To suggest that any complex biological organism – it really doesn’t matter if it’s fish or fowl – could have come about from a billion-year sequence of random chemical reactions in some kind of prenatal soup in such a way that it evolves from atom to elephant is quite outrageous. Considering the functional detail and modular interdependence of any living being, and bearing in mind that it must have had the ability to reproduce itself from the outset or it would have been extinct upon the death of the first generation, and moreover, that it carries by dumb chance a blueprint of itself with a complete set of instructions that command equally dumb chemicals to build another one just like the progenitor; all this stretches the bounds of reason and credulity almost to breaking point.

But the alternative does nothing settle the conundrum of origins. To suggest that you and I came about because of the intervention of an omnipotent, omniscient divine intelligence that planned the whole caboodle from scratch and set us loose in a preconceived, precarious environment with deadly traps and ghastly predators in some kind of macabre game presumably for its own amusement, is even more preposterous. Adding details to this deity, like humanoid form, gender, love, anger, cruelty, and maliciousness, is to tempt the clutches of insanity. So, while there remain a surfeit of daunting, unanswered questions in either solution, we are left with no option but to choose the less improbable, or to admit our ignorance.

I submit that the only reasonably valid point of view with respect to the ultimate questions of cosmology is agnosticism.

2 comments on “The Big Questions

  1. Steve Garcia

    Hilton, you and a lot of people have pointed out this weakness in Darwinism, in whatever form has been presented.

    If you don’t know about him, I’d recommend to you Rupert Sheldrake.

    I first ran across this point about the first generation dying off and scuttling the entire evolution thing when I read Freeman Dyson’s book on the Origins of Life. His quandary was which came first, the proteins or the something or other (it slips my mind right now, sorry). Dyson pointed out that DNA so far as we know only encodes proteins, and Sheldrake makes a big point out of that – that DNA encodes those proteins, but cannot organize – and thus he argues that there is an organizing principle that reductionist science cannot explain even though they pretend to.

    Then try to deal with the evolution of the eye. Or the healing of wounds where blood scabbing tales something like 17 distinct steps, any one of them missing meaning blood doesn’t scab and the host dies from loss of blood.

    Back in about 1965 or so, some scientist pointed out that random ordering of life into complex organisms is like believing that a tornado came through a junk yard and assembled a Boeing 707.

    So, you have much company, not the least of which is Creationists (of which I am not one).

    A recently deceased friend of mine insisted that there is a third option – Interventionism, as in aliens came here and planted/seeded life on Earth. However, IMHO, that is inadequate because that only transfers the question to some other planet elsewhere in the cosmos. There was an origin of life SOMEWHERE, whether independently on Earth or not.

    My own thinking is that there really area only so many ways (and damned few of them) that the chemical elements can combine, and fewer still of combinations that can POSSIBLY begin to ramp up to ANY form of life. So even if life exists elsewhere, that life is going to be created in much the same cellular structure and gross forms as we have here.

    My instincts based on thinking about this since the late ’60s is that the organizing principle isn’t a principle at all, but has to do with resonance as a 3D organizer of an unexpected level of complexity. Resonance I think is a great aligner of vibrations. Does ti have to do with cymatics? Perhaps. Is it ONLY cymatics? I don’t think so, but possibly. There is an entire field of inquiry out there, and I think it bears upon this subject you bring up.

    Science as we know it is so puffed up with the idea that all the big ideas have been found already and that we are only just filling in the gaps. I think science is still in its infancy – at most its adolescence. After all, we are only about 350 years into the scientific age, and 350 years is nothing. We have barely scratched the surface. As you say, to admit our ignorance.

    Sheldrake as far as I’ve read him does not have the answers to all of this, but I think he is one of the few asking the right questions to get us to the next level of understanding – which is IMHO the actual first step along the way.

    Steve

  2. Skywalker Post author

    Thanks for your comments, Steve. Rupert Sheldrake is a nice bloke, but I don’t buy the idea of the morphic field.

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