The theory of Evolution

Aractus 02, January, 2011

Today I’m going to deliver by my blog the textbook definition of Evolution, without referring to a textbook since I know the theory back-the-front. I’m surprised by how many people try to say “that’s not in the theory of Evolution” or “it’s not like that”, they’re usually Darwinists who don’t actually know the theory of evolution! Darwinists are the ones who will say “evolution is fact”. I’m not one of them. Every thing about physics is theoretical including what we call laws of physics (that’s not to say there aren’t laws of physics, just that anything we call laws are probably based on an actual law of physics, they may be close to the actual law of physics, they may just be good approximation, or they may be entirely wrong, they’re theoretical). I’m not here to make anything up or add my own bits this is the current standard theory as it stands, take it as you will.

I’m not pointing out everything that’s inconsistent at the moment, that will be done in the future. In the future we will address the questions “how could life start from nothing”, “how could life evolve from single-cell organisms to complicated life forms which develop from infants and breed using two distinct sexes”, not to mention “has there been enough time for life to develop to its current complexity” and of course the examples that seem to defy the theory, like the banana tree. As I go along I will compare it with other theories of physics, which you may actually believe we know more about then we actually do… let’s get started.

Evolution is just one of those things. Evolution starts with chemistry, the chemistry of this universe is fine-tuned to allow life to develop. If there was no carbon in the universe, life would not be possible. If just one of the so-called “fundamental laws” of nature were to be altered even slightly, such as the speed of light or the planck density, or the rate of expansion in the universe, life would simply be impossible.

The chemistry of the universe allows certain molecules to form, once formed they can even entice nearby chemicals to do the same. Crystallization forms by this process, this is why if you break apart coal you discover a single diamond somewhere, rather than scattered diamond bits throughout. But remarkably there are also predictable traits and patterns that appear. For instance, salt crystals (sodium chloride) form in squares, physicists can’t explain why, we simply do not know. There is no known law of physics we can apply that predicts this formation; yet we can infer that such a quantum law must apply since the formation takes place.

Seeing as we cannot explain why salt crystals are square, it’s not surprising we can’t explain how to make life from chemistry alone; but the basic building blocks appear to be there, in theory. The textbook theory is that life somehow formed in the primordial soup stage of the Earth’s development – but the truth of the matter is that the theory of evolution believes this step to be nothing more than a property of physics which will occur just as crystallization occurs, so that a simple life-form can start. Imagine if you will that somehow DNA has randomly assembled itself but is completely dead and unusable and unable to duplicate itself. If this material was allowed to reproduce by the same method as crystallization for a long enough period of time, something usable will eventually occur, and hence life will start.

Darwinists often insist that this is not a part of, or requirement of the theory of evolution. They’re wrong. They’re simply unaware that evolution is a theory of physics and as a theory of physics it must obey scientific laws, and those laws must be predictable and consistent. It is perfectly consistent with physics that chemicals can attract and crystallize without any form of life being present, given enough time (like say, an eternity) it is theoretically possible to generate living DNA by a lengthy process of trial and error duplication. The framework that allows evolution to take place is not “life” but physics! Without physics it’s not possible. Without carbon life cannot exist in any form, not even in the simplest form. The physics of the universe and the current rate of expansion of the universe allow life to exist; but if you were to build a time machine and travel back in time 5 billion years to before the earth existed, you would cease to live because the laws of physics would be unable to sustain your life, the universe would not have expanded enough.

Once life has started, it goes through the process of duplicating, splitting and starting again (duplicate, split, duplicate, split, duplicate, split, etc). Wonderful life for bacteria, right? Somehow it evolves overtime to use reproduction by two different sexes. How this occurs is a scientific mystery, but it’s explained by the fact that such a life form will have an evolutionary advantage. Unless I’m mistaken there is no bacteria in the world that reproduces sexually; except those which fuse together and produce something totally unlike what they used to be (hence they don’t really reproduce, the produce the product of the two different bacterium). So presumably it was this process by systematic trial and error that eventually produced bacteria that reproduces sexually; however it no longer exists today only asexual bacteria exists.

Evolution works by natural selection. Natural selection works on the organism itself, but evolution works “randomly” on the DNA, which is related but not identical. Much of natural selection is now known to be working on characteristics that are often independent of DNA; so at best Evolution works from a subset of Natural Selection. Let me give you an example. Roger might be a carpenter. He has big muscles, and so do all his children that work in the family business. When a large number ferocious beasts attack the village, Roger and his family are strong enough to fight them off, but many of the people in the village die in this attack. Note that this example could also be applied by disease or just about any other “natural selection” you can think of (a massive flood for instance), and there will always be a group of people who are equipped to handle this better than the others. Roger and his sons survived because they’re strong enough to fight back – but this has nothing to do with DNA at all, it simply has to do with their chosen lifestyle.

Darwin himself acknowledges this problem. If a competitive advantage is not based on DNA, but rather on lifestyle, then it forces evolution to work even more slowly – or not at all. Even more problematic is that if a competitive advantage is not present in DNA then it can be eliminated with a DNA mutation which inhibits such an advantage; yet it may not “harm” the species in such a serious way as alter its normal development, but just enough so that certain lifestyle choices available before are now impossible (but remember, this may not lead to destruction, after all just because they can’t be carpenters anymore doesn’t mean they can’t be bankers, or otherwise even more “successful”). But if your minds can handle it, imagine what would happen if all the carpenters in the world suddenly changed into bankers; improving the lives of all the individual bankers… but depreciating the species as a whole!

This differs from the viewpoint of Darwinists, and I’ll explain why. Darwinists believe that evolution operates on DNA – it doesn’t. It is always at least one step behind, possibly more. When a complicated organism reproduces itself, there is always information passed along from the parent alongside DNA. This information is made by the parent’s DNA; but the information (RNA and proteins) operate on the child’s development before their DNA is accessed. This is now at least two-steps behind DNA, since mutations that affect this process won’t be visible in the primary offspring, but in the grandchildren. Darwinists believe that DNA mutations occur extremely minutely at a time, and those that are beneficial give “just enough” evolutionary advantage to spread throughout the species. But they’re wrong since neither the theory of evolution specifies this, nor is it even remotely compatible with our understanding of genetics. Evolution can only occur with genetic advantages that are so great as to outweigh other non-genetic advantages in the real world. For instance, giving an organism the ability to travel further so they can evade more predators may be such an advantage that no matter what kind of behaviour the species is involved with it is always better for the species. But giving Roger’s sons a minute advantage in something like smell may well have no effect whatsoever; in fact it may have no advantage for 99.8% of the population and only assist the 0.2% of the population who’s profession involves something to do with smell.

Darwinists also believe that DNA is the blueprint for life; but as I’ve just explained it’s far more flexible then they give credit to. You can be “bigger and stronger” and still have the same DNA. You can even be smarter and wittier with the same DNA.

A single mutation itself is usually not enough to make any difference to the organism. Evolutionists believe that what actually occurs is that anytime harmful mutations in the DNA occur they are quickly eliminated, by natural selection, while mutations continue to (slowly) occur on strips of unused DNA. Then, when a new mutation in the DNA suddenly switches that unused DNA into action (so to speak) nature can “try it out” to see if it’s of any benefit, or if it’s harmful (and it usually is). If it’s of benefit the mutation will spread through the species until it’s dominant.

One of the difficulties to explain is the complexity of life. And we will cover this in the future. But to give you an idea, we can’t make a computer that can compute anywhere near the level that a human can, in fact one of the most puzzling things of all is how our vision works. Not only do we see an incredibly detailed picture of our surroundings, but the instant each pixel in our vision reaches our visual input information has already been passed along that details what objects are distinct, what those objects are, where shadows are, what’s in motion, what’s not, what’s up, what’s down, etc. Your brain is doing it right now as you read, it’s telling you before you can even see the screen what letters are in front of you and what they mean, you may only be able to read what you’re looking at directly, but you can certainly notice that this entire blog is filled with English letters, you even know what they are – a computer can’t read letters anywhere near as accurately as a human can, and even if it could it still wouldn’t be able to compute it anywhere near as quickly as you can (you know what the letter is before you even see it, a computer doesn’t), yet just by glancing you can see where the paragraphs are and your brain already knows what all the letters are. We can’t program a computer that can analyse to even a modest degree of what our visual system does – no matter how long it takes (ie not in real-time). By the way, it’s not as if we get a “picture at a time” either, each pixel in our vision is literally constantly updated as fast as the nerves can travel; that’s faster then we can film.

It’s been experimentally confirmed that we can see and identify an image flashed for a mere 1/220th of a second. Now I am surprised at claims by some people that we can actually see as little as 20fps since it’s well established that any flicker below 50Hz is noticeable and even at 60Hz can cause eyestrain. What we actually process is closer to 500fps of information – maybe even more. We only discard around half of the information (or so it is thought) and while we discard this information, it’s only on a per-pixel basis and the image itself is still passed along, so that essentially you get a frame with around half the pixels conveying complex meaningful information, but all the pixels still convey the picture information. We don’t actually see a “picture at a time” though, we process each pixel as fast as its nerve carrier can take it, so the image we see is just a collaboration of this information. Our eyes don’t flash “on and off”, they are always on; and if one pixel isn’t updating itself, there are literally billions of others that are. I can easily calculate on the basis of being able to distinguish every single pixel on my 1080p computer monitor that each eye can see at least 26,5420,800 pixels (and probably much, much more), half of this information overlaps and also has 3d-dimensional processing applied. Our eyes are more sensitive to colour than a computer can produce, but let’s play by these rules. 24bit colour. A computer monitor represents well less than half the contrast we can appreciate, so we can immediately take this to 48bits. Furthermore RGB produces less than half of all visible colours, but let’s not nitpick it’s already complicated enough as it is. 48bit RGB is called “Deep Colour”, let’s use that. That would mean it would take 25,480,396,800 bits of information to represent all the eye can see at a level of 8×8 1080p resolution. The pixels that we can actually see are even finer then that, but you can see where I’m going. How could you process 500 frames per second of this information with a brain that only has 100,000,000,000 neurons? Aha… another one of life’s mysteries!

Evolution explains complexity as essential. Organisms compete by “adding” bits and pieces to their bodies, not by systematically removing them. Hand to eye coordination is also swiftly computed. Frogs can see a gnat or a fly that buzzes by them and react so quickly as to flick out their tongues in exactly the right position at lightning speed to swiftly grab their meal without moving a muscle on the Lilly Pad.

So as life evolved it first learned to be self-sufficient (the earliest, simplest form of bacteria), then it learned to produce sexually as an evolutionary advantage, then it began adding sensory information in all kinds of manners, and a processing centre, and it learned to digest different types of food, and also to compute at a very high level. It learned to add new organs, and features as well, and to adapt different ways of breathing, and even different ways of determining sex. Life also learned to grow not just twice as large before reproduction, but millions or even billions of times as large and as complicated as its starting condition (a fertilized egg).

Many physicists will hate me for saying this, but I actually don’t believe in wave-particle duality. You see, at our human level we observe things we call “particles” and things we call “waves”, and because we see it at a human level, we “think” that particle and wave duality behaviour is distinct at a quantum level with the quantum uncertainty principle applied. I don’t know what’s going on at the quantum level but the idea that particles behave like waves until an observation (or interaction) causes them to collapse their waveform and behave like a particle is utterly ridiculous. It’s simply the best we’ve able to come up with, since we can’t yet imagine a state of matter that exists in a way that contains properties of both particles and waves. Let me state this more clearly. If the quantum world was obvious then we would know why sodium-chloride crystals form in squares (I mean cubes). Yet since there is no explanation as to what law of physics causes this, it’s obvious we don’t yet know or recognize all the laws of physics.

This is actually helpful to the theory of evolution, because it means that we don’t need to explain exactly how life got started, other than to say that like square sodium-chloride crystals, it’s the result of a fundamental law of physics (one of a combination of quantum mechanics and chemistry), one which we don’t yet know.

Every so often observations throw a spanner in the works of our understanding of physics. I had one of those moments last year when I realized that wave-particle duality is just a delusion. In my next physics article I will address just this point and show, I hope conclusively, that what we “think” we know is just a good approximation. I hope you enjoyed the first entry in this year’s physics series, I really look forward to bringing you many, many more, as promised last year. Until then, the wheels of science continue in perpetual motion…

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