What Evolution Can’t Explain Part II
by Al Serrato
Well, it didn’t work that way,” she said. I was in the middle of a conversation with my daughter’s high school biology teacher. As I outlined in my last post, we were talking about evolution and, more specifically, how male and female evolution could occur simultaneously when it appears quite evident that the female reproductive system is much more complex. She had already agreed that complex systems should take longer to evolve….
“Evolution occurred gradually, over time, as the predecessors to humans slowly began to change.”
“Fair enough,” I responded. “So, tell me about that first pair of monkeys, the very first male and female monkey from which you say we evolved.”
“Well,” she began, formulating her thoughts, “it didn’t work that way.” I gave her a quizzical look and she continued. “Those predecessors also evolved slowly, over time, from still more primitive forms of life.”
I was patient. “Like what?” I asked. I don’t think anyone had pressed her for answers like this, but after all I wasn’t worried about getting a grade. My daughter, on the other hand, probably wouldn’t be too thrilled about dad’s efforts at higher learning. Luckily, she wasn’t nearby.
In answer, the teacher started to explain that monkeys had evolved from still lower forms of life. It was a long process with smaller animals making adaptations, adding feature, becoming larger. It all sounded quite vague and fuzzy, as she painted the picture of a planet teeming with life of various kinds, widely dispersed, and being driven by this engine of evolution.
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I tried to stay on track with her. Then she made the jump that I was expecting – she started talking about life emerging from the primitive seas. Single celled life forms that began to replicate and pass their DNA on to the next generation. She paused when she saw me starting to shake my head.
“Wait a sec,” I said. “You’re getting ahead of me, or perhaps more precisely, you’re moving back too far. I’ll grant you that life first began in the seas, but even if I grant you the ‘primordial soup’ theory, you’re still making quite a jump. What I want to focus on are the first male and female land mammals. If we wind the clock back, there must be a point on the early Earth in which there are no mammals walking the land. Whatever life exists, it hasn’t yet evolved to sexually reproducing, warm blooded mammals. Before that point, maybe there’s life in the sea, but the land is barren; after that point, the land begins to get populated. You with me?”
“I’d like to know what model science has to explain how that first began. That first couple.”
She was still formulating an answer, so I pressed on…