Friday, July 15, 2011

Evolution is dumb.

Every day, I think of Derek. His death on May 3 seems such a waste. He was killed by the rogue colorectal cancer cells in his body, which were the descendants of one cell. This mutated cell did not stop replicating, its descendants eventually invaded many of Derek's other organs, rendering them dysfunctional.

Derek's death also meant the death of those cancer cells, certainly not advantageous to them. I fail to see any purpose in this.

In addition, the we all lost a man with a brilliant mind who helped others in so many ways, both in person, and with his online writing. The many comments on his blog ( attest to that. His presence contributed to the betterment of humanity in many ways. His loss, therefore, is also a loss for all who knew him, intimately or casually. Again, I feel to see any logic in this.

In general, evolution has the connotation of progress. In reality, to me, evolution seems to be based on random changes at random times for random causes, the vast majority of which are detrimental to any organism involved. I suppose that this is a manifestation of the increasing entropy to which the second law of thermodynamics refers. Only very occasionally, by random happenstance, do these random changes result in an improvement for, or, even more rarely, the creation of an organism. It is only because there has been an immensely long time available (billions of years), that these very rare "good" mutations "accumulated" to form the life forms we see here on Earth. This may be a point to consider when talking about "extraterrestrial" life. What is hard to construct is easy to destroy. Disorder is far more likely than order.

Evolution has no directed purpose; it is not intelligent.


Kath said...

You are so right. I love this post. Thank you for writing it.

Anonymous said...

Or, maybe, the loss of this terrific human being will drive another intelligent, caring, motivated person (or group of people) to continue to further the scientific pursuit fr knowledge to find a way to keep cancer from cheating us of the years we should have left. Derek touched and motivated many of us. Millions of us.