Ovid (publius_ovidius) wrote,

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Happy Samhain

In the spirit of the pagan festival Samhain, which the Catholic church co-opted by moving All Saint's Day to November 1st and eventually became the secular Halloween festival, I present yet another celebration of evolution: how to evolve a watch (via: reddit).

ID proponents routinely use the "watch implies a designer" argument as a rebuttal against evolution. What they forget is that there's a crucial difference between watches and living things: watches aren't alive. They don't breed. They don't mutate. They don't compete for limited resources. Those are three key things for living organisms. So the author of the "How to evolve a watch" decided to write software to find out what would happen if watches could do those things (competing for natural resources is referred to "natural selection", but it's the same thing). The results are fascinating. Complicated yet accurate watches, some with four hands, evolve.

But some people will say that since the author wrote the software, that implies that he's a designer. This is false. It's the abiogenesis/evolution confusion. The two should not be conflated. Abiogenesis is complicated and science cannot explain it. Perhaps science never will. Who knows? The author merely provided the initial conditions necessary for "life" (abiogenesis). He did not design the watches (evolution).

For those desiring a more (recently) traditional topic, here are my pumpkins from a couple of years ago.
Tags: pseudo-science, religion, science
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