Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Darwin’s Theory: Detractors

One reader at TOI writes [21 February 2009]:

Theory of evolution isn’t all the logical

It has been a much-debated topic between the theists and atheists/rationalists. Darwinism has many missing links in it, for example, the theory says man evolved from monkeys but it does not answer the question as to why monkeys still exist on earth while intermediate forms like Australopithecus (primitive form of man) do not exist. As far as Hinduism is concerned, the Bhagavad Gita mentions the creation of 84,00,000 species by Lord Krishna. While atheists/rationalists boast they are logical, it is evident that there is nothing logical in Darwin’s theory.

For a half-baked literate of Science, the above argument sounds scientific and therefore quite credible. There are many people who have learnt about Darwin’s theory from some popular magazines and they get amused by such refutations. Such criticism involves use of scientific terms but is based in shallow arguments, wrong assumptions and clever-talk.

Theory of Evolution does not suggest that man evolved from monkeys. That is patently wrong. Instead it observes that the ancestors of the current generation of chimpanzees and humans are the same. The species which gave rise to humans and chimpanzees does not exist. It has gone extinct around 5 to 7 Million years ago. The ancestors of chimpanzees went on a different path of evolution while we took a different path. The way our ancestors (Homo erectus, Homo habilis) are extinct, the preceding ancestors of chimpanzees are also extinct.

Time and again, the critics of Theory of Evolution discredit it using assumptions and conclusions which are patently wrong. Even Fred Hoyle’s famous criticism is based in wrong understating of Theory of Evolution. He said:

A junkyard contains all the bits and pieces of a Boeing-747, dismembered and in disarray. A whirlwind happens to blow through the yard. What is the chance that after its passage a fully assembled 747, ready to fly, will be found standing there?

Anyone who understands Evolution well will not come up with such a hypothetical situation to question Evolution. There are many assumptions which are patently wrong here.

  1. Natural Selection involves small changes accumulated over millions of years, where each change withstood onslaught of nature, thus proving itself a contender for a long term survival. It is not an event that happens all of a sudden in gusto like a hurricane. It is a painfully slow process taking millions of years.

  2. Evolution doesn’t create a completely new model of aircraft all of sudden (assuming aircraft is an animal or a plant. First there is a version A, which is quite rudimentary, something like a paper that is floating in the air, then there is a version B, which is not completely different from version A but a little ‘improvement’ over version A, like a paper airplane, and so on. Say, we have reached a level Z1000, after thousands of improvements between A and Z, and we have a Boeing-747.

  3. For every version of aircraft (animal or plant) existing now, there is another one slightly ‘inferior’ existing a little earlier. There was a version before Boeing 747 which actually flew taking people from Paris to London, and one version before that and so on. Boeing 747 doesn’t come into existence all of a sudden – there are many versions before it which all fly quite successfully and have survived till a new one came on the scene.

  4. Randomness which is suggested in Evolution is not the same randomness of a hurricane sweeping through your backyard. Here the randomness is unpredictability in how and where mutations occur. Nobody has a control on these mutations – but they continue to happen – some survive and most others perish. Those which survive will now become part of the aircraft which will continue to stay with it, even in the most advanced version - Boeing 747. Human beings have an appendix in the large intestine of the stomach, a vestige left over from our ancestors which has no use. Since its existence has not affected our survivability, it continues to be part of humans. But however let’s assume there is a disease that sweeps over humans where everyone with an appendix dies more often than others, and say a mutation takes place in which appendix disappears, then over a period of time there is a good chance that all the humans who are left over do not have appendix. No such a thing happens when humans construct Boeing-747 from its parts. We have a choice to choose what goes in there and what doesn’t and if needed we remove the parts which are not needed deliberately within a short period of time – that is not how evolution works.

Akin to what the reader wrote to TOI, we see many pseudo-scientific detractions that can be explained away by those who understand Theory of Evolution. It’s easy to create such gobbledygook and pass it off as ‘scientific’ argument.

Here is my attempt take on Helio-centric model of Solar System (Sun is center - not Earth).

Copernicus model of Solar System, called Helio-centric theory, is flawed. Everyone, including scientists, agree that it is just a theory, not a fact, whose explanation is based on another theory, called Theory of Universal Gravitation. Theories are unproven. One should understand that scientists themselves call these models theories, not facts. If it was a fact they would have called Fact of Universal Gravitation.

No scientist can explain how planets move in the thin vacuum. Even great scientists like Maxwell said that we need ether in the space so that Gravitation can work. Albert Einstein himself used cosmological constant in his equations to explain ether, but later was pressurized by other atheist scientists to remove it because it indicated presence of God. This missing information on how planets move in vacuum and how Gravitation works in space is still unclear to even great scientists and they disagree with each other. It is very clear that this whole Helio-centric theory is not logical.

Actually, according to Rig Veda, first there was nothing, then there was everything, which is how Western Scientists got the idea for Big Bang.

Most pseudo-scientific arguments are like that. They can easily create gibberish using scientific words. Just because it uses scientific words doesn’t make it science, the way using stars, planets and mathematics as symbols does not make astrology a science, or the way using wind energies, magnetic forces as symbols does not make vaastu shastra a science.

There is a need to make our education more scientific. Kids should be given the tools of rationality and logic to dissect an argument and make up their mind. They should not be given convenient, comforting and magical answers that sound elite but are in reality are hocus pocus and mumbo jumbo. Many literate people in India (and New Age West) fall prey to such pseudo-scientific arguments. Deepak Chopra, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, et al, make fools of people and feed on their credulity. Such people do not quench the thirsty mind, instead they dumb down the curious mind with pseudo-scientific bullshit all with an aim to profit from such people. Charlatans, quacks, homeopath doctors, astrologers, etc, are roaming streets of India to make a quick buck from such dumbed-down Indians.

Are you one of them?

Here’s a site: Postmodernism Generator. Each time you refresh it, you generate a new article that sounds elite but is actually gibberish. If you happen to read any pseudo-scientific bullshit you should know that this is how it generated. Have fun!


  1. one small correction.. using the words inferior & superior species in the context of Natural Selection is not justified. somehow those words give the theory a goal-oriented facet, whence it is not. previous generations of a species were as "best suited" as possible for its environment. a species can go extinct but not before leaving the group which managed to adapt to the changes in the environment. they didnt die bcos they were inferior but bcos of changes in the environment of which they have no control over.
    Evolution is a blind watchmaker, who does not even know it is making a watch.

  2. Smitha:

    May be I shouldn't have used the word ‘inferior’.

    Let me explain how I used it. For example, I wrote the following sentence in that blog:

    It’s easy to create such gobbledygook and pass it off as ‘scientific’ argument.

    Here I used the word scientific in quotes to imply that is not actually scientific but that’s how people look at it.

    In the similar manner I wrote the following sentence:

    For every version of aircraft (animal or plant) existing now, there is another one slightly ‘inferior’ existing a little earlier.

    With those quotes I wanted to convey that that’s how people think – that it is ‘inferior’ but that’s not what it is.

    May be, I shouldn’t be using those words in quotes – it could convey a wrong meaning. I will keep that in mind for next time.

    Thanks for pointing it out.

  3. i thought so too regarding that quotes over the word inferior, but just wanted to set it straight for the readers.
    it bugs me to ends when ppl ridicule evolution with statements like "so u think Africans are still evolving to be human bcos they look a lot like the lowly monkey race" & "why did evolution chose humans to be the superior species?"
    i want to scream into them what Richard Dawkins writes, "the adaptation of human brain to process more information and the tail of a cheetah to balance while sprinting had the same incentive in evolutionary terms, survival. we r just lucky that brain does the thinking and not the tail."


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