PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
sunblock
 
Comments: 15
Article views: 548
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all sunblock's badges.
 

Evolution - analogies a five year old can understand

08 January 2013, 09:15

The evolution is an everyday reality. And evolution is a theory. A hypothesis.  A concept. Many Christians dismiss it as no more than that.  Of course the reality of the hypothesis is self evident.  But before looking at some aspects of it in nature, let’s look at the concept in human terms.

Take the automobile.  The car when it was first produced was thought that it would move so quickly, a person’s organs would be crushed when the vehicle accelerated (yes, even the measly accelerations of the first cars).  Ironically, some of those intuitions were very broadly correct.  Safety in vehicles was (and remains) a factor, and haemorrhage does occur more frequently than we would like,  often in the aftermath of a collision.  As a result, vehicles have had to evolve.  They have evolved safety harnesses, an engineered ‘crumpling’ system which allows the body of the car (especially in front) to absorb much of the impact. A more recent innovation is strengthened aluminium panels, ABS breaking, air bags, sensors in bumpers along with a host of new materials and sensors.

Another stressor on the auto industry is of course high fuel prices.  And vehicles have since evolved (most fairly recently) to sip less fuel, and to catch less wind.  It is actually incredible to look at how vehicles have transformed over time, in terms of shape, mass, fuel consumption, speed and the computer technology built into the system.  It is easy to dismiss the evolution of the vehicle and say, “Ah, but who created it?”  Is the simple answer really a man was sitting in a room, and ‘invented’ the motor vehicle?  I’m sure some would like to think so, for their own reasons.  Fortunately, the story is far bigger, and more vivid and colourful than that.  More on that in a moment.

The point is that once the vehicle was on the scene, environment stress and to some extent demand (which is an analogy for sexual selection) has led the design and engineering.  In other words, vehicles are not produced – for the most part – in spite of the environment, but to be practical and meet a host of other needs, including aesthetics.  (Nature does that too, again, to promote sexual selection).  Sometimes, in nature and in automobiles, aesthetics trumps engineering.  Think the peacock, bower bird, birds of paradise and perhaps some parrots and sunbirds and then think of the Buggati Veyron and every sports car and SUV ever made.

One can take the analogy even further and say, oh but a car will always be a car.  It was invented, it’s not like evolution which claims that horses came from dogs, and a fish and fruit fly are closer relatives to (a particular lizard say), than another similar lizardish looking crocodile creature but which happens to be far more evolved.  If that seems vague, let me be more specific. The car, in fact, was not simply invented for its own sake, out of thin air, simply created in order for it to exist.  In fact, if one does a little research, it turns out that a major volcanic eruption – one of the largest in human history – in the early 19th century, caused a year without summer, leading to massive worldwide crop failures in 1816.  Read about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_Without_a_Summer

The result was that the world horse population was decimated over a very short time.  This necessitated thinking and ingenuity, and thus it was in Germany that the precursor to the bicycle first appeared on the scene in 1817 (although a sketch by a pupil of Leonardo da Vinci from 1493 shows that the idea had been on people’s minds for a good while).

Read about it here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_bicycle

It was called a ‘dandyhorse’, and even today the seating arrangements are called a saddle (taking the cue from horseriding). The wheels had spokes, much like on a wagon, and a similar shape.  They were heavy, made of steel. This first iteration of the bicycle had no pedals, one would sit astride it and sort of run with the two wheels between ones legs.  It wasn’t long before bicycles became the predominant form of locomoting human beings on the planet. 

Horses pulling cars meant that under certain circumstances – muddy roads for example – tracks were laid down to relieve the strain on the horse, and prevent excessive breakdowns.  This led to the evolution of the bicycle (which was not a called a ‘bicycle’ until later) into two directions.  The first was the machine on rails, powered by steam, with the familiar spoked rims.  The second was a machine on the road, which had the wheels of a bicycle, and a small engine, powered by electricity.  It was the precursor to the electric car, but for reasons of expediency, that adaptation was allowed to linger in the background, so that the combustion engine (which was apparently cheaper and more powerful) could enter centre stage. 

It’s clear that when one understands the whole process, all the pieces fit together, and we see how small changes, and the environment, and an exterior driving force (in this case the demand for transport) cause many small changes over time.  If the reader imagines that the bicycle was ‘invented’ one afternoon, he should do a little research, the innovations took decades to perfect, some of course were elementary, others, like the derailleur, and gearing, were profound at the time and had applicability in other engines including cars, propeller driven ships and aircraft.

It is also absolutely clear that these changes, although modest at the time, over a long period of time, can make it difficult to see the original setup that spawned them.  It may be hard to imagine that a Boeing 747 evolved as a result of some of the technology that went into a bicycle, but it did.  In fact some of the first attempts at flight were on contraptions that very much resembled bicycles (lightweight pedalling contraptions etc).

Why can we not see these connections?  Firstly, because we do not try.  We don’t do the research, we don’t bother to read.  Second, because despite having all this information at our fingertips, we believe we already know all the answers.  Third, because our beliefs tell us that things were created out of nothing.  There is no story – there is no process.  There are just incomplete fragments, which God, in his wisdom can restore to a whole.  God is responsible, and that’s all we need to know.  Of course, from a particular perspective, this ignorance is impressive in terms of its sheer arrogance.

The same story as the one above can be told in terms of the evolution of the computer.

http://www.andreaswacker.com/apple_evolution_aw.jpg

 We can also look at the evolution of dogs

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog#History_and_evolution

 and roses

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden_roses#History

and cereal crops

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cereal#History

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestication

The evolution story too is fascinating, and I’d encourage you to read it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution

We learn, for example, about the arms race between predators and prey.  The one gaining strength, the other sacrificing strength to achieve lightness and speed (think lion versus gazelle).  In forests, trees try to outcompete each other in order to capture available sunshine.  Of course, that means growing higher, which costs them the materials required to grow taller.  As a result, all the trees grow taller.  For more of these fascinating insights, try reading The Greatest Show on Earth (and indeed it is), written by Richard Dawkins.

Or ignore it all. Call it a ‘theory’ but realise that this is a dismissive and nonsensical statement. And be clear that you prefer ignorance because you are terrified of the alternative.  If that is the case, you cannot also claim to be enlightened about the world.  Someone who chooses not to understand it, is either terrified or ignorant or just plain dogmatic.  Which are you?  And better, what will you do about it?

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
15 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Toni V Brockhoven
Foie Gras. Torture in a tin.

According to Stop Gavage, the French organisation against foie gras, worldwide 80 million birds are force fed annually – known as gavage – several times daily until slaughter.  Read more...

9 comments 431 views
Submitted by
IanMartin
Frikkie And Plug Join The Army

When Frikkie and Plug were in Matric the SANDF visited their school on a recruitment drive. After listening to the presentation they both decided it would be a good idea to join the army for a year. Read more...

16 comments 4054 views
Submitted by
Chris Khanye
The tyranny of Jacob Zuma leaders...

Why Jacob Zuma is somewhat despised and controversial, it is because he espoused the ‘dangers of leadership’.  Read more...

12 comments 1366 views
Submitted by
archibald
Life after death

The only evidence we do have of what LIFE is, is the testimonies of those who actually left their bodies to have seen the real force that lives inside their body.  Read more...

174 comments 2231 views
Submitted by
PeterTracey
Why I’m no DA fan

This Maimane fellow from the DA was as boring as an 80 year old German padre and does not seem to relate to our country’s history and the struggles of the ordinary person in the street. Read more...

54 comments 3434 views
Submitted by
Yacoob80
Surviving the dark: a cancer surv...

Two days have passed since my last treatment. My body nauseated, weak. Legs feeling like jelly, chest burning…burning like nothing I have experienced before. Read more...

24 comments 1489 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

Good Morning, Mr Mandela by Zelda la Grange

Good Morning, Mr Mandela tells the extraordinary story of how a young woman had her life, beliefs, prejudices and everything she once believed in utterly transformed by the greatest man of her time. Now R221. Pre-order now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.