by Bruce Cornet, Ph.D.When considering the origin of life on Earth, one cannot help but reflect on what is theory and what is fact. Humans, especially scientists, seem to require a conceptual (theoretical) premise before they will venture into a new or controversial area of thinking in physics and science. A certain amount of speculation is necessary for creating an atmosphere of acceptance and opportunity for advancement. But the bottom line is this: What actual experimental data are available which will give credence to one's ideas on (and implications of), for example, the origin of life?
email bcornet @ monmouth.com
I am a biologist and evolutionist. I have studied the fossil history of life on Earth with great enthusiasm and interest for 35 years. What is missing from our data base are data which elaborate on the primordial soup, as it is conceived, which gave rise to life on Earth. My suspicions are such that if we were to have more data on the process of evolution of living cells, we would be in awe at the natural processes that take place on an evolving planet such as primordial Earth possessed two to three billion years ago. The fact that it took more than a billion years for multicellular life to evolve indicates to me that there is so much missing from our understanding that it is easier to assume some "intelligent" process was involved in creating life than it is to figure out the multitude of biochemical steps that were required in the path to cellular evolution. Ignorance and magic are related states of unknowing and deception.
I am not saying that life could not have evolved on this or another planet through natural processes. Far from it. What I am saying is that we are probably the results of a natural process of planetary evolution, the details of which have not yet been discovered. This may sound like "faith" in science, but it is based on 35 years of experience studying the evolution of macrofossils on Earth. It is so much easier to turn to "magic" and "black box" thinking, which imply some kind of "divine intelligence," than it is to piece together the actual history of biochemical evolution on this planet.
I strongly suspect that human macroevolution, especially our intelligence quotient, has been guided by an invisible "hand" through artificial genetic selection. By that I mean, I suspect based on verifiable evidence that something or someone is attempting to force the evolution of our brains towards some unknown goal or objective through selective match-making (i.e. breeding, as in certain royal bloodlines). This notion or concept is quite different from the "God" hypothesis for Genesis, as propounded by the Bible. Once sentience and "free will" evolve, a species enters the realm in which it can violate most rules for natural selection. When such a condition evolves, that species may require the intervention of an invisible agent of selection, which will artificially offset those tendencies leading to loss of genetic polarity or heterogeneity, such as global gene transfer between isolated populations and the dilution or mixing of characteristics which might otherwise lead to improved adaptation or intelligence in subpopulations.
In effect, humans have effectively destroyed or limited those processes which can lead to rapid evolution by creating global tribal warfare (wanton and random gene depletion), interracial marriages (gene dilution - although this may have a secondary benefit), and the preservation of recessive (maladapted) genes through moral issues and medicine. Global opposition to forced eugenics is a prime example of resistance to any kind of artificial selection in humans. Reduced numbers of offspring amongst the well-educated is another. I am certainly not advocating selective forced breeding policies - far from it; I am only pointing out how intelligence can lead to a stagnation in genetic evolution through moral and legal issues, requiring an offsetting influence, which must by necessity remain anonymous and invisible in order to exist.
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this page last updated 4 January 2003
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