Andrew Singer <email@example.com> writes:
>I have a great deal of curiosity about the varying viewpoints on >evolution (having been an Anthropology major). I just pick up the book >"Darwin on Trial" by Phillip Johnson who's from my alma mater UCB. Not >that it's important, but I went into reading the book with considerable >confidence regarding the validity of the theory of evolution. However, >the book has rased some interesting questions which I hadn't considered >before.
>Let me take a quick excerpt from the book from which I have a few >questions to throw out: > "..the mathematician D.S. Ulam argued that it was highly >improbable that the eye could have evolved by the accumulation of small >mutations, because the number of mutations would have to be so large and >the time available was not nearly long enough for them to appear..."
>Andrew Singer >firstname.lastname@example.org
I have been wondering about this argument for a while,as well,so maybe someone can clear up something for me. It seems that since the argument is probability based we can interpret it as follows: Given a multitude of earths,with evolution occuring as it does here, it the probability of the human eye arising again on one of these earths in the 4.5 billion years(from my early 80's geology book) it took here is infinitesmial. This is how I interpret Stuart Kauffman's argument on E Coli, _The Origins of Order_,pp21-22,that we should not look at the probability of a known evolutionary event recurring,but instead should look for the probability that some such event could occur. We wouldn't expect other intelligent life forms to speak any human language after all, we would just expect them to have some system which serves them as our languages serve us. My two cents- Felix