Rachel Johnson

Atheist Blogger- the godlessvagina / Podcaster the pink atheist


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Darwin, Darwinism, Evolution. The debate and the reality.

Charles Darwin as a young man, probably subseq...

When Charles Darwin set off on a five year journey of exploration, he
could have never imagined how it would turn out. Many people think of
the Galapagos islands when they think of his findings, but there was so
much more to his entire journey, and his ultimate conclusion of Natural
Selection. While he is most famous for his finches, Darwin had many more
examples of evolution, and a better understanding than many people
living today.

In total it took Darwin 20 years of
researching, exploring, and understanding to come to the conclusion that
natural selection was the force of change among species. After
consulting with many specialists, and even dissecting animals, he noted
how curiously similar species are, and yet small to large differences
made them incompatible for breeding.

Speciation can
take long or short periods. What we think of as long or short, with our
life span of approximately 80 is nothing on the time clock of the
planet. For instance, dinosaurs lived here on this planet for around
150million years. During that time species came and went, but over
Milena. They changed over millions of years as well. On the time clock
of history, hundreds to thousands of years is a small amount of time.
Animals who have been able to adapt and sustain life as they first
evolved, such as crocodiles, have basically been the same for hundreds
of millions of years. So for a species to be formed after 500 years, 100
years, or 1000 years, can still be a rapid change.

The
driving mechanism is natural selection. Nature picks the best of the
best to survive. Not by any intent or design, but by living on a planet
which is not cognoscente of its existence. This planet is volatile and
unpredictable, so as climate change occurs, of dry, and wet periods
oscillate species have to adapt to their environment and its changes, or
face extinction.

Many of the species alive to day
share common ancestors. As Darwin pointed out, and while he was not the
first to come to this conclusion, he was the first to present
overwhelming evidence to his claim. Even during his time, Darwin shocked
the world, because he took us from the darkness of not understanding
the similarities noted in nature and species, to being able to see how
closely we are related.

For example, mammals, are all
closely related. Horses which evolved from a smaller ancestor have
undergone dramatic changes. From having 4 toes in the front and 3 in the
rear, to having bone structures that are remnants while having a nail
like covered single toe in the front and rear. Not only that, but they
have gone from  the size of a medium dog, to the size they currently
are. This has taken place over thousands of years. As grassland became
available, they adapted from forest dwelling animals, into larger
animals who could survive in the open.

Other examples
are remnant hip bones in the whale, fossils of snakes with partial
limbs, the human coccyx, fossils of the ancestors to whales with actual
limbs, dinosaurs with feathers, ones showing a progressive line of
diverging into modern birds, and so on the story goes.

As
paleontologists uncover the past, they find more and more intermediate
species, not that it is needed to conclude natural selection. Since we
now have DNA analysis we can see the genome and how everything is
closely related, we have even been able to find gene switches which are
dormant in modern creatures, but once served a purpose in animals in
history. Things like teeth in a chicken, and longer tails, human embryos
looking like fish in their primary stages. They aid in the
understanding of the impact evolution has had, and will have on our
planet.

Some people think that evolution has not been
proven, or that it would be easily dis proven. Yet scientists know that
is not at all true. Even finding fossils in the evolutionary line, that
didn’t fit what scientists now believe is how we evolved, would dismiss
evolution. That is because evolution is not only a fact, but it is also a
theory. A theory supported by volumes of evidence.

So
how do we call it a theory, and fossils could change what we know, but
evolution still be true? That is because scientists are willing to
rewrite the record on how we evolved, if the evidence is found. It would
not change the fact that we evolved. The time record already shows
there was a period of millions of years where humans were no where on
this planet, and while we have found fossils leading from our ancestor
who diverged with chimps, around 6 million years ago, we don’t have the
complete line, or the line back to the first cell that formed.

Then
how can we say we know? Simple, we have enough evidence for it, to show
a pattern, a line from where humans began to evolve, and where mammals
evolved. Trait after trait new species arose, species died out and with
millions of species found either in the fossil record, or living, there
is a record of relation. Humans have no divine origins. There is no
moment where we can say all life was blinked into existence and then
started evolving further, but humans remained the same.

We
humans are living proof of our own evolution. Looking at human
diversity in skin color, facial features, height, body frame, one can
see how we began adapting to our environments, and if we had been given
millions of years of isolation, we might have speciated.

How
can I say that? Just 2 years ago a hominid was found on an isolated
island which was human like, but dwarfed. That is likely due to less
resources, and survival. Bones that have been found show that they were
of normal stature when they first arrived on the island. While the whole
like of their evolution has not been found, what we do know is
ultimately they became small, and went extinct. Since they are extinct,
we don’t know about their reproductive organs, and if they had
differences that might have made interbreeding with other hominids
difficult.

People who call it Darwinism, as if it were a
religion deny the reality with wilful ignorance. There is not one true
scientist who can say evolution did not happen. That is because there
are thousands of museums world wide with millions of fossils, there are
currently millions of species alive, we have evidence leading from
simple organisms, to highly complex.

The eye has
evolved separately many, many times. Lungs in whales, dolphins, remnant
bones, similar genetics, the number of digits in wings, or fins, the
mammalian embryo sack, and thousands of things all over the world, can’t
be wrong.

For those who say fossils were put there to
test faith. Well it would be absurd to concoct species so similar and
leading to modern ones, just to fool people. Not only that, but many of
those species don’t have anything to do with species that are currently
alive on this planet. They do not in fact have any descendants. So
placing those there is like placing a small orb in the vast emptiness of
a whole universe and making only one species special out of millions,
and then giving them a whole universe they can’t even explore.
Needlessly complex, and uselessly overdone.

Evolution
is not something scientists want to lie about, we place in their trust a
great deal of trust for the survival of the human race. Drugs, gene
therapy, stem cells, modern medicine, vaccines, cures, and even all the
machines around us show the need for a basic trust with the scientific
community, one that we have established. The only reason science works
is it is based on the reality of how things work, have worked, and have
evolved to work.

When it comes to evolution, it would
take the lifetime of all of us to even understand the amount of data
that exists showing how it has happened. It took Darwin 20 years to mass
what he had, and he had only scratched the surface, today we have
millions of dedicated scientific personnel working on understanding the
small fraction they study. We have volumes of evidence ready and at the
finger tips of anyone and everyone willing to look.

It
is utter garbage to deny evolution. Absurd to claim you know from a
singular book how humans came to be, and wilful ignorance to proclaim
with the breath of a divine being we walked into history in the middle
of it, special and above all that was already occurring on this planet.
Either you come to the conclusion that we evolved and accept it or you
blindly follow a ideology which has made no sense, provided no evidence,
shown no facts, and keeps you blind and ignorant to the reality.