts or theories. So presumably these people do not use cars, TV, telephones, modern medicine, electricity, computers, air travel, elevators, kitchen appliances etc. as these are possible because of scientific facts and theories. The use of all these modern conveniences and inventions in our day to day living is a tacit acceptance of scientific facts and theories. However these inventions based on the same principles that led to the discovery of the theory of evolution are not seen as a threat to their beliefs. It is so easy for charismatic so called religious leaders to brainwash poorly educated followers and hopefully in future, enlightened governments may well consider this as deceptive behaviour. There are vast amounts of scientific publications and books that will provide explanations which have been substantiated by a multitude of learned scholars. The beauty about science is that if one discovers something new or something which contradicts an existing fact, one is encouraged to present the work for acceptance, provided it is supported by logic and experimentation that any other suitably qualified persons can irrevocably replicate. Creation Science is itself a contradiction. Science means systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation. Creation Science is not a science, it is a belief. One’s beliefs are a personal entitlement. It is wrong to force people to believe.

  There have been some funny or strange remarks against evolution. “Why can only parrots and people talk, if evolution was true, all animals would talk?” Birds mimic and respond to stimuli when trained to identify objects or symbols or to repeat words or sentences. Parrots in particular can be trained to mimic speech to an extraordinary level. Parrots have not developed their own language, why? Talking or verbal communication between humans is due to the evolution of the FOXP2 gene. The protein made by this gene enables humans to speak. The chimpanzee version differs by just two amino acids. The genome of a chimpanzee, our closest living relative, (the genome is a complete set of an organism’s genetic information stored in DNA) only differs by 1% from humans. Humans are separated from a common ancestor to the chimpanzee by between 7 and 14 million years. Our common structure must be fairly successful because evolution works by life forms which are most responsive to change. Humans and the chimpanzee have changed but evolution has kept many features common. Humans have the same number of bones, we have the same brain chemicals, the same immune systems, the same nervous system, the same number of teeth. Even the construction of the middle ear is the same.

  Humans have 23 separate pairs of chromosomes. Thirteen of the human chromosomes are virtually identical to those of the chimpanzee. The chimpanzee has more chromosomes than a human and some life forms have less. One pair of the chromosomes differentiates male and female. Humans have between 23000 and 25000 genes and these like other animals, are located in the chromosomes.

  Evolution has a few tricks and when a system evolves like the above successful common st
ructure, it is retained. These retained aspects of evolution go back in time much further than we think.

  We assume that after fertilization of the egg that the human body just grows from the embryo through cell division. After all, each cell contains a copy of the genome. But how does each cell know what part of the body it will eventually become and in what sequence do they grow and how do all the parts assemble together in the right way?

  Evolution developed this process a very long time ago with a set of instructions coded in genes. Did a new life form require a new set of coded instructions or could the same set of instructions apply to other life forms? From insects to humans we all have heads, a mouth, eyes and a body with a set of appendages attached. Eyes and the mouth are part of the head. Now would that not be strange to find eyes in the middle of the body and a mouth at the end of a leg or arm or wing?

  Flies had a common ancestor with humans over 500 million years ago. Flies have a set of genes lined up in a particular order from the head to rear end on chromosome 12. This instruction sequence was discovered in the 1970s. Within a decade or so the same sequence was discovered in mice and then in humans. The head develops first, then the body then the appendages. The sequence of events was no longer a mystery. But not only was the sequence the same, the genes were the same! Evolution perfected a process of embryo development over 500 million years ago and it has hardly changed. There are small differences, because genes act on other genes in different ways in different species but the similarities are striking.

  The fruit fly and the mouse have proteins in common with humans. In fact 90% of mouse proteins have similarities to human proteins. This enables research carried out on fruit flies and mice to be used to the benefit of humans.

  How much more evidence is required before evolution is accepted as fact by all?

  There is an interesting quote by Confucius (550-478BC); Learning without thought is labour lost; thought without learning is perilous.

  The above is based on an extract from the author’s book “Why Do Lettuces Grow?”

  31 March 2015.

  References and suggested further reading;

  ‘Genome’ by Matt Ridley

  ‘The Language of the Genes’ by Steve Jones

  ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ by Richard Dawkins

  ‘The Ancestor’s Tale’ by Richard Dawkins

  ‘The Story of Earth & Life’ by Terence McCarthy and Bruce Rubidge

  ‘Sapiens-A Brief History of Mankind’ by Yuval Noah Harari

  The Lick Road Incident

  A Painful Journey

  A Painful Journey and More

  Supernatural Communication

  Supernatural Communication and More

  The Black Leopard and Other Wild Life

  Why Do Lettuces Grow?

  Project Antares

  (Updated 4 January 2016)

 
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