Let me first start by saying that I believe Evolutionary Theory. I believe that the brilliant Scientists that have done the hard work of researching and testing the theory over the many years have done good work. I can see no reason that they would have to mislead people intentionally. I do trust that they are honest in their findings and in the way it is presented to the general public.
That being said, I have a few questions.
I have just started reading Richard Dawkins ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’. And as usual with his writing, I am enjoying it tremendously. In the first part of the book, he uses the topic of the various breeds of Dogs to support the theory of ‘artificial selection’ (since humans were the ones to develop and domesticate the various breeds of dogs). He states that it’s been determined that all dog breeds lead back and tie into the genetics of Wolfs. Not foxes, hyenas, etc like originally thought.
Here is where things get foggy for me. I did a bit of digging separate from the book to see if I could find more information on how this actually occurred. I found one idea where it said that larger wolves would be bred with smaller, more pointy eared wolves, and would end up with a slightly smaller version. And that process was repeated to eventually develop the various breeds. I’m having trouble with this. Isn’t it correct that if you breed a large wolf, with one that may be smaller and look slightly different that you would still have a wolf? At least throughout the much smaller span of time that humans have been doing this as compared to the EONS of time that natural selection works in. This is an honest question. I am really looking to find how the process actually works and actual evidence that supports it. If anyone reads this and has links to articles or books that would explain the process, PLEASE post it in the comments. I would appreciate it greatly.
Another thing that has been nagging me lately is this. It is theorized that all life formed in the water (or Primordial Soup if you will). Single cell life forms eventually developed into more complex life forms over billions of years. And eventually some of those life forms moved onto land. Well, how does this happen? If a creature lives in water, it has gills. If a creature lives on land, it has lungs. How do the very FIRST creatures to do this, move from water to land? I mean, a fish that wanders on to land, and maybe lays eggs, doesn’t have babies that all of a sudden are born able to breathe air. Believe me when I say, I am not trying to over-simplify the process or claim that this is a flaw in the theory. I just can’t seem to figure out in my head, how this would happen. So, as with the other question, if there’s any information out there to explain this, I would LOVE to read it.
Maybe Dawkins will discuss this later in the book, and I’m just jumping the gun, but like I said, it’s just something that’s been nagging me and I’m curious to see what’s out there to explain these questions.
I am currently about half-way through reading Richard Dawkins – The God Delusion (yes, i know…what the hell took me so long?!?!?). It is truly VERY well written and I am thoroughly enjoying it.
I’ve just recently gone through his section that talked about a ’10 commandements’ more suited for our modern society. Since, obviously, the biblical ones are not only VERY outdated, but also, not all encompassing and really rather narcissistic from ‘god’s’ perspective.
Anyway, I wanted to post the new list of 10 commandments (based on the list that Dawkins provides in the book) because I think they are really are more applicable to modern life. Here is the list, along with some of my own commentary in parentheses where applicable…
First Commandment: Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you. (Ah yes…the golden rule. Applicable, I think through ALL ages)
Second Commandment: In all things, strive to cause no harm.
Third Commandment: Treat your fellow human beings, your fellow living things, and the world in general with love, honesty, faithfulness and respect. (A worthy, albeit challenging, goal)
Fourth Commandment: Do not overlook evil or shrink from administering justice, but always be ready to forgive wrongdoing freely admitted and honestly regretted. (this has an ‘eastern philosophy feel to it that I really like)
Fifth Commandment: Live life with a sense of joy and wonder. (this is a big one for me. I think when I was young, I HAD this sense of wonder. This amazement with the world and the universe. Though the years of my fundamentalism, a lot of that was taken away and lost. Now that I’ve shed that oppression, I can feel some of the sense of joy and wonder coming back, and it really has been awesome)
Sixth Commandment: Always seek to be learning something new. (yep…a daily pursuit for me)
Seventh Commandment: Test all things; always check your ideas against the facts, and be ready to discard even a cherished belief if it does not conform to them.
Eighth Commandment: Never seek to censor or cut yourself off from dissent; always respect the right of others to disagree with you. (another challenging rule for me personally. It’s hard, but getting easier, to take the mentality that other people are allowed to have opposing viewpoints. I guess it just comes down to the fact that I’ve always been passionate about my beliefs (that damn fundamentalism!).
Ninth Commandment: Form independent opinions on the basis of your own reason and experience; do not allow yourself to be led blindly by others.
Tenth Commandment: Question everything. (and then question it again!)