What Evolution Can’t Explain

by Al Serrato

“Let me see if I understand,” I said to my daughter’s high school biology teacher. “The human eye is the evolutionary product of a light sensitive spot on the skin. Is that right?”

“Right,” she said.

“And by evolution, you mean a mindless, random process that didn’t really have an end in mind. In other words, there was no “designer” for the eye, or the body for that matter. Am I getting that right?”

“Right again,” she replied.

But how could an undirected process produce such highly functional complexity, I wondered aloud. She gave me a look that said, “you really don’t have the time or, probably, the background to understand, so do we really have to go there?”

We did, and I persisted, trying another tack that I had been wondering about for a while.

“Okay, well let me ask you just a few questions” I countered. “Would you agree that evolution as you understand it is a gradual process of adaptation over time, where changes that are advantageous accumulate?”

“Yes,” came her quick reply.

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“Would you agree that over time these gradual adaptations would lead to the development of complex systems, such as organ systems?”

“Yes, that makes sense,” she said.

“Would you also agree,” I pressed, “that, generally speaking, the more complex the system, the longer it would take for these gradual adaptations to evolve, so that a complex system would take longer to evolve than a less complex system.”

“Yes.” The response was a bit slower, more thoughtful.

Shifting gears a bit, I asked, “In the field of human biology, would you agree that, generally speaking, the human female reproductive system is considerably more complex than its male counterpart?”

“I’m not sure what you mean,” she queried…

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