I know it’s a vice, but I was browsing the Savage Blog this morning. What can I say? When I’m home alone even reading about people complaining about their lives feels like company. Anyway, I found a link to this article about the evolution of sexual intercourse. Apparently a species of fish native to Scotland is now believed to be the first animals to reproduce via internal fertilization. In the article published on the topic, Professor John Long, from Flinders University in Australia, said:
“We have defined the very point in evolution where the origin of internal fertilisation in all animals began. That is a really big step.”
Something about the idea that we could know, observe, document the “origin” of an activity so fundamental to life as sex, and that we could claim to have done this for “all animals,” stank of such hubris that my stomach turned over inside me when I read these words.
I will not hide the fact that I don’t believe evolution as truth. People today, especially noisy liberals who publish syndicated blogs on the internet, like to use people like me as an example of the stubbornly ignorant. They say things like, “there are people today who don’t believe that [insert some scientific claim that is supposed to be nearly self evident] is true, just like there are still people today who don’t believe in evolution!” As a Ph.D. holding member of the upper stratus of intelligence on this planet I have the confidence in my deductive skills to not take this type of comment personally. Personally, it actually irks me that the way people talk about evolution is so similar to the way they talk about religion: “Do you believe in God?” “Do you believe in Evolution?” Evolution is a scientific theory of how life organizes itself on this planet, and in the greater universe in general. It’s a theory with axiomatic suppositions and empirical predictions that can be measured and rejected with data. What many people don’t understand about science, though, is that you can’t actually verify a theory with data. You can only fail to reject it. I’ve read the published articles that supposedly prove the validity of evolution and quite frankly I don’t think they’ve proven anything other than that within a framework of belief people can find data that parallels their expectations.
When I read this comment about the supposed origins of sex in an animals I couldn’t help but feel the same sort of repugnance as I experience when people make claims to have discovered ancient relics from the Bible, particularly ones that should not exist according to scientific rules. For example, Noah’s ark. Some people claim to have discovered it on the top of a mountain somewhere. If you believe the Bible word for word then perhaps you take a boat on a mountain as unrefutable scientific proof that the Flood really happened. If you don’t believe the Bible word for word, then a boat on top of a mountain might very well appear to you like a dilapidated log cabin. It’s the same with evolution. If you believe that evolution is the One True Story of how life came to be the way it is, then you most certainly believe that fossil remains of a fish with a boner prove that ancient fish invented sex.
Me? I don’t believe the theory of evolution to have a monopoly on the Story of Life. I believe that scientists who study the fossil record are very skillful. I believe they have robust and precise techniques for measuring the age of things that they discover. I also believe that scientists are generally eager for fame. They all want to be the ones to discover the “missing piece” of the evolutionary puzzle. It isn’t once that scientists have faked evidence with methods so base as to have actually glued separate fossils together to create the evidence they wanted to discover. But whether or not the evidence is reliable isn’t even the point. The point is that there is a movement today within the People that seeks to overthrow God’s thrown and replace it with hard, cold, unrelenting and merciless Science. Frankly I don’t want to worship science any more than I want to worship a god who creates an imperfect creature and then punishes it for its failings.
The hubris, the mere suggestion that we could in any way observe the origin of All Life Everywhere, this doesn’t sit well with me. Those people who would tie themselves to this Story, they frighten me.