Chemical molecules

Evolution needs no help

Complex is not born from simple by itself. The opponents of evolution frequently use this observation to their advantage. This article is for those who think that either of these two is true:

  1. Evolution is not possible because complex organisms will never arise from simple ones unless someone sentient “helps” them, just like a new BMW cannot arise by itself from metal scrap.
  2. Evolution is not possible because it contradicts the second law of thermodynamics: any system becomes more chaotic with time and simplifies.

In other words, evolution needs help, they say, and cannot happen by itself…

Alright, my turn to retort.

Argument #1

“Life cannot become more complicated by itself.” But who said it does become more complicated? Who in the bloody world has ever assumed that life evolves from simple to complex?

Let me explain to you what evolution is: it is the tool of adaptation to the environment. And the environment is stable throughout the history of Earth. Occasionally, ice age will come, but then it will melt away at some point. On the average, the Earth is stable. Evolution chases no universal goals, and living things are not seeking to become perfect organisms. World domination is not life’s imperative – organisms just exist, and their sole aim is survival. An elephant is no more complex than a mammoth, a snake is no more complex than a lizard, a bird is no more complex than a pterosaur. They’re just different… Can you feel the difference between “complexification” and “fluctuation”? Well, life does the latter.

Q: But still, we evolved from simple unicellular organisms!
Excuse me, did you just say “simple“? In comparison to an amoeba, any vertebrate is the role-model of simplicity. Compare a Protozoan cell and a human erythrocyte to see the true meaning of ‘simple’ and ‘complex’. The beauty and the blob!

Multicellular VS Unicellular

Any unicellular is far more complex than any multicellular. A single cell does what otherwise is done by millions of cells, which are absolutely helpless and incapable alone. A multicellular organism is an example of success through simplifying and teamwork. In particular, through division of labour.

The quote of the day: A wolf is a corporation, an amoeba is a sole entrepreneur.

Q: It’s still obvious that a multicellular organism is more complex…
Then, it is obvious to you that a bag of walkie-talkies is more complex than a single iPhone. However, to the majority, it’s not obvious…

Argument #2

Life cannot become more complicated by itself.

It would make sense, but… what about growth then? All organisms are born simple, but develop into more complex throughout their individual life. Some organisms are born as tiny tadpoles to become large and beautiful frogs. How do you think they do so if, like you say, life cannot become more complex by itself? It’s impossible – you said it yourself. Yet it happens…

Q: Evolution and growth are two different things…
Here we go. I think I heard something like that before. “It’s bad to steal – but when I steal, it’s, you know, a necessity“. “It’s wrong to use the “f” word – but what I said yesterday, it was, you know, it was said in special context, wasn’t that kind of “f” word…“. If people are good at something, it is ignoring the very arguments they defend. What’s it called again? Double standards, or something…

A fish cannot evolve into amphibians in millions of years, yet a tadpole can become a frog in a month. A dinosaur cannot evolve into a flying bird in millions of years, yet a caterpillar can become a butterfly – that’s one hell a change! How would one explain it? Let me guess: “Simple cannot become complex by itself – but caterpillars and butterflies, you know, it’s the same animal, so doesn’t count“. Or “Animals cannot change – but in caterpillars, you know, it’s not really a change, it’s… what’s it called… pseudochange!” Just say it aloud to yourself. Doesn’t sound funny?

Metal scrap cannot change into BMW unless someone sentient plays with it a little. But a tadpole can “assemble” itself into a frog. Because metal is not alive, but a tadpole is alive, proactive, and can provide itself with that sentient mind. It’s not as clever as an Einstein, but it’s capable of making decisions and has intrinsic understanding of what’s best to itself. It looks for food, looks for dry land when legs start to grow, and essentially shapes itself into a frog.

The same applies to evolution: a population shapes itself into a different population through decisions made by individuals. Every animal aims to survive, and based on how successful they are, the selection process happens.

Argument #3

A system cannot become more complex by itself, but biosphere is an open system. There is a thing in the space nearby, called the Sun, looks like this: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yRethWGRySA/UZJrskXVDvI/AAAAAAAADqc/NK6MTfZjnzo/s1600/sun+emoticon+for+facebook+comments.png. It’s power is tremendous, and plants can catch it to “share” with the rest of the living things. Open a physics book – the second law of thermodynamics DOES NOT apply to open systems.

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Further reads

Previous article: Evolution today
List of all articles about evolution

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