Evolution takes steps and time
This is in response to a June 15 letter in The News-Review, which argued against evolution using an analogy between the human body and a commercial aircraft. The theory of evolution, the writer claimed, suggests that the human body evolved purely by chance. This, he argued, is as implausible as if all the parts of a commercial aircraft were to fall together by chance.
Anyone wishing to explain the great diversity of life is faced with a problem: Biological systems function like extremely complex machines. Each organ, tissue, and cell in a living organism serves a specific purpose. The claim the creationists make is that complexity does not come out of nowhere. It can only be explained by an Intelligent Designer.
I agree with the first premise. No theory of life is satisfactory if it requires us to believe complexity sprang out of nothingness.
The Intelligent Designer, we are told to believe, created from his mind all the heavens and the Earth, including the complexity we wish to explain. He is also a personal entity with whom people can have relationships, who interferes in human events, and who is capable of bending the laws of nature by sheer will. He is clearly an immensely complex being — even more so than the things he creates.
But complexity, we said, requires a Designer! Who designed the Designer? And the argument comes crashing down faster than an airplane full of religious fanatics.
Unlike creationism, the ultimate deus ex machina, Darwinian evolution provides an elegant and simple explanation for the existence of complex life. It approaches the problem in steps, building simple protocells from primordial slime and relying on gradual changes over time to build on each other. And best of all, it’s supported by evidence!