I’m Beginning to Agree with Darwin

Uh-oh, is it possible that a writer at this Jewish website would actually agree with the theory of evolution?

Let’s see.

Darwin states in his “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection” which, interestingly enough never addresses the crucial question of the origin of life itself, that life began on Earth as single celled organisms that eventually evolved into the higher forms of life that we see today.

According to Darwin, there is an evolutionary chain from algae to fish to birds to reptiles to cold and warm blooded animals and finally to mankind. He describes the progression in much the same sequence that the Author of Genesis wrote thousands of years earlier.

But Darwin left out ONE, VERY important consideration.

The probability that any of this could have happened by accident is against astronomically calculated odds. Scientists, biologists, geneticists, agnostics and atheists all admit that even the simplest of human cells is far more complex than any invention that mankind could ever conceive of, let alone duplicate. There had to be another factor leading up to the arrival of man.

So here, I can’t say that Darwin and I agree.

But consider the second part of his title, dubbed “The Survival of the Fittest”.

Along the chain leading to the eventual development of all of the “beings” we see in existence today, there were predecessors that were less than complete. Skunks without smell, birds without feathers, cats without claws and rabbits without reproductive systems.

Only those that were fit survived. The rest fell by the wayside.

Here’s where I think Darwin makes a little sense. Heaven forbid, not from the evolutionary standpoint, but from a view of human history.

When we look back on the last six thousand years of recorded history, we see many societies that appeared to be “fit” but were actually less than that. The Egyptians, Assyrians, Persians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, Mongols, Huns, Ottomans, Nazis, Communists and Socialists all rose to power expecting to be around forever.  But look around, they have also fallen by the wayside.

There is only one nation that has seen them all, lived amongst them all, survived them all and continues to this day.

That is - the Jewish people.

Perhaps that’s because what we stand for, what we believe in and what we actively practice is the fittest of all ideals.

Yup, in this regard, I’m beginning to agree with Darwin. Only the fittest survive.

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Comments icon August 7, 2011


By Omegajuice on August 11, 2011 -- 3:55am

Several things about this article bug me.

1)Darwin never actually used the phrase “Survival of the Fittest” the phrase is actually slightly misleading.

It implies that the biggest, toughest, fastest and most intelligent will be the evolutionary “winners”, which is false. A slug is just as evolved as a human being (because it has survived) and they are completely rubbish!

“Complete” animal doesn’t really make sense because there is no end goal that evolution is trying to get to. We just get animals that exist now and animals that existed then. They are all complete!

It’s really a case of “Survival of the best adapted to environmental pressures”, not as catchy but it’s more in keeping with Evolution.

2)Evolution does not deal with the origin of life because that’s beyond the scope of the theory, so of course Darwin never mentions it. Evolution explains how life adapts and diversifies and not how it all got started in the first place.

The theory of how it got started is called Abiogenesis and is less well developed (it is significantly harder to construct this theory because life only began once whereas life is evolving constantly all the time, this means the best we are likely to get is an explanation of how it could have happened rather than how it actually did happen)

3)The order of the evolutionary chain is wrong in this article. It may be the same as what Darwin claimed (I actually don’t know) but it is not the same as the models in evolutionary biology today.
It is less a chain and more a tree. We have no direct ancestors who were birds, for example because birds diverged from reptiles and mammals had already become distinct. They are on a different branch of that tree. We also did not evolve from any of the currently existing animal species on the planet today. Our ancestors are all dead… obviously.

4) We have come a LONG way since Darwin. Origin of Species is about 150 years old and biologists haven’t been twiddling their thumbs since then. They discovered DNA and genetics for one thing. Darwin got many things wrong and we know many things that he could not possibly have known. It’s worth reading up on modern evolutionary biology before writing a piece like this.

5)Finally and most importantly, the idea that evolution is extremely unlikely requires quite a major misunderstanding.
If I drop a ball what are the odds that it will go downwards? There are almost infinite different possibles directions that it could go however Gravity explains a mechanism for why it always goes downwards.
Similarly, Natural Selection explains a mechanism for why mutations that help an organism to survive become more numerous.
Mutations to the genome are actually very common (humans have on average about 250 unique ones in every individual) but most of them have no real effect or only a small effect. [It’s worth noting that humans are so complicated and indivudually distinct that it is difficult to tell which part of their uniqueness is down to mutations and what is down to other factors) The point is that when they do have a positive effect, they become more numerous in the gene pool. This individual changes stack over generations to form very big changes. That is the essence of evolution.

Wow my comment was larger that the article

By Ger'shon Weinberger on October 7, 2011 -- 5:26am

Why, when I try to send out some of your articles to a friend by e-mail, the circle keeps going round and round and does not get sent?

By abraham on October 14, 2011 -- 11:48am

survival of the fittest

Sure, Judaism has survived but at what price.

millions Jews killed, persecuted, expelled from countries, always living among those less fit for survival but that any time will dispossess us of everything including life. Always comndemed to live among those we do not like and who in return do not like us, it is a crazy survival. Survival is nnot everything, living peaceful happy secure lives is, jews are always in secure. Right now it is a matter of time, perhaps months only before non jewish americans of all creeds and races turn on jews as it has happened before hundreds of times and will continue to happen. No, thanks

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