How and why is the theory of evolution considered plausible, in any way?
Topic: discussion of results
June 25, 2019 / By Lorin Question:
I am currently studying Human Anatomy & Physiology. The unfathomably intricate design of the human bodies is purely mind-boggling! The incredible complexity led me to wonder all this all evolved. How did something as complex as our nervous system, which somehow conducts electrical events to maintain our well-being just evolve from nothing?
Obviously, at some time, one must believe there was a state of nothingness. For me, at least, that is hard to comprehend. Nothing. No planets, no starts, even no atoms. How then, did the first atom come about? According to Dalton’s atomic law, atoms cannot be created or destroyed. The law of conservation of mass/matter, also known as law of mass/matter conservation says that the mass of a closed system will remain constant, regardless of the processes acting inside the system. An equivalent statement is that mass cannot be created/destroyed. These are universally accepted facts. How do scientists disregard these laws when accepting the possibility of evolution? When I asked my teacher, who firmly credits the world as we know it to evolution, this, he rambled on for a minute or two before claiming that this discussion was for another class. In his rambling, he said something regarding the Big Bang. However, I researched this, and the Big Bang, which is also referred to as the "hypothesis of the primeval atom", could HAVE ONLY OCCURRED IF AN ATOM/ATOMS WERE PRESENT. How then, does one explain the creating of an atom, if it is not even possible?
Secondly, imagining if the insurmountable had happened, which I am referring to atoms being created out of nothingness, I still find evolution not plausible due to these following laws. The law of conservation of energy states that the total amount of energy in an isolated system remains constant. A consequence of this law is that energy cannot be created or destroyed. This again, universally accepted law, which 100% of the time has proven to be factual, would make evolution not possible. This atom, which already shouldn’t exist, would have nothing to do, nothing to react with. One would then have to assume that the unachievable was achieved not once, but hundred, possibly millions of times. And, even if it had, the total amount of energy in an isolated system remains constant. However, in order for evolution to have truly occurred, this law would have also had to be broken. Imagine confining only atoms to a specific area, and eventually, a human, arising. This could not occur due to the second law of thermodynamics, which is an expression of the universal law of increasing entropy, stating that the entropy of an isolated system, which is not in equilibrium, will tend to increase over time. Even if millions of atoms, and energy, had been created, these would not evolve into something more complex, instead something more disorderly. In order for the theory of Evolution to be true, it would then have to disregard the FOUNDATION of science itself. In my opinion, it is no more than a contradiction.
I would like to say this is NOT a Creationism vs. Evolutionism debate!! I merely would like to understand how and why the theory of Evolution was not disregarded as foolish by scientists. Thanks!
Best Answers: How and why is the theory of evolution considered plausible, in any way?
Katharine | 4 days ago
As an anatomy teacher, I can tell you that an evolutionary perspective will make your learning a lot easier. It's how I structure my course, and my students (most of them obnoxiously religious) actually rather like it. I'll address your arguments point by point:
How did something as complex as our nervous system, which somehow conducts electrical events to maintain our well-being just evolve from nothing? >>> It did not evolve from nothing. It evolved from nervous system of an ancestral species, which evolved from the nervous system of its ancestral species, and so on. The nervous systems of all vertebrate animals are very similar. Any trait in an extant organism (such as us!) is the product of about 4 BILLION years of evolution. That's time for quite a lot of change. In fact, we would probably have trouble even recognizing the first nervous systems as such.
Obviously, at some time, one must believe there was a state of nothingness. For me, at least, that is hard to comprehend.>>> Probably. But no one was around then, so we can never know exactly what it was like (although we have a pretty good idea). Also, personal incredulity/ignorance is not an argument for anything other than a need for education.
How do scientists disregard these laws when accepting the possibility of evolution?>>> They don't. Evolution has nothing to do with the creation or destruction of matter or energy. It has to do with changes in gene frequencies in populations over immense stretches of time as a result of selection for advantageous phenotypes. It is an inevitable and emergent property of living systems.
How then, does one explain the creating of an atom, if it is not even possible?>>> How then, does one convince someone who has already decided to not believe you? /sarcasm. That's a question for a physicist. Again, nothing to do with evolution. You might be interested to know, by the way, that atoms are destroyed and created all the time in nuclear fission and fusion reactions. Their consituent particles are not created or destroyed, nor is energy or mass lost or gained.
Even if millions of atoms, and energy, had been created, these would not evolve into something more complex, instead something more disorderly. In order for the theory of Evolution to be true, it would then have to disregard the FOUNDATION of science itself. In my opinion, it is no more than a contradiction.>>> This is the opinion of an ignorant person. The biosphere is not a closed system. It receives energy from the sun and mass from meteorites and such. Because it is not a closed system, arguments about evolution defying the second law of thermodynamics are unsound. Entropy can decrease in part of an open system as long as it increases somewhere else. Also, the second law of thermodynamics is not the foundation of modern science. It's not even the foundation of physics. If it were, don't you think it would at least be the FIRST law of thermodynamics? The foundation of science is probably methodological naturalism.
I would like to say this is NOT a Creationism vs. Evolutionism debate!! >>> Good. Because there is no such debate.
I merely would like to understand how and why the theory of Evolution was not disregarded as foolish by scientists.>>> Evolution is accepted because it has never been disproven, and because there are no viable alternatives.
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Originally Answered: Why is evolution considered to be a theory instead of a hypothesis?
You're basically asking someone to do all of your research, which I won't do. But if you're interested in understanding the difference between a theory and a hypothesis, this website has one of the best and simplest explanations. http://wilstar.com/theories.htm
The theory of evolution not only says that life evolved, it also includes mechanisms, like mutations, natural selection, and genetic drift, which go a long way towards explaining how life evolved.
because there are about 150 years or research which substantiated evolution. Firstly, biological evolution does not have to do anything with the start of the universe. Secondly, there is this little known theory by this little known guy called einstein which states an equivalency of energy and matter. Please ask questions as to the origin of the universe in physics.
The second law of thermodynamics does not apply because the earth is not a closed system. We get energy of the sun. Look up in a dictionary what photosyntesis is. Also consider how much you eat each day and how the food you eat is connected to photosynthesis. If you study human anatomy and physiology you really should know where humans get energy from and what happens if they stop getting external energy and the mechanism of respiration including cellular respiration. Your question makes you not appear to have the necessary biological knowledge to take a physiology class. It's very basic biology stuff which you should have learned in school. I think I learned that in about 8th grade or so and repeated with more detail in high school.
I would suggest you grab a biology book and study evolutionary theory and physiology. I am sorry, it's not a 2 minute subject. People can spend 10 years to get a undergrad and grad degree in evolution alone. This here is not the appropriate forum to teach remedial biology. You will have to do that yourself. And I highly recommend that if you want to pass your class.
I also would highly recommend that you start reading through the talkorigin website. You will find answers to your questions there.
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Can I ask you: even if some steady-state model of the universe were demonstrated to be more accurate than the Big Bang (and therefore atoms have always existed, and were never created), how, exactly, would that impact the theory of evolution?
And your specialisation in anatomy & physiology is showing, in that you don't understand the Big Bang theory. It was called the "primeval atom" for historical reasons: it was actually a singularity (a point of zero volume and infinite density) "within" which all matter and energy of our universe already existed (albeit not in that form). In fact, above a certain level of heat and density, atoms *cannot* exist.
Also - Dalton's law was only held to be "true" before we knew about radioactivity and unstable atoms. Atoms can be and are created and destroyed by nuclear reactions: both fission and fusion.
And your objection regarding the second law of thermodynamics would also prevent organisms from growing (as that is an increase in energy). Neither organisms, nor the earth as a whole, are isolated systems, so the law does *not* apply.
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First, you have to understand what is or is not covered in the theory of evolution.
The theory of evolution has nothing to do with the origins of the universe, the origins of atoms from "nothingness", or even the origins of life.
The theory of evolution is PURELY about how life forms *change* over time ... which can (but doesn't have to) include the origins of modern species from earlier species.
So no wonder it's not "plausible" to you!
You have *REDEFINED* what the word 'evolution' means until it makes no sense at all!
You have *REDEFINED* evolution as this huge jumbled mess of many different concepts from half-a-dozen different branches of science, from cosmology to astrophysics to chemistry to biochemistry to modern evolutionary biology and paleontology.
>"The law of conservation of energy states that the total amount of energy in an isolated system remains constant. "
But the earth is NOT an "isolated system"! Do you not see that massive ball of burning hydrogen in the sky, dumping energy into the earth every day??? There is no violation of the conservation of energy whatsoever.
So please, if you're going to question whether a theory is 'plausible' ... don't you think you should learn what the theory *IS* first?
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1) The argument from incredulity has no merit.
2) You assume nothingness as the source. There is no basis for your assumption. It may well be that the mass-energy of the universe existed prior to the universe.
3) Since we can observe protons an electrons being formed in particle colliders, it is clear that your reference to Dalton's atomic laws only applies to some conditions. What you assert is impossible has been observed.
4) The Earth, especially the biosphere, is not a closed system. It receives energy from the Sun. Radionucleides in the core are decaying, releasing energy as heat and chemicals, especially as geologically active areas. Even in a closed system, a local region may decrease in entropy at the expense of increased entropy in a different region. The net entropy of the whole system increases. The universe is mostly empty space. There's the entropy.
5) Your "contradiction" is merely simplistic thinking.
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