I've been scanning thru Geronimo's recent thread on evolution, & have really enjoyed reading all the fascinating responses. I was going to post in there, but was worried it might get buried. Many may not know me here, as i've barely posted, but in a nutshell, i'm still in the org (somewhat trapped at the moment) but consider myself a Christian with somewhat leftish leanings. :-) I'm kinda writing on the spur of the moment here, so please be kind if i make any bonehead statements. I don't want to polarize everyone, i just want to discuss a few things & hopefully get some answers. Anyways, to the matter at hand... evolution has always fascinated me, but my knowledge of it is limited to regular readings of Discover magazine & a bit of research on the internet. I understand that evolution (microevolution, at least) occurs currently & is observable, for example with viruses & bacteria adapting to treatments, with birds developing beak adaptations to compete for food, etc. You can't really argue about that. Some might say that that is not actually evolution, since a new species wasn't created, but might these kinds of slight changes over many years form a new species?
But on the other hand, it seems a very great stretch to believe that nonlife spawned life, in any form whatsoever. I have no problem accepting some adaptations over time, as the case for these seem pretty solid, but i can't wrap my head around the idea that from inanimate matter came life. It just doesn't seem logical. That is but one thing that solidifies my faith in God. I don't see any reason why He couldn't use evolution as part of his creative process, though.
A question that's nagged me about evolutionary theory ("theory" being used in the scientific sense of the word) for a long time: How are the two sexes explained? Wouldn't it have been far simpler, assuming that the simplest, most effective adaptation usually wins out, (let me know if this is a bad assumption) for all animals to reproduce asexually? I realize that sexual reproduction has a lot of evolutionary advanteges, what with the genetic diversity & such, but what is the evolutionary explanation for sexual reproduction coming about in the first place? There's a crapload of extremely complex biological processes that go on when a couple of critters make a baby critter... it just seems like it would be safer & simpler for the critter to just split in half, amoeba-style. Is it completely foolish to think that a complex multicellular organism could reproduce asexually? This may have been a very ignorant question, but i have never seen it answered, so please humor me. :-)
To confuse the issue even more, i refer you to this article: http://www.fredoneverything.net/EvolutionMonster.shtml I loved the way this guy thinks... i stumbled upon this a couple years ago & really enjoyed it. If anyone would like to address some of the questions that he presents, i'd love to hear that too. Here's a thought-provoking snippet from the article, & my other big question: "Or consider caterpillars. A caterpillar has no obvious resemblance to a butterfly. The disparity in engineering is huge. The caterpillar has no legs, properly speaking, certainly no wings, no proboscis. How did a species that did not undergo metamorphosis evolve into one that did? Pupating looks like something you do well or not at all: If you don?t turn into something practical at the end, you don?t get another chance." How in the world can we explain a process like this with evolutionary theory?
I leave you with another quote from that article: ?Whatever you most ardently believe, remember that there is another side. Try, however hard it may be, to put yourself in the shoes of those whose views you most dislike. Force yourself to make a reasoned argument for their position. Do that, think long and hard, and conclude as you will. You can do no better, and you may be surprised.? I have sincerely been trying to apply this ideal in my life ever since i stumbled out of the mental fog of the WTS. It's nice to finally be able to think, although it does feel a bit strange at first. :-)
Thanks for reading, & again, i apologize for any ignorant statements i may have made. Please educate me, all you knowledgeable folk.
Love & peace to all,