Sunday, November 15, 2009

the miracle of evolution

I've been reading-- okay, listening to-- The Greatest Show on Earth, read by the author and his talented wife (the actress Lalla Ward). Whatever you may think of Richard Dawkins' aggressive brand of atheism, there's no denying his passionate commitment to the public understanding of evolution. The dog angle here is a nice touch, too.

What I think is that evolution makes it possible to live without old-time religion, but doesn't answer the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything. Not yet, anyway... but we do seem to be moving in that direction, understanding more of the complexity of life and its origins every day. For instance:

The probability is next to nil that highly complex molecules like RNA, DNA and proteins got created spontaneously through purely random or chance processes. However, the nearly-impossible became possible, i.e. the unlikely set of events became likely, through the mechanism of autocatalysis.

“The more we learn about the unbelievably complex, immensely varied, and yet simultaneously simple origin and development of life on earth, the more it looks like a miracle, and one that is still unfolding. The miracle of evolution.”

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